We are 100 days out from the start of the Paris 2024 Paralympics! We think there’s no better way to celebrate than by throwing things. We got to talk with Paralympian Justin Phongsavanh at the Team USA Media Summit for a few minutes and are thrilled that he had time to come on the podcast for a longer interview. Justin competes in para javelin in the F54 class (competes while seated) and won a bronze at Tokyo 2020. Getting on the podium was fun, but it wasn’t enough, so Justin is continuing his quest for gold.

How does one throw a long spear from a wheelchair? Justin breaks down the movement and how competition works. He also talks equipment, what it’s like when someone uses your javelins, and his road to Paris.

Follow Justin on Instagram and cheer for him at the Para Athletics World Championships in Kobe, Japan this coming Friday, May 24th.

In celebrating 100 days out, the International Paralympic Committee released a promo video. Here’s the long version:


The short version has fewer funky flowers and mushrooms.

In other Paris 2024 news, there’s some criticism about the lack of accessible transportation in the city. Also, ticket sales for the Paralympics have been sluggish–this is nothing new, and sales generally pick up closer to the Paralympics. That said, if Olympic prices got you down, the Paralympics are just as much fun for a lot less.

In clothing news, Australia released its fully-accessible Paralympics kit, and Nike is going to re-release the Air Jordan 6 from around the Sydney 2000 Games. They’ll drop August 3, and prices start at $200 (you could probably get a lot of Paralympic tickets for that amount – just sayin’).

Classification is one of the hallmarks of the Paralympics, as it puts athletes on as level a playing field as possible. The system needs to be overhauled every few years, and IPC membership just approved a new update that’s been in the works since 2021. It won’t go into effect until after Paris 2024 (for summer sports) and Milan-Cortina 2026 (for winter sports).

In our visit to TKFLASTAN, we have news from:

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

Photo credit: Team USA


TRANSCRIPT

Note: This is an uncorrected machine-generated transcript and may contain errors. Please check its accuracy against the audio. Do not quote from the transcript; use the audio as the record of note.

339-Para Javelin with Paralympic Medalist Justin Phongsavanh

Jill: Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keep the Flame Alive, the podcast for fans of the Olympics and Paralympics. If you love the games, we are the show for you. Each week we share stories from athletes and people behind the scenes to help you have more fun watching the games. I’m your host, Jill Jaracz, joined as always by my lovely co host, Alison Brown.

Alison, hello, how are you? One hundred days to go. One hundred days until you will be firmly planted in the wheelchair rugby venue.

Alison: I’m going to, you remember you talked about putting a divot in somebody’s couch? Yes. I’m going to put a divot in some, in some seat in that stadium.

Jill: Well, it is very exciting.

One hundred days until the Paralympics start. It’s getting close. It’s getting more real every day.

Alison: I know. So in the new intro, you have the phrase where somebody says it’s a long niggly climb. That’s kind of how I’m feeling. Like there’s this long niggly climb and we just got to get there.

Justin Phongsavanh Interview

Jill: Oh man. Well, today we are talking with Paralympian, Justin Phongsavanh.

Justin won the bronze medal in Tokyo in the para javelin in the F 54 class. This is a seated class and, you generate power through a full range of arm, shoulder, and chest movement. We met Justin at the Team USA Media Summit and set up time with him to talk in more detail. So yeah, here we go, buckle up.

Cause Justin is, Justin was so much fun to talk with. he is no nonsense. And I love that about him. Justin talked with us about the mechanics of sitting throws, the equipment he uses and his road to Paris. Take a listen.

Alison: Justin Phongsavanh, thank you so much for joining us. We’re going to talk about para javelin and I want to start with just talking about your setup. So you were in a chair with a fixed pole. Talk about how this works in terms of how you throw.

Justin Phongsavanh: Yeah. So most of the sports in the Paralympics are adapted from the Olympics.

There’s very few events that are newly made in the Paralympics. So when they adapted javelin from the Olympics to the Paralympics, I throw a lighter javelin. I throw the 600 because I’m sitting, which is usually the women’s weight for the Olympics. My chair that I sit in, there’s certain rules in which the chair has to abide by.

It can’t be too tall, it can’t. Be any weird shape. It has to be a square and there can’t be too much bend on the pole. So what my chair is, is an 18 by 18 steel, 66 pound chair. And it’s ratchet strapped to the ground, which is usually anchored in. There’s usually anchors in the ground that hold it. So the chair doesn’t move.

And then I strap myself into the chair because there’s also rules that your rear end can’t lift up off the chair. Your knees can’t separate from the back of the chair. And then there’s a pole that I hold on to because I don’t have core function. The pole acts as my abs or my legs to give me momentum to move forward.

And then the javelin is just a normal.

Jill: I have 25, 000 questions based on that. so why can’t your chair be too tall? What does height on the chair do for the throw?

Justin Phongsavanh: If the height of the chair is too much, first, it would be almost impossible to get onto the chair. And second, then. You also want some independency when you’re getting on in and out of the chair, you don’t want to have to, you know, call up a bunch of people to lift you up and Hoyer you onto this chair.

there’s also a sense of fairness when it comes to height, just because the higher you are, the initial height of the throw is higher. So therefore it’s going to go further because you’re throwing it taller initially because. You’re three feet off the ground. I think we’re, I can’t remember, like 50 centimeters, 60 centimeters like that, or something like that.

Um, if you go up to like five feet and someone somehow hoired me up to the top of my chair, yeah, I’d throw a lot further because the jab would take longer to hit the ground.

Jill: Does then it help? If you have a longer torso because you could sit like your body would be taller in a sense

Justin Phongsavanh: Kind of I mean, when it comes to javelin, javelin is really a technique based sport, so you could be super tall, but if your hand release when you’re throwing the javelin isn’t tall, it doesn’t really matter.

So like if my hand is way up here when I’m throwing, that’s good. But if my hands way over here. Now there’s a height difference of my release height is here compared to over here. So you want it to be released at 12 o’clock instead of like three or four o’clock because it’s less height.

Alison: How long does it take to get you set and strapped in?

Justin Phongsavanh: It’s a great question. So there’s actually a rule. You have four minutes from when your rear end touches the chair. You have four minutes to get strapped in and do all of your warmups. And that’s all the time you get.

Alison: So your chair is personalized to you. It’s not an adjusted chair that other people use as well.

Justin Phongsavanh: Correct. If there is rules that say that if someone doesn’t bring a chair, they are entitled to. Use another chair or same thing. If they don’t bring a javelin, they can use any javelin that’s, put into the pool of javelins. So if someone really wanted to use my chair, I guess they could, but it is very custom to me.

It was made by an engineer for NASCAR roll cages. Um, he made it, built it, engineered it all. And so. If they want to try to use it, they can, but I don’t think they’re going to find great success with it.

Alison: Do we dare ask how much the chair cost?

Justin Phongsavanh: So the chair was actually given to me by the US OPC. They gave me a grant for science and technology.

And the guy who did it pretty much didn’t charge us any labor. He was just, he’s one of those guys that’s loves to make things that are out of the ordinary. And so he was like, I’ve never done something like this. So let me. Let me do it. And, you know, we had to pay materials, all in all, I believe the final cost was around 3, 000.

And that’s not even labor.

Jill: Are they watching your butt while you throw?

Justin Phongsavanh: They’re watching it. They’re watching it. They got all eyes on it.

Alison: And you couldn’t feel if it moved, so you can’t even argue.

Justin Phongsavanh: They have to also have a camera on it. I mean, I’m yeah, I’m, I’m popping it left and right. It’s in every camera angle has got every view of my rear end.

And so but I, I go above and beyond and I, I use two straps on my hips to sink my hips in and also make sure that, uh, my crack isn’t showing because that’s my biggest fear.

Alison: I’m just thinking about the cameras, the multi view angle here.

Justin Phongsavanh: There’s a lot there. I’m not even kidding when I say there’s one on every knee and then there’s probably one in each cheek.

Alison: So in able bodied javelin, there’s multiple rounds and people are going on and off the field. How does that work with, with you being strapped in?

Justin Phongsavanh: Yeah, so this is the one part of seated throws that’s a little bit different is because of the setup time it takes to strap in the chair, get the chair out, put the new chair in, you do all six throws right away. So you have four minutes to get into the chair and warm up. Then you have one minute to throw the javelin.

And then when they bring the javelin back or another javelin touches your hand, you have a minute to throw it. So basically the competition after the chair set up, you’ve done warmed up will be seven minutes. Thanks. In total, because you get a one minute break between three and four. Also in my car, in seated throws, you are not allowed to talk to any coach that is on the field with you.

So I’m going to allowed in attendant. And so they can help me get into the chair, get strapped in because of my disability and how high of a level it is. My, my class and more severe classes allow that. Anything above my class does not. So you’re not allowed in attendant and I can’t talk to my coach. She helps me get set up and she sits behind me.

Can’t talk at her. Can’t listen to her. Can’t do anything. It’s just me javelin and that’s it.

Alison: So making adjustments between throws has to be extremely fast.

Justin Phongsavanh: Absolutely. It’s, that’s the one thing that separates good from great athletes is being able to deduce a throw and be able to analyze and apply it to the next throw.

Jill: How long did it take you to develop that skill?

Justin Phongsavanh: I just did it this year and I’ve been doing this a while. It’s a, it’s a continuous thing. You can’t coach it. It’s really you can coach it to a degree of being like, throw went like this as a result of this. And so you can get that knowledge, but when you’re in competition, things get sped up, adrenaline gets kicked in.

You start moving faster. You kind of go blank minded, , because you’re moving so fast. And so now you have to pull yourself back into. reality and be like, all right, what, why is it doing this? Why are my throws going like this? How can I fix it? And then you have to do it. And I think this year was finally the year that I was able to gain more knowledge of the throws and able to analyze more throws and apply it.

Alison: Cause you got to do it so fast. You have

Justin Phongsavanh: to do it so fast. You got a minute. It’s not a lot of time to think.

Jill: When you had to throw all of your throws at once. How do you develop mindset for competition? Do you want to be first? Do you want to be, do you want to have knowledge of what other people doing?

Because there’s no way to say, Oh, that one was bad. I’m going to see how everybody else does and then do my next throw. Or is that also helpful because you can just focus on yourself?

Justin Phongsavanh: I preferably, and I mean, I can’t, I haven’t talked to my other competitors about this, I personally like being last.

If I know what I need to throw, I can go and chase it. If I have to set the standard of the whole meat and I have to sit there and wait 45 minutes to an hour until the competition’s done, that’s a lot of anxiety, just sitting there hoping no one passes you. And so I prefer to be last. I’ve never had to go on, go first.

It’s totally random order. And so I’ve been lucky enough, like in Tokyo, I was last, so I knew what I needed to throw and everything.

Alison: What kind of adjustments can you make on the fly like that? Like what’s actually physically happening that you’re changing?

Justin Phongsavanh: Everything, everything. I could, I could throw a technique, one way and the next row, everything could look completely different. it’s almost like trial and error. Like those four minutes and those warmups are really getting your body dialed in, going through the rhythm, going through the phases in which the throws happen.

And then. When you actually do throw and you kick in the intensity and the speed, what happened, where, where was my arm in the space? Where was the tip? Where was the tail? Where was the finish? Where was my arm height? How did I pull? Where did I pull to? How fast did I pull? What was the timing between the pull on the left arm and the start of the throw on the right arm?

What, where was the direction of the elbow? Everything can change in that one minute of deducing and being able to analytically. Go through the throat in your head by just watching the flight of the javelin.

Alison: Okay, so let’s go through just physically what happens when you’re throwing. What are you holding?

What pulls? What all the different pieces that are happening?

Justin Phongsavanh: Yeah, so I I wear a elbow sleeve and I also wear a a belt on my stomach. It gives me a little more support It lets me feel a little more than I can and when I throw I hold on to the pole with my left arm and I do like a rocking motion. I kind of come in forward and then Go back and I set it up.

I pull forward really fast and I push off this pole pretty much with all my strength. And then I. Then now I’m fully back and I pull as hard as I can with my left arm without moving my right arm or without moving the javelin. And then once my body, my chest is above my hips is when I start to bring the right arm and I start to throw the javelin.

Alison: So given your disability starts below your

diaphragm, where is that power coming from?

Justin Phongsavanh: I like to say it just comes, I’m pretty much just chest and arms at this point. I’m paralyzed from everything below the diaphragm. So I want to say this strength comes from, well, it’s more speed than it is strength and it’s directional speed.

So it’s going through it’s speed that goes through a fixed point, which is usually the grip through the tip and you want to clean javelin throw. And I would say that the speed is just all coming from hand. It’s your hand speed. You know, you don’t see. You know, pitchers that are really, really buff, but they can still throw a hundred mile per hour fastball.

And the same thing with javelin. You don’t see javelin doors that are really, really buff, but they still throw a hundred meters.

Alison: So does that mean that within say your hands and your wrists and your forearms, all those kinds of quick twitch muscles have to be developed?

Justin Phongsavanh: Yeah, you got it. Yeah. It’s that’s all we do in the gym is just fast twitch muscles, speed, eccentric, decentric, all these kinds of different weird workouts that I wasn’t used to.

Now it’s now the new norm and so now I got faster, fast twitch and I got a faster hand speed.

Jill: What kind of exercises do you do then to develop that fast twitch?

Justin Phongsavanh: So we stretch a lot. First and foremost, we have to stretch a lot. And we do a lot of, Like speed bench eccentric. We do a lot of pulls.

We let pull down single arm. We do a lot of band stuff We do nerve flossing, voodoo flossing. We do med ball throws We do we do a lot of different dynamic workouts that are specific for javelin. They’re not gonna get me, you know fit They’re not gonna get me bigger. They’re not gonna get me more shredded, but they’re gonna get me faster They’re gonna get me to be able to throw this javelin further.

Alison:

How does the balance in your body work when you you can’t work your lower body and your upper body is becoming very developed,

Justin Phongsavanh: right?

It’s, um, it’s tough because, you know, you’re basically a slinky. I’m sitting on a slinky because I don’t have abs. I don’t have legs. I don’t have hips. I just, it’s, it comes from first, good posture, staying up tall, upright, not to roll it over and slouched forward, getting out center of gravity or on top of your hips, but then it just, it really comes from just like lats.

You’re my lats are like my abs. They control my lateral movements left to right. And then my head controls my forward and backwards. Balance. So when you have everything kind of set up tall, everything’s in nice form. You know, balance, balance becomes easy. And it took me a while after rehabilitation to learn that.

But luckily I was fortunate enough to, uh, either be born with big lats. Well, I worked really hard when I was younger to get big lats, but it helped out a lot.

Jill: How does breath play into a throw?

Justin Phongsavanh: I have to tell myself to breathe. I don’t really give like a cadence of my, of my breathing at all.

I kind of just. Go through it. I might give it a big, deep breath. Honestly, I might hold my breath. I don’t even know what I’m doing, if I’m breathing or not, when I’m throwing, I really just throw it and then. Figure that out. Like I said, my mind kind of goes blank in a certain, in a certain way. Cause if I start flooding it with a bunch of different thoughts, it’s just too much.

It’s too much. You’re going to start overthinking everything and usually doesn’t work out.

Alison: How does that work with the stamina? Cause like for seven minutes, you have this really intense multiple throws. So definitely tell yourself to pull you, Dustin, we don’t want you to pass out. How do you build up that stamina for that kind of, it’s like a 400 meter almost.

Justin Phongsavanh: Kind of, I mean, don’t get me wrong at the end of the competition, I’m never out of breath.

But, when I train, I’m throwing 40, 50 javelins of practice of different weights. Of different, goals in mind. I’m not, not every throw I’m trying to kill it and get, you know, a world record every single throw. I’m trying to get my foundation laid. I’m trying to go through the motions well. So when I, that adrenaline does kick in and I bring more speed and I bring more strength, I can handle it with my technique and it’s an advantage rather than.

Disadvantage when it comes to throwing.

Alison: So, on that kind of technical thing, what can go wrong with the equipment as you are throwing? Or can things go wrong? I mean, of course they can. Yeah. What can happen?

Justin Phongsavanh: Yeah., the first and foremost, the chair could not be strapped down, right. It because it could be, you know, cockeyed, it could be a little bit out of whack. And so it could be just uncomfortable from that aspect. You could break a javelin. I mean, I’ve broken many javelins before and also a strap could break.

Usually most of these things are checked prior. I’ve never broken a throwing chair. I’ve only broken javelins. I’ve broken straps. They’ve just popped right off. Otherwise the equipment’s pretty sound for the most part, just because it’s just strapping down your body and everything else is reinforced metal or like my pole is chromoly.

It’s a pole in a pole. It’s one of the hardest materials with rigidity. And so it’s certain things you just. Gotta let happen.

Jill: How do you break a javelin?

Justin Phongsavanh: A javelin hits a javelin. A javelin, you know, snaps. It could be stuck in the ground. And then the momentum of the throw is still going forward. So it bends it.

The javelins are, they’re pretty fragile. I mean, they’re hollow. And so if it hits like, I remember when I was in Tokyo, I was practicing. And there was like a, 30 meter square, it’s like a plastic pylon square. And it said 30 meters on it. I smacked it and hit it right in the middle of my javelin and the whole javelin bent in half, and I was like, wow, there goes 800 just gone because of this little plastic sign, but it doesn’t happen that often, but when it does happen, it stinks.

Jill: How many javelins do you have?

Justin Phongsavanh: So I compete with three. I have three javelins, one for every direction of wind and they come in different chord thicknesses. And so if I have a headwind, I throw a jav, crosswind, throw a jav, tailwind, throw a different jav.

and then when I’m practicing, the practice javs aren’t the same as competition javelins. Competition javelins are usually made out of better material. They’re nicer. They could be carbon fiber. They could be whatever else. My practice javs, I have 20, I believe. And they’re, they’re not a thousand dollar javelins each, but the competition ones are.

Alison: Can you switch javelin during a competition or if you start with one, you got to stay with one?

Justin Phongsavanh: No, you can switch. When it was raining in Tokyo, I switched every throw, almost, because I wanted a dry court.

Alison: Was that, I was going to say, is that so someone could dry it off?

Justin Phongsavanh: Yeah, so someone could dry it off.

Alison: Besides wind, what else do you need to be concerned with weather wise?

Justin Phongsavanh: Rain stinks. I mean, it is, it’s just not great. No one likes being soaking wet while they’re trying to throw a slippery metal ball. Stick and it also messes up the court a little bit when it’s wet. otherwise wind is the biggest factor.

Like I was just at Drake last weekend and we had a gnarly head and cross wind. And it was not ideal, but I was able to go out there and throw pretty well with it, just because we’ve got a ton of experience throwing in different weather. Situations.

Jill: What about each javelin makes it good for that type of wind?

Justin Phongsavanh: Yeah, I’m not an engineer. I don’t know. Just they advertise it. They say headwind or just universal javelin. I said, I’ll take one of each.

Jill: Putting that on the list, Alison.

Alison: Okay. This is a really javelins, how are they identified in your bag? Like, do you have little labels on them? Like, how does that?

Justin Phongsavanh: There’s nothing that’s two inches that they’re mine, but when we check them in, we get a receipt. Saying that these are your javelins. And I’ll tell you right now, I will fight tooth and nail. If someone says it’s not my javelin. Um, it’s, it’s, and if it’s mine, I’m taking it regardless. Like it’s, it’s, I’m going to fight, I’m going to show you pictures.

I’m going to have the receipts. I’m going to have everything. So there’s nothing that distinguishes it. Some of my competitors always use my javelins. They always pick my javelins. I hate it more than anything because I’m like, bring your own javelins. Use someone else’s. Why do you always got to pick mine?

So I literally thought about like making a javelin that has my last name on it, red, white, and blue. So if they pick it up and they throw it, yeah, you can advertise me in my country. I don’t care. They make them think twice.

Jill: It’s a BYOJ event.

Justin Phongsavanh: It is a BYOJ and I hate it that that’s a rule, but also like I do understand that some countries can’t afford.

Nice javelins to throw.

Alison: Why are you messing with throwers? Like, this could end so badly.

Justin Phongsavanh: You’re not wrong. You’re not wrong.

But they do. They love pushing the button. I mean, I don’t know what they’re saying because we don’t speak each other’s languages. But. I know it’s not it’s not nice.

Jill: Is there trash talking in in throws?

Justin Phongsavanh: in my sport, in my category, I wish I want, I want an enemy. I want a rival. I really do. But every time I go there and I try to put on my mean mug face and my like, I’m all about, I’m standing on business.

Everyone’s like, hello, senior. I seen you alone. I’m like, f—. You know, I’m like, you got, why do you got to be nice? You know, like, I want to hate you, but I can’t. And so I just say hello and I just move on.

Alison: I do want to talk a little bit about the arc because we talked a little bit about that before, just the, what is the arc that you’re trying to achieve for Distance?

Justin Phongsavanh: For us, Our release angle of around 38 to 42 degrees, is the best for me in my category. And then it’s just about arm height.

you want that arm pretty much right at your ear when you’re, when you’re releasing it. And you don’t want the tip too high because the forces are just going to go straight up and straight down. So for us, it’s 38 to 42 degrees.

Jill: Did you ever think you would be so excited about geometry?

Before you took this,

Justin Phongsavanh: I loved geometry. I hated algebra, but now that I’m an adult, I’m like, I actually use algebra quite a bit. And, uh, I’m lucky enough that I don’t have to use geometry too much. There’s, um, people at the USOPC in the sports science that were able to give me these numbers. Otherwise I would have just said, you know, I’m just going to throw it.

And figure it out then.

Alison: So have you done those tests and video pieces where they sort of put you on a grid and they film you and there you adjust your hand to get the, so what is that experience like?

Justin Phongsavanh: It’s cool. It’s a little bit harder for me because my chair is metal and it reflects whatever Rays that they’re trying to do.

And so like the Olympians get it real good. Like they can, they can get hand speed, mile per hour, arm height, release angle, all these different things for us. It’s more so we got to like take a picture and then do it manually rather than using the software because that metal chair reflects everything, all the data that we’re trying to accrue, but it was pretty cool

Alison: scarf.

Justin Phongsavanh: And it’s the paparazzi scarf. I always thought like, if I just covered it with lead, maybe. And then it would like, you know, like an x ray machine, but you can’t just buy lead vests like that in that size,

Alison: it’s the size. That’s the problem.

Justin Phongsavanh: It’s big. It’s big. Yeah. It would take a lot. And I don’t think it was worth the investment.

It’d be

Jill: heavy too. You’d have a really heavy chair then.

Justin Phongsavanh: Yeah. I mean, it would only be like a blanket that goes over it. I mean, the chair is already 68 pounds. I mean, it’s, it’s a monster in itself.

Alison: So let’s talk about traveling with your chair and your pole and your other pole.

Justin Phongsavanh: Yeah. I, the chair, the throwing chairs on wheels. It has wheels. So luckily it rolls. traveling with the throwing chair, the javelins, the throwing chair bag, usually a suitcase, and usually a carry on is so much, it’s the worst part.

Like there’s nothing I, Look forward to more than just getting rid of it. Like I would love if this chair was like 20 pounds. I can just throw it in a backpack and we can get going, but it’s, you know, luckily it’s, I only have to go from the curb outside to the check in desk inside and get it all checked in like that.

Otherwise, if I had to go like through a massive airport with it, which I’ve done, it’s just not fun. It’s not, but it always works out.

Jill: there always a question of what it’s going to look like when it comes out the other end, the luggage, the throwing chair?

Justin Phongsavanh: No, not as much because I’m more worried that it’s going to do more damage to the plane. And I mean, there’s certain, I take everything off. I take off all the straps.

I try to take off everything that I can, especially when it’s a long flight. and the javelins I worry about, but it’s in a nice case, really the only thing that gets messed up when I’m flying is my wheelchair. Yeah. they have broken probably four of my wheelchairs. The part of like, I landed in another country, got popped tires, I’m missing wheels, things are just messed up, but they always do a great job and they’ve replaced the wheelchair in a timely manner.

And now I have a new wheelchair that actually goes inside the cabin in the overhead bin.

Alison: That’s going to be pretty sweet. Does it, does it collapse? Like one of those foldable bicycles?

Justin Phongsavanh: Kind of. Yeah. It’s so the, the backrest folds down and then the front wheels fold under. So it’s the size of a suitcase.

It’s around, I want to say two and a half, three kilos. So it’s like five pounds. It’s real light and it literally fits in the overhead of the plane.

Jill: That is cool.

Justin Phongsavanh: It costs 12, 000.

Jill: Wow. Not surprising. That’s of course, it’s got to be cool for that much. Right. It

Alison: better, you know. Take pictures of your butt for them.

Justin Phongsavanh: Couldn’t agree more. Couldn’t agree more for that much. You buy a new, you can buy a used Honda Civic for that.

Alison: So what is the, life look like between now and the Paralympics?

Justin Phongsavanh: Chilling. I got world championships in. I compete on the 25th of May, I’ll leave here in about two weeks for the world championships in Kobe, Japan.

And then I’ll have another competition in June, just to tune up me in the month of June here in Georgia. And then the trials are in July in Florida. And so at the trials is where I have to show up and I have to do really well to make it to the games. So I don’t look too far into the games. I got to look forward to trials first and then after trial.

And then, so basically also I’m just chilling. Like the biggest thing is staying healthy. I can’t, I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize my shoulders, my wrists. I don’t want to break literally and figuratively not break a leg. And so it’s just chilling, maintaining. I do a lot of PT, a lot of rehab, try to hang out with a lot of my friends if I can, and, um, yeah.

Yeah, just taking it easy as much as I can.

Alison: Okay. Trials in Florida in July sounds really unpleasant.

Justin Phongsavanh: I’m in Georgia. It’s two peas in a pod over here. I’m not too worried about it.

Alison: But when it’s so hot and humid, what does that do to the throwing environment?

Justin Phongsavanh: Nothing, nothing. I mean, it comes to, it comes with the sport.

It’s, it’s really like people that complain about the weather. We’re an outdoor sport. Like the Minnesota Vikings are always going to compete if it’s snowing, just like how they would compete if they were in Miami, Florida against the dolphins, when it’s hot. We are an outdoor sport. We’re adaptive athletes.

It’s in our name to be able to adapt to any situation. And so when it’s hot, it’s hot when it rains, I’m going to complain. I’m still going to compete.

Alison: I’m going to complain a lot if I’m sitting there and it is raining. Come and see you. And it rains. We have a big problem.

Justin Phongsavanh: Yeah. The rain’s not great. The rain’s not great, but the heat I can deal with. He eats fine. Cold. I mean, we don’t compete till the summer, so I’ve never really had there like an opportunity where it’s like, wow, it’s 40 degrees and I have to throw outside.

Jill: How has the world of para athletics changed in the time you’ve been competing?

Justin Phongsavanh: You’re starting to see more involvement with para sports and able bodied sports. They’re starting to become a better integration. There’s also more publicity around disabled sports, which is incredible. I. I would also say and argue that there’s more financial opportunities for a Paralympian to be able to make a livelihood out of this sport, because I’ll tell you right now, there’s probably, I think our national team has probably 65 people on it, and I guarantee 40, Or to 50 of those athletes do not have a professional sponsor.

And it just comes with the territory. It’s, I don’t want to say it’s new because it’s over, you know, it’s really, it’s actually an old organization and old sport, but it’s just not a lot of attention towards it. And it makes sense given that the marketing hasn’t been the best for disabled sports. And especially for a sport that’s parallel to the Olympics, but it’s getting there, especially with LA 2028 coming up in a couple of years, I think the sport of Paralympic athletics, para athletics, and just para sports in general is going to blow up in America, at least because it’s already big in Europe.

Alison: So what, what differences do you see? In, in what is happening in Europe,

Justin Phongsavanh: They really support their athletes. Also, the way that they pay their athletes is significantly better, significantly better. I’m talking. You’re not living in poverty, like for us to actually make a livelihood and to be able to own a house and to do everything you have to work.

Like I have to work a nine to five job. I’d have to go work 40 hours somewhere to be able to support that. Otherwise, the money that the USOPC gives us for being top three in the world is not enough to live on. And it makes sense because we are A nonprofit organization, the team USA is. And so we can only get it so much money for it, but other countries, they use the lottery system.

They pay, they pay their athletes out of the lottery. they also provide them ample bonuses and all these other things. And I think just Europe has. It’s done more because they’ve had a lot of games over there, like they had London 2012. And that’s really when, even prior to that, it was still big, but now like after 2012, it really blew up.

So I’m hoping that the same happens with LA 2028.

Alison: Okay. Now, since we brought up money, do you have an opinion on the 50, 000 Olympic gold medal money that world athletics is handing out?

Justin Phongsavanh: Yeah, that’s great. I think, um, in the US OPC also gives you 36, 000 for winning a gold medal. And I think it’s 24 for a silver and 15 for a bronze.

And that finally got matched last games for Paralympians. I would love if what athletics would kick us 50 K for a gold medal, but also understand that we don’t do anything for World Athletics and they don’t do anything for us. So why would they just shell out, you know, Probably three, 4 million for our gold medalists when we’ve done nothing for what athletics, you know, if USATF on the other hand would do that, that’d be great because every Paralympic national team member that’s, that’s on the national team has a USATF membership. Yeah, the money’s apparent. I would love to see more money to us athletes. I would love if to be a Paralympian is no easy feat to be a Paralympic games. Medalist is a whole different ball game. And then if you also want to take into consideration to be a Paralympic games. A Paralympian and a record holder, it takes a whole different beast.

And it’s hard to get there when you have to go work a nine to five. And then you have to, after go and train and do everything just so you can live. It’d be great if they paid us, you know, 2, 000 a month to be able to pay for a mortgage or rent in food.

Jill: So what is that beast that differentiates a competitor versus a medalist versus a record maker.

Justin Phongsavanh: Really? I think it’s a combination of genetics. It’s, it’s really hard to be, you know, four foot nine and run a 100 meter dash and break the world record. And so genetics takes a big part. Part in it, but then it also comes down to nutrition, comes down to environment. Where are you training? What are you doing?

Do you have a coach? Are you eating well? Are you resting well? Are you doing everything right? And then are you doing more than what is asked of you? Because. You can go, your coach can make you a workout. You can go to the gym. Nice. You finished it. What are you doing the rest of your day? What are you doing after that one hour workout?

Are you staying healthy? Are you just going to go lay in bed for nine, nine and a half hours until you go to sleep? What are you doing that is beneficial to you to be a champion and the people that get it, get it, and the people that don’t don’t, and I mean, you really have to do everything right. If you want to be on that podium and you want to be written in history books.

Alison: What will success in Paris look like to you?

Justin Phongsavanh: Gold. Gold. It’s, that’s the only thing I’m looking at. Before in Tokyo, it was to get there. I wanted to get to the games. It was my first ever games. It was, you know, the, the epitome of like what, The world just was on standstill for a year and the pandemics. And the first time the games has ever been delayed and postponed.

And so I was like, let’s just get there. Let’s just make sure I get there and enjoy the experience, take everything in, do everything that I can. And this time, now that I’ve done that, I still respect the. Eliteness that it takes to get to the games, but also I’m more confident in myself and my abilities now.

And gold is. The goal only goal,

Alison: that’s a lot of pressure. So how do you manage that kind of putting pressure on yourself, getting the external pressure and, and not freezing with that

Justin Phongsavanh: pressure makes diamonds. I’ve been, my, my high school coaches used to always tell me this, I’ve competed in a lot, a lot of competitions in my life, whether it was in high school and I was able bodied or if it’s in the Paralympics and the pressure never gets to me because the way that a thrower is good is if your average throw on a bad day is a world record standing throw, you’re, you’re the best.

So I want my average to be other people’s personal, personal bests. That’s what I want. And if I can get to that position to where, you know, just the average throw is. 31 meters in this other guy over here is only ever thrown 29 meters, his whole life. I went, so I’m going to raise my average. So it’s better than everyone else’s.

So then I have a baseline and it’s only up from there,

but no pressure.

Alison: No,

Justin Phongsavanh: I, uh, I’m not too worried about it. If it’s one of those things where if you don’t have a goal and you don’t give everything you can to it, I don’t want to look back and be like, wow, if I would’ve just done that, I might’ve won because I did that in Tokyo. I watched all the footage and I was like, if I would’ve just made that one adjustment, I would’ve won.

And I don’t live like that anymore. I’m going to throw all my eggs in this basket. I’m going to bet on me. I’m going to bet on my coach and my team and my athletic prowess to be able to put me at the top of that podium.

Alison: You didn’t do so bad in Tokyo though.

Justin Phongsavanh: Didn’t do great, but didn’t do bad. Third place is that happy, happy position.

Cause you’re happy to be on the podium. You know, you’re not that fourth place guy that’s looking up and like, dang, I missed it. Second Hertz, second Hertz. so I was happy just to be on the podium at all because the competition was really stuck, like stiff. They were really good that day.

Alison: When do you know you’re going to have a good throw? Like in terms of that day and that actual moment of the throwing?

Justin Phongsavanh: It changes. It’s anything because like I said before, like making that adjust, those adjustments on the fly all the time. Um, it. Every throw could change in javelin. There’s always a variable rate of change.

So I could throw 29, 30, 30, 30, 25, and then I could come back and throw 34. You just never know because you’re making those adjustments. But everyone has a baseline average. Like my, I would say my baseline average is 29 meters. I should, at the end of the competition, I should never drop below that, and I should only go up from there.

Jill: When you talk about making the podium, is it. Different in a sport where you do all of your throwing at once.

Justin Phongsavanh: What do you mean? I don’t

Jill: know if that makes sense. That didn’t make sense. yeah, scrap that question. I don’t know what I want. Do you mean because you have to sit around and wait? Yeah, but I guess in throws you have to sit around and wait anyways.

Justin Phongsavanh: Right, but you’re going in sequential order over and over and over again. So you kind of know and build on it. It’s nicer for me because everyone’s done if I’m the last thrower. There is no surprises that could come in the sixth and final round. From the first. Yeah, because.

Jill: Yeah.

Justin Phongsavanh: Yeah, exactly. So, but if I’m the first thrower, like now it’s a lot of pressure because I got to set this bar really, really, really high so no one else can come and chase it.

Jill: Yeah. And then you don’t know, like, it seems like you’ve, if you’ve done a good job and you’re an early thrower. But you don’t know.

Justin Phongsavanh: Right.

Jill: I don’t know. I’m just not going to have words on this one. No, but I

Alison: get it when you’re sitting there. I mean, you know, if you’ve done your best and you kind of know what other people’s bests are, but could they have that day where all of a sudden they get that extra foot?

Because they, they did something different since the last time you saw them throw out.

Justin Phongsavanh: Adrenaline is a hell of a drug, but it’s a hell of an endorphin. It’s a hell of a feeling and it changes everything, everything. And so, yeah, I mean, I could go out there and break a world record and I’d be the first throw and break a world record that lights a fire out of some people and they could come out and they could top it.

Don’t think that’s ever going to happen. My world record’s pretty far out there. You never know. You never know.

Jill: What is the classification process like for you? Do you have to get reclassified or are you kind of a one and you’re body stable?

Justin Phongsavanh: Yeah. So my, my, my classification will never, I’ll never have to get reclass just because spinal cord injuries don’t, the people that do are like cerebral palsy, uh, muscular dis, um, uh, okay. autoimmune diseases have to, because they, they have the potential of getting better or getting worse. My prognosis is a bullet in my spine. It’s not moving. It’s not getting better. I’m not going to raggedly one day start get up and running. And if I do, no one will know. And so just one of those things that I’d never have to go through it again.

Alison: And what was that process like for you?

Justin Phongsavanh: The process was easy. They pretty much just like do that little thing on your knee to hit it and to get the reaction. They’re like, Oh, wow, that didn’t work. And then they were like, Oh, Hey, do a sit up. And I was like, here’s me giving my best effort. They’re like, all right, you don’t have abs.

Also show me all your medical records and then show them all the medical records. So I get, this is your class. I say, cool. And that was it. How big was

Jill: that file of medical records?

Justin Phongsavanh: Yeah, it’s a, it’s a flash drive nowadays, so

Jill: I

Justin Phongsavanh: didn’t have to bring any actual papers, but yeah, it’s not too bad. I think it’s like six pages.

It pretty much, I mean, my diagnosis is pretty standard as it gets. Yeah. I’ve never had a surgery. Don’t have any rods or anything in. It’s just, there’s a bullet in my spine. It’s chilling in there. And then there’s fragments floating around.

Alison: How do you go through a metal detector?

Justin Phongsavanh: I don’t.

Alison: You don’t, right. So you have to have some kind of certification.

Justin Phongsavanh: Um, like when I go through the airport, they pull me out to the side and they just pat me down. Yeah. Otherwise my chair would light up.

My body would light up. Everything would light up. They have to pull you out to the side and they, uh, pat you down.

Alison: I figured the chair, but I’m like, Oh, wait a second. You have extra metal.

Justin Phongsavanh: Yeah. I can’t get, can’t get MRIs.

Jill: How long before you get to the airport or how long before your flight, do you go to the airport?

Justin Phongsavanh: I’m one of those guys. Yeah. I’m one of those guys that goes to the airport three hours. I’m a, cause sometimes you get flack with the throwing chair. Sometimes you’re like, what is this? How, how, Oh, this and this and that. And I’m like, come on. But luckily now I’m kind of like a reoccurring visitor to Atlanta and I’ve gone there so much become a regular and they know me so they know how to bring it up quick.

And it’s great. It’s great. I’m a three hour guy because then I like to chill out, grab a drink, grab some food, hang out. I got no problem waiting for a flight. If it’s like an early, early morning flight, I’m probably there only two hours. Because you can’t, you can’t get me there that early.

Alison: What did we miss that people should know about what you do?

Justin Phongsavanh: So I also coach seated throws in adaptive sports last year. I believe I did five different clinics across the country on my own dime. Went to three, these different competitions and hosted clinics for adaptive sports and, or for seated throws, shot put discus javelin, and ambulatory. I even helped coach all across the country on my own dime.

I paid to go out there and do these for free. And. I have two MBA degrees. I have an MBA and a master’s in accounting and a master’s in business in marketing. just have the world record bronze medalist. I’m a free agent. If there’s any agents that listen to here. So if someone wants to sign me, that’d be great.

Cause I’ve called over a hundred agents and they’ve all said no.

Jill: Do you get ghosted or do they actually tell you no? Cause we get ghosted on stuff a lot.

Justin Phongsavanh: Oh, no, I’ll keep calling. I’m the king of followup. I will, I will put you in a, in a app that will send you emails every week until you reply.

And so. No, they don’t ghost me. They just say, we don’t take on a debt like paralyzed sports. We don’t know how to do that. And I said, listen, if you can represent an NFL guy, I just want his scraps. I just want whatever he doesn’t want. If he doesn’t want this 5, 000 deal because he’s making millions. I want that, please.

I’ll take that all day. And so just trying to find someone to take a chance on me. So other than that, I don’t have a lot of sponsors. I have two good ones, but

Alison: Is there a lot of throwing of things that happens in your house?

Justin Phongsavanh: Yeah, absolutely. I’m not handing you anything. I’m throwing it to you. First of all, it’s a waste of effort to wheel over to you and be like, here’s something so nicely.

You want a glass for your coffee? Be ready. I’m going to underhand it to you. And if you’re not athletic enough to catch the empty glass Maybe you don’t need coffee in the morning, you know, maybe we should do some cone drills to get you ready for the day. yeah, I’m throwing everything, everything that’s not breathing, I will throw.

Alison: How cool were the little things in Tokyo that brought the javelins and the shotputs back, the little Tokyo cars?

Justin Phongsavanh: It’s becoming standard now. So those were, uh, Autonomous. Those didn’t require anyone at Drake relays. I just went to an Iowa. They had him. It was a remote control guy though. but yeah, it’s incredible because no one wants to have to walk out a hundred feet and then run back a hundred feet six times.

Per thrower. And then also when I’m warming up, I’m probably throwing four or five times. This man’s going to be getting a workout and he doesn’t want to do that. So he just put in that little car. But yeah, it was the first time me seeing it, , for para sports. They’ve been doing it for Olympic sports for a long time because no one’s running 90 meters, 80 meters back with a 16 pound, you know, hammer throw, uh, Or a javelin, just not going to happen.

Jill: Does that shorten your rest time between throws then?

Justin Phongsavanh: Yes. Great question. Yes, it does. Because when that javelin comes back and if you’re throwing the same javelin, that the javelin gets the officiates hand and then they hand it to you. It’s time, but they market, they have to measure the throw after you throw it.

They measure it, but they have a laser. So it happens pretty quick within 15 seconds and the javelin is usually there. And so basically you have like a minute 15. I don’t ever take a full minute to throw this thing unless it’s super windy. And I’m trying to wait out the wind. Usually I’m, I’m like, hurry up, give me that thing.

Alison: And if you’re not ready too bad, you’re going to have

Justin Phongsavanh: a coffee cup on the floor. Absolutely. Um, there’s been so many times too, where I’ve tried, like I’ve been warming up and the officials aren’t paying attention and almost get a javelin in the chest. It’s just like of all the sports, why are you getting distracted?

Like not only do these javelins slide on the ground. They got a pointy tip. If I put this thing into your neck, you’re not going to be having a good afternoon. But, I haven’t done it yet. Hopefully not.

Alison: I can see Justin, Justin is my kind of javelin thrower.

Justin Phongsavanh: I’m just like, always yelling like, heads up! Move!

If you break my javelin, I break your neck. You’re still paying for my javelin.

Jill: It’s not a good way to recruit people into the sport.

Justin Phongsavanh: No, I mean,

Alison: it’s not I think it’s a

Justin Phongsavanh: great way. I mean, it’s pretty cool to be dangerous. You

Alison: know, you know, somebody annoying you get your javelin

Justin Phongsavanh: out.

Alison: Oops! Oops!

Justin Phongsavanh: Caught you around the neck.

That’s funny.

Alison: Justin, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

Justin Phongsavanh: It’s my pleasure. Thank you guys for having me.

Jill: Thank you so much, Justin. You can follow Justin on Instagram at Paralympic thrower, and he will be competing, and he’s competing in the Para Athletics World Championships in Kobe, Japan this Friday, May 24th. So be sure to cheer him on.

Paris 2024 News

Alison: El Nura Santors. It’s still not good, but you get what I’m trying to say. 100 days to go. We have 100 days to go. Yeah.

Jill: We are 100 days out. Many things have happened. So there is a new promotional film to promote 100 days to go. This is from the International Paralympic Committee.

Alison: Part cartoon, part live action film with real shots of people.

Part fever dream

Jill: Yes, that’s a good way to put it.

Alison: Part action. On the one hand, the cartoon bit is It has a very charming French quality, kind of reminded me of that scene at the beginning of Beauty and the Beast, where Belle is going through the French village. I want to hear what people think of those flowers and mushrooms.

I was slightly terrified, Alice in Wonderland style.

Jill: Yes, Alice in Wonderland style is a very nice thing. Veiled way to put it. but it’s very, this cartoon is very idyllic. Everyone’s having fun. We all are in this together kind of thing. And then you get to the action where no, it’s actually, you know, this is hard hitting sports.

So get ready for a lot of action and then a lot of excitement from the Paralympics. I wanted more of the action and excitement.

Alison: And less of the fever dream?

Jill: Yes, I did. The fever dream got a little, it just got to be, Oh, we’re doing this again. Kind of thing. You know what I mean?

Alison: I

Jill: think

Alison: that actually, this was only a 30 second spot.

Okay.

Jill: Oh, I watched the full minute one.

Alison: Okay. So this was very, very quick. And I think this is actually the introduction to how they’re going to be promoting the Paralympics for the next two and a half months.

Jill: Okay. That we’re going

Alison: to get away from, oh, isn’t it lovely and aren’t they inspirational? And we’re going to kick you in the chest with these sports, quite literally.

Jill: Right. Right. Right. that message I love. I will say that. So we will have links to both the long and short version of this and let us know what you think. uh, also with a hundred days to go, ticket sales are sluggish reports of France 24, which is probably an AFP story. They’ve sold about a third of the tickets that they have so far.

This is still not totally unusual behavior, although they’d like ticket sales to start picking up.

Alison: And they will. I think this happens every time with the Paralympics where everyone gets all up in a tizzy, fairly, And then right after the Olympics, that excitement says, Oh, wait, I still have this. yearn to see things, and then the Paralympic tickets pick up, especially because we keep seeing how hotels are dropping in cost.

Jill: Right. So if you can’t get tickets to the Olympics, although you could because there’s a lot for resale, let me tell you that. And there’s also people freaking out about not being able to resell their tickets almost immediately. But, uh, if you can’t get tickets to the Olympics, go see the Paralympics. Much more affordable on the wallet and you’re going to have just a great as great a time.

I’m sure I’m excited a Little bit of criticism. Thanks to a BBC article about the lack of accessible transportation Again, there was a push to make things more accessible That has apparently not happened much with the metro system. Only one of 16 metro lines is fully accessible it seems like the money that the Though The government put into accessibility, went into buses, the problem with bus transportation.

That’s probably the easiest thing to do and the cheapest thing to do. But the problem with buses is that that mode of transportation often takes longer than the Metro and it can be more complicated. So it’s a little frustrating. A lot of people end up having to take taxis, which are also being made more accessible, but that puts a bigger dent in your wallet than public transportation. Better news. Australia released its Paralympic

Alison: kit.

And I said this to you before we were recording, I never thought about accessibility when it came to clothing.

Jill: True. Why would I? Yeah. It’s a, it’s a big blind spot for us.

Alison: And the Australian Paralympic kit has all these accessibility features like magnets instead of buttons, zippers instead of ties on the shoes, slip ins.

This is brilliant. And I love that they’re bringing this issue to the forefront, that the Paralympics not only is amazing sport. It can do something simple. Like I, there’s a lot of people who can’t tie their shoes, right. And can’t do buttons and they deserve fantastic clothing too. The Australian kit is so Australian.

As it always is, it’s fantastic. No other team could wear this. It’s beautiful, and it has all these features. Hooray!

Jill: also, Nike is going to re release the Air Jordan 6 Olympic colorway that first dropped at the Sydney Games in 2000. So, if you are a Nike shoe buff, look for those to drop August 3rd. And, uh, they will be on Nike sneakers.

We’ll have a link to that and they’ll also be at select retailers starting at 200 a pair.

Alison: How fast is that going to go up on eBay?

Jill: I bet it will go, yes.

International Paralympic Committee News

Jill: We have a little bit of Paralympic news for you.

New classification code has been approved in an extraordinary general assembly. We’ve been talking about the classification code on and off for, uh, a few years because it’s been needing to be revamped for quite some time. And that’s just a process that takes a very long time to do. some of the changes that have come in are including the verification of underlying health conditions, eligible impairment assessment, minimum impairment criteria assessment, sports class assessment, updated and strengthened provisions across all aspects of the classification process.

So we’re going to dig into that a little bit more as we, uh, start to learn more about what this classification does. There’s also going to be a new international standard, which will focus on the policies about detecting and investigating and proceeding with cases of Intentional misrepresentation.

Alison: So this code is not going to be in place for Paris or Milan. Just to make this more confusing, as in these, these codes are going to be changing.

TKFLASTAN Update

Alison: Welcome to Shookflastan.

Jill: It is the time of the show where we check in with our team, Keep the Flame Alive. These are past guests of the show and listeners who make up our citizenship of Shookflastan, our very own country. First up,

Alison: Prefontaine Classic is coming May 25th. We will see Katie Moon and Deanna Price competing.

Jill: Excellent. Also competing at the Para Athletics World Championships is Noelle Malkamaki. She is competing Wednesday the 22nd in a para shot put.

Alison: At the Huntington Beach Volleyball Open, Betsy Flint and partner Julia Scholes reached the quarterfinals and Kelly Cheng and partner Sarah Hughes made it to the semis.

Jill: In wheelchair fencing, Ellen Geddes won bronze at the Women’s Epee Category B, gold in the Women’s Foil Category B, and gold in team, Women’s Team Epee at the America’s Zonal Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Wow, they cleaned up.

Alison: I know. The whole team did. Fantastic. Coryn Lebecki won the Women’s Elite Criterium Race at the U. S. Pro Road Cycling Championships for her 74th national title. It just

Jill: blows my mind. , Jeffrey Lewis, a KAB boy, Jeff Row, uh, was at the Olympic Qualifier Series in Shanghai, China, and he got to the quarter final stage before being eliminated.

And also Shukplistanis, we could use your help in finding new listeners. We, , have a great group of listeners so far, but we need to expand and find more of our people. Over 3 billion people apparently watched the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. If we could get a teeny tiny fraction of that. That’s a little bit bigger than the teeny, teenier, tinier fraction that we have now.

That would go a long way into helping us be more attractive to sponsors and, find more, more of our people. Cause we love , celebrating the Olympics and Paralympics with as many people as possible. We have a lot of problems with discoverability since we are not allowed to use the words Olympics or Paralympics in our title.

So, um, Um, we really need your help in making us more discoverable. So if you could tell a friend about the show, post about it on social media, or if you’re in a Reddit or discord groups, uh, we would really appreciate your help in helping us find our audience. So that will do it for this episode. Let us know what you think of Parajavelin.

Alison: You can find us on X, YouTube, and Instagram at flamealivepod. Send us an email at flamealivepod at gmail. com. Call or text us at 208 352 6348. That’s 208 FLAME IT. Chat with us and other fans on our Facebook group, Keep the Flame Alive Podcast, and sign up for our weekly newsletter with even more Olympic and Paralympic info for you at our website, flamealivepod.

com.

Jill: On Thursday, we’ll be back with an Olympics focus. episode. And we will welcome back our friend from down under Ben Waterworth from Off the Podium, and he’ll join us to talk all things Paris and give us some Aussie insight. So thank you so much for listening. And until next time, keep the flame alive.