Sunday, April 29, 2012

Richard Kahui

Richard Kahui is a New Zealand rugby union player. He is currently a member of New Zealand's All Blacks, and of the Chiefs team of the Super 14 Rugby league. He plays as a center and in the wing. 

Born: June 9, 1985 in Tokoroa, New Zealand 
Height: 6'3" 
Weight: 102 kg 

Career Highlights: 
  • scored two tries in the 2011 Rugby World Cup twice, against Tonga and against Japan
  • top scorer in the 2006 Air New Zealand Cup 
  • awarded as Air New Zealand Cup Best player in 2006

Friday, April 27, 2012

Bastian Schweinsteiger

Bastian Schweinsteiger is a German soccer player, currently a midfielder for Bundesliga's Bayern Munich. He signed with his current team as a youth player in 1998 and has progressed to the senior club in 2002, debuting against RC Lens in a UEFA Champions League match. He is a vice-captain to the team since 2011. 

He is also instrumental to Bayern Munich's win over Real Madrid in the semifinals of the 2012 UEFA Champions League, slotting in the winning penalty goal. 

Schweinsteiger is also a fixture to the German national team, first playing against Hungary in a friendly in 2004. He then played in Euro 2004 and 2008 and in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups. He is also active in Germany's campaign to qualify in Euro 2012. 

Born: August 1, 1984 in Kolbemoor, West Germany 
Height: 6'0" 
Weight: 79 kg 

Career Highlights: 
  • played 41 matches for the German team by age 22, a record at that time (record broken by Lukas Podolski) 
  • FIFA World Cup All Star Team, 2010 
  • Won Bundesliga 5 times with Bayern Munich

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Jack Laugher

Jack Laugher is an English diver. He became Great Britain's first junior world champion by winning the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard events in Tucson, Arizona. He started competing in the senior events in 2011, first in Sheffield and then in the World Championships in Shanghai. 

Born: January 39, 1995 
Height: 5'7" 
Weight: 50 kg 

Career Highlights: 
  • Won 1-meter and 3-meter springboard at 2010 European Junior Championships 
  • won 3-meter springboard event in 2011 British Championships

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Michael Owen

Michael Owen is professional soccer player, playing as a striker for Manchester United. He previously played for Liverpool (1996-2004), Real Madrid (2004-50), and Newcastle United (2005-09). Owen was teammates with David Beckham in Real Madrid, while he inherited the #7 shirt of Cristiano Ronaldo when he moved to Manchester.

For leading Liverpool to a very successful 2000-01 season (by which it won the League Cup, FA Cup and the UEFA Cup), Owen was awarded the Ballon d'Or, in 2001. He is the first English player in 20 years to win the award.

He also plays for England in international competitions, having seen action in Euro 2000 and 2004, and in 2002 and 2006 World Cups. 

Born: December 14, 1979 in Chester, Cheshire, England 
Height: 5'8" 
Weight: 70 kg 

Achievements/Career Highlights: 
  • scored 18 goals in 41 games during his stint at Real Madrid 
  • signed a 4-year contract with Newcastle for £16.8 million, a club-record at that time 
  • signed with Manchester United for £100,000 a week, in 2009 
  • PFA Young Player of the Year, 1997-98 
  • Ballon d'Or, 2001 
  • World Soccer Player of the year, 2001 
  • Carling Player of the Year, 1997-98

Monday, April 23, 2012

King of Monte Carlo

Rafael Nadal won his eighth consecutive title in Monte Carlo Rolex Masters 2012, drubbing nemesis Novak Djokovic in straight sets 6-1, 6-3. Nadal also broke his Djokovic jinx, where he lost 7 consecutive finals against the Serbian. 

Nadal defeated Giles Simon of France in the semi-finals, Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarters,  Mikhail Kukuskin in the 3rd round and Jarko Nieminem in the 2nd round on his way to the finals. Monte Carlo gave Nadal his 47th ATP singles title.

The Bryan brothers also won in the Monte Carlo doubles events, beating the team of Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor 6-2, 6-3. The win gave the twins their 78th doubles title. 

Robin Soderling

Robin Soderling is a Swede professional tennis player. Soderling, who turned pro in 2001, is currently No. 29 in the world. He reached his highest ranking in November 2010, at No. 4. He has 10 career ATP singles titles and 1 doubles titles to date. 

He beat Rafael Nadal in the 4th round in 2009 French Open Soderling, then won two more matches to reach the finals of the claycourt event. He is the first Swede since Magnus Norman in 2000 to reach the final of a grand slam. He lost it to Roger Federer in 3 sets. He reached the finals of the French Open again in 2010 but lost to Nadal in the championship. 

He missed most of 2011 and the start of the 2012 season due to mononucleosis. 

Born: August 14, 1984 in Tibro, Sweden 
Height: 6'4" 
Weight: 190 lbs 

Achievements/Career Highlights: 
  • career prize money: $10.42 million (as of April 2012) 
  • career win-loss record: 310-170 (as of April 2012) 
  • reached 2 finals in Roland Garros, in 2009 and 2010
  • won the 2010 BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, the first Swede to win a Masters 1000 event since Tomas Enqvist in 2000

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Filippo Magnini

Filippo Magnini, nickanamed "Superpippo" by his fans, is an Italian swimmer. He  specializes in freestyle events, and he twice became world champion in 100-meter freestyle.

Born: February 2, 1982 in Pesaro, Italy
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 170 lbs

Achievements/Career Highlights:
  • Won silver in 100-m freestyle in 2003 European Swimming Championships in Dublin
  • Won gold in 100-m freestyle, 4x100-m relay and 4x200-m relay in 2004 European Swimming Championships in Madrid
  • won bronze in 4x100-m freestyle relay in 2004 Athens Olympics
  • won gold in 100-m freestyle in 2005 & 2006 European Aquatics Championships
  • won gold in 100-m freestyle in 2005 & 2006 World Aquatics Championships

Friday, April 20, 2012

Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney is a British soccer player. He is currently a striker for the English Premier League team Manchester United. He previously played for Everton, from 2002-04, before transferring to Manchester. The team won two Champions League trophies (2008 and 2009) since Rooney joined.

Rooney is also a England international, debuting in senior competition at age 18 in the Euro 2004. By scoring in that competition he became England's youngest scorer. 

He also represented England in 2006 and 2010 World Cups.  Rooney is regarded as one of his country's best players.

Born: October 24, 1985 in Croxteth, Liverpool
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 175 lbs
Website: Twitter 

Achievements/Career Highlights:
  • England Player of the Year, 2008 and 2009
  • Third highest paid footballer, after Messi and Ronaldo. He earns 20 million euros a year
  • EUFA Euro 2004 Team of the Tournament
  • Golden Boot Landmark Award, 2010
  • FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball, 2008
  • Premier League Player of the Month (multiple)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Oguchi Onyewu

Oguchi Onyewu is an American soccer player. He plays as a defender for Sporting CP in Portugal's Primeira Liga. He played for various European club since signing up for Metz in 2002: La Louviere (2003), Standard Liege (2004-09), Newcastle (on loan, 2007), Milan (2009-11) He also plays for the United States in international competition. 

Onyewu, who is a Belgium citizen, was born of Nigerian immigrants who moved to the United States.

Born: May 13, 1982 in Washington D.C. 
Height: 6'4" 
Weight: 95 kg 
Website: Twitter  

Achievements/Career Highlights: 
  • signed up for Metz in France's Ligue 2 in 2002 
  • first played for the senior US national soccer team in 2005 and represented the country in 2006 World Cup 
  • voted US Soccer Athlete of the Year, 2006

Gymnastics - Qualifications for London 2012

Gymnasts trying out to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics:

Kristian Thomas (GBR)

 Arthur Zanetti (BRA)

Daniel Purvis (GBR)  

Danny Pinheiro-Rodrigues (FRA)

Matteo Morando (ITA)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bachar Houli

Bachar Houli is a midfielder and defender in Australian Football League, playing for Richmond Tigers. Houli, who has Lebanese parents, is a Muslim. 

Houli was drafted in 2006 and started playing for Essendon Bombers in 2007. He transfered to Tigers in 2011, after playing 26 games for Essendon. 

Born: May 12, 1988 in Australia 
Height: 180 cm 
Weight: 84 kg 

Achievements/Career Highlights: 
  • nominated for AFL Rising Star Award in 2008 
  • career goals: 51 (as of April 2012)

Epke Zonderland

Epke Jan Zonderland is a Dutch gymnast. He competed for Netherlands in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Recently he won gold in 2011 European Championships in Berlin, in horizontal bar event. 

Update: He also won gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics, in high bar event.

Born: April 16, 1986 in Lemmer, Netherlands 
Height: 5'8" 
Weight: 152 lbs 

Achievements/Career Highlights: 
  • together with Jeffrey Wammes, was first Dutch to qualify at the all-around final of World Championships, in 2005 
  • won silver medal at the DUtch national championships for horizontal bar competition 
  • won gold (horizontal bar), 2006 & 2007 WOrld Cup 
  • won gold (horizontal bar), 2011 European Championships 
  • won silver (horizontal bar), 2010 & 2009 World Championships 
  • won silver (parallel bar), 2011 European Championships
  • Dutch Sportsman of the Year, 2009

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Billy Slater

Billy Slater is an Australian rugby league player, currently playing as a fullback for the Melbourne Storms. Nicknamed "Billy the Kid," Slater was with the Storms since 2003. He has won many accolades during his stint with the team.

Slater also plays for Australia in international competitions. He was named Player of the Tournament in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup. 

Born: June 18, 1983 in Nambour, Queensland 
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 89 kg
Website: Facebook

Career Highlights:
  • Highest fullback tries scorer in NRL, with 132 tries
  • Melbourne Storm Player of the Year, 2008 & 2009
  • Golden Boot Award, 2008
  • Dally M Fullback of the Year, 2008 & 2011

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Brady Quinn

Brady Quinn is a quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League. Drafted during the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns, Quinn signed a 5-year contract with the team for $20 million. He was traded to the Denver Broncos in 2010, but was second in the depth chart so he did not play during the entire 2010 season. He was overshadowed again in 2011 season when Tim Tebow joined the team. 

He signed with his current team as quarterback on March 17, 2012. Quinn played for Notre Dame during his college days.

Born: October 27, 1984 in Columbus, Ohio
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 235 lbs
Website: Twitter,

Achievements/Career Highlights:
  • MSNBC Most Valuable Player, 2006
  • Maxwell Award, 2006
  • Sammy Baugh Trophy, 2006 as top passer
  • named best quarterback in 2006

(video: QB Brady Quinn talks with Josh Looney shortly after signing with the Kansas City Chiefs as an unrestricted free agent in 2012.)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Darren Jolly

Darren Jolly is an Australian Football League (Aussie Rules) player. Currently playing as a ruckman  for Collingwood Magpies, Jolly also played for Melbourne Demons and the Sydney Swans of the AFL. He started his career playing for the North Ballarat FC of the Victoria Football League.

Born: November 6, 1981 
Height: 6'6"
Weight: 108 kg

Career Highlights:
  • most hitouts in a game by current AFL player (53, in June 2009)
  • Collingwood's number 1 ruckman
  • named in the 40-man Australian Team squad in 2010
  • career goals: 109 in 211 games (as of April 2012)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Eleftherios Petrounias

Eleftherios Petrounias is a Greek gymnast. He recently won bronze medal at the 2012 Tournament of Masters in Cottbus, Germany.

Born: November 11, 1990 in Athens, Greece
Weight: Website: Facebook, Google+

Career Highlights:
  • won bronze in still rings at 2012 Tournament of Masters in Cottbus, Germany
  • won bronze in still rings at 2011 European Championships in Berlin, Germany
  • won bronze in still ring at 2010 Gymnastics World Cup in Ghent, Belgium

David Pocock Training

Australian rugby union player training for the new season 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Alastair Cook

Alastair Nathan Cook is a British cricketeer. He achieved a century during his 2006 debut for England, at age 21. He then became the youngest British cricket player to reach 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000 and 6000 test runs. 

Cook, a left-hand batsman, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2011. 

Born: December 25, 1984 in Glouchester, England
Height: 6'2"

Career Highlights:
  • Score seven test centuries by age 23
  • the fourth Englishman to score a double test century in Australia
  • led his team to win the 2009 Ashes Series, playing as test captain to help retain the 2010-11 Ashes series
  • youngest Englishman to reach 5000 runs 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck is a quarterback for the University of Stanford. He led his school to a 12-1 record in the 2010 season, earning him several awards. Projected to be the No. 1 pick for 2011 NFL Draft, Luck decided to play for Stanford for one more year and finish his engineering degree. 

He was chosen as Offensive Player of the Year for Pac-10/12 twice, in 2010 and 2011. He was awarded the Maxwell Award as Player of the Year in 2011, and was runner-up for Heisman Trophy two years in the running.

Born: September 12, 1989 in Washington, DC
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 106 kg

Achievements/Career Highlights:
  • Walter Camp Player of the Year, 2011
  • Maxwell Award as Player of the Year, 2011
  • MVP, Orange Bowl 2011