Samsung Unveils Team USA VR Experience Featuring David Boudia

USA Today

Samsung is offering fans of The Olympics an up-close look at how members of Team USA are training for next year’s Games.

The company is teaming up with the United States Olympic Committee for the Road to Rio tour starting July 4 in Philadelphia, featuring a series of experiences leveraging the Gear VR virtual reality headset. Samsung is an associate sponsor of Team USA.

The 2015 USOC Road to Rio Tour Virtual Reality Experience will also be available on Samsung Milk VR — a hub for videos created for virtual reality. The experience includes four videos captured using camera rigs capable of capturing 360-degree footage that offer a closer look at how athletes are preparing for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Among the athletes featured: beach volleyball team members Lauren Fendrick & Brook Sweat; pole vaulter Mary Saxer; gymnast John Orozco and gold-medal winning diverDavid Boudia.

“Being in a smaller sport like diving, it’s not seen very often,” said Boudia during an interview. “The average joe on the street doesn’t know what I do. Samsung was able to capture that perfectly.”

Boudia says Samsung used a 360-degree camera rig to capture him diving from a 10-meter platform, which he says is equivalent to jumping from a three-story building. “They would put (the rig) over me, they dropped it along side of me, they got us under water. They got every single possible (angle).”

The videos show Boudia as he leaps off the platform and plunges into the water. Users will be able to see this from above and well as from under water. In another video featuring Orozco, the video shows the gymnast as he practices on the parallel bars and rings.

“The whole idea was making sure this action could unfold all around you,” said Matt Apfel, vice president of strategy and creative content at Samsung Media Solutions Center America. “You would have to turn your head and turn your body to really experience what these different sports are.”

Tatyana McFadden Breaks World Record At Cedartown 5k

Northwest Georgia News

The annual lead-up to the Peachtree Road Race for wheelchair athletes saw one world record broken and another just seconds away from a new time as racers crossed the finish line in Cedartown on Tuesday night.

Women’s race winner Tatyana McFadden set a new 5K record of 11:11.57, beating the 11:19 time previously set at this race in 2014, which McFadden won as well.

She said following the race Tuesday the new milestone was an accomplishment, but her eye remains fixed ahead to the Peachtree Road race.

“I have so much fun at this race,” she said. “It’s the perfect course, lots of hills so there’s ups and downs.”


Angela Ruggiero inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame

NBC Sports

Four-time U.S. Olympic medalist Angela Ruggiero will be the fourth female player inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Ruggiero is part of the 2015 class (to be inducted Nov. 9) with Olympic medalists Nicklas Lidstrom (Sweden), Sergei Fedorov (Russia), Chris Pronger (Canada) and Phil Housley (U.S.).

Women’s players were first inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2010, beginning with Cammi Granato, who captained the first U.S. Olympic women’s hockey team to gold at Nagano 1998, and Canadian trailblazer Angela James.

Another Canadian, two-time Olympic medalist Geraldine Heaney, was inducted in 2013.

Ruggiero, now an International Olympic Committee member, was the only member of the 1998 U.S. Olympic women’s hockey team born in the 1980s. The defenseman also won medals in 2002 (silver), 2006 (bronze) and 2010 (silver) before retiring.

She’s one of five American hockey players to compete in four Olympics, joined by Jenny PotterJulie Chu and Chris Chelios and Keith Tkachuk.

Ruggiero was also a player in EA Sports’ NHL ’13 video game.


Ayden Uhlir Finishes Well At Hagen CDIOY

The United States Young Riders competing at CDIOY Hagen, Germany completed solid tests on their final day with both riders placing in the top ten. Ayden Uhlir and her own Sjapoer competed in the CDIOY Individual Final Freestyle, earning a score of 70.250% and a tie for seventh place amidst stiff competition from some of the best young dressage riders in Europe. Catherine Chamberlain and Kimberly Pribble’s Avesto Van Weltevreden performed well in the Small Final Freestyle, scoring a 66.042% and sixth place.

Both of these promising young athletes are the benefactors of the USEF Dressage Young Rider European Tour, enabling them to gain invaluable knowledge and experience through competition abroad. Under the tutelage of their personal coaches and USEF Youth Coach George Williams, Uhlir and Chamberlain performed consistently solid tests against their European peers.

“The competition here at Hagen was very competitor friendly and a great overall experience for our young athletes,” said Williams. “With ten very competitive teams taking part, it was great exposure to European competition. I was really happy with both girls, they each had top 10 placings, which was our goal. Ayden and Catherine were first and foremost, excellent representatives for the U.S. I am extremely proud of their results, they continued to improve and feel more comfortable in the arena.”

The USEF Youth Dressage Program is part of the overall pipeline of the USEF Dressage program, aiming to give valuable international competition exposure to up-and-coming youth athletes.