News Roundup · Rio 2016 · Uncategorized

O-Minus 41: This Week in Olympic News

Quick news roundup to round out our week:

See the torch, kill a jaguar. Give a young soldier a rifle and teach him how to shoot, and guess what? When he’s threatened while holding the gun, he may instinctively fire. That’s the sad lesson a jaguar learned this week after the cat was apparently not too thrilled about being trotted out to be a backdrop for the Olympic Torch relay.

We’re used to the garbage. Who’s surprised about sailing venue Guanabara Bay being polluted to the point where it’s recommended you avoid ingesting the water? Not the sailors? They experienced similar conditions in Beijing. Must be fun to be part of a second-class sport in terms of importance ensuring Olympic-caliber venues–though to be fair, a new sewage system installed a few months ago has made drastic improvements. But it’s not like Rio hasn’t had seven years to prepare for this event.

They’re not dope. It came out yesterday that Rio’s doping testing lab isn’t capable of completing the necessary drug tests up to international standards, so the World Anti-Doping Agency is suspending it. NBD, says WADA, we’ve got a Plan B–had to do that with the 2014 World Cup, so we figured it wouldn’t be any different. They’re sending samples to a different accredited lab for testing, and the IOC will likely be on the hook for the costs.

No, really, it’ll be safe. Rio’s mayor had to wipe a little egg off his face this week, as two Australian athletes were mugged. This keeps concerns about safety at the Games heightened. Hopefully Rio can deliver.

Where’s the torch?

Campo Grande, MS – This is the capital of the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. We’re still on the western side of Brazil but moving south toward Paraguay.

Practice that Portuguese! We’ll keep our language lessons for weekdays, so practice what you’ve learned this week!

 

 

Corruption · News Roundup · Scandals

O-Minus 49: Russian Athletics, Don’t Bother Coming

Feverr levels: Mild spike in temps

Where’s the torch? Santarém, Pará. We’re still in northern Brazil, just further inland down the Amazon.

Big news out of Vienna today, where the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the international governing body for Athletics (aka track and field) decided to uphold a ban on Russian athletics’ athletes, effectively barring them from participating in the Olympics.

The IAAF initially banned Russia last November, a moved that the Russian Federation (ARAF) completely accepted without enacting its right to have a hearing. Sounds like they understood they got busted. And the bust was pretty damning, with reports of widespread, systemic doping starting at the top.

At any rate, ARAF had to comply with a bunch of stuff in order to prove it was clean, and the IAAF today decided that nope, they need to sit time out a little while longer. Unfortunately for Russian athletes who are clean, that means their Olympic dreams are pretty much shattered.

This, of course, is heartbreaking news to many Russians, to which the IOC so far has said, Meh, it’s the IAAF’s decision, but they’re going to have a serious talk about this over the next few days. However, the IAAF is throwing out a glimmer of hope with a new regulation that says clean athletes who’ve gone through independent testing can apply for an exemption to be allowed to compete — but not under the Russian flag. Here at TheFeverr, we immediately wonder whether this means any Russian track a,nd field medal winners would not get country awards– which in 2012 was $135,000 for gold.

According to the Moscow Times, this ban also prevents 4,027 Russian athletes from participating in any international competitions by the IAAF or the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS).

So it’s a rough day for some athletes, but a day of vindication for other athletes who lost out to people who cheated the system.

Today’s Portuguese lesson: Let’s learn Olympic sport names! This one’s a twoparter.

Food · News Roundup

Whatcha Eatin’?

Every Olympics, there are a few tried and true topics that the media covers:

  • Hometown guy/gal becomes Olympian
  • There are insane problems with this Olympics; the host will never pull it off
  • Look at these amazing bodies!

And today’s Feverrish wrapup: What in the world do top-class athletes eat?

I love these pieces because when you read between the lines, every reporter seems to desperately want said athlete to eat a ton of fast food, and the only reason they’re the Olympian and the reporter is not is because they have all day to train.

I don’t know why reporters (or the editors that OK these stories) haven’t figured out that eating a ton of crap food turns your body into crap, but that doesn’t really fill a column and spout amazement at the wonders of kale and lean proteins, does it?

However, I’ll throw them a bone–I dig these stories because even though I know that eating healthy makes your body happier, I’m always looking at how athletes mix up their food routines or whether the sport dictates more of what you eat.

Let’s start with the food during the Olympics. Being the director of food and beverage at the Olympics has to be a pretty amazing challenge. You work for months to source food from all over the world because you’re dealing with athletes who have pretty strict diets, and if they introduce anything new to their system, it could ruin their performance. Also a massive challenge? Food safety. Another worry for some athletes? Food supplements.

But let’s look at some specific athletes. Odds are that you won’t hear much about swimmer Michael Phelps during these Olympic Games, so get the news about his trimmed down food regimen while outlets still care about him. [SPOILER ALERT: He has an older person’s metabolism, doesn’t train as much and therefore doesn’t eat as much.]

Female swimmers have needs too, which is why it’s important to note that fig newtons still make mighty good snacks. Or why Natalie Coughlin’s diet will totally surprise you. [SPOILER ALERT: She eats a lot of veggies. And pasta.]

Or what about national teams? The Team GB Aldi Ambassadors wax poetic about protein shakes–and, of course, their guilty pleasures. Meanwhile, Australia weighs in on competitive nutrition and how the Australian Institute of Sport helps the country’s athletes improve with analysis.

Some athletes not only have to make sure they eat the right fuel for their bodies, they also need to incorporate religious beliefs.

Even with all of the news about this year’s Olympic food scene, someone’s already given up on food choices at Rio and is already looking ahead to the 2020 Games in Tokyo. Jamie Oliver is on the warpath to get Coke and McDonald’s out of the Olympic Village.

 

 

News Roundup · Rio 2016

O-Minus 50: The Feverr Commences

Feverr levels: We detect a fever!

Now that Rio is just 50 days away, the Games are really starting to get real. For us that means we’re starting to feel a case of Olympic Fever. Oh, sure, you say — Rio’s been preparing for the last seven years. Athletes have been training even longer than that. You’re just now paying attention?

Well, life gets complicated sometimes. But we’re here now, and we’re building up our site’s content to help you, the fan who’s also realizing that the Olympics are much closer than you think. It’s time to catch up with what’s going on and prepare yourself for the Games!

So what’s been going on lately?

Where’s the Torch?

Macapá, the capital of the state of Amapá, which is in northern Brazil on the North Channel of the Amazon River. The equator runs through it!

Refugee Olympic Team Ready to Compete

In March the IOC announced it would put together a team of athletes who are country-less due to their refugee status. Without a country, an Olympic hopeful wouldn’t have a chance of getting into the Games. Recognizing the global refugee crisis, the IOC said that they would step in and create a 10-person team (chosen from a pool of 43 potential athletes), and along with Olympic Solidarity give them the perks of other athletes: housing, training funding, uniforms, etc. In Rio, they’ll march together under the Olympic flag, and at the Opening Ceremony, they’ll march in before the host nation (note: prep your Kleenex for that moment).

At the beginning of June, the IOC announced the 10 lucky athletes who will make up the Refugee Olympic Team (ROT) and they’re busy preparing not just to complete their quest as Olympians, but also to share more of the issues about refugees in the world.

The Hardware Store is Open

The Brazilian Mint is the outfit behind the creation of Rio 2016’s medals, which were unveiled this week. The IOC talked about how sustainable these babies are, which really makes you cringe at the way they’ve been made in the past. Here are the claims:

  • Gold medals contain zero mercury (wrap your head around that one for a second)
  • They contain 30% recycled silver and bronze – The silver comes from “leftover mirrors, waste solders and X-ray plates”
  • There’s copper in the bronze medals (wrap your head around that one too) — and 40% of it is Mint waste
  • The ribbons are made from 50% recycled PET (very cool, but how often will Coca-Cola be mentioning this to us?)
  • Medals come in a “sustainably sourced wooden box” (did your eyebrows rise a little bit there too?)

Coolness factor: Way cool. The front depicts a winged angel in the middle of an athletics stadium (very traditional looking). The reverse has Rio 2016’s funky logo and olive branches. The ribbon is mainly green, playing off of Brazil’s national color.

It Takes All Kinds

Get this: The Rio 2016 Olympic Games is going to feature a lot of diversity. You’ve got over 10,000 athletes from 206 countries representing five continents. You don’t say. Look for this message to be repeated ad nauseam for the next few months. Can we remind you that women and men don’t get equal opportunities in Olympic sports?

Athlete Funding Taking to the E-Streets

Getting to the Olympics is a pretty expensive endeavor, so a bunch of athletes have taken to setting up GoFundMe pages to help them (and sometimes their horses) get through qualifying meets and to Brazil. If you want to send some money their way, check out the GoFundMe Road to Rio portal.

Zika Watch: WHO Weighs In

The World Health Organization has been studying the possible effects of the Zika virus, which has been making a big splash in the news, as it can cause some pretty nasty birth defects in pregnant women and other issues. Upon further review, WHO doesn’t think there’s a whole lot to worry about if precautions are taken.

Speaking the Language – Part I

The Canadian Olympic Team has a crash course in important Portuguese Olympic phrases Obrigado, Canada!