August 5 marks the beginning of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. As the world watches to see what wonders the opening ceremonies will bring (Past highlights include a torch lit by flaming arrow (Barcelona 1992), a dress that expanded to become a map of the world (Björk, Athens 2004) and thousands of bronze Fou drums played in unison (Beijing 2008).), the Olympians begin the last leg of their journey toward gold.
While I wait for the competition to begin, I enjoy learning more about the athletes who have dedicated their lives to training for these events. The following five articles give insight into a few of these driven individuals. You can read these articles using CPL's Online Resources, but I've also noted if an article is available freely on the web.
"A Full Revolution" by Reeves Wiedeman
The New Yorker, May 30, 2016 (also available on The New Yorker website)
Gymnastics has always been my favorite summer Olympic event. This article provides a great glimpse into the life of Simone Biles. A little personal history, some wonderful quotes from the sunny gymnast and a look at a few of her training regimes.
"Going for the Gold" by Jihan Thompson
Essence, August 2016
A brief but insightful interview with Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad. The athlete ends the interview with a wonderful piece of advice, "Don't let people dictate your journey and put you inside a box that society has created for you. Anything is possible with hard work and perseverance. I'm not an anomaly; I'm a regular girl from New Jersey who worked hard."
"Momma on a Mission" by Annie Grevers
Swimming World, April 1, 2016
Olympic gold medalist Dana Vollmer briefly retired from swimming after the 2012 Olympics. Now she's part of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team and on the road to Rio! Read this article to discover why this new mom decided to return to the pool.
"Big Finish" by Tim Layden
Sports Illustrated, July 18, 2016 (also available on the Sports Illustrated website)
Another Olympic veteran and gold medal winner, Usain Bolt, prepares for his third and final Olympics. Layden describes the Olympian's career thus far and his hopes for the future, and takes a look at his pre-Olympic preparations in the Cayman Islands.
"Making America's Gladiators" by Miller Mobley
Men's Fitness, July 1, 2016 (also available on the Men's Fitness website)
This feature provides highlights from the workout routines of several male competitors from Team USA. Be sure to check out the PDF full text for stunning images of these athletes in action.