Is This Thing On? Podcasting the Olympics

This week was special in a couple of ways for me, because 1) I ended my ninth year of teaching, and 2) I got to be a guest on an Olympic podcast!

You've heard of the podcast if you're a longtime follower of my blog. It's called Olympic Fever, and it started back in September and has a weekly format where the hosts, Alison Brown and Jill Jaracz, discuss Olympic topics. The best part of their podcast is their interviews with many people associated with the Olympics - from the journalism angle to actual athletes - including current gold medalists like Kikkan Randall!

I was on the show as a new contributor, introducing a new segment called the Olympic Fever Book Club. I introduced the first book in the series, which so happens to be the first book I discussed here a few weeks ago: The Boys in the Boat!

Over the summer listeners (and readers of this blog) are invited to read the book and discuss it on Olympic Fever's social media, which includes Twitter and Facebook. Jill, Alison, and I will drop by to throw in some discussion points. And finally, in the podcast for the first week of August, I'll return to the podcast to wrap it up!

We're hoping to keep this going over the years because there are a lot of amazing Olympic books that are out there and it's my job to pick out the best!

If you have any suggestions, feel free to leave a comment below or contact me!

To listen to the podcast, you can search Olympic Fever on most podcast feeds or listen on their website. I hope you are able to do so and hear one of my top podcasts to listen to each week!

Tokyo 2020 Prep

Culture shock is a big thing when someone goes to a new country for a long period of time, and I've experienced my fair share of it when I've traveled to Asia and Europe. I have wondered how I am going to acclimate to a lengthy Japan stay, when I realized something.

I love anime - I have watched a lot of it in my adult life. Even though they might not intend it, Japanese ideals and customs do bleed through. I noticed that especially in My Hero Academia (which is fantastic) because it's supposed to take place in modern day Japan. A lot of the customs in the high school and the normal routines of daily life are taken from Japanese customs and routines. I mean, they throw in a heroes and villains as well, but you get the idea.

This won't completely throw off the culture shock, but if I accept the real-life Japanese culture like I accept the anime culture, then that is just a small step to enjoying my stay even more!

Olympic Channel Video of the Week

Here's something new! I love the videos that the Olympic Channel posts onto YouTube, and I feel like I should share some of the great ones. Here is my pick for this week, about the Olympic logos for each games:

Mini Blurbs

I guess I don't have to call these "mini blurbs" if my blog is no longer called "Blurb Musings", but I think I'm going to keep it for the sake of tradition!

  • This week's BlurbWatch:
    • archery
    • track and field 
    • diving
    • gymnastics
    • badminton
    • rowing
  • I finally caught up on the US Diving Championships from Dallas that happened a few weeks ago! Well, I got to watch the men's 10m platform event, where there were only 5 guys and no David Boudia. There weren't any Olympians in the field, but all the attention was on David Dinsmore, who narrowly lost out on a chance to compete in Rio in 2016. 
  • I feel like my diving knowledge is very limited, but I understand that no splash = good dive. We'll just say that my knowledge in diving is just a bit better than my knowledge in aerials. 
  • It came down to Dinsmore vs. Brandon Loschiavo, and even then it was the final dive that guaranteed Dinsmore the win. 
  • I think I would like diving more if the rounds were categorized. First round is a front jump. Second round is a handstand. Third round is a running jump. What you do after that is up to you. Just throwing things out there. 
  • The Diamond League competed on Thursday in Rome this week, and because I was still teaching I totally flaked on picking my fantasy league! I did take careful notes for next Thursday's competition from Oslo, though. 
  • Rome actually starts the "European circuit" for Diamond League, which is fun because most of them are in Olympic stadiums!
  • Ronnie Baker is not helping NBC as he won the men's 100m sprint two weekends in a row, beating Christian Coleman both times. You could tell last weekend in Eugene that the commentators were thinking Coleman was the next big thing in US sprinting, but Baker is showing that it's going to be a healthy competition!
  • Sam Kendricks did a how-to video on the Diamond League YouTube page, which was fantastic. And then he went out and won the Diamond League pole vault competition!
  • I feel sorry for the flower presenters at these track events. They have to track down the winner of the competition and give them flowers while the athlete is full of adrenaline and has no desire to accept flowers! It's probably why they don't give out the medals immediately after competitions anymore. 
  • In the archery World Cup competition in Turkey, the Italian team actually had a Paralympian, Alberto Simonelli, competing in the competition! When it comes to regular competitions, I guess the sporting association has leaner rules than the IOC rules. Though I have seen Paralympians compete in the Olympics, so maybe he has a chance to do that in 2020!
  • The Americans do have a pretty strong archery team, led by Brady Ellison (silver and bronze medalist in previous Olympics). Keep an eye out for them! They took second in the World Cup event out of Turkey, being narrowly defeated in the final by the dominant South Korean squad. 
  • Some of the gymnasts I saw compete in the Challenge Cup out of Slovenia have a long way to go before being ready for an Olympic year. 
  • This competition did have a kiss-and-cry area for athletes, mirroring its sister sport, rhythmic gymnastics. 

Weekly Cauldron Check

Is the cauldron lit????


I'm Claire Nat and you're reading Light The CauldronFollow me on Twitter and Facebook @CauldronLight and read my past Olympic articles! You can start with my daily recap of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics HERE!


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