Posts tagged with "Olympic"

Alya Alghamdi photo credits to Casey Withers used by 360 Magazine

Alya Alghamdi’s Sprint To Her Dreams

By Alya Alghamdi

Every fire begins with a single flame — mine was ignited with the thought of freedom. Growing up, I always knew there was something more for me. My sisters and I would talk often about what we wanted to be when we matured. They would mention their dreams to have a family and own a house, and I would simply reply, “I want to be on top of the world!”

Despite having a privileged childhood in Saudi Arabia, I longed for a life far beyond what material goods could provide because my fulfillment came from a deeper place — a place of purpose. As I grew, the flame burning inside spread like wildfire, consuming me. I knew my purpose was to burn bright, but the world in which I existed sought to extinguish that. It became clear that my journey to live as my true self would not be an easy one. Still, I decided at an early age that instead of letting my circumstances hold me back, I would redefine them to reflect the reality I wanted to live in.

At that time, I had no idea I would one day pursue athletics professionally. My potential as an athlete went untapped for many years due to the fact that Saudi Arabia did not allow women to go to the gym or join sports teams. It was simply unacceptable for a female to participate in any kind of physical activity. Still, this couldn’t and wouldn’t stop me from dreaming, hoping and impatiently waiting.

Foregoing the arranged marriage that is expected of Saudi Arabian women, I made the unfortunate discovery that my best chance at gaining freedom would come at the expense of leaving my family and my home. Still, I was determined to keep my fire burning, so I left for Europe. I chose my destiny to be a free human being, and that came with a lot of losses, but my gains far outweigh those costs.

In Europe, I was able to discover my true passion — running. I spent the majority of my time exploring new physical activities like long distance running, surfing, hiking and competing in marathons. The simple freedom of putting on your shoes in the morning and doing whatever you wanted to do was a completely new concept to me and I promised myself I would never take it for granted.

Staying true to my childhood pipe dreams and capitalizing on my new found freedom, I set my sights on making it to the top of the world – Mount Everest. This was one of the most difficult but rewarding things I have ever done, and it was just as treacherous, unwelcoming, and life-changing as one would imagine. By definition, the environment was inhospitable. Temperatures were below freezing, there was no running water and any water packed for the trip was frozen still. When you are placed in such a life-threatening position, suddenly, all you can think about is how much you want to live. That trip really opened my eyes to what was truly important in life — love and passion. For some people, they find those things in raising a child, but for me, I found it in my sport.

It was not long after my return from Mount Everest that Saudi Arabia’s Olympic Committee extended an invitation for me to take part in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Physically I had reached the top of the world, but professionally, the Olympics became my new Mount Everest. Working with Olympic royalty Michael Johnson, I dedicated my entire life to training, thinking, dreaming and speaking only of the Olympics. Then, three weeks out from the games, my offer to compete was rescinded by Saudi Arabia due to a culturally based decision that had nothing to do with my ability as an athlete. This was earth-shattering for me. I had dedicated everything to training for this opportunity, to represent my country and make them proud, and in a flash, it was gone! I spiraled into a depression and my soul felt hollow where my fire used to burn.

My coach saw the internal anguish and he told me I was left with only two choices — go home or try again. With my options laid bare, the outcome became increasingly clear. I knew this was not the end of my Olympic journey and my fire once again started to burn. Picking up right where I left off, I trained vigorously for the 2020 Olympics, breaking the record for the 60-meter dash. I am also working toward breaking the 100 and 200-meter, which I am confident I can achieve with my abilities, as well as coach’s confidence in me. But my dreams becoming a reality were once again postponed, this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I now have my sights set on carrying my country’s flag at the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

However, to be clear, the Olympics are not my endgame. Once the games are in my rearview, I plan on starting a mentorship program and non-profit foundation for young Saudi Arabian female athletes to provide them with the support and resources I did not have during my training journey. Ultimately, I’m not here to break a record, I’m here to show women they can accomplish anything, even with just a single flame.

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CHAMPION × “100 YEARS FOR THE TEAM”

CHAMPION® ATHLETICWEAR CELEBRATES “100 YEARS FOR THE TEAM” WITH LAUNCH OF GLOBAL CAMPAIGN

Brand partners with sports legend Magic Johnson in a quest to find unique teams around the world to share their stories

Champion®, the global athleticwear icon, is celebrating a century of teamwork with the launch of its centennial anniversary campaign – “100 Years for the Team” – that will explore what it means to be a team in 2019 from the perspective of participating teams, clubs, squads and crews across the world.

From its humble Rochester, N.Y. beginnings in 1919 as Knickerbocker Knitting Mills to its position today as one of the largest and fastest growing global athleticwear brands, Champion has always been about one thing – the team. To celebrate a century of team spirit, Champion will engage with teams small and large around the world to share their passion about teamwork and what it means to them to be a team.

Throughout the year, Champion will highlight and celebrate teams through social media, a special website, exclusive product collections, events and influencer partnerships. Select teams will even be featured in a centennial celebration video.

“This significant milestone for Champion allows us to reflect on what ‘team’ and the evolution of ‘sports’ means today to consumers around the globe,” said Jon Ram, Group President, Global Activewear, Hanesbrands Inc. “Helping people come together as teams and being innovators in the industry has been an important part of our brand’s story since the very beginning. Now is the time to look ahead and celebrate how teams today have the power to change the world for the better, and how we assist in enabling them.”

The campaign will launch with a special film that features someone who has experienced the power of the team personally – the iconic basketball legend Magic Johnson. In the film, Johnson shares his reflections and insights into what truly makes a great team.

“As part of the ‘Dream Team’, I experienced first-hand the power of people coming together to achieve great things,” said Johnson. “I’m pleased to celebrate the power of teams in Champion’s 100th anniversary campaign.”

From its inception, Champion has been a part of some of the most important moments in sports and cultural history. From designing collegiate apparel to supplying military uniforms, and dressing iconic sports teams such as the gold medal-winning 1992 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball “dream team,” Champion has proudly outfitted a broad range of teams over the past 100 years. Be it on the field, on the court or in the street, Champion has been embraced by teams around the world. Champion has also been at the forefront of innovation since its establishment with patented creations, such as the iconic Reverse Weave sweatshirt. In 2018 the Reverse Weave hoodie was permanently installed into the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

100 Years for the Team Campaign

Throughout the year, Champion will showcase a variety of modern-day teams while also looking back at key milestones in the brand’s rich history that have cemented the signature ‘C’ logo within sports and popular culture. The 100th anniversary campaign will feature a global digital and social media campaign, a limited-edition Century Collection, and partnerships with key influencers.

“The ‘100 Years for the Team’ campaign allows us to connect with teams throughout the world to really show what team means during our centennial anniversary, in addition to partnering with the legendary Magic Johnson to celebrate and explore his own authentic history of passion and team spirit,” said David Robertson, Director of Brand Marketing. “Whether you’re a sports team of four from Tokyo or a team of three hundred from Texas interacting in everyday life, Champion wants to find you and to share your story.”

Teams are encouraged to share their stories via social media using #Champion100 or through the Champion100.com website for the opportunity to receive limited-edition product, be featured in a centennial celebration video and spotlighted on Champion’s social media channels and website. Limited-edition product collections, events and influencer partnerships will be announced throughout 2019. For further information on the Champion “100 Years for the Team” campaign, please visit the website and follow the brand on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

*Photo credits – Champion

Acura TLX GT

– TLX GT wins Open Class, finishes third overall and is the fastest production-based car up Pikes Peak in 2018

– NSX earns Hybrid record, finishing fourth in Time Attack 1 Class

– TLX A-Spec establishes new FWD record in its sophomore year

– Podium finish for 2019 Acura RDX in race debut

Acura once again showcased its performance credentials with a multiple record-setting campaign of the 2018 Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, its seventh consecutive run to the mountain’s 14,115-foot summit. Acura’s “Race to the Clouds” was highlighted by the Acura TLX GT as the fastest production-based car, earning Acura an overall third-place finish; by the Acura NSX, which set a new Hybrid record; by the TLX A-Spec, posting a new course record for a front-wheel-drive car; and the 2019 RDX making its motorsports debut third-in-class.

“We love Pikes Peak. It’s a tremendous test of Acura technology and of our performance capabilities,” said Jon Ikeda, vice president and general manager of Acura. “Congratulations to Peter Cunningham and the RealTime Racing team, along with our associates at Honda R&D and Honda Performance Development who helped make this another exciting year for Acura at Pikes Peak.”

The TLX GT, driven by Peter Cunningham, posted an impressive, record-setting time of 9:27.352, earning Acura its third straight Open Class victory and an overall third place finish, bested only by two bespoke, highly specialized racing machines. This year’s TLX GT featured a power-enhanced J35 twin-turbo V6 motor with new software mapping, new transmission gearing, revised suspension geometry and Pirelli racing slicks. Long-time Acura racing partner and owner of RealTime Racing, Peter Cunningham, was last year’s Pikes Peak Rookie of the Year.

“I’m so proud of our Acura and RealTime Racing team, who, as usual, brought their A-game to the top of the mountain,” said Cunningham. “We had some incredibly tough competition this year, but all of our hard work, building on the great fundamentals of the Acura TLX, paid off in a big way again this year.”

The production-based Acura NSX, piloted by Honda R&D engineer James Robinson, posted a new Hybrid record, besting its own 2017 record with a time of 10:02.448, finishing fourth in the Time Attack 1 Class. Building on the successful modifications from last year’s run, the TA1 NSX featured larger turbos, new software and new aerodynamic elements including a bigger wing and front splitter.

The Acura TLX A-Spec, piloted by Honda R&D engineer and five-time Pikes Peak veteran Nick Robinson, set a new course record for a front-wheel-drive car with a time of 10:48.094. This year’s TLX A-Spec competed with an updated 500-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 turbo powerplant, a limited-slip differential and a revised aerodynamic package.

Pikes Peak rookie, and Honda R&D engineer Jordan Guitar, debuted the all-new 2019 RDX on the Exhibition Class podium despite deteriorating weather that forced race officials to truncate the course in its closing hours.

This is the seventh consecutive year that Acura has raced vehicles in the historic Pikes Peak event. Acura also served as the Official Pace Car sponsor of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, with a 2019 RDX A-Spec driven by Olympic figure skating bronze medalist Chris Knierim.

About Acura Motorsports

Over three decades, Acura has utilized racing as a means to test its mettle and prove out its performance capabilities, capturing numerous national endurance and sports car racing titles along the way. Today, Acura is racing the ARX-05 Daytona Prototype, campaigned by Team Penske, in American endurance sportscar racing competition, and the NSX GT3, partnered with Meyer Shank Racing, in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series. Acura is also celebrating its seventh year of racing at the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and serves as Official Pace Vehicle of the annual ‘Race to the Clouds’.

About Acura

Acura is a leading automotive luxury nameplate that delivers Precision Crafted Performance, representing the original values of the Acura brand – a commitment to evocative styling, high performance and innovative engineering, all built on a foundation of quality and reliability.

The Acura lineup features six distinctive models – the RLX premium, luxury sedan, the TLX performance luxury sedan, the ILX sport sedan, the five-passenger RDX luxury crossover SUV, the seven-passenger Acura MDX, America’s all-time best-selling three-row luxury SUV and the next-generation, electrified NSX supercar as a new and pinnacle expression of Acura Precision Crafted Performance.

Five of the six models in the Acura lineup are made exclusively in central Ohio1, including the ILX and TLX luxury sports sedans (Marysville Auto Plant), the RDX and MDX luxury SUVs (East Liberty Auto Plant) and the Acura NSX supercar, which is built to order at the Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio.

For More Information

Additional media information including pricing, features and high-resolution photography is available at AcuraNews.com. Consumer information is available at Acura.com.

1 Using domestic and globally sourced parts

Man to Swim around Great Britain

Strongman on the challenges he faces in his 3,220-kilometre, 100-day voyage.

Strongman Ross Edgley is bidding to become the first man to swim around the whole of mainland Great Britain.

Renowned for such feats as a rope climb to the height of Everest and swimming 100 kilometres in the Caribbean with a tree strapped to his back, his 3,220km swimming marathon (2,000 miles) is his latest venture.

He set off on June 1 and is swimming on average six hours at a time in a clockwise direction, and will not touch shore until arriving at London’s Tower Bridge in an estimated 100 days.

Here’s what the epic voyage takes in his own words…

‘Swimming the Channel on a daily basis’

“It’s the equivalent of swimming the English Channel every day. But I know my body can take it. I know I can be the first person in history to achieve it.”

‘Unfinished business from the Caribbean’

“Earlier this year, I attempted to swim from Martinique to St Lucia while tied to a tree. I’d aimed to swim 40km point to point but the current was totally against me and kept dragging me back. Even though I didn’t reach the shore, I actually swam over 100km in the end. While the athlete in me was happy with that, the adventurer in me had unfinished business. So, I phoned up the Royal Marines when I returned to the UK and asked if I could swim for 48 hours straight, just to see what I’ve got in the locker. The swim went really well and I hit 126km. One of the Marines mentioned the idea of swimming around the entirety of Britain – something that’s never been done before – and I thought, ‘why not?’”

‘Around Great Britain in 100 days’

“By looking at my swim metrics and comparing them to people who’d rowed around the entirety of Great Britain, I was able to estimate 100 days as a target. Oddly enough, in very bad conditions, my open water swimming times are the same as those of the rowers. A friend of mine named Sean Conway once swam the length of Great Britain in 135 days. I’m looking to do more than double that distance in less time.”

‘Turning into a prune’

“A lot of experienced open water swimmers have told me that my skin will eventually reject being in salt water for such a long time. I got a taste of this during my 48-hour swim with the Marines, where my hands and feet pruned – essentially I got trench foot. What’s more, being in a wetsuit for months on end will probably mean I develop sores. Hopefully these turn to calluses, otherwise the pain could be unbearable under my armpits and parts where the wetsuit rubs. My body’s going to break down at sea, I know that but I must be mentally ready.”

Chess with Mother Nature’

“To do this sort of challenge I need the ability to swim 50km day and night, powering through 3m waves. But if the currents are against me I have no chance. The GB rowing challenge, which follows the same route, is labelled the world’s toughest rowing race on account of the tides, unpredictability and weather. When I told its organisers I’d be swimming it they told me I was crazy. “If you get it wrong around The Highlands you’ve eight knots coming against you,” they said. “So even if you are swimming two to three knots, an Olympic level, you’ll still be going back four knots.” It’s basically going to be a game of chess with Mother Nature – you can swim hard, but you need to swim smart.”

‘A wardrobe of wetsuits’

“We’re doing it in the spirit of open water swimming – no buoyancy aids, gloves only needed during cold periods. The only advantage I’ll have is a collection of swimsuits tailored for estimated weight loss, ranging from full Ross, to emaciated Ross 60 or so days in, when I’ll have shifted a few stones. My legs will probably atrophy first. I won’t be using them, they’ll probably shrivel – kicking your legs account for only 10 per cent overall propulsion, even with Olympic swimmers. We’ll also be taking a picture of me each day, so people can see my body’s transformation as I go.”

‘Turning into a five-year-old’

“It’s not a solo mission at all, it’s a team event, and the captain of my boat is going to be my hero. He will plot everything – he has all the tidal maps, all the electronic versions, all over the boat. I’ll also be plotting where I am on a map every day to boost morale. When you’re out at sea and all you can see is the bottom of the sea bed, it’s very easy to lose track of where you are. So it’ll be nice to clamber back on the boat and see that I’ve made progress. Ultimately, when you’re fatigued you have the cognitive function of a 5-year-old, so I’ll be like ‘point me in the right direction and let me know when I’ve got to change’.”

‘An anti-jellyfish beard’

“Wildlife is always a danger when you’re isolated in the sea. Giant jellyfish are a particular worry. I won’t shave. Because you’re leading with the head and the face will be most exposed, any protection, like a big beard, will help. I’ll try and grow it so by the time I get up to Scotland it’s fairly rugged. I’ll also encounter sea otters, dolphins and killer whales along the way, which I’m actually looking forward to. It’ll help break things up for me and be an incredible privilege to see.”

Credits: http://www.redbullcontentpool.com/international/AP-1VVDW3RA91W11

SPORTS TOURS INTERNATIONAL

Sports Tours International Hosts Visitors in May For Israel’s First-Ever Grand Tour Cycling Event 

For the first time in the history of Grand Tour cycling competitions, in 2018 the Grande Partenza and initial stages of Giro d’Italia will be held outside of Europe — in Israel. Along with Tour de France and La Vuelta a Espana, Giro d’Italia is integral to the pro tour calendar.

The dates for this 101st edition of the Giro are May 4 to May 27, 2018.

Sports Tours International, the UK-based provider of vacations built around nail-biting, world-class competitions, has been named an Official Tour Operator for Giro d’Italia 2018. This marks the first time that Sports Tours International’s competition-driven vacations will be introduced to Israel. The company plans a range of vacation options to catch the thrills of Giro d’Italia. These include ride and watch packages and VIP treatment at finish lines and hospitality suites in the center of Jerusalem where the wheels begin to turn as well as at stage finishes in Tel Aviv and Eliat. See: http://www.sportstoursinternational.co.uk/events/2018-giro-ditalia-grande-partenza-jerusalem/.


There will be a 10km time trial on May 4 in Jerusalem’s Old City, followed by two road stages on May 5 and 6. Day Two begins at the scenic Baha’i Gardens in Haifa, passing through historic Acre and Caesarea before riders head to the finish line on Tel Aviv’s beachside promenade in a stage totaling 167km. 

Day Three begins in Beer Sheva and takes in southern Israel’s most dramatic scenery including the breath-taking Ramon Crater, finishing at the Red Sea resort of Eilat, totaling 226km.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for cycling fans to experience one of the biggest events on the racing calendar. Sports Tours International has a long history of partnering with the Giro and can provide superb ride and watch packages. Anyone interested should register now as this is bound to be a popular event,” said Sports Tours International’s Head of Product and Operations Alex de Waard.

Sports Tours International suggests booking event-viewing packages early to guarantee being in the heart of the action. For more information or to register interest please visit www.girotours.com.

For more information, available packages, space availability and reservations please visit online: www.sportstoursinternational.com, email: sales@sportstoursinternational.co.uk, or call: (+44) 161 703 8161.

 

Sports Tours International is Europe’s leading specialist in sports travel. Since inception in 1973 they have hosted thousands of participants and spectators at major sporting events worldwide. With the tagline, Fanatical about Sport, the company’s initial roots came from a devotion to running when founder Vince Regan began taking runners to the NYC Marathon. Since the early 2000s, the company now embraces international cycling events and triathlon competitions, sports training camps and corporate hospitality. Clients often can participate in events with the pros and are encouraged to “unleash your inner hero” or when it’s not possible to compete, there’s the ability to be active spectators along the routes and “watch your heroes.”

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