Highly recommended: Emil Zátopek: The greatest Olympian vanished from public life after he defied Russian tanks in 1968 | The Independent.
As a kid I saw a documentary on Zatopek and was in awe of how dominant a runner he was. Anyone looking for inspiration in athletics can find that in many places: I found mine watching Zatopek and Abibi Bikila (running barefoot in Rome) excel at the Olympics.
Watching athletics events like javelin and discus, you might think that the sports for the Olympics have been constant since the beginning of the modern games. But as this shows, Unusual and Discontinued Olympic Sports, there are many sports and events that have been dropped since the revival of the modern day Olympics. In particular there was a lot of tinkering in the early years. Not that that is stopping: many sports have been added in the last few decades, and some (e.g. softball) have been dropped.
It would be sad to see your sport dropped from the Olympics, though it would be something to be the last Olympic record holder for it.
Enjoy this year’s Olympics in Rio.
Posted in sports
Tagged Olympics, sports
Here’s the story behind the photo, above. Andre De Grasse, the up and coming runner from Canada, was going against the legend from Jamaica, Usain Bolt, in the 200 meter race at the Olympics. Rather than just concede to Bolt, De Grasse and team came up with a plan to beat him. It’s was a smart plan, and the story of it is equally good. Read it here: De Grasse’s plan was to beat Bolt by making him run faster. It almost worked. Here’s why – The Globe and Mail
While it didn’t work, it was likely the best way to beat Bolt (assuming he was beatable). And the confidence to think he could beat the Jamaican legend is one of the reasons we’ll be reading about the success of Andre De Grasse for some time to come.
This piece, During Rule 40 Blackout, Emma Coburn Showcases New Balance on Olympic Stage, FloTrack, has a good run down of Rule 40 and how Emma Coburn cleverly circumvented it. In short, Rule 40 prevents all but official brands and whom they sponsor from promoting them during an blackout period of time surrounding the time of the Olympics. For example, US athletes using Nike can promote the Nike brand, but US athletes using other brands like New Balance cannot.
How did Coburn circumvent this? According to that article,
After crossing the finish line in third behind Ruth Jebet and Hyvin Jepkemoi, respectively, Coburn immediately removed her New Balance spikes and draped them over her shoulder before carrying the American flag. As a result of the bold move, thousands of photos snapped during her victory lap included her sponsor, New Balance, which otherwise would not have been featured. It’s more than likely that Coburn, who is vocal about sponsorship rights, did this intentionally to spotlight New Balance in the middle of the Rule 40 “blackout period” and circumvent Nike’s exclusive sponsorship rights with USATF.
One thing to note is that there are different rules for different athletic federations, it seems. The US swim team has more latitude than the track and field athletes.
As always, this is about money. Whatever else the Olympics are about — and obviously they are about many good things — money is one of the big aspects of these games.
I find this ad powerful. And very inspiring. It’s from the past London Paralympics and if you need a jolt of motivation to help you get going on your workout, check it out: