Italian swimmer Filippo Magnini says he won’t have sex during Olympics

All athletes have different ways of preparing for competition, especially those who compete in the Olympics. In certain ways, Olympic athletes are their own breed. They are some of the fiercest competitors in the world and have some of the strictest training regimens. Some take long naps before races while others stay awake and listen to music for hours. Some eat light meals and others load up on calories. Some use sex to relieve stress, whereas others refrain from it throughout the entire Olympic Games. Italian swimmer Filippo Magnini prefers celibacy.

“There are athletes who even have sex the evening before (a race), but I’m more prudent,” Magnini told “A” Magazine according to the Herald Sun. “During the events I try to keep calm.”

The 30-year-old is the double 100-meter freestyle world champion and won the world 100-meter freestyle in 2005 and 2007, so his resume is impressive enough that his training methods need not be questioned. Pictured above on the right is Magnini’s girlfriend, Federica Pellegrini. We are hoping Pellegrini — an Olympic swimmer and the 2008 gold medalist in the 200-meter freestyle — also prefers to swear off sex during the Olympic Games. Otherwise, the 23-year-old could be one frustrated customer in London this summer.

91-year-old Arthur Gilbert is an Olympic torchbearer and world’s oldest triathlete

Whether you are 16 years old or 40, I bet you can’t image competing in a triathlon 40 years from now. What is the cut-off age for such activity? It can’t be any older than 60 and even then you’d have to be in freakishly fantastic shape, right? For Arthur Gilbert, 60 years old feels like it was a lifetime ago. The british athlete completed his 41st triathlon in England over the weekend at the tender age of 91.

“I came last but when you’re 91 I think you’re allowed to,” Gilbert told the Daily Mirror. “I keep saying I’m going to give up soon but I always end up going back to do more. This triathlon was my third ‘last one’. I just can’t give up.”

That’s right, he said 91. Most people would feel lucky to be alive at GIlbert’s age, but he’s still finishing races. The retired helicopter engineer completed a 500-meter swim, a 20-km bike ride, and a 5-km run to complete the triathlon. His training regimen is that of a man in his mid-20s, as Gilbert said he goes to the gym three times a week, cycles 25 miles every Sunday and swims 50 laps in a pool every day. The secret? Staying happy and positive.

“The secret is staying stress-free, being happy, doing charity work and being positive,” he explained. “I don’t drink or smoke and I have regular check-ups. I also have a balanced diet with lots of fruit which helps ­tremendously – I love nuts and bananas.

“I must be the world’s oldest triathlete. People think I’m bonkers but they inspire me to carry on, and I inspire them to do something like this for charity.”

It may be hard to believe, but he is indeed the world’s oldest triathlete, a title he earned last year according to Burnham-On-Sea.com. Gilbert has also taken part in the ceremonies leading up to the London Olympics, as he carried the Olympic Torch through a British village last month. He may be too old to compete, but not having a 91-year-old triathlete take part in the Olympic ceremonies would just be plain senseless. Best of luck in your 42nd triathlon, Mr. Gilbert.

History of the Olympic torch relay including all its good and bad times

It takes place once every two years, around the time it usually takes for me to get a pay stub — emphasis on stub — for writing one of these articles: the Olympics. The event comes as a reminder when people all of a sudden start getting into fistfights on the street over badminton medal hopefuls.

For a quick review, the Summer Olympics sports are characterized by those events that were largely conceived in an era when dressing like Mr. Peanut was popular. The sports of the Winter Games were, by and large, borne out of inebriated bets: Why any sober individual would compete in a sport called skeleton is beyond the scope of my imagination. One would think finishing alive would be the priority, with the medals being fussed over once a chiropractor has examined the wreckage.

A discussion on the Olympics themselves is best left to a later date. (Check back in a month.) What concerns this writer is the continuing of a tradition that is rooted in antiquity. No, not the outbreak of plague in the athletes’ village, but the biannual tradition of a torch relay to mark the beginning of the Games.

The Olympic Flame is the symbol of the event. In ancient Greece, it was kept burning throughout the duration of the event and even sometimes afterwards, as evidenced by the members of the 1972 U.S. basketball team. There have been many notable memories surrounding the Olympic torch, some good and, of course leave to me to point them out, the not so good.

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Olympic officials reportedly concerned about potential prostitution boom in London

With all the concerns involving security, housing, venues, and more that surround hosting the Olympic Games, one potential problem has a tendency to slip through the cracks: Prostitution. From a business standpoint, it makes perfect sense. The Olympics brings together a massive group of people that includes athletes, coaches, spectators, relatives, and lonely businessmen. Add that up and you get major brothel potential.

According to the BBC, former Minister for the Olympics Tessa Jowell told the Metro Police Authority back in January of 2010 that she would not stand for women being trafficked to London in search of business.

“Major sporting events can be a magnet for the global sex and trafficking industry; this is wholly unacceptable,” Jowell said. “I am determined that traffickers will not exploit London 2012.”

Maybe that’s why they ordered an extra shipment of these at the Vancouver Games. During the Athens Olympics in 2004, it is believed that the number of known human trafficking victims almost doubled. Those numbers have been widely disputed, but that event certainly raised awareness about the potential problems events of a similar scale could face with regard to prostitution. Studies have found that prostitution is a significant issue during the World Cup as well.

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Japanese Paralympic sprinter poses for nude calendar to try to raise money for Olympics

When Maya Nakanishi was 21, she lost her leg after being hit by a steel beam at work. As an athlete, she refused to let the life-altering injury slow her down. Nakanishi is now one of the world’s top Paralympic sprinters. Running with one leg that has been amputated below the knee, she is the record-holder in the T44 200 meter race and the long jump. She competed in the Paralympics in Beijing back in 2008, but Nakanishi is struggling to put together enough money to be able to compete in London this summer.

In a fundraising effort, Nakanishi has put together a semi-nude calendar in hopes of raising enough money to purchase a new prosthetic leg and be able to train for the Summer Olympics. Photos from the calendar can be seen here.

“I don’t regret having become nude,” Nakanishi said according to NDTV Sports. “I’m very happy that I was able to show Maya Nakanishi as I am.”

Nakanishi added that she was unable to compete in the 2011 world championships because of limited funds. The Japanese government provides limited financial assistance to Paralympians. While some may object to the way Nakanishi is going about raising money, many of us can’t understand how disheartening it must be to be a top athlete who can’t compete because you can’t afford it. Give her credit for finding creative ways to accomplish her goals.

H/T Off the Bench
Note: This post also appeared on Medal Detector

Usain Bolt thinks he can break 9.4 seconds in the 100 meters at the Olympics

Usain Bolt is a clear favorite on the track at the Olympics this summer in London. He’s already run the best time in the 100 meters (9.76 seconds) this year and currently holds the world record (9.58). But when it comes to setting a new world’s best mark at the Games, Bolt naturally thinks he’s the man to do it.

And not simply break the record. He wants to shatter it.

“Everybody has been talking about this 9.4 all season,” Bolt told CNN. “If it’s possible, I’ll be the one to run 9.4.

“After my trials leading up to the Olympics, then it depends on where my fitness is. If everything goes well, I can determine, how fast I think I can go.”

Bolt added that track conditions will be a significant factor. And given that it’s London, weather on race days will be crucial for times. But leave it to Bolt, one to never shy away from bravado, to calmly speak about running a mind-blowing 9.4 seconds like it’s no big deal.

Bolt ran a world-record 9.58 at the World Championships in 2009. That time bested the previous mark of 9.69, which he broke at the 2008 Olympics. And if you have any doubts that he can top a 9.4, remember he notoriously let up early in Beijing to start celebrating before he crossed the finish line and still managed to set a world record.

And even the best in the world still can get better in four years’ time.

Note: This post also appeared on Yardbarker’s Medal Detector
Photo: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Anthony Davis reportedly a long shot to make U.S. Olympic team

It takes a special talent to be invited to try out for Team USA before ever stepping foot on the court during an NBA game. In 2007, the invitation was extended to Kevin Durant. Durant accepted the invitation but, as expected, fell short of making the team. This year, Kentucky phenom Anthony Davis has been invited to work out with the U.S. Olympic team. While Team USA is in need of size with Dwight Howard injured, Andrew Bynum not interested, and LaMarcus Aldridge potentially out, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo says it is unlikely that Davis will make the final roster.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Colangelo described Davis’ chances as a “long shot” before adding that it could help that the team is loaded with scorers and deeper in the back court than the front court.

“He’s not a guard competing for a guard position where we’re reasonably deep,” Colangelo said. “We don’t have any shortage of scorers. Anthony has a chance to make his mark sooner rather than later just by rebounding, defending, getting up and down the court, being a team player. He doesn’t have to score.”

Colangelo said the chances are slim because Davis is inexperienced, which will in all likelihood keep him off the roster. With only 12 players traveling to London, a kid fresh out of college would have to blow the coaching staff away to be chosen over other NBA veterans. The last thing you want to do is hurt a player’s confidence before he even plays an NBA game, so we expect Davis to remain in the States. The experience, however, can only help his progression.

H/T SLAM Online via Pro Basketball Talk
Photo credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE