Thursday, May 31, 2012

Lars Bender

Lars Bender is a German midfielder, playing for the Bundesliga team Bayer Leverkusen. He previously played for 1860 Munich, from 2006  to 2009.

He also plays for the German national team since 2011. He was selected to join the German Euro 2012 team. 

Lars has a twin brother, Sven, who plays for Dortmund.

Born: April 27, 1989 in Rosenheim, West Germany
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 68.5 kg

Career Highlights:
  • Part of the team who won 2008 Euro U-19 Championships
  • Won the Fritz-Walter trophy
  • Signed a 3-year contract with Leverkusen in 2009
  • Joined the senior German team in September 2011

Monday, May 28, 2012

Junior dos Santos

Junior dos Santos is a Brazilian mixed martial artist, fighting in the Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight division. He is the current UFC heavyweight champion, and is regarded as the number one heavyweight fighter in the world. He recently defeated Frank Mir at UFC 146.

His nickname is Cigano, gypsy in Portugese.

Antonio Silva, Junior dos Santos and Mario Sperry

Born: September 12, 1984 in Cacador, Brazil
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 108 kg
Weight Class: Heavyweight
Website:, Twitter

Career Highlights:
  • Defeated Cain Velasquez on November 12, 2011 to win the UFC heavyweight championship
  • Win-Loss record: 15-1
  • 11 knockouts/TKOs, 2 submissions, 2 decisions
  • His single loss was through submission, to Joaquim Ferreira

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Rob Kearney

Robert Kearney is an Irish rugby union player, currently playing as a fullback and wing for Leinster FC. He also competes for Ireland in international competitions.

Kearney also played for the University College Dublin's rugby team, helping the team win the McCorry Cup in 2005. 

Born: March 26, 1986 in Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 95 kg
Website: Twitter

Career Highlights:
  • Played Gaelic football in his youth
  • Played for Leinster FC since 2005, where he made his debut in Celtic League
  • ERC Player of the Year, 2012
  • represented Ireland in 2008 Six Nations Championship
  • member of the Ireland team that won the 2009 Six Nations, Triple Crown and Grand Slam

Friday, May 25, 2012

Thomas Finchum

Thomas Finchum is an American diver, specializing in 10-meter platform and 10-meter synchronized events. With his diving partner, David Boudia, Finchum won gold in the 2007 Pan American Games.

Born: December 1, 1989 in Beech Grove, Indiana
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 68 kg
Residence: Indianapolis, Indiana
Website: Twitter

Career Highlights:
  • Won silver (with Boudia) for 10-meter platform synchro at the 2009 World Championships
  • Won bronze (with Boudia) for 10-meter platform synchro at the 2007 World Championships in Melbourne
  • placed fifth at the 2008 Olympics 10-m synchro event
  • won gold (with Drew Livingstone) for 10-meter synchro at the 2011 US National Championships

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Thiago Pereira

Thiago Pereira is a Brazilian swimmer, competing mostly in individual medley events. He is currently Brazil's record holder for most medals won in the Pan American Games, a total of 12 in two outings.

He has qualified for the 2012 London Olympics. 

Born: January 26, 1986 in Volta Redonda, Brazil
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 77 kg.

Achievements/Career Highlights:

  • Competed in the 2004 Olympics, placing fifth in the 200-m individual medley
  • Competed in the 2008 Olympics, placing fourth in the 200-m individual medley
  • Won six gold medals during the 2007 Pan American Games, breaking Mark Spitz's record of 5 golds
  • Won his first medal (silver) at the 2003 Pan American Games 200-m IM event
  • Won gold at the 2004 FINA Short Course World Championships 200-m IM event 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Two in a Row

Rafael Nadal again defeated world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, 7-5, 6-3, for the second time in a row to win the 2012 Internazionali BNL d'Italia. The victory is Nadal's sixth title in Rome. He also avenged his loss to Djokovic in the final last year. The title in Foro Italico is also Nadal's 49th overall ATP titles, and his 35th on clay. He will also ascend to number 2 ranking, which he lost to Roger Federer last week.

Djokovic defeated Federer in the semifinals, while Nadal defeated fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in straight sets to reach his 70th final. Nadal now holds a record 21 Masters titles.

The total prize money is € 2,427,975. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Granit Xhaka

Granit Xhaka is a soccer player from Switzerland. Originally from Albania, he played as a midfielder for FC Basel in the Swiss Super League, from 2008 to 2012. He will join the Borussia Mönchengladbach squad of the Bundesliga in the 2012 season, following an 8.5 million euro transfer. 

Granit has a brother who is also a professional footballer, Taulant. Xhaka is nicknamed "the new (Bastian) Schweinsteiger. 

Born: September 27, 1992 
Height: 6'0" 
Weight: 165 lbs 

Career Highlights: 
  • played for the Basel first team in 2010, debuting in a UEFA Champions League qualifying match, scoring a goal to help his team win
  • played for the Swiss under-19 and under-21 teams 
  • debuted for the Swiss senior national team in June 2011, playing against Englad 
  • scored his first international goal in a match against Luxembourg, in November 2011

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Romain Barras

Romain Barras is a French decathlete. He represented France in 2004 and 2008 Olympics but did not win any medals.

Barras won the combined events in 2010 European Championships in Barcelona. 

Born: August 1, 1980 in Calais, France
Height: 1.93 m
Weight: 87 kg

Career Highlights:
  • Won first place in 2003 World Student Games
  • Won first place in 2005 Mediterranean Games
  • Personal best: 8298 points, set in 2007 TNT Fortuna Meeting

Friday, May 18, 2012

Adam Ashley-Cooper

Adam Ashley-Cooper is an Australian center/fullback for the New South Wales Waratahs. He previously played for the Brumbies, from 2005 to 2011. He is nicknamed "Mr. Fix It" for his versatility to play as a center, fullback and wing. 

He also plays for Australian in international rugby union competitions. As a member of the Australia Wallabies, he managed to score 5 tries in the 2011 Rugby World Cup, landing him in the Top 5 try-scorers in the tournament. 

Born: March 27, 1984 in Sydney, New South Wales 
Height: 5'11 1/2"
Weight: 98 kg
Website: Twitter

Career Highlights:
  • Member of the Australia national team since 2005
  • Played in 2007 and 2011 Rugby World Cups
  • Debuted in Super Rugby league in 2005, playing for Brumbies 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Team USA on Vogue

Anne Leibowitz photographed some members of the United States team for the 2012 London Olympics. for Vogue magazine, including Ryan Lochte, Jonathan Horton, the Bryan brothers, Ashton Eaton and Dwayne Wade.

Jonathan Horton


Andre Myhrer

Andre Myhrer is a Swede alpine ski racer, specializing in slalom and technical events. He represented Sweden in the Winter Olympics, in 2006 and 2010, winning a bronze medal in slalom during the latter.

Myhrer competed in five world championships,  winning four times in slalom, and managing 14 podium finishes. His last victory is in 2012, in Austria.

Born: January 11, 1983 in Bergsjö, Sweden
Height: 6' 21/2"
Weight: 95 kg 
Residence: Monaco
Achievements/Career Highlights:
  • Debuted in World Cup competition on January 2004, at age 21
  • Finished fourth in slalom in 2004 Winter Olympics
  • Won bronze in slalom in 2010 Winter Olympics
  • Finished 11th in 2012 season standings

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Randall Bal

Randall Bal is an American swimmer, specializing in backstroke. He competed in the World Championships, the Pan American Games and the Pan Pacific Championships, winning 5 golds, six silvers and 2 bronze medals. 

He set the world record for 50-m backstroke in 2008. Bal competed for Stanford University while in college. 

Born: November 14, 1980 in Sacramento, California 
Height: 6'4" 
Weight: 195 lbs 
Website: Facebook

Achievements/Career Highlights:
  • won silver in 100-m backstroke at the 2008 FINA Short Course World Championships
  • won gold in 100-m backstrok and 400-m relay at the 2007 Pan American Games

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bryce Harper

Bryce Aron Max Harper is an American baseball player, currently playing as an outfielder for the Washington Nationals of the Major League Baseball. 

Harper is the number 1 pick of the 2010 MLB Draft, and he debuted in the major league baseball on April 28, 2012. He signed a 7-year, $18.9 million contract with the Washington Nationals. 

Born: October 16, 1992 
Height: 6'3" 
Weight: 225 lbs 

Career Highlights: 
  • Golden Spikes Award, 2010 
  • SWAC Player of the Year, 2010 
  • Baseball America High School Player of the Year, 2009 
  • hit his first MLB home run on May 14, 2012 in a game against San Diego Padres

Monday, May 14, 2012

Dane Swan

Dane Swan is a midfielder for the Collingwood Magpies of the Australian Football League. He once won the AFL Players Association Most Valuable Player award. He is a member of the Magpies since 2003.

Swan also plays for Australia in the International Rules football.

Born: February 24, 1985 in Melbourne, Australia
Height: 185 cm
Weight: 92 kg

Career Highlights:
  • won Brownlow Medal, 2003
  • AFL Premiership Player, 2011
  • All Australian (AFL Team of the Year): 2009, 2010, 2011
  • Anzac Day Medal, 2012
  • Copeland Trophy: 2008, 2009, 2010

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Xabi Alonso

Xabi Alonso is a Spanish midfielder, currently playing for La Liga team Real Madrid. He previously played for Real Sociedad (1999-2004), Eibar (on loan, 2000-01), and Liverpool (2004-09) before he moved to his current team, where he got paid £30 million . He helped Liverpool win the Champions League crown in 2004. 

Alonso is also a Spanish international, having participated in various tournaments, notably Euro 2004 and 2008, as well as the 2006 and 2010 World Cups. Spain both won the Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup.

Born: November 25, 1981, in Tolosa, Spain
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 156 lbs
Website: Twitter

Achievements/Career Highlights:
  • La Liga Spanish Player of the Year, 2003
  • FIFA/FIFPro World IX, 2011
  • Gold Medal of the Royal Order of Sporting Merit, 2011
  • Club championships: UEFA Champions League, UEFA Supercup and FA Cup (Liverpool), Copa del Rey and La Liga (Real Madrid)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Tyler Clary

Tyler Clary is an American swimmer, specializing in backstroke, butterfly and medley events. He is the holder of the US record for 400-meter individual medley, breaking Michael Phelp's record. 

Clary competed for the University of Michigan for the NCAA 

Born: March 12, 1989 in Redlands, California 
Height: 6'1" 
Website: Twitter

Achievements/Career Highlights: 

  • won silver in 200-m backstroke at the 2007 Pan American Games 
  • won silver in 400-m individual medley in 2010 National Championships, finishing behind Ryan Lochte 
  • won bronze in 200-m backtroke in 2011 World Aquatics Championships
  • won silver in 400-m individual medley in 2011 World Aquatics Championships
  • 2009 NCAA Swimmer of the Year

Sebastian Stegmann

Sebastian Stegman is a winger for the English rugby union team Harlequin F.C. He is with the team since 2007.

Born: April 12, 1989 in Isleworth, London
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 91 kg

Career Highlights:

  • Scored his first try in March 22, 2009, against Sale Sharks

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Eamon Sullivan

Eamon Sullivan is an Australian swimmer. He set several world records in 50-meter freestyle, becoming the fastest swimmer in history at that time. 

Born: August 30, 1985 in Perth, Australia 
Height: 6'2" 
Weight: 170 lbs 
Website: Twitter

Achievements/Career Highlights: 

  • youngest male in the 2004 Australian Olympic team 
  • won gold at the 2007 WOrld Championships in 4x100m medley 
  • won bronze at the 2007 World Championships in 100m freestyle 
  • won silver at the 2008 Olympics 100-m freestyle 
  • won silver at the 2008 Olympics 4x100-m medley 
  • broke the 50-m freestyle record (set by Alexandr Popov) at the 2008 NSW Open Championships

At the 2009 Telstra Australian Swimming Championships: