Saturday, June 21, 2008

New Blog Posts at

New posts about the Whitewater World Cup in Prague at:

Monday, June 9, 2008

Looking Good in Beijing from this Platform

The countdown to the Olympic Games in Beijing reads "60 Days" today and with a new role in the Olympic Games as the Canoe/Kayak color analyst for NBC, I couldn't be more excited. Fellow kayakers, friends, and family have been picking up the pace on questions like, "When will kayaking air on televison?" or "What are the U.S. prospects for a medal?"

The "new and different" elements to this Olympic Games are far-reaching and compelling. At the centerpoint, we have China, a huge and diversified host-country enthusiastically pulling together to put on an event of extreme national pride. No matter where your positions with China lie, if you tune into the Olympic Games this summer, your feelings and ideas about China are likely to be different than they are now.

And tuning into the Games will be a new and different experience too. With 1,400 hours of coverage on the various NBC networks, there will be plenty of action to catch at any time of day but the real progress driving the coverage of the Games is on the internet. At, you'll be producing your own Olympic broadcast with live feeds of events and various options for watching them, customized highlight reels, and re-broadcasts of anything and everything that appeared on the network broadcast meaning if you don't want to watch kayaking at 2:30 in the morning, don't worry - wake up and watch us in the morning.

With 2,200 hours of internet coverage at, updates and alerts on your cell phone on top of the traditional broadcast channels, these Olympic Games will be shared in a more personal way than ever before and I'm honored to help tell the stories behind the sport of Canoe/Kayak and its athletes.

Much more coming about the Games here at the "Gold Medal Living" blog and the Canoe/Kayak page at but with 60 days to go, it seemed like a nice time to step back and enjoy the Olympic view, particularly from this platform.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Turning to Quick Thinking

Tune into any of the 24 hour news networks and given the state the state of the economy, you’d think people are not going anywhere this summer, not doing anything fun, or not learning something new. Here at the Ocoee River in Tennessee, the recent surge of visitors on and off the water suggests an evolving trend – people are in fact prioritizing the idea of getting out of town and putting themselves in different surroundings. In other words, they’re seeking live.

The compelling difference right now compared to past years is the advanced planning that goes into such travel – virtually none at all. Getting away is becoming “last-minute” in nature and people are simply showing up at the front door at our raft company and kayak school unannounced ready for adventure. Jackson Kayaks Founder and President, Eric Jackson, suggested as much in a recent interview saying, “Even in these times, Americans don’t want to compromise on lifestyle.”

The upside of a down economy is that people re-adjust and look for improved solutions. They change past patterns that haven’t produced good results. They stretch themselves into trying new and better things. And they find creative and effective ways to grow, learn, and do better.

These attributes parallel some of the fundamental skills and benefits of navigating rapids on the river and there’s much more to be learned on whitewater that translates to our lives away from the river. Maybe that’s why the river is a good match for the way people want to spend time away from home at the moment. To that end, similar as how we approach the current world and challenges around us, kayaks and rafts are always doing one of two things on the river – working with it or fighting against it. Which one are you doing?

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Better Way to Live

A few years ago while teaching a kayak clinic in Alaska, I passed a beautiful lake with a signage board and rack full of personal flotation devices (PFDs) just beside the boat ramp. I figured this was a summer camp but our host told me it was a public lake and the PFDs were available for kids to borrow whenever they play near or in the water. “Do people every walk away with the PFDs?” I asked. “Never, kids just put the PFDs back on the rack when they’re finished,” our host replied.

I often speak about the many positive attributes I’ve seen and observed in kayaking and around the water in Alaska but none more than “Kids Don’t Float,” an active water safety awareness campaign that reaches out to young people and promotes a healthy respect of the water. Two years since I learned about the program and thanks to a partnership with Safe Kids, “Kids Don’t Float” is growing nationwide with 38 new PFD loaner stations constructed at 19 locations across the country. Additionally, I am honored to join the campaign as a spokesperson and ambassador.

With the unofficial start of summer this Memorial Day Weekend, the team at Safe Kids launched the evolving “Kids Don’t Float” program in Savannah, Georgia alongside the Intracoastal Waterway. We had a great turn-out of students, media, and volunteers including my seven year-old daughter who launched her television career in good style with a great message: (Click "Video)

At its core, “Gold Medal Living” celebrates living better through enjoyment of outdoor and adventure sport activities. Supporting the efforts of and ideals behind “Kids Don’t Float” is simply one of the most effective ways I know to sustain a better way to live:

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Joe's Baseballism - The Sequel: A Little More Baseball Talk... & Starbucks too...

Thank you, thank you, thank you,! You have provided me with a special broadcasting experience that could very well prove to be as useful as any other to do date while on assignment at the Olympics in Beijing this summer. The only question that remains is will you be there to comfort and support me with Starbucks coffee?

For the "rest of the story" on my first Baseballism, click here:

Monday, May 12, 2008

My Turn on

My friend Tony Kornheiser says video blogging -"yapping" non-stop in front of a camera - is a lot harder than it looks. Actually, I haven't found that to be the case yet in my broadcasting pursuits and my latest here at is no exception. No prompts, questions, or leads - just straight-talking about baseball:

Of course this posting, following my wife's Baseballism, inevitably sets up a round of "Baseballism Crossfire."

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Olympic Whitewater Trials this weekend on MSNBC

We've just finished production work on the Olympic Whitewater Trials. Please tune into the broadcast airing this Sunday, May 11th on MSNBC at 12 noon eastern time. We had a great time calling this race and working with play-by-play broadcaster Craig Hummer was fabulous. Not only is he excited to be a part of the whitewater events in Beijing this summer, but Craig joined me for a kayak lesson on the Kern River today in Kernville, California. More about our kayak outing coming next week.

Also, please check out some excellent photo galleries from the Olympic Trials in Charlotte shot by our good friend, Bob Hollifield: