Category Archives: Winter olympics

Risk at the Winter Olympics

Risk at the Winter Olympics

In successive Olympic Games some of the courses and events are becoming faster, more difficult and therefore more dangerous. The margin of error allowed by a competitor becomes smaller and smaller and big adjustments are required by these elite athletes to accommodate these course changes.

Where should the line be drawn on Olympic event safety?

Olympic Sponsorship and Broadcast Rights

The Olympic Games are spectator sports worth billions of dollars in revenue. In Canada, the cost of buying the broadcast rights for the 2010 Games hit a record-breaking $90 million for Vancouver, up from $28 million in Turin in 2006 and from $12 million for the Lillehammer Games in 1994.

According to an article on the Toronto Star’s website,, Jim Little, chief brand and communications officer of the The Royal Bank of Canada, which paid $110 million for the rights to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and London 2012 Games, says it’s well worth it. “It’s the biggest marketing platform in the world”.

It is no secret that tragedy, danger and spectacular accidents generate keen media interest.

When it comes to extreme sports such as high altitude mountaineering the accidents and disasters regularly receive more coverage than successes.

In an article titled “Women’s Olympic downhill course takes a bite out of competition”, Jim Morris, reporting for the online edition of the Canadian Press on the 17.02.2010, said of the spectacular crashes in the women’s downhill event in Whistler, “It was ugly but riveting to watch”.

Olympic Luge Tragedy

A few hours before the Olympic Games opening ceremony, Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili died in a horrific crash, flying off the luge course at 145 km/h during a training run and colliding with an un-padded steel pole. The international federation that governs luge racing claimed that the track was safe. The accident was deemed to be the fault of the inexperienced competitor who failed to control his sled.

During training runs at the Whistler Sliding Centre where the tragedy took place athletes were attaining unprecedented speeds on the luge track. Designed for speeds of 137 km/h (85 miles/h), the track was delivering speeds above 150 km/h, 9 miles/h faster than the standing 2000 world speed record.

According to an article: “Speed and Commerce Skewed Track’s Design” in the Wall Street Journal online edition, the first choice of Grouse Mountain for the sliding centre was abandoned because Whistler would be a more financially viable location after the Games. As a result, the track designers had to fit the track into a narrower valley, which meant a steeper slope and tighter turns.

While absolving themselves of blame for the accident the luge ed online pharmacy federation fixed the corner where the accident took place by replacing it with a wall and lowered the start gate of the course to slow the sleds.

Women’s Olympic Downhill Run

In an accident reminiscent of Austrian downhiller Hermann Maier’s hair-raising crash in the 1998 Nagano Games, Swedish alpine star, Anje Paerson was fortunate to escape severe injury after a spectacular crash during the women’s Olympic downhill run on the almost 3 km Franz’s course. Paerson flew 60 metres before crashing into the piste.

Due to warm weather that initially postponed the event, the women only had one warm-up run on the downhill course (instead of the standard two runs). The warm-up run they had was in two sections, squeezed between men’s events. Trying to hold another training would have delayed the women’s downhill. That would have meant rescheduling television times and putting more pressure on a schedule already upset by bad weather.

German competitor Maria Riesch, a downhill veteran and pre-race favourite, declared the course the most difficult that she has ever skied. As reported to the Canadian Press, digital version on the 17.02.2010 Riesch said, “When I was down in the finish I thought I was going to die.” Though a pre-race favourite Reisch finished eighth. “My legs were dead. It was so tiring.”

According to Reuters USA online edition, Canadian competitor Emily Brydon said, “The reason for the carnage is that it’s a long run for the women and you’re exhausted when you reach the bottom, which makes those last jumps really tricky,” she added.

The women’s race director, Atle Skaardal said later that the course, where women were reaching speeds of just under 110 km/h, will be changed for safety reasons. “We will try to ease things down a little bit,” Skaardal said.

Similarly to the reaction to the tragedy in the luge event, a lower start position will be used.

Olympic Athletes Compete on the Edge

In speed events which may well be considered extreme sports, Olympic athletes are often competing on the edge of their ability and the limit of control since the difference between a medal or indeed the top ten placements is often a matter of hundredths of a second. Serious crashes, career -threatening injuries are not surprise occurrences at the Olympics. Elite athletes compete at speeds regularly in excess of 100 km/h when a single mistake can be very costly in terms of their performance and their safety. The winner of the gold medal is often arguably the competitor who reaches the brink of disaster without toppling over the edge.



A MAN is dead and another is in hospital with head injuries after a sledging accident in Tredegar yesterday. The pair were out sliding down a bank at Chartist Way on plastic sheeting just before 4pm when they slid into the path of a car, according to police. The car left the scene and another driver came across the pair in the road and called the emergency services. Chief Inspector Glen Fernquest, senior investigating officer at the Gwent Police Road Unit said officers began searching for the car and a helicopter overhead was taking pictures of the scene. A few hours after the incident, a man walked into a local police station and has been cipro arrested in connection with the incident. The deceased is a 21-year-old local man and the other victim, described by police as a youth, is currently being treated at Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny for a head injury. His injuries are described as not life-threatening. Last night around a dozen officers had cordoned off an area of Chartist Way and five police cars and a van were at the scene. Forensic markers in the road point out the exact spot of the tragedy. The area, which is made up of terraced and semi-detached houses is covered in snow and you can see the nearby bank that had been used for sledging.

ParaOlympics – A Controversy – Coverage on TV

ParaOlympics – A Controversy – Coverage on TV

There is great to do in Vancouver regarding the ParaOlympics. As you know, the 2010 Olympics – the first part – was tremendously successful and drew the largest crowds ever for the Olympics. People were looking forward to the ParaOlympics.

The night of the opening ceremonies for the ParaOlympics – no tv listings!!!??? At the last minute, an announcement was made that the opening ceremonies would be televised by CTV but only in British Columbia.

wouldn’t cover it all in the US.

So here we have the Chairman of the Olympic Committee, Mr. Rogge, Canada’s Governor General, the Prime Minister of Canada and the Premier of the Province and a sold out event – but no coverage by CTV!

I went to the CTV website which covered the Olympics and, yes, they had included the ParaOlympics as part of the Olympics for 2010 – but some bone head executives made a decision not to air them!!! So how did CTV get the rights to cover the Olympics in the first place if they the ParaOlympics were not to be televised? After all, it’s part of the Olympics!

How does that respect all these amazing athletes who came from all over the world to compete including the US and other parts of Canada? What does that say about our society – if you have a disability – you’re not equal? Yet, imagine having a physical disability and rising above it to , curl, play hockey – imagine the effort that takes! And these big corporations don’t see these efforts as worthy of telecasting! Unbelievable!! Where is the “community spirit”?

I say shame on them – where is the “Believe” motto come into it! Obviously, they only believe in the efforts of some of the athletes, but not all of the athletes who partake in the Olympics. Why is that? What do you call that? Inequality? or worse?

It’s very sad that, in 2010, corporations still live in the dark ages! I understand completely that corporations have to make money but I also understand that corporations talk about “community support” too as part of their marketing strategies – this would have been a good one to include in your marketing budgets CTV and NBC!!! I’m sure a lot of companies would have been very happy to advertise during the ParaOlympics – talk about “feel good dividends” – inspiration, dedication, performance!

Please help spread the protest all over the world – let’s get these corporate giants to get “with the program”, to wake up, and give support to all athletes – if you could see these ParaOlympic athletes in action, you’d be amazed!

And, yes, because I live in British Columbia, I did happen to see the opening ceremonies – they were better than the opening ceremonies for the “other” Olympics two weeks earlier!!! I was in awe of these athletes and what they have accomplished! We could all learn a lot from these people!

PS I don’t know any of the athletes in the ParaOlympics personally nor am I involved in ParaOlympics in any other way – I’m a citizen who likes to see everyone treated the same and fairly – if you’re an Olympian, you’re an Olympian and all Olympians should be treated equally. No effort is less worthy than another.



Do you recognize the names Giant Slalom, Luge, and Curling? Yes? Then you must be ready for the Winter Olympics! Here are a few suggestions to make them more meaningful to your children:

1. Let each child or small group of children choose an event to research. The events may be their favorites or ones they would like to know more about. (NOTE: A list of Winter Olympic events is at the end of this article.)

2. Tell the children what you want them to find out…the history of the sport, the rules of it, the equipment needed, people who have performed that event in past Winter Olympics…whatever you decide. This will keep them focused and help them write their reports using main ideas.

3. Classify the Olympic events into categories. Which take place on the snow? On the track? On the rink?

4. Make a video collage with snippets of each online pharmacy no prescription event.

5. Hold your own Winter Olympics! If you live where it does not snow, use props that can substitute for skis (shoeboxes, foil), ski poles (broomsticks), and whatever else you can find. Amend the rules for your age group. For the Medal Ceremony, use gold, silver, and copper pens to make the ribbons. Have your children sequence the activities in which they participated.

6. Alphabetize the names of the Olympic events.

7. Use a TV Guide to practice reading schedules and find the days, times, and channels for specific sports.

Here is a list of Winter Olympic events:

Giant Slalom, Luge, Curling, Speed Skating, Ski Jumping, Freestyle Aerials, Biathlon, Super-G, Ice Dancing, Cross Country, Combined Downhill, Slalom, Short Track, Bobsleigh, Nordic Combined,

Figure Skating, Freestyle Moguls, Snowboarding, Ice Hockey, Downhill, Skeleton

Enjoy the Winter Olympics!

I hope these ideas are useful and inspire your own creative thinking.

And remember…Reading is FUNdamental!

Winter Camping Ideas

Winter Camping Ideas

For those interested in an exciting outdoor adventure in the cooler weather, winter camping may be the choice for you. Winter camping brings an entirely new element to the activity …

For those interested in an exciting outdoor adventure in the cooler weather, winter camping may be the choice for you. Winter camping brings an entirely new element to the activity of camping. Not only do you see the great outdoors in a totally different light, it also offers different challenges from summer camping.

Winter Camping Supplies

It is important to have the correct supplies for winter camping, as this is can, at times, have a level of danger not present at other times of the year. Things to bear in mind include rapid changes in the weather the weather may be fine and sunny, although cool, when you leave to hike to your destination and within minutes a winter storm can blow up. Dress appropriately in layers for winter camping. Avoid wearing cotton. Cotton does not dry quickly and retains the water against your skin causing you to become even colder with the added risk of hypothermia developing.

For winter camping trips always wear nylon or wool clothing … wool should be used for socks. Dress in layers starting with a thin layer of clothing against your skin. There are some sportwool fabrics that are used in long johns, next a warm layer of clothing that may be a fleece type material and finally a quick-drying outer layer from a material like nylon or goretex. Always wear woolen socks to keep the feet dry and comfortable.

Make sure you have appropriate boots for winter camping. Boots must be water repellant or have a protective coating to keep them from absorbing water. Always wear a hat or a woolen buy cheap flomax beanie and bring an extra one just in case. A great deal of body heat can be lost through an uncovered head.

Wear or carry gloves and have them attached to your jacket to prevent losing them. Light weight glove liners can be added for extra warmth.

Winter-weight camping tents can be purchased, although sometimes they can be heavier to carry. Depending on where you are going and how far you are hiking, you may be quite comfortable in a three-season tent. A four-season or winter tent will stand up to strong winds, will repel all forms of precipitation and be able to withstand a heavy fall of snow.

If you do not have a tent you may be able to build a snow shelter for protection, however, you’ll want to practice building a snow shelter before you actually need to spend a night in one during a winter hike.

Make sure to bring a sleeping bag that is made to withstand the deep freeze of winter. There are many mummy-type bags that are extremely warm and designed to withstand temperatures of 10 degrees and below. A foam underlay may also be a useful addition to keep the sleeping bag off the ground and away from moisture. The pad can also be used to sit on during the day.

When winter camping make sure to bring food that may be eaten without heating up. Although there are water proof matches, sometimes it can be difficult to find tinder when winter camping. Have a supply of food that you carry with you when winter camping, in case you loose your original supply.

Winter camping is an exciting outdoor activity; however, it is imperative that the camper has the appropriate equipment for this venture.

Picking The Right Snowshoes For Your Next Winter Outing

Picking The Right Snowshoes For Your Next Winter Outing

Snowshoeing is a fun winter recreation activity whose popularity has stayed strong since its inception and right up through today. It’s also a popular and easy way to get around in snowbound areas during the winter. Nowadays, there are many types of snowshoes for many types of activities. Here’s a rundown of each type to help you choose the right snowshoes for your lifestyle and activity.

The three main types of snowshoes are:

Running & Aerobic Style

These snowshoes were built with lighter weight materials than normal snowshoes to allow for faster movement. They also feature an extra cleat or cleats for additional traction while you are running or walking fast. Also, the bindings will allow for you to insert running or athletic shoes, so they lace up and cradle as well. There are actually snowshoe races, and this is the type of snowshoe that is used in that type of race. This type of snowshoe is right for anyone who will need to move fast or just wants to walk around their town. These are not appropriate for snowshoeing in rugged terrain.

Mountaineer Style

Mountaineer style snowshoes are built much tougher and heavier than, say, running style snowshoes. This is for added traction and stability on steep and icy hills. They typically include larger crampons to achieve this added traction. The binding will also be able to accommodate larger shoes including climbing shoes and boots. Extra heavy duty material is used to create mountaineer style snowshoes, for better performance during different types of weather amoxil situations and various types of terrain. This also makes mountaineer style snowshoes the best choice for walking in deeper snow. Mountaineering snowshoes are the right choice for any serious snowshoeing enthusiast.

Hiking/Recreation Style

This type of snowshoe tends to be the most popular as it is appropriate for hiking, backpacking and light to moderate terrains. Recreation style snowshoes are made to be comfortable, with ease of use and value as a big selling point. This type of shoe is excellent for all around use, light use and the occasional hiker.


This is an easier choice as there are only a few sizes of snowshoes available. They are 6×15 inches, 7×18 inches, 8×25 inches, 9×30 inches and 10×36 inches. The smallest snowshoes are usually for children and the middle sizes are usually best for women. Your weight will also be a consideration, as the heavier you are, the larger size of snowshoe you will likely need. You should also consider the weight you will be with your other equipment, skis, snowboard, backpack or other supplies you will be carrying.


There are two types of bindings available, the free rotation and the limited rotation. In the limited rotation style, the toes do not go below the decking. In the free rotation the toes are more free. Free rotation bindings are preferred for running, racing and sometimes hiking. It’s best to try both styles and decide which is more comfortable for you.

Whatever size or style of snowshoe you choose, have fun on the trails!

Outdoors Sports in Winter

Outdoors Sports in Winter

Outdoors sport in winter and, generally speaking, exercise during this season should be regarded more trustfully by sedentary people as well as by gym-addicts. Advantages such as reinforcing, maintaining and increasing health, characterizing outdoors exercise, do not cease during winter; on the contrary, they can acquire new values.

If winter sports amateurs do not need any pleading, there is a big mass of people who would like to exercise without skis, skates or sleighs. The common reflex is to assault the fitness, body building, aerobics, tae-bo etc. studios. Of course, in this period, force training largely depends on gyms – in the other seasons the push-ups, pull up, squat are much more easily practiced outdoors.

Meanwhile, endurance (aerobic) exercise, which should always accompany anaerobic training, can and should be done outdoors even during the cold season. Fast walking, running and cycling are most recommended. In the case of people who haven’t trained in winter but are used to practicing exercises such as these in other periods of the year, we must stress that dosage of effort should be done more prudently than in the warmer seasons.

The superior as well as the inferior parts of the respiratory apparatus aren’t used to the cold air flow; thus, they need to be trained step by step in order to avoid laryngitis, trachaeitis, bronchitis etc. As pulmonary ventilation increases during aerobic effort, the air flow cannot warm up sufficiently while passing through the respiratory apparatus – thus alternating lower effort periods or even taking breaks is recommended – in order to allow warming up again.

When the body has been trained for winter buy celexa conditions, the timing of a usual effort session can get close to the one habitual in warmer seasons – a bit reduced. Thus for rapid walking it can extend to an hour, an hour and a half; for running, to 30-45 minutes.

The sports gear is a most important aspect: it must assure thermal protection without overheating. Up-to-date research recommends using three clothing layers which create two successive air layers.

For the first fabric layer, touching the skin, cotton (most recommended in summer) must be avoided. Here synthetic fabrics such as Goretex, Polarteck and Lycra are used – they do not retain perspiration and do not transform themselves into cold wet compresses for the chest and back.

For the second layer, warmer materials – such as wool – can be used; the fabric for the last layer has to be water and windproof.

One must give special attention to protecting the head, neck, hands and feet. Especially the head must be covered with a hat made of the same types of fabric as the first layer: scientific studies have proved that the skull allows the greatest heat loss. For protecting the neck, it is good to wear polo necks or scarves made of the same material as the clothing’s last layer. Leather gloves must be avoided: they forbid eliminating the perspiration – as wearing several pairs of cotton socks does, too.

Last but not least, we must mention the body’s hydrating level: cold as well as heat tend to make the sportsman dehydrate.

If these recommendations are respected, we can train and enjoy exercise also during the cold season.