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Showing posts from 2019

Tokyo and its Heat Problem

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Let's be hypothetical here. You have your flights booked to Tokyo. You managed to find an AirBNB. You've even managed to get tickets for several Olympic events - some of which are high-profile events!

What is the next obstacle? Food? Not really. Transportation in the world? It has one of the most reliable mass transit systems in the world. Security? Remember: if someone says they have a high level of security, they usually compare it to the Olympics.

The biggest obstacle is the heat.

The average high temperature in August in Tokyo is 88 degrees Fahrenheit.

And it is accompanied by an average of 80% humidity.

Do you see what I'm getting at?

During the first week of August this year, 57 Japanese people died from the heat and over 18,000 were hospitalized from it. When the Olympics were last held in Tokyo, they were actually in October - technically, that doesn't count as summer for any part of the world! But it meant better temperatures for everyone. This time around, w…

Opening Ceremonies: How To Improve the Broadcast

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Today I'm going to start with the Olympic Channel Video of the Week, and it's for a good reason.

Last Thursday marked the 11th anniversary of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremony - a ceremony named by many professionals and fans as the greatest opening ceremony of all time.

To celebrate, the Olympic Channel YouTube page finally put the entire ceremony up. Watch it - all four hours! - below:

I took several sessions to watch the whole thing, and it was worth every minute. I didn't even fast-forward through the 204 countries and got to see government representatives stand and wave their flag in glee as their country marched into the stadium. I watched the energy level of most of the Chinese volunteers remain high through all two hours of athletes. And I got to hear how many times the Scottish bagpipes and Mexican mariachi music were played!

(I will admit: London 2012 had the best Opening Ceremony soundtrack of all time. I bought it on iTunes and still listen to it regul…

World Records

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Just the phrase, "World Record" sounds so epic and amazing. If anything or anyone can add the tag "World Record Holder" to their resume, it automatically boosts that resume.

In the past few weeks, several world records have fallen in Olympic sports. The World Championships of Swimming were held last week, and eleven world records were broken. Actually, two of the world records were for the same event; in the men's 200m breaststroke, Australia's Matthew Wilson broke the record, but in the final it was broken again by Russia's Anton Chupkov!

On the track, Dalilah Muhammad broke the 400m hurdles world record during the US National Championships. I got to watch it, and she was basically the only one in the viewing audience that knew she was going to give it a shot! (And looking at Ashley Spencer's reaction behind her makes it even better.) But it wasn't even the first track world record to be broken this month. The Netherlands' Sifan Hassan bro…

A Year to Go!

I'll be honest...it almost seems like the Olympics took place this past week.

Why?

The FINA Aquatic World Championships took place, which included diving, synchronized swimming, water polo, and swimming.

The USA Track and Field Championships took place.

There were major events nationally and internationally in gymnastics and archery.

Go south of the Equator, and the Pan American Championships got underway!

The heat of summer brings on the high points of Olympic sports.

Some people in the United States complain around this time of the year because football hasn't started and baseball hasn't reached playoff fever yet. But we Olympic fans know that this is the best time of the year!

Regardless, the actual Olympics are less than one year away, and everyone is starting to notice that fact.

CoSport is randomly dropping tickets whenever they feel like it, and thanks to a site tracker that was recommended to me by a few people, I secured a few more sports! The biggest highlight of…

This is Just the Beginning!

A few weeks ago I wrote an article about my final days of teaching, and what I hoped for the future. It was a hard article to write, and really made me put down on paper the things that I have been dreaming about and meditating on all year.

Right before I left for my month-long graduate school session, I got a call from my current congregational chairman. He said the congregation had voted and extended me a one-year call to serve as their staff minister!

It was a lot to take in, especially because I was also mentally preparing for a wealth of knowledge to get poured in my brain. But it also took a big weight off my shoulders. For five months I had been completely in the dark about my future after June. But now the future was simple: I was staying where I was and working with people with whom I was familiar!

Starting tomorrow, I begin my work. When I listed off some of my primary responsibilities to friends and family, they went, "Wow, that's a lot!" But to me, it is all …

Tokyo 2020 Lottery Results!

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The results are in!

On Monday and Tuesday thousands of people were overjoyed and millions of people were upset when the lottery results for Japan and the United States (and others) appeared. Some started immediately planning for Tokyo. Others started counting down to the next time they could attempt to purchase tickets. And others are getting ready to view rhythmic gymnastics...and that's it!

What about me? And what's next? Let's dive in!

Tokyo 2020 Prep

This day was a major milestone in my planning. Once this day came and went, I could begin to think seriously about getting to Japan, making lodging reservations, telling my new bosses about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and the need for some vacation time, and more.

The first reminder came from Ken Hanscom on Twitter:


Following this tweet, I checked my email:



The pressure was mounting. I logged onto my CoSport account. After the ticket request phase closed, they made sure we were all aware of it by sticking it right …

Olympic Day 2019: Channeling My Inner Merida

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So I am 2-for-2 on my Olympic Day choices!

Last year I spent Olympic Day kayaking on a river, and had a ball. (I still want to buy a kayak!)

This year? It was a little harder to pick something. What sport do I pick?

After some inner digging, I realized that the choice was staring me right in the face:

Brady Ellison just won the world championship.Out of all the YouTube Olympic channels worth following, archery was the most fun to watch.I love all the characters that use bow and arrows. (Especially Legolas.) So I chose archery!
The hardest part was finding a place that would accommodate my tight schedule. Many state parks offer archery classes, but at specific times of the week. There are sportsman's clubs that have both archery and gun ranges. But as much as I looked, I couldn't find anything that worked.
Finally, I found a Yelp review from a girl who went with her husband to a place called Michiana Archery for a small lesson and had a blast. Turns out that shop wasn't too …

World Cups and the Olympic Link

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The FIFA Women's World Cup and the Olympic Games have a very close relationship. Because of the sport's popularity in the world and the close proximity that the two have on the calendar, they are linked to each other.

Even though football is very popular, the women's events in both the World Cup and the Olympics are pretty young. The official Women's World Cup didn't begin until 1991 while women's football didn't get a place in the Olympics until Atlanta 1996. Since then, the popularity of women's football has increase, though unfortunately it will likely never reach the prominence of the men's sport.

There are differences; while the World Cup offers a place for 24 nations, the Olympics can only have room for twelve due to the time constraints. The World Cup qualification is a three year ordeal, while the Olympics get their nations from confederations cups, except for Europe! They actually will get their qualifications for the Olympics if they plac…

Why Do You Run?

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Wednesday was Global Running Day.

Not "National" Running Day. Global Running Day! The world celebrates running!

To celebrate, the social media for USA Track and Field tweeted this out:


It made me consider why people run. For Olympians and Olympian-caliber athletes, they run because they want to compete at a high level and win. That's easy. But why do others run? Those that aren't capable of running fast times are running for some reason, right?

Let's even broaden the question even further to include more people: Why do we exercise?

In our history, there was never a copious need to run because people in the world were too busy trying to survive! They grew crops, worked in factories, and ran businesses while eating whatever they could afford. If they didn't make money, they didn't eat. If the crops didn't grow, they didn't eat. Treats and snacks were few and far between, because the need was just to get something in the stomach.

Nowadays, much of th…

Is This It?

It has now been ten years since I first received my call as elementary school teacher. Back then, it
seemed like I had my whole career ahead of me. I knew exactly how it would go:

Teach in a school while doing a little bit of music stuff,
Teach in a school and do a bunch of music in the church and school, Be the music person in a church and school full-time, Compose a bunch of stuff while being the music person in a church or school, Be published in a hymnal that will be sung by thousands of people for years to come, and Conduct a really, really good choir at the WELS Worship Conference before retiring. Spend the rest of my years RV-ing around the country.

But God has other plans. I mean, God knows everything, so he knew my plans were futile. As a matter
of fact, he probably laughed at my plans when I would think about them!

God knows best.

And after ten years of thinking I was on the right track, I realized I wasn’t.

So how can that be? Didn’t I get a divine call?

Well, if you’re unfamiliar wit…