The Girlfriend’s Guide to Sports

Sports with a girly twist!

LRZ Racer…What’s all the fuss about? May 16, 2008

We have all seen our fair share of controversial swimsuits…from barely-there Brazilian styles that show every part of the female physique, to their equally appalling male counterparts: banana hammocks and grape smugglers. But never before has a swimsuit raised so many eyebrows.

In February, Speedo introduced a new bodysuit that gives competitive swimmers an all new edge. The official name of the suit is the LRZ Racer. With its specialize fabric (a combination of a polyurethane layer with a layer of normal fabric) and technologically advanced design, swimmers can easily maneuver in the pool.

The controversy comes from the usage of the new blended fabric. Many critics claimed that the material violated the anti- buoyancy rules that have been established by FINA (the aquatic sports world’s governing body). The suit has since been tested and determined to be in accordance with all FINA regulations.

In addition to the fabric controversy, there has also been great discussion about the suit’s new high tech design. NASA contributed to its design; the space agency’s big advancement came from the compression and the positioning of support panels around the center of the suit. This space aged design provides core stability that traditional swimsuits just don’t have.

Since its release, 19 world records have been broken. The LRZ Racer was worn in 18 of the 19 victories; this fact is a testament to the suit’s future impact on competitive swimming. There has been considerable discussion about whether or not the suit would be worn by competitors in the upcoming Olympics. As of right now the suit is still considered legal and may be worn by Olympic athletes.

There is additional debate over the suits appearance at the Olympics because there are national teams that are contracted to swimsuit companies other than Speedo. These teams are contractually obligated to wear suits that do not have this new technology. This would possibly lead to an unfair advantage for the national teams that do have a Speedo contract.

Competing swimsuit companies are now racing to copy the new design and get it approved so that their athletes will have the same opportunity as Speedo sponsored athletes.

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Seven Sports Vie for 2016 Olympic Admission April 26, 2008

Filed under: Current Events,Olympics — gfg2sports @ 7:01 pm
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Earlier this month I wrote an entry about how golf may gain inclusion into the Olympics for the first time in over a century. I have now discovered that golf in not the only sport with Olympic aspirations.

In addition to golf, there are six other sports that are in consideration for inclusion in the 2016 Olympics Games. The other sports are softball, baseball, rugby, squash, karate, and roller sports. I can imagine it now…kick ass roller-derby chicks whizzing around a track, sporting the good ole’ red, white, and blue. Just kidding…I’m not sure exactly what “roller sports” would entail, but I thought that I would entertain you with one of my strange fascinations. Now lets get back to the story…

While there are seven sports vying for a bid, only one or two will actually get admitted. Aww…sad face! The Olympic Games only allows for the inclusion of 28 sports, with 26 already selected for 2016.

In June 2009, the IOC executive board will meet with leaders from all seven sports; each leader will make a presentations and the executive board will then submit proposals to the entire IOC on which sports to include.

The IOC will then decide which sports will gain admission by a simple majority vote. In previous years a two-thirds majority was needed, but luckily this was amended last year.

In the 2005 meeting of the ICO, the governing body rejected the admission of softball, baseball, golf and the four other sports that were hoping to gain inclusion. The actions of the IOC resulted in the 2012 Olympic Games having only 26 sports rather than the usual 28.

By now you must be wondering which sports have the best chance for getting the bid.

Well…there is now way to be sure. Personally, I’m torn about which sports that I would like to see. It would be interesting to watch a sport like rugby or squash for the first time, but I doubt that that will happen. I predict that both softball and baseball will receive entry because they are the most recent sport to be dropped from the Olympics. While this may be viewed as a negative facet, I believe that it is actually a positive trait because both sports will be in the recent memory of the ICO and the rest of the world for that matter.

Softball and baseball have been vying for a chance to return to the Olympics since both sports were narrowly voted out by the International Olympic Committee in 2005. Both softball and baseball will be present at this summer’s Beijing Olympics, but will be absent from the 2012 Olympic Games, which are scheduled to be held in London, England.

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What Tiger-iffic sport is not an Olympic Game? April 16, 2008

Filed under: Olympics,Professional Sports — gfg2sports @ 6:04 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Quick, here’s a mini-quiz. Which of these sports is not an Olympic program: a) Judo, b) Badminton, c) Equestrian, d) golf, or e) shooting? With all those crazy choices, I bet you didn’t guess golf. Believe it or not, golf hasn’t been an Olympic sport for over 100 years.

Currently, there is discussion about whether or not golf should be inducted as an Olympic program. If everything works out, golf could be included in the Olympics as early as 2016.The last attempt to make golf an Olympic game was in 2005, but the effort failed because there was no support from the professional tours.

Golf already has several distinguished tournaments and championships that take place every year including: four majors, three World Golf Championships and The Players Championship. For professional golfers the Olympic Games wouldn’t really be the ‘big show’ the way it is for many other sports.

In 2000 Tiger Woods said, “I don’t think it would be a big priority in our game.”

Personally, I think that statement is really pompous, arrogant, and incredibly unpatriotic. Who wouldn’t want the chance to represent their country in the world’s greatest athletic competition? There are many answers: not enough prestige, money, or international competitors? Maybe the professional golfers are worried that if golf were more prevalent on the world’s stage that people in other countries would train and overtake their current dominance.

These are my personal theories, but it is truly difficult to get to the heart of the problem. I can’t find a solid answer as to why golf wouldn’t be included in the Olympic Games. Golf is an incredible sport that should most definitely be appreciated the world over. I think that it would be nice to see the sport grow and mature. There would only be benefits that come from diversifying golf.

While there are some players and top members of the golf circle that believe that golf should not be an Olympic sport, there are also very influential people that are trying to make it happen.

For instance, the current PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem is endorsing the effort to for golf to become an Olympic sport and his support could give golf its best opportunity for getting included in the Olympic lineup.

Finchem believes that if golf became an Olympic sport, it would promote growth of the game’s popularity all around the world.

“I do not believe that Olympic golf would have any effect on the stature or prestige of these other significant events, but rather would provide another complementary opportunity for our players to compete and demonstrate their skills on a global stage,” he said.

Nothing will be decided until next year when the International Olympic Committee will meets to vote on a host for the 2016 Games and decide whether to include additional sports.
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Wait a second…I thought the Olympics were about sports, right? April 13, 2008

If you have been watching the news at all lately, you’ve probably heard all about the Olympic protest and torch extinguishing attempts. In fact, last week the torch was extinguished a reported five times while it traveled through Paris, France. The protesters are concerned about issues relating to Tibet and other human rights violations. With all this talk about Chinese politics, it makes me beg the question, ‘Aren’t the Olympics suppose to be about sports?’

The most straight forward answer is, yes. The Olympic Games are suppose to be a time where athletes from all around the world get together to showcase their talents and compete at the most premier level imaginable. It is obvious that spirit of the Games is being diminished by all the hoopla; in a time when we should be comparing player stats and shooting playful trash talk at one another, we are instead focused on China’s internal affairs.

While the Olympic Games should put a spotlight on tremendous athletes, this spotlight is currently burning so bright that the entire world can see right in China’s front window, so-to-speak. While China was hoping to use this attention to promote their own agenda about their growth and advancement, the world has instead turned their collective eyes on China’s many problems.

The focus primarily rests on China’s dealings with Tibet, but there has also been discussion about other human rights issues and the pollution problem in Beijing. As shameful as it is to admit, I had no idea what the news meant about ‘Tibet Controversy,’ until I started researching for this article.

In short, in the early 1900s Tibet existed as an independent Buddhist country, but in 1950 the Communist controlled Chinese government took over Tibet and claimed it as part of China. There has been controversy and resistance ever since. The current protests are utilizing China’s Olympic spotlight to raise awareness about this substantial injustice.

Governments all around the world are reacting to this display. Reportedly, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has stated that he is planning to boycott the opening ceremony and Prince Charles of England has said that he would simply not attend the Olympics at all.

In the U.S., members of Congress passed a resolution, Resolution 1077, which calls on the Chinese government to begin discussion with the Dalai Lama, the Buddhist leader of Tibet, in order to find a lasting solution that will result the country’s respect for human rights of Tibetans.

So what does the Chinese government have to say about all this? “The Tibet issue is completely China’s internal affairs. No foreign countries or international organizations have the right to interfere in it,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

For the most part I agree with her. No one is digging up our dirt and telling us to give California back to Mexico or our entire country back to Native Americans for that matter, and besides this has NOTHING to do with the Olympics, at all.

Hopefully this all gets resolved before August, when the Olympic Games are scheduled to begin. I am not trying to be insensitive to the human rights violations that are going on, but you would think that China would have ‘cleaned the house before inviting everyone to dinner.’ What we’re really looking at here is a huge PR nightmare that could have definitively been avoided. It’s sad for both the Tibetans and the Olympians that their issues have to be so tragically entwined, because after all the Olympics are suppose to be about sports, right?

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