Rob Wood

Rob's Sports, Fitness & Science Blog

Entries Tagged as 'Olympic Games'

Fast Dollars for Fast Food

October 2nd, 2008 · No Comments · Olympic Games, Sports Nutrition, Track & Field

Nathan Deeks, an Australian Champion race walker, appeared in a full page color advertisement for the fast food restaurant McDonalds, saying that he eats ‘Maccas’ after his events, including at the Olympic Games. I know that he was probably only trying to earn a few sponsorship bucks in return from all the effort he puts into his training, but as a sporting role model it was such a disgusting thing to promote eating undoubtedly unhealthy food. I don’t mind that he had the occasional fast food snack, but it is not right for an athlete representing Australia to say it so publicly. It does not say much about the dietitians at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) if one of their athletes comes out of there with this attitude that this is OK to do. A few days later, a very similar looking ad was published (obviously on purpose), with an ex- Australian Olympian and NBA star Luc Longley, promoting healthy eating, saying that he never considered eating junk food before or after competing. The ad was a welcome response to the McDonalds one, which needed to be done, but I don’t think enough ho-ha was made of it. The government spends millions of dollars trying to address the problem of childhood obesity, including trying to get more people active and into sports, and also millions are spent on the AIS getting athletes including Nathan Deeks properly prepared for the Olympic Games. I don’t think he has done his long time supporter (AIS) any good and hopefully he got into trouble, all for a small financial reward.

Related Pages: Summer Olympic Games
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Phelps the Grestest Ever?

October 2nd, 2008 · No Comments · Olympic Games, Swimming

The swimmer Michael Phelps may have won the most number of Olympic gold medals ever at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, but does that qualify him to be called the greatest ever Olympian? Being the world’s major sporting event, the Olympics has had its share of champions and success stories. It is always difficult to compare athletes of different sports yet alone different eras. Other notable Olympic Champions which would give him a run for his money in the best ever category include Carl Lewis (U.S., track and field), Paavo Nurmi (Finland, track and field), Larisa Latynina (Soviet Union, gymnastics), Birgit Fischer-Schmidt (Germany, kayak), and Steven Redgrave (United Kingdom, rowing). Probably others too. Comparing Phelps to Mark Spitz is the easiest as it is in the same sport, and Phelps wins that comparison. The flaw in this argument is using the number of gold medals as the benchmark, as swimming has more medals on offer than most other sports, consequently it is relatively easier to pick up a bag of medals. Phelps may well be the greatest ever, but I think it is too close to call. Let just wait until he finishes his career. If he does the same again in London 2012, then there may be no question about him being the greatest ever.

Related Pages: swimming, Olympic Games, Beijing 2008

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Marion Jones – Catch me if you can

October 7th, 2007 · No Comments · Olympic Games, Sports Medicine, Track & Field

Marion Jones has found out that no matter how fast you are, you cannot run away from the truth. In hardly a surprise for many people, USA Sprinter Marion Jones admitted yesterday that she was a drug cheat. She had taken the designer steroid THG, which was also known as “the clear” by the BALCO laboratory. She had vehemently denied any wrong doing for a long time, under mounting evidence. I don’t know how she had remained clear for so long. Even the head of Balco, Victor Conte, who has repeatedly and publicly accused Jones of using drugs, was her personal “nutritionist” at the Sydney Olympics. Now and rightly so her reputation is in tatters, and she is apparently broke. She will lose many of her records and the medals she won at the Sydney Olympic Games. I have no sympathy for her. It makes me angry that I have to give these athletes the benefit of the doubt, when all the anecdotal evidence and rumours paint a dirty picture, but unfortunately the drug tests have failed to find any evidence, and they deny all the allegations. It make me think of the saying that “When something is too good to be true, it probably is”. When I watched her sprint away from the rest of the field in the 2000 Sydney Olympics 100 metre sprint, my first thought was that in such a competitive event that someone cannot be that much better than the next best sprinter in the world. And now it is shown that no one was, naturally. Even the second placegetter has subsequently been done for drugs, and who knows which other athletes in that field also had artificial enhancement. As I have said before, it is hard to enjoy watching some sports when my first thought is always whether the winner had taken drugs to get there. This applies at the least to cycling, track and field, and weight lifting.

Related Pages: Doping in Sports, Track & Field, Marion Jones profile, 2000 Olympic Games

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Norman Black Power

October 9th, 2006 · No Comments · Olympic Games, Track & Field

Australian sprinter Peter Norman recently passed away. His silver medal in the 200m at the Mexico Olympics in 1968 is still the best performance by an Australian male sprinter. Norman ran 20.06 seconds, which is still an Australian record. Despite his great performances, he is not a well known sportsman in Australia. However, many people have seen a photo of him receiving his Olympic medal, as he was part of one of the classic Olympic Games controversies. Norman came second behind American Tommie Smith, and in front of John Carlos also from the USA. Smith and Carlos were African Americans, and made their black power salute, raising their fists with black gloves on. All three athletes wore human rights badges, with Norman showing his support for their cause.

Related Pages: Mexico 1968, Summer Olympic Games, Australia at the Olympics

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Early Start for Swimmers

August 7th, 2006 · No Comments · Olympic Games, Swimming

It has recently been announced that the Beijing Olympic Committee are considering turning the swimming program on it’s head, so that the finals are in the morning and the heats in the evening. The reason for this is so the finals are on at prime time in the US. I have no problem with this, and I think the swimmers should welcome it. Although the world’s top swimmers are professional athletes, as with all sports, there are able to be professionals due to sponsors and the public who enjoy watching them perform. By swimming their finals in the morning they are able to satisfy both of these groups. Physiologically, they should be more than capable of swimming their best in the morning. Look at every swimmer’s training program, and you will see that they are up early every day doing laps in the pool. If the Olympic program is switched around, you will see all the lead up meets also change their program around so they can get used to the new schedule. I have also always wondered about how fresh the swimmers are after swimming several heats in the morning then coming out later that day to swim in their finals. Having to come to the pool fresh each day to race their finals, we may well see better performances – then we will not be hearing any complaints.

Related Pages: swimming, Olympic Games, Beijing 2008

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