Posts tagged with "Olympics"

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.

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.