Showing posts from February, 2020

Spotlight: Handball

I really enjoyed presenting my Olympics plans to my students this week! I would have been happy to show you pictures of the fun...but no one took them. Ah, well. In the presentation, I showed students the events I was going to see. Many of them piqued their interest, but a couple of them resulted in confused looks. One was 3x3 basketball, which they didn't realize even existed as a real sport. And the second was handball! This was the picture I showed in my presentation: It doesn't show very much, but this is a sport I definitely know the kids were not familiar with! What's the point? How many players? What does the court look like? What is he throwing the ball at? The Rules Basically, handball is a mix of soccer (football) and basketball. The court is larger than a basketball court, but has the same layout with a center line and arcs on either side. However, the goals are similar to soccer goals, but smaller. Like hockey, players can come on and off the cour

Find Your Olympians!

I sit, once again, watching the US Track and Field Indoor Championships, wishing I could be there to cheer them on. It seems to me like all the competitions I'd like to attend are either 1) too far away, 2) too expensive, or 3) sold out. It is a big bummer. Last year, I was lucky enough to go to two national championships in Michigan. This year, I don't seem to be as lucky finding competitions near me. So when competitions escape me, I need to find the competitions! This weekend, two top-tier men's collegiate gymnastics teams competed in Ann Arbor, and I was fortunate enough to be in the area. While it's not a major event in Olympic sports, this is the next best thing. The event was free, which meant that both my parents also came along with me. Sometimes the gymnastics competitions are in the Crisler Center, but since the men's basketball team has a game tomorrow, they used their primary facility that has far fewer seats - Cliff Keen Arena. The Un

The Tokyo Ticket Addiction: A Tokyo Prep February Update

I have a problem, guys. CoSport keeps dropping tickets, and I keep browsing. And then...I buy...? Let's face it: attending an Olympics is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I know  that LA2028 is eight years away, but who knows where I'm going to be in my life? Maybe I'll be married with children! (Ha. I just made myself laugh. Moving on.) Regardless of what the future has for me in 2028 (and no, going to Beijing, Paris, or Milan/Cortina is not happening), I have plane tickets booked for three weeks in Japan, and I'm going to take advantage of it. One year ago, I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to buy any tickets. Now, I have no worries! Well, maybe one: that I spend too much money. This past Thursday CoSport did another big drop of tickets, and I make it a routine to get into the queue. It's a randomized lineup, so I ended up 1000 people behind. That's a nice thing because it basically told me I wouldn't get the Big Ticket Events.

A History of Lighting the Cauldron: Part 2

Helsinki. Melbourne. Rome. These are the three Olympics we'll be covering today in our monthly "Light the Cauldron" series. Helsinki 1952: The Cauldron Gets Some Style While the cauldron in 1948 was pretty similar to Berlin's cauldron of twelve years earlier, Helsinki 1952 brought class to the cauldron that was at field level. There was a bowl on five thin legs that was lit by Paavo Nurmi. Nurmi won numerous gold medals in the 1920s in distance running for Finland and lit the lower cauldron. Then he passed it on to four Finnish soccer players that relayed it to the top of the Helsinki stadium, where the larger cauldron was lit by Hannes Kolehmainen, another multi-gold-medalist. This was the first Olympics where the flame was carried via airplane and horseback. To avoid taking the flame through the Soviet Union (which was still not a prominent Olympic force for another few years), it was flown to Copenhagen and then actually moved north to the Arctic Circle