Thursday, January 24, 2013

Winter Sports - Skiing

Winter Sports - Skiing
Skiing is a sport wherein the skiers glide over snow with the help of skis made out of wood planks or fiberglass strapped on the feet. Over the period of years have been many alterations to the original sports like the cross-country variant and downhill variant. The alterations are Alpine Skiing, Telemark Skiing, and Nordic Skiing. Skiing is also used by the military as a means of transportation and training in ski warfare.
Originally skiing was used as a means of transportation in an ice packed area. Sondre Norheim, from Norway was the father of modern skiing as he developed slalom form of skiing in the 19th century. His ideas were later worked on and Telemark Skiing was developed in 1970s. Mathias Zdarsky from Austria invented the Alpine or downhill skiing. He developed the firmer bindings to help skiers to better anchor their feet. Some time after that, Hannes Schneider of Austria invented the Arlberg technique, according to which the body is rotated to steer the skis.
Not only there are different versions of skiing, but also there are many competitions, which are held every year for the fans of skiing. Skiing is a big part of the Winter Olympic games, too. The regions, which are ideal for skiing, are some parts of Scandinavia and Alaska. Many of the ski resorts have been constructed in these areas and some of them are specifically meant for Alpine Skiing.
The visitors have to buy warm clothing, ski, ski poles, and ski boots. After getting all dressed up, the skiers

Water Sports - Surfing

Surfing is a kind of water sports where the surfer is carried along by a breaking wave towards the shore. Apart from surfboards body boards, kneeboards, surf skis and kayaks can be also used to surf. Various sports involving surfing are sea kayaking, paddle boarding, kite surfing and windsurfing. The first two do not require waves and winds, while the other two does. Surfing has become more of a profession by turning into a multi-billion dollar industry.
Initially the sport began when people used to lie down on hard wood boards and surf in Hawaii. Lieutenant James King who wrote journals on Captain Cook and completed them after his death set the first record. The surfboards were made out of huge and heavy wood, which were difficult to maneuver. They were substituted by lighter balsa wood surfboards in 1940s and were relatively easy to maneuver by the surfer. The boards were later made out of polyurethane foam, polyester resin and fiberglass cloth with multiple layers of wooden strips. The latest technology in surfboards now is the epoxy or carbon fiber surfboard. To surf in colder regions, its advisable to wear wetsuits, boots, gloves and hood to protect from cold-water temperatures, which can sometimes lead to hypothermia. There are different styles of boards like egg or the long board style short board, fish or short and wide board with a split tail and gun with a long pointed board meant for big waves.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tennis Legends: Martina Navratilova

Tennis Legends: Martina Navratilova

Martina Navratilova is an ex-World number 1 female Tennis Player. Born on October 18, 1956 in Czechoslovakia, she became the citizen of America in 1981.Her stepfather Miroslav Navratil was her first coach. Martina won the Czech republic national tennis championship at the age of fifteen. At the age of seventeen, she got her very first professional singles title when she played the match in Orlando, Florida. She became a professional tennis player in 1975.
In 1975’s Grand Slam singles tournaments, she was one of the finalist in both the Australian Open and French Open, but she lost in both the finals to Evonne Goolagong Cawley and Chris Evert, respectively. The same year, she even lost in the semi finals of the US Open the same year after which she made her mind to get the green card of United States. In 1978, Navratilova got her first victory in the Grand Slam singles at Wimbledon and at the same she acquired the world number 1 rank after defeating Chris Evert.  
Navratilova was a women of great power and aggression because of which she raised the level of competition. Initially she was on the heavier side and she had to struggle a lot to get into shape for tennis. In this regard Nancy Lieberman, a basketball player, helped her. She underwent severe levels of fitness and exercising which finally got her into shape. She even learned the technique to use graphite racquets, which made her one of the most dominant tennis player.
She again beat Evert in the 1981 Grand Slam singles, in Australia Open. The next year she won the French and Wimbledon Open. In 1983, she won in three out of four Grand Slam events. She had scored the best ever-professional winning percentage as a tennis player. She retaliated back by winning the French Open Grand Slam of the year 1984, which she had lost in 1983. This superb victory was called the Grand Slam by the president of the International Tennis Federation, Philippe Chatrier. From 1982-1984, she lost only six of the singles matches.
Navratilova won women’s doubles titles in all the four Grand Slams of 1984. From 1985-1987, she won six out of eleven women’s singles final Grand Slam tournaments. Steffi Graff started to play in 1987 and from the beginning she gave a tough competition to Martina Navratilova. Graff defeated her in her first Grand slam in the finals of French Open. Navratilova gained back her title by defeating Graff in the 1987 Wimbledon Open. Navratilova’s won her final Grand Slam singles in 1990. Her name was included in the International Tennis Hall of Fame in the year 2000. 
The left-handed athlete was known to be the greatest tennis player, be it singles, doubles or mixed doubles. She was the second best female athlete of the twentieth century according to Steve Flink. From 1965 to 2005, she was named as the greatest female tennis player by Tennis magazine.  In her career, she won a total of thirty one Grand Slam women’s doubles titles, which is also a world record, eighteen Grand Slam singles titles, ten Grand Slam mixed doubles titles and nine Wimbledon women’s singles titles. She has won one hundred and sixty seven single tournaments and one hundred and seventy seven doubles tournaments, which is an open era record. Navratilova won seventy-four matches consecutively, which is the third longest winning streak in women’s tennis history. Along with Margaret Smith Court and Maureen Connolly Brinker, Navratilova holds the record for the maximum consecutive Grand Slam singles tournament championships.