Should Ballroom Dancing be Considered a Sport?

Is ballroom dancing going to be in the Olympics? A much better question is “how is it going to get there?”

Many professional ballroom dancers would love to compete at the Olympics and have a chance to earn a medal.

While there are those that say that ballroom dancing is an art and should never be part of the Olympics, there are others that the ballroom dancing belongs in the Olympic games.

They argue that that Olympic competition has termed ballroom dancing at the greatest level. On a practical level, bigger public recognition and more major sponsorships necessitates recognition in the Olympics.

Regardless your belief, there has been some advances in the past few years, signaling that ballroom dancing will be a part of the Olympics in the near future.

The Journey

In the late 90s, the World DanceSport Federation was acknowledged by the International Olympic Committee as the organization for ballroom dancing. With this, ballroom dancing bccame eligible for the Olympics.

It was during this time that the name DanceSport was created. It is to describe competitive ballroom dancing and the “sport” in the name connotates the alignment of ballroom dance to sports games.

DanceSport premiered on the program of the In the Asian Games of 2010, DanceSport was included on the program.

This is critical since these games are convened with the support of the Olympic Council of Asia.

Another crucial point is that ballroom dancing is easy to be held in several venues.

One of the reasons that softball and baseball were omitted after the 2008 Olympics is that some host cities had a hard time locating suitable venues within a satisfactory distance from other venues.

Regardless which country and which city is hosting the Olympics, locating suitable venues for ballroom dancing will definitely not be a problem.

Who is Maame Biney?

Maame Biney, 17, made the U.S. Olympic short track team for 2018 after sweeping the 500m at the Olympic Trials.

Beginnings

She was born in Accra, Ghana, a country on Africa’s east side. She began skating lessons at six after relocating to Reston, VA to live with her father.

While driving one day, Biney saw a sign for skating lessons on the roadside. Her father asked her if she was interested, but she didn’t even know what ice skating was. So, her father explained it to her.

She started with figure skating lessons then changed to speed skating on the recommendation of one of her coaches. Biney came unto the world stage at the World Jr. Championships in 2017.   She earned a bronze medal and finished 7th.

Biney has shown she’s one of America’s best skaters at the 2017 Short Track World Cup Qualifiers, a competition held in August that decides which short track skaters will go to the World Cups. She won the 500m and ended up in the top three in the 1000m and 1500m, giving her the overall top ranking.

When she competes in the 2018 Olympics, she will be the 2nd African-born athlete to represent the United States at a Winter Olympics. The 1st was Dan Westover, a biathlete who was from Madagascar and represented the US in the ’98 Olympics.

Additionally, she is the 1st Black woman to make the US team in speed skating or short track. The 1st Black man was Shani Davis from Chicago who made the 2002 team in short track.

Biney isn’t the only American Black woman heading to the Olympics. Others include Lolo Jones and AJA Evans in bobsledding. It shows that Black athletes are breaking down barriers in sports, particularly fields in which Black athletes were few and far between.

Best wishes to ALL our 2018 US Winter Olympic athletes!

Athletes to Watch in the 2018 Olympics

A few are stars already. Some are up and coming stars.

All want to make their mark when everyone on earth tunes in to the Winter Olympics 2018. The Winter Olympics will be held in PyeongChang, South Korea in February 2018.

Here’s some folks to keep an eye on:

Jamie Anderson (Snowboarder)

Jamie Anderson made her mark in her 1st Olympics in 2014. She won a gold medal in slopestyle snowboarding. And she has kept going ever since, winning gold or silver at the Winter X Games three years in a row (’15, ’16, ’17). Anderson, who is one of eight children, has said the greatest advice she’s gotten is “discover something you’re eager about and really go after it.”

Shaun White (Snowboarder)

Perhaps the most famous snowboarder on earth, Shaun White didn’t get to the podium in 2014 after back-to-back gold medals in the halfpipe event in 2006 and 2010. “It’s like when you have a bike accident. You have a scar that is a part of you and you learn from it.” At 31, he has some new tricks he has been working on and he is focused and ready to go.

Nathan Chen (Figure Skater)

This will be Nathan Chen first Olympics. The 18-year-old has made history already. In January, he was the 1st male figure skater in history to land 5 quadruple jumps in a single performance. Four weeks later, he did it once more.

Alex and Maia Shibutani (Ice Dancers)

They are referred to as “Shib Sibs.” Sister-and-brother duo Maia and Alex Shibutani are more than a catchy duo. The ice dancers have won two gold medals at two international competitions this season, the same amount they won the season before that, as well as the one before that. They’ve also won 1st place at the national championships in 2016 and 2017.

Swimming for Exercise

Exercise can be difficult on the joints. There are those who are runners who are in good shape, but their knees and hips are not in good condition. Any number of exercises can be helpful for you, but if you have aches and pains it might be difficult for you to get through a workout without being in pain. You may also want to do something that is simple on the joints if you are pregnant. If you want something efficient that is easy on the body, try a swimming exercise.

You will probably find a swimming exercise program at your local gym or YMCA. These classes are held in a pool and usually provided all year long. Most gyms have heated indoor pools that are upkept for those who wish to participate in a swimming exercise. It’s not just for swimming laps. There are many, many things you can do in a pool. You can buy your own pool, or you can use the community pool in the summer months. The community pool is a good choice, but it is always too crowded for any sort of organized workout.

You may find a swimming exercise that is like aerobics. Though it won’t be the same in water, it will be just as productive, and you will stay cooler throughout the workout. The water brings natural resistance, but it is also works well for your joints. There is not a lot of jarring movements in swimming, and you may find that some of your pains might go away.

You can also do swim dancing for your swimming exercise, or you can stick to the tried and true swimming. You can do laps or you can go up and down a lane, it makes no difference. The great part about a swimming exercise is that it doesn’t really matter what you are doing in the water, as long as you are receiving a good workout.

Planning a Golf Trip

A lovely California golf course

There can’t be anything better for the golf lover than to take a golf trip somewhere else than your home course. A golf trip is a nice way to get out of the norm, see the world, make friends, and play golf courses that are more incredible than you ever thought possible. Of course, if you live within driving distance of some of the nicer golf courses, you may think a golf trip isn’t necessary, but you couldn’t be farthest from the truth.

When you are planning a golf trip, it’s best to take along a few friends for the best golfing vacation. Your wife (or husband) might not be happy about it, but we promise, you’ll have a good time when you have some friends along for the trip.

A great place to plan a US golf trip to is Alabama. Robert Trent Jones was a golf architect who constructed close to 500 golf courses and is known as one of the top golf course designers on earth. In Alabama, there is the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail which has 11 different golf courses throughout the state that provide some of the best golf in the nation.

When you travel to play golf on the RTJ golf trail, you will find stimulating and fun courses that will deliver hours of enjoyment. This man was a mastermind when it came to constructing golf courses, so be prepared to be dazzled and frustrated.

If you want to travel for your golfing adventure, you can’t go wrong by going to the home of golf – Scotland. St. Andrews Golf Club is one of the most amazing places you can travel to and offer two different courses you can play including “the first golf course where the game of golf began. If you are a golfing enthusiast, think about a golf trip. There is nothing like it.

Women in Hockey

Ice hockey has increased in popularity in women’s sports with the number of participants enhancing by 400% in the last decade. It wasn’t until 1998 when women’s hockey was added as a medal event at the winter games in Japan with the US won gold that year. The minor difference in women’s hockey and men’s hockey is that there isn’t body checking in women’s hockey. After a 1990 hockey match body checking was removed all together in women’s hockey due to the fact that female players in some countries don’t have the body mass and size that many North American players.

With the increasing number of females who are about half the size of their male counterparts, it’s making them almost as equal as their male counterparts. In some games, body checking is a minor penalty, which is enforceable at the referee’s discretion. Full-face guards are mandatory in women hockey games. The first women’s hockey team was created in 1921, but since then women have only played in small leagues since there’s no professional league for women like they do for basketball. In time, there will be a chance for women to go professional in the US in hockey, yet that’s quite a long way away.

Women have made their presence known in the sporting world by taking on a sport that’s been mostly male since it started in the 18th century and has since had an audience that spreads to many parts of the globe. Women are climbing up the ranks fast in terms of their participation and the creation of teams. It’s just a matter of time and acceptance of women entering hockey. If women could enter the world of pro basketball and play domestically instead of going overseas, then it’s just a matter of introducing hockey into this country the same way.

The Physical Challenges in Hockey

Hockey is one of the most physically demanding games. This intense sport necessitates that a skater has as much strategy and skill as football or baseball player. Besides strength that only a real conditioned athlete can come to the ice with, a kind of aggressiveness is required. Hockey players must deal with quite a bit of pain and discomfort, and serious players must be capable of participating in very serious training all during the year to stay competitive. Unlike many sports that only require endurance, hockey is all about short bursts of extremely intense activity. This makes hockey a very different kind of physical challenge than a sport like soccer where movement is lower intensity.

A hockey player must be able to get their personal engine from 0 to 60 in seconds. A pro hockey player never spends more than one minute skating. Between those small flurries of manic activity, a player can stop and catch his or her breath, but must stay alert and ready for the next flare-up of action on the ice. Suddenly jumping from a passive and relaxed state to the height of speed and power isn’t simple. The discipline and talent a hockey player must possess in order to do this is what separates the amateurs from the professionals.

The need to be able to swiftly change from a state of rest to one of high activity necessitates specific forms of training that concentrate on cutting response times and accomplishing graceful and effective movements without much of a warm up. A hockey skater’s workout regimen has several predictable activities like lifting weights and sprinting, but one place where many players go in order to improve their agility and response time proves to be somewhat surprising to many sports fans. It is a ballet studio.

Tennis Great Martina Navratilova

Martina Navratilova is an ex-world #1 female tennis player. Born in 1956 in Czechoslovakia, she became an US citizen in 1981. Her stepfather Miroslav Navratil was her 1st tennis coach. Martina won the Czech Republic national tennis championship at 15. At 17, she earned her very first professional singles title when she played the match in Florida. She went pro in 1975.

In 1975’s Grand Slam singles tournaments, she was a finalist in both the Australian Open and French Open, but she lost in both the finals. The same year, she lost in the semi-finals of the US Open. In 1978, Navratilova got her first victory in the Grand Slam singles at Wimbledon and she got the world # 1 ranking after defeating Chris Evert.

Navratilova was a woman of tremendous power because of the way she raised the level of competition. Initially, she was on the heavier side and she had to work hard to get into shape for tennis. In regards to her weight issue, Nancy Lieberman, a basketball player, aided her. She underwent extreme levels of fitness and exercising which eventually got her into shape. She even learned the way to use graphite racquets, which made her one of the most dominant tennis player.

She beat Evert, again, in the 1981 Grand Slam singles of the Australia Open. The next year, she won the French and Wimbledon Open. In 1983, she won 3 out of 4 Grand Slam events. Additionally, she scored the top ever-professional winning percentage of a tennis player. In 1984, she also won the French Open, which she had lost in 1983. This incredible victory was called the Grand Slam by the International Tennis Federation president, Philippe Chatrier. Between 1982-1984, she lost only six of the singles matches. Even today, Navratilova is considered the best in tennis.

Learning How to Play Tennis

Anyone who has thought about tennis training will love to learn that there are plenty of ways to learn how to play the game. Whether it is the tennis court, the video store, or even the classroom, it will prove to be helpful for those desiring to learn how to play the great game of tennis. Prices will differ depending on the type of training that is selected, but can be very affordable. This is quite true of those who opt for learning at home via the use of videos or the internet. A professional tennis trainer, however, will likely be the costly way to learn but will give a hands-on experience that none of the other options can.

If you decide to hire a tennis instructor, you will want to hire someone who has plenty of experience in teaching and playing tennis. During this training, you will start to learn the different swings and the situations each one should be used. In the beginning, tennis can be intimidating due to the physical activity that is involved, as well as the need to have a very quick reaction to each situation. But, after a couple of lessons, you will be more familiar with the game and how to play it. Patience is vital to learning anything new and tennis is no different.

Even prior to employing a tennis instructor, some new tennis players may want to learn some basics of the game before starting the actual lessons. This can be done by either buying books, videos or doing some online research. These methods should give an introduction to the game, the right way to grip and swing the tennis racket, and plenty of other information. With this info, any new tennis player will enter their lessons with confidence and impress their instructor by how much they know.

Sport Gifts for Him

As far as gift ideas for the sports lovers go, there are thousands. Especially when you consider the fact that NFL merchandise sales alone have increased in recent times. It becomes very hard to make a decision if you’re not a sports fanatic yourself. Since sports collectibles are for the die-hard sports junkie, most of the folks you buy gifts for are true fans. There are some things you should think about when searching for that perfect sports gift for him. The first thing you want to think about is who you’re purchasing for.

It is very crucial to consider the personality of the person who will be getting your sports item as a gift. If there’s a special man in your life, let’s think about buying a sports gift for him. Whether purchasing for the professional, the game-attendee, or a student, understanding his lifestyle give you a great advantage in picking the ideal sports gifts for him.

If he has an office, consider business items that are NCAA merchandise. Checkbook covers or business card holders are perfect sports gifts for the businessman. Also, for items that are going to be used in a professional setting, you’ll want to buy sport gifts that possess an executive look. Don’t buy huge items with loud colors, like foam fingers. Let him show his support without embarrassing him. His college is a great sport gift for him to own.

On the other hand, the game-attendee would love nothing more than to have a souvenir from the game. They range in prices from the free cup you get when you purchase your beverage to the expensive sport jerseys. A better idea is to buy tickets as part of the gift and go with them to pick out the sport gift they want. That way, you’re guaranteed a winning gift.