Archive for the ‘sports science’ Category

Extreme Sporting World Mourns Loss of Trailblazer

Image: https://instagram.com/p/2Tm4qzmdNM/

The extreme sports world is mourning the loss of thrill seeker Dean Potter. Potter died while BASE jumping in Yosemite National Park on Saturday.

Many of Potter’s fans were concerned about his dog, Whisper, who accompanied him on many of his adventures.

Whisper is a mini Australian cattle dog, who Potter bought with him to aid with his partial hearing loss.

She accompanied Potter on BASE jumps, wingsuit-glides, paraglides, and mountain climbs.

“We wingsuit and BASE jump quite a bit,” Potter said to Outside magazine in March. “I don’t take her on any super-advanced, death-defying jumps. I’m also into paragliding, Whisper goes paragliding very often.”

A quick look at Potter’s website show Whisper has also summited El Capitan and the fiendishly difficult Half Dome in Yosemite; she as even stood atop several peaks in the Swiss Aps.

Ruffwear.com, an outdoor/adventure-wear business for dogs, sponsored Whisper and constructed harnesses enabling Potter to comfortably and safely carry her.

Image: http://deanspotter.com/photo-gallery/#jp-carousel-860

Image: http://deanspotter.com/photo-gallery/#jp-carousel-860

Potter loved his dog, describing her as his ‘wing girl’. She won Climbing’s ‘Best Climber Dog on Instagram’ in May 2014 and has been a trailblazer in the K-9 adventure scene. Moreover, she was the star in Potter’s viral YouTube dogumentary ‘When Dog’s Fly.’

Whisper is believed to be alive and well – but missing her master.

The Karate Hottie Fights in July

Image: galleryhip.com

Latest UFC signing and former Invicta atomweight champion Michelle ‘the Karate Hottie’ Waterson has been named to fight on July 12.

She will face fellow strawweight Angela Magana at the current UFC 21 finale in Florida.

Waterson invited the cameras to take a peek at her training for the fight. Though she might be small it’s obvious the Karate Hottie has power, skill, and determination – as these videos show.

Waterson won six of her last seven fights, five of them through stoppages. Her kill-sheet shows she is well rounded as a fighter, able to submit or knockout opponents as the opportunity presents itself.

Waterson also boasts a fourth-round knockout of Jessica Penne (the TUF 20 title contender) in 2013.

She’ll be a handful for any opponent in the strawweight division.

NSAC Makes Harsh Changes to Drug Penalties

Image: en.wikipedia.org

The Nevada State Athletic Commission has passed new rules aimed at stamping out the use of performance enhancing and banned substances.

The new rules provide enforcement authorities with the ability to suspend offenders for a first time offence, plus fine them 40 to 50 per cent of their fight purse,. A third offence will attract a lifetime ban.

But the killer blow is this: ANY positive result overturns a win into a loss.

Previously both fighters would be given the result ‘no-contest’; a blot on the careers of both men.

Curiously, with the power to reverse a fight decision because of a failed drug test, we could now see a fighter can be knocked out and still get a win!

The changes come in response to the stinging criticism. The commission was lambasted for being powerless to punish former light-heavyweight Jon Jones after finding cocaine metabolites in his blood stream.

At a drawn-out and at times heated meeting the members of the NSAC decided to implement the punitive measures; some of which include guidelines for fines and suspensions of offenders.

As an example of the commission’s seriousness: The meeting memo proposed a first time steroid offender be suspended for two-years (a virtual death knell to any aspiring fighter’s career). The commission voted for three-years.

Punishments are separated according to drug type. Below is a brief overview:

Steroids:

  • First Offense: Three year suspension plus 50-70 per cent of the purse.
  • Second Offense: Four year ban plus 75-100 per cent of the purse.
  • Third Offense: Lifetime ban and 100 per cent of the fighter’s purse.

Stimulants:

  • First Offense: Two year ban and 35-45 per cent of the purse
  • Second Offense: three year ban and 50-60 per cent of the purse.
  • Third Offense: Lifetime ban and 100 per cent of the purse.

Sedatives, muscle relaxants, sleep aids, anxiolytics, opiates and cannabis/ marijuana:

  • First Offense: 18 months and 30-40 per cent of the purse.
  • Second Offense: Two year ban and 40-45 per cent of the purse.,
  • Third Offense: Three year bgan and 60-75 per cent of the purse.
  • Fourth Offense: Lifetime ban and 100 per cent of the purse.

All punishments are judged on a case-by-case basis. These are not blanket mandatory terms, only guidelines.

Horror Crash at Stage 6 Giro d’Italia

Image; YouTube

An over-zealous fan with a long telephoto lens has caused an ugly crash at this year’s Giro d’Italia.

The pelaton were winding up for the finishing sprint when Daniel Colli (riding for Nippo-Vini Fantini) clipped a spectator spilling him into the other riders.

The crash broke his left arm and sent race favourite Alberto Contador pin-wheeling along the road.

Contador released a statement saying: “I haven’t broken anything, but I have suffered a dislocation of the left should.

‘The doctors have recommended I immobilise my left arm during the evening and night, while I try to move it a bit with the help of my other arm to promote the movement of the shoulder.

“I will try to start tomorrow on stage 7.

“I will try to continue until the very last moment. I’m optimistic about the start tomorrow. But we have to wait until right before the start to see what happens and how serious the effect of the crash is.”

Contador bravely limped across the finish line after the crash. He escaped time losses because the accident happened within the final 3km.

Chess Champion Upset by Six Year-Old

Image: http://www.thelocal.no/20150511/video-6-year-old-norways-new-chess-prodigy

Six year-old chess prodigy Lykke-Merlot Helliesen has stunned the chess world.

In a recent simultaneous-exhibition she upset the seven-time chess champion Simen Agdestein.

Agdestein was playing blitz games against nine girls simultaneously. No one was considered to pose him any threats. But Agdestei admits he was simply outplayed by Helliesen.

“She played splendidly,” said Agdestein. “She is much better than Carlsen (the grandchampion) was when he was six years old.

And Agdestein should know, having been Carlsen’s coach.

The game between the two ran out of time. But in the dying seconds of the game Lykke-Merlot was able to queen one of her pawns and thereby end the game in a superior position to her opponent.

What has stunned the world is that Lykke-Merlot has only been playing chess at club level for six months. Her family, however, have told reporters their daughter has shown a prodigious intellect from an early age, and she took to the game with ease.

“She is fascinated by the game,” said her mother, May-Brit Park Helliesen, to The Local media. “She is fond of playingchess and has never been pressured.”

Mark Hunt Looking to KO Stipe Miocic

Image of Mark Hunt: forums.sherdog.com

UFC rising star Mark ‘the Super Samoan’ Hunt has told reporters of his battle to make the weight-cut before his UFC Adelaide fight against Stipe Miocic.

In the lead up to what may be the biggest fight of his life Hunt must increase his cardio while decreasing his calorie intake and water-load like you wouldn’t believe – up to seven litres a day!

‘There’s always a battle with the weight,” said Hunt. “But I’m a super heavyweight and the UFC’s limit is 120kg.

“But it’s part and parcel of the game really.

“I’m just water loading and then Friday just letting the body piss it out and it (the weight) should come off pretty easily.

“I’ve been drinking seven and a half litres of water a day.”

Hunt is no stranger to drastic weight-cuts. He took his last fight on short notice and had to lose 20 kilos in less than a month. While last year, to make weight for the fight against Roy Nelson in Japan, Hunt was rumoured to have lost seven kilograms in 24 hours!

The Super Samoan then went onto knock Nelson out – still the only man ever to do so.

Hunt is hoping to tip the scales at a trim, taut, and terrific 120.2 kilograms – the heavyweight limit.

On Thursday he was confident, saying: “The weight cut is going good. I’m about 125 kg right now, but I’m good; I should be on weight.”

Mark Hunt will have his hands full against Miocic, an experienced mixed martial artist with a strong wrestling pedigree.

But Hunt is keeping his plan simple: “I don’t give a rats if he’s King Kong or whatever. I’m just going to knock him out. The win is what I aim for every fight, but knocking people out is my job.”

It’s a job he is apparently well suited for as Hunt has put to sleep a who’s-who of the heavyweight division, culminating with the previously invincible Roy Nelson.

“I don’t really worry about what he’s got or what anyone else has got. I don’t care; I’m just interested in what I have and what I can bring to the table.

“So I’m bringing the beer and he’s bringing the sausages. Then I’m going to pour the beer all over him and knock his arse out.”

Hunt and Miocic headline a stellar line-up of local and international fighters.

Mark Hunt Ready for UFC Adelaide

Image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mark_Hunt_on_22_November_2007.jpg

Just days before UFC Adelaide, headliner Mark ‘the Super Samoan’ Hunt has spoken to reporters about his youth, faith, and hopes for the future.

Hunt (now 41 years-old) admits he was ‘a bit lost’ in his youth. He left a trail of broken noses and bloodied hopefuls in bars and nightclubs throughout New Zealand. Hunt’s violence got so bad he was forced to serve two jail terms.

He now shakes his head at how far he has come.

After being released from his second term Hunt was embroiled in a fracas outside a nightclub. He knocked out several other men with apparent ease. The security guard from the nightclub, Sam Masters, was impressed with Hunt’s power and ability to fight; he invited Hunt to train at his gym.

A mere one week later Hunt won his first Muay Thai kickboxing match through knockout.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

This weekend Hunt is fighting Stipe Miocic. Both men are coming off narrow losses (Hunt having taken his on short notice). The winner of this bout will likely be in line for a shot at the unified heavyweight champion.

Hunt is brimming with confidence. “I’ve been fighting for 25 years (sanctioned bouts) and you need mental strength,” he told reporters.

“You need to view yourself as the best fighter in the world, and I fight like that.

“Fighting was God’s gift to me; and after 25 years I’m one of the best fighters on the planet – thankyou Jesus.”

 Hunt is outspoken about his Christian faith. When asked about the perceived contradiction between his job and faith Hunt retorts: “I don’t give a rat’s what people think about me. If I worried about what people thought I wouldn’t get out of bed.”

Hunt tries to keep his life simple: He cares for his family, his God, and his fighting.

“All I need to worry about is my family and Jesus.

“I pay my bills and I believe in Jesus. All the time people say: Why do you pray to Jesus Christ and then go and beat up people?’ Well, fighting is the gift I was given by God.”

Chess Grandmaster Ignites Gender War

Nigel Short image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigel_Short

UK chess grandmaster Nigel Short has defended his comments in New in Chess Magazine where he claimed women lack the brain power to succeed at the top chess levels.

The female chess community were outraged when Short asserted that the way in which women’s brains were ‘hardwired’ limited their capacity for success in chess.

The comments have since appeared on Sky News where Mr Short has appeared to defend them.

“One is not better than the other,” he said in the magazine, “We just have different skills. It would be wonderful to see more girls playing chess, and at a higher level, but rather than fretting about inequality, perhaps we should just gracefully accept it as a fact.”

Short’s comments echo those of legendary grandmaster Garry Kasparov, who defeated Short for the world title in 1993: “Women, by their nature, are not exceptional chess players,” he said at the time. “They are not great fighters.”

In his interview with Sky News Short claimed his comments were ‘quite uncontroversial’. The physiological reality behind his comments, he claimed, is beyond dispute: Men’s brains are ’10 per cent larger’ than women’s.

“Women have better verbal skills, women have all sorts of skills that are better than men. But the gap (in chess ability) is quite large and I believe that’s down to sex differences.

“I don’t have the slightest problem in acknowledging that my wife possesses a much higher degree of emotional intelligence than I do,” said Short in the magazine. “Likewise, she doesn’t feel embarrassed in asking me to manoeuvre the car out of our narrow garage.”

Short has received a barrage of scathing assaults for his comments. He told Sky News that ‘an amazing number of people have (since) criticised’ him.

Head of the London Casual Chess Club, Amanda Ross, was one of the first, saying in The Telegraph, it was ‘incredibly damaging when someone so respected basically endorses sexism.’

Short responded on Twitter: “You seem to suffer from incomprehension. Men and women do have different brains. This is a biological fact.

“Furthermore, I never said women have inferior brains. That is your crude and false attempt to caricature me.”

Judit Polgar, world women’s chess champion, youngest grandmaster in history, and victor in the one game she had against Short then waded into the debate: “’Different but equal,’ she posted on Twitter, “but not equal to chess is inferior in chess terms. Pls explain.”

Short answered: “Indeed, I have a poor score against the best female chess player in history. And what does that prove exactly?”

He then drove the point home with: “Men and women having very different brains (and therefore skills) is not a sex issue? How so?

There has been no further response.

One has to wonder why there are women’s and men’s divisions at all – if there are no differences between gender abilities.

The Dangers of Too Much Sparring

Jamie Varner wiki: and image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamie_Varner

Jamie Varner, former UFC fighter and WEC lightweight champion has spoken out on the dangers of excessive sparring.

Verner had an impressive 11 year, 35 professional fight career. During this time he has fought some of the biggest names in MMA. These include former UFC champion Ben Henderson and contender Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone.

But Varner believes his career was cut short because of the high volume of sparring done during training.

In preparation for his fight against Drew Dober last December, Varner took a series of blows to the head, giving him concussion.

After taking scans, doctors estimated Varner had suffered more than 30 concussions throughout his fighting career.

More concussions, they were quick to point out, will have serious and long-term consequences. They strongly recommended Varner retire after his fight against Dober.

Varner lost the bout via first round submission.

But he followed the medical advice and retired soon after.

“I don’t think I was really ready for retirement or prepared for it,” Varner said to Cage Fanatic.

“If  I wasn’t so concerned with my brain I would still be competing; but I want to have kids some day and I don’t want to have early onset Alzheimr’s or dementia when I am 40 or 50 years-old.”

Varner was completely unaware he’d suffered so much head trauma through training.

“I felt like I was in a perpetual state of just constant migraines,” he said (referring to training) to MMA Hour.

“I thought it was nomal and that’s what we have to do as fighters. Part of the cross that we bear is having headaches and being beaten up.

“My career got cut shot because I was aparrng three days a wek, with bigg3er opponents,” said Varner to Cage Fanatic.

“I had Ryan Bader, Aaron Simpson and Carlos Condit. Those were my sparring partners from like 2006 to 2010. So I had a lot of head trauma just sparring with those big guys.”

Varner believes most fighters are doing the same thing – cutting short their careers with too much heavy sparring.

“Sparring is a tool that is used to work on game plans and to see where you are, condition-wise, caridovascularly. You don’t need to spar three days a week to prove you’re tough.

You don’t need to spar in off-season. You don’t need to spar 12 weeks out from a fight. Sapr maybe four to six weeks out from a fight.

“You don’t need to get hit in the head to become a better fighter.”

Varner believed the protective head gear worn by fighters was enough to protect them from cuts, but not enough from concussion: “It’s still blunt force trauma.

“You can still gt a concussion and not get knocked out. So headgear or no headgear, I just think spar once a week.”

Varner now works with a cognitive therapist several times a month. They are trying to arrest and reverse the damage already done to his brain through the concussion he suffered throughout his career.

Varner says he has some occasional short term memory loss about small things – like whether he brushed his teeth.

Dank Takes Rap for Essendon Drugs Scandal

Stephen Dank Image: www.abc.net.au

Biochemist Stephen Dank has been found guilty of 10 violations of the AFL anti-doping code. Among the offences for which he was found guilty were: trafficking, attempting to traffic and the somewhat vaguely worded – ‘complicity in matters related to a range of prohibited substances’.

However, Dank escaped a guilty verdict on more than 20 other charges. Curiously the charges for which Dank was found not-guilty included all those relating to administering banned drugs to AFL players – to the enormous relief of the Essendon AFL club.

Dank was linked, in some capacity, to the prohibited substances Hexarelin, Humanofort, Thymosin beta-4, CJC-1295, GHRP6, and SARMS.

The tribunal’s decision says Dank is to blame for everything and the Essendon players were unwitting victims.

Dank is already beginning proceedings for a legal challenge to the rulings. The guilty verdicts may ban him from working in competitive sporting codes for life.

A decision on the severity and length of Dank’s penalties will be decided at a hearing on May 5.

“My legal team is reviewing the judgment with a view to taking appropriate legal action,” said Dank.

 A spokesperson for ASADA said to the herald Sun: “ASADA is disappointed in the tribunal’s decision to clear Mr Dank of a number of serious alleged violations.” They have promised to review the verdicts carefully.