MONDAY night, the magazine held a party to celebrate the Body Issue at the London Hotel here in L.A. (Best rooms ever!) We had a great turnout of athletes who were featured in the magazine—Lolo Jones, Kristi Leskinen, Jessica Mendoza, Sarah Reinertsen (the only cover athlete who attended), Oguchi Onyewu (on crutches), Todd Potter and Ronnie Faisst (and a few Mulisha pals), Byambajav Ulambayer (in ceremonial dress), Michelle Carter and Susan Francia (whose body is even more impressive in person)—and it was sort of surreal to be talking to one of them and then look over their shoulder to see a video of them, naked, playing on screens around the party.
Overall, the issue has been a great success. It’s received a ton of attention and as far as I know, the athletes are happy with the way they were showcased on our pages. We took great care to make sure this issue was a celebration of the athletic body and not a collection of photos of sexy people. I think we were true to that goal. There are many things to improve upon next year (That’s right! It will be an annual event!), but I think this was a very strong start. There has never been anything like it on newsstands, and that is something we are all very proud of. That’s becoming tougher and tougher to do these days.
Last week, while I was in New York planning our Olympic coverage (T-minus three-and-a-half months to Vancouver!), I attended a few events, as well.
TUESDAY night was the Women’s Sports Foundation’s annual fundraiser/banquet/gala at the Waldorf Astoria. This year’s event brought out the most amazing collection of female athletes I’ve ever witnessed under one roof. It was so neat to see young action sports stars Ashley Fiolek, Sarah Burke, Grete Eliassen and Chanelle Sladics share the stage with Billy Jean King, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Annika Sorenstam, Pat Summitt …
Three women at the event—Gina Carano, Natasha Kai and current WSF president Jessica Mendoza—were featured in our Body Issue, which had come out a few days earlier and was causing a lot of buzz. A bit surprisingly, it was all good.
It was a really special night and I was honored to be in attendance.
WEDNESDAY night was a party at the Burton store in SoHo to celebrate the premiere of The B Movie, their latest shred flick. The first footage of the secret halfpipe Red Bull built for Shaun White in Silverton, Colo., is featured in the film. After a stop at the Burton part, the rest of the evening was reserved for a different type of party. A birthday party for Lindsay! Happy 32nd, Ms. Berra!
THURSDAY night, I checked out my favorite new spot in NYC, SPiN NY. It’s the only ping-pong social club in the city (and maybe in any city) and it is just so much fun. Think of an underground, high-end pool hall with a chill bar and restaurant (called Ducks), a cool room for private parties and a great DJ. It’s open till the owners (four guys with a production company, one pro player and Susan Sarandon) decide to go home. Most nights, you can find them playing ping-pong until the wee hours.
The scene is such a mixed bag. The night I stopped by, there was an equal mix of socialites, hipsters and out-of-towners with a few celebs (mostly cast members from SNL and 30 Rock) sprinkled about. Every Friday night, they hold a tournament featuring the best players in the NYC area and it is supposedly one of the most fun things to do on a Friday night. Unfortunately, I missed it. But I’ll be back. I think there are some fun stories lurking downstairs at SPiN. And if I still lived in NYC, it would be my new favorite hangout.
Lastly, on FRIDAY night, I attended a kickoff party and fundraiser for Movember, one of my favorite charity organizations and my current obsession. I’ll write more about Movemeber as the month grows closer. Next week, I’m attending an event here in Santa Monica, so stay tuned for more on Movember.
Last week’s party was held at an art gallery in SoHo and served a dual purpose: to raise money for the cause and to announce a partnership with the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Movember raises awareness of prostate cancer and cash for finding a cure. The LAF does the same for testicular cancer. Together, they will raise awareness and money for both. Movember’s founder, Adam Garone, started the organization in Australia by urging guys to grow mustaches (mo’s) during the month of November as a way to turn their mugs into walking advertisements for the disease. Just like the pink ribbon or yellow bracelet, a man’s mustache becomes a billboard for prostate cancer awareness.
“Hey, Friend Who Usually Doesn’t Have a Mustache. Why are you growing a stache these days?”
“Well, let me tell you about prostate cancer. It’s 90% curable, yet thousands of Americans die of the disease each year. Let me tell you what you can do to help change that …”
It was a genius idea, and it’s just starting to take off here in the U.S. I think, if we can convince an entire league of NFL players and coaches to dress like Barbie dolls in the name of breast cancer awareness, then we should be able to convince those same guys (and everyone reading this!) to grow a mustache to increase awareness for the cancers that affect them. (The guys at The Mag have signed on, and she doesn’t know it yet, but my mom had better prepare herself for my dad’s Movember mo!)
Besides, every guy secretly wants to grow a mustache. Here’s a really good excuse!