Tag Archives: Olympics

Sha’Keela Saunders, US Long Jumper, Ready for Olympic Trials

“It takes just one jump!”

That is what US long jumper, Sha’Keela Saunders told me as she prepares for the Olympic Trials in Eugene.

Suanders was the 2017 NCAA Division I Indoor track and field Long jump champion. She earned 13-time NCAA Division I All-America honors in her college career. She first broke the University of Kentucky Wildcats school record in the long jump for the first time 6.53 m (21 ft 5 in) en route to a first-place finish at the 2015 University of Kentucky Rod McCravy Memorial Track & Field Meet. Sha’Keela set the University of Kentucky Wildcats school record in the Long jump in 6.90 m (22 ft 8 in) in 2017 – a performance thank ranked and placed her in third on the all-time collegiate indoor list.

She’s competed in Diamond League events, World Championships and now an Olympics would complete her resume’.

She is also the Head Women’s Track and Field Coach at Hampton University in Virginia and loves passing along her knowledge to younger athletes.

Great to talk with Sha’Keela and it really only takes one jump.



Kyle Garland, US Decathlete, Heading to Olympic Trials

Rick is joined by an incredible athlete this week, US Decathlete, Kyle Garland.

Garland is a University of Georgia product, who grew up and competed in Philadelphia.

Showing promise as a junior athlete, Garland won gold at the 2018 USATF U20 Championships in the decathlon scoring 7562 points. He then went on to finish 7th at the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships.

Now a pro, Garland was selected to compete at the 2022 World Athletics Championships held in Eugene, Oregon. Garland placed in the top 10 after the shot put, long jump and 100 meters events before ultimately finishing eleventh on his senior major championship debut, which was won by world-record holder Kevin Mayer of France.[4] He was selected for the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest in August 2023.

The US has a long tradition of winning decathlons, and Garland wants to be a part of that.


Richard Kaufman, ‘PLAYED: The Games of the 1936 Berlin Olympics’

As anticipation builds for the 2024 Olympics, a new book from Glenn Allen and Richard Kaufman takes readers back to the contentious atmosphere surrounding the Summer Games hosted by the Nazi regime, when the nations of the world had a chance to turn their backs on Hitler’s propaganda-laden spectacle — but didn’t. Their book, PLAYED: The Games of the 1936 Berlin Olympics, brings to life pivotal characters, both good and bad, to depict a cautionary story that serves to warn the modern era that history must not repeat itself.

Kaufman joins Rick this week.

Based on real stories and real people involved in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, PLAYED plunges readers into a compelling, fictionalized account of the insanity and hysteria that unfolded across Germany, the United States and in much of the world from 1931 through 1936.

At the center of the controversy in the U.S. is American Olympic Committee President Avery Brundage. Unmoved by the new Nazi regime’s anti-Jewish doctrines, Brundage leads the fight to participate in the 1936 Berlin Games after much debate of a U.S. boycott. Brundage desperately wants to be on the International Olympic Committee. If he doesn’t get the Americans to Berlin, he can kiss that dream goodbye.

When the vote is decided in Brundage’s favor, AP Sports Editor Alan J. Gould, friend and champion of the athletes, travels to Berlin to cover all of the “games” being played. Through his eyes readers see the machinations of Brundage’s complicity with the Nazis, the tenacity of the proud American athletes and the extreme pressure from the Nazis on their German athletes. Their stories, heartbreaking and tragic, give rise to feats of heroism that go beyond the playing field.

Along the way readers meet some of the most famous people of the time: Mae West, Charlie Chaplin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Joseph Goebbels, Leni Riefenstahl, Eva Braun and the madman himself, who vowed to “make Germany great again,” Adolf Hitler.

“Of course, we can’t go back in time and change history insomuch as we can change the outcome of a sporting event,” the authors added. “But we’re obligated to study history because it teaches us how to move forward. At least we hope it does.”

About the Authors

Richard Kaufman and Glenn Allen have been writing together for over 25 years. They have numerous projects in development, including scripted feature films, docuseries, television series, and have co-written and produced two award-winning independent films, all under the banner Green Bandana, a TV/film development company the two co-created in 2015.

Book: PLAYED: The Games of the 1936 Berlin Olympics

Website(s): www.greenbandana.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/richard.a.kaufman

Scott Shipley, Olympian, Montgomery Whitewater Center

Rick is joined by Olympian, Scott Shipley this week to talk about a new exciting whitewater facility in Montgomery, Alabama.

The center, currently under construction in Montgomery, AL, is the future training ground of Olympians.

Easily accessible from 1-85 and 1-65 exits, the Montgomery Whitewater Center is a world-class outdoor activities center within walking distance of the city’s burgeoning downtown. The development, which broke ground in June 2021 and is scheduled to be completed in 2023, will be anchored by an Olympic-standard recirculating whitewater course, which will allow users of all ages and skillsets to participate at difficulty levels ranging from beginner to expert. The Montgomery Whitewater Center will also include a variety of dry-side outdoor activities such as climbing areas, ziplines, ropes courses and trails for hiking and biking with the idea that visitors can have a great day with or without ever getting in the water.

Construction of the Montgomery Whitewater Project is expected to employ 640 people and have an economic impact of $39.8 million.

Shipley brings a varied background to the table. Scott Shipley is among the best-known American kayakers in the world today. A veteran of three Olympic games (’92, ’96, ’00) and holder of four world titles, Shipley has more than 25 years experience as a whitewater competitor. Scott also holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from top-ranked Georgia Institute of Technology.

Shipley’s combined expertise in both Whitewater and Engineering Design has made him the go-to designer for some of the world’s most demanding whitewater design projects. Shipley has been credited with driving innovation in the whitewater park industry by pushing the design envelope. Shipley’s innovations include a patented Whitewater Terrain Park system that redefines whitewater recreation and a patented moveable obstacle system that is the world’s first three-dimensional modular obstacle allowing for complete reconfiguration of an existing whitewater park.

Felix Breitschädel, PhD, Norwegian Olympic Sports Centre · Technology & Equipment on GelSight

Rick talks with Felix Breitschädel, PhD, Norwegian Olympic Sports Centre this week on ‘Tech of Sports.’

How are Norwegian athletes preparing for the Olympics? Both the summer games and the winter games.

The Norwegian Ski Team is utilizing unique tech to give their skiers an edge on the slopes by arming them with detailed data, thanks to GelSight – whose handheld 3D measurement device the Norwegian ski team is using to quite literally, measure snow.

The country of Norway loves its sports and Felix is making sure Norway’s athletes have all the latest tech.

For quick background, the skiers need to understand how the surface of their ski will interact with the snow, and even though there were other measurement tools they could use to measure the topography of the snow, it had to be taken out of the natural environment and into the lab, which impacted results. With the handheld device, GelSight mobile, Felix and his team can investigate the surface of the snow right out on the slopes or rink to identify the snow grains and take pictures of the snow’s surface for future reference. It helps also inform R&D decisions to develop new grinds for equipment for upcoming competitions.

Lots to talk about with Felix!

Mike Gattone, Head Coach US Weightlifting Team

Rick talks to Mike Gattone, Head Coach of the US Olympic Weightlifting Team this week on iHeartRadio.

Mike has been involved in the sport of weightlifting and the strength and conditioning field for over 30 years. Mike served as High Performance and Coaching Education Director for USA Weightlifting, and was Competition Director for the weightlifting event at the 1996 Olympic Games, the 2009 Pan American Championships, as well as two USA National Championships, National Junior Championships, and the 1992 Olympic Trials. He has coached international and national championship athletes including competitors in multiple World, and Junior World weightlifting Championships, and was personal coach for the 2000 Olympic gold medalist, Tara Nott-Cunningham.

Mike has served as Manager of Coaching for the United States Olympic Committee, and Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Chicago Bulls/Vermeil’s Sports Performance. In addition to weightlifting and strength and conditioning, Mike has also coached track & field at the collegiate and junior college level.

The Mission of USA Weightlifting shall be to support United States athletes in achieving excellence in Olympic and World competition and to support, promote, and educate a diverse and inclusive community of weightlifting and the use of the barbell in the United States.

The USA has a chance to win potentially about 5 medals in the Games (the most in 61 years), and will announce our Olympians next Wednesday the 19 of May, showing our largest team since the United States hosted the 1996 Games in Atlanta. Our medals were only 1 in 2016, 2 in 2000 and then nothing back to 1984. In particular, we have not won a Men’s medal since 1984 and look set to end that this time around.

Different to many sports, our unique story will be told in quick succession because a Weightlifting athletes compete only once, there is no tournament, no early rounds, it’s straight into competition and 2 hours later you win a medal or you do not!

Buoyed by historically strong athletes and a changing landscape in the sport, Team USA Weightlifting has the opportunity to win multiple medals and have its most successful Olympic Games in generations.

USA Weightlifting will send a full team to Tokyo consisting of eight athletes, four men and four women.

“In sending our largest team since 1996, Team USA has already made history,” USA Weightlifting CEO Phil Andrews said. “These 8 athletes have proven their resilience continue to train throughout the year delay, our job now is to give them unrelenting support as they look to deliver each of their Olympic moments in Tokyo, en route to potentially our best Olympic Games in 61 years.”

Nominated to the United States Olympic Team
Athlete – Bodyweight – Hometown
Jourdan Delacruz – 49kg (108lbs) – Wylie, TX

Katherine “Kate” Nye – 76kg (167lbs) – Oakland Township, MI

Martha “Mattie” Rogers – 87kg (192lbs) – Apopka, FL

Sarah Robles – +87kg (+192lbs) – Desert Hot Springs, CA

Athlete – Bodyweight – Hometown

Clarence “CJ” Cummings, Jr. – 73kg (161lbs) – Beaufort, SC

Harrison Maurus – 81kg (179lbs) – Auburn, WA

Wesley “Wes” Kitts – 109kg (240lbs) – Knoxville, TN

Caine Wilkes – +109kg (+240lbs) – Matthews, NC

To prepare for the upcoming Olympic Games, Team USA Weightlifting will travel to Honolulu, Hawaii for a pre-Games training camp. The USAW Hawaii Strong Camp, powered by NBH Bank, will give athletes and their coaches the chance to train in a COVID-19 secure bubble with world-class support staff as well as giving friends and family the chance to be together to support the athletes.