Image source SB Nation
The men’s 100-meter dash last week was a jaw-dropping feat of athletic prowess and Usain Bolt is undeniably the man. His stride is elegant and extraordinarily powerful and, as someone who sometimes declines to walk down the street for lunch when it’s too hot, the blood, sweat and tears that go into running that distance in under 10 seconds blows me away. To say it’s impressive doesn’t do it justice.
I loved watching those guys kill it on the track in their neon shoes, but by far my favorite moment of the XXX Olympiad (and there have been many, including the general silliness of men’s trampoline and the creepy gold-winning synchronized swimming duet routine from the Russian aqua ballerinas) was before the race, when we got to see swagged-out intros from the entire lineup of the fastest men on earth. Did somebody tell these guys they needed to come up with a badass mug for the camera on the fly? Because they did and it was beyond brilliant.
My analysis of this Paris is Burning-style pre-race routine: This was all-around a pretty impressive display, with mugs ranging from a cool and collected, but unfortunately very squinty, stare-down from a brightly goateed Asafa Powell to some milquetoast hype face and run-of-the-mill good sportsmanship from Justin Gatlin and Ryan Bailey of Team USA. Meh.
Who wins my prestigious award for most ridiculous pre-race hype? The same dudes who killed it on the track: the Jamaicans! But, sorry Mr. Bolt. Though your ridiculous, awesome record-spinning, gun-toting, running finger routine was memorable, your teammate Yohan Blake wins gold! As you can see from the embedded video, Yohan spends a very long few seconds below the camera frame before rising up like a Thriller-esque zombie, appearing to bark and finally flashing an absolutely lovely smile! Bravo, Yohan, bravo. That was really random. Thank you for my making my Olympics special. And thank god for GIFs, amIright?
Posted by Susannah
Posted in m.sports, m.thoughts
Tagged 100m dash, gold medal, Justin Gatlin, london, marlo m/c, olympics, Paris is Burning, Ryan Bailey, team usa, Usain Bolt, vogueing, Yohan Blake
Loyal m.blog readers already know about my (not-so) secret past as a competitive synchronized swimmer.
For those of you who were unaware until this point (stop snickering), my tween and teenage days were spent in the pool toggling from synchronized swimming to high school speed swimming practices (literally hopping from one pool to another). As a result, my talents were super weird (still are) – think crazy lung capacity, abnormal flexibility, the ability to blow bubbles from my eyes (gross, I know), and the competence to change from a bathing suit to regular clothes on the pool deck without flashing a single soul. The stuff of legends.
Although it’s not the most high-impact or rough ‘n tough of sports out there, I still hold true to the fact that synchronized swimming is the most challenging, result-baring exercise I’ve ever done. Harder than spinning, more difficult than boot camp, and way tougher than Zumba (duh). So when the summer Olympics begin every four years, you know what I’m watching.
This year, Team USA’s synchronized swimming crew is one badass group of gorgeous mermaids athletes. These talented ladies spend hours practicing their skills upside-down, without breathing, all while launching themselves and each other into the air with a goal of making it all look easy. It’s not easy.
So, in an attempt to increase the badass status of you, our m.blog community, it’s time to learn some tricks of the trade, starting with the ballet leg, a staple in the synchronized swimming sphere. Practice every day and you could splish, splash and flip your way to Olympic stardom.
The Ballet Leg:
(Image source Synchroism)
- Step one: Skulling. It’s best to practice this on land first. In the water, lay flat on your back (cardinal rules: head to the ceiling, toes pointed!) and let yourself float. This is called a back layout. Bend and raise both elbows so your palms are facing behind you (like below). With your hands cupped, move your forearms in towards your sides and back out over and over. Don’t stop (or you’ll sink…). You’ll be skulling for the entire ballet leg, and throughout your potential Olympic-bound future, so get used to it. Hence the sweet biceps on these gals.
- Step two: Slowly bend your right knee while dragging your toe along the front of your left shin. Stop when your knee and thigh are perpendicular to your body (your right toe will land just below your knee cap). There should be space for air under your knee at this point, but we can work on that. If you feel yourself struggling to stay afloat, drop your arms lower and scull further under the surface to support your hips.
- Step three: Here’s the hard part: Slowly straighten your right leg, keeping your thigh still and toes pointed until your right leg is sticking straight up to the ceiling, forming a 90 degree angle with your body. Keep skulling. Don’t freak! You might sink at this point, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Pop back up to the surface and try, try again.
- Step four: Without making a big splash, lower your right calf back down to the bent-knee position you were in before, keeping your thigh still, arms moving and toes pointed.
- Step five: Hang in there! It’s almost over. Gently straighten your right knee while sliding your toe across your shin until you are in your back layout (arms still moving in and out), just as you began. Lay here for a few beats and then take a well-deserved bow!
Welcome to the Olympic track, baby! Pretty soon you’ll be doing THIS!
Posted by Mary
Image source Everyday Minerals
Image source Inhabitat
As the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony approaches next week, uproar continues over the team USA uniforms. News watchers, Ralph Lauren aficionados and sports fans have most likely heard all the scandalous details; for those of you who live under a rock (bookworms and Emos), listen up…
The iconic fashion designer who turned East Coast Prep into East Coast Chic has been slammed for suiting our athletes in products labeled “Made in China.” Naturally the Olympic games foster country pride and unity. Therefore people believe that sending out athletes in non-American made clothing will undermine the spirit of the Olympics. U.S. politicians have voiced their outraged on the topic and have even suggested we remake the clothing here in the United States. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada dramatically stated “They should take all the outfits, put them in a big pile and burn them, and start all over.” And six of our finest Senators have taken it upon themselves to propose the “Team USA Made in America Act of 2012” which states that all future Olympic garments must be produced in the United States.
While it’s hardly a surprise that Senator Reid and other Democrats are proposing solutions that throw U.S money down the drain, the talk on remaking U.S uniforms seems slightly ridiculous. Fashion comes with a price – over $700 dollars for one Olympic Team double breasted blazer – and when our country is trillions of dollars in debt we are going to have to settle for one-of-a-kind pieces from an internationally-renowned designer that were made in another country. And while I support a future change to U.S made uniforms, the 2008 and 2010 uniforms were also made abroad; this reaction in 2012 seems somewhat foolish.
Honestly my main issue is not where the uniforms were made but what they look like. I mean seriously, a beret? Disregard the American flag in the photo above and you could mistake our team for the French. Not to mention the Ralph Lauren symbol is on the left side over the heart and is bigger than the American flag on the opposing right side. Not quite sure what look Ralph Lauren was going for…but hey, kudos to the guy for securing his own great product placement.
We’ll have to wait and see if the “Team USA Made in America Act” passes. Until then, good luck to all the Olympic Athletes (yes, even the Chinese) and have a great Olympic season.
Posted by Chloe