Coach Won’t Allow German Steeplechase Hopeful Gesa Krause to Wear High Heels

Gesa Krause is a 19-year-old from Germany who is hoping to compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Olympics. She won the event in the under-20 European Championship and she’ll be competing in the world championship this weekend. She’s also so motivated to compete in the Olympics she’s sacrificed many of the finer things in life.

Krause says she has given up partying, clubbing, and junk food while she trains. Oh yeah, her coach has also instructed her to avoid wearing high heels.

Krause’s coach, Wolfgang Heing, told the German website Bild that he’s banned her from wearing pumps. The idea is avoiding the stilettos will help protect her biggest competitive asset — her feet.

The restriction may seem Draconian on the surface, but it actually makes sense to some degree. I’ve mocked male athletes who got pedicures, but for running backs, keeping their feet in shape is wise. You just hope someone who’s so dedicated to their training gets to realize their dream. Best of luck to Krause.

Fist pound to Busted Coverage for the story

Note: This post also appeared on the Yardbarker Olympics blog

Lockout Could Result in NBA Players Passing on London Olympics

If you are one of those people who enjoys Olympic basketball and still thinks about the Dream Team, the NBA lockout could put a kink in your plans. If the lockout continues and the upcoming NBA season is cancelled, the Players’ Association will almost certainly pressure the players to bail on the 2012 USA Olympic team.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the NBA and USA Olympic team are too intertwined for NBA players to take part in the 2012 London Games. He refers to Team USA as a “David Stern production,” adding that while it will be a sticky public relations situation there’s no way NBA players and coaches could represent Team USA while the labor situation is uncertain. Jerry Colangelo, the managing director for USA Basketball, works under Stern. Additionally, the NBA’s biggest sponsor is Nike, which is also the top sponsor of Team USA.

After a disappointing 2004 performance in Greece that resulted in a bronze medal, the star power returned to Team USA and Mike Krzyzewski led a rejuvenated squad to a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. While USA Basketball will not be a top priority until a new NBA collective bargaining agreement is hammered out, it would be disappointing to see USA Basketball take yet another fall from grace.

H/T to I am a GM

Note: This post also appeared at Yardbarker’s Olympics Blog Medal Detector.

Michael Phelps Borrows Australian Swimmer Eamon Sullivan’s Trunks

It’s been a rough week for 14-time Olympic champion Michael Phelps. Not only did he lose to teammate Ryan Lochte in the 200-meter freestyle at the Swimming World Championships Tuesday, he also forgot his practice trunks. Luckily Australian swimmer Eamon Sullivan was there for assistance.

“Had to loan forgetful Michael Phelps my training togs for his warm up tonight. Hope they bring good luck buddy… PS – you can keep them!” Sullivan wrote on twitter.

Sullivan then tossed in the picture you see above of Phelps wearing the Aussie trunks, saying it’s “as close as you will ever see Michael Phelps swimming for Australia!

Yup, that is as close as we’ll get to seeing Phelps swimming for Australia. It’s also a much closer look at Phelps’ backside than I ever wanted to see, but surely it was a nice gesture by Sullivan.

Thanks to the breast stroking beast that is Rick Chandler for the story

Note: This post also appeared at Yardbarker’s Olympics Blog Medal Detector

Great Britain Would Like its Olympics Athletes to Tidy Their Rooms, Thank You

As the host country of the 2012 Olympics, Great Britain is expected to set a standard both on and off the athletic field. They take their responsibility so seriously that director of sports Sir Clive Woodward (by the way, you know you’ve made it when you have a “Sir” preceding your name), compiled a list of 15 “bare minimum standards” he hopes will generate a feeling of team spirit among the athletes.

So what’s on this list, you ask? Let’s just say it’s much more Marry Poppins than it is Wayne Rooney.

The five ideals they’re trying to promote are performance, responsibility, unity, pride, and respect. Here are some of the specific items:

Under the heading of performance, they want athletes to practice good hygiene.

As part of responsibility, athletes are expected to keep their “accommodation” clean and tidy.

And as part of respect, athletes are expected to avoid using foul language and making excessive noise in the Village.

In other words, be the perfect roommate!

Hey, these are great ideals and it would be nice if all athletes followed the rules, but let’s be real: we’re talking about professional athletes here. You really think someone’s going to tell them to stop tweeting past midnight from their messy living quarters? Don’t plan on it.

*story reprinted from the Yardbarker Olympics blog*

Apolo Ohno for Subway on Running NYC Marathon, Work Ethic, Michael Phelps Bong

LBS had the pleasure of speaking with two-time gold medalist and eight-time Olympic medalist speed skater Apolo Ohno Thursday. Ohno is in the Fort Worth area for Subway and announced he will be competing in the upcoming NYC Marathon, accepting Jared’s challenge. We talked about a number of subjects including preparing for the marathon, preparing for the Olympics, and of course we had to ask him his thoughts on the Michael Phelps bong pictures that came out two years ago.

Ohno has a busy upcoming schedule — he’s in Ft. Worth, going to New York, Las Vegas, and then he has a few other stops on the West Coast all in the next few days. He said he’ll be rooting for the Steelers on Sunday because of his trainer, John Schaeffer, who’s a Steelers fan. During our conversation, what stood out most to me about Ohno were his values of hard work and being a proper role model.

I was curious how much being an Olympian was the product of talent and how much came from working hard. Ohno told me it’s a combination of both, saying “talent can get you on the right track, but it doesn’t mean you’re doing it the right way.”

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Vancouver Olympics Receive Emergency Supply of Condoms

The amount of sexual intercourse that goes on in the Olympic Village every two years is legendary. In fact, they even encourage it by providing 100,000 condoms for free. If that’s not enough, the 2012 Olympics in London have a sexual logo. We touched on the reason two years ago by saying, “The Olympic Village is like a summer sleep-away camp but worse — you’re sticking a bunch of sexually deprived world-class athletes all in closed quarters, with nothing but raging, competitive hormones pumping through their veins.” That’s why it’s no surprise to read that they almost ran out of condoms in Vancouver this week. From the National Post via Sports by Brooks:

Health officials in Vancouver have already provided 100,000 free condoms to the roughly 7,000 ahtletes and officials at the Games. That’s about 14 condoms per person. But as of Wednesday, those supplies started running dangerously low.

So naturally, the Canadian Foundation for AIDS research decided to step and make sure there were no hitches in Olympic action.

Three boxes of about 8,500 condoms were sent in as relief. Any wonder why Lindsey Vonn’s husband serves as her manager? Dude’s no dummy. It’s just a shame that the Winter Games don’t have as many good looking girls as the Summer Games in Beijing. The same can probably be said for the men.


Alex Ovechkin Pushes Fan’s Camera After Russia’s Loss to Canada

Russian star player Alex Ovechkin tanked big time in Russia’s horrific 7-3 loss to Canada in the quarterfinals at the Olympics Wednesday. Ovie was outplayed and barely got any shots on goal as his team feel behind early. Unhappy with his team’s performance, Ovechkin was clearly pissed after the game. In his TV interview with NBC, he was asked how he felt following the loss that sent his country home empty-handed. His response was curt, “How do you think I’m going to feel? We just lost.” He even took his anger and disappointment out on a Russian fan by knocking her camera in the hallway. Watch this video courtesy of Deadspin:

I look at this the same way I view LeBron not shaking hands after the Eastern Conference finals last year — it’s great that the player shows this much passion and is that disappointed with losing, but it’s unacceptable to behave that way. It’s an understandable reaction but you need to be more gracious in losses and you surely shouldn’t mess with the fans the way he did. I’m sure Ovechkin learned his lesson.