Rio Olympics 2016: The Most Contraversial Yet?

Sunday 21st August saw the close of the Summer Olympics 2016 now the hype has calmed down and tv has returned to its usual schedule and we have had a minute to reflect on the event. Honestly, it seems to me that there was so much scandal this year, more than I seem to remember from Olympics past. Was Rio 2016 the most contraversial yet?

In the months leading up to the games, the build up was less than spectacular to say the least and much like the Sochi Winter Olympics of 2014, lists of problems have surfaced which exceed the length of Greg Rutherfords long jump! We all remember the trending #SochiProbs well, Rio did not escape the scrutiny on social media and earnt itself it’s very own #RioProblems (Give it a search, there is some comedy value to be found there!)

In the run up, we heard reports fearing the spread of the Zika virus, infrastructure concerns, water pollution and financial crisis as Rio De Janeiro declared a state of financial emergency threatening the collapse of public services and much less their ability to honour Olympic commitments. This declaration was made with less than 50 days remaining before the start of the games.

It is fair to say though, that this state of apprehension seems to be a reoccurring theme with the Olympics which tends to subside once the games begin as the focus switches to the competitors, the games and any hints of scandalous activity. A cameo appearance from Vanderlei Cordeiro De Lima lighting the cauldron also ignites memory of previous Olympic game  scandal.

One of the earliest reports from the games that I remember reading was Ryan Lochte being ‘robbed at gunpoint‘ – which as we know now did not happen but ironically, pre the start of the games the US said that their athletes were at risk due to the crime epidemic! The cheek hey! 

It is not uncommon for reports to be focused on behind the scenes scandal such as that above or the Brazillian synchronized divers whose partnership is over as a result of a ‘marathon night of sex’, but taking into account the sheer size and scale of the games,  it was inevitable that there were going to be some bouts of scandal spilling over to the main event. There were demonstrations of some extremely unsportsmanlike like conduct and sore losers.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you will be aware of at least some of the various political issues of late which undoubtedly reared their ugly heads from time to time. The Judo mat became a stage for a standoff of Middle East politics when Eygypt’s Judoka Islam El Shehabh refused to shake the hand of  his Israeli opponent, Or Sasson. Aware of the fact that Judo does not require a handshake between opponents, the IOC felt that this went against the spirit of the games and was extremely unfriendly and thus the disrespectful act did not go unpunished, El Shehabh was consequently removed from Rio and reprimanded by the IOC, of course this followed from having already been booed by the spectators.

If only the crowd booing came to a halt in the Judo though, disappointingly this was not the case. French pole vault, silver medalist, Renaud Lavillenie was brought to tears as he took his place on the podium whilst being booed by the crowd for a second time in 24 hours merely for competing against the Brazilian pole vaulter. This is the 21st century and I am glad to hear that these actions were not condoned and they have been branded inappropriate and shockingly unacceptable worldwide. Fans have a big role within sport and proper etiquette needs to be maintained at all times, the onous of sportsmanlike conduct does not stop with the athlete.

Fortunately, this year we were also witness to some heroic acts of solidarity and unity. Sportsmen and Sportswomen are key figures of influence throughout many communities and it is not uncommon to see these figures leverage their positions to raise awareness to causes close to their hearts. Thankfully, there were some class act athletes who highlighted how to approach such issues in a respectable manner.

Feyisa Lilesa was seen finishing his race with his arms in the air. Initially, many passed this off as a gesture of celebration when in actuality, this gesture demonstrates solidarity with the people of Oromos. A very powerful but very appropriate and peaceful way of using the Olympics to insight widespread awareness of the Oromos protest and political crackdown.

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Lilesa finishing his race in solidarity with Oromos.
If are not aware of the fact that North & South Korea have been and are technically, still at conflict where have you been?! Rio saw that the conflict was completely disregarded by artistic gymnasts Hong Un-Jong and Lee Eun-ju from North and South Korea asthe two captured a moment of unity in a selfie which has been hailed as representing the spirit of the games.

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As the games progressed, the vibes continued to shift and we became inundated with heartwarming photos and stories of support and encouragement.

Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D’Agastino were awarded the Pierre de Coubertin award, also known as the International Fair Play Trophy, which has only been awarded 17 times throughout all Olympic history. During  their race they collided and both fell to the ground, Nikki stayed back to pick Abbey up and make sure they finished the race. The committee felt that this display of Olympic spirit needed to be acknowledged and rewarded and what better way than with such a rare, prestigious trophy.

At the close of the games there had been falls on tracks and fall outs off the tracks, athletes had been booed, pool water turned green, emergency services greeted athletes and spectators alike holding ‘welcome to hell’ signs at the airport, the stands were half empty, the  food was terrible, there were incorrectly oriented flags and unidentified music in place of Nigerias national anthem needless to say Rio left us with plenty to talk about! Was it controversial? Absolutely. Was it scandalous? Absolutely. Did the controversies add to the event? Absolutely. 

Regardless of opinion as to whether it was the most controversial Olympics to date or not, people will soon forget antics from the likes of Bolt’s celebrations with female companions and the iconic sentiments of the acts of bravery and sportsmanship that unfolded in Rio will undoubtedly resonate throughout the years to come.

P.S. huge shout out to team GB bringing home a whopping 67 medals 27 of which were gold! Go team.

Also a quick shout out to the Fiji Rugby team for winning the country’s first ever gold medal! 

The Perfect Workout Program: 3 P’s in a pod.

Whether you write your own, find them online or have them designed specifically for you it is difficult to know whether you are following a good, bad or even a worthwhile program. How many times have you and a friend followed a program and got completely different results? Worse still, how many times have you followed a program and achieved minimal results? It is soul destroying to commit to a goal and get no closer to achieiving it despite your best efforts. Obviously, there are alot of outside factors in play that may affect results such as the exercise itself, diet, medication, illness, injury or even our ancestral origins, (sorry,  I  had to throw that one in because I am a big geek and I love the science behind our beings), whatever the reason, it is clear that, that workout was not suitable for you.

So, now we know why previous programs may not have been as effective as we had hoped, we now need to ensure that going forward the same issues are not repeated. When assessing the effectiveness of a program, remember ‘three peas in a pod’. The workout program is the pod and it must contain my three P’s:

1. Personalisation;

Firstly, the personal element. Even if this program is one you found online (if you are struggling to find one, bodybuilding.com has plenty), it still needs to be personalised to you.

To personalise a workout, firstly make sure that it is conducive to your goal i.e. do not follow a weight loss program if your goal is to gain muscle. If the program does support your goals, you then need to look at the exercises it requires you to do and consider any limitations you may have i.e., injury or lack of the required equipment etc. if it does so happen that, for one reason or another, you are unable to safely execute a specifc movement try and find a suitable alternative exercise. Once you are comfortable with the exercise requirements, have a play around with different weights, timings, distances, whatever it is you are using to measure your goal, assess your current ability and instead of just following the weight/distance/time requirments that come as standard in the program, adapt them to your current levels and abilities.

2.  Portions;

You may also have heard this principle referred to as ‘split’. Basically, this is the strategic calculation of performance. Planning the portions of your workout program ensures that muscles trained are evenly split with appropriate recovery time. This planning stage also acts as a preventative for poor workouts. Imagine not planning your workouts ahead of time, you have progressed through the week, you’ve only one muscle group left to train say, back, but you realise you did arms the day before and now your too sore to effectivley train your back muscles. It’s happened to us all and it is a night mare!

There are many different kinds of split. It can be determined by muscle group or training method, it can be done daily, weekly, bi- weekly etc.

For a beginner weight lifter, a 2 day split would be perfect. This just means that you do all of your body over 2 days, usually and upper body session on day 1 and a lower body session on day 2. Obviously, as you progress, this will progress too, when Arnold Schwarznegger was at the pre-competition  stage of his program his split used to be 2 workouts daily, 6 days per week.

My split is currently:

Portion/split is a key element  due to the fact that it outlines the workout’s in advance, you can see how and where you are going to progress, it saves time as workout’s are pre-planned and it adds an element of accountability because not going to a pre-planned gym session is a concious decision, it is not just a case of “oh, i never planned to go tonight” or “oh i didnt know what to work on today” there is a definite encouragement for commitment which is one of the purposes of following a program.

3. Progression;

Last but by no means least, progression. Our bodies adapt very quickly, there is such a concept of muscle memory and if we do the same thing over and over, our bodies are able to predict and prepare for this. Any program you look at, regardless of goals, needs to progress somehow otherwise, history will repeat itself and it will end up being another ineffective workout and more time wasted. By progressing the workouts we are shocking our bodies into action and forcing them to change to adapt to the new levels.

Progression can come in the form of weight categories, repetitions, distance, speed, timings etc.

Rate of progression is very dependant upon the individual. Personally, I progress by increasing the weight usally every couple of weeks. However, I am constantly assessing this rate and if I am able to easily complete the last 3 reps of my set then I know it is time to take it to the next level.

 

If the three P’s are contained in the pod, it is a safe bet that it will carry you towards your goals and on completion, you will have that sense of achievement you are looking for! Happy working out folks 🙂 

 

 

Starting a YouTube Channel. 

Easily three years ago, my boyfriends mum suggested to us that we start a YouTube channel. At the time we weren’t convinced but we thought about it for a few weeks and decided it was a good idea. Fast forward three years or so and we finally went out to do some filming.

Our plan was to do an outdoor workout at the beach and get a couple of good shots for the blog whilst we were there. Now fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on which way you look at it I guess), we did try to set up our channel whilst we were living in Canada but for one reason or another it never happened, that experience did however prepare me for today, in that there was no way we were going to capture everything we wanted and most definitely wouldn’t do it in the first shot nor did we expect our content, quality or editing to level anywhere near the videos that inspire us (Jay Alverez is a huge video inspiration for me).

Prior to actually heading out of the door this morning, we had each visualized our final product. We broke it down and planned what we wanted to record, the effects, the outfits, the voice over, the speaking parts, the workout, props – everything. We were off to a great start, everything required was packed, breakfast was had, we were dressed and ready so, with coffee in hand and dog in tow we set out to make our first video! Wahey!

Considering it was 7.30am on a Sunday, the excitement was definitely real and was further intensified by the brightening of the sun, the blue of the sky and the lack of traffic on the roads! If you’re wondering why empty roads excited us, it’s because last time Chris and I attempted to go to the beach, we ended up turning round and coming home when we were about 20 mins from the beach because we had been 20 mins from the beach for the last 30 minutes. Traffic 1 – Missy & Chris 0 but today we levelled the playing field and even scored a great parking spot, perfect!

Now, just to get that little mile walk through the cutest Pine Woods, to the back of the sand dunes, take a fun little scramble up & over them and its hello beach! Easy Peasy, right?! Wrong, not today. You remember aesops fable, The North Wind & The Sun? Well we had front row seats today only in this version the wind didn’t give up. As we got closer to the beach the sand was hitting us so hard in the face we couldn’t see, breathe, or talk. I was genuinely shocked at how much it actually stung. We persevered though, convinced that once we got over the sand dunes it wouldn’t be so bad. Wrong. It was worse. But we had come this far, we were not giving up now. WE’RE NO QUITTERS!

Camera and tripod readied, recording was in process. The wind and sun seemed to have set a new challenge though because next thing, the tripod, camera still attached, was on its side. Every nook and cranny on the camera was now filled with sand. Brilliant. The last thing we need is a broken camera. Luckily, we managed to blow the vast majority of the sand away and continued with our mission. Even if it did mean wrapping my head in my bright blue sarong to prevent any further pain to my cheeks and ears. It was only when our little doggy, Romeo started to whimper and attempted to shield himself behind us that we decided it was time to call it a day and off home we ventured.

Nonetheless, I am still extremely happy that we went and although we returned home with minimal and frankly terrible footage, I still feel a strong sense of achievement. We have never been so close to our goal, we are constantly learning new things and even when we get battered by the beach, we still have fun. That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day isn’t it, having fun. It’s not necessary to be constantly fixated on the end result. Just go out there and chase your dreams, have a go. Keep making positive steps and taking action. Do what you can to get yourself closer to your goal, no matter how minimal, every step counts.

I’m sure you’re a little intrigued to see some of the footage this post is based on so, there’s a little clip on my Insta for you: @contourallure. I also made my account with YouTube so, if you want to get the notification when our first video goes live then please go ahead and subscribe: MissyT133 

Finally, if you are looking to start your own YouTube channel and need a few tips, Thatbackpacker has some useful ones.