Archive for the ‘Surfing’ Category

Olympian Turned Call-Girl Tells All

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American track and field superstar Suzy Favor Hamilton has released her autobiography Fast Girl – A Life Spent Running from Madness this week.

In it she describes how she went from celebrating her 20th wedding anniversary with a threesome to being an AUS $800 an hour escort in six months.

Favor Hamilton, now 47, tells how she “devoted myself to sex (and) my need to be unsurpassed in the bedroom …” and how it “replaced the need to be best on the track.”

Favor Hamilton explains that sex was the avenue through which her bipolar disorder manifested itself.

It effectively bought about the end of her athletics career once the media got hold of the facts. She was vilified in the press, her sporting achievements all but overshadowed – even though she represented the US at three Olympic Games.

“I still crave that high,” Hamilton says about the risky-sex that fuelled her mania.

Hamilton says her pre-finish collapse at the Sydney 2000 Olympics began the downward spiral that would finish with her feeling suicidal.

She found a way out through thrill-seeking behaviour and self-medicating.

Images: https://twitter.com/favorhamilton?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Images: https://twitter.com/favorhamilton?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Her double life was exposed by a reporter from the website The Smoking Gun; which exists to bring to light factual but outrageous stories of public interest.

But upon the birth of her daughter and a course of prescription antidepressants when remembers “suddenly having more energy than I could remember (ever) having. I wanted ot live like I had never lived before.”

Hamilton became a real estate agent, a motivational speaker, and high class hooker.

She became one of the most sought after call girls in Las Vegas and loved every minute of it.

Images: https://twitter.com/favorhamilton?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Images: https://twitter.com/favorhamilton?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

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.

Brazilian Surf Champion Shot Dead

Ricardo dos Santos

Brazilian professional surfer Ricardo dos Santos has lost his life after being shot several times in the stomach and chest outside his beachside home. The 24-year-old suffered a perforated lung and kidney and died after four operations failed to stop his bleeding. It is still not entirely sure how the shooting occurred but Brazilian media have reported that police have arrested a young man and his 17-year-old brother. The older man has been identified as an off-duty police officer – 25 year-old military police officer Luis Paulo Mota Brentano – who claims he shot dos Santos in self-defence and that his behaviour was justified. His brother alleges that two men, one being dos Santos, threatened them with knives near Embaú Guard beach, Brazil.

Ricardo dos Santos was a popular personality who made waves on the world surfing scene in 2012 when he eliminated fellow competitors Taj Burrow, Jordy Smith and Kelly Slater at the Billabong pro competition in Tahiti – on the notorious Teahupo?o reef break. He also picked up the Andy Irons award for Most Committed Performance and in 2013 was awarded The Wave of The Winter for an impressive barrel he caught at Hawaii’s Pipeline. Fans and fellow surfers alike have gathered at Pipeline in honour and remembrance of their friend and hero, a man described as “one of the greatest barrel riders of his short time” (Kelly Slater). Fellow surfer and good friend, Adriano de Souza, posted on Facebook saying he had lost a “great friend…a cheerful person, good hearted and good about life”. Brazilian surfer, Gabriel Medina asked “Why does this happen to good people?” and wrote that dos Santos was “always helping others, smiling from ear to ear everyday”.

Dos Santos’ passing is all the more tragic given his own personal efforts to curb violence in the Embaú Guard area of Brazil. In 2011 he posted on social media imploring his local community to unite together and”put an end to this farce”. He was bothered that people did not value the beauty and purity of the area he called home. The fact that Ricardo’s killer was a member of the police force who are meant to protect its citizens is a sad reflection of Brazil’s internal social and often violent problems.

Ricardo dos Santos passed away the day after being shot after many operations and 40 litres worth of blood transfusions, some of which were donated after fellow surfers posted online asking specifically for blood donations (due to a national shortage of blood in Brazil). The tragedy is a senseless loss of life highlighting the growing number of murders yearly in Brazil, a beautiful yet scary place to be.

 


The Me Clinic – Cosmetic surgery for face, body and skin

 

The Grom and Inamuragasaki

This is a story about just how the Grom, an online surf store, rescued a holiday.

The parents of one my son’s high school buddies were taking their family on a trip to the resort town of Inamuragasaki, on the main island of Japan. They had been there several times before. They loved everything about it: the people, the food, the sheer amount available to do…

_K4_9775When my son’s friend suggested bringing his buddy (my son), the parents seemed quite open to it. Of course, I was more than thrilled to be rid of him for a few weeks (don’t get the wrong impression, my son and I have a good relationship, but you can get too much of a good thing). He had a little of his own money saved, from doing odd jobs and a bit of pocket money. I filled in the rest. ‘It’ll be a good experience for him,’ I thought, ‘visiting another country.’

But it didn’t turn out the way either of us expected.

For on the day of their arrival the boys were stunned – Inamuragasaki had the best surf either of them had ever seen.

The parents, I must hasten to say, had never brought their family to Inamuragasaki. as_surf_japan_dm_drop_576Neither of them were surfers and hadn’t thought to mention it. Of course both boys were too busy surfing to research the holiday destination; and so found themselves at one of the most fabulous surfing spots in Japan without any boards.

And here is where things get interesting – Both boys found it would be cheaper and faster to buy boards from the Grom and have them shipped to Inamuragasaki than to have me wrap and send them myself. Neither boy wanted to buy a local board (they only do and will ever use Elnino boards; in fact they’d rather give up surfing than use anything else) and so this turned out to be an excellent solution.

The parents loved it too – both boys spent the entire holiday surfing, leaving them plenty of time to do whatever they wished. Plus it wore them out, so there were few, if any, ‘teenage incidents’.

Prolongoing Sydney’s Summer of Sports

summer-dragon

So far, the 2013/2014 Australian summer has been one of high drama and high stakes. From Australia’s incredible cricket victories, to tough conditions in the Sydney To Hobart, to a number of early high-profile knockouts in the Australian Open, it’s been consistently surprising and engaging. It’s not over yet, though.

It’s true that a lot of international sportspeople will be heading for the Departures terminal in the next week or so, as big events wind up. What we’re left with, though, is a range of events that cater to tastes that are diverse and slightly left-of-field. Those hoping to assert their status as a well-rounded sports fan will do well to stick around in Sydney, situating themselves in a North Sydney hotel so they have close access to all corners of the city, which will play host to a variety of different sports in the coming weeks and months.

summer-surfingAustralian Open of Surfing

Surfing and youth culture have always gone hand in hand. It makes perfect sense, then, that the Open of Surfing doesn’t restrict itself to sport. Music, art, and fashion will also be on display during the nine-day event, which is free and is expected to attract about 125,000 spectators to Manly during February. There’s also a skateboarding element, ensuring that the tastes of teenagers the country over will be catered to. It’s pretty rare for an event to combine so many elements of youth culture, so don’t be surprised if your uppity teenager is asking to be booked into a nearby hotelurban.com.au/sydney in the near future.

Dragon Boat racing

Now a cornerstone of Sydney’s annual Chinese New Year Festival, dragon boat racing attracts spectators for a number of reason. The physical prowess of participating paddlers is not to be scoffed at, for one thing. Dragon boat racing is also of great significance in Chinese culture, and both reflects and perpetuates national pride and collectivity. Equally important is the visual spectacle aspect that the races bring to Cockle Bay, as an armada of delicately crafted, exquisitely decorated boats – each twelve metres long and housing twenty paddlers – descend for a weekend.

Waratahs vs Blues

A February 7 preview match, to be held at Allianz Stadium, will serve as an interesting preview of what’s to come in 2014 for Super Rugby.

Readers unfamiliar with the curious love/hate relationships between Australians and New Zealanders may well find the stoush enlightening. Interactions between the two nations are like a more jovial, good-natured version of the French and English rapprochement, in sentiment if not in practicality. With the two sides last year occupying neighbouring slots towards the bottom of the Super Rugby ladder, fans will be waiting with baited breath to see who can gain the upper hand in 2014.

Observers from overseas are like to find that situating themselves in the heart of Waratahs territory will make the lead-up and come-down from the match even more exciting. So book yourself into the Chatswood Shopping Center hotel to truly  get a true indication of just how passionate New South Welshman are about their sport. Go ‘Tahs!

Extreme Surfing

big wave nazare

Tow surfing, extreme surfing and big wave surfing are various names to describe the incredibly exhilarating and outrageously risky activity of surfing the biggest, most hazardous waves in the world. The unpredictability of the ocean makes surfing a difficult and onerous sport for any average Joe surfing regular-sized waves. However, some thrill-seekers just don’t get a big enough kick of adrenaline by surfing the boring waves of anything under a tame 10-feet. Extreme surfing involves traveling the world in search of the largest, most impressive and most dangerous swell the globe has to offer. And as a surfer in Portugal proved yesterday, some punters do manage to be courageous and lucky enough to surf these gigantic waves.

Brazilian surfer, Carlos Burle, is believed to have set a new world record for surfing the biggest wave of all time in Portugal yesterday, after traversing his way expertly down 100 foot high swell. The wave appeared just off the coastal town of Praia do Norte, which is about 130km North of the country’s capital, Lisbon. Garret McNamara currently holds the official world record for riding a 78ft wave at the same spot in 2011. Guinness World Records is awaiting an application from Burle to determine if he will hold the new official title of riding the world’s biggest wave.

Burle modestly told Stab Magazine following his emergence from the massive wave, “It was a mix of good timing, fate and all that stuff together”. Although, right placing, right timing and a bit of luck would certainly be of assistance to these surfers in catching these massive waves, we still think you’ve got to have some serious guts to go out in that environment and actually catch a wave on which one singe foot wrong or one off turn could result in concussion or even death.

To highlight the danger of extreme surfing, Burle actually saved the life of fellow Brazilian surfer, Maya Gabeira,  prior to his momentous wave. Burle reveals that seeing his friend almost drown was “the worst situation I have ever faced”. Gabeira got caught inside a giant wave and reportedly disappeared for about five minutes. Burle then saw her floating face down heading for the rocks nearby. He raced over to her, grabbed her and took her to the beach where she was immediately treated with CPR.

Although Gabeira was fine, this dramatic, near-death experience highlights the immense risk extreme surfing entails and the necessity of intense training and effective safety measures when engaging in the sport.

If you find the thrill and excitement of surfing alluring, but aren’t quite ready to face waves the likes of Praia do Norte, never fear because there are much safer and more controlled places to surf that still give you an adrenaline burst. The best way to start is to buy online Elnino Softboards in Australia then head out to your local coastline. Australia has a plethora of ideal beginners surfing spots dotted all over the country, meaning there is no better place to kickstart your hobby. And being an island with never gromending stretches of idyllic beaches, it seems almost cruel not to make the most of Australia’s incredible surf. Try to go to places with relatively small swell to begin with so that you can become accustomed to the tactics and techniques involved with the art of surfing, before moving to the more extreme surfing spots.

The ideal time to start surfing is when you’re still a youngster. With Christmas on the horizon and the weather only getting warmer for the Summer break, there has never been a better time to buy online foam Elnino surfboards in Australia and treat your little one with a perfect gift that will keep on giving for years to come. Check out all the great surfing gear from The Grom to ignite your kid’s passion for the great Australian pastime of surfing.

Teresa’s Momentum Health Solution

I met Teresa for coffee yesterday. I was early, so I got to see her hobble in: her right foot in a moonboot. She swayed gingerly through the crowded room, careful of people about to move their chairs.

Teresa is an attractive thirty-something Philippine girl. We’ve known each other for years. Teresa is fit, lithe and always injured. Teresa is a runner.14462487-silhouette-of-a-woman-athlete-running-at-sunset-or-sunrise-fitness-training-of-marathon-runner

I didn’t need to ask, just raise an eyebrow. “Retro-calcaneal bursitis,” she said, sipping her latte. “Inflammation of the heel. A repetitive strain injury brought about by too sudden a change of either pace or running surface.”

Teresa relies on the exercise rehabilitation staff at Momentum Health. She knows them so well they send each other birthday cards.

“They must look at you the same way a casino looks at a problem gambler?” Teresa and I are way past being subtle.

“A gambler loses in the end,” she replied, “I always leave better than I arrive.”

Fair enough.

I changed tack. “But you have to admit they must rely on people like you for their livelihoods?”

“I choose the lifestyle, so I choose the consequences,” she sighed. “They’re not ghoulishly wishing me ill.” She had another sip of her coffee.

“They’re called Momentum Health Solutions,” I said, perhaps a little more sharply than I intended. “I don’t see any ‘solution’ to your constant injury problems. Granted, they fix up each and every current injury as they happen. But that’s not the problem,” I rammed the point home, “is it?”

Teresa thought for a moment. “Can you guess the top three sports needing exercise rehabilitation?”

It was my turn to think. “I’d have to say contact sports. Things like MMA, boxing, football.”

“That’s what I said. But it’s running, surfing, and gym work.”

I must have looked skeptical.

“Yep, the specialist told me. The top three sports requiring rehabilitation and physiotherapy all have one thing in common.”

I leaned forward.

“And just being told this, I think answers your question about whether or not the ‘Solution’ belongs in Momentum Health Solutions.”

I waited.

“The Momentum therapists have noticed that the sports with the highest incidence of injuries are those without a coach or trainer.”

TheGrom – Into the Great Unknown

Where Brave Men Fear to Tread

I don’t know about you, but I am mortified by gift shopping for my kids. I’ve got to get it right. I’m expected to get it right (after all I live with them). And I’m expected to do it alone.

Take my boy, Cody, for instance: Cody likes to surf (so far, so good). It seems a safe bet that buying him something, anything, to do with surfing will ‘get it right’ in the gift department (still going strong). But walking into a surf store, at my age and with my totally non-existent surfing background, is like walking into a futuristic, alien shopping mall.

It’s actually quite intimidating. Some thatch-blonde girl sashays up with a barely concealed sigh and goes through the motions of being polite. We’re talking entirely different languages. Plus I don’t know what I’m looking for.

SoftboardSooner or later the attendant gives up and leaves me to ‘browse’ (apostrophes should be around the ‘leaves me’ rather than the ‘browse’). So now I have no idea of what I’m looking at and no one to make sense of what I’m seeing.

In this instance I’ve previously resorted to gift vouchers. But they lack warmth.

This year he wants me to buy him an Elnino softboard. What on God’s green earth is that? In my confusion and frustration I’ve turned to my trusty old friend, the internet.

TheGrom

Initially I expected surf gear to be way too cool to be devalued by being on the internet. I was wrong. The best place I found was TheGrom.com.au. Why best? Because it has the widest range of ‘stuff’ (I still don’t know what I’m looking at) I can choose from and – here is the big winner for me – I can write questions.

It’s a lot easier to formulate the right questions when you’re in your office at home – without some dreadlocked hippy swaying impatiently from foot-to-foot. Plus you don’t have to endure the withering silence following the asking of an (for them) obvious question. Like this: I found this thing called a tail pad, is it to protect the surfer from the fin or the fin from the surfer? In other words, is the fin protector put on the fin to go surfing or when the surfing is finished?tp33-team-blue-marble-192x240

Cody would roll his eyes if I asked that.

Surfing, an outrageous sport!

The Grom elnino outrageous sports surfing

You might be thinking, surfing has been around for a while, and it’s not exactly an outrageous sport. Well, it’s time to think a little harder. Surfing involves jumping on a little board made of relatively fragile fibreglass, strapping it to your leg and running straight into the ocean. You paddle out past the breaking waves, then proceed to catch these monsters back in, with nothing to protect you. Surfing is outrageous, no matter what anyone says, and it certainly is impressive too. To watch the heavyweights like Kelly Slater and Stephanie Gilmore take on some of the biggest waves in the world, skating over coral reefs and dodging other surfers, is outrageous. The entire sport relies on good balance and a hell of a lot of guts, because let’s face it, not many of us would paddle out to waves that spell disaster. It’s about time these athletes got some outrageously deserved recognition…

To get started…

You’ll need a board, a wetsuit (if the water’s cold), and that’s basically it. Once you’re out in the water, surfing doesn’t require much more. Initially, you’ll need to get a leg rope and wax for your board, but as far as outrageous sports go, the requirements are pretty minimal. If you’re dying to get out in the water, buy online an Elnino Sorftboards in Australia - you can’t go wrong. The major Aussie brand, The Grom, has got your back when you decide it’s time to get serious about surfing. And if you’re new to the sport – a grom if you will – go buy online Foam Elnino Surfboards in Australia. You’ll find all the extras you need for surfing here too – board covers, board racks, wetsuits and more.

surfingThe pros…

The pro surfing champions are making headlines around the world, and not just for their sponsorships or swimsuits. No, surfing superstars are showing the world just how dangerous, exhilarating and outrageous surfing is as a sport, and putting surfing on the map. Insider Monkey did a killer countdown of the top 11 surfing champions in history. It’s unfortunate that no girls made it on the list, despite showing the boys how it’s done as of late. At the rate they’re going, it won’t be long before female surfers go down in surfing legend history. On this particular list, names like Gerry Lopez, who was arguably the best tube rider ever, and Andy Irons, who when alive was a keen rival of Kelly Slater, sat proudly on the list.

Kelly Slater came in second, winning just about every award ever possible for surfing. He’s World Champion 11 times over, and can be described as to surfing what Michael Jordan is to basketball. Number 1 spot went to Jay Moriarty, whose surfing legend lives on despite his death at just 22. At 16, he rode Mavericks, California’s biggest waves, and became a virtual surfing celebrity overnight.

And just in case we haven’t convinced you of the outrageousness that is the surfing culture, we leave you with a video of Laird Hamilton, one of the best big wave surfers of all time, showcasing the real intensity of surfing. For this reason, it’s fair to say this sport is downright outrageous.