Category Archives: Olympics 2008

Apolo Ohno Wants To Help You Breathe

Apolo Anton Ohno, the most decorated American winter athlete, wants you to know that if you have difficulty breathing during exercise, it may not mean you are out of shape, it may be a little-known condition called exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB).

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Diagnosed with EIB more than ten years ago, Ohno is speaking publicly for the first time about the impact of EIB on his short-track speed skating career. Continue reading

Michael Phelps, His Bong and the Hypocrisy of Kellogg

Michael Phelps, His Bong and the Hypocrisy of Kellogg

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Seeing as today is Bob Marley’s birthday, I though it would be fitting to give ya my two cents on Michael Phelps, his bong and the ridiculous reaction to his toke because thanks to Michael Phelps, the entire world now knows what a bong is. Yes, Phelps was at a party where some bozo snapped a photo of him taking a hit from a bong. Yes, bongs are used to smoke weed.  No, it’s not the monster-piece of drug paraphernalia rampantly portrayed in the media. It’s a pipe. That’s all. Its not going to turn you into a drug addict and it certainly doesn’t’ mean Phelps has a drug problem.  More importantly, it doesn’t mean that he’s a bad guy. (I do suspect if he were photographed smoking a joint there wouldn’t be so many starry-eyed fans gasping at the thought of their Golden Boy getting high.)

But alas, Phelps does smoke weed just as several of our Presidents have, most of our ballers do, and just about any artist with a gold record does. We’ve come a long way since Reefer Madness and I believe Phelps can usher in a little bit of understanding when it comes to the herb-if only the hypocrites would open their minds. First of all- respect for several of Phelps’ sponsors: SPEEDO, OMEGA and PURE SPORT have all said they support Phelps. Aside from the fact the he’s made gazillions of dollars for them-they get “it.” It being – it’s no big deal.

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Perhaps the biggest hypocrisy comes from “cereal and snack maker KELLOGG.”  The company has reportedly said it will not renew a sponsorship contract with Phelps on the grounds his behavior is “not consistent with the image of Kellogg“.  Let me rephrase that- the makers of POP TARTS and FROSTED FLAKES don’t feel that smoking weed and their products mesh well. I’ll give yall a million bucks if you can find a box of Pop Tarts not located within arms reach of a bong. And what about the KEEBLER elves? Are you telling me they weren’t conceived by someone who was high? Pa-leeze. And do I even have to mention that the amount of sugar in most Kellogg’s products are far more deadly than smoking weed?

I also wonder if Kellogg’s had any issues with the fact the Olympics were held in a county which supplies weapons to rebels who are hacking off the arms and legs of children, raping women and burning villages. Yet I don’t see Kellogg’s supporting any of the athletes from Team Darfur? In fact-its looks as if Kellogg’s will soon be opening a manufacturing plant there? If they actually cared about something more than making money, they’d be sending those Keebler Elves to Africa instead of indirectly funding a war.

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I’m also a bit miffed about the gratuitous ‘three month suspension from competition’ dolled out by USA Swimming. The sport’s (US) governing body said no “anti-doping rule” had been violated but they wanted to send “a strong message” to Phelps because he had disappointed so many people. HUH? Disappoint how? He still has 8 Gold Medals? You still enjoyed watching him swim, didn’t you? If the photo came out before the Olympics and he still won 8-what would the reaction be? Would you have ignored race number 7? Doubt it…When I young and got too starry eyed about someone- my mother was always quick to remind me: ‘They wake up in the morning with bad breath just like the rest of us.’ While her words were quick to kill many a fantasy-it always kept me in check. Michael Phelps has a god given talent in the pool. He is loved, adored and worshipped for these talents. And he also wakes up with bad breath just like the rest of us. He also gets smelly and showers just like the rest of us. And yes, he just happens to be one of the world’s greatest athletes who was dumb enough to get photographed while getting high…Phelps ridiculous ban from who-knows-what will end in time for him to get wet at the US Championships on 7 July-which act as a trial for the World Championships in Rome two weeks later. Hopefully, Phelps will behave himself and NOT get photographed drinking a glass of Chianti while there.

Let me remind everyone too, that Phelps laid down the $1M post-Olympic Speedo bonus to start his own foundation. “Thanks to a lot of hard work, some good fortune, the inspiration I drew from so many supporters around the world, and incredible teammates, I was able to achieve that dream by winning eight Gold Medals in Beijing,” said Phelps. “Now, my goals reach beyond the pool, to helping others realize their dreams, and continuing to grow the sport I love so much. I feel it’s only appropriate that I continue the momentum that Speedo helped to create, by committing my bonus to the establishment of the Michael Phelps Foundation, which I hope will help me inspire others to achieve their dreams, and give back to the sport that has given me so much.”

And that, my friends, you can put in your pipe and smoke.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Celebrity Athletes in 2008

Celebrity Athletes in 2008
2008 has been a great year for some of our favorites. Yes, I made a vow to take the month off but unfortunate I can’t stay away…too many of our guys are out there playing Santa, making cookies with kids and spreading the holiday cheer…I couldn’t possibly cover all the action, just a few memorable moments that made my estrogen spike and my man question my sanity…

Rafa is sitting tight at number one after sending the Swiss Mister down the rankings ladder and finally clinching his spot atop the world rankings…Our kitten Camilo Villegas grabbed a few headlines, several trophies and a shit load of estrogen en route to 2009…Lewis Hamilton became the youngest champion in Formula One history and owned the word “class” while kicking ass in the face of racism…we fell in love with Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt while raising awareness for genocide…Men’s USA Basketball did us proud and brought home the gold…and we, the people, elected one of the hottest ballers alive to be Our President. All in all, I would say a mighty good year.

Ideally, I would elaborate on Carmelo Anthony’s ‘Very Melo Holiday Event’ which was held in Denver…however, I am at a loss for words. Only one comes to mind…Geez-Us. Carmelo Cares people and don’t ever doubt it. “It’s important to me to make a significant impact on the communities that have positively affected me. My family and I are committed to growing my Foundation so that we can continue to help families in need.”

Another Nugget up to do-gooding…Chauncey Billups, along with Ray and Rodney Billups-spread some holiday cheer during a holiday event for families at the Hiawatha Davis Rec Center in Denver.

Shane Battier gets mad props for helping this little kid from Casa De Esperanza pick out some toys during the Houston Rockets Season of Giving in Houston…and gotta give a massive hug to the most underrated ‘giver’ in the League-Ron Artest…Ron-Ron made cookies during the Rockets event and passed out gifts along with Luther Head, Carl Landry and Joey Dorsey…

And this is the fifth year in a row that the NBA has teamed up with ‘Feed the Children’… This years event in Detroit saw five Pistons -Kwame Brown, Allen Iverson, Jason Maxiell, Tayshaun Prince and Rasheed Wallace- stepping in as the Fab-Five for this years ‘Miracle in Motown’ where they fed five thousand families…For me, the Pistons embody something that transcends basketball. Off the top of my head I can’t think of any controversy, jail time or scandal involving the Motown boys that would deem them unworthy of praise, so correct me if I’m wrong-until then, they get my vote for sincerity, good will and never saying no when asked to help others.

Have a safe and happy holiday season…remember to check out all the celebrity philanthropy we’re covering at Look to the Stars…have a rocking new year, hug a child and I’ll see ya in (yikes) ’09.

As always, thanks for reading.
Delinda Lombardo

Michael Phelps and Little Wayne on SNL

MICHAEL PHELPS AND LITTLE WAYNE ON SNL

First of all, I was praying that Tina Fey would make an appearance on SNL as Sara Palin. As expected, she did not let me down…Michael Phelps-first impression- looks fantastic in a suit. His short opening monologe was a bit flat, he seemed a bit nervous- Odd, considering he just rocked the Worlds Stage in Beijing…loved the Willliam Shatner cameo plug for Priceline…and some of you may be wondering why SNL paired Americas Golden Boy with Lil Wayne? Seems that during the Olympics, Michael Phelps said that Lil Wayne was his favorite rapper.

I was actually a bit surprised by Lil Wayne…my previous experiences with his entourage had me questioning Wayne as the musical choice, but his performance on SNL was really good-sans the guitar he tried to real-fake-strum, and his super-cool jeans ruined by the fact that his ass was hanging out…Aside from Tina Feys award winning performance as Tits Mcgee, I’d say the best part of Phelps’ appearance on the show were the screen-caps used after commercial breaks. Its not that Phelps did a ‘bad job’, its just that I felt he did a great job when playing himself as opposed to a lame character in a blond wig…but hey, that’s just my opinion.

That’s all I got for ya right now kids…but sit tight, mama’s about to unlock her secret vault of ‘oh-no-they-didn’t-stories’ in the next few days…look out Perez Hilton, Delinda’s bout to rock the world.

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As always, thanks for reading.
Delinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.com

Usain Bolt: Juiced on Yams While Spreading ‘Joys’?

USAIN BOLT YAMS IT UP

After winning three gold medals in Beijing, Usain Bolt made a personal donation of $50,000 to the kids in the earthquake-stricken Sichuan Province. Bolt said he had seen reports of the 8.0 magnitude earthquake that struck the area on May 12, killing close to 70,000. “It makes me feel sorry for the victims, so I ask my management team to do something,” said Bolt after delivering the check to Liu Xuanguo, secretary-general of the Red Cross Foundation of China. “They are kids. They deserve a better future,” Bolt said, “I hope they can still enjoy themselves, because they are still kids. And, it’s great for kids to live in joys. I just want to help them. I’m looking forward (to) more people coming out and helping them,” Bolt said, as he stood next to several kids confined to wheelchairs due to ‘quake-inflicted injuries.’


Usain had me when he won the first gold, and sealed the deal when he said “its great for kids to live in joys.” We should all live in joys, no? And we should all take a hint from the Jamaican sprinters. The Caribbean country’s five gold medals at the Games all came from sprinters. Usain Bolt: double gold medals with two world records in the men’s 100m and 200m sprints…Veronica Campbell-Brown won the women’s 200m…Shelly-Ann Fraser and other two Jamaican women swept medals in over 100m…Melaine Walker kicked in another by breaking the Olympic record in the women’s 400-meter hurdles….


“We have a tradition, we have natural talents, We are the sprinter factory of the world,” said Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s minister of information, culture, sports and youth. “You know why? We eat healthy and good food, lots of yams. Lots of greens, lots of fishes, good Jamaican food and clean fresh air.”

Yams? Lots of yams? According to researchers at USPlabs in Denton Texas, the secret to a great sprinting juice is in the yams…an exotic yam called the Trelawny yam to be precise.

It wasn’t long ago that Usain’s father, Wellesly Bolt, claimed that the yam was partially responsible for Usain’s electrifying speed, and now researchers are backing him up…They say there is ‘enormous scientific credence’ to Wellesly Bolt’s claim about the Trelawny yam. “Scientists have known for years yams contain high amounts of steroidal glycosides, which are naturally occurring steroid alkaloids,” said Jacob Geissler of USPlabs.


In the early 1930’s, yams were used to first synthesize testosterone because the chemical structure of the yam is identical to human testosterone. This particular Jamaican yam could possibly contain the most potent steroidal glycosides on earth. (It’s no wonder they have a Trelawny yam festival in Jamaica.) Jacob Geissler of USPlabs: “The problem for scientists is that we could never liberate all those powerful steroid alkaloids and make them usable, until now…we just got finished with a clinical trial study on naturally occurring steroidal glycosides and the results were staggering. In just 30 days test subjects gained close to 7 pounds of lean mass and increased their strength by up to 30%. And these stunning results were achieved by very experienced lifters with past steroid use…what we were able to do is cleave the sugar molecule off the steroidal glycoside and liberate its enormous nitrogen-retaining effect, and as everybody knows, steroids dramatically increase nitrogen in the muscle cell making it bigger, stronger and faster.”

Yams, the new steroid? Are USPlabs the next BALCO? According to ‘expert trainer and conditioning coach’ to over 400 professional athletes, Jon Doyle: “I’m using it on some of my pro ball players and they’re getting huge steroid-like results with no steroid side effects. Some of them are getting so big and strong their agents have phoned me swearing up and down I’m giving them real juice. I had one young player who gained 13 pounds of muscle in 30 days and lowered his 60 yard dash time by .3 seconds!” (Prweb)

Yam it up kids…I’m taking a few days off…

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As always, thanks for reading.
Delinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.com

Men’s USA Basketball Babes Officially ‘Redeemed’

MEN TAKE THE GOLD IN BEIJING
Lerbon james, dwyane wade, carmelo anthony
Prior to the game, Dwayne Wade said: “It could be emotional. We’ve thought about. But at the same time we have to win this game… But I think everybody has thought about that moment where you lean down and put the gold medal around your neck and you hear your country’s song being played. That’s when your emotions really come out because you really reflect on the journey…”


“We talked about on the bus ride over (for Saturday’s practice at Beijing Normal University). We are not going to shy away from our sensitivity” said Wade,” We know Melo is going to cry. We’re not shying away from it. We know it’s going to be a great moment, but we know we still have a job to do to get that moment.”


And now the three-year effort to redeem themselves has culminated in a 118-107 victory for the Men’s USA Basketball team as they delivered a lil dose of karma to Spain to bring home the Gold…with, of course, David Beckham and his golden balls watching from the sidelines.

Carmelo Anthony lights Kobe Bryants cigar after winning Gold
Prince(ess) Kobe Bryant finally got a gold around his neck, and he did it a day after turning 30-not a bad gift for the patient and wicked black mamba. After nibbling on his first taste of gold: “It is more important and more special than any championship that any of us will ever win,” Bryant said.

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“I know that we had a tough road ahead of us. We knew that these guys (Spain) weren’t going to roll over and give up that easily,” U.S. forward Chris Bosh said. “So we had to be men, and that’s what it takes to win.” Damn straight! Men they are…teamwork, commitment, heart, soul, sweat and determination are what these men are made of. And for me, Bosh was impressive as hell. Talk about a friggen warrior. Bosh tears that court up with more soul than I’ve seen most ballers do in a lifetime. I could watch him play and never get bored of that hunger on his face.


Speaking of hunger…Carmelo Anthony. Oh my Melo, Melo, Melo. Damn. I mean, what can I say? His scored 13 luscious points? He proudly marched around with an American Flag wrapped around his waist as I tried to stay focused on his neck where that beautiful gold was hanging…that he lit Kobe’s cigar…that he drove me crazy…that I need to bite his medal, hard? I suspect if any ‘game worn’ Melo items turn up on the ‘Right to Play’ eBay auctions, my savings account will be drained.


Mad love to Jason Kidd for becoming the 13th U.S. player to win multiple gold medals-his first was in 2000. Mad love to the mighty-mighty-fine men of USA Basketball: Jason Kidd, Carlos Boozer, Tayshaun Prince, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Michael Redd, and Deron Williams.

Go on with your bad selves and bite your medals, smoke those cigars, cuddle on the bus and party till next season. You did us all proud. Undefeated, uncompromised, united and unbelievable.


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As always, thanks for reading.
Delinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.com

SIGNED OLYMPIC MEMORABILIA and SOME LOST LINGERIE

Olympic Treats Up for Bids for Charity
I haven’t seen Michael Phelps’ LZR listed yet…but ya never know what’s going to pop up on eBay. The good folks from Auction Cause have gotten their paws on some pretty amazing items from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. And now, in their efforts to raise money for ‘Right to Play’ you can own a small piece of Olympic history that’s not going to cost you a small fortune. Trust me kids, this is one of the best-kept secrets around. There are at least 85 items listed from the 2008 Olympics, and most of the stuff has either been autographed or worn by the athletes themselves. Proceeds go to charity-so bid away…

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Ever want the shirt off of Roger Federer’s back? Well, I don’t have that but you can bid on the ‘Roger Federer Signed Nike Personal Cap + 2 Tennis Balls’ which is only at $76.00 right now.


They got several uniforms that were worn during competition from Team Canada’s Rowing babes…including Adam Creeks and Ben Rutledges rowing jersey…


I know some of you guys might wanna get your hands on the signed 2008 Norway Beach Volleyball Sports Tops worn by the girls?

LOST YOUR PANTIES?

Next month, all you Evangeline Lilly lovers take note. The LOST star will be auctioning off approximately 2,000 new pieces of her lingerie intimates collection. All items are made in Brazil and will benefit the Brazilian Favelas. Each set will come with a signed photo from her as well. I’ll let ya know when the panties drop and the bidding opens.

CHECK OUT ALL THE ITEMS HERE!

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As always, thanks for reading.
Delinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.com

Gold For USA Women’s Basketball

NOW CAN THE GUYS DO IT?

Lisa Leslie and the women’s USA basketball team have done us proud. The wonder women were once again too good for the lasses from Australia and took home the gold medal for hoops after a 92-65 victory. Leslie, who dropped in 14 points, now has an astonishing four straight gold medals. She, along with former teammate Teresa Edwards are now the only basketball players EVER to win four gold medals. “It’s a blessing for me to be out on this floor, now participating in my fourth Olympics and walking away with a fourth gold medal,” Leslie said.

    ‘Trailing 13-10 late in the first quarter, U.S. coach Anne Donovan inserted her second unit, led by Lawson. Once again, the bench delivered just as it had throughout the Olympics with Lawson scoring the first six points of a 12-2 run to close the quarter as the U.S. took a 22-15 lead. Then Parker, who has had a relatively quiet Olympics averaging only 8.7 points, took over. She scored eight of the Americans’ 10 points to open the second quarter, including two three-point plays. On her second, the 6-foot-4 forward took the ball from the top of the key, dribbled through her legs and drove to the basket for a layup—a play that thrilled the U.S. men’s basketball players in the stands and brought a standing ovation from LeBron James.’ (Sports.Yahoo)


This makes me wonder if they ever have any mixed-games. I’d like to see Leslie and the girls take on the ‘Redeem Team.’ (My money would be on the girls) And I also wonder why women’s basketball isnt being watched by more people?

They are THE dream team that everybody seems to be napping through. Wake up people- we don’t need no redemption. The ladies just did it for the fourth time!


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As always, thanks for reading.
Delinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.com

Is Olympic Village a Massive Orgy?

What Happens in Beijing, Stays in Beijing?

He used to play table tennis…now, he writes. Matthew Syed has penned what I think, is one of the most entertaining pieces to come from the Olympics. We’ve seen some crazy things happening in Beijing. Scary, possible under-aged Chinese soldiers manufactured specifically for the Games, thousands of displaced and oppressed workers, Free Tibet protesters, Free Darfur activists, lip-singing at the opening ceremonies, real-fake fireworks, dropped relay wands, broken hopes, amazing victories and yes, dear god, some mighty-mighty fine Olympic bodies.


I know what I imagined was going on with our world-class athletes who’ve waited four-years to strut their testosterone fueled, chiseled, toned and flawless physiques in front of the world alongside others who have gathered for the ultimate pent-up-release-of-see-what-I-got glory imaginable. Sex. And lots of it.


Thankfully, Matthew Syed has been front and center in the Olympic Village (and this isn’t his first time)…his piece in the Times explains why “An Olympic gold medal is not merely a route to fame and fortune; it is also a surefire ticket to writhe.” As in writhe under the sheets together. Oddly enough, Syed also says that “Success does not work both ways. Gold-medal winning female athletes are not looked upon by male athletes with any more desire than those who flunked out in the first round. It is sometimes even considered a defect.”


I especially loved the image Syed congers here: “It is a common sight to see recently knocked-out athletes gorging on Magnums and McDonald’s, swilling alcohol and, of course, shagging like crazy. Sometimes all three at the same time.” Magnums, McDonald’s and booze? What degree of difficulty is that feet and who earned the gold for it? Granted, its not as if Magnums and McDonald’s escaped our minds as we watched the men’s track and field events or swimming, but never at the same time. I mean, give me some Sweet Melon and Mag’s, mixed with a bit of booze and I’m all set, but lets leave the McNuggets alone unless they’re from Denver. (Check out the photo top right-after you take your eyes off the obvoius, notice the background legs-even those two didn’t waste a moment.)


More from Syed and his article: ‘This sex fest was not limited to Barcelona: the same thing happened in Sydney in 2000, my second Olympics as an athlete, and is happening right here in Beijing, where this time I’m a commentator. I spoke to an Aussie table tennis player this week to check out the village vibe and he launched into the breathless patter common to any Olympic debutant: “It is unbelievable in there; everyone is totally crazy once they are out of their competitions. God knows what it is going to be like this weekend. It is like a world within a world.” A British runner (anonymous again: athletes are not supposed to talk to journalists unaccompanied by a PR type, least of all about sex) said: “The swimmers finished earlier in the week and it was like there was an eruption.” ‘


Say what? Syed also explains how are athletes are obtaining their condoms:

    There is a famous story from Seoul in 1988 that there were so many used condoms on the roof terrace of the British team’s residential block the night after the swimming concluded that the British Olympic Association sent out an edict banning outdoor sex. Here in Beijing, organizers have realized that such prohibitions are about as useful as banning breathing and have, instead, handed out thousands of free condoms to the athletes. If you can’t stop ‘em, at least make it safe.

Read Syeds piece here and enjoy the closing ceremonies this weekend. I suspect if you do, you’ll be watching through a new set of rose-colored steamy glasses.


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As always, thanks for reading.
Delinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.com

Usain Bolts To Second Gold While NBA Legends Gather for Charity and Current NBA Players Lured to Europe

USAIN BOLTS THROUGH MY HEART

“We have the best coffee on the planet. We have Bob Marley. And now we have Usain Bolt. We are overjoyed and overwhelmed” – Jamaican Minister of Information, Culture, Youth & Sports Olivia Grange. Usain Bolt broke former U.S. sprinter Michael Johnson’s 12-year-old world record in the 200m, and became the first Olympian since Carl Lewis at the ’84 L.A. Games to win both the 100m and 200m races…add a World Record to the mix and hopes for a third gold in the 4×100 relay on Friday and we got us a great story…

Bolt gave us one of the most genuine and unfiltered celebratory reactions- laying on the track, kissing it, taking off his Puma’s, smiling, infectious, worthy…so why we gotta hear negative reaction from that the president of the IOC, Jacques Rogge? “That’s not the way we perceive being a champion,” Rogge said of the Jamaican sprinter. “I have no problem with him doing a show. I think he should show more respect for his competitors and shake hands, give a tap on the shoulder to the other ones immediately after the finish and not make gestures like the one he made in the 100 meters.” Excuse my language kids- but Rogge can f*ck off. Rogge: corrupt, bought, angry and transparent. Do your research, I ain’t gonna waste any more space on his nonsense, because I think he may be the only person in the World who wasn’t jubilating alongside Bolt as he won, when he won, and while he was celebrating with an attitude we need to see more of…pure joy. Get number three Bolt, the world is watching…

Also watching are sponsor Puma and Virgin Media (U.K.). Virgin has asked Bolt to be the “face of its superfast broadband service,” according to Mark Sweney of the Manchester GUARDIAN. VM, which is set to launch a broadband product it claims will be more than twice as fast as rivals, is considering calling the product ‘Boltband.’

THANK YOU SZYMON KOLECKI
Joey Cheek, Team Darfur co-Founder, in an e-mail to the AP writes, “I would love to see even more athletes involved in speaking out about what they believe in. The problem is that even if there was an athlete that wanted to speak out on issues of human rights, he might be silenced by whatever IOC official is mediating that press event, with a bogus explanation that is my biggest problem with these Olympics: the idea that the Games are only about sport.” Cheek continued, “Every time the Chinese government has gone back on guarantees of free speech, free access for the media, and a number of the other issues, the IOC has acquiesced.” The Chinese have “done many amazing things, and for that they deserve a lot of credit.” Cheek: “However, these Games still would have been as successful without what appears to be massive suppression of any voice that the government doesn’t want heard” (AP, 8/20).

At least one athlete has ‘spoken’ out…Polish pro-Tibet activist group ‘The Other Space Foundation’ said Poland weightlifter Symon Kolecki ‘shaved his head in a gesture of solidarity with Tibetan monks’ before receiving the Silver Medal in his event. Kolecki after the medal ceremony told Polish sports magazine Sportfan, “This haircut is from this morning. I can’t directly say why I did it. It’s connected with certain things that the Olympic Charter forbids. But I will say that it’s symbolic.” Thank you Symon, but be careful…The WASHINGTON POST’s Sally Jenkins, in an online chat, wrote the Beijing Games will “go down with a terribly mixed legacy. This morning the Chinese government sentenced two women who are nearly 80 years old to a year each in reeducation camp, because they filed for permits to officially protest the destruction of their homes at an official Olympic demonstration site.”


And you ain’t gonna see any Apples in China either…Apple’s iTunes music store has been blocked in China, allegedly due to athletes listening to protest songs. It all started when more than 40 athletes downloaded “Songs for Tibet,” an album produced by U.S.-based Tibet group the Art of Peace Foundation. The foundation offered the album for free download to Olympic athletes, but China has since turned off the iTunes music store.

NBA ATHLETES: LEGENDS AND LEGENDS TO BE

“I’ve been on TNT for years, and no one’s ever asked me, ‘Who won the championship in Greece last year?’” – TNT’s Charles Barkley, on Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Heat G Dwyane Wade saying they would entertain offers to play overseas…maybe when these guys ARE playing in Europe you’ll be asked who won? Yes, our babies are jumping ship. And while I don’t expect to see Wade wearing a Greek jersey or Kobe donning an Italian one anytime soon, others are opting to play for Europeans teams. The most recent NBA players to jump the NBA ship for the Euro gold are…Former Phoenix Suns guard Gordon Giricek signed with a Turkish team…New Orleans (sixth man) guard Jannero Pargo will play in Moscow for 3.8 million…former Charlotte Bobcats guard Earl Boykins will be the highest-paid player in the Italian league…Carlos Arroyo, who played for Orlando, signed to play in Israel…Former Raptors Jorge Garbajosa and Carlos Delfino are headed for Russia, as is ex-New Jersey Nets forward Bostian Ncahbar…and Juan Carlos Navarro of the Memphis Grizzlies signed with a Barcelona team…but don’t worry about it Charles, no one is paying attention to the situation yet.

NBA LEGENDS HELPING KIDS HEAR
Last month while at Chris Webbers Bada Bling, I was fortunate to meet several NBA Legends who shared their ideas of a NBA Legends Resort that was in the works to be built. And this weekend I’m willing to bet that some of the Legends will be discussing the idea as they converge for a ‘Reunion Extravaganza’ in Puerto Rico to highlight their community outreach program. Hot Legends such as Moses Malone, Rick Barry, Chuck Person, Michael Ray Richardson and many more, wil be taking part in the group’s “Project Smile” community initiative with the Starkey Hearing Foundation…nearly 200 basketball greats will be descending on The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan Hotel, Resort & Spa in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico, on Aug. 21-24 for the anticipated National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) Legends Reunion…dear god, where’s my plane ticket?

‘Project Smile’ is a year-round program that aims to raise the spirits, bring hope, and deliver smiles to men, women and children worldwide. In partnership with the Starkey Hearing Foundation, the NBRPA will change the lives of 250 hearing impaired and underprivileged Puerto kids by providing them with hearing aids on Saturday, Aug 23 at the Teatro de la Universidad Interamericana, Rio Piedras Campus. A press ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m. featuring Legends Earl Monroe, Spencer Haywood, Buck Williams, David Thompson, Tim Legler, Mark Eaton, Charles Smith and others. The Legends will distribute Webster’s Spanish/English Dictionaries to the children and I can’t believe I can’t find one sponsor willing to send me there…


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As always, thanks for reading.
Delinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.com

Michael Phelps’ Final Lap for Charity, Right to Play at Olympics, And an Inspiring Baseball Book for Kids

TWENTY SECONDS

Yesterday, five members of Students for a Free Tibet lit up the skies near the National Stadium and spelled out ‘Free Tibet’ with blue LED lights in English and Mandarin. It took the police just 20-seconds to intervene…three other protestors were detained as they attempted to use lasers to spell out ‘Free Tibet’ on a Beijing landmark. Students for a Free Tibet Exec Dir Lhadon Tethong said “more actions were planned” in Beijing in the coming days…(NY Times).

PHELPS TAKES LAP FOR CHARITY

While protestors were busy raising awareness for Tibet, Michael Phelps enjoyed meeting some of our NBA’s hotties before taking his final lap-number 6,250- of the ‘Hilton Swim to Beijing Relay.’ The charitable event contributed $100,000 to the USA Swimming Foundation to fund swim education programs across the U.S. Hilton Hotels is one of Phelps’ sponsors, and in celebration of the Olympics, they partnered with the USA Swimming Foundation with each of the 6,250 laps symbolizing one of the miles between Los Angeles, the relay’s starting point, and Beijing.


“After representing my country and competing in the Olympics, Hilton gave me another great reason to get back in the pool,” said Phelps. “By being a part of this campaign I’m able to help support swim education programs across the nation and give young people the chance to experience the power of the sport. Swimming is much more than a fun activity and great form of exercise. It teaches self-discipline and dedication—two important qualities that one can draw on to succeed both in and out of the pool.”


More love came from the Olympians yesterday as more than a dozen current and former athletes hit up the corporate hospitality pavilion to support the Right to Play. The humanitarian organization landed heavily on the map after the 06 Turin Games when speed skater Joey Cheek donated his bonus money to them. This time, its different though- thanks to IOC sponsor Johnson & Johnson, donations are being made on behalf of the athletes. J&J is donating $20,000 per gold medal, $15,000 per silver and $10,000 per bronze won by those who have signed up to be Right to Play athlete ambassadors. “There has been a lot of criticism for having the Olympic games here,” said U.S. swimmer Natalie Coughlin, “but it has made a wider audience aware of issues that they otherwise might not have known about.” (Coughlin with her six medals won here, is responsible for $80,000 for the organization.) Any athlete can become an ambassador, yet only about 40 Olympians representing 13 countries and 25 sports have signed up, notably absent as an ambassador for Right to Play? Michael Phelps.


Coughlin said she spoke to Phelps about it last week in the Olympic Village, “He wants to do it,” Coughlin said. “He’s going to do it. I have mentioned to him that his eight gold medals would mean 52,000 children would be enrolled in the program and 1,600 coaches would be able to get involved.” If Phelps does indeed become an ambassador, it would bring a whopping $160,000 donation from J&J to Right to Play.

FOR THE KIDS

Ya’ all know I don’t cover many baseball related events, but there is a little book coming out that I gotta give props to. The book, ‘A Glove of Their Own’ has already got some endorsement love from several players: Craig Biggio, Sean Casey and Jack Hannahan have all stepped up to support the children’s book aimed at teaching kids the value of sharing what you have with those in need. Charity partners include Good Sports, Sports Gift, Pitch In For Baseball, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Cheerful Givers, and the Sunshine Foundation. From the back cover: “Few things in life are ever as good as the smell of your own glove, the crack of the wood. Or being with friends at that one special spot and sharing what you have… with those who have not.” The picture book personifies the “paying it forward” mentality via a group of underprivileged boys’ childhood experience, and how their love of the game is not defined by the equipment they don’t have but rather the passion and dreams that they do have. The book was inspired by a birthday party held for one of the writers’ kids- in place of gifts, guests were asked to donate baseball equipment for children who normally do without. A Glove of Their Own comes out in October, and those wishing to get their hands on a copy need to reserve now! Go to the website to reserve your copy.


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Delinda Lombardo
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Tony Hawk and Desmond Tutu Appear on Iconoclasts while Michael Phelps Lands Three Covers, Lance Armstrong Wastes Water and the London Telegraph Echo’s Delinda’s Thoughts on Racism

WHAT DO DESMOND TUTU AND TONY HAWK HAVE IN COMMON?

The new season of Iconoclasts has just been announced. In case you’re not hip to the show on the Sundance channel…each thirty-minute episode features two “leading innovators” from different fields who come together to discuss their passion and creativity. Season four of the show looks to be the most interesting season yet with such parings as Archbishop Desmond Tutu and entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson-when either of these two men open their mouths its worth listening and its worth setting the DVR. Skateboarder Tony Hawk had a discussion with filmmaker/actor Jon Favreau…how about a conversation between political humorist Bill Maher and music industry executive Clive Davis? Hell yeah. And hello- tennis champion Venus Williams chillen with and musician/producer Wyclef Jean? Obviously, you’ll most likely learn something if ya tune in…other parings for season four include fashion designer Stella McCartney and artist Edward Ruscha; and actress Cameron Diaz and architect Cameron Sinclair.

PHELPS LANDS THREE COVERS AND ARMSTRONG WASTES WATER

Would love to see an episode between Michael Phelps and Lance Armstrong. Michael Phelps has earned his place in history and is set to grace the covers of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and the August 25 edition of Sports Illustrated. For his fifth stint as an SI cover boy, Phelps will appear with his eight-gold medals hanging from that multi-million-dollar body. So I’m wondering what kind of conversation Phelps would have with Lance Armstrong about water. Mainly water usage. According to the NY Times, Armstrong, aka Sir Lance-A-Lot-of-Water, is one of the “biggest individual users of water” in Austin, Texas. The water-cops claim that Lance’s water usage for July was 330,000 gallons of water. His lush Spanish-colonial home has an acre of gardens and a swimming pool that cause Armstrong’s water usage to be “38 times what the average household in the city uses in the summer.” Armstrong has been informed that Texas is going through a dry spell and officials are asking people to cut back on watering their lawns…Armstrong said, “I’m a little shocked. There’s no justification for that much water. I need to fix this.”

STEVE NASH: THE GENTLEMAN

Maybe Steve Nash can appeal to Lance Armstrong? Nash recently made an appeal to the government of Ontario, via messages on YouTube and Facebook, urging them to help fund the only treatment available to those who suffer from Hunter syndrome, a rare progressive genetic enzyme deficiency disorder. “The earlier patients receive the treatment, the better chance they have of stopping the progression of Hunter syndrome,” Nash said. “A close childhood friend, Simon Ibell, has seen his health improve significantly since being on enzyme replacement therapy. I hope all Canadians will join me in asking their politicians to fund enzyme replacement therapy for Hunter syndrome in Ontario and across Canada.” Nash’s buddy was diagnosed with Hunter syndrome before there was a treatment for the disorder. After participating in enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) as part of a clinical trial, his pain and suffering have drastically declined. “Even at my age, the treatment has had such a positive impact on my life – improved breathing, decreased organ size, improved joint flexibility,” Simon said. “Daily tasks are so much easier.” Thank you Steve Nash for once again stepping up to the plate for those who need it. And thanks to the Gentlemen’s’ Fund. This year, The Gentlemen’s Fund initiative has partnered with five outstanding charities and five celebrity ambassadors-including Steve Nash- to support five cornerstones essential to men: Opportunity, Health, Education, Environment, Mentorship and Delinda. Established in 2007 to commemorate GQ’s 50th anniversary, The Gentlemen’s Fund hopes to encourage individuals to become agents of change by contributing to charities that champion these causes.

QB’S USING NIKE GOGGLES

In efforts to improve the concentration of Quarterbacks, Nike has come up with a great idea that they’ve already strapped onto the faces of the Vikings QB’s at training camp…dudes are wearing special goggles provided by Nike that have lights inside that flash at different speeds to force them to concentrate and stay focused (no, they are not the ones pictured above)(Houston Chron)

RACISM IN LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRIES?

Speaking of goggles, I found YET ANOTHER article which reiterates my feelings about racism in a certain little country named Spain. Actually, and oddly enough, it takes aim at ‘Latin American’ countries, which I thought was interesting after mentioning the ‘racist’ group of Brazilians I encountered at a Halloween party a few years ago…so, for those of you still thinking that I made it all up or have a skewed perception of racism…read the latest in the Telegraph.


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Delinda Lombardo
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Golden Boys: Rafael Nadal and Michael Phelps

GOLDEN TAPA

Tomorrow, Rafael Nadal will officially be declared the Worlds Number One and he’s backing it up with a delicious gold medal hanging round his neck. Nadal won a gold medal Sunday after serving Fernando Gonzalez a major dose of karma in the form of a 6-3, 7-6 (2), 6-3 beating. This is Spain’s first gold medal in tennis and considering Nadal’s phenomenal year, are we really surprised to see the Gold adorning Spain’s most precious commodity? Nadal has won 38 of his past 39 matches.


“Nowhere in my best dreams I can imagine something like what I did this year,” Nadal said. “I know how difficult it is to win these things, and especially here, because you only have one chance every four years.” Indeed, but I did imagine something like this in one of my best dreams and your medal ended dangling from the tip of my toes…

GOLDEN SENSATION: MICHAEL PHELPS

What can I possibly say about Michael Phelps that hasn’t been said? That he’s the Lance Armstrong of water sports? That his body is sick? That his smile is infectious? That he’s class act? Did I mention that body? Dear god…if only the games were broadcast live on the West Coast I’m sure most of you would have heard me screaming during the events. I assure you kids that I haven’t been turning a blind eye to the hot male Olympic swimmers. I’ve been so awestruck with some of the abs diving into the pool that I actually burned out my DVR by rewinding-pausing-rewinding-pausing the action and had to call a cable technician specialist to get it up and running again.

Without a doubt- we now have two Olympics that will remain in the forefront of our memories. Beijing 2008, which gave us a chance to bear witness to one of the most phenomenal athletes in the world earn 8 gold medals while smashing world records, and the 1972 Munich games where Mark Spitz brought home 7. I’ll never forget watching Spitz as a kid, a time when the Olympics were at their purest. It was all about the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Today, on the West Coast anyway, its about trying to avoid turning on the news because you know they are gonna spoil the games. And it sucks. I would have loved nothing more than to hear Phelps “live” after his win…I would have loved to see him “live” run into the stands to hug his mother and sisters. “I don’t even know what to feel right now,” Phelps said. “There’s so much emotion going through my head and so much excitement. I kind of just want to see my mom.”


Over the years, I’ve seen several great athletes profiled in reference to their genetics and how it makes them exceptional athletes. Some, like –cold-water’ swimmer Lewis Pugh, actually has an internal thermometer that automatically adjusts his core body temperature to adapt to freezing water temperatures. (There might be about four people in the world that can do this) Others, like Lance Armstrong, also have the ability to smash what-we-thought-we-knew about the genetic code of some athletes. Some are just gifted in the genetics department. I even saw a special on Tom Brady and his ability to throw a perfect pass. Not sure if its Brady’s genetics or not, but it was more than a pleasure to watch the slow-mo cam as it focused in on his arm and explained the split second timing it takes to complete a pass…but I digress. Back to Michael Phelps’ Perfect Body.

I have been trying to find this video in color but its only available on YouTube in black and white. (You can view the original video on NBC) It’s a mouthwatering explanation of Phelps size 14 feet, big hands, height, weight, and body shape which make him a cut above the rest when it comes to the water….

“Nothing is impossible,” Phelps said. “With so many people saying it couldn’t be done, all it takes is an imagination, and that’s something I learned and something that helped me…Without the help of my teammates this isn’t possible. I was able to be a part of three relays and we were able to put up a solid team effort and we came together as one unit. For the three Olympics I’ve been a part of, this is by far the closest men’s team that we’ve ever had. I didn’t know everybody coming into this Olympics, but I feel going out I know every single person very well. The team that we had is the difference.”


And I’m off to enjoy the rest of this day….

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Delinda Lombardo
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Spain’s Tennis Team Also Posed Slant Eyed, Racism in Europe, James Blake Stirs Up Some Trouble and Rafael Nadal Gets His Medal

STIRRING THINGS UP
James Blake, Ara Abrahamian, the Spanish National Basketball teams, the under aged Chinese gymnasts…what the hell is going on? Yes, where there are games there is controversy. Surprisingly, most controversy lately isnt about freeing Tibet or the Chinese government supplying weapons to rebels who are slaughtering people and displacing them from their homes in the Darfur region of the Sudan, its all about the fairness and spirit of the games. While athletes are being yanked and spanked for doping, it’s the unruly and perhaps racist athletes that are making the headlines.


The good peeps at the Telegraph have discovered the latest photo in a series of embarrassing images to emerge from Spain. The latest “slant eyed” pose comes from members of the Spanish Tennis Federations female players and support staff. Allegedly shot back in February, the original photo caption reads: “Estamos preparados para China”, which translates as “We are prepared for China.” Why should we care? Because its all part of the larger picture. Aside from the fact that if any of our athletes here posed ala ‘slant-eyed’ they would have been fined and most likely kicked off the team. These ‘Chinese slant eyed’ photos are not funny. Sorry.

Watch this video from Spain…its disturbing on so many levels…the actions of the guy and the fact that no one came to the aid of this Ecudorian girl make me sick to my stomach.

And no, racism is not limited to Spain. Racism is rampant in Europe. There’s a fantastic expose from ESPN on the subject that I urge you to watch. The video is from 2006, but as we’ve seen lately, racism is timeless.

Now, all this Spainsh racism is throwing quite a kink in my adoration of one certain Spainsh treat. Yes, Im talking about Rafael Nadal. While I believe there is inherenat racism in Spain and most European countries, (as well as here) I have no reason to suspect Nadal is in any way, shape or form a racist. I am not labeling all people from Spain racist, I’m simply stating that the country as a whole needs to check itself…

But Rafa need not check himself…precious has clinched (at a minimum) his first Olympic medal-a silver-after spanking Novak Djovic 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 in the semifinals. On Sunday, Nadal will face Fernando ‘the cheater’ Gonzalez who won his match against James Blake…and caused a bit of an uproar for the ungentlemanly manner in which he won. I gotta give James ‘Booty’ Blake props for his reaction to the 4-6, 7-5, 11-9 loss to Gonzalez during the real-fake-live coverage of the match.

    On the first point of the 18th game of the final set, with Gonzalez serving at 8-9, Blake tried to pass a charging Gonzalez by hitting it right at him. Gonzalez swerved, the ball landed long and Blake quickly realized the point had been put up for Gonzalez. He walked to the umpire’s chair and a long discussion ensued. Soon, it became obvious that Blake thought the ball had nicked Gonzalez’s racket on its way out, and if so, should have been his point. Unable to get any satisfaction from the chair umpire, who claimed not to have seen the ball touch Gonzalez’s racket, and by the rules, could not call for a replay on this, Blake eventually turned and looked at Gonzalez, back on his baseline, then walked slowly back to receive the next serve. (LA Times)

Blake waited until the news conference before calling out Gonzalez. He said his shot hit Gonzalez’s racket. “In what’s supposed to be a gentleman’s sport, that’s a time when you call it on yourself. Fernando looked me square in the eye and didn’t call it. I’ve spoken all week about how much I’ve enjoyed my Olympic experience, how much I love the other athletes,” he said. “These guys go out and compete their hardest. Win fair and square. Lose fair and square. So this is a disappointing way to exit the tournament, when you not only lose the match, but lose a little faith in your fellow competitor.”

james_blake beijing
“I’ll still have fond memories of the Olympic experience,” Blake said. “I still have a chance to get a bronze medal. But . . . it is a little disappointing. It disappoints me a little more in my competition, than the whole Olympic spirit, because I haven’t seen anything like that in these Olympics…We know when [the ball] touches us. And he knew that. You call it yourself because it is the right thing to do. Should I expect him to do that? Maybe not. Maybe I shouldn’t expect people to hold themselves to high standards of sportsmanship. But yes, I did expect a little more in the Olympics. We are competing under the banner of this event, to promote sportsmanship, to promote goodwill amongst countries.” I back ya up James, as do most people who were watching…sucks that Gonzalez advances to the gold-medal match Sunday and Blake will play for the bronze…but props to Blake for speaking up. I hope Gonzalez chokes on the gold…come on Karma, we need you this Sunday.

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Delinda Lombardo
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Spain’s Women’s Basketball Team Also Posed ‘Slant Eyed’

SPAIN BASKETBALL TEAM ADS: MEN’S and WOMEN’S
We’re surprised by the remarks of racism,” said Juan Antonio Villanueva, the communications director for the city’s 2016 Olympic bid. “Spain is not a racist country — quite the opposite.”

Players on Spain’s Olympic basketball team are stepping up to defend the ad showing them using their fingers to apparently make their eyes look more Chinese. “It was something like supposed to be funny or something but never offensive in any way,” said Spain center Pau Gasol (Los Angeles Lakers). “I’m sorry if anybody thought or took it the wrong way and thought that it was offensive.” Point guard Jose Manuel Calderon (Toronto Raptors) said the team was responding to a request from the photographer. “We felt it was something appropriate, and that it would be interpreted as an affectionate gesture,” Calderon said, “Without a doubt, some … press didn’t see it that way.”

SPAINS WOMENS BASKETBALL TEAM PHOTO: ON YES THEY DID

And now, we’ll have to wait and see how the world responds to the newly surfaced “ad” of Spain’s Women’s Basketball Team in the same pose.


Spain, as we know, has a bit of a racist reputation…Lewis Hamilton bore the brunt of it in Barcelona last February, as did Thierry Henry, and England’s ‘black’ players during a friendly in 2004 against Spain when Spanish fans taunted the players with “monkey sounds”.


Now, I’d like to think that something is lost in translation here. Advertising in Europe is a bit edgier than here in the States. Ever heard of ‘P*ssy’ Water? Pretty sure there would be a bit of controversy if it were released in the States. Most Euro advertising falls well outside our comfort zone. Most adverts outside of Spain are not so much ‘racist’ as they are ‘shocking’ to some. However, regardless of what Spain’s’ ‘intentions’ were with their basketball ads, I think with their history of offending some of the world’s top athletes, as well as most people living outside of their ‘culture’, that its entirely fair to label them as “racist’…


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Delinda Lombardo
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Spain’s Olympic Basketball Team Slant Eyes

OH NO THEY DIDN’T

Spain continues to maintain its racist image via a photo of their Olympic Basketball team slating their eyes…the ad, which was shot prior to the Games, originally appeared in the Spanish-language newspaper La Marca and now is circling the Internet with alarming speed. The NY Times reports that the team is sponsored by Li-Ning Footwear, a Chinese company founded by Li Ning- the final torchbearer who was hoisted along the top of Beijing National Stadium during the Opening Ceremony. The ad is reportedly about the Spanish teams recent contract extension with the footwear giant and their ability to offend just about everyone who looks at this picture. (Telegraph)

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Delinda Lombardo
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Pistons Make Wish Come True; Olympic Athletes Make Dreams Come True, Carmelo Anthony Hangs with Michael Phelps, and Luke Wilson’s Silver Lining

TRENDY TUESDAY

As we sit around watching real-fake-live coverage of the Olympian-hotness, I feel it’s important to give some props to former Detroit Piston John Long and head coach Michael Curry…the two mighty-fine men spent Monday hanging out with Spencer and his buddies. Spencer was the recipient of the ‘Afternoon with the Pistons, A Wish Come True’ event…and with that off my chest, I can feel good about a bit o gratuitous Delinda style coverage of some Olympic babes….


After the Men’s US Swim Babes stunned France in the 4×100 freestyle on Monday night, Michael Phelps went on to etch his name alongside Mark Spitz and Carl Lewis as one of the “winningest Olympians ever” with his third gold medal and third world record in as many days. In winning the 200-meter freestyle Tuesday, Phelps ran his career Olympic total to nine golds…

I love you
Speaking of Phelps, seems like he and Carmelo Anthony are chill. Sweet Melon is writing an Olympic diary for the NY Times. In part, he spoke about his new buddy Michael Phelps…”I’m amazed at what he can do in that water. He’s like a shark. I’ve never seen anyone swim like that before. Swimming never caught my eyes before I saw him.” Last week, Melo licked his lips and wrote about hanging with Phelps: “I got a chance to talk with him last night at the Olympic Village. I met him before just growing up, but I hadn’t met him since he won those six gold medals in 2004. So his whole life has changed. He’s not from the same neighborhood as me, but we’ll claim him…This is my first time to really get a chance to mingle and interact with him. We talked about spots back home, but we were talking about getting out to each other’s events. He’s going to bring some golds back to Baltimore and I’m going to bring a gold back. They can have our parade together in Baltimore.”


Granted, I can’t sit still long enough to watch each and every real-fake-live-broadcast event…but I’m trying to keep an eye on several noteworthy morsels…one of which, as we all know, is a particular Tapa. Our Rafael Nadal has burned through Italian beast Potito Starace and Lleyton Hewitt as he inches his way towards gold…

Luke wilson and Johan Edfors PUMA
Meanwhile, let’s take our eyes of Beijing for a minute and give some props to actor Luke Wilson. He, along with Swedish golf-babe Johan Edfors, have teamed up to co-design the new ‘Chrome’ line for Puma. “Johan wears the splashy stuff,” Wilson says…the two collaborated on a line to suit both the ‘extroverts’ and ‘introverts’ on the greens..sexy bold colors for Edfors and muted cardigans for Wilson. “I like the real meticulous look of guys like Sam Snead and Ben Hogan. They had their own tailors making their clothes back then,” Wilson says. For more info and some great photos of the new line, check out the LA Times.

Justin Tmberlake mugshot?
As always, thanks for reading.
Delinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.com

Ryan Lochte: More Coverage Please

AND CAN WE PRONOUNCE HIS NAME RIGHT?

I’ll start off by saying that NBC’s coverage of the Olympics suck. Thankfully, I’m not the only one who thinks so. Yesterday, I’m waiting to watch the men’s swimming, but it’s not on. So I switch to ESPN with my fingers crossed that they’re not talking about Brett Favre and the first thing I see is Favre’s face on the screen…the ticker along the bottom tells me Phelps just set another World record…did I miss it…damn…switch back to NBC…huh, what, volleyball…back to Universal HD channel…boxing…ESPN…Favre…NBC…volleyball…Universal…boxing…damn, what’s on HBO, set DVR and call it a night.

Hot Ryan Lochte
Aside from the delayed coverage and number of commercials I fast forwarded through on my DVR, my bigger issue was the fact that Bob Costas and Jim Lampley couldn’t agree on how to properly pronounce Ryan Lochte’s name. Is it pronounced ‘Lock-T’ as Costas asserts, or is it ‘Lock’ as pronounced by Lampley? Seeing as Lampley is the most experienced Olympic Games broadcaster in history (this is his 14th) I tend to think he might be right…but why didn’t they have this ‘How do you prounce his name again’ conversation before going on air? Or during a commercial? Am I the only one who noticed they were both saying Lochte’s name differently? Just curious.

OUCH
This just in…Costas is pronoucing Lochte’s name correctly. From a reader:

    “Ryan attended the HS in Florida where I used to teach. His name is pronounced “Lock-T”. He does not get the attention that he deserves. I hope he can win the Gold in the backstroke. He also has a brother at UF..he swims but is not as talented as his big brother. So, Costas was right. Can you mention this on the site?
    Thanks, Scott

Ryan Lochte flex
While we’re on the topic…is it at all possible to get some more coverage of Ryan Lochte? How about a story that doesn’t place Lochte is the shadows of Michael Phelps? Don’t get me wrong, I love Phelps…but Lochte deserves individual love. He was the only speed bump in the way of Phelps’ 400-meter individual medly, and granted, while we already know that Phelps had another world-record setting performance, lets not forget Ryan Lochte took home the bronze.


Lochte: “I did everything I could, so that’s all I can ask for. But he (Phelps) was amazing. Setting another world record, you can’t ask for anything else. That was a great way to start off the meet for USA.” Lochte has already established himself as one of the sexiest and most talented swimmers alive, and he’s got pa-lenty of records under his LZR Speedo worth mentioning. He is a multiple world record holder. He is a 2004 Olympic Champion in the 4x200m Freestyle, Olympic silver medalist in the 200m Medley and now, a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in the 400m individual medley. His specialty is (gulp) the backstroke but is also a freestyle relay swimmer. And, the boy is a University of Florida alum…the only college in the nation that produces-per capita- more hot athletes than any other. Go Gators.


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Delinda Lombardo
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It’s Still the Dream Team in Most Parts of the World

SWEET DREAMS

We’ve been hearing about the ‘globalization of the NBA’ for a few years but it hasn’t been until recently that some of our babies have started jumping ship to chase the Euro dollar and capitalize on their international popularity. I say more power to ya boys. If I were one of the powers-that-be at the NBA offices (cough-cough Stern), I would be shaking in my boots. The likelihood of NBA ‘globalization’ isnt really very likely…but a mini-exodus of our ballers is going to happen. Who wouldn’t want to play and live in a European nation that adores you, pays you an obscene amount of money and has much more lax rules than the Ennnn-Beeee-Ayyyy?

Kobe Bryant mobbed in ChinaKobe Bryant mobbed in China
The movement of players to Europe got a major jump-start recently when Atlanta Hawk Josh Childress signed a 3-year $20M deal with Greece. And now we’ve even got Sweet Melon and the Black Mamba entertaining the idea…or at least teasing us with it. Kobe Bryant told the Boston Globe that he would consider a $50 million offer to play in Europe. “As players, the business of the game (is) evolving,” Bryant said. “I think free agency now is becoming a global thing…When players become free agents, the team they’re currently with – their competition is no longer the rest of the teams in the NBA. But it’s global. So, the market’s opened up. So we’ll just have to see how the league responds to it.”

chinese stalkers carmelo anthony-you go girl!
And what is swirling through the mind of my precious Carmelo Anthony. Is he gonna grab his family, ditch the States and capitalize on the NBA frenzy that has most of Europe spellbound? “If someone wants to throw $50 million on the table for me,” he said, chuckling, “we can talk.” Aside from the less stringent rules of the NBA, the appeal of playing hoops overseas has pa-lenty of perks. I don’t think I need to spell out what life in Greece would be like for an NBA player…or life in Italy? But we are certainly seeing what life in China would be like for some of our babes.


Take for example…um, I dunno…Carmelo Anthony? Mad props to the Chinese volunteers who swarmed the boys during a press conference. Great article in the Washington Post, which in part explains the feeding frenzy: ‘Then the players dispersed to individual stages around the room, and madness ensued. Half the crowd consisted of journalists attempting to interview pro basketball players. The other half consisted of volunteers attempting to take and/or pose for pictures with pro basketball players. Dozens–if not hundreds–roamed the room seeking autographs, with sharpies and everything.’ “They told us we can’t do that,” Dwight Howard said, as one autograph seeker interrupted his interview.


Speaking of ‘peace’…last month, NBA good-guys (and a gal) attended the Seeds of Peace International Camp in Maine. The 7th annual ‘Play for Peace’ clinic was attended by Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls), Brook Lopez (NJ Nets), Robin Lopez (Phoenix Suns), Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City), DJ Augustin (Charlotte Bobcats), Anthony Randolph (Golden State Warriors), with NBA ‘Play for Peace’ veterans Brian Scalabrine (Boston Celtics), Jordan Farmar (LA Lakers), and former WNBA star Sue Wicks (NY Liberty). Bulls great BJ Armstrong helped to lead the clinic. 160 Egyptian, Jordanian, Israeli, Palestinian and American kids warmly greeted the ‘peace-playas’ who were delighted to participate in the camp’s second session, which focused on the Arab – Israeli conflict. The camp’s goal is to get youngsters to interact and understand the viewpoint of those on the opposite side. Vists Seeds of Peace for more info.


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Delinda Lombardo
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Olympics: Let the Games Begin

ONE EYE ON SWEET MELON, THE OTHER ON A TAPA

Three American activists were arrested yesterday for “thinking” about unfurling a Tibetan flag during the opening ceremony, but that didn’t distract me nearly as much as the Men’s USA hoops team hotties looking all dapper and giddy as they entered the Birds Nest from Hell.

Carmelo Anthony
My Sweet Melon…where do I start? Will you pa-leeze share your video coverage with me? I’m not happy about you-know-who shaking your precious hand, but I’m sure it was a great moment for you. I just ask that you wash that hand before touching me before we cuddle up to watch videos…LaLa can make the popcorn and pour the bubbly for us. I promise Ill be good.


Our Hoops babes have a tough schedule ahead of them, after a prelim-game on Sunday against Yao Ming and China, they must defeat the teams placed alongside them in the dreaded Group of Death: Greece (Euro champs), Spain (World champs), Germany (with Dirk Nowitzki and his funky hair cut) and Angola who aren’t expected to go far.


Gonna give some props to Kobe for recognizing that they have some fierce competition ahead of them. “Other countries have All-Stars, too,” he said. And I hate to admit it, but I love this photo of Kobe getting his tie adjusted by La-Lame, although my money says this was staged. Kobe wouldn’t take the Worlds stage with a crooked tie, come on. These boys took hours to put on those crisp white pants and unnecessary tams before walking in…but like I said, it’s a great photo regardless of how it came to be.


The Opening Ceremonies looked like a lot of fun…something along the lines of a SuperBowl halftime show taken over by MTV meshed with a massive dose of Cirque de Soleil.


I wont mention all the displaced migrant workers who lost their homes to build the Birds Nest. I wont mention the thousands of people suffering at the hands of the Chinese government, but I certainly wont forget.


I also won’t forget that in ten-days our Spanish treat Rafael Nadal will ‘officially’ become the Worlds Number one…but dear god, the Spanish outfits are horrendous. Sorry Spain, this girl ain’t digging the red clown suits and straw hats.


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As always, thanks for reading.
Delinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.com