Occassional thoughts about orienteering
Sunday, February 12, 2006
OlympicsI've been sitting in front of the TV a bit watching the Olympics. A few thoughts:
1. I've been watching the Olympics on a high definition TV. Mary bought an HD TV few days ago...wow, it is great. I never thought I'd say that about a television. In fact, when Mary first brought up getting an HD TV, I wondered why, "our TV is fine and is it really worth spending money for a new TV?" Well, I was wrong...and Mary was right.
2. The snowboard uniforms are built to be used with a mobile phone and Ipod. The hood has built in speakers, the collar has a microphone and a remote control panel sits on the sleeve. How stange.
Maybe orienteering needs more high-tech gear. How about an O' top with built-in GPS and antenna? Maybe pants and gaiters with d3o padding?
3. I hope NBC shows us some of the x-country ski relays. Here is a snapshot from the men's relay in 2002.
4. I was poking around the web page for U.S. Speedskating and came across a press release about the sponsorship between the team and Hilton Hotels. Here is a bit of it:
To alleviate athletes' anxiety about waking up on time, the hotels will also install the "world's easiest to set" alarm clock in each room. This cube-shaped clock radio automatically adjusts for daylight savings time and includes a connector for MP3 and CD players.
"When competing at the Olympic level, even the smallest of details can directly impact an athlete's performance, and sleep is one of the most critical factors," said Steve Roush, chief of sport performance for the U.S. Olympic Committee. "Partnering with Hilton to create an enhanced sleep environment in the training facility dorms demonstrates our commitment to provide Team USA the top resources and support as the athletes prepare to contend for gold."
Other room enhancements include sensory changes involving temperature, lighting and visual stimuli. However, at the request of the USOC's Sport Performance Team, the complete details are not being revealed to prevent competing countries from gaining the same competitive edge as the U.S. athletes....
... Many of the new dorm elements will be replicated for the U.S. Olympic Team at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Italy to help keep the American athletes at their peak during the most critical time of competition - the Torino Winter Games.
"Familiar surroundings during training and competition are essential," noted Dr. Rosekind. "For an athlete, two hours less sleep than needed is the same as having a blood alcohol level of .05 when it comes to the effect on performance."
To me this is the best and the worst of the Olympics. The best being the attention to detail and efforts to do everything possible to put the athletes in the position to perform well. The worst being the cloying commercialism.
5. I'm looking forward to spending more time in the coming days sitting in front of the TV (or maybe watching while riding the trainer) and reading about the events in the newspaper and on the web. The winter Olympics is usually inspiring (even if you're not a big ice-dancing fan). posted by Michael | 10:07 AM
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