We’re going onto the field with para shot putter Noelle Malkamaki to learn more about the sport from a para athlete angle. Noelle is a glider (just like Michelle Carter) and is wrapping up her final season on DePaul University’s track and field team, where she competes against able-bodied athletes. New to the para sport world, Noelle competed at Para Athletics World Championships in 2023 and won a gold medal with a world record-breaking throw.

Noelle breaks down the sport for us, talks technique, and shares some of the adaptations she makes for training. We also discuss what it’s like to compete in both able-bodied and para sports, finding pants that fit muscular thighs, and traveling with shot puts.

Follow Noelle on Insta and TikTok!

If you noticed, we debuted some new theme music to go along with our shows that are para sport-focused. Let us know what you think of it!

In our Paris 2024 update, we have more kit news! Stella Jean has designed the uniforms for Team Haiti — check them out here. Two corporate hospitality houses will open up in Paris (but may not be open to the public).

Paris news that’s more Team USA-focused: iHeartMedia will be NBC’s official audio partner. Steve Kornacki is joining NBC’s illustrious list of analysts. And Flavor Flav is the U.S. women’s water polo team’s latest hype man.

In news from TKFLASTAN, we hear from:

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

Photo: Alison Brown


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 Do not quote from the transcript; use the audio as the record of note.

337-Noelle Malkamaki on Para Shot Put

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?

Alison: I was fine. But now I feel like Simone Biles teammates when she sprung on them that she was gonna drop out of the competition When did you do a new introduction?

Jill: I can

Alison: I don’t know if I could do the show now. I’m so confused No, it’s awesome. It’s great.

Thank you

Jill: Well, I wanted something that was Paralympic because I didn’t, I mean, I know that our current theme is all Olympics and it hasn’t changed much since the onset of the show, which was initially an Olympics focus. And I felt weird having shows that we’ve devoted a day to Paralympics now until games.

And I felt we were playing an Olympic theme for that. So I sat down and found some, some clips and, uh, let me tell you, I’m glad we weren’t around in London, 2012, because. Oh, we would have had feed beefs. Feed beef. Oh, you’re a woman, you can multitask better. Conversation during some athletics competitions from the commentators.

It was bad. One, one poor, it was, I think, 200 meter. maybe race and, because I was looking for some crowd sound and London would have had good crowd sound, but the, Oh my gosh, the commentators would not stop talking throughout the entire race. So couldn’t get good crowd sound. And one of the British runners who I will decline to name now, but you could find her if, if you look for the finals, because she’s wearing a flower in her hair.

And Oh, did that draw some comments from the male commentator of the pair?

Alison: I won’t even. I don’t even want to go there. I want to leave it 12 years in the past.

Jill: Oh, but it was fun. It was fun. Reliving some moments and being sad about Tokyo having no crowds. And so it’s really echoey in that stadium and people are cheering, but you know, there’s not a lot of people cheering.

And I’ve seen over the past couple of days, just elements of Tokyo that were so. nice and detailed, just the way the Japanese would do it. And we’d be like, Oh, those games would have been so special.

Alison: Moving on. That’s right. Let’s not dwell on the past.

Jill: That’s right. So we are going to look forward to the future.

Noelle Malkamaki Interview

Jill: Looking forward to Paris. We are, talking today with Noelle Malkamaki. She is a para shot putter in the F46 class, which is effective movement in the arms or in absence of limbs. She is currently on the track and field team at DePaul University, but will soon graduate and turn pro. She’s started competing in para athletics in 2023 and won gold with a world record at her first para athletics world championships.

So we talked with Noelle about technique competing in both able bodied and para sports and pants. Take a listen. Noelle, thank you so much for joining us. First off, how did you get into throws?

Noelle Malkamaki: Yeah, I got into throws by joining the track team in eighth grade. I just decided to join it because it was something new and I honestly, I had like no idea knowledge of the sport.

I definitely didn’t have any idea of like how many different events there were, but I did know that I didn’t want to be a runner. I never thought I would be good at running. You know, I played sports my whole life and like, you kind of grow up learning that like running is your punishment for missing your serve in volleyball, not a sport you do on your own.

So I definitely took that impression into track and field. And I was like, okay, so I’ll be a thrower. And I liked it a lot more. Once I started doing it, even though, like, at the beginning, it was definitely just, I don’t want to run, so I’m going to do this.

Jill: So, how did you gravitate then into shot put? Because when we spoke before, you had done discus and shot.

Noelle Malkamaki: Yeah, great question. So, I think I would have considered myself primarily a discus thrower for the first, Probably six or seven years that I was involved in throwing. I did both the whole time, but I always preferred discus, all the way up through high school and into my like second and most of my third year of college.

What really gravitated me towards shot put is getting involved in para sports. For my classification, they don’t offer discus. So it was like, okay, if I want to do this. post collegiate, it’s going to have to be in the shot put. So that kind of made me gravitate toward that a little bit. And then as I did more of it, I think I like let myself realize that this is probably better for me anyway.

Now that I do mostly focus on shot put, I think that that’s the better event for like my body type and my type of strength. But, all things considered, if they wanted to offer discus for my classification, I would definitely throw it.

Alison: So, how did you get exposed to parasport?

Noelle Malkamaki: My coach asked me like my junior year of college, I think, if I had ever considered the Paralympics at all.

And I said, no, I think the way that he found out about it is the throws community is really small. So like everybody knows everyone. So when we’re at like track meets, I feel like he knows everybody. He’s just talking to everyone. So I think somebody asked him if I’d ever considered that and like kind of put the bug in his ear.

Yeah. Okay. And he asked me about it and I said that like I had never thought about that. When I look back on that experience, I think that because I did able bodied sports my entire life, like I never considered myself quote unquote, like disabled enough for the Paralympics. So when he first asked me, I was like, no, like, what are you talking about?

And again, so like, when I look back on track and field, I had such a limited knowledge on all the events that were available in track and field. I think it was the same with the Paralympics. I didn’t realize the classification system and how all of that worked and now that I compete, I can compete against people who have similar disabilities to me.

It’s not like everyone’s just lumped together, but that goes back to like a, a lack of information thing. I just didn’t know what it was like until I looked into it. And so we got the ball rolling with that. There’s a lot that we had to learn. The classification system was one thing. I also think it’s just a little bit more difficult.

To get involved in para sports than it is just like regular Olympic level sports, because there are like the doctor’s appointments you have to go to, like, I had to have a doctor like confirm that I was disabled, which was crazy. Cause I’m like, I obviously I have one hand. so yeah, with the classification system and then like finding the meats, they’re not as, It’s just regular track and field meets.

So to get classified for the first time, I had to fly to Arizona and it was like this whole, there was just a lot that had to happen on the front end. It felt like a really slow process at first and then kind of all of a sudden like I was in it.

Alison: Well, we wanted to talk a little bit about your classification and how that process went.

So you have a permanent disability. So do you only have to get classified once and it’s going to stay with you?

Noelle Malkamaki: That’s my understanding. Yeah. That’s interesting. Is that because with something like this like my lacking a hand isn’t gonna change It’s not gonna like grow or change at all, you know, so I don’t think I have to get reclassified I actually might be wrong about that but I know for a fact that like especially people in the like cerebral palsy classes.

Like they have to get reclassified a lot because that can change a little bit as time goes on.

Alison: So what was the process like besides multiple doctor’s appointments, it sounds like.

Noelle Malkamaki: Right. So it started off, I just got to see the doctor on campus at DePaul and I had to get like an x ray done, which is crazy.

Like, yeah, the x ray confirmed, like, yeah, you don’t have fingers by the way. So that’s awesome. and the first doctor was like, yeah, I’ll sign off on this. But then in Arizona, they had to take, lot of measurements. So the F 46 classification. is it’s actually not that I have one hand. It’s that one arm is shorter than the other.

So obviously like with one hand, when you put your arms kind of side by side, it is a lot shorter. but the way they take measurements is like from the shoulder to the wrist. And mine was like, it was kind of close. Like it was not as, as much shorter as I thought it was. So it was a little bit nerve wracking.

I think it’s crazy to go into an appointment and think like, wow, I hope they agree with me that like there’s a limitation here, but It all ended up working out. I was by myself in the appointment, which was kind of scary. I mean, I was fully like probably 20 years old, but I was, I was nervous just cause like, Oh, I hope nothing goes wrong.

And like I said, I think it, it took me a long time to come to terms with my like disabled identity anyway. So then to be in this appointment where I’m like, Oh, I hope they think I’m disabled when I already, you know, I’m not. wasn’t sure myself was just, it was an interesting experience.

Alison: So other people in your classification would say have amputations, not just something they were born with.

Noelle Malkamaki: Right. It’s mixed. Yeah. I think across the board, it’s always called an amputation, but it can be from birth or not.

Jill: So is the reason your classification isn’t in DISCUS, is that because there aren’t enough people?

Noelle Malkamaki: Yes, exactly. So I think it comes down to, um, just the field of individuals who are interested in doing that event.

I don’t know off the top of my head, like, how many worldwide there would need to be for something to be integrated. I do know that F 46 shot put was not in the last quad. So I went through all of this classification stuff and then like, they didn’t even throw it in 2021. So I was under this impression that like, Oh, I finally got involved and dang, I can’t even compete at the Paralympics or worlds because there’s not, my class isn’t throwing shot put.

And then for the next quad, it was reinstated. So I don’t know how many more people had to get involved for that to happen or like what that process is like, I would love to know more because like I said, I mean, I would definitely be interested in throwing discus. And I think that. Just generally, the more events that are offered for the more classifications, I think that’s better.

Jill: So what is it like to compete able bodied and have results that you have that aren’t going to match up to able bodied people and then compete in para where you’re winning, getting world records?

Noelle Malkamaki: Yeah, I, I love this question. This has also kind of been my internal struggle for like the last couple of years, because it honestly has become so much harder than I would have thought that it would be going into the whole process. Obviously last summer I went to Paris for world championships and I won gold and it was this amazing experience and I was super proud to have won a gold for my country and like to represent my country and have that just the opportunity to travel internationally to throw. what I don’t talk about as much is that I did not throw well that day.

Like I, I wasn’t happy with the result. it’s a lot lower than some of my college results. And then that really rolled into like my next year of college competitions. A good example is this last weekend, we went to Drake relays for the first time and I was like, so excited to be there because it was WPA certified.

So like any marks I threw would count toward world records and world leads. And I had finally hit like the 14 mark a couple of weeks before that I was super excited about this PR. I was like, I can’t wait to go out and like throw another world record. And I ended up breaking it only by a centimeter. So I only threw like 1333 when just two weeks ago I threw 14 meters.

And it’s really, it’s hard to make the two ends meet. Because in, in this one sphere, when I throw what I consider to be not a great meat for me, it’s still is like good enough. It’s, it’s breaking a record. It would win a lot of meats. but I know deep down, like I’m capable of so much more. The other thing that’s really challenging is like, I was listening to a different podcast one time and this woman won a world championships in triathlon, I think, and she said that when you have, you know, a A win that big, everything else feels like a failure.

And that is ultimately kind of how I feel you go and you like win on this world stage. And then, marks that I throw that are much better than that. Don’t even make finals at some college meets. So it’s hard for me to come to terms with like, you know, I’m a really good athlete in this sphere, and I’m kind of middle of the ground in this sphere.

What is, like, who am I? What is success for me when I’m pulled in two different directions all the time? It’s an ongoing process. I think I’ve made a lot of progress in the last several months just with, coming to the conclusion that at the end of the day, I’m one athlete and the principles of how I view athleticism and success are the same.

Either way, you know, it’s important to me that I go out and I give everything I have on every attempt. It’s important to me that I like pour into the process and I work hard every single day. And like the outcome isn’t as important as the work I put in. But at the end of the day, it’s still really tough to see.

A great mark in college doesn’t even get me, you know, a podium finish and a mark that I’m a little bit disappointed with at the time is really good in the perispheres sometimes.

Jill: Yeah. That’s gotta be hard. I think that’s one thing when I thought about like the mental work you have to do to, play in both of those spheres is tough.

And, and I imagine other para athletes who compete at the college level, cause there’s not enough para athletes in college to have para meets, correct?

Noelle Malkamaki: Oh, for sure. Yeah. I, I wouldn’t think it would be possible at all. I never met anyone who was in the same boat as me until I was at world championships last summer.

And when I did, I was like, Oh my God, someone gets it. Cause it feels, it feels like I’m the only one that has ever felt this way. There’s no way anyone can understand like how weird this is on an identity level. And then I met a couple of friends there who, I mean, you just kind of immediately click anyway, because there are just certain things that come with being a disabled athlete that when you meet each other, even if you’ve never met before, like there’s something you relate on.

And then, to take it a step further, where like, you understand the pull in two directions without me even having to explain it because you’ve lived it. It was nice to feel seen, for the first time in something so, like it’s complex and it’s complicated, and it does feel like it’s um, on an identity level.

So, it was nice to finally meet someone like that.

Alison: On that same idea of being seen, it sounds like you were not even aware of the Paralympics prior to being introduced to it by your coach. What has been the reaction around you to discovering this and even your own reaction to kind of seeing this whole world that exists?

Noelle Malkamaki: Yeah, my first thought was, how did it take this long?

It feels like, like I said, feeling seen. It feels like this place where, oh, I wish I had known about this when I was even younger, like how much more time I could have had. in this sphere and with these people and like to figure everything out for myself. It feels like I was, uh, late to the game. I’m grateful for the timing of everything.

I think everything times out. Exactly how it’s supposed to. I’m also like definitely grateful for having been able to compete able bodied for so long. I think that’s kind of a nod to like my privilege in the type of disability that I have, not all disabled athletes can for lack of a better term, assimilate with able bodied athletes.

Like I’ve been able to, and I’m super grateful for those opportunities. My family kind of feels the same way where the more involved I get in para, we’re all just thinking like, how did this go right over our heads? How did nobody. See this or think about this for us. , I look back on like, obviously in high school, especially there would be like newspaper articles here and there that are like, Oh, this, this athlete is going to stay.

And you know, it was always mentioned that I had one hand, but it was never necessarily like the focal point of it. And it’s just crazy to me how much And not as much as there is now, but there was a decent amount of media surrounding what I did when I was in high school and no one from para like ever saw it, I guess, or thought to reach out.

And I think that that’s just interesting. And I don’t know why that is, but you know, things work out later. Supposed to, I think. I think it might also come down to, I’m from central Illinois. Like, I don’t think there’s a whole lot going on there in terms of, uh, Adaptive sports. I think there are other places in the United States where it’s become bigger.

That’s a change I would like to see coming. Hopefully, I think the games being in LA in 2028 are going to be huge for promoting adaptive sports in the United States, so that’s exciting. But yeah, I look at my experience with that and not knowing about it for so long as just kind of a driver to make it so that more disabled athletes see all of these things more often and know their opportunities before they Before this late in life, not that it’s late, but it’s later than a lot of people get involved.

Alison: So, glide or spin?

Noelle Malkamaki: Glide. Glide all the way.

Alison: And you’re very passionate about this glide. I am. So let’s talk about why glide works for you.?

Noelle Malkamaki: Okay, so I, glide works for me for a couple of reasons.

Like I mentioned, I was primarily a discus thrower for so long, and the size of the ring is different from discus to shot put. Um, the shot put ring is just a little bit smaller. I found that because I spent so much time throwing discus, my rotational form for shot put was like, trying to take up the same amount of space as it would in the discus ring, and foul, just foul, foul, foul constantly.

The other reason would be that, for my build, and I think my strength, I’ve got a lot of lower body strength, and I think, at least for me, that tends to lend itself to the glide tech a little bit more. I’m also, I’m working on this, but I don’t think I’m, necessarily as explosive or quick of an athlete as some rotational throwers are.

And for that reason, I think like for just brute strength purposes, the glide works better. There is definitely explosiveness and speed to the glide that’s important. But I think if you lose a little bit of that in the glide, it isn’t as big of an impact as it is with rotational shot put.

Alison: Okay. So when you’re doing the glide, what physically is happening head to toe?

Noelle Malkamaki: Okay. So I start in the back of the ring and obviously I’m facing away from the sector. And the first thing I do is I come up on my toe and then I kind of shoot my hips toward the toe board. And when you land in the middle, you want the toe to be up.

So for me, since I’m a lefty, that’s my left toe. I want to land with my weight kind of on the ball of my foot as opposed to flat footed so that I can activate the muscles like all the way up my legs. So what should happen? And I say should, because like, I don’t do the tech right all the time. I wish I did, but you land on the toe and you activate all the way up through, like to the top of the hamstring, bottom of the glute, like that area.

And you, you almost want to like vault that up over your other leg. And then your upper body kind of follows and the way that it should go. Is your hip should get ahead of your upper body. So the torque from that launches the shot put farther. I would say probably the biggest problem with any shot putter’s tech is going to be like letting that upper body get ahead.

And I do that all the time. You’re not patient enough in the throw and you just really want to get the throw off and you kind of jump the gun with the upper body. But you should be letting a lot of the power come from the legs.

Alison: So with the lack of your right arm, how does that play into the adjusting your technique.

Noelle Malkamaki: Yeah. So I think for a long time, I could feel a balance difference in not having a right arm. I think for the most part, I’ve kind of gotten past that as I’ve trained more, but the biggest impact now is not being able to throw the block arm. So I said that the legs are the most important and they are up into a point, but once that upper body follows through, whichever arm you’re not throwing the shot put with, you, you kind of like, Open it up.

And a lot of people like make a fist and keep that side of the body strong, like through the shoulder and the peck and that it’s like kind of throwing into a wall where that side of the body stops. And the side that’s throwing the shot put goes even harder because that side stopped, without the, my muscles on that side are undeveloped for sure.

And so they’re harder for me to like tap into at a moment’s notice. It’s just harder to feel anything on that side because of like, the underdeveloped muscles. It’s hard to train that in a weight room when I can’t grasp a dumbbell. There’s definitely ways around it that we’ve worked on figuring out, but it’s a lot harder to just grow those muscles.

So it’s harder to tap into that in the throw.

Jill: What do you do to develop those muscles?

Noelle Malkamaki: Yeah, there’s a lot of, exercises that take two arms. Right. And those, obviously I can do most of those. I can do pushups.

I can do bench press, incline bench press. And that works both arms at the same time. we can get into at some point how obviously, like, I feel like I’m, I’m a strong athlete and there are very few times I wish I had two hands, but when I’m maxing out bench press, I wish I had two hands. Cause I’m like, Oh, I could, I could max so much.

But some other things that I do are like, depending on the gym, a 10 pound plate will fit like right over my arm. And I can do like, I can do like an overhead press or like a lateral raise or like rows and stuff. Um, I don’t know if you’re familiar with like a Kaiser machine. But sometimes they have a cuff attachment.

Then I can move the arm of the machine, and like, put the cuff on my arm, and that works. Um, obviously it’s hard like with a cuff, and nothing to like stop it. It’ll slip off, and like there’s only so many things I can do with what positions I have my arm in, because there’s nothing keeping the cuff on my arm except Gravity, essentially.

So it’s a creative situation for sure.

Alison: Are you more likely to get hurt, say, on your right shoulder because of that? You know, you’re kind of making up technique as you go along.

Noelle Malkamaki: That’s a good question. I haven’t, I haven’t yet. I would think that Oh god, I’m sorry. No, it’s okay, you’re all good.

Me tomorrow? Okay, guys, listen, let’s go. No, the only thing that I can think of that I have to check sometimes is like, obviously my left arm is so much stronger. So when I go to do an exercise on the right, that’s similar, I’m like, okay, let’s get the weight down. Cause we can’t do this on the right side.

But I think in general, I haven’t found anything that’s going to hurt it yet. I’ll keep you updated though.

Alison: And how do you keep the balance when you’re doing lower body, But say, you know, something’s resting on your shoulders, are you supposed to hold it in your hands or how that plays out in keeping that balanced as well?

Noelle Malkamaki: Yeah. So if I’m doing something like a step up that people would usually hold like a dumbbell in each hand at their side, I just go goblet style. I hold something heavier in the middle. Or, I think the way that I hold the barbell on my back is just. different than most people. Like I hold it normal on this side, but I’ll just kind of let this arm rest over it to keep it on there.

Front squat can get questionable because I just kind of hold it like this and this arm is straight out. So I have to really be careful with like the core and not letting this arm fall down because there’s just nothing holding it there like there is on the left side.

Alison: I’m not sure you can answer this.

Why are shot putters so tall? What’s the advantage of the extra height?

Noelle Malkamaki: That’s a great question. My best guess is launching the ball just from a higher point starts it off higher if you can get your arm up over the toe board. A longer wingspan lets it start farther past the toe board already. I think that’s what it comes down to ultimately.

I think people that are below putters though in height can definitely still be like great shot putters.

Alison: Is your arc different than able bodied shot putters?

Noelle Malkamaki: That is a great question that I’ve never thought about, but I think it definitely is. So like I talked about the uh, block arm thing, because I don’t throw that, I think I end up like, I should be square when I release.

And because I’m not doing anything, it’s more like this. And I think that probably does impact the arc a lot. I see action photos of myself and I’m like, don’t post this, like my tech looks so bad, don’t post that. And it’s always this, it’s always I’ve got my arm dipped down. so I think that would change the arc, actually, just based on, like, not throwing the block arm.

Yeah.

Jill: So if you look at those pictures and you go, my technique looks bad, what do you do to try to change that? Or can you?

Noelle Malkamaki: Yeah, I think you can. Changing tech is, in my experience, Hard. It takes a lot of drills. I don’t, I don’t like doing drills. I think most people don’t like doing drills. Cause it’s like, all I want to do is just throw the thing.

Right. But doing drills is the main way just to get your body like used to those very specific positions. Like the positions that I need to hit in my shot put tech are not positions that you just like manage to do in your daily life without being very specific about doing them. So that’s like band work to get your muscles into those positions with resistance.

Cause if you could do it with resistance, you can definitely do it under pressure at a meet with no resistance. but that, I think that also comes down to throwing like a shot, but it’s a little bit lighter than the comp weight or one that’s a little bit heavier than the comp weight to work on the strength in those positions.

It just takes time. And it seems like even when I work on it, I’m like, this is the smallest change ever. Like this is so not worth the time, but. throwing is a game of centimeters and like every change can make really, really big results in the distance.

Alison: When I can feel

Noelle Malkamaki: how the shot put comes off my fingers and it feels loaded, I know that was a good throw.

 

Noelle Malkamaki: Okay, there’s so much that can go wrong somehow. It’s like, it’s such a short amount of time, but so much can go wrong about, you know, how you have it tucked up under your chin. And if you’ve got it in the right position and like, when my hip gets ahead of my upper body. And I, I can kind of feel that torque.

I feel more of the shot put at the tips of my fingers. There are other throws where like, maybe I’ll feel it down here. So sometimes they’ll come off real bad and it’ll be like way up here. But when you can get the hips ahead and get torque loaded into the ball, it, I don’t want to say it feels heavier, but it feels like something on the fingers.

And there were throws where it doesn’t feel like anything, but when I actually feel myself and if my nails are long enough, there’ll be like a click. And I’m like, yeah, that’s, that’s the one for sure.

Alison: You always think of shot putters as being, big muscle categories, but what kind of small muscles are you using as well?

Noelle Malkamaki: Ooh, I like that question too. I think one I don’t think about a lot that we’ve talked a lot about this year is like your calves, your calf muscles are actually really important to get up at the front of the ring. You want a lot of height on that throw the wrist muscles. Like I just said, you can kind of feel.

When the shot put comes off. And obviously that requires the wrist. almost every shot putter you ever talked to is going to have had a wrist injury at some point, because that’s just weird. Like your hand is probably not really supposed to do that. I remember I did PT for like my wrist muscles and it was harder than maxing out a back squat because I’m like, I’ve never used these muscles in my entire life.

Like. I’ve got a one pound dumbbell going like this and it’s making me sweat. Like, what are we doing? other than that, like core, I think you see throwers, you know, like, Oh, they’re just like big and like chunky sometimes, which is fair, but somewhere down there, like I’ve got these core muscles that if they’re not working, the throw is absolutely not going to work. So.

Alison: Have you spun yourself or glided yourself just straight out of the ring?

Noelle Malkamaki: Oh, yeah. Tons of times.

Alison: Okay. So what is, is that momentum or is that tripping or is that I mean, I can get it with the spin, like that would be momentum, but with the glide, it feels like you would be more stable.

Noelle Malkamaki: and I agree with that.

I think the glide is more stable. Like I said, there are so many things that can go wrong. In my opinion, less can go wrong with the glide, but it’s still like this big long list. The way that I see the glide is, You’re moving your body straight and then up like once you hit the middle, everything goes from this way to up and if you don’t translate it up, you go straight out the middle and the throw is really low so that in my experience, that’s when I get over the toe board is when I’m not thinking about getting up on a throw.

Alison: Okay, so you’re a left handed thrower and when we talked before, you said, you know, there’s no advantage, but Is there differences in terms of the circle and how you function within it? And there’s like one side more worn out than the other. Like, I’m just trying to think of when you’re going the opposite of everyone else.

Does that do some strange things?

Noelle Malkamaki: I’m not sure. obviously I trained with a bunch of other throwers and most of them are righties. We have a couple other, lefty throwers. So the ring just gets kind of worn down regardless, because there’s so many people throwing so often. I haven’t noticed anything actually.

I think in a perfect world, it’s. It’s actually a lot more stuff is happening down the middle for both people, you know You kind of start in the middle the middle of the rings where your foot is supposed to hit Maybe there’s like little discrepancies like there’s a range that you would hit if you’re a lefty versus a righty, but I think in general, it’s the same, just kind of flipped.

Alison: Does it go the opposite side on the, like, does it slightly veer the opposite way when it flies?

Noelle Malkamaki: Yeah. So if, if I get, I think the best throws for everyone generally are going to go straight down the middle. But if I release early as a lefty, that’s going to go on the opposite side as it would for a righty.

Or if I don’t release soon enough, it’s going to be flipped for a lefty and a righty.

Alison: Okay, because now I’m thinking the judge is positioning themselves on the wrong side.

Noelle Malkamaki: Right. Hopefully, you have enough there that they’ll see, but it is track and field, so.

Jill: Do you want your body at a certain angle as you are throwing? In the glide

Noelle Malkamaki: yeah, yeah, it depends on where in the throw you’re at, but there’s definitely like kind of a range of primary angles.

I guess when you’re in the middle, if you’re too high, obviously you have no power. If you’re too low, you can’t get out of it. So you want to be kind of right at the, I’m trying to think of what your knee would be at in that position, maybe, Oh man, a hundred, like one 20, maybe. Um, and then at the front, obviously you want to be up, but if you’re too up and you’re back, like, then it’s just going to go straight up.

And if you’re too bent over, you’re not going to get any height. So there are definitely specific angles you want to be at. I would love to look at my videos and kind of know specifically what those are. You’ve got me intrigued now.

Jill: I have a sort of related question, because you have such strong thighs, how difficult is it to buy pants?

Noelle Malkamaki: Oh, amazing. And you’re tall too. I am. Yeah. So I feel like recently brands have been better about the long sizing, like tall sizing. Thank God. Cause I, It is hard to get pants that are long enough I received in my gear kit this year from my school a pair of extra large sweatpants. I’m like sweet. This is great I put them on, and I’m telling you, the seams in the legs, like, my, I didn’t think my quads were this big, but, they are.

So, when I, when I’m sizing up

Jill: you, did you hulk out of them immediately?

Noelle Malkamaki: I took them off, I said, I’m never wearing these again. I, I can’t wear these, because they were supposed to be warm up pants. How am I supposed to do any kind of, like, mobility in these pants that don’t fit? So, do I size up in pants for my thighs?

Absolutely.

Alison: Curvy fit. We need to find you some more curvy fits.

Noelle Malkamaki: Thank God for Abercrombie, right? Yes! Yes.

Alison: I have a very short daughter with a very curvy and full thighs, and we get the petite curvy. We’re big fans of Abercrombie. Thank God for them.

Noelle Malkamaki: That’s like, finally someone’s doing something, because this, like, straight sizing stuff was not working.

Alison: We have a sponsor potential for you, Al.

Noelle Malkamaki: Please,

Alison: I’m a Grammy, are you listening? Okay, so let’s talk about the world record and how that that day kind of in that meet progressed because you said it wasn’t you weren’t too happy.

Noelle Malkamaki: Yeah. Yeah, it’s tough. I think maybe athletes just don’t talk about this as much as they feel it, or maybe I’m crazy, but I think everyone just has very high standards for themselves.

yeah, I, I woke up not the day of that meet, but the day before and my stomach hurt. So I was so nervous. I have not been that nervous in so long. I mean, I’m in Paris. I’m with, my coach was there, but like I didn’t have my usual teammates. I didn’t have like my friends or family there. And I was just so nervous.

And I was so, like I said, I’m, I’m really kind of middle of the road as far as college shot putters go. , I’m not used to expectations. I think at that point, I was used to being an underdog, and that’s a really comfortable place to be. Because people are rooting for you, and if you win, that’s awesome, but if not, it’s like, well, you weren’t necessarily supposed to, and now I’m going into the situation where, like, I have the world lead, I’m expecting me to win, I think everyone at home is expecting me to win.

And I just didn’t know how to cope with that yet. I actually don’t know if I do still. Cause it’s just so different than what I did the first like eight years of my career. So, the day before me and my coach actually went and we just like, kind of explored Paris, got our minds off of throwing, practicing all of it.

And just went and experienced like what the opportunity was supposed to be. You know, I, I get to do the thing I love and go to Paris for it as well, which Awesome. So sometimes you have to take a step back and look at the big picture of like, there is actually more to life than throwing the shot put, um, believe it or not.

So that was nice. The day of, I felt a lot better than I did the day before. And it was just like, I need to go out there and do the best that I can with, uh, what I’ve got. And I think I did that. I was more nervous than I expected to be. I think I told myself that this is just a track meet, you know, the ring is the same here.

The shot put is the same here. It’s all the same, but there were added pressures. You know, this is an international meet. It’s my first really big meet with Team USA. I feel like I had a kind of a name to make a little bit. So I, I went through the competition. They didn’t have the diameter of shot put that they told me they would have the one that I liked.

So I had to go a little bit smaller than I was used to, but flexibility, I was being flexible and. I think I did okay. I think ultimately I was wanting to hit 14 then. I’ve been wanting that number for months and months and months and I finally got it a few weeks ago, but I’ve been wanting it for so long that I thought that I could get it that day.

And so when I didn’t, I think that was a little bit disappointing. In retrospect, first international meet, first time traveling, first time throwing on an international stage, I think I actually did pretty well. But it’s hard to ever rid yourself of the high expectations. And I don’t think we necessarily should.

There just has to be like coping done with it.

Alison: Okay. Now you said something about your shot, but you don’t have a personal shot put.

Noelle Malkamaki: I do.

Alison: So

Noelle Malkamaki: again, first international competition issues. There are some bumps in the road, right? The shot put that I use for college meets. It’s a 4k, it’s all to regulation, but the ones that we have specifically don’t have, um, the engraving on them that lets you trace it back to where it’s from.

After we got back from this meet, you better believe the first purchase we made was the shot put that I could use at international comps, and now I’ve got that, we’re all good. But, like, how, I had no idea, I had no idea that was gonna be a problem, so.

Alison: How much was your personal shot butt?

Noelle Malkamaki: About 400.

Expensive. And how many do you have?

Alison: Do you just have one?

Noelle Malkamaki: Just the one. Yeah. Just the one that’s my own personal. And that’s like, that’s reserved. That’s for the international competitions because if I get a chip or something out of that one and they don’t let me use it, then I’m really out of luck.

Alison: And how is this going to travel?

Because Michelle Carter told us about the personalized shot put bag that she has with, you know, shot Diva on it. So I think you need to

Noelle Malkamaki: get in contact with her. That’s amazing. No, I just, um, I throw it in my suitcase. So like when I went to Paris the first time, I brought my comp shot and I was doing, I was in a cycle where I was also throwing some heavy shot put too.

So I brought one that weighed a little bit more and like, you know, my bag weighed 70 pounds when I weighed that thing in at the airport. Like I had to pay quite the oversized luggage fee. I definitely need to get something and just keep them separate. Uh, the first time I flew for track, actually, it was in college and I was, like I said, throwing discus.

So I was like, Oh, I’ll just throw my discs in my carry on bag. Why would they let me take a big metal discus through TSA? So thank God my teammates said something because like that was never going to fly, but I’m learning the ins and outs of traveling with like cannonballs, essentially.

Jill: Yeah, because that’s the thing when you, when you got into college athletics, did you ever think that international was going to be a step for you?

Noelle Malkamaki: Absolutely not. I look back on high school. I didn’t think I could throw in college. Like I never thought I’d be a college athlete, let alone, you know, looking at a post collegiate career where I’m flying internationally to throw a shot. But I think. It’s just kind of beyond what I ever dreamt was possible for me in the athletic sphere.

Alison: So what does it look like between now and Paris?

Noelle Malkamaki: Ooh, excited to go home. I actually, I’m off this weekend. I don’t have a meet coming up this weekend, but I do have conference the weekend after that. And then that will be my final college track meet, which is crazy. It’s been so fast and also so slow. Like five years is a long time to be.

Throwing in college, but I’m super grateful for it. then three days after we get back from conference, I am flying to Kobe for world championships and I’ll be there for about 10 days. I will come home and I’m going to take, I think six to 10 days off and then just completely restart a new cycle headed into the Paralympics.

And I throw on September 4th. So it’s a long time, but it’s also like, I’m glad there’s enough time to kind of break it down and build it back up rather than just trying to like, hold on to what I’ve built this season. I think taking time off and then doing kind of a. Return to fitness cycle and kind of burying myself under like heavy weights and heavy shot puts again is going to be the way to add more distance by the time that the games come around.

Jill: So have you qualified for Paris already because of the world championships?

Noelle Malkamaki: No. And let me get on a soapbox about that. Yeah. I was

Jill: going to say, do you have to go

Noelle Malkamaki: through us? I do have to go through trials. I do. I have trials in July. So it’s my understanding. again, I am pretty new to para competition.

Honestly, I think I’m pretty new to understanding how professional track and field works in general. I was told when I won World Championships that that gold medal wins a slot for Team USA at the Games, but it’s not my slot. And that is different than how it works for able bodied, and I think that’s a problem.

Because, like, if Ryan Krauser wins a gold at Worlds, like, that’s his slot for the Games, I’m pretty sure. So yes, I still have to go to Trials in July, and I’m, like, I’m excited for that. I think that, for my situation, the standard is The standard for me to make the team is, uh, low enough below my PR that I don’t have to worry quite as much.

I’m confident that I will make the team, which is exciting. Um, I just wish it was more similar to the able bodied process, but baby steps, I suppose.

Jill: How has the whirlwind of media summit and all of these other opportunities been along with trying to finish, finish up college.

Noelle Malkamaki: Really hard.

Um, college is hard enough when you’re not like traveling every weekend. It’s also, it can be challenging to be in New York city in Times Square one day, like talking to all these interviewers and then come home the next day and be like, all right, well, I have this group presentation I have to do in class tonight, so I better get on that.

it just feels like I kind of have one foot in one world and one foot in the other, and I’m just kind of. ready to take the next step into a professional career. Lucky for me, I am, I am done with my undergrad. So I finished my undergrad in December. I’m taking grad classes right now, like to finish out my eligibility.

So I have my degree. I can relax a little bit because I’m at least done with my degree.

Alison: So you’re not going to miss your graduation.

Noelle Malkamaki: No, I am not. I thought I might have to, I was really worried that I’d have to, but DePaul is on the quarter system, unfortunately. So our graduation is very late. It’s like the middle of June.

Alison: Okay, good. Because I was going to get upset.

Noelle Malkamaki: I know. I would too. I think my mom would just, like, string me up.

Alison: Be like, what do you mean the Paralympics? You go walk with that cap and gown, Ms. Noelle. My

Noelle Malkamaki: mom’s on the phone with, like, Team USA. Yeah, we gotta reschedule. Okay.

Alison: I like your mom. Me

Jill: too. What does she think of all of this?

Because she was with you in New York. But, like, just all of a sudden, bam, there’s this whole new world we never thought of.

Noelle Malkamaki: Yeah, she was, the New York trip for her was, out of her comfort zone, I think. I was talking to her, I was like, Mom, when was the last time you flew? And she literally has not flown since 9 11 happened.

So she didn’t even know about, like, TSA and, like, the new stuff you have to do. But both my parents have always been very, very supportive. And I think they just kind of take in stride whatever direction we’re headed now. But, you know, I know that if, if we got her very honest, she would say that she also never expected any of this.

And I almost wonder if that makes it like even more fun or it’s like, obviously there’s something that would be cool about this has been my dream forever. And I feel really fulfilled to finally have reached it. But like it just fell in my lap and I almost feel like so lucky and just, it’s so cool how it’s happened.

And I think that my mom feels the same way. She hates to miss things. She hates that she couldn’t come to Paris last year and she won’t be in Japan this year. My whole family will be in Paris for the games. And I am like thrilled about that. I just know it’s going to be probably one of the best experiences of my whole life.

So I’m really excited about that. but yeah, if she could be at everything, she would in a heartbeat.

Jill: So, um, Turning pro, what does a pro career look like for a para athlete?

Noelle Malkamaki: Yeah, I wish I knew. Um, I think it’s different for everybody. I think that again, this is all just my own perceptions.

I think it’s a little bit easier for able bodied athletes to get sponsorships and to get brand deals and to do all these things and like, be able to make good money doing it. I think for me, it’s really challenging. Like, you know, you know how the NCAA is like, I’m very limited in what I’m able to do with the NCAA, which means I’m also pretty limited in what I’m able to like plan for post grad.

So I’m not totally sure yet what my situation is going to look like. It’s my goal to get a sponsorship. I would love to be sponsored before the games. I don’t know how realistic that is just because I think that. You know, my biggest stage so far is going to be at the games. And if I can really put on a good show and win gold, I think that looks good for brands that want to sponsor.

I also think that the career for para athletes as professionals is going to change significantly with the LA 2028 games. If I had to guess, I think that like, especially American brands are going to take that opportunity to invest their money in para athletes. And even if it’s just so they make more money, that’s fine with me.

Cause I would love a sponsorship, you know, that kind of stuff. But. like with everything for disabled athletes, the tide is turning. I think we’re definitely walking in the direction of equity and equality for para athletes. It’s slower than people want to see, but I’m also grateful that I’m involved at a time where at least my gold medal makes the same amount of money.

So we’ll see how things change in the next few years. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to solidify a sponsorship soon. Cause I mean, I would love for this to be like my only job,

Alison: Abercrombie, I’m telling you, we’re calling, I

Noelle Malkamaki: know, let me call.

Jill: What kind of support do you get from team USA and not necessarily just financial, but like other types of support and initiatives that they do to help because they’re also doing work to promote para athletes a little more than they used to in years past.

Noelle Malkamaki: Yeah, for sure, I think, I guess a good example is like the media summit. I was really impressed personally with how many para athletes were there, which is awesome.

Financially, I think the support is the same for para athletes and able bodied athletes. And then the next biggest thing I can think of for supporting athletes is I know they offer, whether it’s insurance or just like Coverage of some kind, but like mental health services, I could go on and on and on about how important it is, especially for athletes to be in therapy.

I think it’s helped me a lot this entire year. from a perspective of like sports psychology stuff and also just regular therapy, I think everyone should be in therapy, but I think that’s a really good step for team USA to be taking, because there is a lot of pressure self imposed and societal on athletes that makes it.

Just challenging to kind of work through thoughts and things can feel very, you can feel very alone at times in what you’re going through, because it is so unique and individual from person to person. And I think, being in therapy for athletes is very important.

Alison: At home, is there a lot of throwing things?

Noelle Malkamaki: A little bit. Um, I live with my husband. Yeah. Well, like, like, if I’m taking my sock off, I’m gonna throw it at him. Just cuz. I mean, what else am I supposed to do with it? Because you can! Right, exactly. So I guess, I mean, I like, shoot stuff into the trash can or in the, dirty clothes pamper and stuff.

Alison: Oh,

Noelle Malkamaki: Noelle, could you toss me that? Boom! Boom! There’s a hole in the wall now, awesome! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Jill: I’m sorry, you’re getting me on a mush brain day because there’s so many thoughts I have about it’s just kind of interesting to be at this point in its history. And it’s also interesting to hear like, Oh, here’s an athlete in who, who ascends to the top of the class almost immediately.

But like, we’ve never heard of Paralympic sports, you know, I don’t know, I can’t even make a full sentence anymore. No. Well,

Noelle Malkamaki: no, I understand what you’re saying though. You, it almost makes you wonder like, how many more are there, who is out there that’s, that’s doing these incredible athletic feats and just has absolutely no idea that there’s something for them.

That’s an even playing field for their success.

Jill: Right. Or even just the ability to be athletic or be, you know, movement and stuff like that. And it’s just, I mean, there’s lack of money and in all of this stuff. So it’s just, it, so when you have no money, it takes more time and it’s just, it’s interesting.

And then I don’t know, I wonder, Do you feel pressure or feel pressure yet of now I have to promote the movement as well?

Noelle Malkamaki: For sure. Yeah. And as that was hard at the media summit, actually, I feel like that was the first time that people ask me more of the like heavy hitting questions about the future of the Paralympic movement and about, being a disabled athlete.

And I’m like, I just got here. I have no idea, you know, and everyone I talk to, it’s like, you get involved at a young age and you kind of know the ins and outs, you know, what works in the, the inequalities and what they are specifically. And then, from my perspective, I’ve, I’ve barely been doing this for like three years.

There’s so much to learn, coupled with, you know, I, in the process of learning about the Paralympics, it has coincided perfectly with the process of me accepting my identity as a disabled person. And that complicates things further where I’m like, you know, I feel a lot of privileges based on my type of identity that other people can’t.

And then it makes it difficult to speak for an entire movement. So yeah, it’s, it’s definitely challenging, but. I feel like it’s a challenge I’m willing to accept because I think it’s, it’s the right thing to do.

Alison: I’m curious as to within the Paralympic movement, the hierarchy and is there, Oh, you’re too new.

You’re not disabled enough. Kind of that, that tension within.

Noelle Malkamaki: Yeah, I think so. Not as much of the like, you’re not disabled enough as it is like what I noticed when I was in Paris with my first Team USA team. Right. If you aren’t the best of the best, like podium top three, there’s a break for sure.

And so when I first got there, like I, I just made friends with the people that I met and I have these great friends. And after I won gold, they were like, Oh, don’t forget about us now. I was like, that’s awful. Don’t ever say that. That’s so sad. And I’m like, I would never do that. But there definitely is like, there is some discrepancy between people and there’s some.

a little bit of competitiveness. I think it comes back to, like you said, there is, there just isn’t as much money. There aren’t as many opportunities. So anybody who’s getting a sponsorship just took one away from you. It’s that mindset where like, because things are so limited, I have to make sure I’m getting everything.

Cause like supporting somebody else and getting it means it may have just been taken from me. That’s the impression that I got.

Alison: Now I want to ask about able bodied athletics. If there is that same cool kids at the lunch table.

Noelle Malkamaki: Probably. I think what’s interesting about DePaul is like, we are a Division I school, but it’s not like the SEC.

Things are very different. I think all of us are kind of in the same boat all the time with like, Most of us aren’t getting NIL deals. Like, we’re not doing anything crazy. We’re not really in, like, commercials and stuff. So, because of that, I think we’re all in the same boat. I’m sure, at, like, some big Division I schools, it gets brutal.

Jill: No, I mean, it is interesting that there’s this element of dog eat dog, but you’re also dealing with a lot of a society, I would say, correct me if I’m wrong, cause I work at home by myself and I don’t have kids, so I don’t go out, I don’t go out much and interact with people.

but like, there seems to be more of a movement of let’s build each other up. , let’s work together and be bigger and better. and it makes everything better for, what is that phrase?

Alison: Rising tide raises all boats.

Jill: Yes.

Noelle Malkamaki: And that’s really complicated in the, in the disabled sports realm. I think I look at things almost like this is hard to make sound good.

It’s a, it’s a complex concept, I think, where I think people look at adaptive sports and they see this like, Oh, they’re so inspiring. How nice. It’s so sweet. You know? And you almost wonder if. The dog eat dog mentality that I see sometimes in the Paralympics isn’t actually what’s best for the sport. If we actually see competitors and they’re going head to head and we’re talking like the same stuff that you would see in able bodied sports, people are going head to head, they’re ruthless.

Like there isn’t as much of like, well, I’m going to support you so we can all get better. Like. I think the most equal thing is that everyone is trying to beat everyone. So that’s complicated.

Alison: You have an advantage. You can throw things at them.

Noelle Malkamaki: There we go. I’m good.

Alison: So, yeah, people who throw things, we love you.

Noelle Malkamaki: There we go. Amazing.

Jill: Thank you so much, Noelle. You can follow Noelle on Instagram. She’s Noelle Malkamaki and she’s Noelle. malk on TikTok.

Alison: I just want to give a shout out to Noelle’s mom, who is my new friend in New York.

Jill: She was a great mom. The moms were great to have around. So that was fun.

Paris 2024 News

Alison: Oh la la, c’est magnifique.

Jill: magnifique indeed. We have more kit news. This time it is from Haiti where the designer Stella Jean has, announced the outfit that, the Haitian team, the 15 person strong Haitian team will wear. This is something.

Alison: Yes. It includes, pants. for the men, a skirt for the women that, how do I even explain this?

It covers the artwork of Philippe Dodard. So one of his paintings called Passage is the fabric. And it’s stunning. Stunning. Absolutely stunning. And, if you remember when we talked about the travesty that is the French uniform, this is how you do a sleeveless jacket for a woman. Haitians are going to look gorgeous.

Jill: They are. So the, the women have a blazer that’s got a wide fabric belt around it. The blazer is sleeveless basically, but it looks like it’s got little cap sleeves, but enough to make it dressy. And then there’s a blouse underneath it. Uh, the men have the pants with the, painting design on them.

And then they have a, blue shirt underneath, Another blue jacket, which is the shirt’s a signature Haitian shirt called a guayabera.

Alison: Yes. So you’ll see that very familiar shape and design. It’s very 60s.

Jill: but it’s also very cool. The whole thing is very fresh looking, I think. And I can say fresh because I’m old.

But it’s, it’s, it’s fantastic. It’s going to be a beautiful outfit.

Alison: In motion, this is going to be beautiful.

Jill: All right. Speaking of, clothing options, which is not on our show sheet, but I was watching some of the recap videos from the torch relay every day. They’re putting out a daily video.

I did see a little baby wearing a freeze hat.

Alison: I’m getting a freeze hat. That’s how people will find me in France.

Jill: Freeze hat, keep the flame alive shirt.

Alison: Yeah. And I’ll put one of our pins on it on the tip. Okay. And that will be me.

Jill: So even

Alison: though I’ll be shorter than everybody else, you’ll see like, just all you’ll see is the hat working through the crowd.

Oh, there’s Alison. There she is.

Jill: We have some hospitality news. Apparently there are going to be a Casa Mexico and a Maison Polonaise. We don’t have a ton of details about them, but houseparty. blog said that they were looking for volunteers. So we’ll have links to that in the show notes. Apparently Puma is going to have a house located in San Ouen.

Alison: Nice. Got some shoes.

Jill: Not sure if that one will be open to the public and Omega, the timing operator, will have a house, but it’s not open to the public. So more places around, that will be a, Omega will be a house to try to get into,

Alison: Will it be a mega Omega house?

Jill: Uh, NBC Universal has a, an official audio partner for the Olympics that will be iHeart Media. I heart will have 24, seven play by play audio channels, and that’s going to include men’s and women’s basketball coverage, soccer, volleyball, swimming, gymnastics, and track and field emphasis on Team USA there.

It will also have an original weekly podcast and Olympic themed episodes of some of I heart’s popular podcasts. None of these podcasts include us.

Alison: Just move on, because don’t make me mad.

Jill: Also included in the lineup of NBC commentators and analysts that’s coming out is, , Steve Kornacki. So if you are a fan of his election analysis, you will be probably delighted to see what he does within the Olympic Games.

Alison: And if you remember, Leslie Jones from Saturday Night Live Kornacki being her TV boyfriend. She just was in love with him. And she also, during the Olympics, did a whole. I love this sport thing. So Steve Kornacki doing announcing for Olympics, Leslie Jones, head may explode.

Jill: Also what making my head explode a little bit is the, the idea that Flavor Flav is now the official hype man for us women’s water polo.

Alison: So this is such a fantastic story. And it reminds you, one of the things that we often ask is how much do things cost? And Maggie Steffens, who’s the captain of the women’s water polo team, who. has just dominated international competition for, you know, almost two decades is running out of money. They have no money. These poor people are working two and three jobs, which is, so she put a call out on just on social media saying the U S women’s water polo team need financial support.

And Flavor Flav came back and said, you got it, girlfriend. So I don’t think he’s just doing hype. He’s actually writing a check to help these women out.

Jill: Good on you Flavor Flav for stepping up. So we’ll, we’ll see, because I’m sure he’ll be wanting to go to Paris. And I mean, if he’s doesn’t already have his tickets, but.

Alison: Can you imagine him and Snoop Dogg? Add a water polo match together. We don’t need Omega. We got Flava Flav’s clock that he’s wearing. Oh, that is a cross promotion maiden. We come up with the best cross promotions. Omega, give Flava Flav an official Omega timing clock. for the water polo matches.

Jill: I am here for that.

Alison: Welcome to Shook Flushton.

TKFLASTAN Update

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

Alison: Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea finished ninth at the 49 FX are European Championships, and they finished first in three of the races.

Jill: Good for them, man. Kelly Cheng and her partner, Sarah Hughes, have been officially named to the beach volleyball team for Paris.

Alison: McKenna Geer has been working on qualifying for Paris 2024. She needs to compete at one more international event to get some qualifying points.

Jill: Superfan Sarah has spotted limited edition Team Cheerios at the store.

These come in frosted berry flavor. So if you were looking for stuff for your parties or your breakfast every morning while you are cheering on, the Olympics, you can get yourself some limited edition Team Cheerios because they are like red, white, and blue, or, you know, as much as Cheerios can get red, white, and blue.

So they can go for a myriad of countries.

Alison: The dulcet tones of Jason Bryant have been in Turkey announcing the Olympic qualifying team.

Jill: Listener Dan will be running the New York City Marathon in support of the Women’s Sports Foundation.

Tell a friend about the show!

Jill: And thank you to all of our Shooklasanis who support the show, whether you tell a friend about us and we, we really appreciate you telling your friends about the show.

If you write a review in your favorite podcast app or you support us financially, our flame would go out. If it wasn’t for you, find out how you can support the show at flamealivepod. com slash support. And that will do it for this episode. Let us know what you think of para shot put.

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 two zero eight 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, flame alive, pod.

com.

Jill: On Thursday, get ready for surface talk

Alison: with a French accent.

Jill: We are going to learn all about volleyball courts and you will not believe the technology that they pack into the surface. plus we may hear from some of the volleyball players we spoke with at the Team USA Media Summit.

So Thank you so much for listening and until next time, keep the flame alive.