Posts Tagged ‘Jamaican Bobsled Team

23
Feb
14

2.23.14 … and sochi it goes …

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

Closing Ceremonies/Opening ceremonies:  I must admit I did not turn the Closing Ceremonies  on…. I did, hoever enjoy the Opening Ceremonies.

Now this is strange. For the “Dance of Peace,” we hear Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake,” but instead of scenes from the great Russian ballet, we get a bunch of women spinning with long glow-in-the-dark strings attached to their heads so that they look not like swans but like jellyfish. At their center is the great Russian ballerina Diana Vishneva, not doing ballet. The whole thing is taken from one of her one-woman shows, a number choreographed by the tacky American modern dance choreographer Moses Pendleton. It’s a curious international exposure of questionable Russian taste.

— Brian Seibert

via Highlights: The Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony – NYTimes.com.

bobsled competitions, Steve Holcomb:  By the end this had become my favorite event this year:  However, I was so glad I don’t have to wear the bobsledder’s uniform. 🙂

One of my favorite stories was of Steve Holcomb.  You can watch his NBC interview heres: Nightly News: Steven Holcomb: Sochi hopeful in bobsled  .

Steven Holcomb’s story of triumph over physical adversity was a highlight of the Vancouver Games, an everyman guy piloting the U.S. four-man team to its first Olympic gold medal in men’s bobsledding since 1948. But before the champion driver conquered an eye ailment that nearly stole his vision and ruined his career, Holcomb nearly gave in to the darkness of suicide. To hide his disease from friends and teammates, he withdrew into isolation and never let on that it had reached a critical stage. In his new book, But Now I See, Holcomb describes for the first time the spiral of depression that drove him to attempt suicide rather than accept and come forward with his ailment.

Once he found the right combination of visual and sensory cues to guide him, Holcomb began tearing up the circuit. He won world and Olympic titles in the four-man sleds, and last winter he captured gold medals in both the two and four-man sleds at the world championships in Lake Placid. He will likely be a favorite for more hardware at the Olympics in Sochi next winter.

He has become the cheery, approachable face of his sport that is gradually growing in popularity. But he had kept his depression secret even from family before starting his book with writer Steve Eubanks two years ago. In the summer of 2011, an Olympic teammate, aerial skier Jeret “Speedy” Peterson, took his own life at age 29.

“Speedy’s death made me think about it,” Holcomb said, “but the first person was the writer. I hadn’t told him about it or anyone. I thought it was something I’d take to my grave. Then I just said it.”

As Holcomb shared his thoughts, his words about depression sounded a caution for those around someone in trouble. “If someone’s struggling,” he says, “ask another question… I was lucky to get a second chance.”

via U.S. bobsledder Steven Holcomb opens up about his suicide attempt – Brian Cazeneuve – SI.com.

The Sochi Olympics, Frame by Frame – NYTimes.com: And these frame by frame photos helped me see what the judges were looking for!

The Sochi Olympics, Frame by Frame

via The Sochi Olympics, Frame by Frame – NYTimes.com.

Olympic Games: Legacy or Money Pit?: Only time will tell …

After the Olympics, said the planners, buildings would find new life as community sports centers, and the athletes’ village would become private housing (half to be earmarked for low-income buyers). The economic uplift would raise all boats.

A cautionary note: It is not uncommon for the Olympics to be long on promise and short on delivery, not to mention unintended consequences, such as the forlorn remains of stadia left behind like decaying whale carcasses. The Montreal Games in 1976 nearly bankrupted the city and left it with a spectacularly ugly stadium—”an architectural excrescence,” a Canadian journalist called it, that was prone to roof collapse from too much snow (yes, it does snow in Montreal). Meanwhile, paint is peeling on Beijing’s $423 million Bird’s Nest stadium, now a mediocre tourist attraction with an annual upkeep of $11 million.

via Olympic Games: Legacy or Money Pit?.

follow-up: Some of the articles I found most interesting before and during the Olympics:

From 2.18.14 … salt and sochi, I would assume the salt arrived.

salt, 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics:

A senior adviser to the Sochi Olympics convened an emergency meeting late last week with top winter sports officials at the Park Inn hotel in the Alpine village here.

A situation had grown dire. It was not security, attendance or doping that was the problem. It was salt.

Four months earlier, Hans Pieren, one of the world’s leading experts on salt and snow, had told Sochi officials that the Alpine skiing events required more than 19 tons of salt, a crucial ingredient for melting soft snow so it can refreeze into a hard surface.

But the organizers did not listen, to their great regret. Now, with 10 days of competition remaining, many of the Games’ signature events were in jeopardy of being compromised, and even canceled.

Tim Gayda, a Canadian consultant who is a senior adviser to the Sochi organizers, called the meeting Thursday night, according to some people who were there. He told the group that the strongest kind of salt, the large-grain variety, was simply not available in Russia. Mr. Gayda asked the group an urgent question: Does anyone know how we can get 25 tons of salt — tonight?

via A Mad Dash for Salt Rescues Olympic Slopes – NYTimes.com.

follow-up:  Sad thing is … the coffee we are addicted to is really not that good. Silly Americans!! From via 2.21.14 … 

NBC’s ‘Secret’ Starbucks, 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics,  lockdown, WSJ.com:  I bet everyone is really peeved with the WSJ for this story.

“The same guards that won’t let people in now won’t let Starbucks out,” one person with access to the coffee said, declining to be identified for fear of retribution.

That new policy also ended a smuggling operation wherein some NBC employees had been serving as Starbucks mules for friends and acquaintances at the Games. Why not share the java, after all, since the drinks—served round the clock—cost “customers” nothing? And with the nearest Starbucks branch in Russia more than 350 miles by car, Sochi is a kind of Siberia for Starbucks addicts.

But recently, according to one person with access to the coffee, someone trying to leave the NBC offices with a Starbucks cup was told by a guard: “No gifts. No gifts. Pour it out or go back and drink it.”

The person said that he and his colleagues were told that NBC was working on getting new, unbranded cups to allow employees to travel more freely with their elite coffee. Sure enough, according a number of people, new generic cups had shown up by Wednesday: an orange-and-brown variant with arguably less cachet.

via NBC’s ‘Secret’ Starbucks Goes on Lockdown – WSJ.com.

From  1.30.14 … I agreed with my friends: “They look like they came from QVC’s Quacker Lady line!”  “Looks like my Grandmother’s sweater…but, at least they were made in America!”  However I must admit I grew to like the outfits as i saw them being worn.

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, New Olympic Uniforms, Ugly, News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com: Once again … UGLY!

The U.S. Olympic team’s uniforms for the opening ceremonies at Sochi were unveiled Thursday on the Today Show with Matt Lauer and the reactions have been, ah, not so terrific.

The uniforms, designed by Ralph Lauren, were modeled on the show by figure skater Evan Lysacek, hockey player Julie Chu, ice dancers Charlie White and Meryl Davis, and freestyle skiers Hannah Kearney and Alex Schlopy.

The Outside staff had this to say about them.

via The New Olympic Uniforms Are Pretty Ugly | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

And from 1.25.14 

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Fitbit Flex , training, WSJ.com:  I have one.

We gave a Fitbit Flex to three Team USA hopefuls: Eliassen, speed skater Brian Hansen and mogul skier Heather McPhie. All agreed to wear the device for a week in November and share their data, as well as details of their ascetic diets. Three reporters decidedly less active than the would-be Olympians also wore Fitbits for a week.

The results say a lot about what it takes to try to become a Winter Olympian, and plenty more about the effectiveness of those increasingly ubiquitous personal-fitness trackers.

Still, with a workout routine that involved mostly skating and cycling, Hansen started to get the same concerns about his workout that McPhie did. His left wrist, which wore the Fitbit, rests on his back as he circles the skating oval, and it doesn\’t move when he bikes. And yet, even with the manually-entered calories from an hour of cycling, or 40 laps around the 400-meter skating oval, his calorie count never surpassed 3,960. He averaged 3,518 through six training days in Milwaukee.

Hansen is hardly a slacker. That’s about 30% more than the reporters who wore the Fitbit for a week, even on days when they took more than 17,000 steps. But his output isn’t too far beyond the reach of a hard-core weekend warrior.

Eliassen, on the other hand, worked on an entirely different plane. Twice during her week training in Breckenridge, Colo., Eliassen cleared 7,000 calories, including the calories the gadget might have missed while she was on an exercise bicycle, doing calisthenics, weightlifting, skiing for as long as five hours, doing 90 minutes of push-ups and sit-ups, 30 minutes of yoga or running. It was all part of her plan to win the first Olympic gold medal in slopestyle skiing. Even without adding calories that might not have been picked up from arm-swinging, Eliassen burned on average more than 4,400 on her hardest training days.

via Sochi Olympics: Measuring Every Step of Training – WSJ.com.

From 1.26.14 

2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, South Africa, News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com:  Very sad.

In a statement, SASCOC pledged to “continue to adhere to its selection policies in order to ensure participation … is of the highest quality.” In other words, Speelman isnt good enough.

viaNo Sochi For South Africa | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

via 1.19.14 …

2014 Winter Olympics – Sochi,  Jamaican Bobsled Team:  Woohoo … The Jamaican bobsled team is expected to qualify for the Sochi Olympics after a 12-year absence from competition.   Cool runnings mon….Flashbacks of Cool Runnings will certainly emerge as the Jamaican bobsled team is expected to qualify for the Sochi Olympics at this weekend’s event in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Winston Watts and Marvin Dixon make up the two-man team hoping to end the country’s 12-year absence from bobsled competition.Watts, 46, has come out of retirement to lead the Jamaican team, which, if it qualifies, would make him the oldest Olympic bobsled competitor by eight years. Watts originally competed in the 1994 Olympics and then retired after missing out on the 2006 games, according to reports from the International Business Times.

“Man, you should see me! Age is just a number. You’d never believe I was a man of 46… You’d say maybe 30, 35. I’m big, dark, and handsome, like a six-foot, 235-pound runnin’ back,” Watts confidently told The Telegraph.

via Jamaican Bobsled Team Set for Sochi | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

Will they be back …

SOCHI, Russia — The Jamaican bobsled team was the life of the party once again at the Winter Olympics, laughing and joking its way through a trip to Sochi that was fraught with enough financial hardship and travel hijinks to film a sequel to “Cool Runnings.”

They remain as lovable as ever, drawing big crowds wherever they went in Sochi. But they almost never got here at all. And after a 29th-place finish in the two-man competition with a 46-year-old driver, the program faces an uncertain future as it tries to move from novelty act to legitimate medal contender.

“We have the athletic ability. We have shown we can do it,” Chris Stokes, president of the Jamaica Bobsleigh Federation, said. “We just have to pull things together in Jamaica itself.”

via Jamaican bobsled team faces uncertain future – The Washington Post.

From  2.28.2011:  What did you think of the mascot … does it matter?

2014 Olympics, mascots, politics:

Allegations of plagiarism, high-level political meddling and sheer poor taste on Sunday marred Russia’s choice of three furry mascots to represent the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Russians chose three mascots — a cute-looking snow leopard, polar bear and hare — by popular vote in a seemingly innocent television show late Saturday that aimed to choose a people’s mascot.

Eyebrows were first raised when the initial favourite to win the most votes — a portrayal of Russian Father Christmas Ded Moroz — was rather undemocratically ditched from the competition by the organisers.

Then it just so happened that the mascot which strongman Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had declared his favourite — the “strong, fast and beautiful” snow leopard — polled easily the most votes.

via Row over Russia winter Olympics mascots.

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19
Jan
14

1.19.14 … “However, Sherlock is not the overall most portrayed literary character in film. That title belongs to the non-human character Dracula, who has been portrayed in 272 films.” …

Barbara Brown Taylor, quotes,  An Altar in the World:  I loved this quote … BBT is always good.

“Anything can become a spiritual practice once you are willing to approach it that way–once you let it bring you to your knees and show you what is real, including who you really are, who other people are, and how near God can be when you have lost your way.”

~Barbara Brown Taylor, from An Altar in the World

via Barbara Brown Taylor.

The Saint John’s Bible,  YouTube:  I saw images of this illuminated Bible on Pinterest … gorgeous.

genesis+page+1+amd+2.JPG 705×500 pixels.

▶ The Saint John’s Bible on NBC Today Show – YouTube.

google doodles:   I love google doodles … I often have to google the honoree and love to learn something new. But I never thought about it being like postage stamps or that they are benefitting financially from the honoree … that it is a marketing tool. It made me think. But yes, it does seem extreme.

But is Google the right booster for one of the Harlem Renaissance’s greatest treasures? We’d be appalled if McDonald’s used Martin Luther King Jr.’s image to sell hamburgers or if Coca-Cola put Mohandas Gandhi on a soda can. So why is it any different when a tech behemoth uses Hurston to hawk searches?

Since Google began Doodling in 1998, it’s aligned its brand with some of the greatest human beings who ever walked the Earth, borrowing the pixie dust of Gandhi, MLK and others. In a role once reserved for the U.S. Postal Service and its stamps, Google now decides who deserves tribute — Hurston yes, Malcolm X no.

It’s time for the company to stop folding major political and cultural figures into its logo.

Remember: Google is embroiled in privacy lawsuits around the globe even as it criticizes the National Security Agency for invading Americans’ privacy. It protests censorship yet continues to expand its presence in China. It’s been accused of manipulating search results to benefit its business and may be the world’s largest copyright violator. It celebrates great African Americans in Doodles but won’t release its minority hiring statistics.

When Google goes deep, its Doodles rob honorees of context. The logos reduce legacies to cartoons, turning icons into iconography.

Google’s insistence on associating itself with greatness is more insidious than a college freshman putting up a Che Guevara poster in a dorm room, unwittingly celebrating a violent Marxist whose role in Cuba’s revolution helped isolate the nation for half a century. With Doodles, a company with unprecedented reach into our private lives incorporates history into its brand — a brand most Westerners with a computer stare at every day. That’s not just creepy, it’s downright Orwellian.

Google has caught flak for its Doodle-ocracy before. It’s been accused of insufficiently marking Memorial Day and Veterans Day . For the past several years, the site has restricted views of a rainbow banner honoring Gay Pride Month to those who search “pride related” terms such as “LGBT” and “marriage equality.” And last year, the company was hammered for showcasing labor organizer Cesar Chavez on Easter Sunday instead of that guy who rose from the dead, Jesus Christ.

via From Gandhi to MLK, history’s giants have become marketing tools – The Washington Post.

Rose Bush,  Stephen Doster, books:  This came highly recommended.

After his wife’s death, engineer Dudley Redfern moves from Wisconsin to Sprite, Georgia, seeking to hide from his grief by burying himself in work. He soon comes to believe everyone is crazy in this tiny town, where Old Southern values are placed on odd pedestals and more than the usual spiritual awakenings take place. Little does he know that the quiet nights and work-filled days he expected will soon be interrupted when Sprite’s prodigal son returns to run for high office, and he finds himself embroiled in an age-old scandal and searching for solutions to issues he has never faced before.

via Rose Bush: Stephen Doster: 9781625969965: Amazon.com: Books.

lasagna with fresh tomatoes and basil, recipes: 🙂

Lasagna with fresh tomatoes and basil is a perfect dish to start off the new year. It’s healthy but still substantial enough to feed the family. Using homemade lasagna noodles will make each bite taste fresh, silky, and smooth. It’s perfect for even my littlest one! But never fear, dried lasagna noodles will work perfectly well too! I also love using fresh tomatoes for this recipe — it makes everything feel and taste really light! And if you\’re looking to make it even lighter, swap out the cheese for light ricotta and part skim mozzarella. This lasagna is a tasty treat that will bring a little bit of Italy to your kitchen every time you pop it into the oven!

via ▶ Lasagna with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil | Farm to Table Family | PBS Parents – YouTube.

Eagle Scout/Idealist/Drug Trafficker?, Silk Road, bitcoin, NYTimes.com:  So now I know what bitcoins are used for!

A man who created a website that changed the world as we know it could believe he had a chance to live forever. At minimum, he could be a hero to anyone who thinks that government has no business in business.

Hence Bitcoin’s wry new nickname in legal circles: “Prosecution Futures.” The government has begun making arrests: Olivia Bolles, a Delaware doctor, was charged in November with selling oxycodone, Xanax and other drugs on Silk Road, stuffing Sour Patch and Jolly Rancher candy in the packages to thwart detection.

But the limits of technology are only part of the reason that another Silk Road is unlikely anytime soon. To function, such a site needs a leader who is dedicated to the point of fanaticism, and, more important, has a strange kind of integrity. Dread Pirate Roberts did not take the Bitcoin and run because he was a true believer first and an outlaw second. He was a rare set of contradictions, a humanitarian willing to kill, a criminal with a strict code of ethics.

via Eagle Scout. Idealist. Drug Trafficker? – NYTimes.com.

2014 Winter Olympics – Sochi,  Jamaican Bobsled Team:  Woohoo … The Jamaican bobsled team is expected to qualify for the Sochi Olympics after a 12-year absence from competition.   Cool runnings mon….

Flashbacks of Cool Runnings will certainly emerge as the Jamaican bobsled team is expected to qualify for the Sochi Olympics at this weekend’s event in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Winston Watts and Marvin Dixon make up the two-man team hoping to end the country’s 12-year absence from bobsled competition.

Watts, 46, has come out of retirement to lead the Jamaican team, which, if it qualifies, would make him the oldest Olympic bobsled competitor by eight years. Watts originally competed in the 1994 Olympics and then retired after missing out on the 2006 games, according to reports from the International Business Times.

“Man, you should see me! Age is just a number. You’d never believe I was a man of 46… You’d say maybe 30, 35. I’m big, dark, and handsome, like a six-foot, 235-pound runnin’ back,” Watts confidently told The Telegraph.

via Jamaican Bobsled Team Set for Sochi | News from the Field | OutsideOnline.com.

Sherlock Holmes,  most portrayed literary human character :

Sherlock Holmes awarded title for most portrayed literary human character in film & TV | Guinness World Records

Having been depicted on screen 254 times, GWR today announces that Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional detective, has been awarded a world record for the most portrayed literary human character in film & TV.

Since his creation in 1887, Sherlock Holmes has been played by over 75 actors including Sir Christopher Lee, Charlton Heston, Peter O’Toole, Christopher Plummer, Peter Cook, Roger Moore, John Cleese, Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey Jr (above).

Guinness World Records adjudicator Claire Burgess commented, “Sherlock Holmes is a literary institution. This Guinness World Records title reflects his enduring appeal and demonstrates that his detective talents are as compelling today as they were 125 years ago.”

Through a combination of films, television series, dramas and documentaries, Sherlock’s appearances beat the character of Shakespeare’s Hamlet by 48 portrayals to claim the record.

However, Sherlock is not the overall most portrayed literary character in film. That title belongs to the non-human character Dracula, who has been portrayed in 272 films.

The record was recognised as part World Record London, a calendar of record-breaking events taking place in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

via Sherlock Holmes awarded title for most portrayed literary human character in film & TV | Guinness World Records.

37 CALORIES BROWNIES, recipes:

37 CALORIES BROWNIES

(If you don’t save these to your wall, then you are NUTS.. who doesn’t love brownies??)

3/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (I used vanilla)

1/4 cup skim milk

1/2 cup Cocoa powder

1/2 cup Old fashioned rolled oats (like Quaker)

1/2 cup Truvia (or any natural/stevia based sweetener that pours like sugar)

1 egg

1/3 cup applesauce

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a square baking dish (I used 8″x8″). Combine all ingredients into a food processor or a blender, and blend until smooth (about 1 minute). Pour into the prepared dish and bake for about 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely before cutting into 9 large squares.

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LOL, http://www.LocalWineEvents.com:  I should never drink …

APSS, Northside High School, kith/kin:  Saw this and thought many of you would be interested … … Isn’t it amazing that the North Atlanta area used to have 4 high schools?

Chris Christie, Bridgegate:  Helpful …

Bridge Players

Bridge Players – WSJ.com.

George Takei, LOL:  George Takei has some fun stuff..

wine labels, followup:  Earlier today I mentioned that I enjoy wine labels and still remember the vinyards I visited 24 years ago, many becuae of their labels … Here they are:

Chateau Montelena:

Folie à Deux Winery:

Monticello Vineyards:

Domaine Chandon:

Clos Pegase Winery:

 

Clos du Val Wine:

Grgich Hills Estate




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