Posts tagged "Michael Kerkhoff"

Life is beautiful

We were set on a mission to find a store full of Team USA gear. After getting sketchy directions to the store by someone that had just gone there and was wearing the apparel, we walked for nearly 30 minutes without a single sighting of the store.

We kept on walking, determined to find this place, until we came across a set of Olympic rings that we hadn’t seen before and no one had seen until August 5th. The Olympic rings were created out of paint cans and the rings looked as though paint was still spilling out of them.

The rings where actually part of a giant show put on by Mr. Brainwash, the artist.

As we walked around the giant converted office space, it was clear the artist had used the entire space as his canvas. Pop art was scattered all over the place. Pieces ranged from The Beatles theme to giant rubber tire sculptures.

Mr. Brainwash has had several big art shows in cities like Los Angeles, New York City and Miami. London is his first solo art show in Europe and what a perfect timing with the Olympic Games being here.

It was a wonderland with strange objects all around. We got a kick out of taking pictures with the pieces. My favorite was a giant boom box. Although it wasn’t functional, it was fun to pretend like you were turning up the music.

Though there was a wide range of mediums, there were two consistent themes that Mr. Brainwash expressed. “Follow your dreams” and  “Life is beautiful”— two perfect themes to play along with the Olympics.

Michael Kerkhoff  |  Sports Reporter

I’ve seen a lot of places, but London trumps them all

This is not my first time being out of the country. In fact, this is about the fifth country I have been to in the past year and a half.

But London is the best so far, and all due to the Olympic atmosphere.

I thought my three months living on the beach in Australia was the best vacation I would ever have, but the best part is that I am only 21, leaving so much time to see more. I’ve dived the Great Barrier Reef, island-hopped on jet skis in Fiji, driven across the countryside in New Zealand and spear fished in the Bahamas, but so far, London is my favorite.

This is actually my second time being in London. The first time, I came on a whim in the middle of my third semester at Ball State. I traveled here with my two best friends and it was a blast, but much of that time was spent pub-crawling and not actually seeing the sites and taking in the culture.

Seeing that the Olympic Games are being held here, I can’t think of a better time to come back. I’ve seen so much that I missed the first time I was here, such as Buckingham Palace and Tower Bridge.

Another thing that I have found entertaining was randomly finding the very first pub I went to when I was here before with my friends. I was walking down the street and started to recognize the area. Then three minutes later, I ran straight into the George. I immediately took a picture and shared it with my friends back at home.

I have traveled many places, but I have never been back to them. There is something different about London, though. It’s a city that, in the end, I can’t seem to get away from.

Michael Kerkhoff  |  Sports Reporter

25 minutes for 5 quid—money well spent

After a confusing and frustrating run-around by the Olympic staff, I was finally about to see a field-hockey game in one of the arenas.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to do today when I woke up. I knew a couple of the other reporters wanted to go to the Olympic Park to check out the media press center and wander around to find stories. I couldn’t wait to walk around though, so I broke off from the group to find my own adventure.

This is how I ended up at the recycle ticket sales booth. I saw a line and someone saying that the second session of field hockey was going to be easy to get into for people who didn’t have tickets. For me it was the only way I was going to get tickets, since I was not a U.K. citizen.

For this opportunity I paid a hefty price. It was an hour-and-a-half wait in the line to get to the end. By the time I paid my 5 quid, it was already 4:45 p.m. and I had only eaten a muffin all day. But I had my ticket.

I then sprinted to Riverbank Arena to catch the end of the match. Luckily I got there for the last 25 minutes of it. It was a good amount of time for the money I spent, the teams that were in the match (Germany and South Africa) and just the atmosphere of an arena in Olympic Park.

The 25 minutes I saw was enough to experience what everyone else probably was feeling that whole time. Even though Germany was already winning, there were close shots that looked promising for South Africa to come back, and even shots where Germany could have further divided the final score. People were still on the edge of their seats.

Putting aside the frustration and the long wait, I participated in a crowd wave that made it around the arena twice. It was an awesome day.

Michael Kerkhoff  |  Sports Reporter

Cyclist hopes to follow in mom’s footsteps and medal at Games

By Michael Kerkhoff  |  BSU at the Games

Taylor Phinney’s life revolves around cycling. As a member of Team USA, he is following in the footsteps of his parents. Both were Olympic cyclists, with his mom winning a medal.

Phinney, from Boulder, Colo., nearly matched his mom on Saturday in the road race with a fourth-place finish, but his better event—the time trials—starts tomorrow.

“Some would call fourth place the worst (place) to arrive at the Olympics, but I won’t focus on that,” Phinney said after the road race Saturday.

Today, Phinney will take off by himself on the 44 km time trials event. Phinney likes his chances.

“The TT course is a little bit bumpy, as in the roads are bumpy, but that is fine,” he said. “I myself am a fan of cobbles, and they aren’t quite as bumpy as cobbles.”

Phinney was proud of his finish in the road race and thankful for the team helping him get there. At the Beijing Olympics he finished seventh in the track individual pursuit. But with switching disciplines from track to road, he has multiple chances to medal. And with a little help from the injured Fabian Cancellara, defending time trial gold medalist, Phinney’s chances are looking up.

Phinney is hoping to follow fellow American Levi Leipheimer, who took the bronze medal in Beijing. With the crowd cheering, will Phinney power through?

“The crowds were so loud,” Phinney said. “It kind of hit me that this is the Olympics and I’m going for a medal right now.”

Michael Kerkhoff is a senior sport administration major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Michael and the BSU team at @bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.