Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Superhuman Games

Contributed by Emma Booth.
Regional Director, USA Sport Group.

The 2012 Paralympics begins today in London and is due to be as exciting and successful as the Olympics a few weeks ago. The torch has arrived in the Capital City and the opening ceremony, and all involved, are receiving their final touches and preparations. GB are tipped to have a very successful games, with athletes such as Eleanor Simmonds, Lee Pearson and Graeme Ballard looking to add to their already huge medal collections. There are many military veterans and active service members in all of the Paralympic teams, including British cyclist Jon-Allan Butterworth. The US have 20 military veterans and members in their team comprising of 227 athletes, including blind swimmer Navy Lt Bradley Snyder, who lost his sight in Afghanistan just last year.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

2012 Formula 1 Mid-Season Review

Contributed by David Raybould.
Regional Director, USA Sport Group.

In my 2012 Formula 1 Season Preview I concluded with some unanswered questions about the season ahead.  Now 11 races into the season and the teams enjoying a mid-season break, it's a good time to take stock of the season so far and predict who could take the 2012 Driver's and Constructor's Championships.  If there's one thing to be certain of, it's that this season has been one of the closest fought and exciting ever with 7 different race winners!

Surprisingly, Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso sits atop of the Driver's Championship on 164 points with the most race wins so far this season: 3.  Ferrari started the year clearly with a slower car than their rivals but, coupled with some luck, Alonso has the Prancing Horse half a length ahead at the mid-season break being the only driver to score points at every race so far.  If he can keep his lead, Alonso would take his third world title, which would surely be the greatest of his career.  However, Ferrari counterpart Felipe Massa has had a disastrous start to the year scoring only 25 points that places Ferrari fourth in the overall Constructor's Championship and is most certainly going to be replaced for 2013.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Olympic Round Up: Day 17

Contributed by Emma Booth
Regional Director, USA Sport Group.

Back to Olympic Round Up: Day 13

 Jamaican Me Crazy
Usain Bolt became a triple gold medalist in London, winning the 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m relay. He is, in his words “a legend”. Jamaica as a team however, took home 12 medals from the athletics stadium. It was a Jamaica one, two three in the 200m, where Bolt set yet another world record, and Yohan Blake and Warren Weir taking silver and bronze respectively. Hans Parchment came third in the mens 100m hurdles, to Americans Aries Merritt and Jason Richardson. And the mens 4 x 100m relay team of Bolt, Blake, Nesta Carter and Michael Frater gave Bolt his third gold, in yet another World Record time of 36.84 seconds. But the womens team played their own role in Jamaica’s success; taking silver in the 4 x 100m relay, and bronze in the 4 x 400m relay. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce took home two individual medals from the Games, silver in the women’s 200m and gold in the women’s 100m, with Veronica Campbell-Brown taking a bronze in that same race. The Jamaicans were relentless in the sprint finals, and were amazing to watch.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Olympic Round Up: Day 13

Contributed by Emma Booth.
Regional Director, USA Sport Group.

Back to Olympic Round Up: Day 10

Kicking up a Racket
Okay, so tennis should have gone in my last post, but there were just too many sports to fit in! Andy Murray FINALLY beat Federer at Wimbledon – and did so to claim a gold medal in the men’s singles. He then went on to try and become a double gold medalist in the mixed doubles with Laura Robson – but they fell at the final hurdle to the Belarusian team; Victoria Azarenka and Max Mirnyi. Serena Williams however did become a double gold medalist. Firstly on her own in the women’s singles beating Russia’s sweetheart Maria Sharapova, and then with her sister, Venus, in the women’s doubles as they defeated the Czech Republic’s Hlavackova and Hradecka. It was all relative in the men’s doubles as well, with (try and tell them apart) Bob and Mike Bryan snatching gold from Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who were unlucky as they pretty much served on a sixpence throughout most of the match. So there you go; all the winners from the All-England Club.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Olympic Round Up: Day 10

Contributed by Emma Booth.
Regional Director, USA Sport Group.

Back to Olympic Round Up: Day 6

Row, Row, Row Your Boat
It was a Golden Regatta for Team GB in the Olympic Rowing events; 9 medals – 4 gold (one of those by the men’s four), 2 silver and 3 bronze. But only one athlete grabbed two medals themselves – Australian Kim Crow who bagged a silver and bronze in the women’s single and double sculls. The New Zealand men controlled the single and double sculls, along with the mens pair in an impressive performance. Germany won the men’s quadruple sculls and men’s eight, whereas Denmark and South Africa won the men’s lightweight double sculls, and lightweight four, respectively. British women ruled the waves in three of six events, with the USA and Ukraine also taking home gold – the former winning the women’s eight and the latter; quadruple sculls. And it was the Czech Republic’s Miroslava Knapkova who won the women’s single skulls. All in all, an entertaining and dramatic few days in the boats for many countries.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Olympic Round Up: Day 6

Contributed by Emma Booth.
Regional Director, USA Sport Group.

Back to Olympic Round Up: Day 3

With the London Olympics nearly a week in, here is a roundup of my top three sports in days 4, 5 & 6.

I want to ride my bicycle
Kazakhstani Alexandr Vinokurov took gold in the Men’s Road Race, with Columbian Uran Uran second and Norwegian Kristoff third. Britain, who were expected to get a medal, unfortunately only had their highest placing at 29th with Mark Cavendish. The women held more good fortune for the Brits with Eli Armitstead taking a fantastic silver medal home behind Marianne Vos of the Netherlands, and Olga Zabelinskaya took the bronze. The men’s and women’s time trial saw both GBR and USA clinch gold medals; Kris Armstrong in the women for the States, with Zabelinskaya (the same one as above!) claiming her second bronze, behind German Judith Arndt. And in the men’s race, Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins finished first for Britain, with fellow Brit Christopher Froome coming into bronze medal position behind another German, Tony Martin.