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  • 11 #throwbacks of Olympians
    23/04/2015

    The Olympic Games have evolved over the past 100 years. With each iteration of the Games, the athletes strive to run faster, jump higher and be stronger. Olympic records may get broken, and the equipment may change, but one thing is constant: the indomitable spirit of each athlete. Here, you can compare athletes of Games past with the present!

    • Fencing

      Paris 1900 – Antonio Conte (Italy), Gold

      London 2012 – Yuki Ota (Japan), Silver

    • Pole vault
      Stockholm 1912 – Marc Wright (USA), Silver 
      London 2012 – Renaud Lavillenie (France), Gold
    • High Jump
      London 1908 – Ray Ewry (USA), Gold

      London 2012 – Jesse Williams (USA)

    • Tennis

      Paris 1900  – Hélène Prevost (France), Silver

      London 2012 – Serena Williams (USA), Gold

    • Archery

      Paris 1900 – Henri Herouin (France) Gold

      London 2012 – Alan Wills (Great Britain)

    • Men’s Artistic Gymnastic
      Saint Louis 1904 – Julius Lenhart 2 Golds, 1 Silver
      London 2012 – Epke Zonderland (Netherlands) Gold
    • Women’s Artistic Gymnastic (Uneven Bars)
      Berlin 1936 – Vlasta Dekanová (Czechoslovakia), Silver

      London 2012 – Gabby Douglas (USA), Gold

    • Curling
      Chamonix 1924 – Team Sweden (Silver) and Team Great Britain (Gold)
      Sochi 2014 – Johnny Frederiksen (Denmark) and Petr Dron (Russia)
    • Figure Skating
      Chamonix 1924Andrée Brunet and Pierre Brunet (France), Bronze
      Sochi 2014– Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov (Russia), Gold
    • Bobsleigh

      Lake Placid 1932– Team USA, Gold
      Sochi 2014 – Team USA, Bronze
    • Ice hockey
      Garmisch-Partenkirchen 1936 – Canada vs. Latvia
      Sochi 2014 – Czech Republic vs. Slovakia
  • 10 Olympians who will inspire you
    22/04/2015

    “It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy of life lies in having no goal to reach.” - Benjamin E. Mays

    • In 1938,  Károly Takács's shooting right hand was badly injured by a grenade. Despite this, he won 2 golds in 25m rapid fire pistol using his left hand.
    • In 2001, Nathalie Du Toit (RSA, swimming) lost her left leg. Not giving up on her dream, she competed in women's 10km marathon at Beijing 2008!

    • In 2004 Athens, Vanderlei de Lima, the Brazilian runner was leading the men's marathon when he was tackled by a spectator. He still won bronze.
    • Eric Moussambani from Equatorial Guinea didn't know how to swim just 8 months before Sydney 2000. However, he gave it his all at those Games!
    • In a sport like archery, visual acuity is everything. Dong-Hyun Im (KOR) describes himself as being farsighted, and has still won 2 golds and 1 bronze!
    • Wilma Rudolph (USA) contracted polio at age 4, causing paralysis. She was able to overcome it, and by the time she was 20 had won 3 golds and 1 bronze!
    • Greg Louganis hit his head on the springboard during the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. He overcome fear and injury to clinch gold with a near-perfect dive!
    • @Shaun White  was born with a heart defect, and overcame 2 heart surgeries before he was 1 year old. 
    • Ray Ewry (USA, Athletics) won 8 golds from 1900–1908. As a child, he couldn't walk after contracting polio. He overcame it in part through exercise!
    • In St. Louis 1904, one of the most remarkable athletes was the American gymnast George Eyser, who won six medals even though his left leg was made of wood.
  • 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!