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Wow. More World Games news today! Just came across this on Twitter. Not sure if this is 11 man, 9 man flag, or something else. Also the article does not mention IFAF at all. Should be very interesting to see how this plays out. http://ow.ly/ZzLH50Asb2c
@Olympian1010 does the Olympic Channel still have US broadcast rights? From what I remember their TV coverage was piss poor in 2017 with only an hour recap show on the Olympic Channel every night. They did have live events in their website, though. Eurosport’s was wayyy better basically action 24/7.
Wow. Great work @Olympian1010! I was going through some of the stuff just now and also comparing it to the 2017 programme. I was also really surprised about the elimination of Men's Boules. But I also get it. It's not the most exciting sport, and I doubt it can contain the interest of American crowds for long. I also really, like REALLY don't like the additions of these new trends sports - drone flying (also not a sport, and does not belong any where near a multi-sport event), parkour, and breaking. I agree with you that the IOC is putting pressure on the IWGA to "test" out these new trend sports for them. I don't like it, not at all. As for Kickboxing, it was an invitational sport at the 2017 version, and I guess the Wroclaw LOC was able to be more flexible with the scheduling. I think that the Birmingham LOC really wanted to stress gender equality with the combat and strength sports, but totally missed on the team sports. No reason there shouldn't be Women's Roller Hockey and Floorball on the programme, it makes zero sense to have develop venues for both but only have one gender use it. However, I did some math, and my math is probably wrong. BUT, I counted 18 mixed events, 91 male events, and 98 female events (so the ladies actually have more events). The additions of Softball and Raquetball to the main programme will help sell tickets as they are sports most Americans are familiar with. I'm not sure if Birmingham is just scrapping their invitational sports programme, or not announcing it yet. I mean they added Men's Lacrosse on this list, but on their website they also have Duathlon and Wheelchair Rugby. They also had Wheelchair Basketball listed up until last year. Birmingham's choice of invitational sports are kind of a yawn, and are the exact opposite of what is supposed to be put on the invitational programme, sports that culturally relevant to your city. I think Wroclaw did a great job in 2017 with American Football, Kickboxing, Indoor Rowing, and Speedway. But then again, I am biased.
The World Games released their "detailed" schedule for Birmingham 2022 this morning. Some changes to the programme from Wroclaw, but nothing too crazy. One change is the addition of Breaking to Dancesport. I guess they feel the need to add another "Olympic" event, like they did with softball. A few surprises. No Women's Floorball, which I thought I saw advertised on social media a few years ago, and no Men's Boules, which I thought was weird. Also, the only "invitational" sport that was published was Men's Lacrosse, which is going to be a six on six event. https://www.theworldgames.org/files/Governing_Documents/SportsProgramme_TWG2022.pdf
Just watched “Athlete A” on Netflix, which is about USA Gymnastics cover up of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse cover up. All I have to say is “what in the actual fuck!” The fact that USA Gymnastics knew about this and is still a NGB is so wrong. The USOPC needs do some serious soul searching here. I hope they get investigated as well. No shot they are clean in this scandal. Bring the whole system down.
Avery was a scumbag. You can take 1936 out of play and he was still a bad dude. Guy hated everyone that wasn’t a white male. Not only that but he was never for the athletes. He fought to keep amateurism around until his dying breath. Just not a nice guy.
Meanwhile in America... 23 University of Clemson (American) Football players tested positive yesterday. 13 University of Texas (American) Football players tested positive yesterday. The Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball shut down their training camp facility in Florida after 8 of their players tested positive yesterday. The Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball had a few positive tests and also shut down their facility. 11 National Hockey League Players also tested positive yesterday as training camps opened. We're obviously going to see more tests as more and more players are required to be tested in order to practice. Most of the players who tested positive are asymptomatic, which means they are showing no illness. But that means the virus can be easily spread throughout a locker room and may infect the more vulnerable demographic such as older coaches, trainers, staff, front office workers. Having been apart of countless teams and been in thousands of locker rooms, being 6ft apart is a near impossible task. Contact between players and coaches and staff is an integral part of sport. I can only predict that we will see more and more positive cases in the next few weeks. Having sports in North America in 2020 does not look as promising as it may seem.
Wild story coming out from USADA and USA Boxing about 2016 Olympian Ginny Fuchs. According to USADA Fuchs testes positive for two banned substances in February. After an investigation it was confirmed by USA Boxing and Fuchs that the steroids were injecting during sex with her boyfriend, who was using them. So. Many. Questions! I’m not a doctor, but like how does that work? Would the injection even be strong enough to even impact her performance? Is this a get around that athlete have been using for years? I mean, I’ve heard of the water bottle trick, but never this. https://www.houstonchronicle.com/texas-sports-nation/general/article/Ginny-Fuchs-Olympics-boxer-positive-drug-test-sex-15333804.php
Just did some number crunching for a few team sports roster spots over on Wikipedia... Basketball (12) Football (18) Handball (14) Baseball (24) Field Hockey (17) You have to remember that some of these tournaments are two weeks long. That is a lot of wear and tear on some of these athletes. I can't see Basketball dropping to 11. 18 for Soccer is already too small for a two week tournament in my opinion. I don't know much about Team Handball and Field Hockey to comment. 24 is about average for Baseball, most professional teams carry 25. Tokyo is having a 6 team 16 game tournament. You could probably get away with 22 per team. Another idea would to bring reserves or alternates, but that wouldn't lessen the stress of the athlete village or dining. I don't think quota reduction is necessary. I wouldn't mind seeing some sports get the axe. This may all come to a head very soon, and the Olympic Movement may be forced into creating two separate games.
Despite the USOPC not recognizing that the World Games exist. I still very much managed to have the “Olympic experience!” Staying in the athletes village at the university, going to other sporting events (the floorball final was amazing), meeting other athletes at bars and just wearing your credentials around and random people stopping to ask you what sport you played and where you were from was anything wilder than I ever thought would happen when I boarded that plane to Wroclaw. It also got me super interested in multi-sport events, they fascinate me. I would love to be on your podcast and could talk for days about the World Games. Im really interested to see how Birmingham will turn out. I hope for the best and plan on going as a volunteer. I’m just curious how they are working towards this and I have not heard or seen anything from the USOPC about the event. How could have Birmingham even big w/o NOC approval? It just seems strange to me. Although, I do bet the US gets a kit sponsor this time, the BLOC won’t let the host nation look like a bunch of “hobos” walking into Legion Field. One other thing about non-Olympic sports and the USOPC, I did notice they sent teams in roller sports, wakeboarding, and bowling ( a few friends from Wroclaw were on that team) to the Pan Am Games this past summer despite not being Olympic Sports. Also, last year, the USOPC had a small countdown clock on their website for the ANOC Beach Games which were supposed to be in San Diego until they were pulled. I found that interesting. Glad for your sake that your fathers coaching gig in Finland fell through. The Maple League is one of the top leagues in Europe these days, and they’re actually supposed to start their season soon. I have a bunch of friends playing and coaching in Europe, and it’s a great gig if you’re young and don’t have a family.
It is honestly kind of embarrassing to be an American athlete at the World Games. Many of the nations you just mentioned, are kitted out in style. Wearing much of the same gear that their fellow country men and women wore a year earlier in Rio. The USOPC gave us nothing. No money, no kits, no welcome, no formal gathering for American athletes. We all walked into the opening ceremony in different attire, which was to be given to you by your NGB. I can understand from a money perspective as to why the USOPC won't fund non-olympic sports, but even if you look at the Pan Am games, it doesn't seem that they care much. Also, I took some time between my event and the closing ceremony and visited Germany. During my stay, the country was pretty buzzing about the World Games. Newspapers, 24/7 coverage on Eurosport, you get the idea. My friends back here have no idea what the World Games are. Maybe this perspective will change in 2022 with it in Birmingham, but a lot of that has to do with the lack of backing from the USOPC. For an event that was created in the United States, it doesn't get much love here, which is a shame. I do feel a little poorly about beating Poland on their home soil, after they gave us such a hard fought game. If anyone deserved a medal it was them. Those guys spent years prepping for this event, and it was the highlight of their career as an American Football player. Many were in tears after the game. Unfortunately, the Polish NGB for American Football went to shit also after the World Games, which is a shame, because Poland is THE place to play if you want to play in Europe. I made friends with some players from the French team and they got a ton of swag and awards from the FFFA. So I'm sure that 46th player was compensated and they got him a medal. As for getting on to the US National American Football Team. It was interesting. You couldn't have signed a pro contract in the last year. So no ex-NFL, CFL, Arena League guys. You had to have graduated/ used up college eligibility. So basically you had to be a free agent within the last two years, or be playing "professionally" in Europe. I graduated college in 2011 and went to the NFL combine for kickers/punters in 2012, nothing came of that. I was then on and off rosters in the Arena League from 2013-2015. I then tried to go to Canada was in camp with the Hamilton Tiger Cats in 2015 and Montreal Allouettes in 2016. I never signed a contract with them. In March of 2017, an old coach told me that the US National Team was recruiting a team of free agents to head to Europe in the summer of 2017. He sent me a link, and I filled out a questionnaire. They got back to me saying I was one of 450 that made it the next round. We had to fill out more questions and send in film. Then on May 1, 2017, I was told I had made it to the 100 man roster. We had to send more film and meet and talk with coaches. We did this for a month until the final 45 man roster was announced on May 31, 2017. It was a long and exhausting process and only got more tiring as we kept getting the work around from the NGB. First we were gonna leave from Newark on July 9th and have training camp in Germany. Then we were supposed to have training camp in Pennsylvania. It became apparent by June that the Federation had no money and we would have to fund our own way to Poland. IFAF was going to be in hot water, and potentially sued by the WLOC if they couldn't produce an American team for the American Football tournament. So we couldn't just pull out. I know that's a book, and maybe this isn't the appropriate space to write all of this. But I would love to answer all of your questions!
This is good stuff! What I've learned from the NFL is that it anyone can beat anybody on any given day. Some of these divisions are going to be so tough! Also, beating a team twice (you play your division opponents twice) is one of the hardest things to do. The Giants can go 2-14, but two of those wins will come against the Eagles or Cowboys, or something like that. Another thing has to do with the government and COVID. It depends on what states will allow fans in stadiums and which ones wont. Home field advantages are a very REAL thing in American Football. For example if a team like the Philadelphia Eagles are not allowed to have fans in the stands, you can consider their season over.
My brother works as a nurse in an ICU COVID unit at John Hopkins (the most prestigious hospital in America) sent me a picture today (May 31st) of his new PPE gear, which does look very safe and legit. However, we are three months into this and all they had given him before was face shield and gloves. Wild.
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