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Women in sports is a popular topic these days, with Danica Patrick winning a historic pole position at the Daytona 500 and Olympic downhill champion Lindsey Vonn vowing to recover in time for the 2014 Games in Russia. Meanwhile college basketball fans are looking forward to the upcoming NCAA tournament, which will culminate in the Final Four games being held in New Orleans.
This will be the third time the Women’s Final Four will be held in New Orleans. In 1991 the Final Four was held at the UNO Lakefront Arena and won by the Tennessee Lady Volunteers. In 2004 the championship game was held at the New Orleans Arena which saw the Lady Volunteers succumb to the UCONN Huskies.
This year’s semi-finals and championship games will be held at the New Orleans Arena. The 2013 champion Baylor University Lady Bears may return to defend their title. Other high ranking teams that are expected to compete in the tournament include Duke, Stanford, Notre Dame, Penn State, and Kentucky.
Sports fans should start searching now for great New Orleans deals and Final Four tickets. The semi-final games will be played on April 7th, with the Championship Game on April 9th starting at 6:30pm CDT.
Posted February 28th, 2013. 6 comments
One of my passions is auto racing and with the 2013 racing season off to an exciting start here in America, I wanted to share a bit about my favorite racers — those I’ll be following this year.
Since he first began racing in 2006, Scott Tucker has both competed as a driver and built a successful race team from the ground up. In 2008 he won half of the races in the Ferrari Challenge Series and was named American Le Mans Series Rookie of the Year in 2010. In addition to racing in the US, his team, Level5Motorsports has competed at the 24 Hours of LeMans for the past three years, finishing 3rd in 2011.
The most successful female racer in history, Danica is a NASCAR driver for team GoDaddy. In addition to being the first woman to earn the pole position at the recent Daytona 500, Danica placed 3rd in the Indianapolis 500 (the highest finish by a woman), and is the only woman to have ever won a race in the IndyCar Series.
Before joining NASCAR in 2000, Johnson had raced motorcycles as a child and moved on to off-road racing as a teenager/young adult. He is the only driver to win five consecutive Cup Series championships (2006-2010) and has won 61 races between 2002 and 2013. His recent 1st place finish at the Daytona 500 was his second time winning that race.
Other racers to watch include NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt Jr and Jeff Gordon and ALMS driver Klaus Graf.
Posted February 28th, 2013. 6 comments
The idea that auto racing is a mens-only game is a myth. Women have been racing motor vehicles since the 1880s. While fewer in number, their passion for the sport equals that of their male counterparts. And, with racing becoming more and more poplar in the US, future generations will likely have more champions like Danica Patrick, Ana Beatriz and Simona del Silverstro.
With more and more women on the track, concerns about the safety of race cars is increasing (not that racing was cavalier about the safety of male drivers). Mothers who are concerned about whether their daughter will be safe as she races around the track can rest assured that all the major race series have been amping up their safety requirements in order to insure the health and safety of their drivers.
The photos of cars pinned on racing profiles like http://pinterest.com/scotttucker/ look futuristic and fast, but they hide a myriad of safety features designed to protect their drivers. Below are some of the features now required by NASCAR as an example of the safety of race cars.
Racing Suits aren’t part of the cars, but they are a vital part of racer safety. All suites must be fire retardant. This includes the gloves and shoes worn by racers. Many drivers add a heat shield to the bottom of their shoes as well, to protect not just from fire, but from the heat of the car’s engine. The helmets worn by drivers must also meet safety standards to protect racers from head injuries.
Harnesses and HANS
Far beyond the simple seat belts found in regular cars, racers are strapped in using a strong harness that encompasses the shoulders, waist and legs. The HANS device (Head And Neck Support) attaches to the helmet and provides support for the back of the neck and head. In the event of a crash, it prevents the head from whipping forward without stressing the neck.
Cars themselves have built in safety features to protect drivers. These include window nets to limit flying debris and restrain the driver’s arms, roof flaps to reduce the chance of cars going airborne or flipping repeatedly down the track.
Car of Tomorrow
NASCAR has spent nearly a decade developing what they call the Car of Tomorrow, which changes the very design of race cars. It includes a roof that is both higher and wider, a smaller fuel cell, a windshield made of flexible glass, and a reinforced roll cage.
These, and many other safety features are being tested and used by drivers and racing teams around the world — not just NASCAR. Young women who dream of joining race teams in NHRA, American Le Mans Series, or any race league can learn about these features by following their favorite teams online at sites like Scott Tucker Racing.
Posted January 23rd, 2013. 5 comments
Each sport has it’s own legends, whether they be incredible players or iconic teams or epic battles. When a new tennis star comes along they have to do more than just surpass their peers; they must be able to survive comparisons to players like Billie Jean King, Arthur Ashe , Bjorn Borg, Steffi Graff, and Martina Navratilova.
All of these players, and a handful of others, were the premiere tennis stars of their time. However, they managed to outlive their peers by breaking rules, setting records, and possessing that something extra special that created a legacy that lived on after they retired and will likely still be memorable long after their deaths. Perhaps they had a particularly aggressive style of play or they racked up more french open victories than anyone in history or they won more prize money. The reasons for their fame may vary, but the staying power of their stories is what made them legends.
There are a few times that players enter the annals of history not because of their own career, but because they participated in one of the great and memorable matches of all time. Many of these players are legends in their own right. Think of the Tilden vs. Lacoste match from 1927 or the incredible Battle of the Sexes in 1973 between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. In 2010 Nicholas Maut and John Isner played the longest match in history, a three day marathon that included 183 games and the longest set ever played in tennis (128 games over eight hours) during an early round at Wimbledon. Whether either player ever rises to the status of an Andre Agassi or Jimmy Connors is irrelevant. They are part of that legendary match.
Now that 5-time champion Serena Williams is out of the US Open Tennis tournament, the women are going to have an interesting time sorting out the champion of the 4th and final leg of the Grand Slam. The US Open tennis betting analysis is giving odds for this now wide open field.
On the US Open tennis schedule the No.1 ranked player in the tournament is going to be just the 5th selection on the board to win the US Open. Caroline Wozniacki (+900), the Dane has never won a Grand Slam event before and has only made it out of the 4th round into the quarterfinals twice; one during last year’s US Open tennis tournament making her the runner-up. Wozniacki, after last year’s Wimbledon, made it to the 4th round of all the other major tournaments. However, her matches have ended there in 3 of the 5 events.
Kim Clijster (+300), is the No.2 ranked tennis player, and is considered the favorite for the US Open. Clijsters hasn’t played much tennis in the Grand Slam events, but last year, she came out of nowhere to win the US Open. She has only played in 2 of the 3 majors this year. She’s clearly an interesting proposition.
Venus Williams (+800) shouldn’t be dismissed. The elder of the Williams sisters clearly hasn’t been on top of her game lately, but she’s made it to the 4th round of 5 straight Grand Slam events. Even though Venus hasn’t won at the US Open tennis since 2001, a win here will capture her an 8th Grand Slam title in her 13 year career.
The US Open Tennis schedule for the Women’s Singles gives a tantalizing chance to see who will become this year’s champion.
Posted September 2nd, 2010. 1 comment