Monday, February 17, 2014

Going For the Gold: Hot.Cool.Yours

GO USA!  Many amazing stories and events coming out of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. One of the questions I have heard asked several times is about  the slogan, "Hot.Cool.Yours."   Here it is broken down according to the organizing committee.

Hot: Expresses the intensity of the passion of the spectators.

Cool: Reflects the timing of the Games, and the cold climate of Russia.

Yours: Symbolizes the Olympians commitment, ownership and personal involvement in their successes and shows their sense of pride.

Five fascinating stories I feel define the Olympic slogan this year.
  • Keeping that spice:  Pure perfection and beauty come from Meryl Davis and Charlie White, our USA ice dancers. Dedication is obvious as they have been skating together for over 18 (wow!) years and it shows. It's not their technique they are focusing on but the movement.  They recently explained they want to elevate the competition and add more erotic moves bringing out the passion and excitement for free skate. In their interviews they discuss that it's not about pushing each other, but truly enjoying each other's company. Their coach, Zoueva, has been quoted as saying, "There is little room for improvement. My mission is that you can't take your eye from them. Everyone has to watch."  And boy, are we watching!
  • Back to the drawing board: Over 69 iterations completed on the the shape of the  BMW developed bobsled for Steven Holcomb and Steve Langton . It was all about keeping that balance of technology and real-world application. The developers used CFS (computational fluid dynamics) and then put the sled into action on the track. It was key to constantly go back and tweak the tension and other areas of the sled until Holcomb and Langton felt it was absolutely perfect. Countless test runs and being risk takers of innovation have helped Michael Scully,and his world class team of engineers, master the reinvention of the bobsled and skeleton. When there's less drag, they go faster. Less vibration allows for better sight conditions (their heads aren't bouncing around as much). The equipment had to be perfected. Tuffy Latour explains that these competitions are 90% mental, so the athletes have to believe they have the best equipment and coaching behind them. Even though there's a science to it all, at the end of the day, it's the ability to believe in yourself that gets you on the fast track.
  • Hit me with your best shot: Earning a bye to the quarterfinals, hockey team USA came out winners in the most anticipated game on Saturday against the Russians. Newton's Three Laws of Motion were observed (as they are in every game) throughout this thriller. Friction, force, mass, collision and action all play their special roles in this game of physical endurance. Science and mathematics are key to making the best shot. Hopefully, the Winter Olympics has you excited to learn more about hockey, it's truly amazing just how technical it is, despite our perception of players slapping around the puck and shoving each other.  Check it out for yourself!
  • Fashion faux pas: Are the high tech suits to blame for slowing down the USA Speed Skaters? I find this story fascinating because it brings us back to reality. Sometimes the newest technology, high tech interest, is not always the best. The speed skaters showed no increase in speed, actually the opposite, when they wore their high tech suits last week. This has caused the team to revert back to their former tech suits for the rest of the competition. What's even more interesting is that the Dutch are dominating the competition so far and they are basically out there in Lycra suits.  One of the USA coaches, Kip Carpenter, had this to say, "The human factor is the largest piece out there. There is not an athlete out there who is slowing down a second per lap because of what they are wearing." Which brings up the question, it is the suit or the athlete that is dragging? 
  • Rising above tragedy: Winning the bronze in the Super-G and persevering on to being the fastest skier on the Olympics and possibly the oldest in decades, Bode Miller is a true champion. The 36 year old truly shows age is just a number.  Thoughts about his deceased brother, "Chilly" Miller, who died of an apparent seizure  almost a year ago, are with him in Russia. He has been seen emotional and has discussed his late brother on several occasions. However, given his past record, nothing seems to keep him down. This amazing man grew up in cabin with no electricity or running water, was homeschooled until third grade, has penned a book, Bode: Go Fast, Be Good, Have Fun,  was the subject of documentary, Flying Downhill,  and when he missed the gate at the 2002 Winter Olympics, he hiked his way back up the 25 ft course to take on the slalom run,  which instantly gained him more notoriety. He defines unconventional.
As more stories unfold and exciting events progress, we all can learn a great deal from each one. Let's be HOT with fire and passion as we cheer others on, COOL enough to appreciate our surroundings and environment, know that each day is YOURS to be committed to and move forward in achieving whatever goal you have set for yourself.

Go for the GOLD!

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