Posts tagged with "Olympics"

Special Olympics New York Athletes arrives in Queens College via NYSO for use by 360 MAGAZINE

Special Olympics New York

 A weekend of sports will commence at Queens College this Saturday, as Special Olympics New York athletes arrive to compete in multiple events. Details are as follows:

  • When: Saturday, June 18, beginning at 9 am
  • Where: Queens College (65-30 Kissena Blvd, Queens, NY 11367)
  • Who: Special Olympics NY athletes competing in Track & Field, Swimming, and Basketball (both teams and individual skills)

These athletes will be supported by more than 100 volunteers from sponsors Dechert LLP, Disney, RTM, and The Bountiful Company. Additional sponsors for the games include Geico, Babaste, New York Blood Center, Teachers Federal Credit Union, and Local 3 IBEW Motorcycle Club.

Members of the media are cordially invited to attend.

Moon Taxi via Don VanCleave for BMG for use by 360 Magazine

Moon Taxi – Live For it Acoustic Version

Nashville-based alt-rock band Moon Taxi has released an acoustic version for their song “Live For It”—the original version of the song can be found on their Silver Dream album released in 2021 via BMG. Listen HERE.

“‘Live For It’ is a love song that takes place in New York, written on a windy hilltop outside Malibu. This song is about seizing a moment you share with someone you love, a singular experience you want to replay in your head over and over. We hope this reimagined version captures that exhilarating feeling in a new way,” said Moon Taxi

Moon Taxi will also be touring from February 25th to June 5th, starting in Vail, Colorado, and ending at the Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The band will cover various states in the South and Midwestern United States. For more tour info, click HERE

About Moon Taxi

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” on October 17 when they performed at a two-night, sold-out run at the famed Ryman Auditorium earning praise from the Tennessean, who stated, “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 placement—from JEEP and Microsoft Surface Pro to McDonald’s and BMW, along with landmark sporting events including the Olympics, MLB, NFL, NHL, and HBO Sports. Their songs are motivational and energizing, and they have become a “go-to” band for songs that inspire forging ahead.

Nine Things You Didn’t Know About the Paralympic Winter Games

The Olympic Games get a lot of love. However, if you haven’t gotten enough sports action yet, you can watch some of the world’s toughest athletes once again go head-to-head between Friday, March 4, and Sunday, March 13, 2022, during the Paralympic Games. 

The Paralympic Games enter their 74th year this spring. Here are nine things you didn’t know about this spectacular sporting event. 

1. A Veteran Started Them

The original Olympics began in ancient Greece around 776 B.C. The modern Paralympics came about much later. Ludwig Guttman started them in 1948 for World War II veterans with spinal injuries. 

This year’s games feature 736 athletes and 78 medal events. There are 39 events for men and 35 for women. The games welcome trans athletes, making them a model for inclusion for other institutions to follow. It sets a shining example amid a flurry of proposed legislation banning such individuals from competing. 

Some of the games involve mixed-gender events. Wheelchair curling will include 12 such teams, each requiring at least one female. 

Like standard Olympic games, athletes can qualify to compete through several means. They can place at World Championships, regional games or rank, or a world or regional list. They can also achieve a minimum qualification standard with or without the subsequent allocation formula. 

2. Skiing Is the Most Popular Event

Skiing is the most popular event at the Paralympic Winter Games. There are six disciplines: downhill, slalom, super slalom, super-G, super combined and team events. 

Athletes compete in three categories based on their abilities. A results calculation system allows those with various impairments to compete against each other. Racers often reach speeds of 100 or more miles per hour as they race down the slopes, and missing a gate results in disqualification. 

3. The Record-Holder Has More Gold Than Phelps 

Michael Phelps is an impressive athlete, to be sure, with 28 medals. However, he more than met his match in para-athlete Trischa Zorn-Hudson, who tops the charts at 55 — 41 gold, nine silver and five bronze.

In the Seoul 1988 games, Zorn-Hudson won 10 gold medals in 10 events, setting new world records in each one. She won admittance to the Paralympic Hall of Fame in 2012. She currently works as an attorney for the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

4. There Are Subdivisions for Different Challenges

Each para-athlete is as unique as any other. They also have various challenges that make ranking their performance more difficult than watching an instant replay of who crossed the finish line first. 

The Games use the Raza point score system, where judges convert performances to point scores to account for each athlete’s classification. Therefore, a more disabled athlete might beat a less disabled one, even if they don’t throw or jump quite as far. 

5. Beijing Is the First City to Host Summer and Winter

Beijing hosts the Winter Olympics this year, but that isn’t the city’s only distinction. It’s also the first to host the Paralympic Games in both summer and winter back-to-back. 

In many ways, the city is uniquely suited for these games. Athletes with disorders like cystic fibrosis run an elevated risk of severe infection from the COVID-19 pandemic. China’s zero-tolerance approach, strict quarantine requirements and mask rules keep participants safer. Although China has waived the quarantine requirement for athletes, they exist in a “bubble” with daily testing and N95 masks required when not competing. 

The Paralympic Winter Games served up yet another wrinkle during the pandemic — the need for coaches to communicate with their visually impaired athletes. Although officials discourage coaches from shouting to prevent potential spread through aerosol droplets, they may briefly remove their masks to accommodate these participants. 

6. Innsbruck, Austria, Hosted Back-to-Back Winter Games

Who decides where to hold the Paralympic Winter Games? It’s a joint decision between the International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee. Ten cities have hosted the winter games since their inception. 

Innsbruck, Austria, has the distinction of hosting the games twice back-to-back, in 1984 and 1988. The city’s unique geographic location makes it ideal for skiing events, seated in a valley surrounded by towering, snow-capped mountains. Visitors with less athletic aspirations than competitors can take a cable car to one of the enormous peaks and enjoy a spectacular view. 

7. The Paralympic Flame Is Now Eco-Friendlier

Addressing climate change is everyone’s responsibility. Human beings don’t get a pass for special events like the Olympics. Fortunately, the event’s organizers take their sustainability responsibility seriously. 

This year’s Paralympic Winter Games will feature a torch powered by hydrogen. This technology was first implemented in the Tokyo 2020 games to decrease emissions. 

Switching fuels isn’t the only eco-friendly change. Organizers use sustainable materials, such as recyclable cardboard beds, to construct the Olympic Village. 

8. Blind People Can Play Ball

Have you heard of Goalball? If you haven’t, it’s probably because you’re a sighted person. It’s played exclusively by athletes with blindness or visual impairment. 

Athletes must have less than 10% vision to participate. All participants wear special opaque glasses to level the playing field — people who can see shades of gray have no advantage over those who have complete blindness. 

The interesting thing about this sport is watching it — you must remain silent. During game time, only players or referees may make sounds so the athletes can hear and locate the ball. The sport has appeared in the Paralympics with a men’s and women’s division since 1984. 

9. Even the Medals Are Accessible

What’s it like to win a gold medal when you can’t see the metal shine? Athletes with visual impairments will immediately know their rank before announcing the winner. The medals feature one to three lines, indicating bronze, silver or gold. 

Furthermore, the venues go above and beyond to ensure accessibility. They must adhere to strict guidelines regarding ramps and signage to allow everyone to navigate freely. 

Facts About the Paralympic Winter Games 

Athletes come in all shapes, sizes and ability levels. The Paralympic Winter Games allow you to witness some of the best-trained individuals from around the globe compete. 

These participants overcome incredible challenges to practice their sport. Now that you know these nine things about the Paralympic Winter Games, catch all the action starting March 4.

sports illustration by Allison Christensen for use by 360 Magazine

Polar Plunge NY

For those ready to “take the plunge” into the freezing waters of Sharpe Reservation, the 2022 Polar Plunge is nearly here. On Saturday, February 19, 2022, starting at 8 AM, attendees from across New York State will gather at Sharpe Reservation, Camp Mariah to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics New York athletes in the Hudson Valley Region.

The Polar Plunge is one of the most popular, profitable, and exciting fundraisers for Special Olympics New York. Participants raise money by asking friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances for donations. 

“Polar Plunges are some of the most valuable fundraisers we host each year,” said Special Olympics New York President and CEO Stacey Hengsterman. “They’re an excellent opportunity for people from all over the community to come together and support our athletes. If you join us, you’ll see why so many people return year after year.”

At this event last year, 198 participants raised $156,000. Individuals and teams who’d like to join this year’s Plunge may do so by registering online HERE and clicking on, “Fishkill Polar Plunge”. 

About Special Olympics New York

Special Olympics New York is the largest state chapter in the country, serving more than 51,000 registered Athletes and Unified Partners across New York with year-round sports training, athletic competition, and health screenings. The organization also partners with about 250 schools statewide to offer Unified Sports, where students with and without disabilities compete as teammates. All Special Olympics New York programs are offered at no cost to athletes, their families, or caregivers. The organization has earned the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, making it one of the most trusted charities in the business nationally. For additional information about Special Olympics New York, to learn more about getting involved, or to make a donation, click HERE.

Gabrielle Archuleta illustration for 360 MAGAZINE

Monster Athletes Claim Medals

Monster Energy’s Ski and Snowboard Athletes Claim Medals on Day 3 of X Games Aspen 2022

Monster Energy congratulates its team of freeski and snowboard athletes on claiming four medals (1 gold and 3 bronze) on the third and final day of X Games Aspen 2022 at Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen Snowmass, Colorado.

ASPEN, Colo., Jan. 24, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Another history-making edition of X Games Aspen is in the books! Monster Energy congratulates its team of freeski and snowboard athletes on claiming four medals (1 gold and 3 bronze) on the third and final day of X Games Aspen 2022 at Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen Snowmass, Colorado.

In the highly competitive Men’s Ski Slopestyle final, 23-year-old Monster Energy rider Alex Hall from Park City, Utah, posted a perfect run on his last attempt to walk away with the bronze medal. As the nighttime action kicked off with Wendy’s Ski Knuckle Huck, 24-year-old American Quinn Wolferman claimed gold by posting the most creative tricks in the jam session. Plus, all-round talent Alex Hall edged into bronze-medal position and became the first male winter sports athlete to take home medals in three contest events at the same X Games.

Rounding out an action-packed weekend, the Men’s Ski SuperPipe final saw 31-year-old Olympic freeskier David Wise from Reno, Nevada, take the bronze medal in an elite field. 

The world’s biggest snow sports spectacle returned to Aspen in the heart of the Rocky Mountains for the 21st consecutive time this weekend. Started in 1997 at Snow Summit Resort in Big Bear Lake, California, the Winter X Games celebrated 25 years of showcasing the latest progression in snow sports this weekend.

Supported by Monster Energy as the official energy drink partner of X Games, the three-day spectacle featured Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard competitions in the disciplines of Slopestyle, Big Air, SuperPipe, and the innovative Knuckle Huck, alongside Special Olympics Unified competitions. As the pinnacle of winter action sports, X Games Aspen 2022 brought out 87 of the world’s best action sports athletes competing for a total of 42 medals across 14 disciplines.

The fans were also back on Buttermilk Mountain in full force! After allowing only athletes and staff the previous year, X Games Aspen 2022 welcomed spectators back to competition viewing and X Fest areas amid stringent COVID-19 safety protocols. This weekend featured fan activations, a festival village and DJ performances. ESPN and ABC broadcast 13.5 hours of live competition, with 7.5 additional hours streamed live on @XGames digital channels, and all 21 hours were live via the ESPN App.

Here’s how the action unfolded for team Monster Energy on the final day of X Games Aspen 2022:

Men’s Ski Slopestyle: Monster Energy’s Alex Hall Takes Bronze in Heated Finals

The final day of X Games Aspen 2022 started with a showdown for the history books: The Men’s Ski Slopestyle final featured ten of the world’s leading freeskiers, including five prior medalists in the disciple as well as defending champion Nick Goepper from Indiana. Countries represented in the final session included Canada, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

In a 35-minute jam session, riders took turns trying to post the highest-scoring single run on the downhill obstacle course. Designed by expert snow shapers Snowpark Technologies, the course challenged riders with 15 different rail and jib obstacles at the top, plus a series of consecutive jumps that ended in a massive final jump also used in the weekend’s Big Air discipline.

Amid blue skies and favorable course conditions, the level of riding soon escalated with athletes such as Monster Energy’s James Woods posting perfect runs and next-level tricks. Other riders struggled to land the line they wanted, including 23-year-old Monster Energy rider Alex Hall from Park City, Utah. Although he was boosted by a sensational Ski Big Air win on the previous night, Hall had difficulty on the rails and found himself far outside podium position as the contest went into last attempts.

With only one run to go, Hall proved once again that he has the nerves and bag of tricks for down-to-the-wire situations. On the rails, he showcased his technical progression with a switch on gap 450 the cannon rail, 450 on 450 out, and Cab 270 pretzel 450 out. In the jump section, he put down a clean left double 1080 and an extremely difficult rightside double cork 900 pullback; technically a 1080-degree rotation but ‘pulled back’ 180 degrees in the opposite direction right before landing. On the final hit, Hall stomped a switch leftside 1800 in his signature Buick grab to finish in bronze-medal position. And he still had plans for Knuckle Huck!

Wendy’s Ski Knuckle Huck: Monster Energy’s Quinn Wolferman Claims Golden Knuckle, Alex Hall Takes Bronze as Third Medal at the Same X Games

The last nighttime segment of X Games Aspen 2022 kicked off with the Wendy’s Ski Knuckle Huck under the floodlights. In a 20-minute jam session, eight of the world’s best freeskiers ‘hucked’ their most technical and stylish moves off the Big Air jump ramp’s roll-over, also called the ‘knuckle’.

When the action got underway, 24-year-old Quinn Wolferman from Missoula, Montana, was looking to improve on finishing in third place at X Games Aspen 2021 and 2020. But with riders like previous gold medalist Colby Stevenson in the mix, it was a tall order.

But in a showcase of style and creativity, Wolferman convinced the judges to earn the coveted Knuckle Huck gold medal in the shape of a Golden Knuckle. Highlights included leftside 720 tail grab off the nose, tailbutter underflip revert, worm turn slide and a huge double cork 1080 out of a nose butter sent far down the landing.

“I’m kind of speechless honestly! Thanks to everybody who lets us come out here and do this. It’s been the best Knuckle Huck, yet” said Wolferman upon taking the Golden Knuckle trophy at X Games Aspen 2022. “Everybody crushed and these dudes all went so hard! I commend them all for coming out and sending it!”

Born and raised under the great big Midwestern sky of Montana, Wolferman is known for his slopestyle and street talent. Sunday’s gold medal is his career-first medal at an X Games (Knuckle Huck did not award silver or bronze medals in previous years).

Also rising to the podium, Alex Hall put his signature drive for innovation on full display in the jam session. Tricks like a switch hand drag slide late shifty, backslide one-footer to 360, backslide backward noseslide to Cab 360 and big spin nose and tail butter to Cab 360 and a low backward belly slide over the knuckle to late pretzel earned him the bronze medal.

And just like that, Hall made history as the first male winter sports athlete to take home medals in three contest events at the same X Games. Hall now owns 9 X Games medals (5 Gold, 1 Silver, 3 Bronze). The Park City local has also achieved the rare feat of earning X Games gold medals in four disciplines: Big Air, Slopestyle, Knuckle Huck, and the Real Ski video competition. 

Men’s Ski SuperPipe: Monster Energy’s David Wise Soars to Bronze Medal Finish

Wrapping up the 25th edition of Winter X Games in style, the nighttime action culminated in the Men’s Ski SuperPipe final. The high-energy crowd celebrated a 35-minute jam session of progressive vertical freeski on hallowed ground: With its 22-feet high walls and 570-feet in overall length, the SuperPipe on Buttermilk Mountain is praised by competitors as the best of its kind on the circuit.

Setting the tone for an epic final event, hip-hop artist ASAP Ferg performed at the bottom of the SuperPipe. Then it was time for ten finalists to battle for the top spot. The field included riders from Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Out of ten riders, five had previously won X Games gold in the discipline – so the level of riding was bound to be off the charts! 

The list of previous gold medalists on the roster also included David Wise from Reno, Nevada, who took the win in X Games SuperPipe four times (Aspen 2012-2014, Aspen 2018). Currently in peak shape for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, Wise rose all the way to second place at the FIS World Cup at Mammoth before coming to Aspen. 

Although dropping in as the oldest competitor at 31 years, the two-time Olympic gold medalist proved he still has the skills to rise to the podium. In his third run of the night, Wise put together a perfect routine. Dropping into the SuperPipe backwards, he landed a switch rightside 720, switch leftside double cork 1080 Japan, corked rightside 540 tailgrab, leftside double cork 1260 mute grab, and rightside double cork 1260 mute on the final wall for the bronze medal.

By earning bronze on Sunday night, Wise broke a record: Previously, no man older than 28 had earned a Ski SuperPipe medal at X Games. Known as a pioneer of freeski halfpipe riding, Wise has seen and won it all: His unparalleled track record includes two Olympic gold medals (2014 and 2018) as seven X Games medals (4 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze). Wise will represent the United States in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. 

This wraps up a history-making edition of Winter X Games in Aspen! When all was said and done, the Monster Energy team took home an incredible 23 medals (5 Gold, 7 Silver, 11 Bronze) in the world’s biggest winter action sports showcase. 

Thanks to all athletes, everyone who attended and all who watched X Games Aspen 2022. Also, thanks to the crew at ESPN and Buttermilk Mountain for putting on a world-class action sports showcase despite the adversities of the ongoing pandemic. X Games Aspen 2022 was televised globally in 192 countries and territories to more than 500 million homes.

X Games fans in the United States who missed the action at X Games Aspen 2022 can re-watch all live broadcasts on the official X Games YouTube channel. All highlights from X Games Aspen 2022 will be broadcast on ESPN in a two-piece anthology: X Games Aspen Anthology: Part 1 will air on Sunday, January 30, at 12 a.m. ET, followed by Part 2 on Monday, January 3, at 1 a.m. ET. 

Visit here for exclusive content from X Games Aspen 2022 including photos, videos, and contest results as they happen. Follow Monster Energy on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok for exclusive behind-the-scenes looks at Buttermilk Mountain.

About Monster Energy 

Based in Corona, California, Monster Energy is the leading marketer of energy drinks and alternative beverages. Refusing to acknowledge the traditional, Monster Energy supports the scene and sport. Whether motocross, off-road, NASCAR, MMA, BMX, surf, snowboard, ski, skateboard, or the rock and roll lifestyle, Monster Energy is a brand that believes in authenticity and the core of what its sports, athletes, and musicians represent. More than a drink, it’s the way of life lived by athletes, sports, bands, believers, and fans.

Black Ice via Elliot Stares PR for use by 360 Magazine

Black Ice

On February 29th, 2020, Akwasi Frimpong became the first Skeleton athlete from Africa to win an elite Skeleton race sanctioned by the USA Bobsled and Skeleton Federation in Park City, Utah. From a one room hut in Ghana to the Netherlands at age eight, where he became a professional track athlete before suffering a career-ending Achilles’ injury, the remarkable story of his lifelong dream is now being told in a short film depicting unwavering persistence and desire that holds up a torch of hope and inspiration for an entire continent, as Akwasi campaigns to compete at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing this February.

In association with Hungry Man productions, the Swiss sportswear company, On, presents “Black Ice”, an original short film written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Richard Bullock. The film uniquely combines live-action footage, graphic design, and animation. Depicting Akwasi’s humble origins, growth, and arduous journey which forges his resilient spirit and ultimately transforms him into a symbol of modern Africa, Black Ice can now be seen HERE.

Developed over six months and with filmed excerpts on-location across Europe and Africa, Black Ice brings the pages of a graphic comic book to life through the eyes of the children it aims to inspire. An athletes’ strength and determination in the face of lifelong adversity is unraveled within a portrayal of Akwasi’s journey, presented as a chronology of his life up until the present day that presents a symbol of bravery and courage for the entire African population.

The film centers around a graphic novel that is initially pulled from the bag of a schoolboy with Black Ice as the title, showing an iron clad superhero on the cover depicted as Akwasi. His inquisitive sister reads along with him, and their voices become the narration for the story. They read from the graphic novel aloud and together they follow Akwas’ real-life journey as viewers are taken on a visual expedition.

“Black Ice comprises of a highly original storytelling technique that is the sum of its live action and drawn elements that is rarely seen in a filmed production of this nature,” says Feliciano Robayna, Executive Producer and Head of Sports Marketing at On. “For a long time Akwasi’s dream was simply to make it to the Olympics. Despite all the setbacks, he soon saw the power of his achievements and what they could mean for Africa. He was no longer competing only for himself or a country, but for an entire continent. At the forthcoming Winter Olympics, a billion people can see in him the proof that with self-belief, strength and dedication you can pursue and fulfil your lifelong dreams.”

After speaking with Akwasi, director Richard Bullock decided to approach the story in a completely different way. “Instead of a script or storyboard I wrote out his story in the form of a graphic novel. I handed that to my illustrator who was tasked to bring it to life as a printed graphic novel,” said Bullock. “The book itself has become a character in the film and it forced the filmmakers to think differently about all aspects of the production. “It’s uncomfortable and new for all of us,” was the response. Probably what Akwasi felt like the first time he slid headfirst down an ice run at 90 miles an hour.”

While Akwasi’s life feels like the original story of a fictional superhero, it is all fact. As a child, his grandmother whispered into his ear at bedtime: “What you need for success is already in you. It is a matter of believing in yourself, having the will to work hard and never giving up.”

After moving to Holland to join his mother at 8 years-old, the former Olympian, Sammy Monsels, watches over Akwasi and ignites the Olympic flame of desire within him. Akwasi reacts by making the Olympics his one true ambition as a rapidly growing track athlete. At age 16, Akwasi becomes the Dutch National 200m champion, despite being unable to travel to European competitions due to his citizenship status. Akwasi is accepted into the Johan Cruyff School and works tirelessly to become International Student of the Year. While training for the 2012 London Olympics, Akwasi ruptures his Achilles tendon, putting his Olympic ambitions in danger. While recovering, Akwasi considers his options, applies to American colleges and is accepted into Utah Valley University, where he would graduate with honors in Business Studies.

With Utah being such a cold mountainous climate that was ideal for Winter sports, and after meeting the Dutch national team, Akwasi was invited to try his hand as a brakeman on the Bobsleigh team. Akwasi surprisingly came within one place of making it to the Sochi Winter Games in 2014, which re-ignited his desire to become an Olympian. Akwasi decided to turn to a different sport and took part in a Skeleton trial which he exceled at. In pursuit of his Olympic goal, he focused on his new skill and defied all expectations by qualifying for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. Akwasi became the first black male Skeleton athlete in Olympic history. He decided to become the hunter instead of the hunted and this self-determination allowed him to be the first African athlete to win an elite Skeleton race sanctioned by the USA Bobsled and Skeleton Federation. Akwasi realized a new Olympic dream and would soon become an even stronger, more dangerous competitor with his sights set on the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022. He also wanted to dream for the people of his continent.

In 2008, Akwasi chose a helmet with a lion holding a rabbit in its mouth. The image, he said, represented the story of his life: the rabbit running from the lion that threatened his survival and success. It became a design inspired from his past. However, in stark contrast, his new suit and helmet put him in the role of the hunter and no longer the prey. And rather than wrapped in his African heritage, it was a helmet designed with eyes firmly fixed on the future. His new suit is now inspired by Afrofuturist themes of modernity, technology and innovation. Spray painted on the front of his helmet, laser focused eyes look ahead, while on the back of his helmet is his own personal mission, “Hope of a Billion.” Through his actions, Akwasi Frimpong wants to inspire all Africans.

Akwasi became the first male African skeleton racer to compete at the Olympics in 2018 thanks to the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation‘s (IBSF) continental quota system. The system was dropped by the IOC for next month’s Beijing Olympics, dampening the hopes of any African athletes competing. Frimpong tested positive for Covid-19 on December 29, while preparing for his last three Olympic qualification races in Altenberg, Germany. This gave his qualification for the Olympic Games a crushing blow, despite being ranked only three places below the top 60 needed for qualification. Since then, Akwasi and his team have been campaigning with the IOC to allow Akwasi his chance to compete in Beijing, representing his nation of Ghana as the only African nation represented in the Skeleton. This request to the IOC was recently denied, sparking an outcry of public support for his plight.

To help him perform his best at upcoming competitions, Akwasi will be wearing On’s exclusive shoe designed specifically for professional bobsleigh and skeleton athletes.

Port via Wagstaff Media Marketing for use by 360 Magazine

New Port Cocktails

This February will be an exciting time for sports with the Beijing Winter Olympics being held from February 4-20, and the Super Bowl on February 13. Readers may be hosting watch parties, which tend to last for hours beyond the events themselves, so playing the long game when it comes to imbibing is a real pro-move. These low-ABV Port Cocktail ideas are all easy, convenient, and make great food pairings to the sports spreads we know and love.

Taylor Fladgate Chip Dry and Tonic Cans – (5.5% ABV; SRP $17.99 for a 4-pack of 250ml cans)

As a great low-ABV alternative to beer, this ready-to-drink Port cocktail is perfect right out of the can and delicious with Super Bowl favorites such as guac & chips, wings, and pizza.

Croft Pink and Tonic Cans – (5.5% ABV; SRP $17.99 for a 4-pack of 250ml cans)

Another low-ABV ready-to-drink cocktail, the newly launched Croft Pink and Tonic cans have bright citrus and red fruit flavors that are great with shrimp cocktail and the ketchup that goes along with pigs in a blanket.

Fonseca Bin 27 Porto Reserva  – (20% ABV, SRP $19.99)

Whether you’re parked on the couch watching Olympic ice hockey or ski jumping, the Bin 27 Martini is a ridiculously easy three-ingredient complement to brunch, nachos, and chili.

Combine two parts Bin 27, one part vodka, and a splash of cranberry juice into a mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a martini cocktail glass.

About Port Wine

Port Wine is wine only produced in the Douro region of Portugal. It’s a fortified wine, meaning it has spirits added to it, in this case, grape spirits. Port wine is thus heavier and sweeter than other wines and contains 19-20% alcohol compared to other wines, being 8-12% alcohol. 

ski scene by Gabrielle Marchan for use by 360 Magazine

Monster Energy Team × Snow Rodeo

Despite frosty temperatures, Monster Energy’s snow sports team delivered! The brand congratulated its team of freeski and snowboard athletes on a strong performance at the Snow Rodeo competition in Calgary, Canada. In the official World Cup event sanctioned by the International Ski Federation (FIS), athletes from across the globe competed for Olympic qualifier points in Freeski and snowboard disciplines from December 30, 2021, to January 1, 2022, at WinSport Canada Olympic Park.

In the competitive Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle final on Saturday, 17-year-old snowboard prodigy Kokomo Murase from Gifu, Japan put down a dominant performance to claim first place. This marks the first FIS World Cup victory in the slopestyle discipline for the Japanese Olympic prospect, who also received the traditional Snow Rodeo cowboy hat as a trophy.

Earlier in Thursday’s Women’s Freeski Halfpipe final, Monster Army rider Hanna Faulhaber stomped a perfect run to claim second place. Earning her first FIS World Cup podium spot, the 17-year-old from Carbondale, Colorado, posted the day’s highest aerials and scored qualifier points for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

This week’s Snow Rodeo presented by Swatch and Toyota marked the event’s second iteration as a ski and snowboard competition in Calgary. Featuring contests in halfpipe and slopestyle disciplines, the FIS World Cup event offered athletes the second chance of the 2021/22 season to qualify for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

Here’s how the action unfolded this weekend for Team Monster Energy:

Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle

On Saturday afternoon, the Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle discipline was contested as a special New Year’s Day event on the downhill obstacle course, designed by Stomping Grounds Projects snow park builders. The eight riders in the final hailed from Japan, Canada, Finland, Belgium, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

Just in time for the daytime event, the previously overcast skies opened, and temperatures climbed significantly after several days of polar vortex-induced chills. With several riders posting perfect runs, Monster Energy’s Murase upped the ante by landing a flawless routine on her first attempt.

In the technical rails section, Murase finessed a backside boardslide pretzel, Half Cab 50-50 frontside 360 out, followed by a gap lipslide 270 out on the Toyota rail feature. Heading into the jump section with speed, she landed a front-side 720 tail grab, backside 720 mute grab, and crippler melon grab on the final side-hit obstacle for a 77.58-point score and first place.

“[Snow Rodeo] was really tough because I was really nervous before the competition. But I’m so happy to win my first slopestyle World Cup today,” said Murase upon winning Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle in Calgary.

On the strength of Saturday’s victory, Murase now ranks at the top of FIS Snowboard Park & Pipe overall standings with 236 points. She also currently holds first place in the Slopestyle rankings that determine Olympic qualification and third place in the Big Air discipline.

Earlier this season, Murase claimed the win at the 2021 Big Air Festival Chur as well as third place in Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle at Dew Tour Copper 2021. Heading into the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, Murase is considered a podium threat in Big Air and Slopestyle disciplines with an impressive record to boot. At X Games Norway 2018, she became the youngest Winter X Games athlete ever to win a gold medal, at age 13. She also made history as the first girl to land a 1260 double cork aerial in competition.

Women’s Freeski Halfpipe

On Thursday night, the action in Calgary kicked off with the Women’s Ski Superpipe final amid biting cold on the Olympic Park superpipe. Eight of the world’s leading halfpipe skiers were looking to post the best score in three runs. Countries represented included China, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

In the highly competitive field, 17-year-old Monster Army rider Hanna Faulhaber from Carbondale, Colorado came in as a rookie. But despite her young age, the Olympic hopeful had already made her mark this season: Earlier in December, the young US Ski Team rider stole the spotlight with a breakout performance in a third-place finish at Dew Tour Copper.

Blasting aerials higher than the rest of the field, Faulhaber rose all the way to claiming her first career World Cup podium. On her first run in the nighttime final under the floodlights, she put down a perfect routine including a huge tail grab off the top, leftside and rightside flair safety grabs, cork 720 safety landed backside, switch rightside 360, and leftside 540 on the final hit for 92.80 points and second place.

“It’s a crazy one for sure. It’s great to be able to put down consistently and I’m just happy to keep it going. I don’t know really what to say, I’m just excited for how it’s going and it’s unbelievable–I never thought that I would be here,” said Faulhaber upon claiming her first FIS World Cup podium in Calgary.

Prior to competing in Calgary, the young U.S. Pro Halfpipe Ski Team rider placed third in the 2020 Youth Olympics and fourth in the 2021 Ski Halfpipe World Championships. She currently holds third place overall in the FIS Women’s Ski Halfpipe World Cup rankings with 125 points.

For more on Kokomo Murase, Hanna Faulhaber, and the Monster Energy snow sports team, click HERE. Follow Monster Energy on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok for exclusive behind-the-scenes looks from the 2022 snow sports season.

About Monster Energy

Based in Corona, California, Monster Energy is the leading marketer of energy drinks and alternative beverages. Refusing to acknowledge the traditional, Monster Energy supports the scene and sport. Whether motocross, off-road, NASCAR, MMA, BMX, surf, snowboard, ski, skateboard, or the rock and roll lifestyle, Monster Energy is a brand that believes in authenticity and the core of what its sports, athletes, and musicians represent. More than a drink, it’s the way of life lived by athletes, sports, bands, believers, and fans.

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.