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Zak Kaczmarek/Getty
Zak Kaczmarek/Getty

Olympic Skateboarding in 2020 Raises Concerns Over Drug Testing

Zak Kaczmarek/Getty
Zak Kaczmarek/Getty

With all of the problems facing this year’s Olympics in Rio, it may feel premature to start worrying about the summer games in 2020. But the introduction of skateboarding to the Tokyo Olympics has at least one veteran of the sport concerned. As ABC News reports, Australian skateboarding legend Tas Pappas believes that testing for marijuana may keep some top athletes from competing for the gold.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently approved skateboarding, along with surfing, sports climbing, karate, baseball, and softball for the 2020 Olympic games. Skateboarding has been a staple of the X Games since 1995, but the Olympics, which treats drug usage much more seriously, may attract a different type of competitor. At least that’s what Tas Pappas anticipates.

The championship skater told ABC News, "I'm wondering how it's going to work as far as the drug testing is concerned, because some guys skate really well on weed and if they have to stop smoking for one competition [the Olympics] it might really affect their performance."

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has relaxed their attitude towards marijuana since the last Olympic games. Before 2013, their threshold for the drug was 150 nanograms per milliliter, which is enough to catch some casual users weeks after the chemical enters their system. The standard has been raised to 10 times that in order to zero-in on athletes who take the drug that day. But for regular cannabis users, a positive test could still mean disqualification.

The perhaps tenuous connection between skateboarding and marijuana isn’t the only issue Pappas raised. He also pointed out that the same brand of national pride that drives Olympic teams isn’t felt as strongly in skating communities. "When you meet a bunch of skaters you don't feel like it's us versus them, it's just a bunch of guys getting together and want to have a skate,” he said to ABC News. We’ll have to wait until 2020 to see if an Olympic debut is enough to bring the counter-culture sport into the mainstream.

[h/t ABC News]

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How to Tie Your Shoes With One Hand, According to a Paralympian
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Megan Absten lost her left arm in an ATV accident when she was 14, but the injury hasn't stopped her from doing extraordinary things like competing for the U.S. track and field team in the Paralympics. Nor has it stopped her from completing everyday tasks that most people need two hands for—like tying her shoes. After the shoe-tying methods she learned in physical therapy didn't cut it for her, she had to come up with her own one-handed trick. She shares her process in a new video spotted by Lifehacker.

First things first: Lay your laces on either side of your shoe. Next, use your hand to cross them and tuck one end through to make the beginning of your knot. Pin the end of one lace beneath the bottom of your foot to hold it tight, then pull the second lace up with your hand.

Now, you're ready to make your bunny ears. Create a loop with the free lace and pinch it between your thumb and index finger. Then, use your middle finger to grab the lace that you’ve been holding under your shoe. Circle this string around the loop, then push it through the opening to create your second bunny ear. Tighten the new knot by sticking your index finger and thumb in each loop and spreading them wide.

Watch Absten explain the process for herself in the video below. If you're feeling more advanced, she also demonstrates a second technique for you to try.

Once you've mastered those methods, try out these shoe hacks for happier feet.

[h/t Lifehacker]

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2018 Winter Olympics By the Numbers: Which Country Was the Big Winner in Pyeongchang?
JONATHAN NACKSTRAND, AFP/Getty Images
JONATHAN NACKSTRAND, AFP/Getty Images

The closing ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics was held on Sunday, February 25, concluding more than two weeks of history-making figure-skating jumps and listening to curlers yell at each other. But if you're someone who tunes in to the Olympics only to see your country win, you may have been left feeling confused. There was no official winner announced at the end of the event, so how are you supposed to know which nation dominated the Winter Games? Judging solely by medal count, these are the countries that skied, skated, and slid their way to the top in Pyeongchang.

According to Bloomberg, Norway came out of the games as the most decorated country. The Scandinavian nation of 5.3 million took home 11 bronze, 14 silver, and 14 gold medals, bringing the total to 39. That makes Norway the biggest single nation winner at any Winter Olympics, breaking the prior record of 37, which was set by the U.S. at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Norway was represented by about half the number of athletes competing on Team USA, but it was bolstered by a few advantages—like long winters (making training for cross-country sports easier), universal healthcare, and a culture that encourages young athletes to play sports for the sake of play rather than for the sake of winning.

Germany tied Norway for the most golds with 14, but earned 10 silver and seven bronze medals, landing them in second place with 31. Canada ranked third with 29 medals overall, 11 of which were gold, and the United States came in fourth with a tally of 23 medals, including nine golds. The Netherlands, Sweden, South Korea, Switzerland, France, and Austria round out the top 10.

Teams used to spending a lot of time on the podium may strive for that top slot, but placing in any event is impressive. The majority of teams that competed went home without any medals to show for their efforts. Fortunately, they have until 2022 to prepare for the next Winter Olympics in Beijing.

[h/t Bloomberg]

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