(L-R: Judo Olympic team manager Chris Skelly, Marti Malloy, Kyle Vashkulat, Kayla Harrison, Travis Stevens, Judo Olympic Coach Jimmy Pedro)
The 2012 London Summer Olympics got underway this week with men and women's soccer. The 'official' Opening Ceremonies take place on Friday.
The athletes have been preparing for years, and we recently received word the the U.S. Judo team has been preparing for Gold, in Burgundy.
Colorado Rapids chiropracter Dr. Joseph Arvay and Maximize Living are also the chiropractors of the judo team (as well as many other teams). Dr. Avay shared these photos of the judo team donning our gear while they prepared for the Games in Colorado Springs.
Kayla Harrison (above left) is currently among the top five in the world at the 78-kilo division and consider a medal contender when she begins her first Olympics on August 2. Travis Stevens (above right), also ranked in the top 10, begins his quest on July 31 in the 81 kg division. Marti Malloy will compete at the 57 kg and Kyle Vashkula at 100 kg. The other team member not pictured is Nick Delpopolo, who will challenge at 73 kg.
From everyone at the Colorado Rapids, Good Luck in London!
(Below: Skelly, Dr. Arvay, Pedro)
Tonight's match is the club's first international friendly in a few years, as they take on English Premier League side Swansea City. Scarf collectors won't want to pass this one up. A limited number of these Rapids-Swansea scarves - without today's date - will be on sale at the Dick's Sporting Goods Park team store for only $20. Get there early to get one!
On Sunday morning, members of the Colorado Rapids front office staff participated in the Evergreen Sprint Triathlon, where the Rapids also had a tent and street team present at the finish line village. The Rapids formed four relay teams of three people each to participate in the Sprint Triathlon, which consisted of a 750 meter swim in the Evergreen Lake, a 12 mile bike ride that ran alongside Bear Creek, and a three mile run through a mix of dirt roads and trails around the lake.
Rapids 1, made up of President Tim Hinchey (swim), Director of Media Relations David Lindholm (bike) and Marketing Manager Wayne Brant (run), finished first among the relay teams with an overall time of 1:21:06. Hinchey’s swim time of 10:06 was just a under minute shy of the triathlon champion, who finished the leg in 9:15.
Surrounded by beautiful scenery and perfect weather, the Rapids teams demonstrated their best ONECLUB spirit and cheered on the rest of the finishers before celebrating with lunch at a nearby restaurant. Looking forward to the next challenge!
The Rapids relay teams finished in the following order:
Rapids 1 – 1:21:06
Tim Hinchey (swim), David Lindholm (bike) and Wayne Brant (run)
Rapids 2 - 1:43:24
Chelsea Hedrick (swim), Kristen Sonsma (bike) and Emily Kilcoyne (run)
Rapids 3 – 1:43:24
Ryan Truxel (swim), Gordon Smith (bike) and Christa Dellebovi (run)
Rapids 4 – 1:55:54
Owain Hickey (swim), Rachel Sweeney (bike) and Makenzie Crow (run)
For all the success Brian Mullan has achieved in Major League Soccer, he's never sought - nor liked - the spotlight. And fortunately for him, he's always had teammates that garnered a lot of attention, be it Cobi Jones in LA, Landon Donovan in San Jose, or Dwayne De Rosario in Houston.
However Altitude TV was able to sit down with Mullan for this exclusive feature. As you can see, family is THE most important thing for the Littleton native, and Highland Ranch resident:
They may have started off quietly, but the first function of the newly formed Sidekicks was a huge success.
The Sidekicks, launched last week by Brian Mullen's wife, Kersten, brings together the significant others of the Rapids players and coaching staff to provide unique opportunities to fans, as well as support the community through fundraising efforts.
To get started, the Sidekicks on Saturday gave 100 fans an opportunity to come to field level following the 3-0 win over Portland for a special autograph session. It should be noted that the players are also 100 % behind these efforts, with all of them coming out to meet the winning guests.
Keep ears and eyes open at future matches for other special opportunities. For the Portland game, the Sidekicks made in-game announcements explaining to fans how to get the autograph alley wristbands.
Like soccer fans around the world, our offices have been buzzing in the mornings with the sounds of the EURO 2012 Championship on various TVs. Friday afternoon, shortly after England defeated Sweden 3-2, there was another round of excitement in the air when we learned that the Colorado Rapids were represented at that match.
Emily Kilcoyne, our Manager of Group Sales, received the photo above from Rapids season ticket holder Haim Lensky. From left to right: Mike, Vicky, and Haim hold up the Rapids' MLS Champion flag at Olympic Stadium in Kyiv (Ukraine), with the Sweden-England scarf above.
"It's been a great experience," Haim wrote via email. "We met people from all over Europe and we have loved being at every game screaming and cheering for the teams."
Haim is from Russia and won the ticket lottery last year to attend the tournament. The family is of course supporting Russia, but also England, Spain, and Ukraine. And if you're ready to be jealous, read on...
So far, they've attended the England-France (T 1-1), Netherlands-Germany (GER 2-1), and today's England-Sweden matches.
"The games have been crazy and the fans have definitely been dedicated to their respective teams" he wrote.
The Lensky's will also be attending: Sweden-France, and the Quarterfinal matches in Donetsk and Kiev, the Semifinal in Kiev, and the 2012 Final in Donetsk.
"We are definitely having fun," he concludes.
Glad to hear, and thanks for bringing a little bit of Colorado and the Rapids with you!
It's been a while since the last League match, that being the 3-2 home win over Montreal back on May 26. But the break is over, and the team began the week preparing for Saturday's match at Vancouver (5 pm MT, Altitude).
Tuesday's training ended with a crossing / finishing drill. We captured some of it on video and decided to compile the clips into a raw two-minute clip below.
Give yourself a couple of minutes and stand on the edge of the training field. Watch how guys like Omar, Conor, Jamie, and Brian look after their injuries. Listen to reactions, encouragement, and feedback from the players and coaches. Get a feel for how the players approach a drill, with attention and sharpness, and enjoyment. And check out some pretty sharp crosses, neat diving headers, one-time finishes, and quick reaction saves.
The 2012 European Championship starts on Friday and long-time MLS partner ESPN will broadcast all the matches through their various outlets. We've set up a EURO Predictor Challenge Bracket through ESPN.com so that fans, staff, and players can go head-to-head in a just-for-fun contest.
Drew Moor, Andre Akpan, Tony Cascio, and Chris Sharpe have signed up, as has some members of the staff.
All are invited to join our group. Here's how:
Click on this link: http://games.espn.go.com/euro-bracket-predictor/en/group?groupID=3845
Set up an account if you don't have one.
Join our team / private group: Rapids EURO Challenge
Pick which teams will finish first and second from each of the four groups, the winners of the Quarterfinals, the Semifinal winners, and who will win the Final.
You have until the Friday's first game between Poland and Greece to submit your picks!
(Note that all rules for participation are governed by ESPN.com).
If you've been to a Rapids home game this year, you've likely looked up at the scoreboard and watched some of the videos the Game Entertainment crew produces. We'll be posting some of these on here throughout the summer - after they've aired in the stadium.
Here's the first video: "This or That with Marvell Wynne:" (WATCH ON YOUTUBE)
We finally got our hands on the video of the goal that was talked about often last week within the Rapids office. Youngster Ricardo Perez has played a handful of Reserve League games for the Rapids, but his first priority is helping the Rapids Development Academy's U-16s. Last week, he scored three goals in a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Thunder. Watch his second goal below (CLICK HERE TO WATCH ON YOUTUBE):