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FIRE and Kids – The cost of raising children in Australia

This post has been inspired by this recent podcast featuring three of the biggest names in the Aussie FIRE blogging community, and the follow on discussions in the Aussie Firebug Facebook group about how much it costs to raise kids in Australia. As all three acknowledge they don’t have kids so it’s not something they really have any experience with.
As someone who has two young kids I thought it would be useful to write about it from my perspective. Obviously my situation isn’t the same as everyone else’s, there are plenty of people who would be horrified with how much we’ve spent, and others who would wonder how we manage to spend so little. Everyone’s situation is different, so what works for my family wouldn’t necessarily work or others.
My oldest child has only just started school this year so I can’t really speak from experience beyond the 0-5yo age range, but I’ll talk through some of the typical costs, what we have and haven’t spent money on so far, and what we’re anticipating in the future.
The costs people actually talk about The first two things that almost always come up when people start talking about the cost of babies are prams and carseats. Yes, you can spend a lot of money on these things if you want to, prams in particular. From a quick look at Baby Bunting the most expensive pram there is nearly 3 thousand dollars, and I’m betting that with a few accessories you can easily get over that mark.
No, you do not need to spend that much on a pram. Yes you can probably pick one up on the cheap from Kmart or Target etc for well under a hundred bucks, but it’s probably not going to be as sturdy or hold much of the gear you take with you. Happily a pram is also the sort of thing where you can pretty easily and safely pick one up secondhand or get a hand me down from someone else.
We bought a Babyzen Yoyo, which is basically a small sized pram although it still has enough storage room for us. It folds up so that you can take it on a plane as carry on luggage, is quite light, extremely maneuverable and very sturdy. I’ve taken it running plenty of times, it’s even got a Parkrun PB of 22:06!
This thing is absolutely gold. Unfortunately it’s priced as though it’s made of it as well. There wasn’t an option to get one second hand because it had only just been released so we had to pay full whack. I think we spent over a thousand dollars on it including all the accessories and the lie flat and sit up seats etc.
It was worth every cent. It’s been going for 5 years and 2 kids and is still in great shape, we’ve never had a problem with it at all. My wife tells me it is one of the best things I have ever bought her, although we both use it obviously.
And at the end of the day a one off cost of $1,000 for us as a family is going to have basically zero impact on when we hit FIRE. Plugging the numbers into a compound interest calculator and using 7% annual return over 30 years I miss out on $8,000, which is about a month worth of returns on my target portfolio. I can live with delaying retirement one month for about 5 cumulative years of having a really good pram that works great for us.
Similarly you can spend a fair chunk of money on car seats. This is one of those things that I wouldn’t want to get second hand because you can’t see if they’ve been broken or not and safety is a huge priority for us and presumably everyone else.
Happily car seats don’t tend to cost that much, you can pick one up for a couple hundred bucks or less pretty easily. If you do that it tends to be one for a much shorter age range, say 0-2yrs whereas I think you can get ones which will take your kid from 0-8 but they cost a lot more. In any case per kid you’re probably looking at a thousand bucks total, and this could easily be a lot less.
Again it’s not going to make any appreciable different to us reaching FIRE. So as easy as it is to point at this sort of stuff as being ridiculously expensive and over priced etc, it’s really not going to make much of a difference to most people. Sure you don’t want to spend any more money than you have to, but you also want to make sure you’re getting something that works for you.
The other one off costs There are also a bunch of one off costs for babies and young kids like cots, beds, mattresses, baby carriers etc. From what I’ve been told you want to buy a baby mattress new, but that’s only about a hundred bucks at Target, potentially cheaper elsewhere. We have an Ikea cot which cost about the same, you could easily get one second hand or likely for free just by asking around your friends who will probably be delighted to get it out of their house.
Some people do co-sleeping in which case you don’t need the cot and mattress although you may like to kid yourself that your baby will actually sleep in their own bed, maybe even through the night. It’s nice to pretend sometimes!
As kids get older you’ll need a proper bed for them, again you can probably pick this up second hand pretty cheap and a mattress can be easily had for a couple hundred bucks. So none of these things are really going to have much of an impact so long as you’re a decent saver already.
The big costs you see When you don’t have kids it can be great to live in a studio flat or one bedroom apartment in the inner city close to all the bars and restaurants and all the rest of it. You can stay in your local area and have plenty to keep you entertained, there is probably a supermarket nearby and plenty of public transport so you may not need a car either.
Once you have kids, it’s likely going to be a different story as your priorities change. It may be that you’re happy renting with kids, but lots of people tend to prioritise stability and security when they have kids and that means owning your own home in most cases. I’m not saying everyone will want this, but a lot of people will.
So now that you have kids you almost certainly want a second bedroom and if you’re planning on having more kids maybe a third or fourth etc. Obviously kids can share bedrooms for a while at least but sooner or later they will probably want their own space, as will you.
You’ll also be wanting parks with playgrounds nearby and somewhere you can easily take your kids for a walk or kick a football around, ideally in a good school district which can add a couple hundred thousand dollars to the cost all by itself if you’re in Sydney or Melbourne. And if you want to live somewhere cheaper but send the kids to a good private school, well that can cost anywhere from the low thousands to multiple tens of thousands per year.
Similarly if you didn’t have a car before, you will very likely want one now. I’ve mentioned before that we drive a base model Corolla which works just fine for us so far, but you’re still probably looking at $20k plus if you buy one new, mid teens if you want one used. If you want an SUV or a luxury model car, be prepared to fork out a lot more.
In the same vein if you were previously going on lots of holidays and plan to keep doing so, well you now have at least one more plane ticket to buy, might need a bigger hotel room etc. As I talked about in this post about big ticket items, that all comes at a real cost. We bought land and built a house, so I can say that we spent roughly $100,000 more on that than we would have otherwise.
The ongoing costs There are also a bunch of ongoing costs for kids as well. They need to be fed, they need clothes and shoes, they need medicine, and a bunch of other stuff that costs money. I wrote here about a bunch of things that we do to keep costs down, but the reality is that you still have to fork over a decent chunk of change.
On top of all that contrary to what you might have been told public school is not free, there are a bunch of things that you have to chip in for here as well. We’re not at the stage that we’re forking out a fortune in extra utility bills etc but we certainly use the washing machine a lot more than we would if we didn’t have kids, there are extra lights and tvs etc on so there are extra costs there as well.
There are also a bunch of extra items that you don’t really need to spend, but probably will. For us this includes stuff like swimming lessons, some sports like AusKick (AFL) and Junior Blasters (cricket), occasionally taking them to a theme park or zoo etc. They also get birthday and Christmas presents, and if they get invited to other kids parties they take a store bought gift with them.
The above is about what I think our 5yo costs us at the moment based on our spending, our 2yo is probably about two thirds of that due mostly to her not eating as much and not getting swimming lessons yet, as well as not being in school or doing sports.
I’ve left the holiday line blank because this is hugely variable. Last year we did a trip to the UK and it probably cost us about $3,000 extra between the two of them, next time it will be another couple thousand dollars more because the youngest one will need her own seat rather being on someone’s lap for the flights.
So our spending for our eldest is about two thirds of the costs quoted in this article for a 6yo girl, I would assume that apart from a boy maybe eating a bit more the costs should be fairly similar. The main difference compared to our costs seem to be education and transport.
Also, it was somewhat shocking to me just how expensive swimming lessons are! This is actually at our local council aquatic centre and is the cheapest in town. We do get to use the pool whenever we want, but that only tends to be once or twice a week at most. At least the lessons will hopefully only be for a few years for each child, although after that we may be forking out for something else instead.
The hidden cost of kids The biggest cost is often actually one that doesn’t show up as an expense, the opportunity cost of one parent giving up paid employment entirely for a while or doing part time hours (I’ve used the phrase giving up paid employment here because looking after kids and a house is definitely work!).
If we say that you’re giving up a full time paid job that’s at minimum wage of roughly $20 an hour for 40 hours a week, 48 weeks a year, then that’s $38,400 a year ($33,605 after tax and medicare levy) that the family is giving up for however long this goes on for. If you’d otherwise be earning more than that, then the opportunity cost each year is even higher. On top of that there is the hit to your career and future earnings, because those are definitely going to be impacted as well.
If you’ve got two kids that are separated by two or three years and you as a family want a parent at home until they go to school, well that’s 7 or 8 years of missing out on that money which works out as around $250k based on a full time minimum wage job. I’m pretty hopeful that my wife would be earning more than minimum wage as well so for us it’s even more than that. On the plus side, she gets to spend more time with the kids although that probably feels like a mixed blessing some of the time!
Alternatively if both parents want to keep working then there will likely be childcare costs for the first 4 or 5 years and then before and after school care, as well as missing out on spending time with their kids. Because we haven’t gone down this route I don’t know exactly how much it costs, I do hear plenty of stories about it being $100 a day minimum around where I live and it’s a lot more in capital cities. There are subsidies available for this, but you can pretty easily be spending tens of thousands each year on childcare while they’re young and then once they’re old enough before and after school care.
You may be lucky enough to have grandparents or other family nearby that are happy to help out with this if they live nearby, but that won’t apply to everyone and it’s unlikely to reduce the cost entirely.
The costs that are yet to come At the moment our kids are still young and fairly inexpensive. Between the two of them they tend to eat roughly what a grown adult eats, but from what I’ve been told that will change fairly dramatically as they get older. They’ll need new clothes more frequently, more shoes, potentially play more sports, go on more school excursions, you get the idea.
Education could be another factor. There is a public high school that will be built in the next few years quite close by, and assuming that it’s decent our kids will likely be going there. But if it’s not, then we’ll have to look into private schools which can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands.
There will be extra curricular stuff as well. Given my wife and I are both horrible at music it seems unlikely that our kids will be doing extra lessons there, but there are plenty of other areas like sport or extra educational activities that we’d be considering. I know a few parents who have kids who are in elite sports programs (as in regional or state teams) and the costs here can very quickly add up, likewise if extra education is needed or wanted then that’ll be an extra expense.
Government and other assistance I know that depending on your circumstances that there can be government assistance in the form of Family Tax Benefit, childcare subsidy and possibly other programs as well. We don’t get any of these which is fine, we don’t need them and they are presumably meant to be for those who do. If you’re not sure if you should be getting any of these then Centrelink does have this payment finder.
We did get the one day a week Kinder program for 3yos and 3 days a week Kinder program for 4yos, although these both also came with costs of roughly $1,500 a year so it actually cost us money, again this is fine, just a reminder that it isn’t actually free.
Depending on your employer you may also be able to get parental leave for a while, and there is a minimum payment which they have to make so long as you’ve met some requirements. Some employers may also have some continuing support with subsidised childcare and the like. None of this was applicable to our situation but at least some of it will likely be available for others.
So what’s the bottom line? For us the biggest actual one off cost so far has been the bigger house and land that we purchased because we wanted our kids to be able to have plenty of space inside and outside the house. That cost about a hundred thousand dollars more than we would have paid if it were just the two of us. All the other stuff like a pram, car seats, cots/beds, mattresses and all the rest of it have been maybe $5,000 total, which is tiny by comparison.
The opportunity cost has been bigger than this though. When we had our first child when we were in Hong Kong my wife wasn’t working much anyway as there just weren’t that many jobs she could do and my wage easily supported both of us so she was doing some very casual part time work and so not doing that work afterwards didn’t impact us much.
In Australia though she probably would have been earning at least $40,000 a year after tax, so we’ve foregone almost $200,000 on an after tax basis there. Which as I’m sure you can imagine has a pretty big impact on when we will hit FIRE, particularly given we’ve got another few years or her not being in paid employment at all and then likely only working part time after that. So I would guess we’ll be looking at forgone earnings of at least $500,000 by the time all is said and done, and it could quite easily be a lot more.
The actual ongoing costs of the kids so far haven’t been too bad. Between the two of them it’s about $8,000 a year at the moment, although we would anticipate that this will go up a fair bit over time as they start eating more and getting into more extra curricular activities. I get that this is spending that isn’t a necessity, but do I really want my kids to miss out on a bunch of fun stuff so that I can retire a year or two earlier? No, no I do not.
So far the total costs look something like this. You can see that by far the biggest cost has been the earnings that we’ve missed out on because my wife has been at home looking after the kids and doing the household stuff (yes I do some of it because I think it’s important that we share the jobs and to role model stuff for the kids, but the reality is that she is at home a lot more than I am and does more of it). Buying a bigger house and land is next, and the actual costs of feeding and clothing and all the other one off stuff for the kids is a tiny proportion of the actual cost.
All up I’m hopeful that we can keep the ongoing costs to somewhere between $125k and $150k per child from birth through to age 18, although if private school is necessary then that will push up the costs a fair bit. This is less than half of what this article suggests, so although it sounds like a lot of money it’s actually fairly frugal by comparison.
To put it in perspective, it’s basically spending about 7 or 8 grand a year on each child. There are plenty of people out there who spend more than that on food alone, let alone the rest of their living expenses.
As I said earlier travel costs are on top of this, and this can increase the costs quite a lot! Travel is a huge part of the reason we’re pursuing HIFIRE, and we want to be taking the kids on plenty of holidays while they’re growing up.
That’s obviously discretionary spending to a large extent, but we do have close family living overseas who we want to see every couple of years or so, and it’s not fair to expect them to always be the ones travelling. I would guess that we’ll be looking at about $50k per kid in travel costs by the time they turn 18. That’s about 3 grand a year, which doesn’t sound wrong based on the cost of international travel. It may be less than that which would be great, but could also be a fair bit more.
So all up for the two kids we’re looking at about a million dollars from birth to age 18. About half of that is the foregone wages from not working, which is by far the biggest impact. The actual cost of the kids is about another 30%, then travel is 10%, another 10% for the bigger house and land. And then right at the end is less than 1% for the one off stuff like prams and baby seats and cots etc.
How could we spend less? Obviously there are other things we could be doing instead to keep the cost down. The biggest expense is the wages that aren’t being earned because my wife is looking after the kids and the household stuff. We could have chosen to have her work and instead pay for childcare and after school care etc.
If we did though then she wouldn’t get to spend as much time with the kids (which she tells would be welcome some of the time!) and there would be a lot more house work and shopping that would need to be done after work or on weekends for both of us, we’d potentially eat out more often as it’d be more of a hassle cooking meals each night, as well as a bunch of other tradeoffs.
So having her stay at home was our preferred method, and thankfully we’re in the financial position where we can afford to do it that way. Other people make different choices, or they’re unfortunately not in a position to make a choice, they need both partners working or if they’re a single parent have to do it this way.
We could have also gone with a smaller house and less of a backyard. I shared a bedroom with my brother for part of our childhood and we both managed fine. It’s not ideal, but it’s certainly doable, and we could have saved a lot of money by having a smaller house. Again we chose not to because we wanted a bigger house and a decent sized backyard for them to be able to run around in and we can afford it.
We don’t have to travel, although it’d be a bit rough expecting family to travel overseas to see us every year or two and then not reciprocating. Still, that would save a fair amount of money.
It’s pretty hard to say how things will work out with the actual costs of raising the kids. I know roughly what we’ve spent so far, but it’s pretty difficult to know what we’ll be spending in future as they get older. They’re likely to be eating a fair bit more food, s they grow they’ll need new clothes and shoes, they’ll presumably be playing sport and doing other extra curricular stuff which will all cost money.
$150k per kid from 0 to 18 seems like it’s a lot less than what it costs most people, but then we already live a fair bit more cheaply than most others so maybe it’s about right.
At the end of the day we’re happy with the choices that we’ve made so far, but there has certainly been some room to have spent less money than what we have, or to have had more money coming in through both of us being in paid employment. Obviously it has an impact on when we will hit our FIRE number, but I’d rather take a little bit longer to get there than to make different tradeoffs along the way.
Have you got kids or are thinking about having them? How do you think it will impact on your FIRE journey?
Original post with pretty charts, pictures, tables etc is here.
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The NRL/NFL/AFL and all major sporting games should NOT be more important than the Dramatic Arts

Right now in Australia we don’t have a Federal Arts Department, and instead that job will be sent to the “Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.”
Which means that the same people who perform Shakespeare, Wicked, make street art, and create film, will be protected by the same people who focus on keeping the roads without potholes, and the Sydney cityscape in check.
And if you live in Australia you know they’re already shit at that job.
Meanwhile the entire country it seems, every major news bulletin, seems to have their dick in their hand waiting for the NRL to come back from this coronavirus, even demanding that checks on players be overruled because they’re fucking bored.
The arts should be valued more than any sport. Art itself is what makes us human, the fact that we can question our own reality, make and tell stories, create entire worlds for that matter, and it’s now been kicked into the gutter by money-hungry dickheads in Parliament, who ignore the rate of gambling addiction in their country and promote the betting of these games for a silver lining in their pocket.
There is no protection for Artists in Australia, and it’s got to fucking change.
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Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Aug. 7, 2000

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
PREVIOUS YEARS ARCHIVE:
199119921993199419951996199719981999
1-3-2000 1-10-2000 1-17-2000 1-24-2000
1-31-2000 2-7-2000 2-14-2000 2-21-2000
2-28-2000 3-6-2000 3-13-2000 3-20-2000
3-27-2000 4-3-2000 4-10-2000 4-17-2000
4-24-2000 5-1-2000 5-8-2000 5-15-2000
5-22-2000 5-29-2000 6-5-2000 6-12-2000
6-19-2000 6-26-2000 7-3-2000 7-10-2000
7-17-2000 7-24-2000 7-31-2000
  • We open this week with the death of legendary commentator Gordon Solie from cancer at age 71. Considered by many to be the greatest announcer of all time, Solie had been in bad health for several years after retiring in 1996. He had lung and liver problems from a lifetime of smoking and heavy drinking (if you hadn't heard, Gordon Solie was actually kind of a legendary high-functioning alcoholic). After the cancer and throat surgery robbed him of his voice, he gave up smoking after 55 years. But the surgery didn't work and the cancer spread to his brain. Solie didn't want people to know and asked his closest friends to keep his impending death quiet and until the last couple of weeks, no one outside of his inner circle knew how bad his health had become. Following the death of his wife in 1997 from cancer, Solie had been depressed and was scared of going through the same kind of suffering and had looked into assisted suicide but decided against it. Solie wasn't much of a fan of modern day wrestling but he considered Jim Ross his successor as the best announcer in wrestling and was high on Mike Tenay also. Ric Flair called Solie shortly before his death and is thought to be one of the last people to talk to him. Dave covers his career, from the days of Georgia Championship Wrestling and the Florida territories and eventually becoming the voice of the NWA. The term "crimson mask" is believed to be a Solie creation. He went back to WCW in the early 90s as the Dean of Announcers where he would film little segments here and there (I just recently read Jim Ross' book and he talks about this and basically, they didn't bring Solie back as an announcer full time because he was such an alcoholic that they couldn't depend on him. They'd bring him in early in the morning to do voice-overs because if they waited until afternoon, he'd be too drunk. Ross also tells stories of Solie drinking vodka at the announce table while calling Clash of the Champions shows with him). He was inducted into the WCW Hall of Fame in 1995 but he was unhappy about some of the other inductees and it led to a fight with Eric Bischoff that led to him leaving WCW. There's a LOT of really good historical info about the early GCW and Florida territory days and this is a must-read if you're a fan of that era.
  • There's a whole mess of news coming out of the Owen Hart family lawsuit and related to the typical Hart family drama. This gets a little complicated so follow along. In a wrongful death case, only Owen's parents, wife, and children stand to gain any financial rewards. However, the Kansas City lawyers representing Martha Hart have been accused of entering into an agreement with some of Owen's brothers and sisters for them to receive Stu and Helen's portion of any award, assuming they both die before the case is settled. 5 of the 10 surviving Hart family children signed the agreement. Ellie Hart (married to Jim Neidhart, Natalya's mom) has been the most loyal to WWF in this situation and she's the one who exposed the agreement by sending it to WWF lawyer Jerry McDevitt. The lawyers argued that they did nothing wrong and argued that the document was priveliged information and that WWF lawyers obtained it improperly. The agreement required the siblings who signed on to agree not to communicate or cooperate with the WWF in the case and noted that doing so would make them ineligible to share in any awards if Stu and Helen pass away before the case is over. Some legal experts have said it's arguably witness tampering because it gives potential witnesses a financial incentive to testify the way the prosecution wants.
  • A big part of this case is getting family members to testify to determine how much longer it's believed that Owen would have continued wrestling, which will determine what the lost earnings compensation might be. Hart's lawyers have argued that Owen, who was 34, would have continued wrestling for another 8-15 years, meaning a lost income of anywhere between $6-11 million over that time. Of course, that contradicts what many Hart members stated in the past, that Owen had grown to dislike the business and planned to retire when his contract was up. Of course, everyone in this business always says they're retiring but then they stick around because the money is too good, so who really knows what Owen may have done. Anyway, this could all lead to the lawyers being kicked off the case and possibly even disbarred if it's ruled to be witness tampering. As of now, the agreement that the siblings signed has been rescinded (Martha Hart later said these shenanigans really fucked up their case and was a big part of why she eventually took a settlement and cut the rest of the Hart family out of her life).
  • The WWF has entered into the world of national politics, starting a voter registration campaign and announcing that The Rock will appear at the Republican National Convention. WWF was already planning to do a voter campaign when they got an invitation for The Rock to appear on behalf of Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert as a way for the Republicans to portray themselves as hip and cool to younger voters as the 2000 presidential election looms. WWF claimed to have 14 million eligible voters as fans, which is not true. They're basing that number on the number of 18-and-older fans who watch their shows and arrived at that number by counting all the shows separately, and even that number is inflated. In reality, most fans who watch Raw also watch Smackdown. They're not separate fanbases that you can total up, so once you start factoring in all that stuff, the real number is probably closer to 5.5 million and even that might be a stretch. But hey, if they can encourage that many people to get out and vote, that's nothing to sneeze at and as WWF has proven, if you go out in the media and repeat a lie long enough, people will believe it so the 14 million number is what's being widely reported. WWF is claiming that this will be a bipartisan effort and they plan to have a presence at the Democratic National Convention as well. Dave says there's a history of wrestling fans affecting elections. Obviously, Jesse Ventura and Antonio Inoki rode their wrestling fame to election victories and there's records saying that Richard Nixon's 1968 presidential campaign, in which he barely beat Hubert Humphrey in one of the closes elections on record (just wait 2 months), targeted wrestling fans in the south with heavy campaigning because they were thought to be an easily manipulated audience (whaaa? Wrestling fans easily manipulated? Perish the thought!)
  • This isn't the first appearance by a wrestler at one of these conventions. Gorgeous George was a guest at the 1952 or 56 Republican convention and Fritz Von Erich attended several of them in the 70s and 80s. Ric Flair was invited to this year's as well but he won't be attending. The announcement of Rock at the RNC immediately drew the ire of the PTC. The PTC chairman L. Brent Bozell III put out a statement talking about how Rock uses obscene language on TV and uses weapons and makes demeaning comments about women. "It is unconscionable that one of America's major political parties would give a prime time platform to someone who encourages young children to behave in such a violent and vulgar manner," he said. The PTC urged presidential candidate George W. Bush to withdraw Rock's invitation and is pressuring Speaker Hastert to dis-invite him as well.
  • NJPW ran its first ever PPV event this week and as of press time, there's no PPV number details so who knows if it was a success. PPV is a much smaller business in Japan than the U.S. As a live show, it was a huge success, selling out the 18,000 seat arena and doing a near $2 million gate. The show was built on Atsushi Onita facing Riki Choshu, who came out of a near-3 year retirement, in an exploding barbed wire typical Onita match. It was a terrible match, with Choshu not taking any big bumps and basically throwing Onita around the whole time. Onita ended up needing 43 stitches in his arm and 6 in his back, bringing his alleged career stitches total to 1,322 (remember, he was trying to go for a world record on that at one point). Onita also came into the match really banged up and needed painkiller injections in his arm and knees just to go out to the ring. After the match, Choshu cut a promo saying this was his one and only comeback match and he's going back to being retired but nobody buys it and due to how quick this show sold out and how much money there is to be made, he'll almost definitely keep wrestling (yup). Meanwhile, Onita is claiming he will retire at the end of this year (lol) but wants to do one of his exploding ring matches in the U.S. first, probably for XPW in October. In the opening match on the show, young lion Shinya Makabe beat young lion Hiroshi Tanahashi with a boston crab (I found the match on NJPW World, for those who have a subscription).
WATCH ON NJPW WORLD: Atsushi Onita vs. Riki Choshu - barbed wire death match - July 30, 2000
  • The Rock/Lita vs. Triple H/Trish main event of Raw did a near record number of viewers. 9,965,000 people watched the match, which makes it the 5th most watched match ever on cable TV. Several segments and matches on Nitro (particularly the women's hardcore match and the infamous Viagra-on-a-pole match) did near record-low numbers.
  • CMLL wrestler Dr. Wagner Jr. has apparently agreed to lose his mask before the end of the year against Rayo de Jalisco Jr. which would be one of the biggest matches of the year if he does it (doesn't end up happening and Wagner keeps his mask all the way up until 2017 before losing it and unmasking to reveal himself as the most interesting man in the world).
WATCH: Dr. Wagner Jr. unmasked in 2017
  • In a bit of a surprise, Motoko Baba named herself as the new AJPW president rather than Toshiaki Kawada.
  • A promoter in Australia put together a Superstars of Wrestling tour that featured the in-ring return of Dennis Rodman, along with all the typical chaos that comes along with booking Rodman. He flew to Australia a week in advance to do publicity but partied so much that he missed all his scheduled media appearances the first day, no-showed an autograph signing on another day, etc. He was supposed to appear at one show to set up an angle with Curt Hennig which would lead to a match at the next show but he showed up late, at the very end of the show, and ended up doing a run-in after the match was over right after his arrival. But the next night, Hennig and Rodman had a match that was said to be surprisingly good in Brisbane and another the next night in Sydney that was the best match of the show.
WATCH: Curt Hennig vs. Dennis Rodman
  • Update on the Brian Pillman benefit show from a few months back. Kevin Nash still hasn't sent the family the $20,000 he claimed he was donating. David Arquette also hasn't yet donated what he said he would, but that's because he's still waiting on some big PPV money from WCW to come in, but he has said he is donating all his WCW profits to the Pillman, Hildebrand, and Droz families (Arquette does indeed pay up as soon as those checks come in. Dave will periodically remind us for the next year that Nash still hasn't).
  • Indie wrestler Shark Boy will be appearing on a show during the Discovery Channel's Shark Week but Dave doesn't know what he'll be doing.
  • Not much new on the ECW TV situation. Viewers Choice in Canada may no longer air ECW PPVs there since, as of next month, they will no longer have TV in Canada after TNN cancels them. They've basically got 8 weeks left on TNN. Heyman is still deep in negotiations with other networks but the problem is, ECW needs more than just a TV deal right now. They need a TV partner that is also willing to pump significant money into the company to help them stay afloat and a lot of these TV companies see that ECW is struggling to survive and they're hesitant to invest in it (and thus, the crux of why ECW went out of business. They were a dying company who desperately needed someone to throw them a life preserver and nobody wanted to do it because no one wants to invest millions of dollars into a desperate, dying company. Catch-22'd right out of business).
  • Notes from Nitro: Lance Storm won the cruiserweight title, and now he has 3 of WCW's championships. Then just to show how much it means when a guy in WCW holds 3 titles at once, Kevin Nash came in and disposed of him like garbage before cutting another lame "shoot" promo about the time Pierre Oulette refused to do a job for him when they worked in WWF together, which Dave says only about 10 people in the world probably had a clue what Nash was talking about. He also brought up the idea of bringing Scott Hall back again, because Nash apparently isn't going to let that one go even though Brad Siegel has already said it's never happening. The Shane Douglas vs. Kidman Viagra-on-a-pole match happened and the less said about it the better, other than Mark Madden on commentary being hilarious, jokingly referencing past "famous" Viagra-on-a-pole matches such as Gagne vs. Bockwinkel.
WATCH: Kidman vs. Shane Douglas (Viagra on a Pole match)
  • Notes from Thunder: the taping was delayed about 30 minutes due to a bomb threat in the building. Vince Russo cut a "shoot" primo talking about taking himself off TV, which Dave predicts will last 3 weeks tops. Goldberg also cut a "shoot" promo basically turning himself babyface again. and talking about guys who draw money and yada yada. Dave thinks its probably the best promo Goldberg has ever done but it's still more of the same that the casual fans (which is most of them) have no idea what he's talking about. The problem with this and everything else Russo is booking is that the whole gimmick seems to be "Everything else you see is part of the show but this part is real." But if you do that multiple times per show in nearly every storyline, it kinda loses its impact.
  • Ric Flair is due back around October and is said to be really excited because for the first time in over a year, he's able to train his chest and shoulders again and he hopes to get back into the best shape a 52 year old man can be in. He'll also be able to throw punches and chops again without pain. Word is Brad Siegel actually doesn't want Flair back in the ring, because in keeping with tradition, everybody who's ever ran WCW has tried to push Flair out and they always fail. Russo does want Flair back in the ring, so there ya go. Speaking of Flair, he's currently working on an autobiography.
  • Bret Hart has been working on an autobiography as well. Speaking of, he wrote another Calgary Sun article this week talking about wrestler deaths and acknowledging Davey Boy Smith's current addictions and said, "quite frankly, Davey's situation scares me."
  • WCW contract news and releases: Roddy Piper has been let go, but Dave doesn't have any details. Kathy Dingman, formerly BB in WWF and who appeared on Nitro last week as Kiwi's valet, is already gone from WCW. People in the company are claiming that Bob Holly (her fiance) didn't want her working there. And finally, Nora Greenwald (Mona) has been released (she turns up in WWF soon as Molly Holly). Bobby Heenan has been taken off TV and will only do studio voice overs from now on and his contract expires soon.
  • Goldberg and Booker T pretty much injured each other last week on Nitro. During the match, Goldberg suffered a separated shoulder while Booker T has some sort of knee injury from the match. For what it's worth though, a lot of people in the locker room are said to be skeptical of how hurt Goldberg really is (he was also accused of milking his arm injury awhile back too so he could stay home longer).
  • I'm just going to copy and paste this one because I don't really know what this means or what half of this is in reference to and Dave doesn't really explain. So here goes: "There was an interoffice memo that went around WCW on 7/31, which I guess shows just how respected Russo is these days internally. The memo was entitled "Top Ten Questions Not Asked of Vince Russo." 10) Would you like to take this opportunity to claim credit for the return of Cake Day?; 9) If the Possum is going to wrestle for us, what reoccurring Saturday Night Live character will he be ripping off?; 8) How much did SFX front you for decreasing the value of the organization?; 7) Are you going to let Bill hyphenate his name to Banks-Russo?; 6) Can you funnel the unwanted talent to the Marketing Department? The New VP of Marketing has numerous openings with lots of opportunity for advancement; 5) When is Hulk coming back?; 4) What does the second "W" in WCW stand for?; 3) How many "young and hungry" employees does it take to screw....up an entire company?; 2) "WCW Creative" -- is it a misnomer or simply a contradiction in terms?; 1) Would you know an original idea if it jumped up and bit you on the ass, or would you just think it was the Possum."
  • Fully Loaded looks to have done around a 1.04 buyrate which is better than expected with the unproven guys like Benoit and Jericho in top matches. It's also the Rock's 8th PPV main event to do a 1.0 or higher buyrate which puts him 5th place all time between Hogan, Flair, Austin, and Bret Hart.
  • Notes from Raw: the show was clearly built around pushing Lita and Trish Stratus. The company really has something with Lita and they recognize it. She has sort of a tomboy appeal that is likely to get over big with teenage girls whereas others like Trish or Sable in the past are mostly there to appeal to guys. Steven Richards and Bull Buchanan are now going by the name Right To Cencor (RTC, an obvious spoof on the PTC).
  • Speaking of, the PTC plans to start monitoring Raw, Nitro, and ECW as well along with Smackdown. Dave thinks WCW will back down immediately because the higher-ups at Turner aren't going to fight back against them the way Vince has. And ECW is in an even tougher situation because they can't tone down their product without alienating their fanbase but they also can't afford to start losing advertisers.
  • Both the Undertaker and Chris Jericho injury angles this week were done to write them off TV for a week or so because they're both taking off for their honeymoons. Jericho's wedding was front page news in the Winnipeg Sun the next day noting that Manitoba's sexiest man (which he was recently voted in a newspaper poll) was now off the market. In attendance at Jericho's wedding were Don Callis, Billy Kidman, Lance Storm, Edge, Christian, and Disco Inferno. In unrelated news, Jericho is also filming a Chef Boyardee commercial next month in the Bahamas.
  • Jim Cornette basically isn't planning to return to Knoxville until if/when the charges against him are dropped.
  • Steve Austin is still training like a madman for his comeback and they're optimistic that he'll be okay to at least come back in a limited role later this year. His legs are reportedly huge because for most of the time he was out, that's the only training he could really do.
  • A recent news story came out noting that the XFL is having trouble attracting advertisers because all the major companies are being cautious because no one knows what this whole XFL thing is gonna be yet. No one knows if this is going to be closer to NFL football or WWF wrestling and basically, sponsors are hedging their bets until we get a better idea of what exactly the XFL is going to be. Some people are already predicting failure, with one sports marketing expert quoted saying that he thinks the XFL will make a splash in the beginning, but won't last in the long run.
  • Raw on TNN begins on Sept. 25th. The final WWF show on USA will be Sunday Night Heat the night before that.
  • The Haas Brothers (Charlie and Russ) appeared as extras during the Edge & Christian and Acolytes skit on Smackdown along with wrestlers Patty O'Brien and Billy Reil, all of whom wrestle for Jersey All Pro Wrestling (the Haas brothers end up getting signed eventually but sadly Russ dies while they're still in OVW. Charlie went on to have a pretty decent career).
  • Regarding rumors that Eddie Guerrero, Saturn, and Dean Malenko are regretting their decision to jump to WWF, Dave says there's no truth to it. Eddie and Saturn are both working through nagging injuries right now which has taken a told mentally and physically, and Malenko is said to not be thrilled with his current storyline of wrestling against women, but all that said, all 3 men are said to be very happy where they are and glad to not be in WCW anymore.
  • There's been some talk of doing a Benoit vs. Triple H match at Wrestlemania next year, with Triple H expected to be a babyface by then. Rock vs. Austin would still likely headline the show. Of course, things change hourly in this business now and Wrestlemania is still many months away so don't hold your breath.
  • In its annual SEC report, the WWF revealed that the World Wildlife Fund has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against them relating to a contract both sides signed back in 1994 regarding the WWF initials. The suit claims that the WWF violated the contract by using the WWF logo in places it had agreed not to use it, such as internet domain names like wwf.com and wwfshopzone.com as well as using the term "WWF" in foreign broadcasts. WWF argues that the current WWF scratch logo was created after the 1994 agreement and thus not covered under the deal they signed. In the SEC report, WWF noted that if the court rules against them, it could "have a material adverse effect" on company operations. Yeah, just a tad. I'm sure this doesn't turn into a big deal or anything......
  • At a recent house show in Pensacola, Mick Foley came out beforehand and talked about the last time he was in that city, he worked for a different company (meaning WCW) which got the crowd to boo. Foley then said they weren't booing loud enough so of course, they booed even louder. Then he pulled a great rib on Al Snow, saying that when Snow comes out to wrestle his match later that night, the fans should chant for Foley. Needless to say, that's exactly what happened and Al Snow wrestled a match while the entire crowd chanted "Foley! Foley!"
  • A few letters this week trashing Vince Russo and talking about how he's so obsessed and into the hardcore internet fanbase reaction that he assumes everyone else is too, but they're not. Someone writes in about the recent "shoot" promos and how most people at home were probably scratching their heads going, "Who is Brad Siegel?" since he's never been a character or mentioned on TV before until that promo. Someone else points out that by pretending this match you're seeing here is a shoot, it kills the credibility of the rest of the show and all the worked matches, which is the business that WCW is in.
WEDNESDAY: the future of WCW in question, Observer Hall of Fame news, more on Hart family lawyer mess, and more...
submitted by daprice82 to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]

Froskurinn joined an AMA event held in Chinese esports community, talking about Worlds, western social attitude towards Esports, and LPL franchise

The LPL English caster Froskurinn recently joined an AMA event held in a Chinese esports community called Wanplus. Here are the Q&A's:
Q: Hello,“maomao” aka“catcat” Froskurinn,welcome to wanplus(no businesses to funplus).many of us are curious of your tatoo,could u pls explain its meaning to us?Besides I'd like to say I really love the way u narrate the game, but can u advise to your colleagues speak slower please。。。Thanks!
A:Hello! I have many tattoos, I'll assume you're asking about my neck tattoo which is a lion wearing a crown on top of a rose. Many years ago, someone I loved died. I felt that my actions didn't help the situation so in an effort to remind me to do better and be a better person, I put a large tattoo on my neck. In America, a neck tattoo is considered "thuggish" and people judge me quiet harshly for it - so I must work that much harder to overcome their assumptions about me and prove I am worthy. Likewise, I cannot escape the lion because every time I look in the mirror I am reminded. It embodies the person symbolically - different aspects of them are represented in the tattoo.
Q: What is your favorite thing after coming to China?
A: I find Shanghai - and China - extremely beautiful. There is a neighborhood near where I live that is quite traditional that I enjoy walking down on my days off. I just examine the people and the space and appreciate the atmosphere of the space. I have a hobby of photography and like to take pictures of the buildings.
Q: Who is your favorite player in the lpl?
A: Currently playing? There's so many! Meiko, Icon, DoinB. Hmm - probably Icon. I am an old school OMG fan from 2013 and I think how he picked up their legacy and carries that same "dark forces" swagger is very intoxicating. He exudes style, power, and everything OMG. We call him the "rockstar" on the English Broadcast.
Q: How do you think of Snake Esports?I am a fan of them for more than three years. I hope that they can enter S8 this season. Do you think they have the chance currently?Thank you very much!
A:I really like snake actually! In 2015 when all the Korean superstars flooded into the LPL, Snake flew under the radar, promoting in with King. But using creative styles like smite top and draven, Snake slayed the Korean giants in domestic split. But then ran into either EDG or LGD in playoffs or regional qualifiers, missing their shot at an international birth.
I call them the: "shoulda woulda coulda" team. Some many prodigies have worn their colors but they continue to spiral downward. It's nice to finally see Snake on the rise again after their strong Demacia cup performance and now taking down EDG and WE. I don't believe we'll see them at a World's birth still, but that's because, even at Snake's highest, they never finished above fourth; which is still impressive, but no one remembers who didn't get to stand on the podium.
EDG still need time to harmonize their new players and they have a tendency to have Clearlove sit out Spring and return to power in Summer. Likewise, WE aren't running their full power without Condi - not to take anything away from Snake, but I need more constant results before I believe in them again. For now I'll continue to enjoy them.
Q: Hello frosk.I want to ask about how do you think about teams which play very well in the local league but perform badly in the worlds like g2 tsm edg fw maybe longzhu includes What problems do you think they have and how can they deal with?
A: Hello! For EDG I believe it's a mental blocker on key members. I've spoken at length about this in reference to Clearlove7 specifically. If you have that tiny voice telling you that you can't do it, and the crowd repeats it, then eventually you begin to believe it. You think: I can do this - but in reality you can hear it, whispering behind your eyelids, and it eats at you. It makes you question yourself in those split second choices that domestically you would crush, but internationally you hesitate and let it slip by. Like all your chances.
Doublelift recently wrote an article to TSM about this very idea. He couldn't exactly articulate what TSM were missing, but he could identify that it was a problem that hung over the team, pulled on their shoulders and wore them down. I think it's "heart".
Not that these brilliant team's don't have "heart" but that eventually, like how water wears down a rock, they are worn down by their own insecurities, the pressure of the spotlight. Call it "choking" or something else, but it's them versus themselves.
Q: As an LPL English broadcaster, u know many LPL memes, like 'dark clearlove', I'm curious about how do u know that, is there anyone who translate them specifically? How can u understand it in such different language situations? For example, now there is a meme about 'RW Mouse', people call him "light", "lord of light" and so on, as native English speaker, can u understand that?
A: I try to stay in touch with the Chinese Audience to help add "cultural flavor" to my casting for the western audience - I have various people I trust translate and explain the memes to me. These days I go on the NGA boards myself and use google translate and then ask questions if I'm confused, but I find it really important to be aware or up-to-date with the freshest memes.
Q: Which teams are stronger among LPL this year in your opinion?
A: For Spring and MSI I believe RNG will be the strongest team because they have the option to run the same roster as Worlds, likewise Heart worked as their stand-in coach for LPL Spring Finals, so he's been with the team for a while.
WE may have the ability to also run the same World's roster and continue to push their ceiling but don't have the added benefit of the same coaching staff and I haven't seen enough tape to determine how much adjustment picking up the CJ entus coaching staff will affect the team.
For Worlds I believe EDG or WE will fall to Invictus Gaming for a ticket to Worlds. Either EDG will need another Season to get their roster's talent in order or WE will continue to be plagued by one-dimensional compositions; such as their KogMaw abuse. I believe that Xiye and Mystic still have limited champion pools compared to other superstars in the League and the team does well to build tools around them but they'll need to diversify to maintain their place at the top.
Q: What do u think of the decrease of Korean imports and the appearance of more Chinese AD rookies? A: Like Korea, China has a massive playerbase, so it only makes sense from a number perspective that China would be able to produce more domestic talent. I think a lot of teams, not just LPL but all teams, failed to understand how to integrate the Korean players and that moving back to domestic talent will only make the LPL stronger in the long run.
I do like how the LPL has "career Koreans" however, like DoinB, Rookie, and Mystic who effectively have made their careers in the LPL and I consider just as much part of the league as their Chinese counter-parts. When I go internationally and speak about the LPL, I make a point to always say LPL instead of China or Chinese teams - simply because to me, it doesn't matter what region they started in, because on the Worlds stage they all wear the LPL crown with pride.
Q: Did u get used to Chinese food?
A: My favorite Chinese food is hot pot! And I do like the spicy kind, but my stomach isn't used to it yet - so I have to be very careful eating it otherwise I get sick
Q: I'm wondering if u will miss home when u are in China for a long time? I'm in America now and I'm feeling very homesick…
A: This sounds bad, but I don't consider America my home. I really love Oregon, but I really "came of age" or had my "formative years" in Sydney Australia - and I am much closer to considering myself an Australian rather than an American, if that makes sense. I miss it dearly, but I love the LPL and knew I would follow it around the World. I knew when I set out four years ago that I would one day end up in China.
Q: I'd like to ask, Clearlove is now in his small practicing room again, do u think it's good or bad for him, will he come back?
A: I believe Clearlove will come back because he has the hunger. Not every player has it, but Clearlove does, and I don't know if he's satisfied with where he left. He could walk away at any time and be set with the empire he's built on his brand, but he keeps coming back. I hope he comes back so I can watch him feast.
Q: Hello, I have once seen that ur favorite player is Loveling, I'd like to know about the reason. Best wishes to u!
A: Lovelin is my favorite player of all time and who I consider the best LPL player. He played multiple positions at the highest level and believe he was still OMG's best Support and Jungler. I prefer him as a jungler however. If OMG could have been:
Gogoing
Lovelin
Cool
San
Drug
That would have won worlds hahaha
Q: Why is ur name Maomao, it's so cute!
A: Ryan Luwei gave me the name. I can't quite remember, because it was so long ago, but I think it was explained that Chinese nicknames are quite common so he thought of MaoMao because it's normally given to a small, cute, girl and because I am tall with a scary tattoo that it was ironic and funny.
Q: Hi! What's your opinion about SSG took down SKT in 2017 Worlds Final ?(Even though people never think highly of SSG throughout Worlds 2017)
A: Hello!
I predicted Samsung to win and spoke about it on the Analyst desk preshow for Finals. Papasmithy and I were the only English Analysts to predict Samsung.
Leading up to the Finals I also predicted RNG to beat SKT because "I could see the fire" - the question was not that SKT were burning, but how long until they collapsed. I thought RNG had enough to put them down but SKT fought valiantly and reminded everyone multiple times in 2017 why they are such a legendary team. That said, I find it very lazy analysis to keep giving SKT the benefit of the doubt simply because they are SKT. What's more important: recognizing Faker as a king or understanding why?
With the fall of SKT, hopefully their rise back to power will remind everyone of why and what made SKT the great instead of just their trophy case.
Likewise I also called Samsung to win the tournament during group stages because of the meta being so focused on teamfights and that being Samsung's area of expertise.
Q: Which three LPL teams will go to the Worlds 2018 in ur prediction?
A: RNG, iG, WE/EDG - I mentioned the reasoning in another answer, but it's a question of if WE's coaching staff can give them more stylistic threats and push into that next level or if EDG can harmonize Haro and Ray into their championship system. Meiko has matured as a captain, but can he lead the team without Clearlove by his side just yet?
This is also assuming that iG don't combust into flames and the hype surrounding them is real. I want to believe this is finally iG's time to shine, but it's probably much riskier to bet on them rather than the stable roster of WE or the stable support system/farm of EDG.
Q: Do u still remember 'Namei' (former ADC of PE and EDG )? How will u evaluate his career and his peak?
A: Devil from Positive Energy alongside Sicca. Won the LPL Title in 2013 Spring over OMG then left for EDG in 2014. Very cocky and arrogant. As Devil he was hyper aggressive in lane phase and would challenge greats like WeiXiao, Uzi, and Styz. Solo killing a few of them more than once. He wasn't looked favorably by fans due to his attitude but I have a bad habit of liking "bad boy" players - like Dardoch in NALCS.
On EDG he switched gears from a lane dominant ADC to a very teamfight centric one; hard to say if this was a short coming or a strategic choice because we had evidence that he could play the lane from his PE days. I think Unstoppable was actually the defining feature of 2014 EDG with his Ziggs performance and stall. NaMei was unique that he would maximize his damage output while dancing beautifully in teamfights between Fzzf/Clearlove.
He wasn't as flashy as Uzi -who was closer to Imp at the time. NaMei was closer to Deft, if that makes sense in terms of playstyle.
It was very unfortunate that NaMei never got to shine on the international stage. In the game they fell to SSW he still did more damage per minute than Imp. I heard he sobbed backstage because of how distraught he was.
Q: What do you think of RNG's midlaner, xiaohu ?
A: It wasn't too long ago that the LPL was renowned for its mid lane talent. In 2013 you had the likes of Misaya, Cool, Whitez, zziTai - back then Faker wasn't Faker yet. When Cool met Faker at Worlds those careers could have gone in completely different directions. But Faker bested Cool, Whitez and Misaya retired, and zziTai never quite ascended to the god hood of the former LPL Mid lane talent.
Then came Weiless, prodigy assassin player that helped drive LGD to their first LPL title. But, like zziTai, he never QUITE reached his best.
Fast forward and the LPL mid lane pool is STACKED: Icon, DoinB, Scout, Xiaohu, Rookie, Xiye etc - to even be a mid tier mid laner in LPL makes you incredibly good due to sheer size and talent stack. I believe someone like Xiaohu and Icon are the return of the LPL mid lane gods of old.
Q: Hi, Froskurinn. I have two questions to ask: the first, RNG, WE and EDG were all lost their game recently, what do you think of it? Second, Is there any LPL player's ID which makes casters feel very hard or awkward to pronounce?And hope you enjoy the life in China~ O(∩_∩)O
A: I think it's expected and that not too many results can be taken from these losses; it's only week 1 and all 3 of the teams aren't playing their "full strength" rosters. Uzi and Condi are missing as well as EDG still trying to find synergy with their two newest players in Ray and Haro.
It's really hard to pronounce Hudie or LvMao correctly for us. I just asked the team and they all laughed and said various different names. We try really hard to get it right though!
Q: iG's new ADC, JackeyLove, performed well recently, do you think is there any aspects that he can imporve, compare to other top-tier AD Carries?
A: I watch a lot of Jackeylove in Solo queue; I've probably watched over 15 hours of just his solo queue games in prep for his start in the LPL. I believe he is mechanically very gifted, and he has that killer instinct, but he acts too brash without all the information in lane or teamfights and will sometimes put himself in a situation to take a bad trade due to unseen circumstances. If he's in a 1v1, I'll always best on JL, but it's a team game.
Q: The Unforgiven716807:What's your feeling about the environment of Chinese rank?
A: Due to the size of the player base it's so much easier to find a match at any time. In OCE I would sometimes wait up to 8-10 minutes for queue to pop. But China I can find a match at anytime of day under 2-3 minutes. It's amazing.
But then also because of the playerbase size there are more instances of toxicity. I find I had more leavers in OCE, but far more intentional feeders in CN.
In that same vein though, me and my three teammates left in an intentional feeder game ARE FRIENDS FOR LIFE! I've never met a playerbase so determined to win when every odd is against them. Likewise the mechanical level is MUCH higher than OCE for every rank - again more players, so that makes sense as theres far more competition.
This server is incredibly mechanically gifted, very aggressive, and very passionate.
I also love how when I speak english on the sever that every player will type every english phrase or word they know at once. it's very funny trying to communicate in my broken Mandarin Chinese with their broken english song lyrics.
Q: What do u think of LPL's franchise and home/away matches? How about relegation? Can u share ur thoughts about it?
A: The argument that relegation automatically made a league more competitive to me never made much sense. While I understand the thought process that if a team is fighting for their survival that they should fight harder, I believe the safety net to develop talent - like the many new rookies we have - and experiment with strategies to refine the LPL meta means a more competitive team and league health in the long run. From my perspective, franchising means safety for investors, safety for teams, and safety for players - which creates more jobs at every level in esports from coaching to journalists.
China is actually closer to the ideal future of esports modeled closely to traditional sports with home and away arenas. The end goal would be a massive traveling circuit, broadcast writes to television and streaming platforms with global merchandising.
Q: LPL's matches now is much faster and aggressive than LCK, what do u think of it?
A: I believe the current meta has unique tools that empower key positions for the LPL. Currently the LPL is dominated by the new rune system, specifically the power of the inspiration tree with perks like Unsealed Spellbook and Stopwatch. These tools alongside others like the relic shield/overheal combination bottom, and zombie ward all help shape this meta were we see regions interacting very differently with the tools.
Give Korea a meta with Azir, Kog Maw, and Ryze and they'll use the tools to disengage. They use the stopwatches defensively to deny plays. They'll abuse zombie ward to create massive safety nets and never fall prey to ganks. Game times extend and scaling champions take over.
Give relic shield gold to supports like Ming and Meiko and suddenly you have these initiators with more gold and power than ever before. Ryze ult isn't used to disengage but spring a trap from baron! Stopwatches aren't used to absorb and survive or stop dives, but to perfect them! Use them aggressively. I believe the LPL is simply using the tools of this meta in a more creative way.
Q: hi, Frosk, I like ur casting style very much. I have two questions: (1) what's the difference between casting on site and casting away in Australia? (2) For Week 1, which teams and players made u feel most disappointed and why? and for the upcoming week, which will be ur tip for the best teams or players? thanks! Hope u have a great year in Shanghai.
A: Hello! Thanks <3
(1) Energy. In Sydney we were tucked away in a basement studio. We'd come in and cast to an empty room and chairs. We'd naturally be a lower energy because it's very different to see an amazing player and get excited in an empty and quite room versus standing in a stadium and roaring with the crowd. We call it "riding the crowd".
(2) I was very disappointed in TOP. I'm a fan of Ggoong and Cat and I wish that team could find success outside just attempting Baron at 20 minutes. It's never fun watching a team go 0-15 in a row; so I wish TOP the best.
I believe Gangplank still isn't valued as highly as he should be for his capabilities in the meta. Nor is Braum. LPL team's are getting better at these draft adjustments. Braum denies Orinn and Orinn denies hyper carries like Kog Maw because he's so low mobility. So if Team's put priority on Braum higher they don't need to waste strategies to deny or play around Orinn because his unbreakable can unlock Kog Maw as a safe pick - or other low mobility hyper carries.
And the LPL loves their hyper carries.
It's really hard to dive champion's like Gangplank in this meta due to klepto heals due to acquiring extra pots and such. Likewise his ability to play any lane with his ultimate, especially bottom, in tandem with Braum empowers kill pressure junglers like Jarvan and Zac to actually have kill pressure, even in overheal/relic bot meta.
I believe Kench is a much higher priority ban than LPL team's realize because I think he's the one thing that cannot be played around as well - pretty much only Kalista can have kill pressure on him due to rend versus grey health.
Q: Hi Froskurinn! What achievement do you think that EDG will reach this year?
A: Hopefully they'll win an LPL title without Clearlove so the team can confidently say that they're ready to carry his legacies torch. I especially think it'd mean a lot to Meiko to be able to have some sort of tangible evidence that he has fully taken the reigns.
Q: In Western Countries, What's the attitude of the public to the esports? How people around you think about your job? Also, will you stay in Shanghai to celebrate the Chinese New-Year?
A: Esports is kinda like WWE (professional wrestling). People recognize what it is because of its mainstream media attention, but it's not a popular pastime. I try to avoid telling people what my job is because, while their enthusiasm is friendly and well meant, it gets tiring that every person I meet and learns what I do has to ask me 20 questions about the industry.
If I'm taking an Uber and the driver asks what I do, to avoid the conversation I tell them I'm a librarian. XD
I will stay in China for Chinese New-Year and celebrate in Shanghai. I've already got a special CNY outfit and red envelopes to give out.
Q: Hello,Froskurrin!How do you rank LPL teams by recent performance?Thanks for your answer.
A: Based only on Week 1 Performances
S: RNG, iG
A: Snake, BLG, WE, SNG
B: FPX, EDG, RW, OMG
C: JDG, LGD
D: VG, TOP
Q: Is there anything else u wanna say to the Chinese audience?
A: The LPL is my passion and I really do love the league, players, team, and fans. It's a very unique culture and experience and I hope to help the western audience experience that unique passion. I am honored to be a part of the League community and consider myself a part of the LPL. Thank you <3
submitted by Amono1ogue to leagueoflegends [link] [comments]

Match Thread: Australia vs Costa Rica

Australia vs Costa Rica
Kick Off: 7:30pm AEDT (hour from submission)
Venue: Sydney Football Stadium (Capacity: 45 000)
TV: Live on Fox Sports 3
Streams: Feed2All, hahasport

Preview (excerpt from The Guardian)

It is five months since Australia last played in Australia. On that June evening in Sydney, Holger Osieck took the applause from the fans and the plaudits from the media after clinching a spot at the 2014 World Cup – there were even calls for the German to be given a contract extension.
The global tour undertaken since produced results and performances that would have the cricket team wincing. The Socceroos finished dead last in the East Asian Cup and then went to South America and Europe to suffer successive six-goal spankings. It cost Osieck his job.
In comes Ange Postecoglou. There is a good deal of goodwill for the new man. Major football nations in the Asia Football Confederation should always have a homegrown coach and Postecoglou was the best choice with two titles in the achievements column of a CV that also lists a desire to play a smooth passing game in the objective section.
Costa Rica Profile
Costa Rica are the most successful team in Central America having qualified for four World Cups, including reaching the last sixteen on their debut in Italy 1990. For Brazil 2014 they breezed through their qualification zone, coming second in CONCACAF and beating the USA and Mexico in the process. The Costa Rican's squad largest contingent (7 players) is from their local league however they have players from the German, Belgium, English, Greek, Swedish and Finish leagues (9 Players). The Costa Ricans have also included A-leaguers Carlos Hernández and Kenny Cunningham, both of whom are from the Nix.
Socceroos Profile
For the Socceroos Ange culled Wilkshire, Holman, Thompson, Brosque, Ognenovski from his new squad. Mark Schwarzer also announced his shock retirement. For this reason the game will also help show whether Ange prefers goalkeepers Langerak or Ryan for the Number One position. The other issue that looms large is the captaincy; whether Ange will bench Neil and give the armband to Cahil as much of the media has speculated.
Costa Rica are currently ranked 31st in the FIFA World rankings while Australia is ranked 57th.
Form Guide:
Socceroos: WDLLLLW
Costa Rica: LLWWDLW
Betting Odds:
Team Win Draw
Australia 2.02 3.35
Costa Rica 3.70 3.35
Squads
Both Teams Starting XI (Imgur Link)
Socceroos starting XI (4-2-3-1):
 Ryan; Franjic, Neill (c), Williams, Davidson; Milligan,Jedinak; Kruse, Bresciano, Vidosic; Leckie 
Costa Rica XI:
 Gonzalez; Umana, Borges, Duarte, Oviado; McDonald, Campbell, Gamba, Pemberton; Calvo, Cubero 
Match events
Kick Off
Half Time 0-0
69' GOAL for Cahil! Australia 1-0 Costa Rica
Full Time Australia 1-0 Costa Rica
There are Costa Rican flairs available, just click "edit" (next to your username) in the sidebar. Just how you would normally select flairs.
submitted by aleaguematchday to Aleague [link] [comments]

Random Driver Highlight #23 -- Lucien Bianchi

Yeah. Almost two months without one of these. Got a busy streak with a new job. Also been travelling overseas a fair deal. And also working on something else for another site. So yeah.
But anyway, here's #532 from the Random Number Generator. And while not the most successful driver, it's a name that sounds familiar...

Lucien Bianchi

STATISTICS
Nationality: Belgian
Years in F1: 1959-63, 1965, 1968
Teams Raced For: Cooper (Equipe Nationale Belge, Fred Tuck, works), Emeryson (Equipe Nationale Belge), Lotus (Equipe Nationale Belge, UDT Laystall), ENB, Lola (Reg Parnell), BRM (Scuderia Centro Sud)
Entries: 19
Starts: 17
Podium Finishes: 1
Points: 6
Highest Finish: 3rd (1968 Monaco Grand Prix)
Times he got rudely awakened from his slumber: At least once (I'll tell you the story later)

Part 1: Getting a shot with the Claes Pigeon

Okay, that nationality bit may be a tad incorrect. Yes, Lucien Bianchi moved to Belgium and raced under a Belgian flag. But Bianchi wasn't born in Belgium. A clue as to where Lucien was actually born would be to look at his birth name, Luciano.
Yep, Luciano Bianchi was born in Milan, Italy on 10th November, 1934. He was fortunate, as he and his brother, Mauro, were born right into a racing family. His father, Roberto, was a mechanic at Alfa Romeo, or more specifically, Scuderia Ferrari, then Alfa Romeo's racing division at the time pre-war.
It was after the war, though, that Roberto sought greener pastures elsewhere, given how Ferrari and Alfa Romeo had split at that point. At this point, he got a call from a jazz musician in Belgium named Johnny Claes. Claes wasn't a massive name in jazz music, but he was a minor celebrity in the jazz circle. He had a band, called "Johnny Claes and the Claes Pigeons". He played music in the background and had one line in the movie that killed George Formby's career.
And now, either due to a meeting with George Abecassis or being a translator in the 1947 French Grand Prix, Claes had caught the racing bug. He wasn't so good at setting up cars though, and sought the help of Roberto Bianchi, the former Ferrari mechanic, to set up his cars. Bianchi would become heavily involved with Claes over the next few years, eventually moving to Belgium in 1950 with his two sons, Luciano and Mauro.
Fast forward to 1952, and Luciano, now known as Lucien, was getting his first major racing event at just the tender age of 17. With his father's contacts in the racing world, it wasn't too much of a surprise for him to enter racing at this tender age. He was acting as the co-driver of one Jacques Herzet. People would think of Herzet as crazy to pick Bianchi as his co-driver, especially since Lucien's debut was going to be the gruelling Tour de France.
Yep, Jacques Herzet picked a 17 year-old with no prior racing experience to be his co-driver in a cross-country race around France in a Jaguar sports car.
Predictably, Herzet and Bianchi finished a mediocre 38th. But that initial race was just the kickstarter for both Herzet and Bianchi. For 1953, Bianchi and Herzet would form a solid partnership with backing from Ecurie Francorchamps, who, funnily enough, were rivals to Ecurie Belge, the team where Bianchi's dad was working in. Together, they managed 7th place in the Tour de France and a few third places in the European Rally Championship. One of them was the Liege-Rome-Liege Rally, which featured not only an impressive performance from Herzet and the 18 year-old Bianchi to third, but a solid drive to second from Olivier Gendebien and a masterclass from Johnny Claes, who drove 52 hours straight to victory after his co-driver fell ill.
By this time, it seemed almost inevitable that Lucien would come and join back with his dad at Ecurie Belge to continue his racing career. By 1955, father and son were back together, but only through the two rivals, Francorchamps and Belge, merging together to become a joint operation, Ecurie Nationale Belge. At this point, Johnny Claes was in ill health, so a merger with his rivals, led by Jacques Swaters, seemed like the right thing to do.
Claes would still race, despite his rapid deterioration in health. For one of his final events before his death to tuberculosis in early 1956, he re-entered the Liege-Rome-Liege for one last time. Being unable to drive for long periods like in his incredible 1953 effort, he needed someone else to take over the main driving duties. He paid his chief mechanic, Roberto Bianchi, something of a favour by choosing his twenty year-old son, Lucien, to race alongside him in the rally.
With Claes' condition getting worse and worse as time went on, Lucien started to assert his role as a lead driver, and his performance took the duo to a third place finish, which was also the final time Claes would finish on the podium in any motorsport event.
Following this result, the young Bianchi's stock rose tremendously, no doubt thanks to his partnership with Olivier Gendebien. Together, the pair would go on to win the Tour de France three consecutive times between 1957-1959. With the constant success in the Tour de France and local rallies, Bianchi started to become a household name in rallying.
He also had some form of successes in sportscars, most notably a class victory in the 1957 24 Hours of Le Mans alongside Georges Harris with an additional win in the 1958 Coupe de Salon and various other good showings at other international sportscar races.
Well, you might be wondering, this is /formula1. This guy raced in Formula 1, right? How did he get on?
Well, let me tell you this. As much as Lucien Bianchi is a respected figure in Belgian motor racing, a man known for his sportscar and rallying prowess and a name many look back on with fondness, his F1 career, especially his early days, were pretty much...
...laughable.

Part 2: BELGE

It was 1959. The year that Lucien Bianchi would wrap up his trifecta of Tour de France victories with Gendebien alongside him. With these successes, Ecurie Nationale Belge thought it was about time to re-enter Formula 1, having last participated in Grand Prix racing way back when Johnny Claes wanted one last outing in an F1 car at the 1955 Dutch Grand Prix. Having been one of the better drivers for ENB, Bianchi was named to drive in the race alongside Alain de Changy, a co-driver of Bianchi in one of his less-successful Le Mans attempts, in privateer Cooper T51 entries.
Despite the Cooper being the dominant car of the era, both Bianchi and de Changy failed to qualify for the Monaco Grand Prix. And that was it for Lucien Bianchi's F1 season in 1959, one and done.
Then came 1960. ENB were going to enter yet another Cooper for Bianchi, this time at their home race, the Belgian Grand Prix. Naturally, having failed to qualify at Monaco last time out, the ENB felt that their T51 was obsolete in a sense, and set about providing Bianchi with another Cooper chassis. And, naturally, the car they set Bianchi up with was an ancient Cooper T45, the model used by the works team way back in 1958.
Naturally, Bianchi was slow. Even then, his lack of pace was something to be admired that day in Spa. In the days where the old Spa layout was 14.1 km long, Lucien Bianchi managed to finish eight laps off the pace in dead last. And yet, thanks to a scoring quirk that classified Graham Hill as a DNF despite only failing to finish the final lap, Lucien Bianchi was credited with a championship point. That's right, he finished sixth.
I mean, it was still last, but it was a point nonetheless. He went to continue the season for a brief while with Fred Tuck's privateer team, this time providing him with his remotely competitive Cooper T51. However, failures to finish in France and Great Britain saw Lucien retreat back to ENB, where he would take a victory in the 1000km of Paris sportscar race.
And, there was 1961. And I have to say, 1961 was an absolutely nutty year for Bianchi and ENB in Formula One, and it starts with the most incredible story.
So. Come 1961, there are the new engine regulations that would severely limit engine regulations down to 1.5 litre engines. Ecurie Nationale Belge are worrying. As privateers, they are nervous as to which chassis they should run with, given how the change in regs might throw a toss-up in competitiveness. Most customer teams are looking towards the new Lotus chassis, but not ENB. They want something different. And so they attend the 1960 Coupe de Salon Formula 2 race at Monthlery.
There, they spot that there is a fairly unknown constructor, Emeryson, on the grid. And with the little-known John Turner behind the wheel, the Emeryson was putting up a creditable performance against the rest of the pack. With that impressive performance, Ecurie Nationale Belge went ahead and purchased the Emeryson 1000 series of chassis with Maserati engines powering them, and seemed all set to surprise the field when they took the green flag at Monaco.
Well, they sure surprised themselves. What they hadn't realized was, that at that race in Monthlery, the reason John Turner was doing so fantastically well in the race was because he, lap after lap, straight-lined a chicane that was out of spectators' view, gaining tons of time in the process. Turner was DQ'd after the race, but his little chicane-cutting cheekiness caused chaos in the ENB garage. When Bianchi, Willy Mairesse and Gendebien took the Emerysons out to the non-championship Grands Prix in Pau and Brussels, the problems with ENB were clear. Their Emerysons were total duds.
But they made the deal. And Lucien Bianchi was going to have to live with the Emerysons for the time being.
The 1961 Monaco Grand Prix came up. If Ecurie Nationale Belge couldn't qualify with championship-winning cars two years earlier, there was no way they were ever going to qualify with the stinky Emerysons. And boy, were they poopy. Barring Jack Brabham, who had problems in qualifying, Lucien Bianchi and Gendebien were the two slowest drivers in qualifying, and once again, ENB would come back from Monaco empty-handed.
Their next entry was their home Grand Prix at Spa, still with the Emerysons. Olivier Gendebien gained some common sense and took up Ferrari's one-off drive for this race, leaving Willy Mairesse to become Lucien's teammate in the trenches. And, around Spa, the Emerysons and the Maserati engines powering them were absolutely terrible. I'm not even exaggerrating. Lucien Bianchi, in qualifying, was a full 27 seconds off the pace. Mairesse did slightly better, but he was still right at the tail end of the order.
And, almost like it was a sign from God, one of ENB's chassis' literally fell apart near the end of practice. That was when ENB just gave up. They pulled both chassis out of the race. In a scene that's unthinkable nowadays, they walked down the paddock asking other teams to loan their spare chassis to them. Emeryson had turned the gallant sportscar and rally troupe to beggars in Formula One.
Thankfully, privateers Tony Marsh and Wolfgang Seidel weren't starting the race. Wikipedia says they had a dispute with starting money, though I couldn't find another source backing that up. Either way, they weren't starting, and so ENB stuck Mairesse and Bianchi in their Lotus-Climax machines in time for the race. And after all that, Lucien Bianchi and Willy Mairesse, somehow, finished in the points....
...I'm fucking kidding. They didn't score points. They were horribly slow. They both retired after just nine laps. That might just be one of the most rejectful outings by a team at a Grand Prix ever. As rejectful as Life, Andrea Moda and Coloni were, at least they didn't have to beg to borrow a chassis in the paddock.
After that, Ecurie Nationale Belge did the right thing and took a break until the Italian Grand Prix, where Andre Pillette was the poor soul nominated drive the Emeryson, being the only driver in that race to fail to qualify. Lucien Bianchi, for his end of the deal, did well in sportscars for ENB, taking two second places in his favourite events, the 1000km of Paris and the Tour de France. However, those Emeryson capers wouldn't be the end of his Formula One career in 1961.
At the Belgian Grand Prix, Cliff Allison got badly injured in a crash, sidelining him for the rest of the year. This opened up a spot at the UDT Laystall Racing Team, running customer Lotus 18's that year. Initially, for the French Grand Prix, UDT Laystall hired Juan Manuel Fangio's protege, Juan Manuel Bordeu. However, once ENB decided to take a break from their Emeryson nightmare, UDT Laystall brought in Lucien Bianchi, and despite running both Bordeu and Bianchi in practice, Lucien was the one driving the car for the race, ahead of the protege of Fangio that you've never heard of and probably will never hear of again. However, Bianchi was absolutely sub-par, qualifying last in Aintree and failing to finish his two Grand Prix starts with UDT Laystall before being substituted with Masten Gregory.
Lucien Bianchi went ahead and gave it one more shot with Ecurie Nationale Belge in Formula One. It was 1962, and surely after three years of floundering attempts at Formula One, ENB wouldn't do something stupid with Lucien Bianchi in F1.
The first race they entered that season, they were sensible. Okay, they were the only team to enter the obsolete Lotus 18/21 when the other chassis present were all 21's, 24's or 25's, but that's okay. Yes, Lucien Bianchi was only able to qualify 21 seconds off the pace, but at least he qualified and actually managed to finish the race, albeit in second-last. But still. At least they hadn't done something stupid.
In their second, and final, entry of 1962, ENB did something really stupid.
Remember the Emerysons? I bet Bianchi wanted to forget them.
ENB didn't. And they had three spare chassis left over, chassis numbers 1001, 1002 and 1003. Using the frame of the 1001 chassis, they used whatever was salvageable from the 1002 and 1003, smushed it onto the 1001 frame, crafted some bodywork that looked like Shrek in car form, and plastered their own ENB name on the car. If the Ferrari 156 was a sexy beast, the ENB F1 was it's ugly sister after its face got smashed by a truck.
Okay, that was a tad harsh from me. But still, in terms of F1 cars, it wasn't the prettiest.
What's worse, they didn't change any of the interior mechanisms and whatnot from the old Emerysons. They even kept the horrific Maserati engine. And they were going to ask Lucien Bianchi to tackle the Green Hell with that piece of machinery.
Lucien Bianchi did the best he could. At least, I bet he did. Even then, I don't think even Ayrton Senna, Jim Clark or Lewis Hamilton could make that car go fast. I mean, around the Nurburgring, Bianchi was nearly two MINUTES slower than Dan Gurney's pole time. He was a full twenty seconds behind the next slowest qualifier, Jack Brabham. Bianchi only qualified because he completed the minimum requirement of five laps in practice, something that Tony Shelly and Wolfgang Seidel failed to do, despite being faster than Bianchi.
A side note here, Seidel was baffled by that decision. I mean, if that thing was chosen to start ahead of you, I'd be mad too. Seidel went to race officials to argue. Right after that, Seidel was stripped of his competitive racing license.
Anyway, back to Bianchi, the race for Lucien was slow and uneventful, rooted to the back for the entire race. It's fair to say that Lucien did well in the dreadful ENB to not get lapped twice.
And that was it for Ecurie Nationale Belge in Formula One. After their dreadful experiments, with Lucien Bianchi as test dummy, they gave up on Formula One, retreating to their more successful ventures in sportscars and rallying.
Likewise, it seemed that Lucien Bianchi's career in Formula One was also pretty much over. Stuck in the worst of situations with ENB and unable to capitalize on other drives elsewhere, it seemed Lucien's career would be left to sportscars and rallies from now on.
All because of one chicane-cutting fool, we got a renowned garage in sportscars becoming the laughing stock of Formula One, a one-race oddity and monstrosity of a chassis and a waste of an upcoming talent in Formula One to some awful cars in Formula One...

Part 3: But Wait, There's More...

For the next few years, Lucien Bianchi would only make a few one-off appearances at his home Grand Prix to very little fanfare and not a whole lot of success. He was one of the many drivers to crash out in the 1963 Belgian Grand Prix when he couldn't handle his Lola in the storm at Spa, and had a very underwhelming performance with BRM's customer team, Scuderia Centro Sud in the 1965 edition.
Instead, in those years, Lucien Bianchi was a sportscar menace. In the year that he had to cope with the awful ENB chassis, he also won the prestigious 12 Hours of Sebring alongside Joakim Bonnier behind the wheel of a Ferrari 250 GT. He collected a whole host of podium finishes in the second half of 1963, none of them with Ecurie Nationale Belge/Ecurie Francorchamps, funnily enough.
He was with ENB, though, when he and Jean Blaton, who went by the pseudonym 'Beurlys', to a win in the GT 3.0 class at the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans. He also claimed his record 4th Tour de France victory while pairing with Georges Berger, with a second place at the 2000km of Daytona to complement all these accolades.
Also, his brother Mauro had started to compete in the occasional endurance race for Abarth in the early sixties, and by 1964 he was signed by the Renault Alpine squad. With Lucien being open to pretty much anything, he partnered up with his brother for the occasional race here and there. Their first event together was the 1964 Targa Florio, which didn't go too spectacularly for the pair, finishing 15th overall, but at least they were second in the Prototype 2.0 class. The next time they'd be together driving the car would be the 1965 Nurburgring 500 km. This time, brothers Bianchi clicked. Three cars in the top four were Abarths. The only car that wasn't an Abarth? It was Mauro's and Lucien's Alpine, and they were sitting pretty on the top step of the podium.
That would be the last time the brothers teamed up with any success, having paired up only one last time to a lowly 21st place in the Paris 1000km. However, Lucien had so much more on his plate. For 1966 and 1967, Bianchi paired up with the one and only Mario Andretti for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, though neither attempt ended well, which for their 1967 attempt, is a bit of an understatement. Don't worry, Andretti was okay, as his future racing career would show.
Bianchi also had several commitments for 1966 and 1967, having signed for not only Alfa Romeo's Autodelta squad, but also appearing on the rare occasion for Porsche. This caused a tricky gap in his schedule, especially since Lucien Bianchi really, really wanted to race in the Indy 500.
Yep. Little known fact, Lucien Bianchi did attempt to qualify for the Indy 500 in 1967. He even got a bit of practice, so to speak, in the USAC round in Trenton in late April, driving for Jim Robbins. He didn't perform too badly, mind, qualifying ninth before he had to pull out after a half-century of laps when his car overheated.
For his assault at Indy, he would once again drive for Jim Robbins' Vollstedt. However, he had a conflicting schedule with Porsche, where he was scheduled to drive in the Nurburgring 1000km with Gerhard Mitter. Nevermind, the 1000km was on the Sunday, the 28th, and the Indy 500 would be on the 30th of May, with days of time trials happening on the 13th, 14th, 20th and 21st of May. Giving himself a full week to practice for Nurburgring, Bianchi still had plenty of days to qualify for Indy, then head to Europe to practice and race in the 1000km and have enough time to fly back to the USA for the 500.
Bianchi couldn't set a time on pole day, and the second day of time trials was rained out. Nevermind that, Bianchi could still set a time on the 20th and fly back to Germany immediately afterwards. In the session on the 20th, Lucien set a time good enough for 29th on the grid. Not the highest position, but hey, at least he made it onto the grid. With that, Lucien set off for his flight to the Nurburgring, all set to pull of the double duty of a 1000km and a 500 mile race in the space of three days.
One minor problem for Lucien.
He forgot about Bump Day.
The final day of qualifying for Indy. The one where hopefuls have one last shot to 'bump' other drivers off the grid. And Bianchi wasn't present.
At the end of the day, Lucien was the last driver bumped off the grid. He qualified 34th. There were only 33 starters in the Indy 500.
Still, at least Bianchi could find some success at the Nurburgring, right? He and Mitter had an absolute blast, and they were dominating the field. To make up for the loss of Indy, at least a win at the Green Hell could boost Bianchi's mood a little, right?
They led as they started their final lap.
And then the battery failed. They lost their win on the final lap of a 1000 kilometre race. For anybody, that would be a massive hit to their confidence.
For Bianchi, that was just the prelude to his best season in racing yet...

Part 4: Celebrations and Crashes

The rest of Lucien's 1967 still went quite alright for him, redeeming his crushing blow at the Nurburgring just two months later with a victory in the 6 hours event at the same circuit. Besides, he still had a dedicated drive with Alfa Romeo for 1968 in sportscars, so everything still seemed alright for the Belgian at that point.
The start to his 1968 season wasn't spectacular, no race victories or podiums, but a surprising stream of consistent results, something that Bianchi found hard to do in his career, with his results sheets often littered with DNFs. His consistency was topped off with a podium at the 1968 Targa Florio.
And then his consistency got him a reward in the form of a Formula One drive. And no, it wasn't with Ecurie Nationale Belge again, they quit F1 for good after their Emeryson depression. It was an actual works team, the two-time constructor's champions, Cooper. One of their main drivers, Brian Redman, had a scheduling conflict as he was driving for John Wyer Automotive, one of the premier squads in endurance racing at the time, and their fleet of Ford GT40s. As it turns out, the Monaco Grand Prix was happening at the same time as the 1000 km of Spa, and Redman was committed to Spa. With little option left, they called out to Bianchi to race for them at Monaco.
At this point of their lifespan, Cooper were a shadow of the team they once were. Previously an innovator in motorsport, their form had dropped off in the past few years, and 1968 was Cooper at their lowest point. Still, they'd managed a podium at the previous race in Spain by simply being the last cars standing in a field that was hit by attrition.
Bianchi's previous attempts at Monaco, in 1959 and 1961, ended before the race even began. This time, though, Lucien Bianchi at least managed to qualify, though only in a lowly 14th out of 16 drivers, only beating teammate Ludovico Scarfiotti and Dan Gurney in his own Eagle car. From there, Bianchi and Scarfiotti stuck to the tried and tested Cooper tactic: Go slow, be safe, avoid any attrition, just finish.
With all the attrition Monaco usually brings, Bianchi and Scarfiotti slowly made their way up the order. At the end of the race, only five cars saw the chequered flag. Two of them were the Coopers of Bianchi and Scarfiotti, albeit four laps down.
And, thanks to all the chaos, Lucien Bianchi finished third. His first, and only podium in Formula One. Cooper's last in Formula One.
After that, Bianchi was kept onboard the Cooper team for the next round at Spa-Francorchamps, with Redman returning to the squad as Scarfiotti raced in a hillclimb event in Germany. Once again, Bianchi went with the tried and tested Cooper tactic. Stay slow, get out of trouble, and make your way up from retirements. Bianchi once again finished third-from-last, but with all the DNFs that race, that was all Lucien needed to score another point for the Cooper team.
However, as much as that point was worth, it came at a costly price for Cooper. Brian Redman's suspension failed on lap seven, and he was pitched into a concrete barrier and a parked car. He was lucky to walk away with a broken arm and minor burns, but Redman's season was over. Ludovico Scarfiotti went off-course in his hillclimb event and his Porsche catapulted down a slope. His body was discovered fifty yards from his car that was hanging in the trees. Scarfiotti died in the ambulance.
One of Cooper's main drivers' was dead. The other was out for the season. Involuntarily, Lucien Bianchi was now a full-time works driver for Cooper, alongside Vic Elford. They did the best they could with the dreadful Cooper T86, with Elford scoring a few points, but they couldn't do much else.
Bianchi couldn't even qualify off the back row of the grid. With his Alfa Romeo connections, Lucien almost orchestrated a partnership with Cooper and Alfa Romeo, and there were plans to enter an Alfa-engined Cooper for Bianchi in both the British and Italian Grands Prix. However, both entries were pulled at the final minute, and eventually Alfa Romeo abandoned the project when they realized their V8 was severely underpowered. Unable to carry out the Alfa deal, coupled with their failure to find sponsorship to build a DFV-powered car, Cooper closed their doors in 1969, with Lucien Bianchi's drive in Monaco being their final podium finish.
However, there was still more success to come for Bianchi. With Redman's injury, there was a spot vacant at John Wyer's Ford GT40 stable. Despite his commitments to Alfa and Cooper, Lucien was able to find time to take Brian Redman's spot in the 6 hours of Watkins Glen, pairing fellow compatriot Jacky Ickx. Together, the Belgian duo took outright victory, marginally ahead of their teammates Paul Hawkins and David Hobbs.
This was intended to be a one-off drive, but then he got another call-up for John Wyer. Pedro Rodriguez was looking for a partner for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, initially contacting compatriot and close friend Moises Solana for the co-driver spot. When Solana declines, the team reached out to Bianchi. Taking the opportunity with both hands, Lucien Bianchi took the biggest victory of his career, winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans as Pedro Rodriguez's co-driver.
It would also be his last victory celebration, as three major incidents would tell the story of his career's final days.
The first was Mauro Bianchi's massive accident in the same 24 Hours. With 4 hours remaining, Mauro's Alpine lost its brakes at the foot of the Esses and crashed heavily. The car burst into a great, big fireball with Mauro still inside. Miraculously, Mauro escaped with his life, but only just. There are images on the internet showing Mauro and the extent of his burns after the wreck. I won't link them here for your sake, but those images are just... gruesome.
The second was Lucien's own accident at the 1968/69 London-Sydney Marathon. The marathon was one-of-a-kind marathon, crossing Italy, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, then finally to Australia. It was a massive event, and Bianchi entered the event with co-driver Jean-Claude Ogier (no relation to WRC champ Sebastian) in a Citroen DS.
Bianchi and Ogier, running in third at the end of the Asian leg, found themselves in a comfortable lead once in Australia, thanks to the technical problems of Roger Clark. In the penultimate stage heading to Nowra, less than 100 miles away from Sydney. Ogier was piloting the DS, Bianchi was taking a nap in the passenger-seat. Yep, their lead was so comfortable, Bianchi was literally taking a snooze.
Then, on a road that was supposed to be closed to the public, the DS collided head-on with a passenger car travelling the opposite direction. There were rumours that the occupants of the passenger car were two drunk off-duty policemen.
Paddy Hopkirk, the first driver on the scene, sacrificed any chance he had of winning the race to extinguish the flames on both cars in the accident and to help the trapped Bianchi out of his car. They had probably saved Bianchi's life, but Lucien was still badly injured in the wreck (This one is mildly NSFW).
Still, despite his injuries, Bianchi was back after just three months, racing alongside Nino Vaccarella in the Sebring 12 Hours. Despite his failure to finish, Bianchi was all set to defend his Le Mans victory, all set to progress from the amazing 1968 season that he had, with a Le Mans victory and a Formula One podium.
On 30th of March, there was a testing session for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and Lucien Bianchi was driving the new Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 with Nino Vaccarella. They had already set the sixth fastest time in qualifying, an incredible achievement on its own.
Lucien Bianchi was having problems with the rear bodywork of the 33/3 early on. When he went out for his second stint, he must have felt something wrong on the Mulsanne Straight, as eyewitnesses report him flicking on his indicator, almost like he was going to pull over. However, Bianchi didn't slow down at all. Instead, his car wandered to the verge on the right side, then suddenly shot to the left. His car hit a telegraph pole and flames erupted from the car.
Luciano "Lucien" Bianchi had zero chance of survival. He was only 34 years old. And, sadly, not the only Bianchi to pass away on the track.
Well, I'm back writing these. I'll try to get back up to speed, but that may be unlikely. We'll see.
All credit to the following sources:
Racing Sportscars -- StatsF1 -- Motor Sport Magazine -- 8w at Forix -- F1i
GPRejects -- Virtual Garage Channel -- ChampCar Stats -- EWRC -- Motorsport Memorial
My Other Random Driver Highlights:
#16, Piero Carini + Links to Highlights #1-15
#17, Trevor Taylor
#18, Bill Aston
#19, Chico Serra
#20, Eppie Wietzes
#21, Cecil Green
#22, Mika Salo
submitted by TheStateOfIt to formula1 [link] [comments]

Techiano Techi

Yeah. Almost two months without one of these. Got a busy streak with a new job. Also been travelling overseas a fair deal. And also working on something else for another site. So yeah.
But anyway, here's #532 from the Random Number Generator. And while not the most successful driver, it's a name that sounds familiar...

Lucien Bianchi

STATISTICS
Nationality: Belgian
Years in F1: 1959-63, 1965, 1968
Teams Raced For: Cooper (Equipe Nationale Belge, Fred Tuck, works), Emeryson (Equipe Nationale Belge), Lotus (Equipe Nationale Belge, UDT Laystall), ENB, Lola (Reg Parnell), BRM (Scuderia Centro Sud)
Entries: 19
Starts: 17
Podium Finishes: 1
Points: 6
Highest Finish: 3rd (1968 Monaco Grand Prix)
Times he got rudely awakened from his slumber: At least once (I'll tell you the story later)

Part 1: Getting a shot with the Claes Pigeon

Okay, that nationality bit may be a tad incorrect. Yes, Lucien Bianchi moved to Belgium and raced under a Belgian flag. But Bianchi wasn't born in Belgium. A clue as to where Lucien was actually born would be to look at his birth name, Luciano.
Yep, Luciano Bianchi was born in Milan, Italy on 10th November, 1934. He was fortunate, as he and his brother, Mauro, were born right into a racing family. His father, Roberto, was a mechanic at Alfa Romeo, or more specifically, Scuderia Ferrari, then Alfa Romeo's racing division at the time pre-war.
It was after the war, though, that Roberto sought greener pastures elsewhere, given how Ferrari and Alfa Romeo had split at that point. At this point, he got a call from a jazz musician in Belgium named Johnny Claes. Claes wasn't a massive name in jazz music, but he was a minor celebrity in the jazz circle. He had a band, called "Johnny Claes and the Claes Pigeons". He played music in the background and had one line in the movie that killed George Formby's career.
And now, either due to a meeting with George Abecassis or being as a translator in the 1947 French Grand Prix, Claes had caught the racing bug. He wasn't so good at setting up cars though, and sought the help of Roberto Bianchi, the former Ferrari mechanic, to set up his cars. Bianchi would become heavily involved with Claes over the next few years, eventually moving to Belgium in 1950 with his two sons, Luciano and Mauro.
Fast forward to 1952, and Luciano, now known as Lucien, was getting his first major racing event at just the tender age of 17. With his father's contacts in the racing world, it wasn't too much of a surprise for him to enter racing at this tender age. He was acting as the co-driver of one Jacques Herzet. People would think of Herzet as crazy to pick Bianchi as his co-driver, especially since Lucien's debut was going to be the gruelling Tour de France.
Yep, Jacques Herzet picked a 17 year-old with no prior racing experience to be his co-driver in a cross-country race around France in a Jaguar sports car.
Predictably, Herzet and Bianchi finished a mediocre 38th. But that initial race was just the kickstarter for both Herzet and Bianchi. For 1953, Bianchi and Herzet would form a solid partnership with backing from Ecurie Francorchamps, who, funnily enough, were rivals to Ecurie Belge, the team where Bianchi's dad was working in. Together, they managed 7th place in the Tour de France and a few third places in the European Rally Championship. One of them was the Liege-Rome-Liege Rally, which featured not only an impressive performance from Herzet and the 18 year-old Bianchi to third, but a solid drive to second from Olivier Gendebien and a masterclass from Johnny Claes, who drove 52 hours straight to victory after his co-driver fell ill.
By this time, it seemed almost inevitable that Lucien would come and join back with his dad at Ecurie Belge to continue his racing career. By 1955, father and son were back together, but only through the two rivals, Francorchamps and Belge, merging together to become a joint operation, Ecurie Nationale Belge. At this point, Johnny Claes was in ill health, so a merger with his rivals, led by Jacques Swaters, seemed like the right thing to do.
Claes would still race, despite his rapid deterioration in health. For one of his final events before his death to tuberculosis in early 1956, he re-entered the Liege-Rome-Liege for one last time. Being unable to drive for long periods like in his incredible 1953 effort, he needed someone else to take over the main driving duties. He paid his chief mechanic, Roberto Bianchi, something of a favour by choosing his twenty year-old son, Lucien, to race alongside him in the rally.
With Claes' condition getting worse and worse as time went on, Lucien started to assert his role as a lead driver, and his performance took the duo to a third place finish, which was also the final time Claes would finish on the podium in any motorsport event.
Following this result, the young Bianchi's stock rose tremendously, no doubt thanks to his partnership with Olivier Gendebien. Together, the pair would go on to win the Tour de France three consecutive times between 1957-1959. With the constant success in the Tour de France and local rallies, Bianchi started to become a household name in rallying.
He also had some form of successes in sportscars, most notably a class victory in the 1957 24 Hours of Le Mans alongside Georges Harris with an additional win in the 1958 Coupe de Salon and various other good showings at other international sportscar races.
Well, you might be wondering, this is /formula1. This guy raced in Formula 1, right? How did he get on?
Well, let me tell you this. As much as Lucien Bianchi is a respected figure in Belgian motor racing, a man known for his sportscar and rallying prowess and a name many look back on with fondness, his F1 career, especially his early days, were pretty much...
...laughable.

Part 2: BELGE

It was 1959. The year that Lucien Bianchi would wrap up his trifecta of Tour de France victories with Gendebien alongside him. With these successes, Ecurie Nationale Belge thought it was about time to re-enter Formula 1, having last participated in Grand Prix racing way back when Johnny Claes wanted one last outing in an F1 car at the 1955 Dutch Grand Prix. Having been one of the better drivers for ENB, Bianchi was named to drive in the race alongside Alain de Changy, a co-driver of Bianchi in one of his less-successful Le Mans attempts, in privateer Cooper T51 entries.
Despite the Cooper being the dominant car of the era, both Bianchi and de Changy failed to qualify for the Monaco Grand Prix. And that was it for Lucien Bianchi's F1 season in 1959, one and done.
Then came 1960. ENB were going to enter yet another Cooper for Bianchi, this time at their home race, the Belgian Grand Prix. Naturally, having failed to qualify at Monaco last time out, the ENB felt that their T51 was obsolete in a sense, and set about providing Bianchi with another Cooper chassis. And, naturally, the car they set Bianchi up with was an ancient Cooper T45, the model used by the works team way back in 1958.
Naturally, Bianchi was slow. Even then, his lack of pace was something to be admired that day in Spa. In the days where the old Spa layout was 14.1 km long, Lucien Bianchi managed to finish eight laps off the pace in dead last. And yet, thanks to a scoring quirk that classified Graham Hill as a DNF despite only failing to finish the final lap, Lucien Bianchi was credited with a championship point. That's right, he finished sixth.
I mean, it was still last, but it was a point nonetheless. He went to continue the season for a brief while with Fred Tuck's privateer team, this time providing him with his remotely competitive Cooper T51. However, failures to finish in France and Great Britain saw Lucien retreat back to ENB, where he would take a victory in the 1000km of Paris sportscar race.
And, there was 1961. And I have to say, 1961 was an absolutely nutty year for Bianchi and ENB in Formula One, and it starts with the most incredible story.
So. Come 1961, there are the new engine regulations that would severely limit engine regulations down to 1.5 litre engines. Ecurie Nationale Belge are worrying. As privateers, they are nervous as to which chassis they should run with, given how the change in regs might throw a toss-up in competitiveness. Most customer teams are looking towards the new Lotus chassis, but not ENB. They want something different. And so they attend the 1960 Coupe de Salon Formula 2 race at Monthlery.
There, they spot that there is a fairly unknown constructor, Emeryson, on the grid. And with the little-known John Turner behind the wheel, the Emeryson was putting up a creditable performance against the rest of the pack. With that impressive performance, Ecurie Nationale Belge went ahead and purchased the Emeryson 1000 series of chassis with Maserati engines powering them, and seemed all set to surprise the field when they took the green flag at Monaco.
Well, they sure surprised themselves. What they hadn't realized was, that at that race in Monthlery, the reason John Turner was doing so fantastically well in the race was because he, lap after lap, straight-lined a chicane that was out of spectators' view, gaining tons of time in the process. Turner was DQ'd after the race, but his little chicane-cutting cheekiness caused chaos in the ENB garage. When Bianchi, Willy Mairesse and Gendebien took the Emerysons out to the non-championship Grands Prix in Pau and Brussels, the problems with ENB were clear. Their Emerysons were total duds.
But they made the deal. And Lucien Bianchi was going to have to live with the Emerysons for the time being.
The 1961 Monaco Grand Prix came up. If Ecurie Nationale Belge couldn't qualify with championship-winning cars two years earlier, there was no way they were ever going to qualify with the stinky Emerysons. And boy, were they poopy. Barring Jack Brabham, who had problems in qualifying, Lucien Bianchi and Gendebien were the two slowest drivers in qualifying, and once again, ENB would come back from Monaco empty-handed.
Their next entry was their home Grand Prix at Spa, still with the Emerysons. Olivier Gendebien gained some common sense and took up Ferrari's one-off drive for this race, leaving Willy Mairesse to become Lucien's teammate in the trenches. And, around Spa, the Emerysons and the Maserati engines powering them were absolutely terrible. I'm not even exaggerrating. Lucien Bianchi, in qualifying, was a full 27 seconds off the pace. Mairesse did slightly better, but he was still right at the tail end of the order.
And, almost like it was a sign from God, one of ENB's chassis' literally fell apart near the end of practice. That was when ENB just gave up. They pulled both chassis out of the race. In a scene that's unthinkable nowadays, they walked down the paddock asking other teams to loan their spare chassis to them. Emeryson had turned the gallant sportscar and rally troupe to beggars in Formula One.
Thankfully, privateers Tony Marsh and Wolfgang Seidel weren't starting the race. Wikipedia says they had a dispute with starting money, though I couldn't find another source backing that up. Either way, they weren't starting, and so ENB stuck Mairesse and Bianchi in their Lotus-Climax machines in time for the race. And after all that, Lucien Bianchi and Willy Mairesse, somehow, finished in the points....
...I'm fucking kidding. They didn't score points. They were horribly slow. They both retired after just nine laps. That might just be one of the most rejectful outings by a team at a Grand Prix ever. As rejectful as Life, Andrea Moda and Coloni were, at least they didn't have to beg to borrow a chassis in the paddock.
After that, Ecurie Nationale Belge did the right thing and took a break until the Italian Grand Prix, where Andre Pillette was the poor soul nominated drive the Emeryson, being the only driver in that race to fail to qualify. Lucien Bianchi, for his end of the deal, did well in sportscars for ENB, taking two second places in his favourite events, the 1000km of Paris and the Tour de France. However, those Emeryson capers wouldn't be the end of his Formula One career in 1961.
At the Belgian Grand Prix, Cliff Allison got badly injured in a crash, sidelining him for the rest of the year. This opened up a spot at the UDT Laystall Racing Team, running customer Lotus 18's that year. Initially, for the French Grand Prix, UDT Laystall hired Juan Manuel Fangio's protege, Juan Manuel Bordeu. However, once ENB decided to take a break from their Emeryson nightmare, UDT Laystall brought in Lucien Bianchi, and despite running both Bordeu and Bianchi in practice, Lucien was the one driving the car for the race, ahead of the protege of Fangio that you've never heard of and probably will never hear of again. However, Bianchi was absolutely sub-par, qualifying last in Aintree and failing to finish his two Grand Prix starts with UDT Laystall before being substituted with Masten Gregory.
Lucien Bianchi went ahead and gave it one more shot with Ecurie Nationale Belge in Formula One. It was 1962, and surely after three years of floundering attempts at Formula One, ENB wouldn't do something stupid with Lucien Bianchi in F1.
The first race they entered that season, they were sensible. Okay, they were the only team to enter the obsolete Lotus 18/21 when the other chassis present were all 21's, 24's or 25's, but that's okay. Yes, Lucien Bianchi was only able to qualify 21 seconds off the pace, but at least he qualified and actually managed to finish the race, albeit in second-last. But still. At least they hadn't done something stupid.
In their second, and final, entry of 1962, ENB did something really stupid.
Remember the Emerysons? I bet Bianchi wanted to forget them.
ENB didn't. And they had three spare chassis left over, chassis numbers 1001, 1002 and 1003. Using the frame of the 1001 chassis, they used whatever was salvageable from the 1002 and 1003, smushed it onto the 1001 frame, crafted some bodywork that looked like Shrek in car form, and plastered their own ENB name on the car. If the Ferrari 156 was a sexy beast, the ENB F1 was it's ugly sister after its face got smashed by a truck.
Okay, that was a tad harsh from me. But still, in terms of F1 cars, it wasn't the prettiest.
What's worse, they didn't change any of the interior mechanisms and whatnot from the old Emerysons. They even kept the horrific Maserati engine. And they were going to ask Lucien Bianchi to tackle the Green Hell with that piece of machinery.
Lucien Bianchi did the best he could I bet he did. Even then, I don't think even Ayrton Senna, Jim Clark or Lewis Hamilton could make that car go fast. I mean, around the Nurburgring, Bianchi was nearly two MINUTES slower than Dan Gurney's pole time. He was a full twenty seconds behind the next slowest qualifier, Jack Brabham. Bianchi only qualified because he completed the minimum requirement of five laps in practice, something that Tony Shelly and Wolfgang Seidel failed to do, despite being faster than Bianchi.
A side note here, Seidel was baffled by that decision. I mean, if that thing was chosen to start ahead of you, I'd be mad too. Seidel went to race officials to argue. Right after that, Seidel was stripped of his competitive racing license.
Anyway, back to Bianchi, the race for Lucien was slow and uneventful, rooted to the back for the entire race. It's fair to say that Lucien did well in the dreadful ENB to not get lapped twice.
And that was it for Ecurie Nationale Belge in Formula One. After their dreadful experiments, with Lucien Bianchi as test dummy, they gave up on Formula One, retreating to their more successful ventures in sportscars and rallying.
Likewise, it seemed that Lucien Bianchi's career in Formula One was also pretty much over. Stuck in the worst of situations with ENB and unable to capitalize on other drives elsewhere, it seemed Lucien's career would be left to sportscars and rallies from now on.
All because of one chicane-cutting fool, we got a renowned garage in sportscars becoming the laughing stock of Formula One, a one-race oddity and monstrosity of a chassis and a waste of an upcoming talent in Formula One to some awful cars in Formula One...

Part 3: But Wait, There's More...

For the next few years, Lucien Bianchi would only make a few one-off appearances at his home Grand Prix to very little fanfare and not a whole lot of success. He was one of the many drivers to crash out in the 1963 Belgian Grand Prix when he couldn't handle his Lola in the storm at Spa, and had a very underwhelming performance with BRM's customer team, Scuderia Centro Sud in the 1965 edition.
Instead, in those years, Lucien Bianchi was a sportscar menace. In the year that he had to cope with the awful ENB chassis, he also won the prestigious 12 Hours of Sebring alongside Joakim Bonnier behind the wheel of a Ferrari 250 GT. He collected a whole host of podium finishes in the second half of 1963, none of them with Ecurie Nationale Belge/Ecurie Francorchamps, funnily enough.
He was with ENB, though, when he and Jean Blaton, who went by the pseudonym 'Beurlys', to a win in the GT 3.0 class at the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans. He also claimed his record 4th Tour de France victory while pairing with Georges Berger, with a second place at the 2000km of Daytona to complement all these accolades.
Also, his brother Mauro had started to compete in the occasional endurance race for Abarth in the early sixties, and by 1964 he was signed by the Renault Alpine squad. With Lucien being open to pretty much anything, he partnered up with his brother for the occasional race here and there. Their first event together was the 1964 Targa Florio, which didn't go too spectacularly for the pair, finishing 15th overall, but at least they were second in the Prototype 2.0 class. The next time they'd be together driving the car would be the 1965 Nurburgring 500 km. This time, brothers Bianchi clicked. Three cars in the top four were Abarths. The only car that wasn't an Abarth? It was Mauro's and Lucien's Alpine, and they were sitting pretty on the top step of the podium.
That would be the last time the brothers teamed up with any success, having paired up only one last time to a lowly 21st place in the Paris 1000km. However, Lucien had so much more on his plate. For 1966 and 1967, Bianchi paired up with the one and only Mario Andretti for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, though neither attempt ended well, which for their 1967 attempt, is a bit of an understatement. Don't worry, Andretti was okay, as his future racing career would show.
Bianchi also had several commitments for 1966 and 1967, having signed for not only Alfa Romeo's Autodelta squad, but also appearing on the rare occasion for Porsche. This caused a tricky gap in his schedule, especially since Lucien Bianchi really, really wanted to race in the Indy 500.
Yep. Little known fact, Lucien Bianchi did attempt to qualify for the Indy 500 in 1967. He even got a bit of practice, so to speak, in the USAC round in Trenton in late April, driving for Jim Robbins. He didn't perform too badly, mind, qualifying ninth before he had to pull out after a half-century of laps when his car overheated.
For his assault at Indy, he would once again drive for Jim Robbins' Vollstedt. However, he had a conflicting schedule with Porsche, where he was scheduled to drive in the Nurburgring 1000km with Gerhard Mitter. Nevermind, the 1000km was on the Sunday, the 28th, and the Indy 500 would be on the 30th of May, with days of time trials happening on the 13th, 14th, 20th and 21st of May. Giving himself a full week to practice for Nurburgring, Bianchi still had plenty of days to qualify for Indy, then head to Europe to practice and race in the 1000km and have enough time to fly back to the USA for the 500.
Bianchi couldn't set a time on pole day, and the second day of time trials was rained out. Nevermind that, Bianchi could still set a time on the 20th and fly back to Germany immediately afterwards. In the session on the 20th, Lucien set a time good enough for 29th on the grid. Not the highest position, but hey, at least he made it onto the grid. With that, Lucien set off for his flight to the Nurburgring, all set to pull of the double duty of a 1000km and a 500 mile race in the space of three days.
One minor problem for Lucien.
He forgot about Bump Day.
The final day of qualifying for Indy. The one where hopefuls have one last shot to 'bump' other drivers off the grid. And Bianchi wasn't present.
At the end of the day, Lucien was the last driver bumped off the grid. He qualified 34th. There were only 33 starters in the Indy 500.
Still, at least Bianchi could find some success at the Nurburgring, right? He and Mitter had an absolute blast, and they were dominating the field. To make up for the loss of Indy, at least a win at the Green Hell could boost Bianchi's mood a little, right?
They led as they started their final lap.
And then the battery failed. They lost their win on the final lap of a 1000 kilometre race. For anybody, that would be a massive hit to their confidence.
For Bianchi, that was just the prelude to his best season in racing yet...

Part 4: Celebrations and Crashes

The rest of Lucien's 1967 still went quite alright for him, redeeming his crushing blow at the Nurburgring just two months later with a victory in the 6 hours event at the same circuit. Besides, he still had a dedicated drive with Alfa Romeo for 1968 in sportscars, so everything still seemed alright for the Belgian at that point.
The start to his 1968 season wasn't spectacular, no race victories or podiums, but a surprising stream of consistent results, something that Bianchi found hard to do in his career, with his results sheets often littered with DNFs. His consistency was topped off with a podium at the 1968 Targa Florio.
And then his consistency got him a reward in the form of a Formula One drive. And no, it wasn't with Ecurie Nationale Belge again, they quit F1 for good after their Emeryson depression. It was an actual works team, the two-time constructor's champions, Cooper. One of their main drivers, Brian Redman, had a scheduling conflict as he was driving for John Wyer Automotive, one of the premier squads in endurance racing at the time, and their fleet of Ford GT40s. As it turns out, the Monaco Grand Prix was happening at the same time as the 1000 km of Spa, and Redman was committed to Spa. With little option left, they called out to Bianchi to race for them at Monaco.
At this point of their lifespan, Cooper were a shadow of the team they once were. Previously an innovator in motorsport, their form had dropped off in the past few years, and 1968 was Cooper at their lowest point. Still, they'd managed a podium at the previous race in Spain by simply being the last cars standing in a field that was hit by attrition.
Bianchi's previous attempts at Monaco, in 1959 and 1961, ended before the race even began. This time, though, Lucien Bianchi at least managed to qualify, though only in a lowly 14th out of 16 drivers, only beating teammate Ludovico Scarfiotti and Dan Gurney in his own Eagle car. From there, Bianchi and Scarfiotti stuck to the tried and tested Cooper tactic: Go slow, be safe, avoid any attrition, just finish.
With all the attrition Monaco usually brings, Bianchi and Scarfiotti slowly made their way up the order. At the end of the race, only five cars saw the chequered flag. Two of them were the Coopers of Bianchi and Scarfiotti, albeit four laps down.
And, thanks to all the chaos, Lucien Bianchi finished third. His first, and only podium in Formula One. Cooper's last in Formula One.
After that, Bianchi was kept onboard the Cooper team for the next round at Spa-Francorchamps, with Redman returning to the squad as Scarfiotti raced in a hillclimb event in Germany. Once again, Bianchi went with the tried and tested Cooper tactic. Stay slow, get out of trouble, and make your way up from retirements. Bianchi once again finished third-from-last, but with all the DNFs that race, that was all Lucien needed to score another point for the Cooper team.
However, as much as that point was worth, it came at a costly price for Cooper. Brian Redman's suspension failed on lap seven, and he was pitched into a concrete barrier and a parked car. He was lucky to walk away with a broken arm and minor burns, but Redman's season was over. Ludovico Scarfiotti went off-course in his hillclimb event and his Porsche catapulted down a slope. His body was discovered fifty yards from his car that was hanging in the trees. Scarfiotti died in the ambulance.
One of Cooper's main drivers' was dead. The other was out for the season. Involuntarily, Lucien Bianchi was now a full-time works driver for Cooper, alongside Vic Elford. They did the best they could with the dreadful Cooper T86, with Elford scoring a few points, but they couldn't do much else.
Bianchi couldn't even qualify off the back row of the grid. With his Alfa Romeo connections, Lucien almost orchestrated a partnership with Cooper and Alfa Romeo, and there were plans to enter an Alfa-engined Cooper for Bianchi in both the British and Italian Grands Prix. However, both entries were pulled at the final minute, and eventually Alfa Romeo abandoned the project when they realized their V8 was severely underpowered. Unable to carry out the Alfa deal, coupled with their failure to find sponsorship to build a DFV-powered car, Cooper closed their doors in 1969, with Lucien Bianchi's drive in Monaco being their final podium finish.
However, there was still more success to come for Bianchi. With Redman's injury, there was a spot vacant at John Wyer's Ford GT40 stable. Despite his commitments to Alfa and Cooper, Lucien was able to find time to take Brian Redman's spot in the 6 hours of Watkins Glen, pairing fellow compatriot Jacky Ickx. Together, the Belgian duo took outright victory, marginally ahead of their teammates Paul Hawkins and David Hobbs.
This was intended to be a one-off drive, but then he got another call-up for John Wyer. Pedro Rodriguez was looking for a partner for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, initially contacting compatriot and close friend Moises Solana for the co-driver spot. When Solana declines, the team reached out to Bianchi. Taking the opportunity with both hands, Lucien Bianchi took the biggest victory of his career, winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans as Pedro Rodriguez's co-driver.
It would also be his last victory celebration, as three major incidents would tell the story of his career's final days.
The first was Mauro Bianchi's massive accident in the same 24 Hours. With 4 hours remaining, Mauro's Alpine lost its brakes at the foot of the Esses and crashed heavily. The car burst into a great, big fireball with Mauro still inside. Miraculously, Mauro escaped with his life, but only just. There are images on the internet showing Mauro and the extent of his burns after the wreck. I won't link them here for your sake, but those images are just... gruesome.
The second was Lucien's own accident at the 1968/69 London-Sydney Marathon. The marathon was one-of-a-kind marathon, crossing Italy, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, then finally to Australia. It was a massive event, and Bianchi entered the event with co-driver Jean-Claude Ogier (no relation to WRC champ Sebastian) in a Citroen DS.
Bianchi and Ogier, running in third at the end of the Asian leg, found themselves in a comfortable lead once in Australia, thanks to the technical problems of Roger Clark. In the penultimate stage heading to Nowra, less than 100 miles away from Sydney. Ogier was piloting the DS, Bianchi was taking a nap in the passenger-seat. Yep, their lead was so comfortable, Bianchi was literally taking a snooze.
Then, on a road that was supposed to be closed to the public, the DS collided head-on with a passenger car travelling the opposite direction. There were rumours that the occupants of the passenger car were two drunk off-duty policemen.
Paddy Hopkirk, the first driver on the scene, sacrificed any chance he had of winning the race to extinguish the flames on both cars in the accident and to help the trapped Bianchi out of his car. They had probably saved Bianchi's life, but Lucien was still badly injured in the wreck (This one is mildly NSFW).
Still, despite his injuries, Bianchi was back after just three months, racing alongside Nino Vaccarella in the Sebring 12 Hours. Despite his failure to finish, Bianchi was all set to defend his Le Mans victory, all set to progress from the amazing 1968 season that he had, with a Le Mans victory and a Formula One podium.
On 30th of March, there was a testing session for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and Lucien Bianchi was driving the new Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 with Nino Vaccarella. They had already set the sixth fastest time in qualifying, an incredible achievement on its own.
Lucien Bianchi was having problems with the rear bodywork of the 33/3 early on. When he went out for his second stint, he must have felt something wrong on the Mulsanne Straight, as eyewitnesses report him flicking on his indicator, almost like he was going to pull over. However, Bianchi didn't slow down at all. Instead, his car wandered to the verge on the right side, then suddenly shot to the left. His car hit a telegraph pole and flames erupted from the car.
Luciano "Lucien" Bianchi had zero chance of survival. He was only 34 years old. And, sadly, not the only Bianchi to pass away on the track.
Well, I'm back writing these. I'll try to get back up to speed, but that may be unlikely. We'll see.
All credit to the following sources:
Racing Sportscars -- StatsF1 -- Motor Sport Magazine -- 8w at Forix -- F1i
GPRejects -- Virtual Garage Channel -- ChampCar Stats -- EWRC -- Motorsport Memorial
My Other Random Driver Highlights:
#16, Piero Carini + Links to Highlights #1-15
#17, Trevor Taylor
#18, Bill Aston
#19, Chico Serra
#20, Eppie Wietzes
#21, Cecil Green
#22, Mika Salo
submitted by TheStateOfIt to PostPreview [link] [comments]

[Table] IAmA: The last 3.5 years I have dedicated my mind and body to perform at its absolute best on one day, on a giant oval, for a little less than 4minutes. There are 100 Days until the Olympic Trials and I'm an aspiring Olympian, AMA.

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2012-03-23
Link to submission(Has self-text)
Link to my post
Questions Answers
How many times have you pooped yourself while running? Once. It wasn't a lot, more like a nugget of poop popped out. I'll usually stop on the side of a trail and do the business, but that time I was trying to make it back to the bathrooms since I was so close to the parking lot. I was still holding the rest in, and once I got to the toilet and let the rest out, I realized that I should never, ever again start a 12mile run sorta feeling like I should use the restroom. I probably never had such a painful poop in my life.
So when you go trail-side, do you try to wipe with a leaf or anything? Or just let run with the Klingons still on board? If the leaf is safe, I'll wipe with that. But there are times I have finished a run with only one sock.
If you were to predict the 3 who were going to qualify for the 1500, who would it be? David Torrence, David Torrence, annnddddd David Torrence. Because I spit hot fire.
How many people have shouted "RUN FORREST" at you? When I was in High School training in Downtown Los Angeles my team and I got that a lot. Once I got to college I never heard that anymore, probably because I stopped running on streets and moved more towards trails.
However, I really wish somebody would say it to me now, because I have the PERFECT comeback to it.
If somebody ever yells "RUN FORREST RUN!" at you, simply respond loudly: "I'VE GOT TO FIND BUBBA!"
Loyola.... That school edged us out by 13 points for the state championship in cross country last year... You familiar with Elias Gedyon? I am very much familiar with Elias. I tried to get him to go to Cal, but he ended up choosing Oregon which didn't really work out for him. I was at the state meet last year too, watching and signing autographs for Nike!
What is your resting pulse rate and jogging pulsrate? How about blood pressure? Do you shave everywhere? Do you get to meat other athletes a lot? Resting is usually around 55bpm, an easy recovery jog I'll be around 140bpm. I have no clue about the blood pressure. I don't shave (hate razor burn and bumps), but I WILL trim my legs with hair clippers before a big race to feel a little faster. I meet tons of athletes, and enjoy a variety of foods around the world on my travels to races.
Nono my friend. do you get to have athlete sex where both of you have the stamina to go on for hours and are both in the best shape of your lives with less than like 10% body fat. This is what I meant by "meat" other athletes ' Just thinking about it is getting me all hot and bothered. I have had athlete sex, and it is everything you've imagined and more.
Do you make enough/any money doing this? If not, do you have a day job? Although the Olympic Games is the pinnacle of my sport, there are still TONS of big races, series, and events every year. I make a good amount off of prize money, appearance money, and the most from my sponsor Nike. I am a full-time professional athlete, and live pretty comfortably right now. If I had a family, it might be a different story though.
If you don't mind me asking (always preface personal financial questions with "If you don't mind me asking") what was the largest sum of prize money you won for a single event? $14,000 at the US Road Mile Championships.
$4000 for the win, and an additional $10,000 bonus for breaking 4min.
At the time when I first one this race, I was unsponsored and had about 1.5 month's rent left in my bank account. I ran for the sake of my career that day, and man did that money come in huge. You can watch the race here.
Oh wow. That was amazing. Knowing the financial back story, and the fact you got the extra 10k by ONE SECOND I am positive I would have just broken down crying if I were you. Here's my post-race reaction.
I was pretty pumped.
Damn dude! You hit the Red Button at that last 400. I don't run but damn that was impressive to watch. Thanks, I actually felt terrible that entire race, and thought that Jon Rankin (the guy that lead most of the race) had it in the bag. I just tried to maintain contact, and kind of realized after halfway that I was slowly getting closer. When he didn't take the tangent, I knew that was my chance to catch him off guard and strike.
This is my favourite running video of all time, captures the essence of racing: the combination of fitness and intelligence that can get you the win. In regards to my career.
What does your diet look like? How often do you train? I train 7 days a week, and twice a day usually 3-4 of those 7. I'll take a day completely off though every 2 weeks or so.
I don't have a specific diet, but I just try to stay away from processed foods and the like. I'll have cheeseburgers and pizza, as long as its made with good/real foods.
How many calories do you usually average per day? About 3500.
Have you ever tried to run backwards and why? Yes I have. After some joking and betting with some teammates, we ran a backwards 400m. I don't remember the time, but I do know that once I finish running forward competitively, I will SMASH all the backwards running world records.
off, huge fan! I'm a collegiate miler as well and Im really curious what your pre race rituals are (if any) and if you could give one piece of advice to a 4:05 miler to dip under the barrier, what would it be? I don't really have a pre-race ritual. A lot of guys I know listen to music and try to "get in the zone" but I try to be a bit more aloof about it. I've found getting too far into the zone actually makes me TOO nervous, and then my performance suffers a bit. So I talk and joke around with people. I usually drink a coffee about 90min before the race, but if I can't get one, no big deal.
I'll give you a few pieces of advice: Don't get injured, don't overtrain, and negative split. All you need is consistent time training. Getting hurt usually throws a wrench into that. You will break through eventually, good luck!
I work at a coffee shop right accross the street from hayward field where the trials are. i got you covered on a free pre race coffee ;-) Awesome, what shop is that?! I'll definitely take you up on it!
Just out of curiosity, why do you go with coffee and not caffeine pills? You get to avoid the liquid and you're a lot more certain of how much caffeine you're getting. I may have to check it out now!
Negative split? Really? In my old world, swimming, negative splits were pretty uncommon. It felt like I was leaving energy left on the table when I should have used it in the race. Definitely the norm for fast times in races of 1200m and above.
Are negative splits the norm for milers? How long did you swim though? I believe most swim events are pretty short, correct? So they'd be more like sprints instead of distance.
Isnt caffeine a banned substance at the olympics? Used to be, not anymore.
Are negative splits good/common at the top level? In high school track XD we were taught not to negative split. Yes, they are common and the best way to get the most out of your body. You never want to be dying in a race over 800m, you slow down too much.
Did you know that coffee supposedly contains a compound which blocks the performance enhancing effects of caffeine? So it would be better to just take a caffeine pill, except that caffeine is a banned substance isn't it? Caffeine used to be a banned substance, but not anymore. Thanks for the tip though, I'll check it out.
My coaches used to tell us that virtually everyone always had a little bit left at the end of a race. Obviously we weren't as talented as you. Does that hold true at all at the Olympic level, or are you completely drained at the end of a race? I'm pretty sure I leave it all out on the track. The difference is in training. When you see somebody super fast run a race, they are usually still moving/walking/jogging right after. That's because that's exactly how we train. We never finish hard workouts and then just stop, you always have to keep moving in order to recover better.
I would imagine you're only really truly spent after a marathon or ironman or ultras.
1500m/3:34.25 = 15.66mph. 1mi/3:54.01 = 15.38 mph. Would you attribute your faster 1500 rate to the greater accessibility of the metric system? Actually yes. The 1500m is run way more often than the mile, so I have more chances to run fast.
What is it that makes the last hundred meters add so much time on? 1mi=1600m if I'm correct. 1mi=1609m. But I think the reason the extra 109m takes so much longer is because we just don't run it that often. I could probably get my mile PR down to 3:50, but I just don't have as many opportunities.
What do you think life in the Olympic Village will be like? No clue, but I hope to find out. I hear it involves lots and lots of condoms.
Do you obstain from ejaculation for some time before a race like some boxers do before a fight? I never did, but then I learned about the 7-day no-fap testosterone boost. Thanks Reddit!
Do you actually enjoy running? Training everyday? That sounds terrible to me. To be bluntly honest, that's because you're out of shape.
It sucks because your body is weak and your mind has to fight in order to do what you want it to do. Therefore you suffer constantly.
For me, recovery runs are like beautiful walks through a park, but about twice as fast so I get to see twice as much. I'm not breathing hard, I'm not struggling or hurting, it's just your mind, body, and muscles all working effortlessly in unison.
And as for hard workouts, they are chances to better myself. They are an opportunity for me to see specifically where I am weak, where I need to work on, or conversely where I am totally fit. And then I work those specific areas, and see improvement. It's remarkably simple and gratifying, albeit incredibly difficult at times.
However, everyone can get into shape, and if you keep at it long enough, you'll eventually get to that point where you're no longer suffering every time you get out the door and exercise. Instead, you'll find it therapeutic, comforting, and exhilarating.
Hey great answers, thanks. I've just never really been a runner, in my mind. I played football and basketball when I was in High School and alway hated running specifically. I think I was never trained to run with correct posture and form. I think kids for the most part need to be taught the correct way to run sometimes. Agree or disagree? Any good resources for this. That's because running for you is always punishment, not something to enjoy. Once you get out of that mindset, you might like it more.
Also, who knows, maybe you're more of a sprinter, in which case there are great workouts for that too.
I think except for extreme cases, your body will know how to run the more you do it. You could always watch professional racers and notice how they run and copy it.
I used to go on 45 minute runs daily and I can't tell you how boring it was. It's not about how in shape you are, but, well I am not sure how you occupy your mind doing something that repetitive that long... That's why I mix it up with easy runs, track workouts, tempo runs, hill intervals, etc. Doing 45min runs everyday, on the same path or in the same general area can definitely get tedious and boring. Just depends on where you are and what you have access to.
I know he doesn't run your events, but what are your opinions on Oscar Pistorius competing in able-bodied competitions, and his qualification for the Olympics? How would you feel if an amputee runner ended up racing against you in the Olympics? This is an unpopular perspective, but I do believe it is a bit unfair. He DOES have an advantage. This blog explains it in pretty good detail. People exclaim "but he only has one leg!" but then I remind them that guys with no legs would destroy me in any distance race above 400m. There is a certain point at which the technology available can outperform human tissue, and we have to be aware of that to make sure things don't get twisted to the point that it is advantageous to have prosthetic limbs in races.
Good luck with your preparation. All that being said, he is definitely a hero of mine and an inspiration. And I kind of hope he still gets cleared to race. Maybe if he was in my race I'd feel a bit differently, who knows.
I'm guessing this is your first olympics. on a scale of 1-10, how excited are you ? In Track and Field, nobody in the US has qualified yet. That is determined at the Olympic Trials this June. But if I do make it, probably an 11.
Opinions on barefoot running? I think its great as a supplemental training tool when it is done on soft surfaces like grass, trail, sand, etc. Going barefoot or wearing Vibrams on concrete or asphalt is just asking for injuries (in my humble opinion).
There is a lot of discrepancy between just wearing vibrams/going barefoot, and actually changing your running form to a form encouraged by these shoes/bare feet. Namely, forefoot strike vs heel strike. How do you feel about forefoot striking in longer distance running? I used to run with a forefoot strike, but now I've moved more to a mid-foot strike as recommended by my coach. It feels a lot more efficient and powerful. I found with my forefoot strike I tended to overstride a bit.
David, first off you are an animal. Now, for my question. Who were your running role models back in high school and college? Prefontaine lol? I was never a big fan of Prefontaine. His style of racing and training to me is a bit...well, stupid. Push all out from the gun? No, you will fade and die and get passed at the end. It's harder and smarter to time your moves and put forth your maximal effort at the right time rather than just push from the start. I never really had a running role model, since runners in the US don't really get much media attention, but the one quote I think I enjoy the most, is from Noureddine Morceli: "When I step to the line, my mind is full of questions...'Who will be 2nd? Who will be 3rd?"
Why was he so successful if his running was stupid? The thing was, he wasn't as successful as everyone thinks. If you watch Pre's race at the olympics in Munich, he very well could have gotten a medal, but instead he surges wayyy too soon and as a result finishes 4th.
I'm not trying to say that he was a bad runner, but if his tactics were to be used today he would get absolutely destroyed.
Pre set 14 US records. Other than a couple extremely rare exceptions I can think of, my statement stands true: You cannot front run at that level in this day and age and win.
In this day and age?
Starting to look like in this day and age there are a lot of frontrunners whose racing tactics you disagree with that win Olympic gold medals and set world records. Not "very rarely". A lot. I'm not sure you understand what front-running is.
What is it like sprinting for a solid mile? I don't actually sprint for a full mile. After a lot of training, 58-60 second pace for 400m isn't really a sprint, just like a fast run. The only time I really feel like I'm sprinting all out is the last 200-300m.
How fast are your 100-200 times? I read an article about Galen Rupp, a top level 3k runner for those who don't know, and it said that he gets 10.7 in a 100, which is shockingly fast. He ran a "flying" 100 in 10.7, which means he was already at full speed when he started the 100m. It was still a surprise, because I thought he was much slower, but I imagine most middle distance runners could run that time.
I've finished hard workouts in 23.x before, but I've never really timed my all-out performance. I would hope I'd be able to crack 23.
How hard is it to time your training, diet and emotion to allow your body/mind to be at optimal peak at the moment of a once-in-a-life- time race like the olympics. Other races come and go and I'm sure you have good days and bad....how do you minimize the chance that the olympic trial or olympic event will be one of those bad days? Very good question, but the answer is actually pretty simple. You basically have to remember what you did in the past that works. Try not to do anything different. Some people try to do something "special" for the race/event because its such a big deal, but that's how you get into trouble. By introducing something new, your body may not know how to handle it, whether its food, training, or even how you mentally prepare for the race. However, as simple as this is, it is very hard to do. Because it IS such a big deal, its difficult not to try and do something "extra" to make sure you get everything out of you.
I also stay away from sick friends like they have the bubonic plague.
What was your mile time around 4th/5th grade? were you fastest in your school? I actually never ran track at that age, so I don't know. I mostly played basketball and football. Since I was young for my year, I was usually never the fastest in an all out sprint, but I was always able to outlast competitors and hustle to the last second of a long game.
Yeah but didn't you run the mile every yeatwice a year for gym class? i thought everyone did that. No not in my school! I never ran a full mile until my freshman year in High School. I ran 5:00.
Speaking of, can you give a little description about your transition from high school, to college, to pro. I'll see you at Hayward for the trials! What do you mean by "transition"? That's a bit of a vague question, what specifically about it do you want to know?
If this doesn't work out for you, do you think you'll try for the bobsled team in Sochi? Or just keep running and hope for Rio? I think will go back to the Andes of Peru and recruit a bobsled team for the Winter Olympics. On our team will be the tough guy, the talented one, the funny one, and probably a llama.
Don't forget the lucky egg. KISS IT.
What does competing in the Olympics mean to you? Great questions.
Is it more about the pure competition or representing your country? It would mean that I'm a part of a quest for human excellence. A part of an elite group of people that push their bodies past common limits and more. That I represent that instinctual drive for Faster, Higher, Stronger. It is also about pitting myself against the world. Stepping to that line and saying and believing "I am the best, I am stronger, I can hurt more than you can hurt, you cannot beat me."
How do you go about being selected for the Olympic team? It would probably be a bit more about the pure competition rather than representing my country. To me, the Olympics is a time when politics and governments and nationalities step aside to appreciate the wonder that is the human body, mind, and spirit...regardless of what country is on your chest.
Is it simply a matter of qualifying or do they recruit people? I compete in my country's Olympic Trials and have to place top 3 in the final race. Each country has different selection procedures.
When did you realistically think you could make it in the sport? Following the Puma Mile? Also, favourite track spike of all time? After my first sub-4min Mile in college during my 4th year, I knew how undertrained I was and how much more I could improve. It was then that I knew I could make it.
Favorite track spike of all time...this is tough. When the Nike Milers first came out, I thought track spikes had been perfected, and had probably never been that excited. But when the Victory's came out, I was just blown away by the design and weight. I would say the Milers to train in, and the Victory's to race in.
But both may be completely tossed aside when the NEW 1500m spikes come out for London...
Have you gotten to see the Nike Zoom Victory Elites yet (I assume that if you're sponsored you get early access or something)? Is anyone in the professional scene as excited as I am for them? Having been involved in the development of the shoe, and receiving the latest iteration a few days ago, I am very excited to test them out.
Do you take supplements, or just rely on a healthy diet? If so, what supplements do you take/recommend? I rely mostly on a healthy diet, but I take Aminos for before/after hard workouts.
What is your dosage like before and after a hard workout? I'll take two before a workout, and about 3-4 after.
Is it all worth it? Whether or not I make the team: Absolutely.
Hey David! Close your eyes. You've just won gold at the Olympics. What do you do then? Is that the top of your career? What would you do after that? That would definitely be the top of my career. Just taking a second and imagining it sent chills down my spine. Afterwards, I would come back home to my millions of adoring fans, cash in on all the big time sponsorships, but then tragically get caught smoking illegal substances, losing tons of fans and money, and fade into black.
Congrats on your awesome season last year, David! Watched you win the 1500 at the New York Grand Prix and it was awesome! Best of luck at the Olympic Trials, I'll be cheering for you all season! What is your training like in terms of mileage? I'm sure it isn't your biggest focus, but what kind of mileage do you typically hit in your training? I'm usually around 65-75 when training hard, but I get down to the 50's or even lower when racing. Right now Im in the upper 70's and may even crack into the 80's since I'm getting ready for a 5k at Payton Jordan!
Is this going to be your first big 5k? Best of luck there! Are you a hometown hero or anything when people see you running around your town? Yeah, first big one. I guess you can say I ran a big 5k at the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot in 2008, but that's still just a road race. This will definitely be my first bigtime track 5k.
Definitely not a hometown hero, but my family and friends always make me feel like a celebrity, haha.
Who is your favorite past and current teammate to train with? Favorite current teammate: Bolota Asmerom. An Olympian for Eritrea in the 5000m, the guy is a silky smooth runner, and extremely intelligent when it comes to training. Great to bounce ideas off of and do a hard workout together.
Favorite past teammate...hmm, Kevin Davis. We had some epic battles in practice back in the day. He was a 8:35 steeplechaser, and just missed dipping under 4minutes for the mile.
Do you prefer quality or quantity in your training? In other words, do you load up on weekly miles or do you run shorter, faster intervals in your training? As a middle distance runner (and especially a 1500m runner), we are unique in that we have to REALLY balance quality/quantity. I can't really choose one or the other, since I do BOTH. However, I think most coaches would consider me on the lower end of a typical MPW for milers.
Also as a middle distance runner, what type of weight/strength training do you do and how often? I do weight training about 2-3x a week, usually a mix of some free weights and Olympic Lifts. And I'll some sort of general body strength training almost every day.
What was your reaction the first time you broke 4:00 on the mile? It's actually a bit hard to describe. A combination of surprise, excitement, ecstasy. Pretty much a dream come true. And maybe a bit of badassery. If you care to watch the race, it's on video here.
That wasn't the video I was expecting. The REAL first time he broke 4 is Here. Hahaha, very true. Still my unofficial PR. Thinking about bringing it back this year!
Is that on open streets? Looks like great fun. Yeah, that was at about 2am on a Sunday night. Not blocked off or anything, just me trying to break 4minutes downhill and some buddies filming. Here's the backstory on it.
How has your training changed leading up to this summer compared to year's past(i.e more volume, tweaking workouts, different location)? No big changes, just try to stay consistent and do what worked in the past. Trying to change up too many things in an Olympic year is usually a recipe for disaster. That being said, I returned to a bit more olympic lifting, but not a huge amount.
Any idea where you're going to be opening up the season this year? Definitely opening up at Payton Jordan in the 5000m, but I may race the week before as well at Mt. SAC in the 1500m. I also already raced earlier this year in Australia, winning the Sydney Track Classic and getting 2nd in the Melbourne Track Classic.
In your opinion, is this going to be the toughest 1500 team to make in history for the US? Yes.
You said last year, you believe it will take 3:33 shape to make the team. Do you stand by that after seeing early season performances from some of the pros and college guys? Yes, maybe even 3:32. However, a lot of people do too much in an Olympic year, and we may see some injuries. In which case 3:33-34 is a bit more likely.
I can't help but remember how you scorched me in the last 100 meters of the 8 at an early meet last spring. How do you work on improving your kick? The 800m is less about speed and more about strength. I would smoke Usain Bolt in an 800m. Work on your aerobic base and VO2 max workouts. And good luck this season!
What do you feel would be the tipping distance in a Usain Bolt vs you race? Probably 700m or so. I think I would get him in in the 800 for sure, but the 600...I think he'd get me there.
That aside, I know there will be thousands of track fans out there, so I imagine it can get annoying to the athletes having so many of them ask for autographs, pictures, etc (especially for record holder guys like Lagat, Rupp, etc.)... I imagine that for most of the year, outside of big meets, most people don't recognize elite runners for who they are, so it's not like you're a celebrity and you live a normal life... But at meets, especially like the OTs, you become a celebrity among all the other track nuts for that short period of time....... So, do you get annoyed with all the attention or are you open to it? If I approached you next summer (of course when you're free, like the day after your race) would you be cool about it? Also, I know you train in the bay area.... I may be going to Berkeley for grad school in just over a year (It's actually one of my top choices, but whether I get in remains to be seen) and I'll be living out there for at least 5 years as I work towards my PhD. During that time, I'll be training to get my marathon time under 2:18 to qualify for the OT's and then if I make it, I'll be training for the Trials itself. I really don't know too much about the area, as I'm coming from the Southeast, but I'll be logging between 100-120 mpw for many months of the year, so here are some questions about the area....... Are there plenty of groups/runners out there to train with? - How's the running community as a whole? - (m)any specialty running stores? - Are there plenty of trails? If so, how close are they to UC Berkeley? - I'll be doing up to 22 mile long runs, with many miles at marathon pace, where would be the best place for something like that (preferably on asphalt/sidewalk)? - Is the Berkeley track open for track workouts, even if I'm not on the team? - Lastly, wanna' go for a run sometime around fall 2013? I'm never a celebrity, so for people to recognize me and shout my name and wish me luck and want my autograph is absolutely amazing, and I take tons of times to interact with them if I can. This past fall I went to the CA Cross Country State Meet, and I signed autographs for over 2 hours! There are tons of runners in the area, including my very own group The Bay Area Track Club. We are mostly a group of elite runners, but a group like the Strawberry Canyon Track Club would be more to your liking, and they meet fairly often. Tons of specialty running stores, but I especially recommend Transports. They have two locations, and are extremely informative and helpful. Many Cal athletes work there, and it is partially owned by 3:53 miler Richie Boulet! Down by the Berkeley and Emeryville Marina, there is a long bike path that goes by the water for miles. I've never run to the end of it, because I try to stay off of asphalt, but I imagine that would be right up your alley. Berkeley track is open at certain times of the day to the public. Whenever you see the Cal track team working out though, that usually means the track is closed. If you go before 12pm or after 5pm you should be fine though.
Last updated: 2012-03-28 02:08 UTC
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