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  • These Olympians are giving back to their communities
    17/04/2015

    Sometimes, Olympians' greatest accomplishments have nothing to do with medals. Rather, these elite athletes measure their success by how they've given back to the community. Here are 13 motivational athletes who are making a difference all over the world by volunteering.

    • @Usain Bolt says, "The best part about my success is giving back." Find out how he inspires the next generation here http://bit.ly/1GNnM9H

    • The Roger Federer Foundation (http://bit.ly/1JBiOet) is involved in learning. It supports education projects in Switzerland and rural South Africa. 

    • The Michael Phelps Foundation is a nonprofit organisation devoted to helping children live healthy and active lives! http://bit.ly/1aEzTbn
    • @Marti Malloy is seen here helping aspiring judo athletes. According to the comments, the girls in this pic were thrilled! http://on.fb.me/1GNpqYR

    • @Chris Hoy is an ambassador for International Inspiration (London 2012 international sports legacy programme). http://bit.ly/1tWQWMl
    • @Carol Rodriguez is volunteering here over the winter holidays to help feed people in need who live in skid row in Los Angeles.
    • @Brianne McLaughlin is volunteering at a free medical clinic in Nicaragua as a nursing student. http://go.teamusa.org/1IXjVnR
    • @Chad Le Clos was an ambassador for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games. In this pic, he's sharing his experiences with Team South Africa.
    • The Lebron James Family Foundation is dedicated to helping children through education and healthy living. @LeBron James http://bit.ly/1HjPBWa 
    • Retired football player Jorginho (BRA) founded the Bola Pra Frente Institute (http://bit.ly/1yoBk8Y) in 2000 to help vulnerable kids and teenagers! 
    • Last December the @Neymar Júnior Institute started offering free sports, reading, language, music and IT classes to about 2,300 children ages 7-14. 
    • Not only does @Yuna Kim help out as a YOG ambassador, but she works with UNICEF to help children in need. http://bit.ly/1GDBlsh
    • @Hayley Wickenheiser started an ice hockey festival that helps young female athletes develop their skills, one of her many projects. http://bit.ly/1GKh4RG 

  • Ten Tennis Facts
    16/04/2015

    Tennis is sport that is fun to play and watch. Whether it's singles or doubles, this sport requires athleticism, skill and mental stamina. Here are some fun facts about tennis that may surprise you! Learn more on tennis here

    Source: ITF, http://bit.ly/1FxuCgw

    • There are two types of balls used in tennis: pressurised and pressureless. Pressureless balls lose energy on impact and are slower.
    • The ITF estimates that nearly 360 million tennis balls are manufactured each year!
    • Over the past 25 years, tennis rackets have evolved quickly. They are now larger, lighter and more powerful. © Getty Images
    • A tennis racket has three sweet spots: the node, centre of percussion and maximum power point.
    • A racket is in contact with the ball for only 0.005 seconds during impact.
    • Tennis courts should be constructed so that the centre line runs in a north-south direction to help keep the sun from getting in players' eyes.
    • It is estimated that there are between 750,000-1,000,000 tennis courts in the word.
    • A tennis court's net is 12.8 metres long.
    • You may think there are three types of court surfaces (clay, hard and grass). In fact,the ITF classifies 9 major types, such as asphalt and hybrid clay.
    • Until the 1970s, most tennis tournaments were played on grass. Now, the majority of tournaments played on grass take place only in the UK.
  • 11 Olympians Then and Now
    09/04/2015
    When watching Olympians compete, it's hard to picture them outside the context of the Games. Sometimes it's fun to see what they looked like when they were younger. Here are some pictures of Olympic athletes from the past. We've also included pictures of them now to compare. Happy throwback Thursday everyone!
    • Then: @Devin Logan (USA, Freestyle Skiing) shows off by skiing on one leg in this cool pic from when she was a kid!

    • Now: It’s evident that @Devin Logan still loves skiing. It’s also evident that her tricks have reached new heights, literally! ©Getty Images
    • Then: @Lotte Friis (Denmark, Swimming) shared a pic on social media of one of her best birthday presents ever. She sure looks happy!

    • Now: Friis is now an Olympic medal winner in women’s 800m freestyle. Good times, good times :) @Lotte Friis © Getty Images
    • Then: @Michael Phelps (USA, Swimming) is all smiles in this pic. As Phelps points out, "What's there not to smile about?"
    • Now: @Michael Phelps may not be smiling in this pic, but he’s most definitely smiling on the inside, having won 22 Olympic medals.
    • Then: Recognize this athlete? Thank you Shaun White for sharing this fun #tbt pic that leaves so many questions unanswered… @Shaun White (USA, Snowboard)
    • Now: Shaun White’s childhood pic may be enigmatic, but there’s no question about his skill as a snowboarder, having won two Olympic golds! @Shaun White 
    • Then: @Alyson Dudek (USA, Short Track) is seen here skating to her heart’s content on the ice as a child before the turn of the millennium.
    • Now: In the new millennium, @Alyson Dudek has become an accomplished speed skater, helping the USA win bronze in the women’s 3000m relay at Vancouver.
    • Then: @Jazmine Fenlator (USA, Bobsleigh) is seen here enjoying her mother’s famous icebox cake on her birthday. You can’t beat that smile!

    • Now: @Jazmine Fenlator now enjoys riding down ice in a sled. She was chosen for the 2014 U.S. Olympic Bobsleigh Team.
    • Then: @Anže Kopitar (Slovenia, Ice Hockey) is suited up and ready to play in this #tbt pic.
    • Now: @Anže Kopitar is again ready to play in this pic, only this time he is competing in the Olympics!

    • Then: @Emma Dahlström (Sweden, Freestyle Skiing) shared this pic. She stated that it may have been the first time she skied on her own.
    • Now: This is definitely not a pic of Dahlström skiing on her own for the first time! @Emma Dahlström 
    • Then: @Arianna Fontana (Italy, Short Track) described herself in this pic as the "blondebomber". You can see the determination in her face!
    • Now: All of that determination paid off. @Arianna Fontana has won 5 medals: 1 at Turin 2006, 1 at Vancouver 2010 and 3 at Sochi 2014.
    • Then: Here is a great pic of  @Jae-Woo Choi (South Korea, Freestyle Skiing) when he was 13 years-old.
    • Now: 7 years after here's @Jae-Woo Choi competing at Sochi 2014 in men's moguls!
    • Then: @Kaetlyn Osmond (Canada, Figure Skating) shared a picture of her and her sister. Can you tell which one is Kaetlyn? She's on the left.
    • Now: In this pic, it’s pretty easy to figure out who @Kaetlyn Osmond is. Hint: it’s the Olympic medallist in the centre!
  • Olympic Medals of Past Games
    08/04/2015

    Olympic medals have changed a lot since the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. Behind each design is a story and symbolism.If you are an Olympic medal Geek click here (PDF file), you can read more about different medal designs of the Olympic Games. All the medals can be seen here

    • Athens 1896: 1st place medals were made of silver. On the front, Zeus holds a globe with the winged victory, and the Acropolis is on the back.
    • St Louis 1904: The medals from these games were unique: it was the only time they were attached to a ribbon and pinned to athletes' chests.
    • Chamonix 1924: This is a picture of a 1st place medal of the first Winter Olympics. The front shows an athlete standing in front of Mont Blanc.
    • Amsterdam 1928: Italian artist Giuseppe Cassioli designed this medal. The obverse side's motif was used for medals of the Summer Games until 2004.
    • Albertville 1992: The motifs were engraved in glass. Every medal was hand made, requiring 35 people to complete.
    • Athens 2004: Instead of sitting (like in Cassioli's design), the Greek goddess Nike flies into the stadium, bringing victory to athletes.
    • Turin 2006: The medal is shaped like the Olympic rings. When worn, the open space in the centre reveals the athlete's heart, symbolising life.
    • Beijing 2008: The medals of the XXIX Olympiad were the first to be inlaid with jade. They symbolised nobility and virtue.
  • Top 5 tips for a speedy recovery from 7-time Olympic medalist
    02/04/2015

    @Kirsty Coventry , 7-time Olympic medalist, tells us how she recovers from a hard session in the pool or gym! This Zimbabwean swimming sensation has competed at four Olympic Games and has the highest number of Olympic medals in African history.

    Want to hear more about Kirsty on the road to the 2016 Rio Games and her plans post swimming? Sign up to our live event here – which will take place on Wednesday 8 April at 5.00pm London (UK) time. 

    • 1. Consume protein: Chocolate milk is an excellent source of protein!  It helps muscle recovery and repair. 
    • 2. Use bath salts: I use special Epsom bath salts which replenish my magnesium levels and relieve my muscle soreness. The lavender one is my favourite!
    • 3. Wind down with your pets: Relaxing with my Central Asian Shepherd pups – Raiken and Tali – always clears my head. They love to play soccer! 
    • 4. Take a power nap: I looove to sleep. A one hour power nap on days when I have two sessions is an absolute must! 
    • 5. Drink liquid as soon as possible: I add Vitamin C to my water, and make smoothies with peanut butter, yoghurt, bananas, almonds and strawberries. Yum!
    • Want to hear more about her top tips for creating a balance between training and other aspects of your life? Sign up here: http://bit.ly/1HWxWS9