There’s a reason sand doesn’t stick to beach volleyball players

If you have ever spent a day at the beach, you know that one of the most annoying consequences that comes along with it is sand — everywhere. The tiniest bit of perspiration or ocean water seems to make sand stick to every pore on your skin, and the only way to get it off is to wait until you dry completely or jump in the water. Waiting until you dry can be incredibly tedious, and if you jump in the water it’s just going to happen again. So how do beach volleyball players learn to deal with it during competition?

They don’t. Believe it or not, the type of sand that is used in Olympic competition is regulated by the International Volleyball Federation and is designed to be stick-free. There are no stones or pebbles mixed in with the sand like there is at your average beach. It’s also the perfect balance of not too coarse nor fine so that it won’t stick to the players’ bodies.

“This sand is fabulous,” Kerri Walsh Jennings said in Beijing back in 2008 according to Reuters. “It’s so soft it tickles your feet.”

No wonder Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor decided to stick with these outfits despite the change in rules. I don’t know about you, but knowing this about Olympic sand gives me an entirely new perspective on watching beach volleyball. The only thing stopping me from wanting to pursue it as a career is that sand sticking t0 my body drives me insane — no matter what the situation. Had I known the sand is designed not to stick, it would have been me replacing Todd Rodgers as Phil Dalhausser’s partner at the Brazil Olympics in 2016. No, seriously…

H/T Fourth Place Medal

Ryan Lochte reportedly considering offers for reality TV shows

The London Olympics have turned Ryan Lochte into a marketing machine. He may not come off as the sharpest knife in the drawer all the time, but there is something about him that gets people talking. For companies who endorse him, that is a great thing.

As The Hollywood Reporter pointed out, the US swimming star currently has nine big endorsement deals that include Gatorade, Speedo, Gillette and Ralph Lauren. Those corporations don’t care about Ryan’s admission that he pees in the Olympic pool or the diamond grill he wore on the medal stand. All of those things create buzz, and buzz is a good thing when you’re trying to sell a product.

Now, it appears reality TV producers are hoping to ride the Lochte wave. According to his agent, Lochte has been asked by Will Ferrell to appear in a “Funny or Die” and approached about starring in television shows.

“I cannot tell you the exact shows, but two different reality show concepts have been offered and one additional is being discussed,” Erika Wright wrote in an email.

Any athlete with a mom who says outlandish things like this would probably make for great television. Lochte has already said he is open to appearing on “Dancing With the Stars,” so it’s safe to assume we haven’t seen the last of his face now that he is done in London after having locked down five medals. If you’re one of the many people who can’t stand the 28-year-0ld, there could be a lot of frustration in your future.

H/T MSN Entertainment
Photo Credit: OSports via US PRESSWIRE

Lolo Jones breaks down during interview: US media ‘ripped me to shreds’ (Video)

Last weekend, the New York Times published a piece that many believe was extremely unfair to US Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones. The heading of the article said it all: “For Lolo Jones, Everything is Image.” It compared Jones to women’s tennis star Anna Kournikova, making the point that her personal affairs and good looks have made her a popular topic of discussion — not her accomplishments on the track. As you might expect, the piece greatly upset Jones.

“I think it was crazy just because it was two days before I competed, and then the fact that it was from a US media,’’ Jones said on The Today Show as she nearly broke into tears. “They should be supporting our US Olympic athletes and instead they just ripped me to shreds. I just thought that that was crazy because I worked six days a week, every day, for four years for a 12-second race and the fact that they just tore me apart, which is heartbreaking.

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U.S. upset over Argentina’s nut shot on Carmelo Anthony (Picture)

On paper, it appeared that the US men’s basketball team’s 126-97 win over Argentina in the final game before the knockout stage was a breeze. In many ways it was, but for Carmelo Anthony it was a bit more painful. As you can see from the screenshot above, Anthony took a shot to the groin as he was attempting a three-pointer at the end of the third quarter.

The three went in, but as the video at Eye on Basketball shows it certainly appeared that Argentina’s Facundo Campazzo threw an unneccesary below-the-belt shot as the buzzer sounded.

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Alex Morgan’s stoppage time header sends US women to gold medal match (Video)

The US women’s soccer team advanced to the Olympic gold medal match on Monday after what was one of the most exciting few minutes of the London Games. The US defeated Canada 4-3 in extra time to score a date against Japan in the finals on Thursday. After Abby Wambach scored yet another goal on a penalty kick to tie the game at 3-3 in the 80th minute, Alex Morgan added what would become the game-winner on a beautiful header that she floated over Canada goalie Erin McLeod’s head.

The goal was arguably the most thrilling moment of the London Olympics for the US, who never led in the match until extra time. The win sets up a rematch against Japan, which as you may remember is the team that defeated the US in a heart-breaking game that came down to penalty kicks in the World Cup final last summer.

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Usain Bolt stops during interview to acknowledge U.S. National Anthem (Video)

While respecting an opposing country’s national anthem is something you would expect any Olympic athlete to do, we know that is not always the case. Following one of his recent preliminary race’s in London, Usain Bolt was in the middle of an interview when the US National Anthem began playing as Sanya Richards-Ross was being presented with her gold medal. Bolt instantly stopped the interview — which was being aired live — to acknowledge the presentation and show respect for a fellow athlete.

For those of you who are thinking “what’s the big deal,” there are plenty of athletes who would just continue their interview without thinking twice about it. That doesn’t mean they would be disrespecting a fellow competitor or country intentionally, but the fact that Bolt didn’t think twice about it says a lot about his character. He may be cocky and even a bit clumsy at times, but Usain deserves credit for the classy gesture.

American flag flies away during Serena Williams’ medal presentation (Video)

Serena Williams won the gold medal in women’s Olympic tennis on Saturday. Williams, the No. 4 seed in the tournament, defeated No. 3-seeded Maria Sharapova in a match that took only 45 minutes. It was the most lopsided woman’s final in Olympic history, as Serena won 6-0, 6-1 to complete her career Golden Slam.

In fact, Williams’ win was so easy that it went more smoothly than the medal presentation itself. As you can see from the video above, the United States flag blew off its pole midway through the National Anthem and fell to the ground.

“It was probably flying to come hug me because the flag was so happy,” Williams said after the match.

We don’t know if the flag was happy, but Serena certainly was as evidenced by the terrific dance routine she busted out after the win. One thing’s for sure: it’s much easier to see Serena in this condition than it is when she looks like this.