Posts tagged with "Olympics"

Will Claye via Red Bull Records for use by 360 Magazine

Will Claye – Wee Hours Music Video

 Fresh off participating in this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, hip-hop artist and Olympic medalist Will Claye releases the stunning visual for his single, “Wee Hours,” out now via Red Bull Records. Written by Claye, “Wee Hours” was produced by Grammy-winning songwriter and producer DJ Khalil, best known for his work with Jay-Z, Kanye West, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and more. 

The strength of “Wee Hours” lies in Claye‘s introspective and poignant lyrics, which he delivers with a West Coast-influenced flair. The cinematic music video companion echoes this, drawing inspiration from his own experiences. “I wanted to speak for people whose voices have been suppressed,” says Claye. “I want to inspire my people and show them that even through all the horrific things we have gone through as a people, we can make it through and rise above it all.”

Adorned in his Olympic medals amidst a field of sunflowers, the visual cuts back and forth between Claye and a younger version of himself. Set in the orange-hued glow of his family’s home, the video shows young Will as he goes through the motions of his day. The video soon takes a darker tone, as Will steps outside and witnesses a police officer chase a Black man onto his yard. As the officer moves to pull out his gun, the man is saved by three guardian angels driving by, as the video closes with the powerful message of “our angels are always watching over us.”

The release of “Wee Hours” follows the debut of Elevate, the documentary from Red Bull. The short film follows Claye as he trains for the Olympics and records new music, working to make his mark on the world. As his moment in the spotlight parallels a cultural boiling point surrounding racial injustice, Claye seeks to use his voice to inspire his community’s youth, serving as a positive role model for the next generation. Watch HERE.

About Will Claye

Three-time Olympic medalist Will Claye started his path as a world-class athlete. By way of track and field, he was able to move into starting his brand ELEVATE, music and philanthropy. Will’s brand grew largely at the London Games in 2012, where he earned a bronze medal in the long jump and a silver medal in the triple jump to become the first man since 1936 and the first American since 1904 to obtain medals in both events. The Phoenix, AZ native of Sierra Leone-descent solidified himself as the #3 triple jumper of all time in 2019 and at the same time released an EP, WEST SIDE STORY, and single “TMS.” 

The catalyst for Will’s music career came from artist YG inviting him to the studio and the pair creating IDGAF, what is now known as a classic West Coast record. From there, Will began to create his own lane and his own sound, taking inspiration from Bob Marley, Andre 3000, Snoop Dogg, DJ Quick, Pharrell, Jay Z, Nipsey Hussle, Kendrick Lamar, and Nate Dogg. With a wide array of influences, Will has created a sound that is eclectic and diverse, based on how he is feeling and what is going on in life. He is a rare combination of talent and genuine humility, recognizing that he can use his status as an artist and professional athlete to help others.

Interview with Dean Karnazes

Dean Carnazes is a marathon runner known for serious feats of endurance. He recently wrote a book, Runner’s High: A Life in Motion, about running and his experience as a marathon runner. I got the chance to speak with Dean about his marathon career and Runner’s High.

What was your favorite experience while running?

While I was running across the country—from LA to NYC—I got a call from the White House saying that Michelle Obama wanted me to stop in to say hi. Prank call was my first reaction. But it was real. I’ll never forget running down the hallway of the White House and out to the South Lawn to meet with the first lady. She welcomed me with a hug and said, “It’s such an honor to meet you.” I’m not making this up. 

What is your favorite part of the marathon experience?

The pain and the struggle. You remember the joyful moments, but the tough moments leave a more indelible imprint. 

Do you have a marathon that you particularly liked?

How long is the interview? (laughter) I’ve run hundreds of marathons and each is memorable in it’s own way. I once ran 50 marathons, in all 50 states, in 50 consecutive days. That experience in its totality was quite extraordinary.

Do you have a favorite place to run?

Greece. I’m 100% Greek and Greece is the birthplace of the marathon. It doesn’t get more real than that.

What athletes do you particularly admire?

The back of the packers struggling to reach the finish line before the cutoff. Sure, I admire the elite, but watching the last place finisher is more inspiring. 

I’ve been in a 2-week quarantine in a hotel in Sydney in preparation for this crazy 1,000-mile run across Australia, so I’ve been watching a lot of the Tokyo Olympics. In fact, I’ve probably watched more television in the past two weeks than I’ve watched in the past two years! 

Are there any Olympic athletes, in the most recent Tokyo Olympics, that you were particularly impressed by?

So many of the athletes impress me. But I think what impressed me the most this Olympics’ was Simone Biles withdrawal because of mental health concerns. She is such a dominant force but she became very human in showing her vulnerability.

How do you feel about energy drinks and other products that may change/enhance athletes’ performance?

Athletes will always seek anything that can provide an edge. So long as it is not a banned substance, I’m okay with it.

What, in your opinion, is your biggest accomplishment as a runner?

The fact that I am still just as passionate about running as I was when I first started. The stoke is still there after all these years.  

What was it like to write a book about something you’re so passionate about like running?

To capture my authentic running voice, I do a lot of writing while I run (by dictating into my phone). People say I truthfully capture the essence of running in my writing, and that’s because at a time when I’m experiencing the thoughts, feelings and emotions of a runner I’m taking note. To put that passion into words makes compelling reading. 

Are you happy with the way people have spoken about your book thus far?

I got an email from a gentleman this morning who said he had intended to read a couple chapters of my book last night before going to bed. Five hours later he finished the book, he told me. Then, he said, he got up. He just had to go on a run.

Yes, I’m happy with the way people have spoken about my book. That message says it all.

illustration by Rita Azar for use by 360 Magazine

UPCOMING CHAMPION × MUHAMMAD ALI COLLECTION

Brand drops new pieces inspired by the gold medalist and designed to help everyone look and feel like a Champion

Champion, makers of authentic athletic apparel since 1919, and Muhammad Ali Enterprises, will be dropping the second, limited-edition capsule in Champion’s Muhammad Ali Collection on August 4. The capsule’s new designs and fresh colors are fabricated to evoke the ethos of the sports legend during his inspirational gold medal win during the 1960 Games in Rome as an 18-year-old.

With details based on the 1960 Games historic location and team uniforms, the apparel features unique athletic accents, iconic silhouettes, luxe fabrics and voluminous draping. The men’s and women’s collections, which retail from $35-$125 in the United States, spans sizes XS-2XL and includes Reverse Weave® hoodies, quarter-zip pullovers, joggers, shorts, graphic T-shirts, crop tops, bike shorts, hats and special satin boxing robe. The pieces have legendary quotes from Ali, including “I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was,” along with Games-inspired brand decals.

“Muhammad Ali was an artist in the ring and a champion of the people outside of it, inspiring his fans across the globe to be their very best,” said Jon Ram, group president of global activewear for HanesBrands. “The second drop in this collection allows everyone from professional athletes to backyard sports enthusiasts and culture curators to truly be their own Champion by finding the joy in dressing for self-expression and feeling confident while being comfortable.”

The second drop in brand’s multi-year partnership with Muhammad Ali Enterprises, owned by Authentic Brands Group (ABG) in conjunction with Lonnie Ali, a trustee of the Muhammad Ali Family Trust (MAFT), includes global integration across Champion’s brand platforms. The collection is being distributed via Champion.com and Champion retail stores with distribution in the United States, Europe, Asia, Mexico and South America. A third drop is scheduled for later this year to be followed by additional capsules in 2022.

“Ali would say: ‘Champions aren’t made in gyms, champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision,’” said Katie Jones, senior vice president, entertainment, ABG. “This partnership continues to honor what was most important to Ali during his lifetime.”

To celebrate the second drop of the Muhammad Ali Collection, Champion will be making a donation to the Louisville, Kentucky-based Muhammad Ali Center, a non-profit museum and cultural center dedicated to honoring the man that meant so much to so many.

To learn more about the collection and the Champion brand, click HERE and follow the brand on InstagramTwitter, TikTok and Facebook.

illustration by Samantha Miduri for use by 360 Magazine

How Much is an Olympic Medal Worth?

This year, one of the world’s largest precious metals wholesale trading firms, Dillon Gage Metals, is sharing secrets behind the globally recognized Olympic medals athletes train so hard to obtain. The value of an Olympic medal is said to be worth quite a bit, and with the major sporting event just around the corner—beginning July 23 through August 8, in Tokyo, Japan—all eyes will be glued to the television wondering who is going home with a precious piece of history. 

The design of the Tokyo medals, designed by Junichi Kawanishi, reflects the ideology that athletes must always strive to achieve glory and victory daily. The design incorporates light and brilliance in the shape of polished stones, symbolically mirroring the warm glow of friendship, diversity, and representation, and the athletes’ energy and those who continue to uplift them.

“The value of gold is a curious inquiry we receive all the time, especially around the time of the Olympics,” said Terry Hanlon, president of Dillon Gage Metals. “It’s one of the most discernible medals in the world, and it’s only natural for individuals to be curious about what it’s made of and its true value. Most medals awarded during the sporting event aren’t worth much because they aren’t solid gold but rather silver with gold plating.” 

So, the question resides, how much is an Olympic medal actually worth? Every gold medal that athletes receive for their accomplishments is comprised of 99.9 percent silver and 6 grams of plated gold, weighing about 556 grams. Subtracting the gold from the silver brings the medal down to 550 grams in weight, while silver and bronze are a lesser metal weight at 550 grams and 450 grams respectively. 

Considering it takes 31.1033 grams to equal a troy ounce, and if the silver is truly pure silver, it takes some simple mathematics to discover the true value of the Olympic medals. Taking these numbers plus the current trade price of silver, approximately $26.00, and utilizing a common equation, the estimated value of gold can be calculated. 

The equation includes grams divided by troy ounce, then multiplying by trade price to find the dollar amount. In practical terms to solve for the total dollar amount in silver, use 550g/31 x $26.00 to equal $461.29.

In addition to the previous calculation, then add in 6 grams to account for the gold plating. In today’s currency, an ounce of gold is trading approximately for $1,808. Using the same equation to solve the gold composition: 6g/31 x $1,817 = $350.75. 

Combined, the gold and silver composition’s value for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics gold medal is approximately worth $812.04. And the value for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics silver medal is approximately worth $461.29. 

But no matter the actual value of all these medals, to compete on the world stage of the Olympics, one of the most prestigious sports competitions, is truly priceless. Dillon Gage Metals wishes every Olympian luck and sends their support to each nation’s competitors during the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

sports illustration by Allison Christensen for use by 360 Magazine

Xfinity Olympic Games Ad

While the world prepares for what may be the most meaningful Olympic Games in recent history, Xfinity– the Comcast brand providing internet, video distribution, wireless and electronic home security services for Team USA (and for Team USA in 2022, 2024, 2026 and 2028)– will release an ad called “The Song.” This ad will air nationally tomorrow ahead of the opening ceremonies and continue through August 8. The ad – which was released earlier this month in select markets and digitally –takes the timeless tradition of the Olympic Anthem “Bugler’s Dream” and features people from all walks of life humming the iconic seven notes in E-flat major: BUM—BUM—ba-ba-ba-BAH-BAH!

To extend the campaign and spark pride and support for Team USA, Xfinity today launched the #XfinityFanthem Challenge which invites consumers to sing, hum, perform and play their own renditions of “Bugler’s Dream” via TikTok. Olympic Swimmer Brad Snyder, Winter Olympian Brianna Decker, NASCAR Driver Kevin Harvick, E-Sports star Bugha, TikTok Creators Luna the Pittie, Cole Brown, the Philadelphia Eagles Dance Teamthe Philly Phanatic and more have partnered with Xfinity to create content and share their take on the song at #XfinityFanthem starting later today.

Listen to “The Song” HERE.

Watch the #XfinityFanthem compilation HERE.

“The Song” and #XfinityFanthem was created with support from advertising agency 72andSunny.

Breaking News illustration by Samantha Miduri for use by 360 magazine

This Week’s Top News Stories

  1. LA Country Reinstates Indoor Mask Mandate

LA County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis announced Wednesday, that beginning Saturday night masks must be worn inside. Following rising numbers of COVID cases and COVID deaths, LA county decided to reinstate the mask mandate that was recently lifted. This new ordinance is not in compliance with the existing California mask mandate and the mask mandates of many cities in the county, but is in the best interest of all Angelenos.

The previous mask mandate which had been in place for months was recently lifted and many people are not happy about the regression we are making. Many other cities and states are also reinstating their previously abandoned mask mandate while cases rise across the US. With so many still unvaccinated it seems impossible to think we will not be wearing masks anytime soon.

Read more on The LA Times.

  1. Federal Judge Rules Against DACA

A federal judge in Texas ruled today that all new DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) applicants will not be accepted. Judge Andrew Hanen only banned new applicants and stated current DACA recipients were safe, although it opens a scary door of these people’s legality in this country. Hanen did state that with hundreds of thousands of participants receiving relief though DACA, you could not stop it immediately but going forward the Obama Era program would not continue to assist immigrants in relief.

Hanen argued that Congress did not give Homeland Security the authority to create DACA and makes it almost impossible for the removal of individuals. Going forward, it will be interesting to see what happens to all DACA members, many of whom have grown up safely and made lives for themselves, and what will be created instead, if anything, to grant relief for those who need it.

Read more on CNN.

  1. COVID Affects Olympic Rosters

With COVID cases and cases involving the more deadly DELTA variant rising at alarming rates many Olympic rosters are in jeopardy. High profile cases are emerging and many athletes are unable to participate due to their positive test results or positive test results of fellow teammates. We even see rosters being impacted by athletes who are choosing not to participate in this year’s Olympics due to COVID. While teams are designed to perform no matter what and most great teams do not rely on one player, it can be hard when an integral member of your team is unable to step on the pitch, court, track, etc.

We may see an upset in many games or brackets this year as teams who are normally very strong perform worse without key members of their squad, and other teams perform better when faced with less tough competition. We may even see a withdrawal of teams or a cancellation of the Olympics as a whole as we profess into the summer and the games begin.

Read more on WAMU.

  1. Florida Company Suspected in Haitian President Assassination

The President of Haiti was assassinated in his home last week and as the investigation developed it has been discovered a Florida company may be involved. CTU Security is a small security company located in the Miami suburb of Doral offering security to high level personnel, self- defense classes, and the selling of security equipment. It was uncovered that the founder of CTU Security, Antonio Intriago supposedly paid Colombian nationals to assassinate the Haitian President. Former members of CTU were surprised to hear of the company’s involvement in an international assassination plot as the company is relatively small and focuses mostly on teaching self defense and selling equipment, less on actually providing protection services. The company was having some serious financial issues but more is still being uncovered as to what CTU was doing orchestrating an assassination, Intriago has remained silent on this issue.

Read more on NPR.

  1. Texas Democrats Walk Out

Earlier this week Texas Democrats got on a plane headed for D.C. in hopes of stopping the GOP from passing voter restriction laws. Democrats left with the intention of breaking a quorum, the minimum number of people needed to vote. Knowing they would most likely lose and the ability to register to vote and vote within 24 hours, drive through voting and other voting laws would be taken away from Texas residents, Texas Democrats left Austin and are hoping they can generate awareness, national attention, and push forward a pair of federal voting bills.

The members who left, left behind family, friends, sick loved ones, one even her wedding in order to help their constituents. It was not an easy decision to make and not one made lightly, while GOP members are hoping to easily draw democrats back to Austin and start conducting business as usual, Democrats hope their efforts were not made in vain. This is just another example of the way the political divide in deepening in our country. The coming weeks will show how easily Democrats can be swayed to return and how this issue will be fixed in Texas.

Read more on The Texas Tribune.

Moon Taxi Image provided by Leo Lavaro and BMG for use by 360 MAGAZINE.

Moon Taxi × Silver Dream Tour

Nashville-based alt-rock band Moon Taxi have added Nashville’s premier vinyl disco DJs Sparkle City Disco and small-town organic farmers turned major label rock stars Illiterate Light along with a host of other friends including Futurebirds, Olympic Music, and AFTM to their national headline Silver Dream tour this summer/fall.

The tour will find Moon Taxi and friends playing the Iroquois Amphitheater in Louisville, KY on August 7 and continuing through into the fall hitting venues such as New York City’s famed Webster Hall, The Ogden in Denver, Delmar Hall in St. Louis, and two nights at the brand new 2,200-capacity concert hall The Eastern in Atlanta, Georgia where the run will conclude over the Thanksgiving holiday. For more info visit Moon Taxi’s website.

Moon Taxi has thrived on the touring circuit for years, bringing their electric performances to Coachella, Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, and beyond. The band also celebrated a career-defining moment as “Nashville’s own” in October ’17 when they performed at a two night, sold-out run at the famed Ryman Auditorium earning praise from the Tennessean (“Moon Taxi evolves from ‘college project’ to rock stars”). Their music has been embraced as well by brands using their songs for many commercial and TV placements – from JEEP, to Microsoft Surface Pro, McDonald’s, to BMW, along with landmark sporting events including the Olympics, MLB, NFL, and NHL and HBO Sports. Their songs are motivational and energizing, and they have become a “go-to” band for songs that inspire forging ahead.

Illustration By Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

BLACK FEMALE ATHLETES FACE OLYMPIC DISCRIMINATION

By: Clara Guthrie

Leading up to the postponed 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo—with opening ceremonies scheduled for Friday, July 23—the International Swimming Federation (or FINA, a shortening of the “Fédération Internationale de Natation”) has banned the use of swim caps specifically designed to fit the volume and texture of Black hair. Their reasoning for such a targeted and controversial ban seemingly lies in the cap’s novelty, leaving officials wondering how the product may affect different Olympic swimming events. (Many people have been quick to point out, however, that the larger size of these caps could actually cause more drag in the water rather than any sort of advantage.) In a statement, FINA said that, to their knowledge, “the athletes competing at international events never used, neither required, […] caps of such size and configuration.” Additionally, they took issue with the fact that the caps do not lay flat and tight across the head as other swim caps used by white athletes do.

The caps of interest were created by a Black-owned British company called Soul Cap. According to their website, their products are intended for “those with dreadlocks, weaves, hair extensions, braids, thick and curly hair” and are “designed with extra room in mind.” Their business—which was founded in 2017 and includes a variety of swimming-related haircare products for those “blessed with voluminous hair”—grew out of an understanding that the beauty industry was overlooking the needs of these individuals.

Preceding this controversy, Soul Cap had partnered with marathon swimmer Alice Dearing, the first Black female swimmer to represent Great Britain in the Olympic games. This partnership was intended to promote diversity in the world of swimming and help break down barriers for other minority swimmers who may be blocked from competing at the highest level. “Swimming as a sport hasn’t always been as accessible to people from minority communities,” Dearing said. “Increasing diversity in the water is a huge passion of mine, so with Soul Cap, […] we hope we can start to dispel those barriers.”

This decision to ban Soul Caps from the Olympics has caused public outrage among many swimmers, specifically swimmers of color. According to the BBC, one young swimmer said she was “heartbroken but not surprised” by FINA’s discriminatory action. Another swimmer, 17-year-old Kejai Terrelonge, said that swim caps made for thinner or untextured hair have posed perpetual problems throughout her athletic career. “Using the smaller swimming caps that everyone else would use—it would fit on my head, but because I put oil in my hair, when I was swimming it would just keep sliding off, and my hair would get wet,” she said. Since Black hair is naturally drier than other hair, exposure to chlorine and other chemicals in pool water can cause severe damage to hair. In 2019, Dearing herself even acknowledged that she “can fully understand why someone would quit [swimming] over their hair.”

Non-athletes have also joined in on this critique of FINA, taking to Twitter to voice their frustration. One user called the decision “cultural insensitivity on an international scale.” Another said, “this misguided notion of uniformity is the antithesis to inclusion.” “It’s 2021 and still there is ignorance about Black hair and naturalness,” said another Twitter user. “People who make decisions about Black hair should do the research first. Our hair may not be natural to you but it is to us!” This final sentence seems to be a direct response to another quote from FINA in which they said that Soul Caps do not “fit the natural form of the head.”

Unfortunately, this move to ban swim caps for Black hair has not been the only inequitable decision surrounding Black female athletes made by Olympic athletic committees. Last week, 21-year-old sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson was suspended from the Olympic team after testing positive for THC and thus failing her drug test. While marijuana is explicitly against the rules for competing athletes according to International Olympic Committee (IOC) standards, many people were outraged at Richardson’s suspension seeing as the drug is legal in Oregon (where Richardson ingested it) and the drug’s known effects are in no way performance-enhancing. Actor and outspoken supporter of marijuana Seth Rogen weighed in on Twitter, saying, “The notion that weed is a problematic ‘drug’ is rooted in racism. It’s insane that Team USA would disqualify one of the country’s most talented athletes over thinking that’s rooted in hatred.” 

In another Olympic-centered controversy, 18-year-old Namibian sprinters Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi were withdrawn from the 400-meter race due to their “natural high testerone level[s],” according to the World Athletics governing body’s policy on Athletes with Differences of Sex Development. This policy states that women’s blood testosterone levels must be below 5 nanomoles per liter to compete in the 400-meter race, among other events. These new regulations were introduced in 2018, and the only proposed solution for these athletes is to lower their testosterone levels with medicine in order to compete. It is important to note that neither Mboma, Masilinigi, their families nor their coaches were aware of their hormonal condition prior to being tested.

As these debates that target the rights and Olympic potential of Black female athletes continue to unfold, FINA has announced it will review the original decision to ban Soul Caps from the summer games. In an official statement, FINA said that it is “committed to ensuring that all aquatics athletes have access to appropriate swimwear for competition where this swimwear does not confer a competitive advantage.” FINA also said that it plans to “speak with the manufacturer of the ‘Soul Cap’ about utilizing their products through the FINA Development Centers.” No further statements or decisions have been made at this time.

According to the official Olympics website, part of the IOC’s mission is “to act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement” and “to encourage and support the promotion of women in sport at all levels and in all structures.” And yet, the past few weeks have revealed unflattering truths about the international world of athletics and the discrimination that athletes of color—specifically female athletes of color—repeatedly face in order to pursue their Olympic dreams. The IOC represents the highest standards of athletics and competition, and thus they must rise to the same standards when it comes to protecting, empowering and uplifting the athletes who participate.

Illustration By Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

Sha’Carri Richardson Faces Olympics Suspension

By: Emily Bunn

American sprinter, Sha’Carri Richardson, has been suspended from the Olympics for one month.

Sha’Carri Richardson has recently been drug tested and found positive for marijuana usage. As such, she faces a one month suspension from the Olympics- threatening the sensational sprinter’s involvement in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Her suspension is set to begin June 28th, 2021.

The New York Times reports that the timing of this suspension could clear Richardson in time to run in the 4×100 meter relay, which takes place later in the games. However, Richardson is set to miss the qualifying rounds for the women’s 100.

Richardson has recently reveled in victory at last month’s 100-meter race at the U.S. track and field trials in Oregon. However, while in Oregon, the Olympian was also dealing with unexpected death of her mother. Not only was this news devastating, but Richardson found out about the very personal circumstance from a reporter.

As a means of coping with the harrowing tragedy, Richardson admitted to her marijuana usage. She stated: “It sent me into a state of emotional panic…I didn’t know how to control my emotions or deal with my emotions during that time.” It should be notes that in Oregon, the use of recreational marijuana has been legalized.

Cannabis is still among the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee ruling of prohibited substances. The famed athlete apologized to her family, friends, and sponsors for her drug usage: “I greatly apologize if I let you guys down, and I did.”

As a result of Richardson’s suspension, several top runners have been bumped up in their rank positioning. Jenna Prandini is now set to be one of the three American Olympians involved in the women’s 100. Additionally, Gabby Thomas now stands as an alternative athlete for the same race.

Commenting to the Today Show on the situation, Richardson pleaded for spectators to recognize their shared humanity: “I just say, don’t judge me and I am human — I’m you, I just happen to run a little faster.