Friday, August 22, 2008

Olympian Jill Kintner wins bronze medal in BMX in Beijing

I am thrilled that Olympian athlete Jill Kintner, whom I met this past spring, won a bronze medal in BMX bike racing this week in Beijing. Jill was the only women selected from the U.S. to compete in BMX in China. She captured third place with an amazing performance. I feel fortunate that I had the opportunity to take a mountain bike clinic with her at Sea Otter Classic 2008.

For more about Jill, visit her Team GT website.

Excerpt from GT Bicycles press release:
Seattle's Jill Kintner earned the well-deserved bronze medal honors with her third place finish. After blazing her way through three rounds of competition, Jill had to battle seven of the world's top riders, including Anne-Caroline Chausson and Laetitia le Courguille of France to take home a medal. Jill also rode a GT Power Series Ultra Box with custom Team USA graphics. In a particularly hard-fought race punctuated by three different crashes, including one that took out powerful British rider Shanaze Reade, Jill maintained her composure, avoided the wreckage, and pedaled through it to the bronze.

"It was like the seas had parted and there it is - go!" said Kintner.

Mike Day (who won a silver medal in the men's BMX), Donny Robinson, who won bronze and Jill's places on the podium are especially noteworthy since this was the first time BMX Race has been included as an Olympic sport.

2008 U.S. Olympic Games
Beijing, China
Aug. 8-24

Men's BMX results
1. Maris Strombergs (LAT)
2. Mike Day (Santa Clarita, Calif.)
3. Donny Robinson (Napa, Calif.)

Women's BMX results
1. Ann-Caroline Chausson (FRA)
2. Laetitia Le Corguille (FRA)
3. Jill Kintner (Seattle, Wash.)

Monday, August 18, 2008

In Sao Paulo, the helicopter is a preferred means of travel for those who can afford it

My friend Andrew Hecht, pictured above, forwarded me an interesting article about Sao Paulo, Brazil, the site of my upcoming Adventure Travel Trade Association World Summit, Sept 3-7.

Published by The Guardian, Tom Phillips' story provides an interesting glimpse into increasing Brazilian affluence and the city's growing pains.


* According to Brazil's National Aviation Agency the number of helicopters in Sao Paulo state jumped from 374 to 469 between 1999 and 2008, making it the helicopter capital of the world ahead of both New York and Tokyo.

* The helicopter boom has transformed Sao Paulo into a real-life, South American episode of The Jetsons, with a constant flow of helicopters jittering through the city's skies, tiny spots ducking and diving as they make their way from helipad to helipad.

* Traffic jams often stretch to more than 130 miles in greater Sao Paulo, a sprawling megalopolis accommodating around 20 million people and 6 million cars. Last year more cars were sold here than ever before with nearly 1,000 new vehicles hitting the roads each day.

6 million -Cars in Sao Paulo

70,000 - Minimum number of helicopter flights within central Sao Paulo each year

11,000 - Annual flights and landings at London's main heliport, in Battersea

820 - Helicopter pilots work in Sao Paulo; each can earn $100,000 a year

420 - Helipads in Sao Paulo - 75% of Brazil's total and 50% more than the whole UK