The Correlation Between Professional Athletes and Those from AHS

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The Correlation Between Professional Athletes and Those from AHS

Kylie Ha, Staff Writer

We have all seen a couple of people in numerous sports who are inspired by something a professional athlete says or does — whether it be a signature dance to a touchdown, the last final sprint, or the idea of team loyalties. Especially in AHS, where a plethora of sports can be found, ranging from golf to water polo, it is easy to be influenced through the mannerisms, methods of dressing, involvement in team communication, and more from a famous competitor. What is it that the players in AHS look up to, and why?

Olympians and world-class athletes know what they are worth. That is why they trademark their names, catchphrases, and logos — anything that has the possibility of turning into money-making venues, such as Michael Jordan’s shoe brand. Sprinter Usain Bolt, trademarked his iconic “lightning bolt” stance he is so well known for. It’s not just Olympians though, plenty of pro-athletes, or those seeking to go big take note of these ideas. 

Sophomore Aaron Chang stated, “I like to carbo-load a couple nights before my race by eating things like pasta, bread, rice, and more. It gives me energy for the race, which is a tip I got from elite runners from magazines.” Carbo-loading is short for carbohydrate-loading, a strategy used by endurance athletes, typically those in cross country, to maximize the body’s storage of glycogen in the muscles and liver. By doing this the night before, it enables athletes to work out longer and serves as extra fuel for the body to burn up. 

Similar to Aaron, junior Merrick Hua takes food tips from competitors before he used to race. Although he’s not a runner anymore, he drinks “two bags of Gatorade powder the night before the race” because it helps to keep his body hydrated and ready for the race. Eliud Kipchoge, the famous Kenyan long-distance runner known for “Breaking Two” in the documentary by Nike, does something similar.

On the other hand, sophomore Grace Lee uses a different note to improve her athletic performance. Rather than focusing on elite athletes, Grace chooses to focus her attention on previous high school cross country runners and the notes she has taken after watching them run. 

“I look at the statistics of other runners that are going to be in my race to see how fast they can run.” Former high school athletes who are known to be in cross country or track have channels where they explain their times, react to other runners, and more, which includes people like Katelyn Tuohy and Emma Abrahamson.

Athletic brands like Nike, Adidas, Fila, and Sketchers all have certain athletes that they sponsor, essentially, asking them to be the face of the company. Sponsoring various famous athletes allows these athletic brands to attach the skills of the athlete they are sponsoring onto the value of their products, inspiring fans of that athlete to buy that brand’s products. Meb Keflezighi, a former Eritrean-born American long-distance runner, was originally sponsored by Nike and switched over to Sketchers. His collaboration between his shoes gained followers, and his memoir about running, thinking, and acting like a champion runner was bought by millions. Many of the athletic companies that we commonly associate with sell a quantity of things, like shirts, shoes, pants, limited edition sweaters, and more. Sponsorships allow the competitor to gain profit and familiarity with the people, while these brands are able to set new trends, records, and more with one another. 

Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback, is exceptionally well known in the sports world for his famous bicep kiss. After scoring each touchdown, he raises his right arm to kiss his biceps, which is something we see all throughout our school and at games with players. Similar to Kaepernick, former NBA center Dikembe Mutombo is known for raising and wagging his pointer finger as in a “no, not in my house” after blocking a shot. Tiger Woods, golf superstar, gained attention to his move by punching the air with a swift punch after sinking a hole. 

Although the athletes in our school may have their own pre-game rituals, traditions, and hand-shakes with one another, it is not hard to spot someone doing something that an elite competitor has done, it is just a matter of who notices.

Photo courtesy of HUFFPOST.COM