Articles matching tag: Olympics
- Column: NIKE Shoe Much Ado About NothingMarch 16, 2017
Sports are about human participation but there’s no denying that technology has an impact on performance. Is there a point where technology gives some performers an unfair advantage and creates artificial outcomes? That’s an endless debate, one that is currently underway in running circles. In the past nine months, runners using the latest shoe designs from Nike have produced impressive results in international races. Nike shoes were worn by all three medalists in the men’s marathon at last summer’s Olympics. In the fall, Nikes were worn by the winners of major marathons around the globe, including Berlin, Chicago and New York. Recently, Nike unveiled a customized version of those shoes as part of the company’s goal to see a sub two-hour marathon, a campaign dubbed the “Breaking2” project.
- Column: WADA Needs Watchdog of Its OwnNovember 17, 2016
Looks like the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the agency charged with assuring clean competition at the world’s most important sports competitions, could use a watchdog of its own. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) claims that it’s “responsible for delivering an anti-doping program for the Olympic Games that produces accurate and reliable testing outcomes, and that effectively deters cheating or detects any cheating that nevertheless occurs.” To accomplish this end, the IOC contracts with WADA which in turn employs Independent Observers (IO) to chaperone athletes and collect samples during the Games.
- Column: US Soccer Releases Hope SoloSeptember 15, 2016
At what point is a superstar athlete more trouble than they’re worth? The treatment of Hope Solo, the former goalie for the U.S. national soccer team, may provide an answer. In case you haven’t been following Solo’s saga, here’s a quick primer. After her team’s shocking loss to Sweden in last month’s Rio Olympics, Solo went off on her opponents. She accused them of being a “bunch of cowards” for playing defensively and claimed that the best team didn’t win the match. If the goal of playing a sport is to win, on the former point Solo is dead wrong. Smart teams with good coaching use whatever legal and ethical tactics are appropriate given the circumstances. If playing a defensive game increases the chances of winning, and surviving, then it is sound strategy and every team should embrace it. Solo conceded as much in follow up comments.
- Column: What We Can Learn From The Ryan Lochte AffairSeptember 1, 2016
If you thought the Rio Olympic Games morphed into the Ryan Lochte saga, you can be forgiven. Lochte, a 12-time Olympic medalist in swimming - six gold, three silver and three bronze – created a firestorm that took on a life of its own, one that seemingly won’t die. By now, it’s hard to find an American who can’t recount the circumstances that gave rise to the controversy. Lochte and fellow Olympian Jimmy Feigen claimed they, along with U.S. swimmers Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, were robbed at gunpoint on the night of August 14 during a night on the town in Rio. The perpetrators, according to Lochte, were Rio police.
- Column: The Evolution of The Olympic GamesJuly 28, 2016
The Summer Olympic Games will open next week in Brazil with the usual pomp and circumstance. But in addition to exemplifying all that’s right about athletic competition, the Games will illustrate what’s wrong with the Olympics as they exist today. Start with greed, political corruption, financial excess, doping and environmental disaster, to name a few of the ills that beset the Olympic Movement. Then add disease and security. Brazil may not be where the Zika virus originated, but according to the World Health Organization it’s one of 23 countries where the disease, which is linked to birth defects in babies, is present and spreading. As a result, a number of athletes have chosen not to participate in this year’s Games and a number of fans are staying home. And no one knows if security at the Games will be sufficient, even after the government recently gave Rio an additional $844 million for security costs.
- Column: The IOC Is Punishing The InnocentJune 30, 2016
In his 2007 bestseller Where Have All the Leaders Gone? Lee Iacocca, former CEO of Chrysler, discusses the ten C’s that can be used as a test of a good leader: Curiosity, Creative, Communicate, Character, Courage, Conviction, Charisma, Competent, Common Sense and the one that he regards as the most important, Crisis. If you believe Iacocca, and dismiss him at your own risk, the so-called leaders of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have failed the test. The IAAF, the world governing body for track and field events, recently banned Russia’s track and field athletes from participating in this summer’s Olympic Games in Brazil. The IAAF ban was actually an extension of a suspension imposed last fall after a comprehensive report by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) detailed Russia’s “deeply rooted culture of cheating (i.e., doping).” The IOC upheld the IAAF ban.
- Column: Taxing Olympic Gold...And Silver and BronzeFebruary 24, 2014
There are two things all Americans can agree on: We love our Olympic athletes and we hate taxes. That means we can all agree on exempting Olympic athletes from paying taxes on their Olympic winnings, right? Well, maybe not. The first thing you should know is that Olympic gold medals are a misnomer. Although the medals weigh 531 grams, there are only six grams of actual gold in each medal. The balance is silver. At today’s street value for both metals, a gold medal is worth approximately $550. That amount is considered taxable income to medal winners.
- Column: Is Drug Testing Futile?January 20, 2014
What should not be lost in the drama, rhetoric and legal maneuverings of the Alex Rodriguez saga is the uncontroverted fact that drug testing in sport doesn’t catch all the druggies. Regardless of whether you think A-Rod was railroaded by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and the league, got what he deserved, or fall somewhere in between, the testimony – and 60 Minutes interview – of Tony Bosch was eye-opening. Here is a man who is neither a chemist nor a licensed physician and yet was concocting what Travis Tygart, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO, told the Associated Press was "probably the most potent and sophisticated drug program developed for an athlete that we've ever seen." And yet A-Rod never failed a single drug test administered by MLB’s agents.