Thursday, July 22, 2010

Reading about Sports

Strand Bookshop by ricoeurian
Much as we love sport, there has to be time to read as well. I won't off-load on everything I read but sharing some of the biographies or other connected books could be good.
Didn't make a great start in my local library which has four long shelves of sports biographies with only three books on women athletes. The librarian is now working overtime on ordering.
You won’t see a book here every week but whenever I finish one up she goes. And if you come across any great books or films linked to this blog topic, do share them with us.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

With This Ring, a Film about Indian Women Boxers

With four world titles, three Asian titles and nine Indian national titles packed around her waist, amateur boxer Mary Kom isn’t someone you’d mess with. Not that you could tell from looking at her; she fights at 46 or 48 kgs and has a grin wider than the Cheshire cat.

Spring demo 2010 (With This Ring) from with this ring / anna & ameesha on Vimeo.

With This Ring isn't finished yet so this is just a taster. The two film makers, Ameesha Joshi and Anna Sarkissian, have been fascinated by the Indian Women’s team since they became the most successful women’s amateur team at the 2006 Championships. I've been reading their blog on the dramas of making the film on Women Boxers in India. Or you can check up on Mary Kom on her site. It's enough to make you want to get in the ring - or is it?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Silken Laumann, Rower and Accident Survivor

Pic from Library and Archives Canada
A few weeks ago I posted on my choice of ‘Sweat and the City’ girls. A Canadian reader recommended some stars from her hometurf to add to the list.  And being a sucker for Overcoming Injury and Adversity stories I have to share the adventures of Silken Laumann with you.

Laumann was a rower in the 90s and retired with three Olympic medals. Her 1992 win came 78 days after her lower leg was shredded by another boat in training. Shredded; as in nerves and muscles gone, fibula broken. Laumann spent a month doing what the doctors said, then trained in a specially adapted boat. Even during the Olympics she was hobbling around on a cane. But she found the determination to power over the line for a bronze medal.

A Sports Illustrated article quoted her as saying: 

“Rowing kept me honest. It's so black-and-white. You can't hide. Before '92 I was a strong person, but I wondered how strong I would be if something bad happened. Then something bad did happen and I didn't wallow in sorrow. I just figured, O.K., what do I do now? Sport strips you from all barriers, from all social conventions, and you see people for who they really are."

Do you know anyone else who steamed back from a nasty accident?

Pic from Sports Illustrated                              


Monday, July 12, 2010

Jessica Kurten Showjumper

Jessica Kurten in action Paris Berc

Watching Irish athletes compete can sometimes be an international affair. Because it's a small place, many people move to find better training facilities or because their families are based overseas.

Irish rider Jessica Kurten lives in Germany with her family and horses but competes in the green. She was announced yesterday as part of the Nations Cup team in Holland for the next stage in the Mayden Superleague. Riding on Liberatas (great name for a horse) she is ranked 6th in the Rolex World Rankings and recently came 2nd in the Monaco Grand Prix.

It will be interesting to see if she travels back for some Irish shows this year.  A tough lady although I did read an interview where she claimed Dirty Dancing as her favourite film! You can read more about Kurten on her site Jessica Kurten

Would you move countries for your sport?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Do You Like the New Wonder Woman Costume?

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Wonder Woman's had a makeover at 69 years of age. Probably showing my own age 'cause I remember when she was the only female superhero in the middle of all the cape-twirling boy wonders! 

I did use to spend some time thinking about what kind of sports bra would hold her in place without any straps but thought it was just me. Now her new designers have not only given her straps but a full jacket and spurs as well. Not so sure about the jacket – it’s a bit too '70s Hong Kong martial arts flick for me, but see what you think…

Wonder Woman 2010 thanx Good Comics

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Derval O' Rourke, world class runner and optimist

Derval O' Rourke credit Irish Runner mag.
Latest post on O Rourke from Korea here. 2011

What is in the water in Cork? Watching sprint hurdler Derval O’Rourke, local girl and 4th at the World Track and Field Championships 2009, race to bronze at the Cork City Sports yesterday made me want to give up on bottled water for good. Never mind the gold in them thar hills, there’s a ridiculous number of world class runners popping up around my hometown. 

The thing I love about O’ Rourke is how positive she always is. You never hear excuses for missing out on gold by fractions of a second – no sore ankle or bad training day; she just accepts it and focuses on the next race. A few days before this meet she crashed through the hurdles in Germany getting cuts on her hip, ribs, arms and knees. Quite a few top athletes would have moaned on for weeks but O’ Rourke posted on her blog: “…On an entertaining side note adrenaline kicked in and I crawled (oh the shame!) to the line. I’m not sure why I did this. Somewhere in my brain I had to finish. To make things worse I got a big sympathy clap from the crowd…”
But when she got round again in Greece later in the week, she announced Sookie Stackhouse-style: “In your face demons I can run over all 10 hurdles!!!!!” Never mind the clichés, this is what sport is all about.
You can read more about Derval on her blog Derval's Blog