The Bugler

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Veterans Bring Home Gold

Photo courtesy of Team USA Olympic & Paralympic home page.

This month 80 Americans represented the United States at the Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia. The Paralympic Winter Games consisted of five sporting events, Alpine Skiing, Biathlon, Cross Country Skiing, Ice Sledge Hockey and Wheel Chair Curling. Eighteen of the 80 athletes are veterans. When one reads the bios of these athletes, one theme is constant and that is the appreciation for the volunteers and families who have helped these veterans find their life after they were injured. They also describe the rehabilitation programs that various military hospitals and veterans organizations sponsor to help these men and women learn to compete and enjoy sports once again. Please take a few minutes and visit Paralympic.org and read the stories and the successes of these American athletes.

One story from the website tells the excitement of the gold medal win in ice sledge hockey, "The United States became the first nation to every win back to back Paralympic gold medals. Josh Sweeney's second period goal was the difference maker as the USA repeated as Paralympic champions in ice sledge hockey after a 1-0 gold medal victory over Russia at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.

"After a fast-paced first period that saw lots of great chances at both ends of the ice, the teams were scoreless after 15 minutes. The fast-paced game would continue in the second period with the USA dominating the flow of play. Finally, almost 10 minutes into the period, Sweeney, playing in his first Paralympic Winter Games, would steal the puck from Russia's Aleksei Lysov at the hashmarks and beat goaltender Vladimir Kamantcev. That would be all the offence the USA needed to repeat their success from Vancouver 2010 and win their third gold medal in four Games.

"With one goal, Sweeney turned from a war hero to a Paralympic hero. In 2009, Sweeney stepped on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan as a member of the US Marine Corps, losing both of his legs. In 2014, he led a Paralympic gold-medal winning team as an assistant captain."

Amazing pictures of the game can be seen on The Denver Post website. Congratulations to all the US athletes who competed in the Paralympic Games.

Competitive Drill: What is Drill Power?

Power is about termination. It's about the way you stop the weapon and kill momentum. View these two videos. The first is of myself in 2009, and demonstrates poor degree of power. The second is of Donovan White in 2008, and demonstrates a high degree of power. Watch:

Adam Jeup (2009), Bad Power

Donovan White, Good Power

Obviously, Donovan White has much more power than I do. But why? The answer lies in the way the weapon is stopped. After I've made the intention of stopping it, the rifle keeps going, it jiggles and moves a few more inches. When Donovan White stops the rifle, it STOPS! As soon as he makes contact with his termination hand (or arm, or leg), the weapon no longer has momentum, and his body absorbs all of the impact.

How does he do this? While strength does have a part to play, the answer lies mostly with Physics. Pay close attention to where Donovan White stops the rifle. Just about every time, he stops it at the extremes - the very top of the barrel, and the very bottom of the butt. By doing this, it takes less energy to stop the rifle. For example, think of a door. If it's swinging towards you, where is the easiest place to stop its momentum? Furthest from the hinge, right? On a rifle, the hinge is the balance point. The easiest points to stop its momentum are furthest from the balance point (i.e., the rifle extremes).

Power can be demonstrated at the conclusion of every trick. Any time the rifle momentum stops, it should be done with high power. So, if you're wondering whether your drill displays high levels of power, videotape yourself and look at the stops. If there is ANY movement after your hands make contact with the rifle (with the intention to stop its momentum), then you can still be better.

A few push-ups won't hurt either, though....

BONUS: The Physics property at play is leverage. The balance point of the rifle is the fulcrum. The formula for leverage is M=Fd. M is the turning force (the force behind the rifle as it spins), F is the Force exerted (the strength of your termination), and d is the distance between the force and the fulcrum (the distance from the balance point to the origin of termination). So, the faster the rifle spins (the more torque it has), the more force OR distance from the balance point you'll need to have to stop it.

Adam Jeup has been an active driller for 10 years and has competed at IWDC. He owns and operates Independent Drill, a learning resource for drillers of all skill levels. Adam is a regular contributor to the Bugler. Stay tuned for his exclusive articles on competitive drill!

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