Apolo jams, and watch Alyson Dudek and Katherine Reutter ‘rock it’! See who else you can spot!
Sizzling competition! Hunky athletes! Trash talking! And sex! With Olympics fever spreading, who better than superstar figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi – who brought home the gold in 1992 – to give a behind-the-scenes peek at the drama, fun and excitement that will unfold during the Winter Games next month?
Here’s the skinny from Yamaguchi, exclusively for readers of USA WEEKEND Magazine:
Rivalry to watch
“Apolo Anton Ohno facing off against Lee Jung-Su and Sung Si-Bak of South Korea, and Charles Hamelin of Canada. Apolo is the United States’ darling of short-track skating. People love to watch him be?cause he’s a rebel on the ice, with his long hair and goatee and his fierce will to win. These competitors are the best he’ll face. Jung-Su is strongest in the 1,500-meter race, and Charles and Si-Bak are very fast in the 500-meter sprint. Apolo should skate in those two events, as well as the 1,000 meters and the relay. Short-track speed skating itself is so fun to watch because it’s tight and physical, and there’s lots of strategy in passing. It’s like watching NASCAR at a short track like Bristol.”
Sport you have to see live to appreciate
“Long-track speed skating. You really don’t realize how fast they go until you’re there. The speed and the endurance is amazing. When you’re in the stands, you can see the race develop over the entire oval course. Then, the crowd excitement builds and builds, and the whole thing gets very electrifying.”
Click the photo above to read the entire article. Page two was great. 😀
Whew!…and now, I think I FINALLY got through all those google alerts.
Greg Lamm -Staff Writer, Puget Sound Business Journal
He’s already won Olympic gold and sponsorship deals with Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble and other national brands. And even though he performs in a winter sport that skates into and out of the public eye every four years, speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno is a nationally known celebrity.
He sealed that deal in 2007, when he won the crown on ABC’s popular reality show “Dancing with the Stars.”
But as Ohno prepares for another Winter Olympics and another world close-up, is he poised to break into the upper echelon of athletes when it comes to landing mega-million-dollar endorsement deals?
“Will he hit the next level like a Michael Phelps or a Lance Armstrong? I think it really would take something extraordinary to take him to the next level,” said Doug Shabelman, president of Burns Entertainment and Sports Marketing near Chicago.
Shabelman said that Ohno has made smart endorsement decisions, aligning himself with strong national brands. The skating star is youthful, handsome and has a compelling personal story of having been raised by a single dad. And his image has not been tainted by scandal.
But even if Ohno has another break-out Olympics, it could be tough for him to raise his profile. Even though short-track speedskating attracts a youthful crowd, it is a relatively obscure, seasonal sport compared to NBA basketball or the NFL, Shabelman said.
And with an army of more famous athletes, as well as reality TV stars, Hollywood celebrities and musicians all doing ad spots these days, that doesn’t leave much room for more people at or near the top, Shabelman said.
Ohno’s relationship with sponsor Alaska Airlines is part of a Puget Sound Business Journal article (subscription required until 30 days from publication) exploring why so few Washington companies have marketing campaigns tied to the Vancouver, British Columbia, area games Feb. 12-28.
To read the rest of the article, click the photo above
By Dan Chalk
Published: Friday, January 29, 2010 1:19 PM EST
When it comes to the Olympics, Ryan Bedford is thinking beyond just 2010.
Bedford said at Thursday evening’s public celebration in his honor at the Midland Civic Arena, that after racing in next month’s Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, he’ll have his sights set on Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Winter Games.
“Hopefully, you’ll see me in 2014,” he told a crowd of a couple hundred spectators after skating with Midland Speed Skating Club members and taking questions from the crowd during an event sponsored by the MSSC and Dow Corning, Bedford’s major sponsor.
Bedford, who flew into town from Salt Lake City, Utah, earlier in the day, capped the night by signing autographs and posing for pictures with well-wishers for nearly an hour in the arena lobby.
“It’s great to be back in Midland. This community is wonderful. There’s so much support,” said Bedford, 23, who began skating with the MSSC at the age of five.
Bedford won the 10,000-meter (10-kilometer) race at the U.S. Speedskating Championships in Salt Lake City on Dec. 30, to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.
Bedford and two-time Olympic medalist Shani Davis will compete for the U.S. in the 10,000 at the Olympics on Tuesday, Feb. 23. The event is scheduled to be shown live on NBC at 3 p.m. that day. The 10,000 has only 16 skaters total and only one heat.
“It’s been quite a whirlwind,” Bedford said of making the Olympics. He will fly to Vancouver next Tuesday and will stay in the Olympic Village there while preparing for his event. “It’ll hit me at the opening ceremonies (that I’m really in the Olympics).”
The Winter Olympics run from Feb. 12-28.
Fans began to arrive at the Midland Civic Arena around five o’clock, and eagerly picked up free T-shirts reading “Midland Speedskating Delivers Ryan Bedford” in the lobby. More than 300 of the shirts were given out during the evening.
Six large sheet cakes reading “Good Luck Ryan!” were also provided free to fans.
From 6:30 to 7 p.m., Bedford, wearing a helmet with a Detroit Tigers-style “D” on it, skated on his short-track skates with a group of about 25 young skaters from the MSSC, some of whom were the same age as Bedford was when he started skating.
Bedford’s advice for young skaters was to enjoy themselves.
“I just want you to have fun,” he said, addressing the youngest skaters. “Don’t think you have to be the best. Don’t take it too seriously.”
“Hopefully, the kids see in me what they want to be,” Bedford said later after signing autographs.
Jessica Miller, 12, an MSSC skater from Hemlock, stood in line to get Bedford’s autograph.
“It was exciting,” she said of meeting him. “It inspires me a lot. I want to be like him when I grow up.”…
…Fans can send notes to Bedford and Jayner at United States Olympic Committee, Olympic Village Vancouver, 2010 Athlete’s Way, Vancouver, BC Canada V5Y0A8.
To read the entire article, go here:
Midland Daily News
Word is out to watch the Colbert Report on Monday night.
Stephen Colbert will be doing an “interview” with Nicole the USS Sport Psychologist and skater Jessica Smith. Colbert is going to “learn” how to be the assistant team psychologist. Word around the rink is that Nicole is a very good sport herself.
Fun video with Jordan’s sponsor F’real.
F’Real Foods is proud to present its new sponsorship of 2010 U.S Olympic Speed Skater Jordan Malone. He will be taking our F’Real community through his journey as an athlete to the Olympic Winter Games.
Lots of fun stuff on this page, starting with the Top Ten Tweets of the week. Three of our boys made it into the archives of amusement, Simon Cho, Jordan Malone, and Apolo Anton Ohno.
I have to say though, my personal favorite and winner for tweet of the week was Johnny Weir’s:
“When “Friends of Animals’ starts sending my costume designer hate faxes, it’s gone too far”
For a slideshow of what the athletes are twittering, go here:
Top 10 Tweets of the Week
OR – join twitter, and follow your favorite athletes. (Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go add Johnny Weir to my list…that one really made me laugh! ) 😀
ALSO on the NBC’s Olympic Zone page:
Athletes go inside the Pages
Katherine Reutter, Rachel Flatt, Jeremy Abbott and Hannah Kearny talk about their favorite reads. See the video here (and if you’re lucky, you’ll be treated to a pre-commercial with Apolo…but not always):
(and be forwarned, allowing the video to play to the end locked my browser and computer up solid several times. If you’re prone to these issues, you might want to close the window before the video stops playing. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need more coffee after that post…well, actually, I could use something stronger! LOL)