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Monday, July 22, 2013

Flying with Weight City

Do you enjoy watching track and field during the Olympics? Then you will be happy to know about Weight City.

Many of us have worked our share of unpaid internships over the years. It was a decent way to explore new fields, augment our resume, or leverage connections and experience to turn it into something paid and full-time. And with the dwindling number of paid options, more people are accepting that an unpaid entry-level position, supplemented by side jobs, is the price of getting started. But even in these rough times, none of us would accept a job that would cost us $10,000+ a year, especially if having any reasonable hope of turning the job into a paid position precluded us from working a low-paying side job. Yet, that’s exactly the situation we encounter with emerging track and field athletes.
It’s even harder for those sports that we don’t hear that much about. While a hierarchy exists within the insular world of track and field, there are vast differences among sports and some get more attention than others. When you hear “track and field” event, what sport comes to mind? Discus? Javelin? Shot Put? Hammer? Probably not! Most of us think of the running events. And the events that get more attention get more funding! But these sports are among the oldest sports, all of which were part of ancient Greek Olympic contests, and there are many athletes that participate in these sports today. But they don’t get much financial support.

What are these athletic disciplines?

The shot put, discus, javelin, hammer and weight throw are events of most modern track and field meets at all levels and is a sport which is particularly iconic of the Olympic Games. The men's competition has been a part of the modern Summer Olympic Games since the first Olympiad in 1896. Images of discus throwers figured prominently in advertising for early modern Games, such as fundraising stamps for the 1896 games anf the main poster for the 1920 and 1948 Summer Olympics. The women's competition was added to the Olympic program in the 1928 games, although they had been competing at some national and regisonal levels previously.
  • Discus—a plate-like object. At first glance, the discus looks like a Frisbee, although it weighs 1k (2.2 lbs) to 2k (4.4 lbs). Athletes spin across an 8’ circle to generate speed, and then hurl a metal plate down the field as far as they can.
  • Javelin—a spear. Athletes run down a runway and throw a spear directly forward with an over-the-shoulder motion.
  • Shot Put—a metal ball weighing 4k (nearly 9 lbs) to 7.26k (16 lbs). Athletes glide or spin across a 7’ circle while trying to gain momentum before releasing the shot.
  • Hammer Throw—the ball and chain. Athletes grab the handle connected by a 3’ wire to the hammer with both hands and swing it around their head a few times to gain momentum, pushing the hammer as they rotate across a 7’ circle three or four turns before releasing the hammer into the field.
  • Weight Throw—the ball and handle. Thrown Indoor/ Outdoor seasons and weighing between 18 lbs – 35 lbs. Athletes grab the handle connected to the weight with both hands and swing it around their head a few times to gain momentum pushing the weight as they rotate across a 7’ circle three or four turns before releasing the weight into the field.
We need your support so we can work with and help train athletes participating in these sports. We support amateur track and field athletes as they strive to achieve their dream of competing in an Olympic Game, a National or World Championship or other Team USA competition. We accomplish this by using real-time and historical videos of their practice and competition to help nurture their technical and competitive performance progress. 

Your donation will allow serious athletes a chance to fulfill their potential. Would you consider a generous gift to help support our athletes?

All donations are tax deductible. Donors at all levels of donation will get a shoutout on our Facebook page.

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