The Ski Bums have announced their 2012 skiing and snowboarding season and the theme this year is “It is time to power down,” a double entendre meaning it’s time to power down your gadgets and it is also time to power down a mountain.
Ski Bums president Chris French says when new members were asked last year why they joined the group, he heard a common theme. “I just wasn’t meeting the kind of people I wanted to meet.” These days with people increasingly finding each other online, the Ski Bums are hoping that gadget frustration will bring new members to the adventuresome group.
Ski Bums is the world’s largest LGBT club for skiers and snowboarders. They began hosting trips in 2005 and today have about 800 members from the United States, Canada and Europe. They are headquartered in New York with chapters spread out across the country, including one in Washington.
The group hosts a variety of local, national and international trips for slope-seekers. Annual member dues are $49 and the dues are applied as a rebate when you sign up for your first trip. The 2012 season includes treks to Salt Lake City, Beaver Creek, Telluride, Sun Valley, Killington and more.
“Newbies are the celebrities of the day on their first trip,” French says. “They receive a free skiing or snowboarding lesson and oftentimes there are clinics with other members of the group.” He also described the vibe as “super outgoing” and the trips being a great way to meet new friends.
The Bums are not ones to squander all their energy on the mountain. They have an active community outreach program that has benefited the Anti-Violence Project, change.org, the Trevor Project, the Victory Fund and more. Recently they held their annual Bums Rush charity event in New York which is similar to the two-person “Amazing Race.” After racing throughout the streets of New York, two people won a trip to St. Anton, Austria with money raised being donated to the Project.
The Ski Bums website is full of stats on member demographics. I was surprised to read that skiing has made a comeback from the snowboarding explosion and that 66 percent of the Bums prefer to ski. French says they’re proud of their diverse member base, which has some trans members.
The group also has a policy of inclusiveness. They have announced their all-women’s trip to the resorts at Killington and Okemo, Vt., March 2-4. French says resorts all over the country and Europe have been welcoming to Ski Bums members since their inception.
During the course of each year, the Bums host a series of “avalanche parties” across country, a chance for members and nonmembers to socialize, talk skiing and snowboarding, get advice on gear or even find roommates for an upcoming trip.
On Nov. 18, the D.C. Ski Bums will be at Nellies Sports Bar starting at 8 p.m. for the “blizzard bash.” Join them for prize giveaways, games and info about their trips.
Also on the docket that night will be the chance to sign-up for two Ski Bums day trips specifically for D.C. area members. More information on the trips is coming but the dates are set: Jan. 28 and Feb. 11.
“Your personal goal should be celebrated,” says French says. “We try to corral people into skill level groups so they get the most out of their experience.”
If you miss your days of skiing and snowboarding or want to try for the first time, check out the Bums at ski-bums.org. They can also be found on Facebook at skibumslgbt.
Las Vegas Raiders head coach resigns after homophobic emails surface
Discovery made during misconduct investigation into the Washington Football Team
LAS VEGAS — The head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, Jon Gruden resigned his post Monday after an article in the New York Times reported that he frequently used misogynistic and homophobic language directed at Commissioner Roger Goodell and others in the National Football League, (NFL).
The emails were discovered in a workplace misconduct investigation into the Washington Football Team the Times reported, but ended up costing Gruden his job when they also showed Gruden denounced the drafting of a gay player and the tolerance of players protesting during the playing of the national anthem among other issues.
In a statement released by the team late Monday, Gruden said; “I have resigned as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction. Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff, and fans of Raider Nation. I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.”
The sequence of events started last Friday when the Wall Street Journal reported that Gruden used a racist term to describe NFL union chief DeMaurice Smith in a 2011 email to the Washington team’s former executive Bruce Allen.
According to the Associated Press, Gruden apologized for his “insensitive remarks” about Smith, saying they were made out of frustration over the 2011 lockout. But the latest emails sent from between 2011-18 when Gruden was an analyst for ESPN show his use of derogatory language went well beyond that.
A league source confirmed the accuracy of the emails to the Associated Press and said they were sent to the Raiders last week. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the league hasn’t made the emails public.
The New York Times and the Associated Press both noted that Gruden used a gay slur to insult Goodell and said he was “clueless” and “anti-football.” He also said Goodell shouldn’t have pressured the Rams to draft “queers,” a reference to Michael Sam, who was the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team.
Gruden’s abrupt resignation was announced live on the Colts/Ravens “Monday Night Football” broadcast when the NFL ran multiple LGBTQ-inclusive advertisements, including one featuring an NFL logo wrapped in the colors of the Trans Flag and Rainbow Flag Gay City News Editor Matt Tracy reported.
Raiders owner Mark Davis issued a statement which only said that he accepted Gruden’s resignation. In a separate statement the Raiders announced that special teams and assistant head coach Rich Bisaccia will serve as Interim Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, effective immediately.
“Coach Bisaccia will meet with the media at the regularly scheduled media availability on Wednesday,” the team said.
According to ESPN and the Associated Press, Bisaccia has been a special teams coordinator in the NFL for 19 seasons with the Raiders, Chargers, Dallas and Tampa Bay. He has no head coaching experience but his elevation will allow other assistants in the Raiders organization such as defensive coordinator Gus Bradley to stay in their current roles.
Jon Gruden resigns as Raiders head coach | SC with SVP
New Zealand university names trans athlete ‘sportswoman of the year’
Laurel Hubbard is first out trans woman to compete in Olympics
DUNEDIN, New Zealand — Olympic weightlifter Laurel Hubbard was named “sportswoman of the year” at the prestigious 113-year-old University of Otago and OUSA Blues and Golds Awards event this past week.
The 43-year-old Queenstown, South Island, native was the first openly transgender woman to compete in an Olympics when she competed in the women’s 87kg weightlifting event at the 2021 Tokyo Games.
In a statement to the local newspaper, the Otago Daily Times, Hubbard said she was ‘‘grateful for all of the support and kindness received from the teaching staff and students at Otago University.’’
‘‘It is not possible for athletes to complete at the Olympic level without the encouragement and aroha [a Māori word meaning “love”] of friends, family and supporters.
‘‘This award belongs to everyone who has been part of my Olympic journey,’’ she told the paper.
Hubbard’s participation at the Tokyo Games had provoked controversy as she had prepared for competing as the world’s first out transgender woman Olympian. The director of medicine and science for the International Olympic Committee, Dr. Richard Budgett, directly addressed those who had attacked and mocked the New Zealander and claimed she shouldn’t be competing with cisgender women, saying “everyone agrees that trans women are women.”
“To put it in a nutshell,” he said, “the IOC had a scientific consensus back in 2015. There are no IOC rules or regulations around transgender participation. That depends on each international federation. So Laurel Hubbard is a woman, is competing under the rules of her federation and we have to pay tribute to her courage and tenacity in actually competing and qualifying for the Games.”
Otago University Students’ Association president Michaela Waite-Harvey told the Otago Daily Times that the Blues awards aim to highlight Otago students excelling in their chosen sport.
‘‘We could think of no-one more worthy of sportswoman of the year than Laurel Hubbard who represented Otago and New Zealand incredibly well at this year’s Tokyo Olympics.’’
Gold medalist Tom Daley battled COVID in hospital prior to Tokyo games
An x-ray revealed “blotches” on his lungs, and he was kept at the hospital for 10 hours to increase his oxygen levels
LONDON – British Olympic champion diver Tom Daley acknowledged in an recent interview with British newspaper The Times, that he had been secretly rushed to hospital seven months prior to the summer Tokyo Olympic games after contracting the coronavirus.
Daley told the paper “[my] lungs felt pressurised, as if they had sacks of rice around them”, and added: “Every time I stood up, I felt the room spinning and a blinding white light, as if I was going to faint, and as if I couldn’t get enough oxygen into my body.”
He went on to describe his ordeal in graphic details telling Times journalist Jane Mulkerrins that he gave specific instructions to his husband, screenwriter D. Lance Black one night as he headed off to sleep, what to do in the event he quit breathing.
He also told Mulkerrins he was frightened for their son Robbie if he and his husband both contracted the COVID-19 coronavirus, especially after he was rushed to hospital by ambulance unable to breath correctly.
When his head began to feel like it had “a vice tightening around it” and his “oxygen levels were dropping,” it was at that point Daley said he decided to call 111. [The UK’s emergency phone number]
‘My oxygen levels were dropping’
He was rushed to hospital in an ambulance and put on oxygen. An x-ray revealed “blotches” on his lungs, and he was kept at the hospital for 10 hours to increase his oxygen levels, The Times reported.
“I understood how quickly things could potentially go downhill,” said Daley.
“I had flashes of fear about whether I would be put on a ventilator, and my time being up. I was really terrified.”
He also described his reasons for keeping his ordeal secret so that his rivals in his sport wouldn’t know.
The episode kept the Olympian diver out of training for nearly seven months although Daley along with his British teammate diving partner Matty Lee won the gold with a score of 471.81 in the men’s synchronized diving on at the Tokyo 2021 games.
After tough competition in the Men’s 10m platform diving from China’s Cao Yuan who picked up the Gold Medal and his teammate Yang Jian cinching the number two spot with a Silver Medal, the 27-year-old Daley secured a Bronze Medal win with a score of 548.25.
It was the second Olympic Bronze Medal for the Plymouth, England native, in individual diving completion since he won bronze at the London Games in 2012. Daley and his teammate Daniel Goodfellow won a Bronze Medal in the 10m synchronised at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
The Times interview comes as the paper’s magazine is serializing Daley’s new book, Coming Up for Air: What I Learned from Sport, Fame and Fatherhood, which is due to be published by Harper Collins on October 14.
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