I’ve been asking Red Bull for years to organize a Jump & Freeze or a Flugtag event in Lebanon and now that it’s finally happening, I won’t be here to participate in it! I’ve watched Jump & Freeze from all over the world and it’s a lot of fun. For those of you who are not familiar with the concept, it’s as simple as that:
1- Form a team of 3 and dress up in the most creative costume you can find.
2- Make yourself a crazy little vehicle.
3- Slide down the Mzaar slope as fast as you can and pull a cool trick while jumping into the freezing pool.
Red Bull will be choosing 20 of the best teams to participate. You can read more about the rules [here] and apply using this [form]. Red Bull Jump & Freeze will be hitting the slopes of Mzaar Ski Resort in Kfardebian on the 1st of March 2015.
I will be in Barcelona that weekend so I won’t be able to make it, but I am trying to convince my brother to join in with a couple of friends and form the “Baladi team”. I already have few ideas for the vehicle and costumes.
The BDL Beirut Marathon has been promoted to a SILVER Road Race by the International Association of Athletics Federation after it met all the organization’s quality requirements. Becoming a silver label marathon is very difficult and requires the participation of elite athletes, performing doping tests, ensuring proper road closures and safety measures, as well media coverage and others. Noting that there are only 26 other exclusive silver races in the world, this is a major achievement for Lebanon and the Beirut Marathon people who have been working for four years to earn this award.
Needless to say, I am definitely a huge supporter of this awesome annual run as it promotes peace, unity, causes and attracts more and more Lebanese every year. I run the 10k usually and my goal this year is to complete the race in less than 1 hour.
Congrats to all the Beirut Marathon people, to the runners, sponsors and all the supporters!
Melanie Freiha is an 18-year old student who died in a ski accident last weekend in Kfardebian. I couldn’t figure out the exact circumstances of her tragic death but I know that it took some time to transfer her to the nearest hospital in Ajaltoun where she died during surgery. The same happened with Yves Nawfal as the roads were all covered with snow and the Red Cross needed some time to get to Saint Georges in Ajaltoun which is 30 minutes away if not more. Moreover, the Kfardebian – Faraya road is usually blocked due to traffic during weekends, specially in daytime, and we’ve all seen what happened the last time a poor guy tried to clear the way for an ambulance.
Having said all that, I think it’s about time the authorities or the concerned parties invest in building a proper emergency clinic next to ski resorts and in the Kfardebian area. I know for a fact that the Red Cross has a branch in Kfardebian but I don’t think they are equipped to receive and treat emergencies. We need a medical center that has a well trained ER team, as well as emergency physicians, trauma surgeons and nurses capable of evaluating injuries and treating minor ones, and assessing the severity of one’s injury and the need to transfer him to another clinic or hospital. If Melanie was given the necessary treatment in the first 60 minutes of the accident, also known as the golden hour, she could have had a better chance of surviving maybe.
Speaking of hospitals, it’s quite weird that we don’t have any good hospital in the whole Keserwan district which is one of Lebanon’s biggest districts. I’ve been to Saydit Lebnen, Saint Louis and Saint Georges and they are all average, if not below average, hospitals when compared to the ones in Beirut. Maybe it’s time that Lebanon’s Health Ministry tackles this serious problem and sets proper standards for hospitals.
Sagesse was playing against Champville on Thursday and the score was 104-104 with 6 seconds left. Hekmeh player Terrell Stoglin took the ball and was dribbling towards the Champville basket when he was clearly fouled by a Champville player, but the referee somehow didn’t see the flagrant and obvious foul and gave the ball back to Champville with 3 seconds left. As a result, the game went to overtime and Champville ended up winning 138-130 after two overtimes.
Sagesse coach Fouad Abou Chakra was furious after this call and posted on Facebook that referee Adel Khoueiry is probably the only referee in the world that could deny such a foul, and he is somehow right because that’s the worst call and the worst-timed call I’ve seen in years.
Regardless whether Hekmeh won or lost the game, they have every right to file a complaint and the federation should investigate the bad call and keep this referee away from close and decisive games.
I was preparing a post on the cost of a ski trip in Lebanon but LBCI’s Lea Fayad beat me to it so I will make use of her report as a reference to my post as it has the Laklouk pricing which I didn’t know. As you can see below, the highest ski ticket during the weekend is at Mzaar (around 47$), followed by the Cedars (40$) and Zaarour (40$) then Laklouk (23$).
As far as ski rental equipment is concerned, it’s around $30-40 including skis, boots, ski goggles and gloves. If you include food and gas expenses as well, a ski trip during week days costs around 75$ and at least 90$ during the weekend. These prices don’t include the fees of a ski instructor which is based on the LBCI report around 30$ an hour but I think you can easily find cheaper prices than that specially when you are a group. There’s also a Facebook group called Skiing Society that gives up to 30% discounts on ski tickets, rental equipment and other stuff.
Eurosport shared a video of the Top 5 ‘forgotten’ Ballon d’Or winners and among them was the legendary Lebanese Football player Georges Weah. Of course we all remember Weah’s amazing goals when he played with Nejmeh and his controversial move to Safa club before he was signed by AC Milan in 1995.
On a serious note, Georges Weah is originally from Liberia not Lebanon for those of you who don’t know him, and is one of the greatest players of all time. As for this year’s ballon d’or, it belonged to Manuel Neuer in my opinion.
Hekmeh (Sagesse) and Riyadi (Sporting) are meeting tonight at 5pm in what promises to be the hottest and closest Lebanese basketball game of the year. Unfortunately, the question that always asks itself in this fierce derby is whether the game will end with a fight or not? Let’s hope tonight’s game will be a clean one with a clear winner and respectful fans and players.
Lebanon’s Daniel Khorassandjian was among the three winning referees at the 2014 WTF World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships that were held in Queretaro, Mexico last month. Daniel was also named among the best referees back in 2012.
Update: I was just talked to Daniel and he told me that this is his 9th best referee award in 4 years, which is quite impressive! Here’s the list of events where he was named best referee:
2 times WTF 2012 2014
2 Times Asian Tkd Union 2012
1 Las Vegas Taekwondo Hall Of Fame 2013
1 Russian Open 2013
1 Kazakhstan Open 2014
1 Asian Clubs Championp 2014
1 west Asian Chmpionship 2010
The North Face featured on its Instagram account this stunning picture of Tannourine that was taken by team climber @bookofsamuel. The picture shows Will Nazarian, an Armenian/American climber, who’s been climbing all over Lebanon and has some amazing videos on the Rock climbing Association for Development page [R-A-D.org].
The Hoops player who got elbowed is called Milo Abou Jaoude. I don’t know if Milo was trash-talking him or anything but what Karl did was deliberate, unsportsmanlike and disgraceful. He deserves to get banned for 1 or 2 games at least.