34th and Madison, Part 2

[Alyssa’s note: Below, I refer to Usain Bolt as one of the fastest men alive. Well, at the Reebok Grand Prix, he one-upped that title by running a 9.72 in the 100m, breaking the current world record and becoming the fastest man alive. But just when you think there can’t be a cooler name-sport combo than a man named Bolt being the fastest man alive, you find out about a Russian hurdler who set a world record in the 400m hurdles in 1986—her name: Marina Stepanova.]

Yesterday was an eventful one here in NYC. I started my morning by attending a press conference at the Sheraton Hotel in Times Square. Some of the fastest men and women in the world are in town for the Reebok Grand Prix track & field meet this Saturday on Randall’s Island. I spent some time talking with Tyson Gay and Usain Bolt (the Jamaican runner who recently shocked the track world by running a 9.76). These two should make the 100m race pretty spectacular. And Lauryn Williams and Veronica Campbell-Brown (also of Jamaica) should be equally fun to watch. Unfortunately, I’m going to miss the meet. But that’s okay. I’m going to the Stanley Cup finals in Pittsburgh instead! (More on that in a later posting.)

Really, though, my favorite part of the press conference happened afterward, as I was waiting around before our photo shoot with a couple of the athletes. That was when a woman from Reggae TV on Long Island approached me. “Would you mind if I interviewed you,” she asked. “We’d like to include you in our story.” Me? Why? “Well, we all saw your calves and assumed you were running in the meet on Saturday. Are you not?”

I think you can guess my new favorite TV station.

Back at the office, we had a visit from our cover giant, Kimbo Slice. He is very big. His entourage is even bigger. He thumb wrestled editor Ryan Hockensmith and told us if he weren’t wrestling, he’d love to play professional kickball. After he signed our athlete pole, his bodyguard Milan demonstrated that he could kill us all with his bare hands and ripped a six-inch-thick phone book in half (see below) at the spine. (He benches 720, by the way.)

How is anyone supposed to get work done around this place?





And while I’m at it, here’s the video from my ride-along with IRL racer Sarah Fisher. Unfortunately, Indy didn’t turn out well for Sarah and her future in the league is quite uncertain. But we’re pulling for her.

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