X

Meet the Incredible Jake Olson – A Completely Blind College Football Player

After years of cheering for his favorite college football team, University of Southern California student Jake Olson has achieved the impossible dream – despite being completely blind, he is now a part of the team, playing as long snapper for the USC Trojans, approaching the game based on feel rather than sight.

Born with retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of the retina, Jake lost his left eye when he was only eight months old. “When the doctors found my cancer, it was completely taking over my left eye,” he said. “The greatest fear is the cancer spreading through the optic nerve to the brain.” So the eye had to be removed entirely, followed by several rounds of chemotherapy and laser treatment to prevent the cancer from spreading to the right eye. Sadly, it kept coming back.  At age 12, Jake received news that he would have to lose his right eye as well. “Realizing what I was going to be confronting… a life without sight, it was difficult. I didn’t feel completely hopeless, but there was this sense of ‘I don’t know how I’m gonna do anything anymore.’”

Being a lifelong Trojan fan, one of Jake’s last wishes before he lost his eye was to watch them play at Notre Dame and also to witness a practice session the night before the surgery. “There were nights of crying and stressful times when I couldn’t get the thought of going blind out of my psyche,” he said, speaking to the LA Times. “But every time I was up at USC or talking to one of the players or just being around, it was just pure fun. And truthfully, peace.”

Jake-Olson-Trojans Read More »

4-Foot-5, 95-Pound Football Player Doesn’t Let Size Stand in the Way of His Dreams

Meet Adam Reed, a 17-year-old, 4-foot-5, 95-pound high school senior who despite his short stature made his high school’s varsity football team. Adam may be only the fifth-string running back for Plantation American Heritage school’s nationally ranked football team, but he’s actually their star player, with fans always lining up to take photographs with him at the end of every game.

At 4-5 and 95 pounds, Reed isn’t exactly the poster boy for American football. The biggest player on his team, in comparison, is Tedarrell Slaton, who stands at 6-6 and a whopping 338 pounds. In fact, Reed is nowhere close to the second smallest player in the team, Jason Heinstkill, who measures 5-8 and weighs 146 pounds. But he’s got more grit and determination in him than most players twice his size. “I’m a little undersized,” he said, nonchalantly. “But it’s whatever. I don’t let my size stop me from doing anything.”

According to Reed’s mother Lisa, he’s been passionate about football since childhood. “He started playing flag football at 5 years old, but it was no big deal back then because there was no tackling. He was always a strong and fast kid, but I never realised how good he was. When he said he wanted to continue playing, I said go for it.” Reed ended up playing on middle school and junior varsity teams at Heritage since the sixth grade, and got on the JV squad in high school as well. But making the high-school varsity cut proved challenging.

Adam-reed-football2 Read More »

Latest Fitness Craze in Australia Has People Running on All Fours

If you’re bored with old-fashioned running, or if you feel that it’s not a complete workout, you might want to try crunning, a new fitness craze that’s taking Australia by storm. No, it does not mean crying while running, it’s actually a cross between crawling and running that involves getting down on all fours and moving as fast as you can.

The bizarre workout, best described as your thighs’ worst nightmare, was invented by Australian fitness enthusiast Shaun McCarthy. We’re not sure what prompted him to come up with the bizarre activity, but he seems convinced that it will revolutionize fitness as we know it. “The only thing that crunning’s changed about fitness… is that it’s changed everything about fitness,” he says.

crunning3 Read More »

Team Fighting Championship – The Crazy Violent Sport Sweeping Europe

Here’s a real treat for all you MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fans. It’s called Team Fighting Championship, and it’s played using standard MMA rules, sort of. The sport involves two teams of five members, who basically have a go at each other in a big ring as soon as the referee blows his whistle. The MMA-style fights usually start as one-on-one, with each member singling out an opponent, but as competitors are forced to tap out of the fight, contests can become two-on-one, or even five-on-one.

A video clip of a Team Fighting Championship (TFC) match has been doing the rounds on the internet. It starts off with a group of scantily clad women doing a seductive dance. Then, an announcer comes on the ring to introduce the teams – LPH from Poznan, Poland and the Wisemen from Gothenburg, Sweden. They all stand in the ring opposite each other. When the announcer blows the whistle, they’re all instantly at each other’s throats. Soon, some of the fighters are pinned to the ground while the others punch them repeatedly and rather mercilessly. And there’s only one rule for winning – take out all the members of the opposing team.

team-fighting-championship

Read More »

Spikeball – Volleyball’s Brilliant Distant Cousin

Intense, competitive, trash talk – are the three terms used by the founders of Spikeball to describe the game. After watching a short video of how the sport is played on their website, I’m finding it very hard to disagree. It’s really quite exciting just to watch, so playing it should guarantee an absolute whale of a time.

Spikeball is probably best described as volleyball’s distant cousin, but there’s a lot more to it than just that. The net used for Spikeball is small and circular – probably the size of a Hula Hoop, and it sits on the ground at ankle level. The ball is pretty small too, just about palm-size. Two teams play against each other with only two players on each team. The objective of the game is to smack the ball across to your opponents, just like in volleyball. However, with spikeball, you need to bounce the ball on the net first, so it ricochets upwards at an opposing player. They in turn have to be able to bounce it back to your team, within three hits, or you score. You score points every time they miss, and a score of 21 is needed to win the game.

Read More »

Cycle Ball – When Cycling Met Football

Cycle Ball is a niche sport that combines football and cycling in a unique way. It’s been around for over a century, but it’s still regarded as an unusual sport, especially in America.

Also known as “radball”, Cycle Ball was invented in 1893, by a German-American named Nicholas Edward Kaufmann, and steadily gained popularity around Europe. The first Cycle Ball championship was held in 1929, and the sport even reached far lands like Japan, but it never really caught on in the US. You’d think Yanks don’t fancy weird sports played on a bike, but how do you explain the increasing popularity of Bike Polo, or Unicycle Basketball?

Cycle Ball is played by two teams made up of two players riding around a basketball field and trying to shoot a ball through their opponents’ goal, using their heads, or the front wheels of the bikes. It may sound strange, but it’s a pretty simple and fun game to play. A match consists of two seven-minute halves, in which players must keep their feet off the ground to avoid a free-kick, and try to score more goals than their adversaries. While defending the goal, one of the players is allowed to use hands, but you’d be surprised how hard the ball is usually struck in one of these games, so using hands doesn’t help much if the ball is well directed.

Read More »

Federer and Nadal Face Off on Floating Tennis Court

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, the two top seated tennis players in the world, kicked off the tournament in Doha with an exhibition match on a floating tennis court. I never thought I’d get the chance to write a post about my favorite athlete of all times, Roger Federer, on a blog about oddities, but I guess you really never can say never.

Usually, there’s nothing a tennis player hates more than a flooded court, but in this case both Nadal and Federer were more than happy to get their feet wet, in order to promote the upcoming ATP Tour. They were brought in by boat, to a tennis court floating in a lagoon, on the coast of Doha, Qatar. The two exchanged a few friendly balls, but avoided sprints, as neither seemed to fancy a bath.

Nadal said: “For the past three years we have done a few different things, and this one was a very nice experience.” and Federer added “”It was good fun. It was so different. You’re always excited and nervous to see how it will turn out. It is always nice promoting an event and an entire tour with Rafa.”

What’s even more impressive is how these two tennis legends leave their rivalry on the court, where it belongs, and works so well on promoting different events, and tennis itself.

Read More »

Bike Polo Is Quickly Becoming a Popular Sport

Derived from the traditional equestrian sport the English are so found of, bike polo started out as just another underground urban sport, but is now one of the most popular cycling sports in America.

Bicycle polo can be traced back to 1891, when Irish cyclist Richard J. Mecredy first came up with the crazy idea of riding the bike with one hand and holding a polo mallet in the other. Back then, it was played on grass, just like horse polo, and it wasn’t until the last decade that bike polo started being played on hard surfaces.  Bikers first started competing in Bike Polo games in cities like New York, Chicago and Seattle, but thanks to the Internet, it quickly spread to other US cities, and is now a regimented sport, with a clear set of rules and its own championship – the North American Hardcourt Bicycle Polo Championships.

The game of Bike Polo basically features two teams of three members chasing a street hockey ball, trying to kick it through the opposition’s small goal. Their mallets are made from plastic tubes and old ski sticks, and their fixed gear bikes only have one handlebar, to allow better control of the hockey ball. As you can imagine, this is not the safest sport in the world, especially considering it’s played on hard surfaces and there are a lot of crashes involved. Players try to gracefully avoid bumping into one another, but that’s not very easy to do on a bicycle, and accidents do happen. But that’s precisely what makes bicycle polo an adrenaline filled sport, and that’s why so many people love it.

Bike polo is well on its way to becoming a mainstream sporting event, as authorities keep building more and more sanctioned places to practice the sport, all across the United States, and players hope they’ll soon be able to organize world class bike polo competitions.

Read More »

Pogo-Stick Master Rises to New Heights

Fred Crzybowski, a 20-year-old from Los Angeles, is known as “the Tony Hawk of the pogo world” for the extreme pogo-stick jumps he can perform.

Fred, who started using a pogo-stick at the age of eight, is the current record holder for the most consecutive backflips, which stands at nine. He has appeared in motion pictures like Mister Magorium’s Wonder Emporium and hopes he will get new gigs in television and movies.

This young pogo-stick master‘s dream is to bring pogo-stick jumping at the same level as other extreme sports like skateboarding or rollerblading. He says technology has made significant improvements and pogo-sticks are no longer just toys, but powerful tools that can help jumpers perform serious stunts. He uses a Flybar pogo-stick, designed by SBI Enterprises, that can lift a 250-pound man five feet in the air, but he gets way more out of it.

Like all extreme performers he has had his share of accidents, including a split lip that took 30 stitches to repair. But that won’t stop him from jumping over cars, staircases or other obstacles, any time soon.

Photos by AUSTIN HARGRAVE/BARCROFT MEDIA

via Telegraph.co.uk

extreme-pogo-jumping

Read More »

Bloody Nipples Gallery

If you’re a runner, you probably already know about the issue of nipple bleeding, but for people like me, who only run when they’re being chased, this is new.

I stumbled across this set of photos on Unknown Highway, one of  my favorite sites, and thought I’d investigate further to find out what exactly makes men’s nipples bleed during marathons. After a bit of reading I learned not to ever run for miles, dressed in a cotton shirt.

Apparently, cotton and sweat just don’t make a good team. After you run a few miles, you start to sweat a lot and the cotton absorbs the sweat and gets heavier and heavier. That’s when it starts to act like sandpaper against your sensitive nipples. So, if you want to run in a marathon make sure you’re wearing something made out of light-weight material, like a CoolMax t-shirt.

If you don’t have anything else but cotton t-shirts, run shirtless. It’s better for people to see your belly wiggling that to see your nipples bleeding, trust me. Also, I know this sounds a bit kinky, but you might want to rub a bit of Vaseline or other lubricant on your nipples, before a race.