American football player John Moorhead at the World Games in Poland in 2017. John is in his football uniform and standing in front of a World Games sign. Photo courtesy of John Moorhead.

Episode 244: John Moorhead and the World Games

Release Date: July 7, 2022

Category: Podcast | World Games

The 2022 World Games kicks off today in Birmingham, Alabama. Why should we care about a non-Olympic or Paralympic event? The International Olympic Committee is connected to this, and we’ve got some details on their relationship. We’re also joined by World Games medalist John Moorhead, who won bronze in American Football at the 2017 World Games in Wrocław, Poland. John tells us about his experiences and having football in a multi-sport event.

Follow John on Twitter, Facebook and Insta.

In our Albertville 1992 moment, Jill starts talking torch relay, namely the torch itself, which was designed by Philippe Starck and is currently somewhat newsworthy.

Philippe Starck may also have designed something for Paris 2024 too–or at least he did for the bid, and we’ll see if that idea comes to fruition.

TKFLASTAN has news from:

Plus, teams are starting to qualify for Paris 2024, and one team gets their gold medals 14 years after they earned them.

Thanks so much for listening, and until next time, keep the flame alive!


TRANSCRIPT

Note: This is an uncorrected machine-generated transcript. It contains errors. Please do not quote from the transcript; use the audio file as the record of note. If you would like to see transcripts that are more accurate, please support the show.

Jill: [00:00:00] Hello, fans of TKFLASTAN and welcome to another episode of Keep the Flame Alive, the podcast, for fans of the Olympics and Paralympics. I am your host. Jill Jaracz joined as always by my lovely co-host Alison Brown, Alison. Hello, how are you?

Alison: It’s been a little bit of a rough week in our house.

Jill: Oh, really? What’s been going on.

Alison: It was 4th of July, which means our fireworks and I have a dog. Oh yeah.

it’s the most pathetic thing you have ever seen when you’ve got this little 15 pound ball of white fur shaking uncontrollably at your feet. And there is nothing you can do.

Jill: Aw, poor thing. It’s tough. It’s really tough.

Alison: So to make myself feel better. I think I’ve gained eight pounds. by eating just everything’s like, so it’s like she shakes and burns off all the calories that I’m eating.

Apparently

Jill: gonna have to send you back out to Zhangjiakou or Yanqing and walk it off. But, you know, what’s coming up today games, World Games. Yay. So World Games start today and we wanted to do a little bit of programming about it because not only because they’re in the us, but also because they are slightly connected with the Olympics in some way. And you’ve done some research on this.

Tell me what this is, cuz I’m so confused. I

Alison: know. And, and we were both confused as to how does this work? So the World Games began in 1981, really as a showcase for sports and events that were not included on the Olympic program. That sports and events, distinction becomes very important, but sports played at the World.

Games will vary from addition to addition because the International World Games Association, the I WGA does not want host cities to build any new facilities. Hmm. I know. And the, I WGA never saw itself in competition with the IOC. They always thought of themselves as kind of a partner organization. And in 2000 that was made official with the I WGA and IOC signed a memorandum of understanding.

That was updated in 2016 and both organizations promote sports and embrace the same spirit of Olympism. The, I WGA agreed to conform to the Olympic charter and work with the IOC to develop the World Games program each Quadra, because like the Olympics, the World Games are competed every four years. In return the IOC granted access to its resources, particular in regards to technical assistance and to federations and national governing bodies that participate in both events.

So you see water events, you see gymnastics events, you see canoe events in both the Olympics and the World Games, but they will be different events.

Jill: I, I wonder if granting access to its resources also includes financial support. I mean, some of these, like you said, some of these are federations that are in the Olympics as well, but for some who have sports that are not on the Olympic program, I kind of wonder, do they get any kind of extra funding from this or funding that gets funneled through the World Game somehow, right?

Alison: That was not clear. Everybody, nobody wants to talk about the money. I mean, clearly federations that get Olympic money.

It funnels down, so FNA and fig, it doesn’t matter, but you know, things like tug of war tug of war and, the events that use mechanical and electric gear like drones, which will never be in the Olympics because that’s not allowed again. How does that work with the money unclear?

Jill: You know, Because we like to talk about the money more specifically. I like to talk about the money, but we like to talk about the money cuz you get dragged into that. And I, I will say we did try to talk to the World Games and we connected with them we’re supposed to talk with somebody on the Birmingham, 20, 22 staff and it just never panned out.

So I’m sorry we weren’t able to ask this, but I, I do appreciate you being able to dig into this a little bit, keep going.

Alison: Okay. So for example, you will see in this edition, rhythmic gymnastics is at the World Games, but you may say, but wait, rhythmic gymnastics is in the Olympics, but at the World Games, they have events that are not [00:05:00] in the Olympics, duos trios, and then the apparatus that didn’t appear in the Olympics.

Oh. So they go off schedule. Oh, that’s interesting. Same thing with wheelchair rugby. Wheelchair rugby is really the only para event right now, but it is low point wheelchair rugby. Meaning that, remember when we talked about wheelchair rugby in Tokyo, there was a certain number of points. Each athlete was assigned a point value based on his or her disability.

And you had a certain number of points allowed on the floor will low point wheelchair rugby. Is exactly what it sounds like. The number of points you’re allowed is much lower. So these are gonna be athletes with more severe disabilities. So there’s, you’re never going to see the exact same event.

So even break dancing, it’s not gonna be exactly the same. It’s going to be say pairs versus singles.

Jill: Huh? That is interesting.

Alison: So occasionally World Games will be used as a platform to make the jump, you know, especially prior to the Youth Olympics existing, that seems to be a testing ground now for new sports.

Now, World Games is also serving that same purpose. So this time we have lacrosse and squash. And we do have forms of break dancing. So things that are trying to make that move. This is a way for them to get more exposure.

Jill: Interesting. Excellent. Well, I am very curious to watch because of the sports that we don’t see on the Olympic program and also to get a, taste of break in.

and maybe try to understand how that works. Since during the Youth Olympic Games, it was not clear at all. how, how they scored those matches or dance off whatever you wanted to call those. But today we do have a former world. We. Today, we do have somebody who competed in the World Games. His name’s John Moorhead.

He competed at the last World Games in 2017 in roll club, Poland, and he was the place kicker in punter for Team USA in American football and Team USA took home the bronze medal. Take a listen.

John. Thank you so much for joining us. You went to the World Games, the, the last edition of the World Games, which was in 2017 in Rolo Poland. Tell us about the sport you played, cuz it’s not one that we think of when we think of multi-s games and how you found, how you got into the World Games.

John Moorhead: Well, hi Allison, Jill, thanks for having me. I love the show. Really do. So the World Games they take place every four years and it takes place in different cities around the world, the year after the Summer Olympics. And it’s really, they really like test events almost for these international federations, trying to get their sport more exposure, trying to get them into the Olympic games.

So for example sports such as sport climbing, karate have all graduated in recent years from the World Games to the Olympic program. So it’s really like a stepping stone, a lot of these sports use.

So I played American football and American football. You, you don’t really think about it being a sport that’s played internationally, but in the last couple of years, especially in Europe those like Poland, Germany, even France, like the game has grown a lot with these young kids who will play rugby, they’ll play track, they’ll be skiers or a multitude different sports soccer, and then around like 18, 19, they kind of, at some point you fail out of your sport.

Right. And they, they, they won’t be able to continue to the next level. So they pick up American football and they’re great athletes. And um there’s several professional leagues over there that are growing and are paying players. And what one specifically one teams, the, the Wrocław Panthers and they’re based in Wrocław Poland, which where the World Games were in 2017 and each host city gets to pretty much pick a couple invitational sports per se.

They’re not part of the official program, but they wanna pick a sport that’s, good with the culture, the local citizens like it. So I think the invitational sports were like kickboxing Speedway, which is like motorcycle racing, American football and indoor row.

And those are the four. You know the Wrocław Panthers are a pretty powerful team. They’re one of the most dominant teams in Europe. So they had a good fan base and everything. So I knew nothing about the World Games before this. I I’d gone to college.

I played football in college. I was, I was a kicker and a punter. I was mainly a punter, but I did some kicking, I had a pretty successful college career. And then after that, I wasn’t like ready for the real world. I mean, like, wasn’t like, okay, do I get a job? Do I go to grad school? So I chose grad school.

Cause that just seemed like more fun than getting a job. And. I started, doing the, the minor league circuit. So I was going all these tryouts as I was in grad school, I bounced around a couple arena football teams. I went up to Canada. I had a mini camp with the Hamilton Tiger Cats. Had a tryout with a Toronto Argonauts. So all these CFL teams, like three of [00:10:00] ’em and you’re just trying to bounce around, try to keep playing a sport while, while going to school.

So one day, I’m on these, this is social media, I’m on all these like free agent pages. Cause that’s what I was and I’m going through and just like. USA Football is putting together a team for the World Games. I’m like, well, what’s the World Games. So I do a quick Google search and I see that, it’s this Multisport competition in Europe this summer, and it’s closely associated with the IOC.

And I’m like, all right, well, that sounds pretty cool. And before this, I wasn’t a huge Olympic fan. Like I, I like, I, I liked the Olympics and but my experience really got me into it. Anyway. The application process was different. It was all virtual. At first you had to submit like college game film or minor league game film.

And there were certain rules, like you had to be one year removed from college. You couldn’t have been played on an NFL team in the last year. You couldn’t have played in Canada in the last year, which is kind of interesting because the World Games claims they want the best of the best athletes, but they were almost trying to like water down the American team.

I know that’s kind of like. Insulting to me, but they were, they were, they didn’t want the best American players over there, which is understandable cause they wanted to have it kind of a competition. Anyway, so I, I applied I think the 400 athletes applied and they got down to, you had to submit a, a roster to the organizing committee, a hundred man roster by like May 1st.

Right. So I get on the a hundred man roster. I actually like sent the email and I kind of forgot about it. And I was like, I email was like, oh, you’re, that’s pretty cool. And there was like four or five other kickers on there. So then you had to send more like practice film. I remember like bribing my little brother to go to the, the field with me and like film all these different kicks and, and whatnot.

And then I submitted that film and then I got on the 75 and then I got on the 45 man roster and I was like, whoa. So that’s pretty cool. I’m going to Europe this summer. And we get the email and it’s like, congratulations on making the team. It’s like pages long of itinerary. You have to, you have to follow and forms.

You have to fill out and everything saying, Hey, you know all costs are gonna be covered, whatever, whatever, whatever. So that was pretty exciting. Until most people don’t know this, but I a F is the international Federation of American football. And so they’re the governing body they’re recognized by the IOC, all that.

But I a, in 2015 had a, had a sh had like a split because the guys were basically saying once I wanted to be more with the NFL, like kind of like get, get you some NFL money. The other guys wanted to keep it like a purely amateur sport, purely European, like Eurocentric. Like they didn’t really wanna include the United States or Canada and a lot of competitions.

So they split into I a Paris and I, a New York. And I, a Paris took over control the World Games and they kind of had their own little groups involved. Well, USA Football wanted nothing to do with I F Paris. So they left and they joined. I F New York would, but there still needs to be an American team at the World’s games.

They basically said, you know we’ve already there. They were threatening like a lawsuit or, or whatnot. If they an American team didn’t show up, cuz there was four teams that there was gonna be the United States, Poland, Germany, France. So basically USA Football more or less said, we’re out. We’re with I F New York and the I F Paris pretty much threw together like a, they contacted all of us and said like, Hey, you’re gonna be the us Federation of American football.

They basically made it, made up a national governing body and said, if you guys can get to Europe, get to Europe, if not, we’re gonna use Americans playing over here. So it was really poorly organized towards the end of it. I was fortunate enough at the time where I, I had enough money saved up where I was like, well, whatever, I’m, I’m going, this sounds like a pretty cool opportunity.

And, and I went, but we didn’t have the opportunity to have a lot of practices or training together. Like I arrived the day of the opening ceremony and like, probably with my, one of my only regrets was that I literally like check. I got to the airport, I caught the shuttle to the athletes village. I checked in and grabbed my credentials.

And then I just passed out for 12 hours. I walked right past the bus to the opening ceremony. I said, I just can’t do that right now. And now I look back, I watched the Olympics pass this summer and this winter, I was like, dude, that looks really cool. And I totally dropped the ball but uh it it’s.

Okay. Anyway, we eventually, Had a few practices, not enough to kind of really like football’s a sport where you, you just can’t just show up and play. Like there’s plays, you need to install. There’s, especially as a, kicker, you need to get repetitions and chemistry with your snapper and your holder.

And um we start, we came out against Germany and by the way, Germany had been, they put their season on hold. The GFL is probably the second best league in Europe. And they put their whole season on hold for this. They had two weeks of practice with their guys. I actually knew the French national team kicker from our CFL days being going to tryout together.

He’s actually a French citizen, but he lives in Canada. And he was telling we were messaging. He’s like, he’s like, dude, like we have been like sent playbooks, like we’re ready to rock and roll. And I’m just like, yeah, man, [00:15:00] I’m. Sitting in a weight room here in Baltimore. Like I, I have no idea what’s going on.

But anyways, we, we come up, we come against Germany. And as I said before, these, kids who are playing against, I mean, they’re men also great athletes, but a team that’s just put together should not be able to play with a team that’s been training together that are the best players in their country.

We hung with them pretty good. Was it, we lost by one and then we beat Poland in the bronze medal game. Which again, like Poland had been putting a ton of money into into their program. They had even brought in their American coaching staff. They they hired these guys from division two school.

The United States brought them over to Poland, paid for everything, put a ton of money into their, Olympic stadium. They called it put a ton of money in their program. They had warm up games against like Switzerland. And at the end of the day, We beat them 14, seven. They, we definitely outplayed them, but having like a bronze is like kind of bittersweet, cuz it’s like, dude, like we’re the United States.

We shouldn’t lose. But we only had, 33 guys out there, other teams had 45. And I remember at one point the guy, one of the coaches asked me, he’s like, he’s like, Hey, can you go out and like play like corner. I’m like, no, I had had, like, I had like two tackles my whole life. I’m not gonna go play defense.

That’s wild. I mean that was the football part of it was, was a great experience. What was a good experience, but everything else was like an even better experience that kind of shaped my view of the Olympics and Multisport games and just being an athlete in general and just kind of like, You know made me question a lot of decisions that people who get paid a lot of money to run these organizations make.

That makes sense.

Alison: So, so you mentioned the World Games has an athlete’s village. It has an opening and closing ceremonies. What else about it would be familiar to Olympic viewers?

John Moorhead: It’s its honestly it is you from my experience in Poland to watching in the, the last five years following the Olympics pretty thoroughly it’s it’s identical.

It’s just there’s no money. Like the money that the, the media presence is a little less, I mean the athletes village was basically the university economic storm and it was like, it was a, my roommate was a quarterback he’s six, seven I’m six, three, and we’re our feet are hanging off at these like tiny, tiny beds.

There wasn’t any like pizazz, I mean, there was still things to do in the village. Like they had you would walk outside of your, your room. Also there’s only internet on the first floor that was weird and no air conditioning, but um you walk outside and they had like chiro therapy chambers it’s like this, where you walk in, there’s like this freezing cold stuff.

They had, different protein bars and sports drinks you could sample. They had massage and like the suction cup tables, there was a dining hall, but you could only go there three times a day. They gave you three tokens. So you couldn’t go more than three times. And some of the linemen were not happy about that, and it was very identical.

The, the Piazza isn’t there, everyone walks around with their credentials and their their national kit, national garb um which is really cool to see. Most of the athletes are pretty friendly. You could just literally have a conver some are. Little overly friendly. Like someone will just like walk up and like, not even say hi and just like, grab your credential and be like, oh, American football.

You could have just asked, but, okay. So that’s very similar. The opening ceremony is very similar. You walk out with your, your country. The closing ceremony is not as similar. It’s more of like a concert kind of thing. And there’s an athlete’s night. That’s in the dead middle, which is more like an athlete’s party.

Basically they do those three because you can only check into your room 48 hours before, and then you have to check out 24 hours after a competition. Cause they’re I never, they rotate athletes in and out. They don’t have maybe the money or the resources for someone to stay from before the opening until after the closing.

Alison: so you didn’t get to watch a lot of other things.

John Moorhead: You didn’t? No, I did fence. Oh, you did. I asked I did. They had transportation for us, so me and a couple other teammates. we had a couple bit, a day off. We went to, we saw some gymnastics, which is really cool. There’s like team rid, like there there’s something that, so even know redneck is in the Olympics.

It’s, there’s certain events that are not, so they’re allowed to be in the World Games. That was pretty cool. We saw those, the, the Russian twins. They, they did it there and they’re pretty good. Alvin or someone, I think, you know who I’m talking about a yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. They were there. They were really good.

We, then we saw some bowls. That was exciting. It’s almost like Bochy ball and I saw the floor ball final floor ball final was really cool. I think floor, ball’s definitely a sport that can definitely catch on with with this younger generation, especially, you know when nothing against ice hockey, I love ice hockey, but.

Concussions and injuries and floor balls, not as physical. So yeah, that was a really cool game.

Alison: What contact do you have with the USOPC and Team USA as a participant in the [00:20:00] World Games on Team USA,

John Moorhead: I have like zero mpromise with them. The USOPC doesn’t really recognize the world’s Games too much.

I mean, it is what it is cuz apparently the, our governing body backed out. So USA Football is recognized by the USOPC. So it might have been different if I had been under USA football, which I originally was, but when USA Football backed out because of the politics with the I F schism, they created this random called us the United States Federation of American Football, which is basically created as a national governing body.

Iffa Paris, stamped it and said, okay, get me 45 guys over here. And we’d all been told like, Hey, you know we’re gonna, this is gonna be, free of charge. We’re gonna have training camp in spooky nook, Pennsylvania. There’s like apparently a really good field hockey facility there where we were gonna a train there.

We were gonna take a flight fly out as a team out of Kennedy where we were gonna land in Germany, scrimmage, a GFL team. And then two days before the opening ceremony take a bus to row claw, none of that happened like we all were basically told at the 11th hour, like if you wanna play football, find your way over it.

Some of the guys we’re currently playing European clubs are allowed to have three Americans on their team, but most of these Americans are, they’ll be a quarterback. they all have American quarterbacks. They’ll have a maybe a safety or a running back or receiv. Very few European clubs will carry Lyman.

Cuz you can find big kids over there to just push people around. you’ll find none of them have kickers or punters because you can just find a kid who used to play soccer over there. So about half of half of my team was playing professionally in Europe at the time and the other half flew over on their own own dime to Poland.

The, kicker was that you had to be on the a hundred man roster originally. So remember the PO the organizing committee said, you need a hundred man roster by May 1st, any alternates or substitutions have to be from this a hundred man roster. So we had a lot of guys back up cause they didn’t have the, the money to go to Poland.

And um you were limited. So we only played with 33 guys, which is you’re playing four quarters of football and one of them’s me and I’m not, playing offense or defense. You don’t want that. That’s sad. Yeah, basically. And I haven’t heard anything from this us AAF since then. So I’m just I’m proud to be a, a shiftless Tani right now, cuz I was like, I had no governing body at that point.

Alison: So when you’re playing in the World Games and you’re playing American football, how is it different than college football?

John Moorhead: So they use college rules. So college rules are the same. The only thing that was different was they did a 12 minute quarter instead of a 15 minute quarter. Which that’s a high school rule actually, but the, the kickoffs, the, the hash marks, the uprights that’s, it was all college rules and that college rules are, have been adapt adopted by I a to use in all their major competitions.

That’s interesting. So the European championships the world championships, which again, the politics with I a F really bother me a lot. There hasn’t been a major men’s championship since the World Games like the US national team hasn’t played the Canadian national team hasn’t played since 2015. There have been European championships every two years.

So I think Sweden’s the reigning champion. It’s just all their funding and I get it. And I’ll get more into this in a little bit. when the schism was over, they agreed like, Hey, we need to focus on flag and women’s game the youth and women, because that is basically, The future, that that’s pretty much when everyone’s going. That’s where, inclusion in the Olympic games will get you and the Olympic games. And I think, it was good that they had this event. They had this American football four team tournament, but you learn quickly that it’s not feasible to play three games of American football in 10 days.

That’s why you play on Saturdays and Sundays. I mean, it’s, if football’s a very physical game, I mean, I’m fine. I could go kick seven days a week, but a lot of my teammates were banged up. 45 man roster. I mean, you always hear about these venues and these host cities complaining about athlete quotas.

I mean, that’s 180 athletes right there that you have to squeeze into the, to a village and there’s no gender equality really for American tackle football. There There are leagues. I have friends who play for the Baltimore night talks. Okay. And the DC divas who it’s tackle football.

But I think what I a has really seen is that, and you’re gonna see this in Birmingham is the flag game. You have lower quotas, lower athlete, quotas, quicker games, kind like rugby seven, right? Rugby, seven beach a volleyball three X, three, three X three. Right. you’re seeing that the, these host cities and these organizing committees want younger, they want faster, they want more gender equality and you get that with flag. You don’t really get that with tackle. So that’s why after the World Games, the Iffa has [00:25:00] really moved away from the men’s senior and really focus on, on, on the youth and the ladies, which is great.

It’s just, there’s no kicking on five on five, so I’m pretty much. Pretty much retire now. So

Alison: right. Flag football five on five is making the push to be a like a right in candidate for LA, right? That it, it can be there. Yeah. I don’t see how American football would make it into the Olympics. Just like you were saying just numbers.

John Moorhead: No. And, and that’s part of what that’s part of the reason the World Games exist. If they exist to, as this test event almost to see what sports have it, to make it into the Olympic games. And if your sport isn’t quite cutting it, how do you figure out to make it work? Well, the Iffa looked at the World Games and said, we couldn’t even get the Americans over here.

That’s not good. And they showed up with a bunch of like ex-college guys who, you know, and half European guys. So, you know if you want the best of the best, let’s cut it to the flag level. And I think a lot of sports are doing that as well right now.

Jill: I’m gonna be Allison for a minute. I, I wanna know about the relationship between you and the center.

Would it be the center who oh, the, the long snapper? Yeah, the long Yeah.

John Moorhead: So, the long snapper actually um I had two, I had Brett Perkins who was he was in training camp with the Arizona Cardinals years ago, but he was more of a tight end. And then I had John van Violi, who he’s got a cool story.

He was in Poland, right? Cuz his wife is, was playing basketball for this Wrocław team and he was playing football for the Wrocław team. So there are two Americans just living abroad. And then on top of that, the holder against Germany, Dustin held for me and then against Poland Mike, another quarterback held for me.

So I had two holders. I had two long snappers and it was basically just, it was one of those things and I hate it as a coach. Kids love cause I coach high school right now. Kids are like, I need, I need to play off on kickoff or I need to play off on punt. And I’m just like, you’re scrambling to find someone out there.

So Brett comes off the field cause he’s tired. So John runs on snaps. So I’m now getting different speed. And then I did, I have a different holder. It was, I mean, I made it work kind of, I didn’t have the best games of my life, but I kept us in the Germany game for sure.

Jill: So, is it you who has to adapt to their style?

John Moorhead: Yes.

Jill: Yeah. Okay. So yeah. So what all, what are all the things that you look for?

John Moorhead: Well, as a, as a punter, I look for as a right footed punter, I want that ball between my, like my torso and my right hip. I don’t want anything low or high and I, it needs to be in and outta my hands in 1.4 seconds.

So 1.4 is like my, from, from my catch to my foot. If it’s under one four, if it it’s good, if it’s over one, four closer to two, you’re probably getting blocked. I know. I remember you kind of just have to like, get it outta your hands quickly, your first punt, because you don’t want it getting blocked. A blocked punt is one of the most devastating plays in football.

You lose the field position battle. And if they score off that block punt, your chance of winning the game decreased by 90%. Um That’s like a statistic like these like analytics you ever watch football hear about the analytics as they always talk about. And Germany came out. I had to punt like nine times against Germany and they came after almost every single punt.

Um And I was able to kick away from their returner and not have one block, which is that’s pretty much doing your job. And as long as you do your job, you’re okay. Poland didn’t really rush as much. And then on a field goal snap you wait for the holder, the holder will have his like left hand down.

And when he brings his, his left hand up to catch the ball, that’s when you start your approach. And again, one, four is your target from, from snap to kick, not from the time the holder catched it from the time it leaves the snappers fingers to the holder’s hand. That’s pretty much 1.4 seconds. And I just wanna dispel this theory here.

Everyone talks about like laces out laces out laces out only matters outside of 30 yards. If you’re inside of 30 yards, you should have enough power to kind of make that ball. The ball’s gonna move, but you should have enough power where it shouldn’t really impact anything inside of 30 yards.

So I just tell, I tell the guys an extra points to like, just get the ball down. Like I’ll figure it out. so, but yeah, it’s you have to have a good relation. I had a good relationship with everyone on the team. We had. There was a group of really good guys who most were there. Cause they just loved playing football.

They were just like, Hey, it’s another chance for me to play another game. Other guys were there cuz they’re just trying to get another contract. Some are trying to get film to see if they can go to the CFL or the NFL or the GFL. I was there because I love the game of football and I thought it was an amazing opportunity and um I’d never been to Europe before and if I can go to Europe and I can play football while I’m at it and meet a lot of cool people, like that’s just a total win.

Alison: What’s different. When you’re playing Europeans both in terms of what European players are like and [00:30:00] what the European fans are like versus Americans.

John Moorhead: Okay. This, so this is per that’s a great question. This is perfect. So the game against Poland, my girlfriend, well, my wife now, but my girlfriend at the time flew out for the third place game.

She was gonna come kind was gonna come out anyway. Who we were gonna travel around a little bit before the closing. So you see some parts of Europe who we had never been before, before and after the game, she’s just like those horns. And I’m like, what’s up with like, I, I, you kind of notice them, but you don’t really notice them too much.

And when you’re playing, but apparently they had the, the ZUS the horns were going. And it’s almost like at a soccer match, especially when you’re playing the, the host country at home. they were pretty, pretty wound up. They were just pulse, good chance. O like over and over and over like Americans, like during a football game, you’re pretty quiet.

Or you’re talking to the person next to you, you sure. After a big play, but you’re not waving banners and horns and chanting doing chant. So the, the, the atmosphere is actually better not as big but better. And then player wise, as I said before, these guys are. They’re phenomenal athletes. Um They’ve all played sports at a high level.

Most are just new to football, American football. But they really lack that like, and I shouldn’t say wouldn’t generalize all of them that lack this, but that, like I’m a hit you like really hard mentality. against Paul P I or pun. I was pun against Poland. It was actually my last punt.

And there’s about 20 seconds left in the game. And I just know like, like I get this ball off. We buy a touchdown because if they block this and they score a touchdown, we’re tied. And I don’t wanna go to overtime because overtime usually falls on the shoulders of a kicker. And I’m not trying to like, yes, you always want to be the hero and you want to make that kick, but there’s also a 50% chance you’re gonna miss that kick.

So you’re just like, I don’t want that pressure on me. So lemme just get this ball away and have the defense close this one out and you know they’re gonna rush Right. So you know that one, four is probably now gonna be 1, 2, 1, 1, if that Snaps a little high, I get it down and I, I get it off and I actually hit a pretty decent ball.

And they’re they come through and the Polish player hits my leg. Nothing that hasn’t happened before. And um I’m not the biggest guy and I just kind of fall over, which is fine. And you’re not supposed to hit the kicker. That’s a penalty. Sometimes it gets called sometimes it does not. The Polish player knows this and he knows he, if you there’s a penalty on this play against poll and that game’s over, like you’re not, you’re not even get a chance on offense.

So I’m back first down. So he like stops, puts his hands on his head. Like, no, no, no, no, no. Ben’s over to pick me up while the play still going on, which is like, you would never see an American player do that. Like they might stand over the kicker and say some choice words to him. But so that was, that’s mainly the main difference between the European atmosphere of the game and the American atmosphere of the game.

Alison: Did you learn some choice words in either Polish or German to use during your games?

John Moorhead: No. Did not. I’m not a big, talker. We did hang out. It was actually really cool. after the French Germany gold medal game all the teams we all kind of hung out. We met in like the athletes village Plaza area, But we went out to like the main like center city row club together. So I was, hanging out with these German players. Not too many Polish players showed up. They were staying, they Polish, the Polish team didn’t stay on site for some reason. And then the French players you meet these guys and they all speak English for the most part, because the, I asked one of ’em like, why do you guys all speak English?

He’s like, well, do you wanna make money? You speak English is a language of business. And I said, That makes, that makes sense. But no, they were real, all really nice guys who realize just at the end of the day, they’re just, they’re just like you, they’re 20 something years old. And they like, they love their sport and they love their country and you’re gonna play hard by the end of the game.

Like the end of the day, we’re not getting paid for this. Let’s just have a good time enjoy the experience.

Jill: What is it like being on a team that has this kind of tremendous accomplishment, but you were thrown together at the last minute. I mean, do you feel like you’re part of a team or how, how is that?

did you know everybody on the team, like seriously, if, if I was on a team that big, I might be hard pressed to remember everybody’s name, it’s like the full class.

John Moorhead: Yeah. And it was actually kind of neat because when the team was named, so the team gets named back May 1st, right? Well, no, May 1st was the hundred man roster.

The team gets named May 31st. There’s this football website called. Where you have play online playbooks game film, and there’s a chat feature. So all 45 guys, we immediately got on there and we started texting each other. Hey, I’m John I’m from Baltimore. I’m the kicker. So you knew all, you knew all these guys for the most part before they, even before even landed, like you knew who they were.

Some guys that were taken off and some guys were added on because of the whole messy situation. But um I pretty much knew everyone before and you, you know social media is, pretty crazy sometimes, but you’re able to like, like I knew that my friend Zach was playing in Italy. like he was so like, you know where these guys are [00:35:00] coming from, where they’re playing.

And, and football’s one of those things where you, if you played long enough, you like you, you might have played against someone in college. If you’re especially at the division two level or division three level, if you’re playing at that’s that lower level, it’s very common for you to have played someone who you’re on the same team with now.

And it’s football is, has a culture where it’s really easy just to get along with someone. I think all sports are, this are that way in a, in a sense where it’s like, okay, you’ve been through the ringer before, you know what a two a day is, you’ve been hit really hard before you’ve won games, you’ve lost games and you have that common connection.

So it wasn’t like I was playing with total strangers. As I said, I, I roomed with we had suite and the suite is the world’s smallest room. You walk in. There’s like two beds and they’re super small beds. And my roommate was one of the quarterbacks. He was six, seven, and then there was mace six, three, and then there’s two other guys who were playing.

One’s, one’s actually. Former Chicago Bear, He was playing in Dresden at the time and it just kind of got to the point, like we didn’t know each other before, but we’d spent all the spent our whole time together. So, you just had that common connection. Also, the world’s smallest shower, like the shower was like none of us fit in the shower.

Alison: okay. Jill, the reason I’m laughing is I got the mental image of John at his quarterback sitting on the two outer seats and me sitting in the middle seat of a third seat of an airplane. My feet don’t touch the ground. You have to understand and just be like, oh,

John Moorhead: these are some very large men. And our knees are like slamming into the, uh Yeah. Small rooms.

Jill: so, so you mentioned you could only eat three times a day. What was the food like?

John Moorhead: Terrible. It was absolutely terrible. I’ve actually took pictures of it. Just like dry chicken rice, that’s, all it really was, was dry chicken and rice and some like Polish vegetables and was, was really bad.

And I remember I was walking around, we were going to the bowls game or the, the, the Bachi game. Right. And there was a food truck that had a hamburger and a Pepsi, and that was the best meal I’ve had. Cause I had been eating the cafeteria food for like two, three days. And I had that hamburger was like, I remember sending a picture of it to my girlfriend being like, this is amazing.

Like this is the best food I’ve had in four days. So yeah, food was not great. And especially, I don’t know about all athletes, but. when you’re eating on game day, you really don’t eat. You try to eat the lot the night before, especially for a big game. You’re just like, you’re trying to just maybe shovel a couple eggs and a protein bar down just to get you through.

So yeah, that was not the, the best part of my experience.

Jill: What was the medal ceremony? Like

John Moorhead: bitter, a little bitter. So we, so the bronze medal game was at like 1:00 PM. So we played and we won and then like we had to like, hang around and watch the gold medal game. I didn’t really wanna watch the gold medal game. Cause I knew, I knew that like a ball bounces one way or the other were in it. We only lost by one point to Germany.

We shouldn’t have lost, like we had one or two more practices together. We don’t lose that game. And just like, it was raining. I was like, this kind of sucks. So I walked around the stadium a little bit, actually spent a lot of money renovating that stadium. It’s an old stadium.

It was actually built in 1934 for the 1936 Olympics, but they never used it. Cause that was, it was German territory at that time. They never used it for the Olympics, but they built it for it. And then after World War II, when I guess whatever countries got reorganized it became Polish territory again and they renamed it, their Olympic stadium and they put the Wrocław Panthers who play there, put a ton of money into it.

So I just like, kind of walked around this like historic stadium. I didn’t really wanna watch it. And then they like kind of like called us down. So we walked onto the field and We kind of went first and Tommy wicking at the time was the president of I a think’s a total meatball.

Cause I don’t like him for his politics and what he did with the whole World Games.

I a, of course I got him. I’m like, oh dude, he, he put the bronze medal around my neck, but then like, it was really cool. Like the French players were super excited. They won the gold medal. They beat Jeremy by one point also. Um They were really, they were really excited. They, screamed their nationally Anthem, which was really cool.

Like, so yeah, I mean it’s it was cool. Like I had the medal and when I got it. I get back to the ATS village and my, my girlfriend’s there and I say, Hey, you know what? You should wear this tonight. I had her put the medal on and we were walking around town and everyone’s like, congratulations.

Like what sport do you play? And I’m like, tell them, been swimming, tell them been swimming. Yeah. So like,

Jill: did they give you the mascots as well?

John Moorhead: I do. I have handful and GLE. They’re not with me. They’re actually at my parents’ house, but I, I got the two little mascots, handful and GLE, I think that’s their names.

I got a lot of stuff you, I was surprised about. Like, you, you enter your [00:40:00] room and there’s just a bag, just a big bag with t-shirts and hats and wrist bands and lanyards and just all this, stuff. And I was like, well, that’s pretty cool. And I guess, I didn’t get as much stuff as you get, when you get team processed, going to the Olympic games and they, you, these athletes post like.

A million different outfits, but it was nice to get something. So that was pretty cool.

Alison: Did you feel any presence of the IOC?

John Moorhead: So, Tommy B was there, Tommy B was the opening ceremony,

I think. And I think he’s coming to Birmingham this summer too. He is, he’s going to Birmingham. Yeah, yeah, yeah. To, to Thomas Bach opened up the uh this Olympic ceremony. I wa I wasn’t there. I was sleeping, but apparently at some point his speech, he called us all elite athletes. And I was like, that’s never been called that before.

That’s actually interesting. So, um yeah. There was definitely a heavy IOC presence. There was even a heavier Birmingham presence there. The, the mayor of Birmingham, all their organizing committee, they came to all, they went to all the football games, cuz that was like something they’re really interested in cause football’s king down there.

When they found out that like our funding, whatever fell through, they were like, you should have told us we would’ve, we would’ve pitched it in. And cuz you guys get the bronze is like unacceptable. We would’ve definitely helped you guys out. So that was actually, that’s actually super interesting.

But there was definitely a heavy ISC presence heavy Birmingham presence and a lot of these, I passed it in the stadium. There was like this like V I P area. Every, every event had a V IP area and you just kinda like look in there and you see like a bunch of men and women in like ties and suits who you think are pretty important.

Cause their credentials were different color. Like I think it was like yellow. Like all the athletes were blue and are, there’s just like yellow and they’re talking to like, Someone’s, from an international Federation, who’s trying to push their causes as to why their sports should be like the next big thing.

So there was a definitely a lot of politicing going on there. That’s a word.

Jill: What has been your involvement with the World Game? Since

John Moorhead: Not a lot. I’ve actually, so I, I, I got home and I was like, that was a really cool experience. I wanna learn more about multi-sport games. I was very upset. I was upset a lot of about, coming in, in, in third place, in a sport that you shouldn’t come in third place in.

And I was very, I was bitter towards USA Football and if F para if F Paris and and I was just like, I don’t think like, athletes, we don’t always get treated, A fairly per se, I worked really hard and I’m told I’m going on this awesome trip to win a gold medal and everything kind of falls through.

And so I was I did a lot of research on a lot of corruption with I not just IOC with, with I a and all these other international federations and national governing bodies. And that’s one thing I’m really trying to like focus on is athlete rights pretty much. And I listen to Erin and Josh in your last couple episodes and it’s, it’s there.

It’s really just true. It’s like, there’s, there’s no money in this. And what are you supposed to do? Uh When you’re done playing and sponsors dry up and, it’s really, really difficult. And I think that the S O C could, could be doing more. they, they get a lot of money from.

The IOC and NBC and where does that money truly go to? So that’s what I’m not gonna get into right now, cuz that’s a little deep, but um that’s one of the things like I focused on when I got back home also just, I started like being like, these multi-sport games were really cool.

It’s a really cool experience. you were there this winter in Beijing, so you totally understand like it’s, there’s something special about you just walking around and seeing people from a whole different part of the world and just the friendliness of the comradery when this world is the world, isn’t always like that.

And that’s the one nice thing about these games is they bring people together, whether it’s the Pan-American games, the World of Games or the Caribbean Games or the Police and Firefighter Games, whatever. So, you know it definitely sparked a passion in just what I want to do with the rest of my time in athletics.

Jill: the other thing about these multi-sport games is when you’re an athlete, you are just focused on your sport and may not get exposure to a whole lot of other sports. what is it like being around other types of athletes? what do you

John Moorhead: gain from that? it is really cool to be around all these different types of athletes.

And you realize that athletes come in all different shapes and sizes and genders and, and age. so there was someone in the archery competition who was like, 50 plus I don’t, I don’t remember. I mean, there’s also the gymnast or who were doing the rhythm next. Who’s like 14, 15 there’s Sumo wrestling at the World Game.

So you had these huge, big competitors. And as I said, there’s, there’s tumbling who, in these, these girls are like four 11 on a good day. So it’s It’s really cool to be around these, people who are very, are very similar to you because despite their size and whatever, they, they are training just as hard as you are.

And as they always say, it’s I [00:45:00] know it’s super cliche, but being there is like half the battle. Cause for a lot of these people, a lot of these athletes, this is their Olympics. I mean, growing up, playing American football. My goal was never to play at the World Games.

But if you are, if you play an ultimate Frisbee or flying disc as they call it, or if you’re playing fist ball, this is it. This is your pinnacle of sport. So that’s pretty cool. For those athletes to see, to see them get to live out, like what they’ve been dreaming about since they were like 12.

Jill: . What do you think about the inclusion of flag football for Birmingham?

John Moorhead: I’m excited about it. I think, I think flag is the future of American football.

I see it as a high school coach every year, more and more, our numbers are dwindling. Parents have safety concerns and rightfully so football is a violent game. The weather in August doesn’t help when it’s 102 degrees outside and you’re wearing pads. More and more young athletes are playing flag as a way to develop, if they wanna play high school football, I encourage ’em to play flag first in middle school.

it’s a lot, a lot safer works on some of the same skills. Flag’s also easier to pick up. So for those athletes that they said before, who are like. 18, 19, and they flunk out of rugby or track and field. Like, I mean, they have the skills, they have speed. they can hopeful, they discover how to cash, throw, whatever.

So that, transition is a lot easier for those athletes, which makes the games more competitive. I mean, people are gonna be surprised about how good some of these other countries are. Panama’s very good. They’ve they lost the United States in the last two world championships by a touchdown.

Canada’s very good. Israel is also, pretty good. They have a lot of American ties on their team. So you know, this isn’t gonna be a competition where you think, well, it’s American football, Americans are gonna blow them out. It’s not. And as I said, it’s the gender equality aspect. it’s great that you can have a sport that has a men’s side and a women’s side, and you don’t have to really worry about, Athlete quota spots.

So, that, that is pretty cool. As it builds up to try to be an Olympic sport I think it has a very good shot. I think it’s gonna be really interesting to see what happens in when in 2028, if there’s a lot of sports vying for very few spots. So, that’s always difficult, but that’s what the world games are for the World Games are for those sports that, they’re close.

They’re not quite there yet, but it’s an opportunity for them to showcase their sport and their athletes and, and make a, make a pitch to the IOC. So see.

Jill: Do you think that the average fan will eventually know what the World Games is much? Like we know what the Olympics is?

John Moorhead: I don’t think the World Games will ever even come close to what the Olympic Games are. I hope one day, I, I mean, I’m, I’m hopeful that Birmingham has a big enough impact that some people know.

I mean, if I tell someone I played in the World Games, they’re just like, what’s that? And I’m like, well, let me tell you what it’s

Jill: I

John Moorhead: just, but sorry. I also think that the IOC can learn a lot from the World Games. The world games, cities are not required to build anything. the international federations actually select athletes, not the national governing body. So I know during the Olympics is always like some sports, use it a, a a point system and the athlete has the most points.

Doesn’t always get to go to the games. But the world games is also, they’ve had gender equality for, I think since 2013 or doing it, they’ve been close to it. I think there’s gonna be more female events in Birmingham than male events. I’m pretty sure. And I, I, I think that the World Games doesn’t have that like.

Big money, which, you know money solves a lot of problems. It also causes a lot of problems and the Olympic games do have that. So, with all that exposure comes also a lot of issues. So I think, I think it’s where they are at right now is pretty good. They’re they’re they sign like some memorandum of understanding where they’re not gonna step on each other’s toes.

Cause originally in 1981, the first World Games was almost set up as a, a protest to the Olympic games. Those international federations that weren’t included in the previous Olympics were pretty upset about that and they said, we’re gonna start like our own Olympics. And the IOC didn’t did not like that at all.

the first few years there was pretty a pretty Rocky relationship, but then the IOC saw that they could be beneficial and They, they they’ve been working together, which is good. Cause the World Games needs that financial support. And I think the World Games is expanding there in Chandu in 2025.

They’re gonna up the athlete quota from like 3000 to 5,000. So they’re gonna add a whole bunch of more sports and they’re gonna add para sports. So instead of having a different, like instead of the Olympics and the PA Olympics, you’re gonna have both able bodied and para athletes competing at one games and they won’t be competing against each other.

Well actually this year an archery, I think one of the archers is a para athlete, but they’ll be, under one banner per se.

Jill: Interesting. what’s your advice for fans who want to watch.

John Moorhead: The Olympic channel’s gonna be your best friend, their coverage in Poland was [00:50:00] amazing.

I, my friends and family didn’t miss a minute. They had nice like hour long recaps of all the events, which, you know if you don’t wanna sit through a, a bowling match, you don’t have to the commentators are pretty good. it’s a OBS feed so that it’s always better than whatever other feed you’re you’re gonna watch.

Um They’re gonna have all the events 24 7. So yeah, that’s, follow the Olympic channel. Try, try to watch something new. You never, you never know. You might find a new favorite sport. I mean, no one really knows what fist ball or floor ball, or I’m trying to think of what other, what tug of war. I mean, people know what tug of war is, but, give it a go.

You like it. That’s awesome. And I found something to follow. I’m gonna be down there in person, which is, I’m pretty excited for. But I’m not gonna be like doing any like volunteer. I’m just gonna be down there as like a spectator, which should be nice. Just kind of relax for a little bit and like a mini vacation.

Jill: what are you going to see?

John Moorhead: I have friends on the us football team, so I’m gonna go to almost all their games. I’m gonna go check out flag football, cause I’m a football guy. this is really cool. Cause I have friends who I made when I was in Poland.

And you know we kind of kept up a little bit on social media. But I want to go see I have a friend who does under underwater swimming and then some beach jam ball. So check out some stuff. I think beach handball might be one of the next big things also.

Alison: Check out break dancing, and then you can explain it to us.

John Moorhead: no, I refuse to do that.

that is not on my list of things. I almost ever wanna see. Sorry, all the breaking fans out there.

Alison: I think Tommy B would be his breaking name,

John Moorhead: Tommy de or just a bumblebee or something like that. well, he, I think he’s banned he’s he’s he’s he’s Russian. So I think he’s out

so there be no bumblebee at the world’s games. Darn.

Jill: Oh boy. All right, John, thank you so much. We’re excited. I’m excited about World Games. it’ll be interesting. It’s something that we don’t. It’ll be nice to learn and, and I’m excited that the Olympic channel’s gonna have a lot of it on, on streaming.

Yeah. but thanks so much for telling us about your experience.

John Moorhead: Of course. Thank you for having me. And I’m officially a um Shani now, right? Yes. You are welcome to

Jill: Leston.

perfect.

John Moorhead: Perfect.

Jill: Thank you so much, John, you can follow John on Twitter, Insta, and Facebook, and we will have links to all of those in the show notes. I gotta say it. It’s interesting that he played American football and the football that is in world’s games. 2022 is flag football, which is also gunning for LA 2028.

Alison: Right.

So many ways they, John expressed all the problems they had with American football in the World Games. And, and it it’s a much more fluid program than the Olympics. Things come in, things go out, things change this event is in this event is out, which it makes it like the wild younger brother.

Jill: Yeah. Yeah. and, and in a way that’s kind of interesting, I think, as a, but it also. Makes it difficult to make that a goal, unless you’re a sport that is pretty much always gonna be in, which would be what I would call a convention center sport. Then, they probably have space for you, but something like a water sport with a boat, do they have space for that or a lake nearby or whatever they need, if you’re on and off the program.

Your thought as an athlete, do, do you care? people know what the Olympics are and they know a long time in advance. What, what sports are on the program? So it’s just kind of like, oh, there’s this. Sometimes it feels like there’s this world games opportunity that you just kind of learn about.

And you’re like, oh, Hey, unless you are in like co ball. And you go, oh, this is probably likely to happen, cuz it’s not gonna happen at the Olympics.

Alison: Hey, there’s always a pool where you canfin swim.

Jill: how you can watch the games. olympics.com is going to stream competitions of 34 sports and all highlights will be available worldwide on a permanent 24 7 channel and on up to eight parallel live streams, which is kind of cool. There’s going to be live streaming. That’s embedded into the I WGA A’s website, which is the world games.org, and also the host city, which is T WG 20 two.com.

And if you have the T w G 2022 app, you will be able to stream on your mobile device. But if you are in a country where the TV rights have been sold, this will be geo blocked for. Not the, not necessarily the olympics.com, but all of the stuff that’s on. I WGA. So [00:55:00] in the us CBS sports has is, is going to show a, a total of 12 hours of coverage.

Which is going to be in the form of one hour, highlight shows after each day of competition. Over the 10 days of the event CBS television network will be broadcasting two, one hour specials with broadcast coverage. Also streaming on Paramount plus premium in Poland, you can watch on pole set in France.

You can watch on Leke in Spain, you can watch on RT V. In Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, you can watch on sport one and they will have a hundred hours of coverage sport. Go sport one in South America, you can watch an ESPN, Latin America in the Middle East, North Africa, Vanuatu and Myanmar. You can watch on Abu Dhabi, TV in Thailand.

It will be on optimum and Japan will be on TV, Tokyo, and there will likely be an option in China too. But as of today, I couldn’t find it

Alison: sport one

Jill: I know for the win.

Uh, That sound means it’s time for our history moment and all year long, we are looking at Albertville 1992, which is celebrating it’s 30th anniversary. My turn for a story. And actually I’m doing something that is newsworthy about Albertville 1992. Yes. When we’re collide. I know. And it foreshadows our next movie club episode, which is coming up very soon.

I am going to talk torch relay, and honestly, this is gonna be a two parter. You and your ice skating. I me and my torch relay, cuz I’m finding out some. So, the Albertville organizing committee, which was called Kojo they wanted to partner with somebody for the organization of the torch relay, you know, like in the us, when it’s in the us, Coca-Cola has sponsored it.

In France for this one, they, they worked with LA post the French post office because who delivers the post office?

So the idea of the torch relay all revolved around four basic concepts, youth, which were at the heart of the games and a symbol of eternity light in festivity, because light was synonymous with the torch, but also of technology. And festivity was synonymous with human interaction and joy. And then the national relay was something that the whole population could be involved with.

And LA post has a mission to create the link between people with delivering the mail. And then of course the other, his, the other concept for the torch really was history because there’s a, a ton of history involved with France and the Olympics. And they wanted to showcase that.

Alison: I just got an image that they’re encouraging people to mail children, cigarettes.

Jill: I don’t know where you got that image. You said youth

Alison: and light and fire

Jill: within, I don’t know the flu

I’m sorry. I probably should have talked about the park core de Lala, which is the Olympic torch relay because we have to get used to this terminology because we’re going to have it again very, very soon. So anyway, I wanna talk a little bit about the torch bears and the equipment. The torch bears are more.

Things we saw in the official film of Albertville 1992. They had 5,500 torch bearers from all over France ages, 15 to 20. So there’s your youth concept? they had to apply. You went to the post office to apply and then they chose your name out of a hat.

So then they had no Lupo

Then they had a thousand escorts, like when we saw Tokyo 20, 20, they had all these escorts worth of flame. Those were recruited from among postmen throughout the country to follow, encourage and replace a torch bear showed a problem arise.

Alison: LA trip

Jill: So one of the things they learned in this process was that the number of applications received was relatively small. When you compared it to the three, 3.8 million young people that they had the pool of to choose from. And they realized that the period for handing in applications. Also one of many public holidays and it was too soon for, to the event.

So nobody, nobody knew to do it. I wanna talk about the outfits a bit, cuz we did notice the outfits that they wore, which were bright, very early nineties. Puffy kind of things. this is from the official report. So obviously the organizer’s outfits had to be comfortable, [01:00:00] practical and warm.

The runners clothes had to be warm and waterproof. So the outfits had to be consistent with the same dominant colors of everything for Albertville, which was gray and white. And it had to have the logo of the torch relay the triple logo of lap post and. And that was it other, any, no other publicity, publicly identifiable marks needed to be on the close of the runners LAN

So the runner’s outfits were produced by Kway and the organizer’s outfits were produced by Ellis and they were part of a limited run. So, if those were on the market, Snap one up.

They made 7,000 outfits for the runners and escorts took several months. And of course the order had to be made before they knew who was running . So they had to guess on the number of sizes they needed for each, each group. But of course the organizer’s outfits made to measure. I mean, you are in France, right?

Alison: it, it sounds like the runners needed less safety pin

Jill: and the another key was they had to be easily recognizable. So they had parkers in dazzling, silver. One of the other things I wanna talk about, talk about the implements here, the torch, the torch was designed by Philippe stark, famous French designer, which you may know he had a collection with Target back in the day.

Remember that? I do. The Olympic games comes calling to Philippe and he’s like, yes, I will do it. The torch itself, they called it LA corn, or the horn had this bulbous steel alloy body, which was 16 and a half inches long, 44, 41 centimeters. If you’re metric three inches wide, as wide is point, it weighed 13 kilograms.

It’s kind of heavy. It could stay lit for 40 minutes. So. They called it the horn because it re resembled the bulls horn or a flame when you turned it upside down. And it was engraved at the top with gold lettering that said the number of games it was for winter 1992 and had a small emblem of the rings.

Philippe is unusual because for the first time in the history of the games, a designer was asked to create the torch. I’m not sure who created torches before, but this was an actual designer. So the idea was to make this a rare and valuable object. So he responded to this challenge with the design and stainless steel noted for its purity of form and aerodynamic lines.

He created a torch sculpture along lines, familiar from his other work, using his favorite material stale. The other elements of the design were, it had to be resistant to all weather conditions. It had to be carried by young people. It had to conform overall to the overall visual identity of the relay.

So there’s that youth dynamism, white and gray have to be predominant. The, the torch had to be made in stainless steel because the company that manufactured them was gue or. GaN. I’m not quite sure how to say that, but they wanted to manufacture the torch. So the torch burner, as we noted in Tokyo, they wanted to, they made it very much more environmentally friendly.

Well, the burner in Albertville worked on gas for safety reasons, and I will quote this. It this I believe is from the official report experience from the games had shown that liquid fuel for the flame was dangerous as it meant holding the torch perfectly straight, or the liquid ran down the arms of the bearer causing serious burns.

Well, now I, I I would go back and find out who got burned by a torch. Right? Don’t you wanna know that who

Alison: became the human torch, right.

Jill: So the backup plane was in a minor’s lamp and the lamp was in Giled brass and in grade with the logos of the torch relay and the Albertville games, the lamp could remain a light for 14 hours, but needed careful treatment to keep it working. So for this reason, they had three torch technicians working in shifts to keep it going.

the lamp was changed out at 7:00 AM, 3:00 PM and three at 11:00 PM. And at night they were on hand simply for emergencies in case the local town hall staff who had responsibilities for guarding the torch and every stop. If they called for help, the torch technicians were there for them. this happened only once.

Because during the day, the lamp was placed in the special vehicle. Each torch was lit from the flame in the lamp. And the minor’s lamp was actually very popular with the public, but [01:05:00] also with this town hall staff who had to watch it, they, the official report said they jealously guarded it on their night.

Most likely due to the fact that it contained the original. So the Albertville torch is special because we noticed this in the official film, usually every torch bear gets their own individual torch, but here they were passed the torch, the whole torch. Yeah. They passed the whole torch from torch bear to torch bear.

That means there’s not that many of them. It is the rarest torch of the last 30 years. And one is currently on auction. With our friends that are our auction. So if you have a cool 20 something grand, which as of the other day, it was $22,000. It could be yours. Auction ends on July 21st.

Alison: Welcome JLA

Jill: all right. It is time to check in with our Team. Keep the Flame Alive. What is up this week? Sailor, Stephanie Roble and Maggie She are competing at the 49 FXR European championship in AHU Denmark,

Alison: Dawn Harper Nelson made her broadcasting debut. Now it’s two weeks ago covering the us ATF

Jill: championships.

I’m very excited for her. I wonder if she is gonna get the nod for, for worlds too. It would be great to hear. She loved doing it, man. And congratulations to Phil Andrews, who has left USA weightlifting and joined USA Fencing as its CEO.

Paris 20, 24 news. I, I gotta say when I was doing research on left lab. One thing I’ve totally forgot about, and I don’t know if this is happening, cause I, I, I don’t necessarily believe the images yet, but do you remember when Paris bid for the games and they came up with that medal concept where it was one medal that split into four parts?

Yes. Philippe Stark made that too.

Alison: It was like stack, you got a medal stack and you could take off each layer, like an onion.

Jill: Right. And the idea was to give it to those who supported you. So you could share the victory because you can’t get there on your own. And I saw that in conjunction with the old Paris logo that they used for the bid, but I have I’ve also seen it with pictures of Maryanne. So I do not know if this is going to be the actual medal that they use.

Alison: The first teams of qualified.

Jill: Oh yes. Tell me all.

Alison: so USA and Dominican Republic have qualified in men’s football. This is a big deal. This is gonna be, and this surprised me. This is gonna be the first trip for the Dr. To the Olympics in men’s football.

Jill: That is surprising to me as well.

I would think that they would’ve done this before. Maybe it’s too small of a country compared to other Latin American south America. Powerhouses

Alison: probably true. And the us, we talked about this before Tokyo. They will be back to the Olympics in men’s football for the first time in 16 years.

Jill: Also incredible

Alison: well, this is, this is a happy piece of news related to doping. Sort of, but we are going back to Beijing 2008, Men’s four by, yeah, men’s four by 100 meter relay from Beijing 2008 was reallocated almost immediately, but lots of retesting and appeals. Jamaican Ru our Nesta Carter was found to have used the band substance methyl hexamine. And so Jamaica was stripped of the gold medal, which means Usain Bolt was stripped of the gold medal. Wow. Taken all this time. But officially Trinidad and Tobago were awarded their gold medal in a ceremony at the IOC museum in Luanne Switzer.

It B

Jill: very nice.

Alison: Japan moves up to silver and Brazil moves up to bronze

Imagine having to wait 14 years because Nesto Carter tested positive. For traces in 2008, this wasn’t a long time, but because it was considered trace amounts and they had to do the retesting and the appeals, and then they were supposed to get their medals at Tokyo 2020, which was then postponed and then they couldn’t travel.

So this medal ceremony was many, many years in coming.

Jill: Oh, that’s really rough. [01:10:00] And we’ve talked before about the fact that. what an opportunity lost for. Promotion or financial remuneration that you could have gotten and capitalized on because of winning the gold, even, everybody moving up as well in Brazil, hopping onto the podium, what an opportunity that they had to miss and, and training and, and did that mean people decided to retire before their, they really wanted to, because they couldn’t afford training or, or what, and it’s just, it’s really sad.

Also sad that it takes. Long

Alison: that they were fighting for so long about this. Congratulations to Trinidad and Tobago. We don’t get to see that too much. No Trinidad and Tobago on the gold medal position. So that

Jill: is, is very nice and a nice way to end it. So we would like to give a big shout out to our Patreon patrons who keep our flame alive.

You can find out more about patronage at patreon.com/flame alive pod. If you would like to support the show on a one time basis, please visit flame life pod.com/support.

Also don’t forget it’s summer, which means summer reading. And if you need a book, check up our shop of curated. We have, we have several curated lists of Olympic and Paralympic titles you choose from at bookshop.org/shop/flame. A live pod. we get a commission from all purchases made through that link.

So you don’t even have to choose something off of our list. If you just need a good bere, go through our link and help us out. So that will do it for this week. Let us know your thoughts about the World Games. And if you’re going, we wanna hear from you. If you’re watching, we wanna hear from you, where can we do that?

Alison,

Alison: you can get in touch with us by email@flamealivepodgmail.com. Call or text us at (208) 352-6348. That’s 2 0 8 flame. Our social handle is at flame alive pod, and be sure to join the, Keep the Flame Alive Podcast Group on Facebook. Where I expect to see some photos from people at World Games.

Jill: Yes.

And I know that some people who are going are trying to do a meetup. If you’re going to the World Games, you’re not in the Facebook group, please pop on there and get in touch. We would love to see listeners listening together.

That would be awesome. So join us next week for more stories of the Olympics and Paralympics. Thank you so much for listening. And until next time, keep the flame alive.