The Sports Archives – The Sport known as “Ultimate”

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The modern Frisbee has been around to facilitate athletic activity for several decades. Its popularity base used to be centered in America, but it has since been moving forward and expanding.

Ultimate, or, as it is more commonly known, ultimate frisbee, is a competitive sporting activity whose gameplay revolves around (as one can imagine) the flying disc! The sport is also widely-played on a recreational “catch” level with omitted/alternative rules. In competitive ultimate, a group of players work together to pass the floating disk down a field of play and towards a scoring “end zone”, hoping to accumulate points. This occurs while an opposing team runs defense and interception of the disk, usually while it is in flight. A variety of rules, regulations, and mechanics exist as a part of the modern rendition of this sport to create challenging, balanced, and exquisite gameplay. The sport itself has roots dating back only about as far as the mid-late 20th Century, originating in the modern United States.

History of the “Frisbee” and the Ancestral “Discus”

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Frisbees have gone through many different renditions and revisions over the past century to refine, stylize and modernize aerodynamic design. Modern Frisbees have a more clean-cut, stylish look to them compared to earlier models.

The modern Frisbee game was created as a part of the “American counterculture” phenomenon of the 1960s, but the disc from which the name is derived came about in a slightly more extensive way. In 1938, a man named Fred Morrison unearthed a business opportunity while tossing a cake pan along a beach with his future wife Lucile. To Morrison’s surprise, a dormant market for flying saucers was apparently waiting to be awoken, and over the next several years, he was able to build a business out of his discovery. World War II threw a momentary wrench into Morrison’s plans, within a few decades, the idea had taken off. Morrison sold the rights to his “Wham-O” flying disc in 1957 and it was appropriated by Richard Knerr who added the brand name “Frisbee” to improve sales.

In design and usage, the modern Frisbee resembles the ancient “discus” in multiple ways. The discus was invented in B.C. times and used in an ancient Olympic event known as the “discus throw.” The modern version of this activity is categorized as a track-and-field event, and involves athletes hurling heavy or weighted discs a great distance. Obviously, Ultimate varies from this sport significantly, but a connection could be made between the disk-like equipment designs that is used extensively in both.

Rules of the Classic Sport

The rules for modern Ultimate can vary, but here are common rules that govern most instances of competitive play:

  • When a team member catches the (thrown) disc in the opponent’s end zone, that team scores a point.
  • Running with the disc held is disallowed – it may be moved only by passing. This rule against “travelling” is also common in most basketball.
  • The rule on interception as seen in American football is also common in Ultimate, and possession is immediately turned over. This also stretches over catches that are made out of bounds, or if the Frisbee is knocked out of the air.
  • Ultimate is a non-contact sport, and defenders must make clean interceptions on throws in order to get possession. They are also not allowed to forcibly take the disc if it has been caught by a player.
  • Perhaps most unique in this sport, Ultimate is “self-refereed”, thus relying on the honesty of the players to call their own infractions, and to try to play within the rules of the game at all time. This has been a common theme of Ultimate even after so many years of play, and it will likely continue to be a key component of the game.
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For more information on ultimate as a sporting phenomenon, check out http://www.whatisultimate.com/ for details.

It is conceivable that some sports savants would believe that the game’s competitive nature is diminished by the lack of nonpartisan, officiated referees, and that the expectation on other players to call their own fouls is inherently devaluing. On the contrary, it is mechanics like this in sporting activities like Ultimate that keep classic sportsmanship and integrity alive in the modern world.

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The Sports Archives – 2016 Rio Olympics Part 4: Katinka Hosszú

The rigorous involvement of women in the Olympics is officially sourced in the 1900s. The Paris Summer Olympics of 1900 saw the incorporation of women’s events in tennis and golf, and over the next century, more sports began to include variations for professional female athletes. By 2012, all sports (current and future-hopefuls) are mandated to feature events for both men and women. The (albeit gradual) integration of the Olympics over the years has played an important role in showcasing women’s talents and capabilities across athletic fields, elevating key Olympic champions like Katinka Hosszú.

Brief Biographical History

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The relationship between Katinka and her husband/coach, Shane Tusup, is one-of-a-kind. Over the past few years, the two have been a constant source of support for each other.

            Born in Pécs, Hungary to Barbara Bakos and István Hosszú, Katinka picked up swimming as a young girl demonstrating, like many of today’s Olympic competitors, a natural affinity for athletic movement and fitness. Her early talents in aquatics received coaching 201620120from László Bakos (her grandfather) until she turned 13. In the years following her graduation from high school, Hosszú attended (and competed on behalf of) the University of Southern California in the U.S. It was here that she met Shane Tusup, her future husband and swim coach, during their freshman years.

In addition to her professional swimming career, Hosszú has also been pursuing her desire to open her own swim club with her husband. The club is set to open in Hungary under the title ‘Iron Aquatics’ this month.           

            Previous Olympic Involvement

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Dynamic, elegant, powerful, limber — all words that can describe Hosszú’s movement through Olympic waters!

            Hosszú made an appearance in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, attracting attention with a resilient performance and energetic flair. Unfortunately, her performance in the 400-meter individual medley and the 200-meter individual medley landed her in 4th and 8th place, thus preventing her from procuring medals. She also missed the 200-meter butterfly final competition. This, of course, would not dissuade her in the path to glory. With a standard set, the only path left for Hosszú was upwards. Over the next several years, she continued to hone her swimming capabilities in World championship and World cup series, breaking several records and claiming other kinds of medals in the process.

            2016 Summer Olympics Overview

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Hosszú’s performance at Rio this past year is commendable, to say the least. For more information about Iron Aquatics, visit the group’s website at ironaquatics.hu !

Hosszú’s ultimate opportunity at redemption in the Olympics finally arrived in 2016, and her performance in Rio dramatically improved as the result of her vigorous training, exceptional strength, and helpful collaboration with her husband and resident coach, Tusup. At the conclusion of the Olympics, Hosszú brought home 3 gold medals for the 100-meter backstroke, as well as the 400-meter and 200-meter individual medley. She also claimed a silver medal in the 200-meter backstroke with a time of 2:06:05! With a grand total of 4 medals for her performance in Rio, Hosszú claimed more medals in individual events than any other swimmer in the 2016 Olympics.

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The Sports Archives – The True Story of the Jamaican Bobsled Team

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A Beautiful Tale by Disney

Now of course we all love Disney movies and quite honestly the movie about the Jamaican bobsled team is a beautiful tale to say the least, but in truth, the movie was what we might call embellished a bit. The events that actually took place were very much different from the movie, and in fact, perhaps wasn’t the compelling story movie goers watched on the silver screen in 1993.

The Players

In the movie Cool Runnings, it was portrayed that the team were just some humble, happy-go-lucky chaps that were hanging out and someone asked them to do their country a service and form an Olympic bobsled team.

Nope.

For that matter, they weren’t even track stars as the movie portrayed. They were members of the Jamaican army, who as it were, were under orders.

The movie portrayed John Candy as the lone person who cheered the team on and encouraged them to form a team, when in fact there were two gentlemen, George Finch and William Maloney. The two were fans of another activity, push cart racing. They thought it would carry over well into bobsledding and got the bright idea for the Jamaicans to form a team for the Winter Olympics.

They attempted to enlist track athletes, however, no one wanted to be a part of it. This is when they turned to the Jamaican army, and the recruiting began.

Training

Training was done in Lake Placid, NY, and the newly formed team was coached by one individual from the US and another from Austria. The two coaches taught the soldiers how to bobsled.

As one of the real team members puts it, he saw bobsledding once in 1987, and in 1988, he was competing in the Olympics.

Outcasts?

In the movie, the team was depicted as being outcasts, shunned by the other bobsled teams and, for the most part, being looked at as a downright joke.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

The team was actually warmly received by the Olympic community. In fact, the team was extremely popular at the Olympics. So popular, the team was afraid to leave Olympic Village out of fear that they would be mobbed by the legions of fans.

Competing

In light of these factual differences, competing was still not easy. The bobsled team was using borrowed equipment, which subsequently did fall apart on the first day of running. The team also suffered from the injury of a team member.

When the team was trapped under the sled, they did not lift it over their heads triumphantly, carrying it to the finish line as seen in the movie. They pushed the bobsled to the end of the track, then lifted it to carry it away.

While the facts and the movie were not the same, most of us come to expect liberties to be taken by the movie studios in order to create a more compelling story. This is especially true when it comes to inspirational stories.

So while it’s true that the movie portraying the story of the Jamaican bobsled team is short on facts, the bottom line is that the team did persevere. They were under a lot of scrutiny, and they did face adversity.

Not only did they accomplish a great feat by going to the winter Olympics to compete in a sport that they don’t normally participate in their native land, but they are continuing to compete in the sport. And that, is a true life inspiration.

 

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The Sports Archives – Still Fishing In A Boat? 5 Reasons Why You Need To Start Taking Up Kayak Fishing

It’s no secret that millions of us enjoy fishing in our spare time. Yes, we get the chance to catch some fresh fish on our travels. But, it’s also a brilliant way to escape from the monotony of life. Plus, fishing is a neat way to spend some time outdoors with a group of friends!

Many of us tend to go out on a boat when we wish to do a spot of fishing. You might not think it, but going out in a kayak is miles better! Let me share with you five reasons why that is the case:

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Image Source

  1. It’s cheaper than going out on a boat

The sad truth about fishing is that going out on a boat is out of many people’s budgets. You have to pay for the hire of the boat (or the cost of buying it) for a start. Next, you must cover other expenses like fuel, insurance, launch fees and so forth. As you can imagine, going out on a kayak means you don’t have to pay for any of those costs!

  1. It’s easier to choose the right kayak than it is a boat

The trouble with the boating world is that opinions and advice are often conflicting. That makes it challenging for anyone to find a suitable boat for their fishing needs. In comparison, choosing a kayak is a far simpler affair.

There is a dedicated community of kayakers out there. Most of them actually agree on the types of kayaks that suit specific needs! So, let’s say you looked at a Perception Tribe 9.5 vs 11.5 comparison, for example. There will be a clear distinction between the two. If they were boats, you’d still feel puzzled by which one is better for you!

  1. You get better casting angles

With a boat, you only have a limited range of angles to cast your lines. An advantage of using a kayak is you can get right to the business end of things! There are almost limitless casting angles available to you when you head out on a kayak.

I recommend fishing from a kayak just once, and you will see how better your catch rate will become!

  1. There is increased accessibility in a kayak

Yes, boats come in a range of shapes and sizes. But, even the most hardiest of models cannot navigate all areas such as marshland. Kayaks give you the edge in such situations. Plus, the bonus is you’ll seldom see many boats (if any), giving you access to more fish!

  1. You get to make new friends if you’re a kayaker

Last, but not least, there is the social aspect of kayak fishing. As I mentioned earlier, there is a strong community following with those that kayak. You will be more approachable by your fellow fishermen and even boaters too!

One benefit of socializing in kayak fishing circles is that you get free tips and advice. Such as the best places to take your kayak to for catching a lot of fish!

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The Sports Archives – Builder Catches Huge Blue Shark, Caught Off UK Coast

Deep Sea Fishing

First Time Shark Fisher Lands Huge Catch

Be inspired by the man who caught a monster shark in UK waters, and find some tips to get you started.

In all honesty, I think everyone would be stunned to net a large fish on their first fishing trip, but to fish for sharks for the very first time, and land a huge catch, that’s something else. This is exactly what happened to 49-year-old Danny Fitch as he broke records on his first shark fishing trip.

The catch was landed off the coast of Wales, around 20 miles out, and when he eventually hauled it on to his charter boat, Danny discovered he had broken records. His catch was a 242lb blue shark, which measured a mighty 9ft 2ins long. This catch turned out to be the largest of its species ever caught in Welsh waters, and an impressive 2nd biggest ever caught in the whole of the UK.

Sharks may be appearing closer to beaches because there are huge numbers of Mackerel in UK waters, but while there may be more of them, they make you work for the catch. It took this new shark angler 45 minutes to get the shark into the boat to be measured. Patience is certainly a virtue when it comes to fishing of any kind, but what could you achieve with the right equipment? Whether you buy from online fishing tackle shops or physical stores, starting off with the right tools of the trade, and some handy tips, could have you on your way to finding your own big catch.

Angling Tips

With the right equipment, some know-how, and research into the best locations, anyone can have a chance at landing a big catch, and there’s a lot of choice out there for you to land. One of the most important things to check out are the general rules and regulations that apply to things like where you can fish and when, the equipment you can use and any restrictions, along with rules around fish sizes, and any catch limits that apply. It’s also worth checking out local by-laws, and of course the conditions that apply to the place where you want to fish.

The government has produced an easily accessible guide to freshwater fishing, which is available online, and covers information like:

  • You are able to fish for eels, brown trout, rainbow trout, and coarse fish all year round, on the vast majority of enclosed canals and still waters (reservoirs, lakes, and ponds).
  • Close seasons are when you’re not allowed to fish on certain types of water, for certain types of fish. Keeping stocks healthy and growing is an important part of the process.
  • There are daily limits that you must follow, which affect the number of fish you can take. For example – If you are fishing a river, you can only take 2 30-38cm Grayling and/or 15 small fish, which includes silver bream, perch, and common carp of up to 20cm.
  • Crayfish are not allowed as bait in England and Wales.

There’s also a whole host of communities, forums, and angling magazines which are a go-to for latest industry news, memorable fishing stories, and tips focussing on the behaviour of different species of fish, something which could help you land a big catch! One piece that caught the eye, was a blog on Anglers Mail about Pike fishing. It included tips such as:

  • River Pike don’t waste energy, so they may not be up for the chase if there’s only a small meal on offer. They are renowned for taking large baits.
  • Drop offs in river habitats provide an ideal place for Pike to avoid strong currents, while still being in the main river, laying on the bottom of ledges waiting for their prey.

There’s always something new to learn about fishing, but as a hobby it’s one all ages can enjoy, so why not find some like-minded friends or family and investigate what fishing opportunities are available in your area.

Featured images:
  •  License: Image author owned

Frank Willis is a keen angler who dreams of the big catch. When he is not sitting by one of the Maldon Angling Society river banks he is heading out to sea with fishing pals, hoping to catch something big!

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The Sports Archives – 2016 Rio Olympics Part 3: Usain Bolt

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His long stride is renowned in any event, and while scientifically, his height should give him no advantage in the manner of speed or aerodynamics, he always seems to claim effortless victory!

The title “fastest man alive” is commonly issued as a substitutive nickname for The Flash, DC comics’ renowned superhero character. However, the title is also utilized as an alternative description of Usain Bolt, accredited Olympic athlete and professional sprinter! Bolt has been competing athletically for many years and has earned a reputation for his exceptional footspeed and stamina. In 2016, he competed internationally in the Summer Olympics alongside thousands of other athletes, and, by the competition’s conclusion, he had accumulated not only multiple medals accentuating his performance, but also heightened awareness and popularity among Olympic fans and spectators!

Brief Biographical History

Usain Bolt was born in Jamaica on August 21st, 1986, to Wellesley and Jennifer Bolt. His passion for athletics was fostered at a young age in the streets of his hometown where he, along with his brother and sister, grew up immersed in a variety of sporting activities. Bolt’s true talent for speed was recognized in the early years of his life. By the time he had reached his teenage years, Usain Bolt was attracting attention in various regional competitions and championships. In high school, he was encouraged to seriously pursue track and field as his athletic specialty to help him hone his agility and endurance.

He achieved a wholesome height of 6 feet and 5 inches at the age of 15, allowing him to separate himself distinctively from his other competitors. Bolt’s opportunity to prove himself to the entire world came in the form of the 2002 World Junior Championships. At this competition, he won the 200 meter dash, making him the youngest world-junior gold medalist in history. His time for this event was 20.61 seconds, which sets his average speed at ~9.7 meters per second, or 21.7 miles per hour. Talk about fast!

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With as perfect a nickname as “Lightning-Bolt”, Usain Bolt was undoubtedly born to be fast!

Previous Olympic Involvement

In 2004, Usain Bolt officially launched his professional athletic career. Among his beginning conquests in this year were the CARIFTA Games and the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Unfortunately, Bolt would not make a strong statistical impression in this, his first Olympics, due to a leg injury. While he still performed briefly in Athens, he was eliminated early and unable to cover any ground in the competition. 2005 brought a fresh perspective to Bolt’s athletics, but repetitive leg injuries continued to hamper his abilities in multiple competitions.

The 2008 Olympics could alternatively be referenced as “the year Bolt struck back.” With several world records under his belt and a history of consistently remarkable performance, was more than prepared to take Beijing by storm. He even had the support of Michael Johnson (200 and 400 meter record holder). Bolt qualified for the 100 meter with times of 9.92 and 9.85 seconds, and went on to win the 100 meter final with an even greater time of 9.69 seconds. Bolt’s performance here earned him another broken world record, though by now, no one should have been surprised at this athlete’s incredible talent and skill.

Following an astounding performance at Beijing in 2008, complete with 3 gold medals, Bolt continued to compete in multiple world championships and Olympic Games over the next several years. London’s 2012 Olympics saw this exceptional sprinter 3 more gold medals, as well as broken personal and professional records in multiple categories. The fastest time on a 100 meter dash is still held by Bolt today, clocking in at about 9.58 seconds. Indeed, very few people would discount Bolt as the fastest human runner on the planet.

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A “triple-triple” athletic master, Bolt has earned every single gold medal of the 9 that he now possesses.

2016 Summer Olympics Overview

Rio’s 2016 Summer Olympics were particularly critical in Bolt’s athletic career. As expected, his performance was admirable and inspirational, and he claimed the last 3 gold medals of his professional Olympic career for the Men’s 100 meter, 200 meter, and 4×100 meter relay. With 9 gold medals across 3 separate Olympic Games and a 100% 1st place finish record, Usain’s 12-year reign of Olympic track and field is truly something to behold.

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The Sports Archives – 2016 Rio Olympics Part 2: Michael Phelps

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With a gold medal to mirror almost every day Phelps has been swimming at a professional, competitive level, perhaps even “extraordinary” is too bland of a word to describe his success.

He’s one of the most renowned Olympic athletes in North America as of 2016, and if you’ve paid any attention to the United States’ performance at Rio this past year, you probably know quite a bit about him already! Michael Phelps is a professional sports competitor that specializes in aquatic aerobics and exceptional swimming. He’s been an active member of the Olympic community for over 15 years, and has been swimming athletically for a significant portion of his life. The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio mark the 5th instance of Phelps’ involvement in the Olympic Games. He’s is known and respected internationally for his dedication and talent, not to mention his loud personality!

Brief Biographical History

Born in 1985, Phelps grew up and attended school in Maryland. The youngest of 3 siblings, his swimming career started when he was still in grade school. With a seemingly-bottomless pool of athletic energy and determination to draw from, as well as some influence from his older sisters, Whitney and Hilary, Phelps quickly proved himself as a capable swimmer and his career (albeit, unofficially) began.

In middle school, Phelps was clinically diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which would help to articulate his dominance in aquatic sports. His adolescent swimming years alone promise excellence, boasting several long and short course records. Phelps consistently outperformed the competition at various phases in his age development.

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Phelps’ athletic prowess in competitive swimming is, in a word, remarkable, given his record and commitment to the sport.

           Previous Olympic Involvement

Phelps’ natural talent and cultivated skill both contributed to his qualification in the 2000 Summer Olympics. Though he won no medals for his participation in this competition, he still proved himself a capable athlete nonetheless, and at the staggering age of 15! This phenomenon made Phelps the youngest athlete on the U.S. Olympic Swim Team in over half a century. Indeed, the 2000 Olympics set a precedent for Phelps, whose athletic career was only just beginning.

For the next few years, Phelps trained and performed with utmost effort and endurance in various swimming national and international championships. In 2001, he became the youngest Olympic swimmer to break a world record (the 200-meter butterfly) to date. Phelps continued to break barriers in 2002 and 2003 at the Pan Pacific championships and the World championships, respectively. His conquests at these competitions would more than prepare him for the next Olympics in the summer of 2004.

In his career leading up through 2016, Phelps has since accumulated a grand total of 28 Olympic medals (23 of which are gold), and is (presently) the most decorated Olympic athlete in history. Not only that, but his performance has never wavered, even after his retirement in 2012 and subsequent resurgence in 2014. At 31 years old, Phelps still continues to swim at not just a mightily respectable, but also a professional level.

            2016 Summer Olympics Overview

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Since the conclusion (and revival) of his Olympic career, Phelps has become much more than just another great athletic swimmer to the people of the U.S., as well as the world.

 

As a decorated, veteran Olympian and capable athlete, Phelps’ responsibilities and conduct at the 2016 Summer Olympics were anything but simple. His performance at qualification marked him as the 2nd U.S. athlete to qualify for 5 Olympics, and not only was he featured in several events (5 of which he received a gold medal for) he also attended the 2016 opening ceremonies with the responsibility of flag-bearer for the United States. By the conclusion of the competition, Phelps had added 6 medals to his collection and retained his lead as most successful Olympian in history. Despite his age, he has demonstrated exceptional skill and resilience in competitive swimming. Though he may choose to permanently conclude his athletic career in the near-future, he seems more than prepared, physically and emotionally, to continue it for some time.

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Speed, power, and precision in the water…the world at large looks forward to many more exciting, inspiring years of Michael Phelps.

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