Man, amazing races all over Europe. Honey, we need to spend the Summer in the Alps.

Cortina SkyRace – June 25.

Zugspitz Ultratrail – June 19/20.

Eiger Ultra Trail – July 18/19.


I will be doing my first trail race:

We encourage you to treat this race like an ultra. The shorter distances are more than made up for in difficulty.

I’m ready!

This race is likely the hardest half and full marathon in Washington State. The course takes you on beautiful trails through Capitol Forest outside of Olympia. Steep climbs, technical trails, lots of mud, beautiful views… you’ll have to work hard for this finish.


And here is the official Red Bull video of the Niagara Falls ice climbing project I mentioned last week.

Fantastic images, you can almost feel the force of the raging water falling.


I didn’t know this and I totally love it:

The story goes like this: In 1924, at the closing ceremonies of the first Winter Olympics in Chamonix, Baron Pierre de Coubertin—father of the modern Olympics and first IOC chairman—awarded the members of the 1922 British Mount Everest expedition, including George Mallory, gold medals for “absolute heroism on behalf of all of the nations of the world.” (When he conceived of the modern Olympics in 1894, De Coubertin envisioned medals being given for both aeronautics and alpinism. The last medals in alpinism, a pair of silvers, were given to Reinhold Messner and Jerzy Kukuczka at the Calgary Games in 1988 for each man’s completion of all 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks, though Messner refused the medal.)


Kenton Cool does the Khumbu Triple Crown. Insane and insanely awesome.

 


…about yesterday’s heartbreaking loss of the Seahawks in the Super Bowl.

Vox explains:

“With 26 sec on 2nd&g, you have to pass at least once to be able to use all 4 downs if necessary. Passing on 2nd keeps NE honest on 3 & 4 dn”


Jawohl!

This week, Canadian ice climbers Will Gadd and Sarah Hueniken became the first to climb the frozen falls.

A Red Bull project, of course.


Makes you want to start riding again, doesn’t it?


Man, I didn’t want to post about sports anymore, and especially not about football, but damn, this is a good article about the only #BEASTMODE: Marshawn Lynch.


But IOC President Thomas Bach says in a statement to The Associated Press that Saudi Arabia would be ineligible to bid unless it complies with rules on non-discrimination against women in sports.

Bach says ”a commitment to ‘non-discrimination’ will be mandatory for all countries hoping to bid for the Olympics in the future.”

Are we seeing the first glimpses of a new IOC?


Beth Rodden:

So, this summer, instead of rad, exotic tales of climbing in far off destinations, I have stayed home; climbing in the quiet heat of Yosemite and Tuolumne, and my woody wall, happy as can be.


Geekwire:

“There’s obviously hard work, passion, tears, sweat, and a few choice words between each game — it’s not all about technology,” said Simon Drabble, a director of product creation with Adidas who also spoke on Wednesday. “But there’s no denying the fact that we have a great example of how technology helped train the best of the best to be number one in the world.”

Just for the link to the winning goal clip on Youtube it’s worth clicking through.

My spine still tingles.


San Francisco announces their bid to host the Summer Olympics in 2024.

While on one side this will kill any chances for Seattle making a big in the near future, this is in itself is an exciting announcement.

They have my full support. Love when the Games come close to home. I will totally go!

PS: There’s a larger and much deeper conversation to be had around the future of Olympic Host Cities and how this can be structured and maintained for future generations. And this needs to happen, don’t get me wrong. But that juggernaut must turn slowly and carefully. And I pray the IOC will find a solution on how the Olympic Games should represent themselves for future generations.

PPS: Their website needs serious help. Super slow, buggy scrolling and blurry images. For crying out loud, they are in the Bay Area. You’d think they find a few designers and developers who could help them get a site up that represents the City.


There is no question that South Africa has football facilities and infrastructure that can compare with the best in the world and there is no shortage of money in its professional league. There is also an abundance of natural talent in the country but that needs to be harnessed through a well-planned development programme which will develop that talent into realising its full potential.

That’s always the challenging part in the aftermath of hosting a big tournament like this.


Whenever a established brand redesigns their logo there is immediately a huge commotion on Twitter, and often enough it turns into a shitstorm.
This commotion usually turns into several Medium-published think-pieces. And so goes mine.
Usually when this happens I’m trying to throw myself into the camp of embracing the new visual direction a organization is taking. And although in the past that direction not often makes sense even after lengthy introduction videos and photo collages I try to stay positive.

Well, I hated the Gap logo – but so did everyone.
I liked the American Airlines rebranding, which I was probably the only one.

When I first saw the new logo this morning unveiled on Twitter I immediately hated it.
But, make up your own mind, here it is in all it’s glory, oh wait, no. I mean this one.

And here is MLS’s official explanation:

WORDMARK: MLS stands for Major League Soccer.
SLASH: The slash refers to soccer’s speed and energy. The slash >begins outside the perimeter and drives upward at a 45-degree >angle to illustrate both the nonstop nature of our game and the >rising trajectory of our league. It bisects the crest to create >a “first half” and “second half.”

STARS: The three stars represent the pillars of our brand: For >Club, For Country, For Community.

PERIMETER: The perimeter represents the lines that mark off the field of play.

FIRST HALF AND SECOND HALF: The first half contains MLS and the three stars. The second half is an open white space that brings you in and out of the MLS world.

Let me start with the positive here:

The old logo needed refreshing. It was outdated, childish and is past it’s prime. Way past.

I love that the new logo is modern. I’ve always been a fan of modern, clean design. American Sports League have the tendency to wallow in nostalgia, so I appreciate the break from that and the embrace of the future. It’s bold, even courageous. That, I give them.

I also love the idea of giving every team a way of customizing the new logo with their own team colors.

So far so good.

But the rest is complete and utter crap:

The shield:
Almost every MLS team uses a crest-like shape, so using such a similar shape the MLS logo is actually competing rather than complimenting the teams’ logos.

The stars:
I get that this is America and we need stars and stripes on everything, but stars are nowhere to be found in soccer, so why use them there?

The MLS word mark placement:
It’s completely forced into the left corner making the whole thing feel way lopsided.

The slash:
What the hell is that supposed to be?
If the outside lines of the shield are supposed to be representing the lines on the pitch (and if that’s the case, why not make the box rectangular or round, like some of the shapes that can actually be found on a soccer pitch) then why does the line begin on the outside of the pitch? No soccer play happens outside the lines. That completely doesn’t make any sense at all.
Further makes the whole logo feel completely lopsided. And unless the MLS is hoping to turn the game on it’s head and wants to introduce some groundbreaking new rules/ideas to the game this doesn’t feel right at all.

The two halves:
One half feels cramped, crowded and has a completely mis-placed red gradient in it.
The second half is completely empty, white and boring.
If those halves are supposed to be representing the two periods of play than why are they so lopsided and not evened out?

Where is the f^*&ing soccer ball?
I mean, if we’re all about symbolism and are trying to be obvious and stuff, why are we leaving out the most symbolic element that has visually represented soccer for many generations? The ball?

So, there you have it. Craig Robinson summed it up nicely:

The new MLS logo looks like the designer had a deadline and was distracted by the need to poop at the same time.

That!


NYT:

Philip Porter, an economist at the University of South Florida who has studied the impact of sporting events, told me that the evidence was unequivocal. “The bottom line is, every time we’ve looked — dozens of scholars, dozens of times — we find no real change in economic activity,” he said. Still, even for established cities like Boston or San Francisco, there is one clear reason to chase the Olympics or the World Cup: People like hosting major sporting events. Economists tend to pay more attention to money than to happiness, because money is easier to count. But it’s no small matter that surveys routinely find high levels of public support in the host nation before, during and after the Olympics and the World Cup. “It’s like a wedding,” Matheson told me. “It won’t make you rich, but it may make you happy.” The trick is deciding how much that’s worth.


Bill Simmons for Grantland:

Every World Cup does one thing better than any other event that human beings organize. It focuses the attention of the world on one place at one moment. Around a billion people watched at least part of the final in 2010; that’s several Super Bowls. When a game becomes so ubiquitous, it almost ceases to be entertainment and becomes something else, an atmospheric phenomenon, an object of astronomy. Will more people watch Germany-France on Friday or see the moon over France and Germany? Only the Olympics brings people together like this, and hey, due respect to the Olympics. But oh man is it ever not the same thing.

And this, even more than neuron-blowing games or unbelievable outcomes, is the magic of the World Cup. Over the next 10 days, a substantial portion of the living population of the Earth will have its feelings altered simultaneously by the actions of 22 men chasing a ball around a field in Brazil. Whether you watch alone or in a group or at a stadium, you will know that what you are seeing is being seen by hundreds of millions of people on every corner of the globe, and that your joy, despair, or disbelief is being echoed in incomprehensibly many consciousnesses. Is there anything more ridiculous than this? There is nothing more ridiculous than this, but it’s an extraordinary feeling, too. When something incredible happens — Messi curls a ball around three defenders; Zidane head-butts Materazzi — it’s not just an exciting moment. It’s a bright line connecting you with the human race.

No other sporting event can really compare to the World Cup in this regard, and when the tournament is as wild as this one has been, the feeling is even stronger. It’s why you despair that FIFA is a cabal of oleaginous quasi murderers, why their inability to control, say, match fixing is so depressing. They don’t deserve to control this. In an important sense, it has nothing to do with them. No World Cup, certainly not one in Brazil, can stand outside history. The World Cup is history. And now it’s history waiting to happen.


Some fun ones in that catalogue.


Gruber links to annoying Obermann:

 ‘When A Tie Is A Win, We All Lose’

How is that different to loosing a regular season game and still making it into the playoffs?

And why am I linking to this?

No one is calling you stupid, unless you start throwing sand in the sandbox.

But man is it cute to see Americans grapple with the fact that something could be awesome that is not trenched in red white and blue nostalgia.


Schmid is rooting for the US:

“No. I’m rooting for the U.S. I’m never torn on that. I’ve grown up here, I’m a U.S. citizen, and this is where I’ve earned my living as a soccer coach. … When Germany plays anybody else, I’m very German and I’m definitely behind them all the way. But I sometimes lose patience for people who have lived here a long time and are still rooting for their home country first. I understand that, and I was born in Germany and have all my relatives there. They’re going to be rooting for Germany first and they’re going to give me a hard time. But I just think this is the country that my family committed to and that I’ve committed to, so I’m going to support this country.”

This one is still hard for me. The German National Team has always been my favorite team to watch. I want them to win another trophy and continue their legacy. They need to win it this time.

But when the US is not playing Germany I am 100% rooting for them. They’ve shown great soccer on the pitch this year. The Sounders players help bring the team closer to me and I love watching them succeed.

Just not on Thursday. I will be rooting for Germany again.

PS: On second thought, if we end in second place in Group G we could avoid Brazil until the Finals. Hmmmm.