Archive for the ‘General Exercise’ Category

Armstrong Vows to Ride Two Tour de France Stages

Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lance_Armstrong

Lance Armstrong has confirmed he will ride two stages of this year’s Tour de France.

Armstrong says he will ride each stage the day before the peloton race it. He will ride with former English footballer and fellow cancer survivor Geoff Thomas. The pair hope to raise $2 million for the Cure Leukaemia foundation.

But the pair met with fierce rivalry from ICU president Brian Cookson.

“We know Lance’s involvement in Le Tour has split opinion,” said Cookson, “so we’ve tried to be as respectful as possible to the Tour de France itself in terms of the stages he will be riding.

“The stages Lance will be riding come towards the end of week two, when I know all riders will need some support.

“I know his arrival will give them the encouragement they will need to carry on with this gruelling challenge and in turn raise as much money as possible for blood cancer patients.”

Armstrong appears to have his sight set on riding the 198.5 kilometre 13th stage from Muret to Rodez on the 16th of July. This will be followed by the 198.5 kilometre stage from Rodez to Mende the following day.

Armstrong was controversially stripped of his seven Tour de France victories and banned from most competitive sports for life by the US Anti-Doping Agency in 2012.

These penalties came after he admitted in an interview on the Oprah Winfrey talkback program that he had used performance enhancing drugs throughout his cycling career.

For this reason Tour organisers are embarrassed to have him ride in their race.

Passed-Out Soccer Star’s Photo’s Go Viral

Grealish images: www.101greatgoals.com

19 year-old soccer sensation Jack Grealish has been photographed ‘paralytic’ in the gutter while on holiday in Tenerife, Spain.

The footballer has a history of trouble, with Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood already warning the young tyro of his behaviour in April.

In the previous incident Grealish was pictured inhaling nitrous oxide (Laughing Gas).

“I explained to him his behaviour can’t be tolerated by the football club,” said Sherwood at the time of the first incident. “We can’t condone that behaviour.

“It doesn’t matter how young he is, he is now in a responsible position as a professional footballer.

“He’s got to make sure it won’t happen again, he’s assuured me it won’t.”

Well it has.

Briony King image: Twitter

Briony King image: Twitter

In a statement about the current viral photographs Aston Villa have said, “The club is aware of the photographs of Jack Grealish currently circulating.

“We will be meeting with the player, but any action will remain an internal matter.

“There will be no further comment from the club.”

New Games Bid for Entry into Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Tokyo 2020 image: commons.wikimedia.org

Organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have released a list of 26 sports applying for inclusion in the prestigious event. Many are familiar sports that have been knocking on the Olympic door for some time, but others are little-known.

Men’s baseball and women’s softball have been on the fringes of Olympic inclusion for some time now. Both sports are highly popular in Japan and would surely recieve fanatical support.

Others, like wush or sumo, would definitely give the Tokyo Olympics a unique feel.

But still other  sport federations are keen for the legitimacy and profile only the Olympics can give.

Competitive sports like karate, squash, surfing, chess and various roller sports have thrown their hat in the ring.

“We have three criteria in deciding which sports will be chosen,” said Toshiro Muto, the chief executive officer of the Tokyo organising committee. “They must be popular with young people, they  must give momentum to Tokyou 2020, and they must meet IOC standards.”

A shortlist of candidates will be announced on June 22.

In August ther finalists will be able to make a final presentation in Tokyo. The organisers will then make their recommendations to the International Olympic Committee by September 30.

The IOC, in turn, will make a final decision by August 206 when it meets in Rio de Janeiro ahead of the Olympic Games.

Since the ‘Olympic Agenda 2020’  (approved in December) host cities may propose  one or more additional sports for their Games.

Both the IOC and Tokyo officials are keen to include sports appealing to younger people.

Among the sports applying for inclusion are: Air Sports, American Football, Baseball/ Softball, Bowls, Bowling, Bridge. Chess, Dancesports, Floorball, Flying Disc, Karate, Korfball, Netball, Orienteering, Polo, Racquetball, Roller Sports, Sport Climbing, Squash, Sumo, Surfing, Tug of War, Underwater Hockey, Waterski and Wakeboarding, Wushu.

Armstrong to Ride for Charity in This Year’s TDF

Brian Cookson image: http://www.uci.ch/inside-uci/organisation/management/committee/brian-cookson-gbr/

Head of cycling’s governing body, Brian Cookson, is outraged at Lance Armstrong’s decision to ride the Tour de France.

Not the actual race, of course.

Armstrong, with fellow cancer survivor, footballer Geoff Thomas, have signalled their intention to ride a few stages of this year’s Tour to raise money for a leukaemia foundation.

Cookson, however, says having Armstrong associated with the race he duped seven times would be ‘disrespectful’ to the sport.

Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour titles and lost $20 million after finally confessing to taking performance enhancing drugs.

The sport’s governing body has worked hard to try to limit the damage and stop questions being asked about its complicity in Armstrong’s deception. Armstrong did get away with it for SEVEN YEARS. And during this time competition road racing earned itself the dubious honour of being the most drug infected sport in the world.

Armstrong has hit back at Cookson saying his riding to raise money for charity is ‘the least of cycling’s problems’.

And surely Armstrong has a point?

What further damage can he do to the race – other than have people focus on how so many others were caught cheating while Armstrong himself was not?

If anything, Armstrong’s notoriety will boost attendance. Certainly his presence will raise money for a most worthwhile cause. And Armstrong being at the great race will, without doubt, serve as an object warning about the perils of taking performance enhancing drugs in competitive sport.

Cookson wants the whole Armstrong saga forgotten. He seems pretty desperate to do so. Many are wondering why.

The Hidden Side of Professional Boxing

Laight losing image: www.independent.co.uk

In boxing parlance they’re known as Journeymen. They are fighters skilled enough to protect themselves, brave enough to fight anyone, and tough enough to take a beating – but they also must pose little to no threat to anyone.

There’s a little known side to boxing – One in which fight promoters need their ‘prospects’ given experience without the risk of being beaten up.

Enter the Journeyman.

Kristian Laight is one of the most well-known journeymen in professional boxing. Since beginning his career at the Britannia International Hotel in London in November of 2003, he has fought an amazing 215 times.

Among boxers Laight’s record is deplorable, but among professional Journeymen Laight is a legend. The 34 year-old boasts a record of 9-199-7! That’s 199 losses!

Laight is even so well known as a Journeyman he was given his own chapter in a recently released book Journeymen: The Other Side of the Boxing Business.

Laight said he never planned for his career to go the way it has. Like any new boxer he dreamed of being another champion.

“I thought I could actually do something, you know, be some sort of champion,” he said on BBC. “It dawned on me, probably after the fifth fight, I wasn’t going to be a champion, that’s for sure.”

Journeymen occupy a very necessary niche in professional boxing. And their defensive skills make them, in their own way, champions.

Laight v Stalker image www.dailymail.co.uk

Laight v Stalker image www.dailymail.co.uk

“I just go in and look after myself, do my job to get through the fight, and reach that final bell in one piece, get my money, come home, and have to fight again the week after It’s a month’s wages for most people, for 12 minutes work.”

But Laight is risking serious injury every time he steps into the ring.

His opponents are usually totally unknown to him. He has to be able protect himself against anyone, entertain the crowd, give his opponent some kind of test, all while not ending the ‘prospect’s’ career with a crushing defeat.

Oh, and Laight has to be ready to fight at a moment’s notice

“One time I’d literally just gone to the pub, my phone’s gone and before I’ve had a sip of my pint my manager’s said ‘You’ve got a fight later on; get out of the pub’ You’ve always go to be ready because the phone could go at any time.”

Watmough fails to Fire for Eels

Eels Watmough: www.sportal.com.au

Eels fans are rightly agitated after the club spent up big on Anthony Watmough.

Watmough has failed to deliver since leaving the Manly Sea Eagles. On Friday night he posted his worst game to date: Running for only 53 meters, missing five tackles, and playing only a little over half the match (44 minutes).

In fact, Watmough hasn’t made a line-break since joining the Eels.

This is a far-cry from the same time last year when ‘Choc’ was rampaging through the Maroons defensive line in the State of Origin series.

Watmough is claiming a series of injuries are hamstringing his ability to perform on the field.

Blues Watmough image: www.sbs.com.au

Blues Watmough image: www.sbs.com.au

But in a bizarre Catch-22 Parramatta coach Brad Arthur has no choice but to keep sending him out.

Because of the salary cap, and the big money spent on Watmough, Arthur has no one else to send on to replace him.

The best both of them can hope for is the round 15 bye which will give the second-rower a much needed break from competitive football.

Just how much the team physios and doctors can do in a fortnight remains to be seen. But as it stands now buying Watmough from the Sea Eagles hasn’t repaid the Parramatta club.

British Welterweight Contender KOed by Petite Mother in Bar

Adam Little image: Twitter

British professional boxer Adam Little has been KOed by a 22 year-old girl during an argument at a Lanacashire bar in Kirkham.

Little, who has been trained by boxing great Ricky Hatton and has won 12 bouts on his way to becoming the contender for the British welterweight championship, was knocked to the floor by petite and single mother, Kiah Kuzan,  on New Year’s Eve.

He was taken to hospital for treatment and had to undergo dental surgery worth $1600.

In court Kuzan admitted assaulting the welterweight champion. She was ordered to pay his dental costs and received an eight-week jail sentence, suspended for one year.

Kurzan image: Twitter

Kurzan image: Twitter

Kuzan told the court the incident took place inside The Stables Bar in Kirkhams town centre after an altercation with Little in the men’s toilets.

Kuzan was angry her partner had been ejected from the premises. She began screaming at Little before punching him in the face.

Kuzan’s council Michael Ball told the court his client never intended to injure the pro fighter.

“She had no intention of injuring him in this way,” Mr Ball was reported as saying by the Mail Online.

“As a professional boxer of some repute he may have had some previous damage to his teeth anyway.”

Little will be fighting for the welterweight title little later this year.

World Rejoices at Sepp Blatter Retirement

Sepp Blatter image: en.wikipedia.org

Sepp Blatter has stunned the world, resigning his post as FIFA President only days after winning his re-election.

He is currently under immense scrutiny and an FBI investigation for corruption.

Blatter said he felt ‘compelled’ to stand for re-election, but has since realised the football governing body requires a ‘profound overhaul.’ One, we can only assume, that includes him.

And while the President was elected with a mandate from the members he realises he has lost support of the people who play, watch, and love the game. Without this support, he believes his actions and motives will forever be questioned.

Blatter will stay on as President until the next elective congress.

That was due to be in Mexico City on the 13th of May 2016. However, Blatter has asked the Executive Committee to organise an Extraordinary Congress to elect a successor at the earliest opportunity.

Blatter depicted himself as the hero of FIFA. He said he has always fought for the betterment of the game, but has been blocked by detractors with their own axes to grind.

In a parting shot Blatter has seconded Domenico Scala to oversee the introduction of far-reaching measures that will limit the powers of the next President and the executive council.

Measures, in other words, that should have limited what Blatter himself was able to do.

Jordan’s Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, who lost a narrow vote to Blatter last Friday said, “I think that it is the right move from Sepp Blatter and I think we have to look to the future … I am at the disposal of all the national associations who want a change, including all of those who were  afraid to make a change.”

President of the European soccer federation UEFA, Michael Platini said, “It was a difficult decision, a brave decision, and the right decision.”

In fact, it’s difficult to find anyone who is not openly enthusiastic at the news of Sepp Blatter’s stepping-down.

Prince Ali seems to have the support of the whole world.

Athletes Think Better Under Stress

Amy Williams Bobsled: en.wikipedia.org

As if we needed another reason to envy gifted athletes – here is another:

A recent study commissioned by Dunlop Tyres in association with University College London (UCL) has found extreme athletes performed significantly better than average members of the public when subjected to physical and mental duress.

The parietal coretex (an area of the brain responsible for determining reaction speed) remained unimpaired when elite athletes were forced to complete tasks while under extreme stress. Not so for the rest of us.

UCL professor Vincent Walsh took five athletes – multiple Isle of Man TT winner John McGuiness, leading free climber Leo Houlding, racing car driver Sam Bird, wing-suit diver Alexander Polli, and Olympic bobsled gold medallist Amy Williams – and subjected them to a series of mental and physical pressures before engaging in timed visual tasks.

The athletes were worked to exhaustion before being challenged to identify a series of shapes and patterns.

Elite sportspeople, it was found, performed 82 per cent faster than average.

Motorcyclist McGuinness performed better under pressure than in the stress-free control study. While overall the athletes performed 10 per cnt better when under pressure.

In contrast, non-elite athletes saw their scores go down by 60 per cent.

The results are tunning.

John McGuiness: commons.wikimedia.org

John McGuiness: commons.wikimedia.org

They show that athletes can perform under intense distractions three times better than average members of the public.

Professor Walsh was still uncertain as to whether this ability was because of inborn neurological advantage or something developed through exposure to physical and mental stress through sport training.

Prof Walsh is adamant the skills can definitely be improved: “We might to be able to become a John or a Leo, but all these areas of the brain can make connections in later life, so we can enhance ourselves.”

Go! St. Louis Marathon Winner Disqualified for Cheating

Kendell Schler image: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/other/fake-go-st-louis-marathon-winner-disqualified-for-boston/article_3ccaac16-1a45-5a14-aaf1-723fa3feb5df.html

26 year-old Kendall Schler of Columbia, Missouri, has been stripped of her winner’s title in the GO! St. Louis Marathon.

Officials became suspicious when Schler failed to register several early checkpoint times. Nor could any of the race-start officials remember her toeing the line for the starter’s gun. Neither did the race cyclist (who rides with the lead runners) ever remember seeing her.

Schler had finished third in last year’s St. Louis Marathon, but had her place and time voided for doing exactly the same thing!

Nancy Lieberman, president of GO! St. Louis, said in the St. Louis Post Dispatch: “It’s a difficult situation for everybody, including the people who run a fair race and don’t get the recognition they should receive. I said to her (Schler), ‘It looks like you perpetrated a fraud.’ I have nothing legitimate that says she officially started and ran 26.2 miles in 2014 or 2015.”

Schler stood to win $1500 and an immediate entry into the prestigious Boston Marathon (being raced Monday) for a first place.

Organisers have found she removed the timing strip form her official competitor’s bib and crept quietly onto the course mid-race.

When confronted, Schler admitted to removing her race timing chip in both the 2014 and 2015 events.

She has since been banned from the GO! St. Louis event.

Ms Schler could not be contacted for a response.

Andrea Karl image: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/other/fake-go-st-louis-marathon-winner-disqualified-for-boston/article_3ccaac16-1a45-5a14-aaf1-723fa3feb5df.html

Real winner of Go! St. Louis marathon Andrea Karl image: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/other/fake-go-st-louis-marathon-winner-disqualified-for-boston/article_3ccaac16-1a45-5a14-aaf1-723fa3feb5df.html

The official winner was Andrea Karl, a doctoral candidate at Washington University. Karl ran the full course in 2 hours, 54 minutes, 28 seconds. But she crossed the finish line almost unnoticed and was told another woman had finished before her.