THE ATHLETE WITHIN THE DRIVER
If I were an executive at Reebok, it wouldn’t have taken THIS long to land Lewis Hamilton as a brand ambassador. Yes, my favorite Formula One sensation, British babe Lewis Hamilton, recently inked a multi-year partnership with Reebok. The partnership was unveiled last week at an amazing 3-D holographic media event in Amsterdam, home of Reebok’s European Headquarters. At the event, Reebok unveiled (gulp) “The Athlete within the Driver,” giving us a much-needed glimpse into Hamilton’s fitness regime which includes his use of Reebok’s new Smoothfit training footwear and clothing…did you know that during an average race, Hamilton’s heart rate will maintain a level equivalent to playing two soccer games back to back? Did you know his blood pressure will rise to and remain at a level equivalent to riding the scariest roller coaster in the world non-stop for an hour and 50 minutes? Did you know I feel the same effect when watching him race?
“To be a top driver, you have to have exceptional cardiovascular fitness and muscle endurance,” Hamilton said. “I work very hard to be as fit as I can be and have a precise training routine that involves running and muscle specific drills. When Reebok talked to me about how Smoothfit can help me train better, I was very interested to try the technology out. I am pleased to say its true how incredibly comfortable Smoothfit is, and it feels completely different to any training gear I have used before…I am very excited to be the newest member of the Reebok family, joining top athletes like Thierry Henry, Yao Ming, Allen Iverson, Amir Khan, Carolina Kluft and many more. The athletes from around the world who make up the Reebok family do it their way, and are not afraid to stand out from the crowd.”
The question remains though, was Hamilton wearing his new Reebok garb last week when he took on a Learjet as a publicity stunt? Acting in his role as the ‘Bombardier Learjet Brand Ambassador, Hamilton raced the Learjet during the Farnborough International Airshow. Fans watched as the Learjet 60 XR sped through the air about 200 feet over his head. Hamilton, of course, challenged the jet while speeding along in his Vodafone McLaren Mercedes as Bombardier commemorated 45 years since the first flight of a Learjet aircraft and the first time they’ve ever been beaten by a Formula One car. “I was sitting in my car and they told me to go so I booted it as quick as I could to about 175 mph. I couldn’t see where the plane was, but I heard it was very, very good.” Indeed.
Very, very good would be an understatement for Hamilton’s performance at Sunday’s German Grand prix. Hot stuff dominated Friday’s practice sessions and put McLaren on course for its first Formula One win in Germany in a decade. And wouldn’t ya know it, the Athlete Within the Driver won the race after a sensational start, several incredible passes and a narrow miss of a safety car that came out to clean up the mess left behind by Timo Glocks crash. “I was so concentrated, I just wanted to look forward. I didn’t want to spend too much time looking at how many laps but just focusing,” the 22-year-old driver said. “It was an incredible feeling.”
On the track…Hamilton and Massa were neck and neck with Massa barely holding onto his position in second…Hamilton picking up close to a second per lap…“There is virtually no way Lewis Hamilton can win this race,” claims one commentator. Hamilton taunts and teases and hounds Massa, inches from his car…“Heidfeld is the race leader…could this be this day for Nick Heidfeld”, claims another, “The most successful Formula One driver to never win a race?” Hamilton is still fighting Massa for second place…and in one of the most-incredible sports-maneuvers this girl has ever seen, Lewis Hamilton nudges Massa off the track to claim a spot in second…the commentators are congratulating Nelson Piquet for winning the race even though we just saw some kind of divine-intervention send Hamilton into second. Hamilton-who had “virtually no way” of winning the race, now creeps on Nelson Piquet, the already-proclaimed winner…8 laps to go, “One young driver (Piquet) on the verge of winning this race.” Hamilton takes advantage of a hairpin and nudges Piquet out of his way to regain the lead and win the German Grand Prix…This is Hamilton’s fourth victory of the season- and his eighth career-win. “I got off to good start, the team opted for me to stay out and thought I could have pulled out a gap,’’ Hamilton, 23, told the post-race news conference. “I understood and just kept pushing—over the limit—pushing and pushing. I couldn’t find the gap. But I was able to pull it off.” Big, massive love-hug to Hamilton for winning back-to-back races this year and doing so while remaining classy and calm. You da man Lewis and this girl is gonna find you one day and squeeze you so tight you’re gonna need an extra layer of Smoothfit to keep you safe.
And shame on Kimi Raikkonen, who apparently ‘walks-like-he-drives’ and ran over this little Japanese girl. The caption for the above photo reads: “A Japanese girl is comforted by her father after she was run over by Ferrari Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland, pairs of legs left, prior to the German Formula One Grand Prix in Hockenheim, Germany, Sunday, July 20, 2008.” Shame on you ‘pair of legs’…
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As always, thanks for reading. Delinda Lombardo