Major League Eating – amazing athletes

Sure, some are saying that China will win more medals than the USA at the Beijing Olympics.

But America still dominates the Major League Eating competitions.

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Kevin Carr – Ramen Noodle Ninja Showdown! – Epicurious

Major League Eating (MLE) is the sports franchise that oversees all professional competitive eating events and competitive eating television specials. The mission of Major League Eating is to maintain a safe environment for all events, while also seeking to create a dynamic and enjoyable fan experience.

The fast-growing brand combines the appeal of traditional sports with the most extreme of all extreme sports. Renowed eaters Takeru Kobayashi, Joey Chestnut, Sonya Thomas and Patrick Bertoletti are all Major League Eaters. Their records are legend: 53 3/4 Nathan’s Famous hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes; 97 Krystal hamburgers in eight minutes; 65 hard boiled eggs in six minutes and 47 seconds; eight-plus pounds of rib meat in 12 minutes.

The Major League Eating franchise leverages interest in the sport on behalf of sponsors to secure media interest. Each year Major League Eating’s live and televised events are watched by millions of fans and generate more than 800 million media impressions for sponsors. Major League Eating coordinates events in the United States, Japan, England, Germany, Canada, Ireland, Thailand and the Ukraine, helping to promote the sport in local, national and international media.

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Major League Eating – official website

live from the Great West Gym Fest

I’m back at the best gymnastics competition anywhere, the Great West Gym Fest hosted by Funtastics Gymnastics in beautiful Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. (And I’m not just saying that because of the gorgeous lake view from the Penthouse hot tub at the Resort venue.)

From the looks of my photos from yesterday, seems coach Rachael Tart did most of the competition gym set-up.

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Each year Meet Director Dave Adlard has new treats for participants. He has wonderful new carved Eagle team trophies to go along with their traditional Moose and Bears. (How am I going to get that “tree” on the plane, Dave?)

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We talked to one of the first competitors to arrive last night. She has competed in all 7 annual meets organized by Adlard, her Mom saying it was their favourite competition of the year.

gymnastics – USA will win the Olympics

I’m picking the favourites. The American Women’s Gymnastics program is simply too strong to be beaten at the 2008 Olympics.

The three-up, three-count Team competition format will keep it “interesting”. But look for the Red White and Blue atop the podium in Beijing.

Winning the Olympics will seem easier than getting on to Team USA in the first place.

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World Champions 2007 – Beijing 2008

… From Youtube user Malimalimali123 comes this great montage of everybody who’s likely to be in the running for this summer’s U.S. team.

Watching it I’m struck anew by the depth and good, clean gymnastics of the frontrunners on the U.S. team. 2004, the era of we-could-field-two-teams-that-could-medal was deep. 2008 could be deeper still.

Gymblog

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube:

more Olympic predictions

Thursday toughest day for Utah Gymnasts

Getting into the Utah competition line-up is more difficult than actually competing on the weekend:

On any given Thursday between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., head coach Greg Marsden announces the starting lineups for the upcoming meet. Given Utah’s talent breadth, this weekly ritual has become a daunting moment.

“It’s really intense,” Nina Kim said. “It’s really intense this year because so many of us are so good.” …

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Gymnastics: Red Rocks don’t love Thursdays

Utah is as good as it’s ever been. Is there a risk of let-down as the season progresses?

When a certain level of excellence is reached, winning can become, well, boring.

For almost as long as the U’s gymnastics program has existed, it has not had to worry about winning. In fact, the Red Rocks have qualified for every single NCAA Championship meet — the only program to compete in all 26.

With that type of success, the team can afford to treat the regular season as if it were actually a preseason. Utah gymnasts often remind everyone else that the wins don’t matter as much as improving as a team in preparation for when the really important regional competition begins.

What the U really has to worry about right now is staying excited about its opportunities.

“There’s a point that I start worrying about taking things for granted and becoming lackadaisical and not being passionate about improving throughout the season,” head coach Greg Marsden said.

Marsden has coached Utah to every one of its NCAA Championship appearances and all 10 of its national titles. Over the years, he has seen some teams lose their vigor and falter as the season wound to an end. …

Read on for Marsden’s strategies to avoid his team getting stale: Utah finds ways to stay passionate

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Utah Gymnastics

==== How tough is it to get into this line-up?

I’ve always said, China should hire an NCAA Head Coach to teach their talented gymnasts how to “hit” under pressure.

Perhaps a Utah coach.

From an article on their last competition:

… Leadoff Jamie Deetscreek fell off the balance beam, just the fourth fall in 144 routines for the Utes.

Back to the glory years? – Salt Lake City Tribune

Utah is hitting (OK, not falling) on 97% of their routines right now. That’s just astonishing to me.

TrainingRings.com

We often link to Tyler Hass and his Elite Rings product, most often via RingTraining.com … a great site.

I was confused the other day by another site called TrainingRings.com, an understandable mistake, I thought. It’s similar. Geared for general fitness, not for the competitive gymnast.

Training Rings is your resource for exercising with gymnastic style training rings. Training with rings is an incredibly diverse method of exercising, that builds muscle, and considerably improves strength and endurance. This method of exercising is increasing in popularity as the word spreads on just how effective it can be.

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Some rings videos were posted but the YouTube videos did not play for me.

TrainingRings.com looks like it could be good. But as a resource for coaches and athletes, it’s still in the development stage at this point.

why ex-gymnasts hate the sport after retirement

It’s a truism that many elite female gymnasts disappear from the sport while most male gymnasts seem to stay involved after they retire. Every coach has theories why so many girls want nothing to do with gymnastics after they “quit”.

Now coach Lukas Stritt is circulating an interesting study done by David Lavallee and Hannah K. Robinson at Loughborough University, School of Sport and Exercise Science, in the UK. Available online since 14 July 2006.

Though only 5 ex-gymnasts were studied, the conclusions are scary. And they ring true to me.

… Results revealed that participants had been encouraged to dedicate their lives to gymnastics and were, as a result, left feeling lost and helpless when they retired. After prematurely adopting an identity based solely on their role as a gymnast, many of the participants knew little about who they were and what they wanted to do with their lives, and were consequently forced to distance themselves from their past in order to establish a new identity apart from gymnastics. For those whose felt a constant external pressure to strive for excellence during their career, this process was particularly challenging and has lasted, in some cases, for the duration of their retirement. Distress can be avoided by engaging in pre-retirement planning from a very young age and subsequently maintaining control of the transition out of gymnastics by reducing participation gradually and finding a meaningful replacement.

abstract – In pursuit of an identity: A qualitative exploration of retirement from women’s artistic gymnastics

sad-gymnast.jpgThere is a serious problem in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics that is not so problematic in other women’s acrobatic sport. The drop-out rate is far too high. Our best kids often quit for no good reason.

Coaches need to do much, much better at finding ways to motivate teenage gymnasts. We cannot keep coaching using the same methodology that worked so effectively when the girls were age-10.

For most coaches, dealing with the ups-and-downs of teenage girls requires more skill and tact than anything else they do in the gym. I much admire those coaches who are good at it.

stock.xchng – gymnast – photo by melodi2

The full article is available for sale through the link. Or contact Lukas through his website if you want him to email it to you.

Lukas Stritt is a Swiss born sport scientist now living in St. John’s, Canada who consults and lectures in:

  • Training Programs
  • Physiological Testing Services
  • Biomechanical and Technical Analysis
  • Postural Assessment and Analysis
  • Psychological Skills Training
  • Nutritional Counselling
  • Lukas Stritt – official website

    He’s also a gymnast. Luke Stritt preparing to vault in competition at the Canadian National Championships in 2006 in Quebec City.

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    If you are a member of Facebook, you can see a larger version – Facebook | Trip Lewis’ Photos – Gymnastics Pictures

    Related post – poem for a departed gymnast – Charlie Amerosa

    Olympic Sculpture: world tour

    The 2008 Olympic Landscape Sculpture Design Contest International Tour is traveling the world.

    Among a total of 2,450 sculptures submitted from 82 countries, 386 were finally nominated and 290 excellent pieces were confirmed.

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    Olympic Landscape Sculpture: Photos of New Zealand Exhibition « BEIJING OLYMPIC SCULPTURE NEWS

    Another look at that one:

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    in New Zealand

    (via BBC )