Planet Omega





Four extraordinary U.S. athletes and OMEGA ambassadors took the stage at the Planet OMEGA Exhibition last Friday — Olympians Noah Lyles, Nathan Chen, and Allyson Felix, and Paralympian Oksana Masters — for an in-depth panel discussion about their careers and the Swiss brand’s legacy of timekeeping in sport. OMEGA has been the Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games since 1932, and the Official Timekeeper of the Paralympic Games since 1992. For over 90 years, the brand has been proudly recording dreams, while also developing some of the most critical timekeeping equipment that athletes rely on.

Sprinter Noah Lyles is one of the world’s most exciting young track athletes, having already won a bronze medal in the 200m event at Tokyo 2020 and three gold medals at the 2023 World Championships. “In my sport, every split second really counts. From the starting blocks, right to the finish line. The excellence that OMEGA brings is very reassuring and I know that all the athletes really appreciate the accuracy they bring to those important moments.”

Added Allyson Felix, the most decorated U.S. Olympic track athlete with 11 Olympic Games medals, including 7 gold, “I’ve been to five Olympic Games, and at every one, OMEGA has brought a consistent high level of timekeeping . Read More


On Court With Jen Brady


Photos by Ben Solomon 

Jennifer Brady, one of the most promising American players and 2021 Australian Open finalist, is returning to action at the US open this week, after injuries kept her sidelined for the last couple of years. Within months of reaching a career-high ranking of No. 13, Brady incurred a stress fracture in her knee which needed surgery. Previously planning for a comeback earlier this year, Brady’s plans were thwarted by a foot injury.

Ahead of her long-awaited comeback, Brady appeared at a special on-court event at Court16 FiDi last week, where she put a select group of the media (myself included) through drills, shared tips, and let us experience her famed big forehand. She also hit with the young tennis campers — next gen tennis stars. The 28-year-old American plays with a Babolat Pure Aero, which we also not only got to hit with, but take home too! Read More


Keeping Pace with Kara Goucher



American long-distance runner, Olympian Kara Goucher is used to running 135 miles a week, but these days it’s about 20 miles, and that’s in a good week. A few years ago, after multiple falls — one of them into oncoming traffic — and a loss of sensation in her left foot, Kara was diagnosed with Repetitive Movement Dystonia, a neurological movement disorder.

ALTRA, Kara’s shoe sponsor, has just released the ALTRA Paradigm 7 in a special colorway, along with a $50,000 donation to Dystonia research. $5 from every pair sold of Kara’s signature “Hope” color edition will benefit the Bachmann-Strauss Fellowship in Dystonia Research, a part of The Michael J. Fox Foundation whose mission is to grow the global base of researchers studying the movement disorder dystonia and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

“I think when I see someone wearing the colorway I’ll probably freak out a little bit” said Kara. “It will be pretty cool to know someone cared enough to buy that color way and their money is going to go to help other people.”

Unafraid of a challenge, Kara is also the author of the recently published book, The Longest Race: Inside the Secret World of Abuse, Doping, and Deception on Nike’s Elite Running Team. Kara was the star witness who brought down Alberto Salazar, the now-disgraced Nike running coach who was the head of an elite team known as the Nike Oregon Project. What seemed like the opportunity of a lifetime, Kara revealed became for her and other female athletes, a culture of misogynistic abuse, and one that pushed the limits of anti-doping rules. Read More


Well-Suited: Nike x Martine Rose



When the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) arrived for their first match of the FIFA Womens World Cup , their choice of travel attire marked a significant fashion moment for women’s sports. Instead of the usual sweats and hoodies, the team donned the Nike x Martine Rose player’s suit, jacket, shirt, and Shox Mule MR 4 shoes.

These custom crested Nike x Martine Rose suits set a new precedent, symbolizing not only style but also camaraderie, equality, and positive change both on and off the pitch. The Nike x Martine Rose Collection dissolves the boundaries of men and women’s soccer styling with gender-free tailoring that advances the culture of sport for the next generation. 

Said Megan Rapinoe, a four-time USWNT player and muse for the Nike x Martine Rose Collection: “Wearing this suit to walk out on the field feels like the culmination of my whole career – to elevate the women’s team look, to show something unexpected, and to continue to push boundaries in what it means to be an elite female athlete. It’s also just fun to be able to show up rocking something that’s unique and popping. And to have one of the best designers in the world create for the best team in the world is incredible.” Read More


Eddie Would Go





The surf expression “Eddie Would Go” references the legend of Hawaiian surfer, lifeguard, and waterman Eddie Aikau, who in the 1970’s was considered one of the greatest big wave riders in the world. Eddie was the first official lifeguard at Waimea Bay on Oahu’s North Shore, famous for its massive surf, and he was known for fearless rescues in treacherous conditions that no one else would dare.

Eddie’s life took on mythic proportions when it was tragically cut short during the 1978 “Hokule’a” 2500-mile sea voyage, retracing the ancient route of the Polynesian migration from the Tahitian islands to Hawaiian islands in a traditional double hulled canoe. When the Hokule’a capsized in stormy weather, Eddie set out on his surfboard to get help. Though the crew was later rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard, despite great search efforts Eddie was never seen again. He was just 31. Read More





On November 7, 2020, Chris Nikic crossed the finish line of the Ironman triathlon in Panama City Beach, Florida in 16:46:09 — 14 minutes under the 17-hour cutoff time. But in completing the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run, Chris became the first man with Down syndrome to finish an Ironman triathlon. One year prior, he had been unable to do a single push-up.

The documentary A Special Olympics Story: Chris Nikic debuted last week for World Down Syndrome Day and tells the inspirational story of how this Special Olympics Champion Ambassador was able to accomplish this unfathomable feat with a simple mantra: get 1% better everyday.

Chris was introduced to Special Olympics through a golf skills program when he was 9 years old, and soon began participating in other sports like basketball, athletics, and swimming as well. Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, and provides training for more than 6 million athletes in more than 190 countries around the globe. Read More





Event Photos Courtesy of Degree Deodorant

In late September, Degree Deodorant launched the #TrainersforHire Campaign, an initiative for of National Disability Employment Awareness Month challenging the fitness industry to hire trainers with disabilities. The kick-off was an inclusive pop-up cycling class in New York City’s Flatiron Plaza, led by eight-time Paralympic Track & Field medalist, Blake Leeper. The class included people with and without disabilities, on both spin bikes and hand cycles, to showcase how simple it is to create an inclusive fitness class.

As a participant, I can attest to the inspiration of a spin class taught by an instructor with a disability – a Paralympian no less – and the fact that it was a great class regardless. Blake told me that he actually has an advantage to offer that others don’t. “I use my personal experiences of adversity and challenges, that mental toughness from being born without legs, and apply that to the class. I’ve had to push through, so push through with me.”

Blake was born with a congenital birth defect, and has worn prosthetics since he was 9 months old. He made his international Track & Field debut in 2009, and his first Paralympic Games were London 2012. Blake set his sites beyond the Paralympics last summer, with the goal of competing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, but was barred from competition on the grounds that his blade-like prostheses might give him an unfair advantage. Read More


BE BRAVE: Special Olympics x Parsons



“As designers in this over-consumption, over-production world, we are constantly thinking if what we’re doing is meaningful. What is my clothing contributing to the rest of the world? In this circumstance, I realized you can actually do something that moves people and makes people feel confident.”

— Weijing Xiao



In January of 2020, a new course was introduced into the Parsons School of Design curriculum in partnership with Special Olympics. It was initiated through a connection with Special Olympics board member and fashion model Natalia Vodianova, and offered students the opportunity to create designs for Special Olympics athletes. Taking a collaborative approach, students and athletes worked to conceptualize, design, and create figure skating uniforms. The mission was to amplify the voice of Special Olympics across the world of sport, fashion, and education, and generate new possibilities for inclusion and social justice.

Proving so successful in its first year, the course was offered again in January of 2021. For this semester, students were given the assignment to design both tennis and track & field uniforms for the athletes. Celebrated fashion photographer and Special Olympics Champion Ambassador, Nigel Barker, served as a mentor throughout the design process. Read More


Ultramarathon Man



I’ve run the NYC Marathon 3 times. 26.2 miles is a heck of a long way to run, not to mention the hundreds of miles you log training for it. At no point on any of these quests did I think to myself, ‘26.2 miles just isn’t enough… I really wish it was longer’. But in the booming sport of ultramarathons, races are 50, 100, 135 miles, and even longer. Equally as grueling as the distances are the conditions in which they are run.

Dean Karnazes is often credited with that booming popularity, and putting the sport of ultrarunning onto the map. For him, a marathon is a training run, and he usually runs one before breakfast. Karnazes completed his first ultramarathon in 1993. His first 100-miler was the famed Western States Endurance Run, a race that has become the marquis event of the sport. With just 369 spots, there are nearly 10 times the number of applicants. It’s the ultramarathon everyone wants to run, and comparable to the NYC Marathon, there is a lottery to get in. Karnazes is an 11-time 100-Mile/1 Day Silver Buckleholder in the event, which is awarded for completing the race in less than 24 hours.

In addition to other unfathomable challenges is the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon. It is run across Death Valley in the height of summer where temperatures have climbed as high as 130 degrees. Karnazes won it in 2004, in addition to five other top-10 finishes from 2000 to 2008. At the opposite end of extreme, he has run a marathon in the South Pole, with temperatures as low as -40 degrees. He has run across the United States from Disneyland to New York City in 75 days; 50 marathons in 50 states on 50 consecutive days; and, just this summer, 1000 miles across Australia. Read More


Take The Plunge



Now open in Park City, Utah for the summer season is the International High Diving Institute (IHDI) with the United States’ first high diving training platform. The towering structure has been erected in partnership with the Utah Olympic Park, alongside the ramps where freestyle ski aerialists have trained since its construction for the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics.

The highest platform in Olympic diving is 10 meters, roughly the height of a 3-story building. In the sport of high diving, women compete from heights of 20 meters and the men, 27 meters! For professional high divers, IHDI Founder Ellie Smart and Co-Founder Owen Weymouth, this means diving from cliffs too.

There has never been anywhere in the US to train at those heights, but the platform has been designed as a place where novices can experience the sport as well. With nine take-off points ranging from 3 to 27 meters, IHDI offers programs for all levels that include the High Diving Experience. This 1.5 hour course teaches safety fundamentals like how to take off, control body position, and land, and lets beginners progress up to heights of 12.5 meters. Read More


Knocking Down The Fences



Happy International Women’s Day! On this annual celebration of women’s achievements, A.J. Andrews is the perfect athlete to highlight as a true barrier breaking woman. This Pro softball phenom made history in 2016 as the first woman to win the prestigious Rawlings Gold Glove Award. Given to the best defenders on the field, for 59 years it had only been awarded to MLB players until A.J. snagged the trophy… similar to one her infamous diving catches

An outfielder for the National Pro Fastpitch’s Akron Racers, A.J. has always been at the forefront of her sport, known for a fearlessness that no obstacle — fences or even the broken hand she played with for an entire season — can stop. The PBS film Knocking Down The Fences, gives an inside look at what drives this remarkable athlete. In it she declares, “If you hit a ball in the outfield, and it’s anywhere in my vicinity, I’m going to make sure it ends up in my glove.”
Read More


Against The Tides



Against The Tides is the captivating story of British marathon swimmer and world record holder Beth French, and her quest to swim across the most dangerous open water crossings in the extreme challenge known as Oceans Seven. For marathon swimmers it is the ultimate test — the equivalent of climbing the Seven Summits in mountaineering — and very few people have ever completed it. Beth ups the ante with the goal to accomplish it in a single year which has never been done, even more unfathomable as she spent much of her youth in a wheelchair with a debilitating illness, unable to move.

The Oceans Seven consists of seven of the most unforgiving straits and channels around the world. There is The North Channel between Ireland and Scotland, 21 miles; The Cook Strait between New Zealand’s North and South Islands, 16 miles; The Molokai Channel between Molokai and Oahu, 27 miles; The English Channel between England and France, 21 miles; The Catalina Channel between Santa Catalina Island and Los Angeles, California, 21 miles; The Tsugaru Strait between the Japanese islands of Honshu and Hokkaido, 12 miles; and The Strait of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco, 10 miles. Read More


Kassia Meador: Sound Surfer



Back in early October, I attended a press event for Kassia + Surf in NYC. The company and its namesake founder were introducing a new line of wetsuits made from recycled neoprene and salvaged tires, along with a collection of other eco-conscious surf apparel. Considered perhaps the best female longboarder ever, Kassia Meador’s graceful and effortless surfing style is legendary — cross stepping and tiptoeing up to the nose of the board, hanging out there in a crouch, or maybe topping it off with a twirl.

The press event was hosted at Mndfl, one of the new breed of meditation studios that have popped up over the last few years, and a featured part of the morning would be a sound bath meditation led by Kassia herself. If you have never experienced a sound bath, it is style of meditation that uses vibrational sound waves produced by chimes, gongs, drums, and crystal bowls as a relaxation technique. As you “bathe” in these tones, it facilitates a shift in your brainwaves to a state of deep relaxation and rest. For those who are new to meditation or have found it a challenge, a sound bath is a great place to start. Focusing on these vibrational tones can help tune out distractions to attain that deeply meditative state many of us find so elusive. Read More


Hooping It Up



Last weekend was a big one in professional basketball. Though there were no live games, both the NBA and WNBA featured major stories. In the WNBA draft, “virtual” this year, the number one pick went to the New York Liberty who selected Sabrina Ionescu. Over on ESPN, The Last Dance, the much-anticipated documentary series on Michael Jordan and the 1990’s Chicago Bulls debuted.

Basketball fan or not, undoubtably the name Michael Jordan is familiar to you, but likely not that of Sabrina Ionescu. Here’s why it should and likely will be soon.

Star point guard at the University of Oregon, Sabrina Ionescu is the first player in NCAA Division I history – male or female – to record 2,000 career points, 1,000 career assists, and 1,000 career rebounds. She also finished her college career with a record 26 triple-doubles (that’s points, assists, and rebounds). Even more impressive is that she achieved this milestone just hours after delivering an unforgettable eulogy at Kobe Bryant’s memorial service in front of tens of thousands at the Staples Center (watch here).
Read More


The All Stars




Look out Roger Federer, Michelle Wie, Alex Ovechkin, and Chloe Kim… the next generation of superstar athletes is comin’ for ya! CC Kaplan, Izyan Ahmad, Aria Bevacqua, Kai Yudelson, Kailey Bogart, and Douglas Forbes: though these 6 young athletes are different ages, gender, and compete in different sports, what they share is an unrelenting passion and dedication to their pursuit.

They train for hours a day like professional athletes, but unlike professional athletes they still have school and homework to do. It makes for a jam-packed daily life many grown-ups couldn’t handle. They’re at practice before their peers wake up and starting homework when most are going to bed. So why do they do it? It’s the love of the game and their dream to be the best.

There is no way to know for sure whether a promising young sport phenom will become the next all star, but each one of these athletes featured here has the talent and drive to make those dreams come true… Read More


Trading Places: Michelle Wie & Genie Bouchard




When two of the biggest stars in tennis and golf, Eugenie “Genie” Bouchard and Michelle Wie respectively, met for the first time last week, you would have thought they were lifelong friends. Both Nike athletes, they had been brought together for a promotional event and quickly hit it off, literally, hitting golf and tennis balls, and exchanging coaching tips. Their rapport was instant and their ability to pick up each other’s sport didn’t lag too far behind.

Korean-American Michelle Wie, 27 years old, has been on the LPGA tour since just before her 16th birthday and is currently #34 in the Rolex Ranking. Though at age 10 she became the youngest player to qualify for a USGA amateur championship, Wie actually had dreams of becoming a professional tennis player. This phenom’s golf game was better than her tennis game, however, and so the clubs beat the racquet. Wie won her first major at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open. Though she doesn’t get much of a chance to play tennis these days, after a few pointers from Genie, she quickly showed she’s still got some game.

Canadian Genie Bouchard, 23 years old, is currently ranked 57th in the WTA and has been a force to contend with since she hit the tour: named WTA Newcomer of the Year in 2013 and WTA Most Improved Player in 2014. She was the 2014 Wimbledon runner-up, and semi-finalist in both the Australian and French Open that same year. Though Bouchard has virtually no golf experience, she was swinging like a pro after just a few tips from Michelle.
Read More


All’s Well in Wellington

©Rolex/Ashley Neuhof


Unless you are part of the equestrian set, Wellington, Florida might not be a familiar destination, but every winter the world’s best riders descend upon this sport mecca for the 12-week Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Hosted at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, the main attraction is the show jumping and its numerous Grand Prix events — along with the perfect climate for rider and horse alike. 

Next door to Palm Beach, Wellington was originally created in 1972 as a 7000-acre equestrian preserve. The Winter Equestrian Festival has been going on since 1979, but it wasn’t until 2008 that Wellington began to evolve into the equestrian lifestyle destination it is today. In 2006, about 1000 acres that included the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, were purchased for $135 million by Mark Bellissimo, a former tech entrepreneur, who envisioned the economic impact developing this community could have.
Read More


The XPT Experience







Ever wonder what life is like for Gabrielle Reece and Laird Hamilton? Well, wonder no more. Gabby and Laird, along with Brian MacKenzie, a human performance specialist, have created The XPT Experience, a 3-day turbo-charged immersion into their lives. XPT stands for Extreme Performance Training and for $5000, you get full access to this trio and a roster of the most buzzed about – although you may not have heard about them yet — trainers, coaches, health and wellness experts. The XPT Experience is an action packed program of workouts, lectures, and playtime too, all of which comes from the cutting edge training, nutrition and recovery these professional athletes have integrated into their daily lives.

For those who don’t know this Amazonian beauty, Gabby Reece is a former professional beach volleyball player, model, best-selling author, mother, and world-renowned fitness personality, most recently seen as the host of NBC’s Strong. At 6’3 she is a towering presence, and at 47 years old, as gorgeous and fit as ever, enhanced by a big heart and generosity as large. Husband Laird Hamilton is the world famous big wave surfer, who at 53 defies age and gravity, riding massive walls of water for a living and inventing new water sports for the rest of us to enjoy. He is recognized as the creator of Stand Up Paddleboarding. His rock hard physique and hunky good looks are hard to ignore, along with an engaging stream of dialogue that questions many common assumptions on health and fitness, while offering alternative ways of thinking with the latest discoveries in human performance. Read More


A River Runs Through It





A few weeks ago, I was invited by Patagonia on a trip to Idaho for a couple of days to learn how to flyfish. I jumped at the opportunity, having wanted to try the sport ever since seeing Brad Pitt in “A River Runs Through It”, and guessing a major swag bag was in store. I was told the founder of the company, Yvon Chouinard, who was writing a book called “Simple Fly Fishing”, would be there, and that we would be learning a new technique of flyfishing called Tenkara. What I didn’t know was that “YC”, as he is called, would be hanging out with us the entire time and be our teacher.

Yvon Chouinard is a legend in the outdoor industry and sport world. He is an accomplished rock climber, surfer, kayaker, falconer, and fly fisherman, and his contributions to those sports are recognized worldwide — as is his dedication to environmentalism. Patagonia is considered one of, if not the, most successful outdoor brands. Their integration and promotion of environmentalism is a founding tenet of the company and of particular focus at present. Read More