Archive for November, 2011

Drugs in Sports: Michael Phelps

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Michael Phelps’ athleticism awed the world in the 2008 Olympics.  The newspapers couldn’t  print enough headlines about him to serve the public.  All of the US watch with pride as he won medal after medal as well as putting up times the world had never seen. Finally he set the new world record for most gold medals ever won by an athlete in a single Olympics.  America couldn’t have been prouder.  Young athletes aspired to be like him, following his blog, facebook, and myspace; also, studying his training and nutritional habits with keen interest.  He was dubbed “The Golden Boy”, but it seems his glory wasn’t meant to last.

Only five months after the 2008 Olympics a British tabloid aired a picture of Phelps smoking marijuana out of a bong.  The Richland County Sheriff’s Department did not press charges for lack of evidence, but Phelps owned his actions, stating that his actions were regrettable.  The damage had been done.  This started a media witch hunt against Phelps.  This dug up a previous incident from 2004 where Phelps had been arrested for driving under the influence in Salisbury, Maryland, and people began questioning whether he used performance enhancing drugs.  Phelps was cleared of the steroid suspicions. To this day he actively undergoes drug testing to prove to everyone that he has learned his lesson, and he is an activist in organisations that strive to promote drug-free and healthy athletic lifestyles, but to this day people still bring up the bong incident.  Can the world forgive this fallen hero?  Can he still be looked up to as a role model?  Is failure, even momentary failure, allowed in such a position?

Division III Equality

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

It’s the time of year for the Conference tournament and the the NCAA tournament to start again for all fall sports. For Women’s soccer, we were seeded fifth. There me multiple scenarios that could have played out that would put us into fifth place, one of those scenarios included a coin flip to determine whether or not Mary Wash or St. Mary’s would be the number five seed going into the CAC tournament.

I understand the need for equality across the board in sports, however a coin flip to determine Conference rankings undermines the desire to have equality. The difference between fifth and sixth place in the Conference is actually a big deal because of how it plays out into later rounds of the tournament.

There is definitely a difference between high school and college sports physically and competitively, but the rules in sports do not change. Seedings in the event of a tie should be determined by goal differential not a coin flip.

Equality is a constant fight to be achieved that will never end, but don’t sacrifice the game and competitiveness.

Walker and Ballet

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

            Herschel Walker, Running back for Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants. I don’t know everything about football, I don’t watch the NFL every Sunday but it doesn’t take a real football fan to hear about Herschel Walker. Played for Georgia and received the 1982 Heisman Trophy, played pro football from 1986 – 1997, “He finished his professional career with a total of 8,225 yards and 61 rushing touchdowns. He also caught 512 passes for 4,859 yards and 21 scores” No one doubts he was one of the greats, what some people don’t believe is he was not only a football player but during his off season training Herschel was a ballerina. He participated in ballet because for one thing it really works your body. Most people (this is not just aimed at guys) don’t have the guts to step into a ballet class. Truth is ballet is great for athletes, it forces you to use muscles that most athletes never use; also for those athletes who are little clumsy on their feet this is one workout that will ‘keep you on your toes.’ Herschel discovered the positive results ballet can have on an athlete. He once said, “I started ballet in my early 20s. I studied for about ten years. Ballet is probably the one of the hardest things I’ve done, almost like MMA. People don’t give it a lot of credit and think it’s easy but it’s very difficult. For an athlete, you use muscles you really don’t use and ballet is something I really respect.” (Wong) True athletes like Herschel Walker accept people’s jokes about a big star athlete participating in ballet; however, no one can really question the fact that ballet is a great exercise and way to condition your body because guys like Herschel Walker are willing to improve their game, no matter what the cost.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkJqS3R1KA4

“Examiner.” Photograph. MMA fighter Herschel Walker talks about his diet, ballet, and the NFL playoffs. Derek Wong. Unknown,: Examiner, 2011. Web. 1 Nov 2011. <http://www.examiner.com/mma-in-san-francisco/mma-fighter-herschel-walker-talks-about-his-diet-ballet-and-the-nfl-playoffs>.