Havana Hardball: Smuggling Sluggers is a blog post written entirely by Travel Blogger Alexandra Martinez. Alex takes us through the story of Cuban Baseball history, players and their journey to the major leagues, and - her expertise - a travel guide to catch a game in the historic island. Read the story below and check out her site for more in depth knowledge to her travel stories around the world.
*All images are also owned by Alex Martinez*
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In South America, Soccer is more than just a sport, it's a way of life. Soccer runs through its descendants veins and is used as a scapegoat for what most know as an impoverished life. Coming up as a child, my first love was soccer, and the sheer passion of the game was passed down on to me from my Colombian-born parents; likewise their parent's passed down that same passion on to them. Similarly, this love for the game can be seen throughout my family, and it's never a dull moment when a soccer match comes on. Yet, even greater pride can be seen when we look at one of our very own family members, thriving because of soccer. Without further ado, I am proud to offer you guys a piece of Kelly's story and even prouder to call her my cousin, the collegiate soccer player.
#7 Keleyna "Kelly" Romoleroux, Nassau Community College | IG: @Keleyna_Kelly
This Saturday we will witness the first "El Clasico" of La Liga's season. FC Barcelona plays host (in Camp Nou) to their biggest rival, Real Madrid, on December 3rd at 10:15 AM EST. This game has major implications for the standings as first place Real Madrid (33 pts) leads second place, and reigning La Liga Champions, FC Barcelona (27 pts). A win for Madrid will create a larger gap between the competition, and a win for Barcelona will right the ship for what has been a sub-par season to FCB's standards. Although this game has a lot of meaning in terms of each team's chances at the top seed for La Liga this season, perhaps the history of this rivalry will add to that drama. To put it into perspective, imagine combining sport's greatest rivalries of Lakers-Celtics, Red Sox-Yankees, Cowboys-Giants, and Ali-Frazier into the world's most popular sport, soccer; The result is El Clasico. The 3 points that are obtained off a victory are up for grabs, and it's anyone's game.
Every athlete that plays a sport since they were a child, at one time or another, dreams of playing in the major leagues (NBA, MLB, MLS, NHL, NFL, etc.). Yet very few get the opportunity to even get noticed to play in college, a major step (sometimes a requirement) before playing professional sports. As a child, I dreamt of playing in the NBA, I would idolize star athletes such as Allen Iverson, Tracy McGrady, and Jason Kidd; Obviously I never gained the appropriate talent to take myself to the next level. However, upon growing up and playing pick-up basketball, I met plenty of friends - some with amazing potential in the sport. Nevertheless, I recently caught up with one of my old neighborhood basketball friends, Dmitri Thompson, who is now living the dream in playing college basketball for a great school. I am proud to offer you guys his story, from Orlando to Elon University.
*I do NOT own these photos and I would love to give credit to the photographer but he/she is unknown. Dmitri has forwarded me these photos.*
#2 Dmitri Thompson, Elon University | IG: @Bigmeech_2014
High School sports are normally the first taste an athlete gets in true competition. It is also one of the first times in an athlete's life where they get to showcase their talents and skills to scouts, in an attempt to make their hard work be noticed for a greater future. Of course there are the exceptions with child prodigies, but usually High School is when the Athlete really begins to hone in on their skills and combine that with the maturation of their body. In this edition of the #ForTheLoveOfSport, I feature Jon Powell, one of University High School's premier athletes. I've known Jon for a couple years now, and it gives me great joy to share his story. Here is Jon Powell and his fruition. *Check out Jon Powell's Senior Highlight tape located at the bottom of this post.*
*All photos in this post were taken by Stephen Little | Flickr: Littlepix2*
#2 OLB Jon Powell, University High School | IG: @Thatdude82
There are incredible athletic performances then there are beautiful works of art, that tell stories about said performances. Sam Roman is a story teller when it comes to graphic design and photography. Residing in Orlando, Sam Roman has created a diverse portfolio, including works of art revolving sports. I got the chance to interview Sam, the creator of the Uncontested Shots logo, and I'm excited to provide his story. Read his interview below and check out some of his work, at the bottom of this page. Don't forget to follow him on instagram: @Sammyr.
*All photos included in this post were created/shot/designed by Sam*
Sam Roman | IG: @Sammyr
"The New York City Marathon (branded TCS New York City Marathon and formerly branded ING New York City Marathonfor sponsorship reasons) is an annual marathon (42.195 km or 26.219 mi) that courses through the five boroughs of New York City. It is the largest marathon in the world, with 50,304 finishers in 2013. Along with the Boston Marathon and Chicago Marathon, it is among the pre-eminent long-distance annual running events in the United States and is one of the World Marathon Majors."
Thoughts: As a native New Yorker, The New York City Marathon is something you hear about every year. It wasn't until this year however, that I actually witnessed the world's biggest race in person. I am now proud to say that this was one of the greatest sporting and athletic experiences that I have been blessed to see. Every single competitor is running the race for their own reason- whether it's to accomplish a personal goal, or to help raise money or awareness for a specific cause or person(s)- consequently makes each runners' story all the more beautiful. The sheer determination, effort, and intensity is left out on the pavement with each step the runner's take. More than 50,000 runners took on the prestigious course, and I got to interview 2 of them. Read more to dive into the stories of these participants and their experiences.
The "#ForTheLoveOfSport: Orlando Fitness Center" blog post brings alive some of the most beautiful athletic arts being taught at this location. I had the pleasure of experiencing first hand, some of these wonderful anatomical sports at OFC, and was inspired to share my experience. Some of the classes being taught at this facility are Capoeira, Taekwondo, and Yoga. I will be discussing the Capoeira and Yoga experience in this blog post.
Orlando Fitness Center
829 Woodbury Rd Suite 102
Orlando, FL 32828
Call: 855 4 FIT ORL (855-434-8675)
Hours of Operations: 7A-9P (M-F) | 7A-8P (Sat) | 7A-5P (Sun)
Below is a slideshow containing some of my visits and experiences during my trip to Europe. I ended up having the opportunity to visit Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea FC, in London, Camp Nou, home of FC Barcelona, and the Allianz Arena, home of FC Bayern Munchen. All three are incredible stadiums and you can really feel the passion of the fan base around the city, even when there's no match. Aside from visiting the stadiums, I attended a rivalry match at the Camp Nou when Barcelona faced off Atletico Madrid. That match was intense from kick-off to the final whistle, and the fans were electric. Having saw these stadiums was definitely an experience of a lifetime, and I would recommend it to any fan. Follow my social media pages for additional shots of my Eurotrip experience. #ForTheLoveOfSport