Spotify Original’s “The Ringer Guide to the Summer Games” is an excellent companion to watching The Olympics. This year’s Olympic games are a triumph. Especially after last year’s trying times, it’s inspiring to see athletes achieving their dreams while performing incredible feats of skill, strength, and determination. It’s amazing that it’s more inclusive in terms of sports – adding climbing, skateboarding, surfing, etc. to its lineup. In 2024, we can anticipate the debut of a sport called extreme canoe. You’ll learn these sorts of facts and more in this podcast.
Each episode of “The Ringer Guide to the Summer Games” picks a sport of the day. Athletes and Olympics insiders are interviewed by host Rodger Sherman. Listeners will hear from athletes about what it’s like to be at the top of their game. You’ll hear about Olympic history and learn about the competing athletes’ training processes, rituals, and game plans.
Topics can also range from how one can win an Olympic medal without top-notch sports skills to why Team USA isn’t the best at Handball. A recent episode explores Ultimate Frisbee’s potential as an addition to future games. Athlete Carlin Isles speaks about how clicking on a YouTube video catalyzed his start in rugby, eventually bringing him to The Olympics. These people are amazing, performing superhuman feats. But at the end of the day, it’s cool to remember they’re also human!
Simone Biles and the “twisties”
The gymnastics episodes center around Simone Biles. Rodger speaks about why she is one of the greatest gymnasts of our time. Her unfortunate experience with the “twisties” on the vault is explored. Rodger interviewed The Washington Post’s Emily Giambalvo about witnessing Simone live in Tokyo. Emily explains the “twisties.” This happens when you are twisting in the air, become disoriented, and lose control of your body. In this case, gymnasts don’t perform the number of twists they thought they would. When twisting, gymnasts’ arms are held tightly. Emily said Simone did the rotation, and she opened her arms early. This happens when you’re slowing down or trying to stop the twist. Simone came out of the tumble too soon and fell to the ground. Emily said Simone did the same thing during warm-up. Simone withdrew from team events and the All-Around floor rounds to focus on her mental health.
Weightlifter Mattie Rogers weighs in
In another recent episode, American weightlifter Mattie Rogers speaks about transforming her body in preparation for The Olympics. We hear about the creation of early anabolic steroids in the 1950s. Did you know that track and field has lost the most amount of medals due to doping infractions? It is speculated that the International Weightlifting Federation president, Tama Ayin, resigned last year after allegations surfaced of accepting bribes to ignore cases of doping.
As a result, the International Olympic Committee reduced the number of weightlifting medals. Now, in the Tokyo Olympics, there are 7 weight classes per gender. When Mattie learned her weight class wasn’t going to be a part of the Tokyo Olympics and countries can’t send two competitors in the same weight class, her only option was to enter a different category. Mattie would not allow this new criteria to be a barrier to entry. To qualify, she has to weigh at least 178 pounds to compete and gained 22 pounds for the competition. At times, she said she felt like she was force-feeding herself. This caused body discomfort. Mattie explains that if she didn’t meet her calorie consumption quota for the day, she’d inhale pints of ice cream. Yum!
Mattie planned ahead just in case she didn’t make the weigh-in. Since you can wear religious jewelry in The Olympics, Mattie had a welder create a custom, nearly 1 kilogram-heavy cross necklace to tuck into her sports bra. Much to her relief, she made the weigh in without the necklace.
From July 19, 2021 through the last days of The Olympics, new episodes are posted daily. All episodes of “The Ringer Guide to the Summer Games” are under 20 minutes in length.