Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category



Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson
MW: Please introduce yourself?
EH: What’s up? I’m Elet Hall, part time ninja and full time wild-guy.

MW: What made you want to compete in American Ninja Warrior?
EH: A couple parkour friends of mine, Levi M, Travis Graves, and Frosti used to compete in the first few seasons and they mentioned it to me. So I gave it a shot.

MW: Tell me what went through your mind the first time you stood on the stage and the time started?
EH: It’s on da Youtubez. I was honestly just laughing and dancing around. I love high intensity situations, especially when I know I’m safe. So I was just waiting to turn those adrenaline shakes into movement. I didn’t know what was coming so I was just ready to try it!

MW: What goes through your head when going through each obstacle?
EH: Not a whole lot, As a good friend once told me, If you think, you don’t move. I focus on my movement and let it flow through me. Ive been training parkour for 11 years and i trust my body to do what it needs to.

MW: Your first time competing for American Ninja Warrior was season 4 in 2012. Take me back to that day?
EH:I was 21, had just moved back east after a few seasons snowboarding in Park City, Utah and had no idea what I was getting into. I had never watched the show and had no familiarity with the obstacles. I went on a whim really. I flew down to Miami, hung for a few days training parkour then hit the course!

MW: Lets talk about you competing in season 7 of American Ninja Warrior. How do you feel you have done so far?
EH: I’m super stoked on my Pittsburgh City Qualifier. I was apprehensive at first, I thought the course wasn’t designed for me to go fast and the conditions were cold and wet. But I was able to get through it and that felt really good!

MW: What is your feeling about this years course?
EH: The courses have leveled up for sure! I can’t give anything away, but watch all the city finals, the pump will be real!

MW: Do you feel anyone will ever win American Ninja Warrior?
EH:I think so, I know so many strong athletes who have the capability. It’ll just depend on us being perfect in that moment, pulling together everything we’ve trained and executing at the right time.

MW: What do you do in your spare time?
EH: Everything. I love anything that gets me outside, especially parkour, snowboarding, and cliff diving. I study martial arts and I’ve gotten into throwing tomahawks a lot recently. I also love to read and write, travel on my motorcycle, shoot photos, and meet people. Otherwise I hike and climb and hang out in the woods.

MW: How can fans reach you?
EH: via and Instagram @E.T.BeWild or go to the raddest outdoor spots you can find, you might just bump into me!

MW: What would you like to say in closing?
EH: Get outside and play every day even if it’s just a few minutes. Learn and experiment with your strength, humans are made to move and a consistent practice will do all sorts of things for you. You have to be in nature and you have to be moving. This isn’t just a recommendation, you downright have to do it if you want to be healthy and happy.




Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson

MW: Please introduce yourself?
KC: My name is Kacy Catanzaro and I am 23 years old.

MW: How did you get involved with American Ninja Warrior?
KC: I have always loved watching Ninja Warrior with my Dad, and it was especially exciting when it became American Ninja Warrior. Brent and I both moved to Texas to be a part of Alpha Warrior and he helped guide me and get my submission video ready for American Ninja Warrior.

MW: Was Season 5 the only season of American Ninja Warrior you have done?
KC: American Ninja Warrior Season 5 was my first season, but it will not be my last! I am very excited to train hard and do it again next year!

MW: What did you think when you did not make it to the semi-finals of Season 5?
KC: I was really dissapointed when I did not make it to the semi-finals of ANW5 because I knew that I was more than capable of completed that qualifying course. I was upset because I have worked so hard and felt as though I did not get to prove my full potential. But, I had to keep in mind that every slips up, everyone gets wet, and it is okay.

MW: Do you plan to come back for Season 6?
KC: I plan to come back to ANW Season 6 and be even more prepared to conquer that qualifying course and hit the buzzer!

MW: Do you think a women will ever win American Ninja Warrior?
KC: Even though no American has ever won American Ninja Warrior, we get closer and closer every year. I know that someone is going to win it, and I am confident when I say that I believe it could be a man or a woman. The woman that compete on ANW get stronger and better every year, just like the men.

MW: Do you ever want to compete in Ninja Warrior in Japan?
KC: I would love to compete in Ninja Warrior in Japan. It would be such an amazing experience, especially because I have watched and looked up to the Japanese competitors for so long. Going to Japan to compete is definitely something that I have my sights set on!

MW: What is Alpha Warrior?
KC: Alpha Warrior is a new traveling obstacle course. The great thing about Alpha Warrior is that anyone can do it. The only qualification is that you have to be 16 years or older. Other than that, you do not have to pass any test, fill out an application, or plead your story to us, because anyone and everyone is welcome to come do our course.

The general wave is great because you can go at your own pace. If you fall or slip up, you are not out of the race, just pick back up and keep going. It’s okay if you are not the first one to the finish line because the object is to challenge yourself and accomplish things you thought you never could.

The elite wave is awesome because now it becomes a race. There are cash prizes for the top three finishers in both the male and female category. First place: $1,000; Second place: $500; Third place: $250. If you fall in this wave, you still are not disqualified, but you have to do 20 burpees to make up for the fall before you continue.

Alpha Warrior is something great for everyone to do in order to challenge themselves and set new goals to accomplish.

Alpha Warrior is very spectator friendly as well. The spectators can follow through the entire course and cheer on their friends or family.

MW: Where can it be seen?
KC: Our next Alpha Warrior event will be in Dallas, TX, on October 12/13. After that anyone can go to to follow along with the schedule and where we will be traveling to next. Follow Alpha Warrior on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram because they are always doing contests and promotions that can save you money or score you some cool Alpha Warrior gear! Check out the Alpha Warrior videos on the website or youtube to get a better feel of what it is!

MW: What is your background to be able to American Ninja Warrior?
KC: My background is in gymnastics. I did competitive gymnastics for 18 years, and earned a gymnastics scholarship to a Division 1 school, Towson University in Maryland, where I competed for four years. All of my experience, along with Brent Steffensen’s knowledge and training, prepared me for the American Ninja Warrior course.

MW: What are your plans for the rest of 2013?
KC: I look forward to traveling with Alpha Warrior for the rest of 2013. Our events get bigger as they go because more people find out about it and just want to be a part of it.

MW: Do you do appearances?
KC: I love to do events and signing where I get to meet my fans because they mean so much to me. My fans are the reason I push through obstacles with a smile on my face because I know they are looking up to me and I don’t want to let them down. I love talking with my fans and being as much a part of their journey as they are in mine. Anyone can go to , click on the “Contact me” tab, and write me an email to tell me their story, book an appearance, or ask questions.

MW: What would you like to say in closing?
KC: I love what I do because I want to relay a positive message to everyone. The healthy lifestyle is something that is very important to me and I want to pass that message and knowledge onto others. Being healthy involves eating right and exercising. I think it is healthy to test your limits and really find what you are capable of. This might be scary sometimes, but the feeling afterwards is indescribable. Don’t ever give up on your dreams because you think they are too big, realize that you are big enough to accomplish them! Stay positive and always do what makes you happy. I feel very blessed to accomplish all that I have so far, and I look forward to what is ahead! I am very thankful to everyone who follows me through my journeys and shows their love and support.


flag of United States


Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson

MW: Please introduce yourself?
SS: My name is Sara Studebaker and I’m 28 years old.  I’m originally from Boise, Idaho USA and have been on the US Biathlon Team since 2007.  I competed in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and am heading to Sochi to compete again this February.

MW: How did you become a Biathlete?
SS:  I grew up in a very active family.  I started alpine skiing at age 3 and started training for and competing in cross-country skiing when I was 11 years old.  I got into biathlon after watching it in the Nagano 1998 Olympics and asking a ski coach of mine (who used to compete in biathlon) all about what biathlon was.  He found a friend and I a recruitment camp for US Biathlon that we attended that summer and I started doing biathlon alongside cross-country skiing throughout high school.  When I went to college, I put biathlon aside and focused on skiing; skiing 4 years on the varsity team at Dartmouth College and helping them to an NCAA Championship my senior year in 2007.  After graduating, I was accepted onto the US Biathlon Development Team and started training and competing full-time that summer (2007).

MW: What is it to be a Biathlete?
SS: Biathlon combines cross-country skiing and target shooting.  Basically, you ski loops of varying length (depending on the event) and then stop and shoot at targets 50 meters away, and then continue back on course for more skiing.  Depending on the race, you either do a 150 meter penalty loop for each miss, or one-minute is added to your time.
Biathlon is a tough sport because it combines the physical rigors of Nordic skiing with the mental aspect of shooting.  You have to be able to go your hardest out on the ski course and then calm yourself down quickly and hit 5 targets the size of Oreo cookies!  It’s a crazy sport, but very exciting.

MW: What competitions have you won?
SS: When I first started and was on the North American Cup circuit, I won several races.  In 2008 I was the overall North American Champion.  Since 2009 I have been mostly on the World Cup and unfortunately have not yet won any competition there!  My best results individually have been 2 top-15 results (14th 2011 World Cup Presque Isle, Maine, USA; 15th 2012 World Cup Kontiolahti, FIN), and several top-20 results including a 17th place in the Individual race at the 2011 World Championships in Khanty-Mansyisk, RUS.  Our team has also had 2 top-8 relay results this season (some of the best for US Women in recent history!).

MW: Tell me about being in the 2010 Winter Olympics?
SS: Competing in Vancouver in 2010 was such an amazing experience.  Because I am from Idaho, which is a days drive from Vancouver, I had lots of friends and family come to see me compete.  Not only was it the realization of a life-long dream to be an Olympian, but it was made extra special by all the people I got to share it with.  I had some of my best results of my career at the time there, too, which was exciting.

MW: Now your going to the 2014 Winter Olympics how did you qualify?
SS: The final round of qualification for the US Biathlon Olympic Team happened at the IBU Cup (a step below the World Cup) in Ridnaun, Italy just after New Year’s.  There were 4 races spread over 2 weekends and from those races the best 3 women and 2 men were chosen to fill the Olympic Team.  I had some solid results there, placing 9th and top American in one race.

MW: Who are you looking most to compete with?
SS: Because our team has had such strong results recently, we are especially looking forward to the relay competition.  It’s always fun to compete as a team instead of like normal, as an individual.  Our team is really close and we have drawn strength and good results as a result of our efforts to be a tight group.  I think we have an excellent chance to do well in the relay not only because we are in the best shape of the season, but also because we will work together and for each other to have a strong finish!

MW: What is USA record for wining Biathlete in the past Winter Olympics?
SS:  The US has never won a medal in biathlon at the Olympics.  Last year at World Championships, Tim Burke won a silver medal, and this past weekend at the final World Cup before Sochi, Susan Dunklee was 4th place.  So we are very close to a medal.  This is a very exciting time for US Biathlon and I hope we will be able to compete to our potential and bring home the first medal for US Biathlon from Sochi!

MW: What are your plans after the Winter Olympics?
SS:  Immediately after the Games we still have 3 more weeks of World Cup racing, so I will continue to compete through March.  After that, I am not sure.  I have not yet decided whether I will retire after this year or continue to compete longer.  Probably this is my last Olympics though, and I look forward to making it memorable and special.

MW: What would you like to say in closing?
SS: Check out biathlon in the Sochi games!  It’s an incredibly exciting sport to watch and for USA fans we hope to make you proud!

flag of Italy

Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson

MW: Please introduce yourself?
MG:Hello, my name is Matteo, i’m 25 years old and I’m a figure skater.

Ciao, mi chiamo matteo, ho 25 anni e sono un pattinatore d’artistico.

MW: How did you become a Figure Skater?
MG: I start to skate on roller because the rink was behind my house and after 16 years of career, I decide to switch on the blades to find new emotions.

Ho iniziato a pattinare con le ruote perchè la pista era dietro casa mia e dopo 16 anni di cariere, ho deciso di cambiare con le lame alla ricerca di nuove emozioni.

MW: What does it take to be a Figure Skater?
MG: to me it take a lot of passion and first of all patience… you need to give every day your best even if everything is going in the wrong direction.

Per me, bisogna avere tanta passione e principalmente pazienza… bisogna dare ogni giorno il meglio di se anche se tutto non va per il verso giusto.

MW: What is the difference in single Figure stating and Pair Skating?
MG: be a pair skaters it’s mean to be part of a team, between you and your partner, there is always something to give and to receive, together you share good and bad moment.

Essere un pattinatore in coppia vuole dire fare parte di un team, tra te e il tuo partner, c’è sempre qualcosa da dare e da ricevere, insieme si dividono belli e cattivi momenti.

MW: What compositions have you won?
MG: I won my competition: start with a different kind of skate and rich the group of top skaters on the world…

Ho vinto la mia gara: iniziare con un diverso tipo di pattini e raggiungere il gruppo dei migliori pattinatori del mondo…

MW: Now your going to the 2014 Winter Olympics how did you qualify?
MG: We qualify last year at world…

Ci siamo qualificati l’anno scorso ai mondiali…

MW: Who are you looking most to compete with?
MG: For sure i’m very happy to skate against the best and each skater will be there will give me insiratione to give my best.

Di sicuro sono molto contento di pattinare contro i migliori e ogni pattinatore che sarà là mi darà l’ispirazione per dare del mio meglio.

MW: What is Italy record for wining Pair Skating in the past Winter Olympics? MG: I think the best result was from Nicole and the former partner Yannick Kocon.

Penso che il miglior risultato sia stato di Nicole con il precedente partner Yannick Kocon.

MW: What are your plans after the Winter Olympics?
MG: My first program is to go for few day to meet my parent and have a little break with them, then will be the preparation of the next season.

Il mio primo programma è di andare per qualche giono a trovare i miei parenti e fare una piccola pausa con loro, dopo inizierò con la preparazione della prossima stagione.

MW: What would you like to say in closing?
MG: Olimpic game is just my beginning… I will keep working very hard to improve every day and give my best on the future! I really like what i’m doing even if it’s hard, it teach me how to push through the difficults also on the real life.

I giochi olimpici sono solo il mio inizio… continuerò a lavorare duro per migliorare ogni giorno e dare del mio meglio nel futuro! Mi piace veramente quello che faccio anche se è difficile, mi insegna a superare le difficoltà anche nella vita reale.

flag of Italy

Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson

MW: Please introduce yourself?
NDM:Hi everyone! I’m Nicole Della Monica, a figure skater from Italy.

Ciao a tutti, sono Nicole Della Monica, una pattinatrice italiana.

MW: How did you become a Figure Skater?
NDM:I started skating on the ice when i was 6 years old because my dad used to go to the ice rink in the public sessions and once he decided to bring me with him.

Ho cominciato a pattinare sul ghiaccio quando avevo 6 anni perchè mio padre andava sempre a pattinare nelle sessioni pubbliche e una volta decise di portarmi con sé.

MW: What does it take to be a Figure Skater?
NDM:Being a figure skater means that you need to put all yourself in what you do and this is your job so it needs a lot of sacrifices but it’s worth it…

Essere un pattinatore significa che bisogna mettere tutto te stesso in quello che fai e questo è il tuo lavoro perciò ha bisogno di molti sacrifici, ma ne vale la pena.

MW: What is the difference in single Figure stating and Pair Skating?
NDM:I’ve been a single skater until 2007 when I wanted to quit skating and they suggested me to try pairs skating. There is a big difference in between the two things, the biggest one that for me is the most important is that I’m sharing the ice with a second person in competitions so I’m not alone facing the audience and the judges and this helps me a lot to be more confident and I can count on my partner because I know he’s always there for and with me.

Sono stata una pattinatrice di singolo fino al 2007 quando volevo smettere di pattinare e mi hanno suggerito di provare la coppia. C’è una grande differenza tra le due cose, la più grande che per me è la più importante è che divido il ghiaccio con un’altra persona nelle gare quindi non sono da sola ad affrontare il pubblico e i giudici e questo mi aiuta molto ad essere più sicura e posso sempre contare sul mio partner perchè so che è sempre lì per e con me.

MW: What compositions have you won?
NDM:I’ve been Italian champion 3 times with my first partner and we won together some international competition, after Vancouver’s Olympic Games I quit skating for a whole year and then my actual partner came to me and I started skating again and our biggest victory was to go after only 4 month that we were skating together to world championships in Nice – France in 2012 and then other very good results in following years.

Sono stata campionessa italiana 3 volte con il mio primo partner e abbiamo vinto qualche gara internazionale insieme; dopo le Olimpiadi di Vancouver ho smesso di pattinare per un anno intero e poi il mio partner attuale è venuto da me ed ho cominciato a pattinare di nuovo e la nostra vittoria più grande è stata andare dopo solo 4 mesi che pattinavamo insieme ai mondiali di Nizza – Francia nel 2012 e dopo quello altri risultati molto buoni nei seguenti anni.

MW: Tell me about competing in the 2010 Winter Olympics.
NDM:I competed in 2010 in Vancouver and it was the best competition ever, I’ve been dreaming about being part of an OG for all my life and I couldn’t believe I was really there, the competition itself was very nice and good for me but what was the best thing was the surrounding part, the atmosphere at the village, being all together with other athletes in the village and seeing the ice rink full of audience even at 6 am for practices…

Ho gareggiato nei Giochi Olimpici del 2010 a Vancouver ed è stata la competizione migliore di sempre, ho sognato di essere parte di un olimpiade per tutta la mia vita e non potevo crederci che fossi realmente là, la gara in sé è stata molto bella e buona per me, ma la cosa migliore è stato ciò che stava attorno, l’atmosfera al villaggio, essere tutti insieme con gli altri atleti nel villaggio e vedere la pista piena anche alle 6 del mattino per gli allenamenti…

MW: Now your going to the 2014 Winter Olympics how did you qualify?
NDM: In two weeks we are going to Sochi for 2014 WOG and this is a great privilege and for the first time in the history of Italy we have two spots for Italian pairs and we gained these last season at world championship in London – Canada.

togethere with the other italian pair. Tra due settimane andremo a Sochi per le olimpiadi 2014 e questo è un grande privilegio e per la prima volta nella storia dell’Italia abbiamo due posti per le coppie italiane e li abbiamo guadagnati la scorsa stagione ai mondiali di London – Canda insieme con l’altra coppia italiana.

MW: Who are you looking most to compete with?
NDM: In this competition our goal will be to show our best no matter the ranking place but of course the closest to top 10 the best will be, we are not going to beat someone in particular, but the first 5/6 pairs are all to admire.

In questa gara il nostro obiettivo è mostrare il nostro meglio non importa la classifica, ma ovviamente il più vicino alla top 10 meglio sarà, non andiamo per battere qualcuno in particolare, ma le prime 5/6 coppie sono tutte da ammirare.

MW: What is Italy record for wining Pair Skating in the past Winter Olympics?

NDM:Up to know I think that the best result was my 12th place in Vancouver but I’m pretty sure that this time the other Italian pair that is the first in Italy will do much better…

Fino ad ora penso che il miglior risultato fosse il mio 12mo posto a Vancouver, ma sono abbastanza convinta che l’altra coppia italiana che è attualmente la prima in Italia farà molto meglio…

MW: What are your plans after the Winter Olympics?
NDM:After Sochi we will come back to Saint Petersburg, becuase there is where we live and we will training again for next world championships that will be in March in Japan and of course we will keep skating for at lest four other years.

Dopo Sochi torneremo a San Pietroburgo, perchè è dove viviamo e ci alleneremo ancora per i prossimi campionati mondiali che saranno a marzo in Giappone e sicuramente continueremo a pattinare per ancora 4 anni.

MW: What would you like to say in closing?
NDM:We are making the history of pair skating in Italy because there wasn’t this tradition before us so we are very proud of us all and we would like to show to the world that we are here and we will be dangerous in the future we are a small country but with a huge passion and will that will lead us to the success!

Stiamo facendo la storia del pattinaggio di coppia in Italia perchè prima di noi non c’era questa tradizione perciò siamo molto fieri di noi e vorremmo mostrare al mondo che ci siamo e saremo pericolosi nel futuro; siamo una piccola nazione, ma con un’immensa passione e desiderio che ci condurranno al successo!

flag of Italy

Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson

MW: Please introduce yourself?
RB: Hello! I’m Raffaella Brutto, I’m 26 years old, I was born in Genova, near sea, but because I love snowboarding now I live in Courmayeur on the mountain.

MW: How did you become a Snowboarder?
RB: My parents had a house in La Thuile, and we went all weekend for Skiing.
At 6 years old I decided to try snowboard and I never stopped!

MW: What is Snowboarding?
RB: Snowboard is a beautiful sport. You can find jump, turn, speed, powder, adrenalin… But sometimes in Italy, people think snowboarders are bad people,Who just party and drugs, but reality is very different.
We are true athletes, like other sports.

MW: What compositions have you won?
RB: I have won many Italian championships , Europa Cups, and this year I won a World Cup with my team mate Michela.

MW: Have you ever been to any other Winter Olympic games. Which years? How did you place?
RB: Yes. I participated in Vancouver 2010. I’m arrived 17th. I think I can be better this year.

MW: Now your going to the 2014 Winter Olympics how did you qualify?
RB: There is a fis qualification… If you are in top the 25, you can compete in Olympic games… Now I’m 9th position.

MW: What is Italy record for wining Snowboarding in the past Winter Olympics?
RB: In snowboard cross, italy don’t have big result… The only italian medal is the Bronze of Lidia Trettel in alpine snowboard in SALT lake city 2002.

MW: What are your plans after the Winter Olympics?
RB: I want put offre titanium plate of my collarbone, I would like go in Bali for surfing with my boy-friend, and I will start training for next season.

MW: What would you like to say in closing?
RB: Bye bye follow me at the olympics in sochi!!!

flag of United States


Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson

MW: Please introduce yourself?
EH: My name is Erin Hamlin, I am from Remsen, NY and train out of Lake Placid,NY for the sport of luge.

MW: How did you become a Luger?
EH: I attended a USA Luge Slider Search event in the summer of ’99, which is a clinic hosted for kids to look for any potential in the sport. Rollerblade wheels are put on basic training sleds, kids are taught how to steer through an easy course set up on a road with cones, and a few physical tests are done. I was invited to attend a camp in Lake Placid to slide on ice and learn more about the sport, and from there put into the development program.

MW: What is Luge?
EH: Technically, the french word for sled. But it is a sliding sport, where we ride feet first down a track that is usually just under a mile long at speeds approaching 90mph. Often going completely blind to be as aerodynamic as possible, we aim to drive our sleds within an inch of an ideal (imaginary) line down the track..essentially the fastest way from point A to B while incorporating the pressures of curves to help gain speed. It is timed to the thousandth of a second so every tiny detail matters a great deal.

MW: What compositions have you won?
EH: I am a 5X National Champion and I won World Championships in 2009.

MW: Tell me about competing in the 2006 Winter Olympics?
EH: 2006 was a great experience. I was still a junior athlete so making the team was a huge surprise. I had zero expectations going in so it was just a great way to get the feel for big competition at a young age. I had a ton of fun, made some major mistakes but also had some great runs so overall it was a good experience.

MW: Tell me about competing in the 2010 Winter Olympics?
EH: This one was completely different, I went in as the reigning World Champion, it was the closest thing to a home Olympics I will ever have (being in Canada) and I was considered a medal contender. I had very high hopes and knew I could go fast on the track in Whistler. This all changed drastically when the start was lowered and unfortunately I didn’t adapt in the short amount of time we had. My results were very disappointing and I immediately started thinking ahead to Sochi and how I could rebound and come back four years later to redeem myself.

MW: Now your going to the 2014 Winter Olympics how did you qualify?
EH: I placed 5th in a World Cup in Whistler that solidified my spot on the 2014 team. Going into the season I had a pre-qualified spot as a result of my World Championships result from last season. I needed a top five to verify that qualification.

MW: Who are you looking most to compete with?
EH: The Germans are always the strongest competitors in this sport, so they are always the ones to compete with .They are the best and being up against them, and the times you are as good or better, you know that means you are the best in the world.

MW: What is USA record for wining Luge in the past Winter Olympics?
EH: We have never medaled in the singles disciplines in the Olympics. Doubles competitors have taken 4 medals ever (2 silver, 2 bronze). This year we have an additional event, the mixed team relay, where we can hopefully add to that medal count.

MW: What are your plans after the Winter Olympics?
EH: I will definitely go on some sort of vacation! It is always a long season and after the Olympics four years of training, racing, and stress kind of get relieved so it is always nice to decompress. I will be very happy to spend time with my family at home and enjoy the end of winter!

MW: What would you like to say in closing?
EH: Probably just thank you to everyone who has supported me for the past 14 years…it has been a great experience and I never imagined I would be competing in a third Olympic Games. I am so excited and honored to represent the USA and look forward to laying it all on the line to make everyone at home proud!