Author Topic: Dhani Tackles the Globe 2  (Read 7358 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
Dhani Tackles the Globe 2
« on: April 06, 2010, 03:00:10 PM »
Dhani Jones is back for his 2nd season:

Season Premiere Monday, April 19 11pm E/P (not 10pm like it used to be)
Dhani Tackles the Globe » Season Premier
Italy » New
NFL linebacker Dhani Jones (Bengals 07 - present, Eagles 04 -06, Giants 00 - 03) embraces Italy's natural beauty through its national passion, cycling. Watch as he trains with Olympic and professional cyclists to conquer the mountainous Monte Grappa.
    
Monday, April 26, 11 E/P
Dhani Tackles the Globe
Senegal
« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 03:28:06 PM by apskip »


Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
Re: Dhani Tackles the Globe 2
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2010, 10:53:17 AM »
I have been trying to pry out of www.TravelChannel.com information on where else Dhani went in Season 2. I have discovered this:

Scottish Highland Games - I know the caber toss is part of his, but do not know which of these are:

    * Caber toss: A long tapered pine pole or log is stood upright and hoisted by the competitor who balances it vertically holding the smaller end in his hands (see photo). Then the competitor runs forward attempting to toss it in such a way that it turns end over end with the upper (larger) end striking the ground first. The smaller end that was originally held by the athlete then hits the ground in the 12 o'clock position measured relative to the direction of the run. If successful, the athlete is said to have turned the caber. Cabers vary greatly in length, weight, taper, and balance, all of which affect the degree of difficulty in making a successful toss. Competitors are judged on how closely their throws approximate the ideal 12 o'clock toss on an imaginary clock.

    * Stone put: This event is similar to the modern-day shot put as seen in the Olympic Games. Instead of a steel shot, a large stone of variable weight is often used. There are also some differences from the Olympic shot put in allowable techniques. There are two versions of the stone toss events, differing in allowable technique. The "Braemar Stone" uses a 20–26 lb stone for men (13–18 lb for women) and does not allow any run up to the toeboard or "trig" to deliver the stone, i.e., it is a standing put. In the "Open Stone" using a 16–22 lb stone for men (or 8–12 lb for women), the thrower is allowed to use any throwing style so long as the stone is put with one hand with the stone resting cradled in the neck until the moment of release. Most athletes in the open stone event use either the "glide" or the "spin" techniques.

    * Scottish hammer throw: This event is similar to the hammer throw as seen in modern-day track and field competitions, though with some differences. In the Scottish event, a round metal ball (weighing 16 or 22 lb for men or 12 or 16 lb for women) is attached to the end of a shaft about 4 feet in length and made out of wood, bamboo, rattan, or plastic. With the feet in a fixed position, the hammer is whirled about one's head and thrown for distance over the shoulder. Hammer throwers sometimes employ specially designed footwear with flat blades to dig into the turf to maintain their balance and resist the centrifugal forces of the implement as it is whirled about the head. This substantially increases the distance attainable in the throw.

Weight throw

    * Weight throw, also known as the weight for distance event. There are actually two separate events, one using a light (28 lb for men and 14 lb for women) and the other a heavy (56 lb for men, 42 lb for masters men, and 28 lb for women) weight. The weights are made of metal and have a handle attached either directly or by means of a chain. The implement is thrown using one hand only, but otherwise using any technique. Usually a spinning technique is employed. The longest throw wins.

    * Weight over the bar, also known as weight for height. The athletes attempt to toss a 56 pound (4 stone) weight with an attached handle over a horizontal bar using only one hand. Each athlete is allowed three attempts at each height. Successful clearance of the height allows the athlete to advance into the next round at a greater height. The competition is determined by the highest successful toss with fewest misses being used to break tie scores.

    * Sheaf toss: A bundle of straw (the sheaf) weighing 20 pounds (9 kg) for the men and 10 pounds (4.5 kg) for the women and wrapped in a burlap bag is tossed vertically with a pitchfork over a raised bar much like that used in pole vaulting. The progression and scoring of this event is similar to the Weight Over The Bar. There is significant debate among athletes as to whether the sheaf toss is in fact an authentic Highland event. Some argue it is actually a country fair event, but all agree that it is a great crowd pleaser.

 Scotland isthe only place I can imagine Dhani competing in the Highland Games even though they are done in the U.S.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2010, 06:00:35 AM by apskip »

Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
Re: Dhani Tackles the Globe 2
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2010, 06:03:53 AM »
Dhani Jones Tackles the Globe premieres tonight at 11pm on the Travel Channel  and stays at Monday nights at 11pm for future episodes. The next two are:

4/26 11pm - Senegal
NFL linebacker Dhani Jones tackles a highly spiritual journey in the West African country of Senegal where witch doctors, praise singers and lion dances flourish throughout the culture. In an attempt to learn the country's national sport of lutte, a form of traditional wrestling, Dhani joins the prestigious stable of one of Senegal's most popular champions, the great 'Bombardier'.

5/3 11pm - Iceland

Beyond that, I believe he is going to Jamaica (do I hear limbo contest?).

Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
Re: Dhani Tackles the Globe 2
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2010, 02:50:39 PM »
I have more info on what tonight's 11pm episode 2 in Senegal, generally focused on that country's obsession with fitness and sports, will contain:

1. Dakar (capital) and its Sandaga Market
2. M'boum fish market, 80 km from Dakar
3. fishing in ocean with traditional nets
4. Bombardier's lutte (wrestling) training beach at M'boum
5. Ancient traditional dance known as Simb and Dhani will try it in the traditional garb of a lion or a witch doctor
6. the actual lutte competition held at Muscle Beah on the Corniche Oriente, west of Dakar on the seacoast

« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 10:22:04 AM by apskip »

Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
Re: Dhani Tackles the Globe 2
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2010, 08:25:40 AM »
Last night's opening Senegal episode was delightful. I find Dhani Jones' fascinating personality as interesting to watch in action (with great editing) as Alex Boylan in ATWFF. I will be reporting on last night's episode soon, but in the interim please enjoy this preview of coming episodes:

Monday, May 3 11:00pm E/P
Iceland

Although small in population, Iceland is home to more champions in the sport of Strongman than any other nation. Dhani will put every single muscle in his body to the test as he trains with elite Icelandic athletes in preparation for a local strongman tournament.

Monday, May 10 11:00PM E/P
Jamaica

Jamaicans have a unique approach to life, and Dhani Jones, experiences first-hand the music, religion and sports that make Jamaica so distinctive. Under the guidance of world-class cricket player, Jimmy Adams, Dhani learns how to bat, bowl and field like a local.

Monday, May 17 11:00PM E/P
Croatia  
Dhani dives into to Dubrovnik, Croatia, the medieval walled city along the Adriatic Sea coastline. Although the seaport city has a bounty of culture from harvesting sea mussels to a 700-year-old pain remedy, Dhani will learn from world class athletes and compete i

Beyond those, Dhani will be:
cycling in Italy
playing cricket in Jamaica (although I also want to see his limbo)
competing in the Highland Games (not just the easy ones highlighted in Amazing Race 3) in Scotland
playing water polo in Croatia
capoeira, fighting disguised as dance, and beach volleyball in Brazil
TBD in South Africa
« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 03:25:35 PM by apskip »


Online georgiapeach

  • Amazing Race Moderator
  • RFF Board Moderator
  • I Live at RFF
  • *****
  • Posts: 40550
  • TAR Detective
Re: Dhani Tackles the Globe 2
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2010, 08:45:14 AM »
Is this already filmed?? Wonder if the volcano in Iceland affected their schedule at all, or if they were already done filming?

Thanks for sharing!
"Our fans are pretty good. They don't give away too much. Sometimes people love dropping spoilers, but our fans are good. They tend to do it in such a way that doesn't ruin it for fans who don't want to know."--Phil Keoghan

Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
Re: Dhani Tackles the Globe 2
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2010, 10:14:03 AM »
Yes, Peach, the entire season is already filmed and edited. I believe it was done last spring before Cincinnati Bengals NFL  early training camp ope. Once Dhani Jones started the Bengals NFL season in September and finished in early January, there was no possibility of filming this and the same applies to the period between the Super Bowl in the beginning of February and today - there's just not enough time. Besides, a recent news report states that Dhani just returned in mid-April  "from a trek up part of Mount Everest. It wasn't any foxtrot. They hiked seven or eight hours a day for two weeks."  Nobody has made any news releases on this, but I expect it to turn up on Dhani Tackles the Globe 3 next spring: "Everest was the hardest thing I did this (TV) season. It was a real test of your mental and your physical strength."

I don't know what to expect for the Iceland episode next week.The episode summary is "Although small in population, Iceland is home to more champions in the sport of Strongman than any other nation. Dhani will put every single muscle in his body to the test as he trains with elite Icelandic athletes in preparation for a local strongman tournament." Dhani may add a postscript similar to what World Race Productions did with Ping Ping's death. However, I will be taking a look at scenes from next week's episode soon, so I will add to this note if appropriate.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 02:42:19 PM by apskip »

Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
Re: Dhani Tackles the Globe 2
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2010, 02:08:42 PM »
DTG2, episode 2 Senegal lutte

The driving force for the second (and probably also the first season too) of Dhani Jones Tackles the Globe is clearly Dhani himself. He is such an engaging character that he could begin a third career (in addition to NFL football and designer and star of this series) as a comedian. I am very impressed by Dhani and other characters such as Alex Boylan and Blake Mycoskie who have extended themselves into new careers. This is going to be a splendid series if the first one is indicative of the quality of the rest. In addition to a shining star in the lead, this series benefits from marvelous editing. The only problem I see with it is its placement in the Travel channel lineup at 11pm and 3am Tuesday nights only.

I recommend that any of you not familiar with Dhani Tackles the Globe 1 go back in the RFF files to look at my posts about all the episodes. I have decided that the level of detail I provided there, while quite adequate, can benefit from more detail for season 2 so that's what you will see in this thread.  Dhani starts with the assumption that "sports is connected to culture, people and communities...Sports is like music, it links people.”  A typical Dhani Jones episode involves some form of athletic competition where Dhani takes on a professionals in a national sport of an interest country. In season 1 he went to these countries (west to east) and did these national sports:

Australia - ocean rescue/lifesaving
New Zealand - sailing
Cambodia - Pradal Serey
Thailand - muy thai boxing martial arts
Singapore - dragon boat racing
Russia - sambo wrestling
Switzerland - Schwingen wrestlign
Spain - j'ai alai
England - rugby
Ireland - hurling

Some of the episode is always training (almost always with a distinguished professional coach)in the sport of the country he is visiting, some is sightseeing and the episodes end with Dhani competing in that sport. Since he is an all-around athlete with diverse skills and the body of a top-notch NFL linebacker, he typically does better than you would expect in a totally new sport he only trains in for about one week prior. Most of us are not very interested in the obscure sports that are on display, but Dhani's take on the culture of each country that he visits ins fascinating. Each hour is as much about a country's culture, food and unique characteristics as its signature sport. "The most important thing is to learn the culture and the sport and introduce it to the viewers," he says. Dhani Jones designs bow ties, writes poetry, plays saxophone, paints with oils and has exhibited his photography in galleries. The former host of ESPN's "Timeless" series and NFL Network correspondent is owner of a full-service creative agency and TV production company   His parents named Dhani presumably because it  means "thinking man" in Hindi and he reciprocates this to his television audience by being engaging and sometimes reflective. Dhani's passion for world travel started early with his parents, who were in the military. "We lived in Japan, and toured around Southeast Asia. The interest in wanting to understand other people and experiencing different cultures has always been in my bloodstream."

I have episode 1 of DTG2 of cycling in Italy on tape somewhere but have not viewed it yet. When I do, my recap will be posted in this thread.

What will Dhani be doing in Senegal?
1. arriving in Dakar (current capital and largest city) and visiting its huge Sandaga market
2. going a short distance west to the coast to view its Muscle Beach on the Corniche Ouest, meeting Bombardier a lutte champion
3. a brief visit to Thies, 1 hour east of Dakar, its second largest city and already identified as the site of the new capital which will be built there
4. a trip south to M'bour along the coast and 80 km from Dakar, where a large concentration of fishermen live and work; Dhani tries fishing
5. going into the outskirts of  M'bour to find ancient and huge baobab trees, where Dhani learns the lion dance
6. ending up at the Training Camp of Bombardier to learn the sport of lutte wrestling from observation and from a coach and finally fighting a protege of Bombardier

Bombardier grew up as in a fishing family in M'Bour but his size and strength earned him a ticket out to be one of the heroes of Senegal, revered by his fans wherever he goes. He is 6'7" and 300 pounds. Dhani is fortunate that he does not have to fight Bombardier as Dhani is "only" 6'1" and 240 pounds (actually quite small for an NFL linebacker). After meeting Bombardier, the first lesson Dhani gets is "protect your equipment," which in the case of lutte which is had-to-hand wrestling effectively means a loincloth. At the Muscle Beach Dhani observes Lutte competitors arrive dancing with accompaniment by "jungle drums." bombardier tells him that he must have the physical attributes of a lutte champion but also have an appreciation for the culture which underpins it. Dhani discovers during his visit that the country of Senegal that sports and physical fitness are the constant companions of many of its inhabitants. In addition to the attributes which Dhani clearly had before reaching Senegal he must learn the spiritual components of lutte to be really successful. We see Dhani and others doing push-ups, running, weightlifting, head lifts and chin-ups. Dhani demonstrates up on a high bar how to do upside-down pull- ups, which is mighty impressive. He dares the Senegalese to try one, but gets no takers. Part of the lifestyle in lutte involves trash-talking (Dhani is likely to be expert at this from his NFL career)and intimidating your opponent, both verbally and by showing off your strong, lithe body (most of the lutte competitors appear to be about 6 feet tall and weigh no more than 200, so they are not as much of a physical presence as either bombardier or Dhani. After Dhani observed  a competition and sees that it is on Sunday, he stated that "he is used to working on Sundays, "a reference to NFL games in the U.S.

Bombardier takes Dhani to visit a witch doctor. The ritual there involves cleansing the body, putting on a robe and sandals, cleansing the feet and then having Dhani place a foot over the glowing hot coals of an open fire. This is the Senegalese version of "holding one's feet to the fire." Next Dhani watches as the witch doctor uses some technique to dig in the desert for water, probably because he knows where it has been found in the past.  Dhani witnesses a tall man in lion dance costume who demonstrates the lion dance, which appears to be an improved series of out-of-control high tempo movements. Dhani is asked to duplicate it and he puts on the costume and makeup to look like the lion dance guy and he makes a sidebar comment that now he knows how actors use the costume and makeup to get psyched up to play their characters. Dhani does not have to play any character, as he is a natural actor (read ham) almost 100% of the time except when focusing on actual training (not commenting on it) or the national sports.

Dhani visits a baobab tree, later consuming the drink made from the fruit of the baobab tree (which itself is being marketed in the U.S. as the superfruit baobab dried fruit pulp), reminding me of St. Exuperay's "Le Petit Prince," which most U.S. students learning the French language know almost by heart.. These ancient and huge tress are found in the environs of M'Bour. The fruit, which grows up to a foot long, contains tartaric acid and vitamin C and can either be sucked, or soaked in water to make a lemonade-like drink. They can also be roasted and ground up to make a coffee-like drink. The seed kernels are eaten raw or roasted and are a highly nutritious food source and the bark can be ground into a powder for flavoring food. Those are not the only parts of the Baobab that can be used. The bark is pounded to make rope, mats, baskets, paper, string, rope, fishnets, twine, cords, sacks and clothing; the gum of the tree can be used as glue; the leaves can be boiled and eaten; twine, cords, sacks and clothing.

He goes to M'bour to Bombardier's Training Camp to learn from watching and practicing and remaining at the peak of physical fitness with the young Turks in Bombardier's stable of wrestling.

« Last Edit: April 28, 2010, 05:59:47 AM by apskip »

Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
Re: Dhani Tackles the Globe 2
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2010, 03:21:34 PM »
The first episode of Dhani Tackles the Globe 2 was in Italy. I have been stumbling across a lot of diverse interesting information recently. As a gourmet who gets great Italian cuisine from my wife when I am lucky enough to qualify, I really appreciate the different types of Italian cuisine. Here is a list of the regional specialty foods of Italy adapted from an article by David Farley:

Pizza, spaghetti Bolognese and eggplant Parmigiana are a few of the dishes we associate with Italy. There are 20 regions in Italy and each has its own unique cuisine. Case in point is a recently published list of pasta shapes featured 141 different kinds; just pasta shapes that began with the letter “C.” 10 regions were selected for summary treatment below:

Piedmont, A Slow Approach
It’s no coincidence the world headquarters for the Slow Food movement, which emphasizes the use of local and organic ingredients, is based in this region in northwest Italy. Thanks to its location near the Alps, the countryside near Piedmont’s capital Turin is awash in mushrooms and truffles. One of the most local dishes in the region is tagliolini with white truffles, a nutmeg-accented pasta dish that is both earthy and satisfying. Wash it down with a glass of Barolo, Piedmont’s best known beverage and one of Italy’s most acclaimed wines.

Lombardy, More than Milan
The most famous dish to come out of this northern region is the breaded veal or chicken cutlet a la Milanese, but Lombardy’s cuisine offers so much more. Risotto and polenta are more prevalent here than pasta; butter and cream are just as popular as olive oil (as someone said recently on a Samantha Brown episode in Bologna, "we don't have any olive trees nearby"). The region’s capital Milan is an optimal place to sample the regional cuisine, as is Pavia, surrounded by rice patties, for risotto rusti: rice with pork and beans.

Veneto, The Taste of La Serenissima
Hugging the Adriatic Sea in northeastern Italy, Veneto is a feast for seafood lovers. Dried cod stewed in milk might not sound delicious, but try it and you’ll be won over. For carnivores the fegato alla Veneziana, calf’s liver and onions, is a true taste of Venice. Like Lombardy to the west, rice is more prevalent than pasta. The area around inland Treviso is famous for its soft, bubbly prosecco, so be sure to indulge in a glass.

Emilia-Romagna, Porky Goodness
If there’s a gastronomic epicenter to this country Emilia-Romagna is it. The region’s fertile land means it produces some of the country’s best dishes. The streets of towns like Bologna and Parma are teeming with porkliscious goodness (prosciutto, Parma ham. etc.) as well as local staples like freshly made tagliatelle and lasagna. Don’t forget to try some Parmagiano cheese in Parma.

Tuscany, Under the Tuscan Tongue
Tuscan cuisine is earthy, simple, and seasonal from olive oil to pecorino cheese to spices like rosemary and sage. Panzanella, a bread soup, and bean soups are traditional dishes. Steaks from the Chianina cow from the sub-region Chianti is legendary among carnivores. Wash it all down with the king of Italian wines, Brunello di Montalcino, which hails from Montalcino in southern Tuscany.

Umbria, The Green Heart
Known as Italy’s “green heart” for its fertile landscape, Umbria is a foodie paradise. The gorgeous hill-top towns are a feast for the eyes and taste buds. Perugia is famous for chocolate and Orvieto for Slow Food restaurants (Trattoria dell’Orso or La Grotta). Off-the-radar Norcia is where sausage is king. For something less meaty, try Umbrian falchetti verdi, ricotta gnocchi and spinach baked with cheese and tomato sauce.

Lazio, Eternally Delicious
With Rome at its axis, this region is a culinary world all its own. Famous dishes that hail from Lazio include the egg-and-pancetta-laced pasta carbonara, tomato-and-pancetta-based spaghetti amatriciana, and the spicy pasta arabiata. Many of Rome’s dishes were created in the district of Testaccio, home of an ancient slaughterhouse where workers were often paid with the “quinto quarto,” or fifth part of the animal.

Campania, Tomatoes and Buffalos
Naples is the heart of this southern region’s cuisine. Locals put their famous tomatoes, San Marzano, and mouth-watering buffalo milk cheese, mozzarella di buffalo, to good use as main ingredients for the world’s best pizza, invented here in the 16th century. Lesser known treats such as bistecca alla pizzaiola, a thinly sliced beef topped with garlic and tomato sauce, are also worth the trek.

Puglia, The Pull of Puglia
Situated in the heel of the boot, the sparse olive-tree spiked landscape of Puglia has inspired a unique cuisine.  Pasta is made without eggs and the shapes are unique. Orecchiette, or “little ears,” originated here. Puglia gets more sun than anywhere else in Italy, which means the region’s wine is delicious. The negroamaro grape, nearly exclusive to the region, produces a smooth, medium-bodied wine.

Sicily, Sun and Sea
The food of this island, the “ball” being kicked by the “boot,” has a legion of influences from the Greeks, Vikings, Muslims and Spanish. The sun and the sea have also played a large role in shaping Sicily’s table. Everything from capers to saffron to wild fennel can be found in pasta dishes (often laced with seafood). Arancini, fried rice balls, cannoli and fried tubular dough stuffed with cream are special. Lemons are ubiquitous here. A true taste of Sicily can be found in drinks like the luscious after-dinner digestivi, limoncello.

Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
Re: Dhani Tackles the Globe 2
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2010, 04:47:19 PM »
Dhani is going to Iceland in tonight's episode! Volcano eruption? What volcano eruption? Dhani Jones is headed to the land of fire and ice because it's the home of more champions in the sport of Strongman than anywhere else. Dhani challenges himself to lift the 385-lb. Husafell stone, then rests his weary muscles at Iceland's world-famous Blue Lagoon.


Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
Re: Dhani Tackles the Globe 2
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2010, 04:49:39 PM »
Next week Dhani goes to Jamaica to sample its music, food and culture. While he's there, he figures trying out cricket might be fun too. He gets expert instruction from world-class cricket player Jimmy Adams before attempting this odd sport. If I had to pick a sport where Dhani's physical gifts would be least likely to help him, it just might be cricket.

Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
Re: Dhani Tackles the Globe 2
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2010, 01:39:06 PM »
As indicated elsewhere, I am behind in recapping the episodes for threads that I traditionally cover. I offer the Scotland episode from last night's program below. It will not take me long to complete Italy and Jamaica once higher priorities for Celebrity Apprentice 3 are taken care of. Croatia will be done later when time permits as I have to watch it first.

Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
Re: Dhani Tackles the Globe 2
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2010, 01:41:07 PM »
DTTG ep. 5 Scotland

Dhani starts with a little history lesson. He stated that the warring clans were united in one thing, a common hatred of England’s attempts to dominate Scotland. Scotland developed its own legal, educational and religious traditions. He mentioned the warrior leader William Wallace from the 13th century. Dhani stated correctly that strength became a way to survive in this brutal environment where strength meant the potential to resist invasion and being conquered. The Highland Games were developed to celebrate and encourage that strength.

Dhani visited the Stone of Destiny which was stolen from Scotland and kept by England for over 700 years before being returned to a Scottish castle in 1996.

The first thing he typically does on entering a country is to meet with a prearranged coach and in Scotland that was Gregor Evans, who was 2008 World Highland Games champion and one of the world’s premier strength athletes. He also is a caber toss champion and has an outstanding physique, which has sculpted muscles in a body that is taller and appears stronger than Dhani (no mean feat).

Dhani sets out to learn the intricacies of the 5 events which make up the Highland Games, but first he views and briefly enjoys watching the bicycling, dancing and bagpiping that are part of the Highland Games along with these strength events:

Stone put –like a shot put but much heavier
Tossing a 28 pound and 56 pound weight
Tossing the same weights up over a bar to measure the height
Throwing a Hammer (spear with either a 18 pound or 28 pound ball attached)
The infamous Caber Toss of a circular block of wood (like a telephone pole) about 1 foot diameter x 1 foot diameter x 20 feet height so that it rotates forward and lands on the ground ahead of where it was placed.

He has recently experienced some serious strength exercise in Iceland, including carrying a 420 pound weight, so this will come in handy in preparing for the Highland Games, although maybe Dhani actually went to Scotland before Iceland, which is the way I would do it if traveling around the globe going westward.

The first thing that a proper Highland Games athlete does is don his kilt. This is mandatory in Scotland. Dhani was fitted for a nice one at Perth Kilt Company, then asked Gregor what to do about the space under the kilt. Gregor informed him that real Scottish athletes wear nothing, but given Dhani’s situation and the filming he recommended that Dhani wear something.

Dhani accompanied Gregor to manufacture a caber starting from a tree. It has to be wide enough and tall enough. A chain saw is used to bring a suitable one down. The limbs are trimmed off it and then a smoke-belching machine strips the bark off it for about 20 minutes. After some finishing on the end where the athlete grips it, this caber is ready for practice and competition.

Dhani got a lesson in hammer throwing near the grounds of Balmoral Castle. He also got a lesson in caber toss at Scone Castle. Dhani is shown a stone which resided in England for over 700 years but was recently returned to Scotland. He draws an attitude of perseverance from that experience.

Dhani goes through practice sessions with Gregor on a wet field. Since “scotch mist” is common in Scotland (as I can personally attest from my one visit there) that was not surprising. However, since good balance is critical to these strength throws I find it surprising that he did not allow more time in Scotland to allow for weather variations.

Dhani also visited Royal Lochnagar Scottish Single Malt Whisky distillery near Balmoral Castle. He was shown how the proper ingredients can create the famous Scotch whisky (note the lack of an “e” in Scotland’s name for that product). Following a liberal sampling of whiskey he went to J. Pirie & Sons to learn how to prepare and eat haggis, an innards/oatmeal concoction that most tourists in Scotland avoid like the plague due to its strange taste. Dhani commented that haggis, the Scottish national dish, tastes OK to him.

Next Dhani went to check out bagpipes. He learned and RT Shepherd & Son (and taught me) that there are 14 separate pipes in a real bagpipe.  Bagpipes are constructed of four main parts, the blowstick, the bag, the chanter and usually one or more drones. Dhani observed one bass drone and two tenor drones on the bagpipe that he blew. The Chanter is a melody pipe that is affixed to the bag of the bagpipes and is the part of the pipes that creates the melody using a reed to blow into. Usually the chanter is a simple pipe with holes that resembles the recorder and by covering the holes it will create different notes. The piper blowing through the blowstick into the bag and filling it provides the air supply for the bag. The bag is first filled by the piper before playing starts and is continuously refilled as it continues. The bag itself is the air reservoir, which can be controlled in expelling the air and allowing the piper to create continuous sound easily. Dhani did OK in creating a sufficient force of air to work the pipes with the assistance of his teacher playing a tune on the chanter.

The most comic scenes in this episode involved Dhani and Gregor carrying a famous stone from a garden in front of a nondescript house by a roadside across the road to place it on the counter and earn a free pint of beer. The catch is that the stone weighed 265 pounds, a piece of cake for Dhani compared to the 400+ pound round stone he lifted in Iceland. He also had to carry this one back and place it where he found it under the watchful eye of its keeper, an old lady.

Dhani always tries to say a prayer for good luck on the eve of his competitions. He finds a chapel of great historical significance and visits there to get good luck. The next morning he shows up for the competitions at one of the many Highland Games that occur all over Scotland each summer.

Dhani gives his all, but sometimes he is a fish out of water despite his strength as there are others bigger and stronger that he is competing against. He places 7th in the stone put. He does 42 feet with the Light Stone and 28 feet with the Heavy Stone. His Hammer throw is 843 feet. He throws the 56 pound weight above the bar at 13 feet but cannot get higher. The caber toss is the ultimate test of strength and balance and ability to generate torque in Scotland. Dhani got nowhere on his first try, rotated it up to about 75 degrees on his second and to 60 degrees on his third. The caber has defeated Dhani just as it did most of the competitors. However, it is obvious that he enjoyed his visit to Scotland immensely.

Upcoming shows are with Dhani playing Beach Volleyball and attending Carnival (the equivalent of Mardi Gras in New Orleans; it’s odd that Dhani would choose to visit Brazil just then, don’t you think?) in Brazil (5/31); Soccer in South Africa (6/7); Lucha Libre (masked wrestling) in Mexico City (6/14); and Mount Everest Base Camp climb in Nepal (6/21).

Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
Re: Dhani Tackles the Globe 2
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2010, 02:37:09 PM »
DTTG2. ep.1 Italy - Cycling

This first televised episode was not the first actually filmed, but it was the introduction of Travel Channel viewers to Dhani Tackles the Globe 2. The sport Dhani is attempting to master is cycling and his goal is to complete the 80 mile Fondo del Monte Grappa bicycle race. Just finishing is an achievement, as the middle section of the course has 17 mile stretch that is a steep uphill the whole way. On either end of that, it is slightly forgiving. The festivities start from Bassano Del Grappa, a small town 70 miles north of Venice which marked a fierce World War I battle between the invading Austrians and defending Italians. It is also the home of Ponte del Alpini, the Bridge of the Alpini, a scenic bridge over the Brenta River. The Piazza Liberta and the Piazza Garibaldi are the famous centers of the town.

Dhani arrived and was greeted by Cristiano Citton, a two time Opympic cyclist and two time winner of the Fondo del Monte Grappa. He will be Dhani’s trainer. The first thing they must do is get him a world-class cycle to ride. Cristiano knows just the place and a friend of his who is a world-class cyclist himself Giovanni Battaglin, who owns the company Battaglin Cycli that makes them. A bike is customized for Dhani and no doubt is extremely light but strong. Next is the need for a proper cycling jersey and Cristiano calls on another of his cycling buddies Marcel Tinazzi who owns MS Tina, a cycling clothing company.  He made a special jersey for Dhani.

Training begins and Dhani goes out on the winding, narrow and sometimes steep rides surrounding Bassano del Grappa for practice. There is practice on overall riding techniques and special practice for the steep uphill segments which are the most difficult part of the race. Cristiano also takes Dhani to the local velodrome Club Bassano, where it takes Dhani a while to catch on to the principle of centripital force, which translates into the need to go fast enough to not be pulled down onto the inner track.

It is not all hard training for Dhani. He goes to the Osteria Ca’ Cornaro di Citton, the family restaurant run by Cristiano’s mother. She teaches Dhani how to make homemade pasta, which of course is an excellent fuel for cycling practices and competitions due to its quick-burning carbohydrates.

Dhani also gets to ride a Ducati motorcycle with Cristiano.

Dhani visits the Nardini Grapperia and received a lesson in Italy’s nation drink grappa from Antonio Nardini.

The Fondo begins and Dhani is struggling on the steep uphill sections. Cristiano abandoned the opportunity to go at his own natural pace to stick with Dhani and help him finish the race. Marcel was also in the race and the 3 of them did the second half of the race together. They finished hours behind the leaders, but just finishing at all is a major achievement for a first-time cyclist. I will add that it looked strange to see Dhani in a FiodoFrutta organic jam jersey, abandoning the one he had custom made in order to no doubt bring in promotional fees from that company to help offset the costs of filming.

This was a totally winning episode and Dhani is a natural travel host and comedian. He will have no trouble landing an important role after he leaves professional football.


Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
Re: Dhani Tackles the Globe 2
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2010, 02:39:02 PM »
DTTG2 ep. 3 Iceland - Strongman

This episode is all about moving very heavy stones, which is the centerpoint of strongman, the national sport of Iceland. The men who attempt this are giants, much larger in build than Dhani mere 235 pounds and 6’1”. Basically, it involves using proper technique to lift very heavy stones and in some cases to carry them a distance. Dhani is requested to develop the proper Viking spirit to guide him through his training and competition. He rose to face this challenge head-on. His coaches are Boris, a Strongman champion, and Hjalti. They take Dhani to the Snæfellsjökull National Park to start his training on 300 pound stones.

There is a distinct training regimen for strongman, which starts with eating right. Dhani is forced to eat the traditional sheep’s head meal which is traditional for Viking warriors. He tolerated it. Maybe his next show can be replacing Andrew Zimmern as the host of Bizarre Foods.

Dhani has to train both inside and outside for weightlifting and carrying heavy objects. He practices with rails, with heavy stones and with 88 pound bags of cement, all of  which are part of the ultimate competition in this sport.

Dhani paid his respects at the grave of Jón Páll Sigmarsson, a former strongman, and took on the challenge of lifting the Husafell stone weighing around 385-lbs. He succeeded. Wow! He also went to the fishing docks to inspect the ingoing catches.

Dhani took some time off for recreation, all related to the geothermal energy abundant all over Iceland. Like many visitors to Iceland, he went to swim in the warm mineral waters of the Blue Lagoon. He visited the Gullfoss waterfall. I remember seeing this on episode 1 of Season 6 of the Amazing Race.  Hjalti took Dhani to Pingvellir, where ancient Icelanders held their important meetings. Dhani uses its latent geothermal energy to cook bread. Dhani and Boris visited “The Great Geysir,” which can spew boiling water 70 meters in the air.

When his training is completed, Dhani is entered into a local Icelandic Strongman competition. He has to pull a truck, do a relay race with iron rails and 88 pound bags of cement and then lift and carry heavy stones. Dhani takes the heaviest one 130 feet. He also had to lift a set of Atlas stones, which weigh 220 to 352 pounds and have to be deadlifted high enough up to place them into a holder.  Dhani placed second in the competition, which is indicator that he learned Strongman extremely well

Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
Re: Dhani Tackles the Globe 2
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2010, 02:40:31 PM »
DTTG2 ep. 4 Jamaica - Cricket

Dhani arrived in Jamaica to learn how to play the obscure sport of cricket. It would take him many years to be able to compete on a world-class level and there are no opportunities to play a world-class match in Jamaica when he is there, so he had to settle for just learning the sport, which is the most complex sport that I have ever heard of.

Cricket, played in most British Commonwealth countries for centuries, starts with a bowler and batter, 3 wooden stakes (known as wickets) and a hard rubber ball. The bowler has to throw the ball and knock out the 3 wickets before the batsman finishes his turn at bat. Classic cricket test matches can go on for days. There are fielders and the fielders can catch any hit ball in the air to get the batter immediately out. The batter gets the following scores:
Hit over the boundary - 6 runs
Ball hit to touch the boundary – 4 runs
Scores from shuttling the batsman and his partner back and forth between the ground behind the pitch and the wickets - 1 to 3 runs

A cricket match is played on a cricket field at the center of which is a pitch. The match is contested between two teams of eleven players each. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible without being dismissed ("out") while the other team bowls legally (meeting certain restrictions and fields, trying to dismiss the other team’s batsmen and limit the runs being scored. When the batting team has used all its available overs (set of 6 bowls by each bowler on the field) or has no remaining batsmen, the roles become reversed and it is now the fielding team’s turn to bat and try to outscore the opposition. Getting an out requires bowled, caught, leg before wicket (obstructing the ball reaching the wicket with one’s leg), stumped and run out while rarer are hit wicket, hit the ball twice, handled the ball, obstructing the field and timed out. There are a variety of penalties that can be assessed but that goes beyond what is appropriate here. Whew! These rules are complicated.

So Dhani must first learn the terminology, then observe actual cricket being played, and then learn how to bowl, bat and field. Fielding is pretty easy as it is similar to U.S. baseball. Bowling is not like U.S. baseball or bowling motions. It typically required putting a wicked spin on the ball so that it does strange things when reaching the batsman. Cricket batting is more analogous to playing tennis than it is to hitting a baseball. So Dhani has a lot to master.

He goes to watch cricket being played at Sabina Park, the site of the 2007 Cricket World Cup tournament. As always, he has a world-class coach to assist him in training at the Kingston Cricket Club. This time it’s Jimmy Adams, who In his opening twelve matches of the 1991/1992 season scored 1,132 runs at a batting average of near 87, a record bettered only once in the history of Test cricket.

Adams provides all the tips and pointers Dhani can absorb, but cricket is a strange sport and is not easy to learn.

While in Jamaica Dhani was interested in exploring the roots of the Rastafarian movement. I did not feel that it increased my knowledge of Rastafarians much, but Dhani is entitled to fizzle on those rare times when he is not sizzling.

Dhani visited the Bob Marley Museum to talk to Marley’s wife about his reggae music and legacy. He visited Nine Mile in the cockpit Mountains where Marley grew up and met several of Marley’s relatives there. They offered him a smoke of ganja weed, but Dhani on camera refused (probably off camera too). He visited the pirate capital of the world in the 17th century, Port Royal. He walked up the famous gentle waterfall (I’ve been there as have most visitors to Jamaica) at Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios.

When Dhani was as much ready as could happen in one week, Adams got him into a game at the Uprising Cricket club in Bull Savannah on the southwest coast of Jamaica against another local team. Dhani proved that he knew the basics, but did not exactly leave the field with glorious achievement. He left the field with a comment that he respects and appreciates cricket (but not that he likes it) now that he can play it.


Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
Re: Dhani Tackles the Globe 2
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2010, 02:43:45 PM »
DTTG2, ep. 6 Croatia - Water Polo

Dhani went to see Dubrovnik’s Old Town. He came to Croatia with an affinity for bowties and has a large collection of them which he wears on camera frequently. Little did he know that Croatia is the birthplace of the necktie. He visited the Croata necktie shop and learned this. He also did some sightseeing in Dubrovnik visiting this Market at Gundulic Square, where farmers and merchants sell their produce and goods daily. Dhani wanted to go up Mount Srd, but its cablecar was destroyed during the war with Serbia. His best alternative is to rid on a donkey up the mountain. The Dubrovnik Summer Festival, 47 days featuring open-air music, opera, dance and drama performances is starting as Dhani is in Dubrovnik, so he attended its opening ceremonies.

Dhani’s sport for Croatia is water polo, which requires unbelievable lower body strength to be able to tread water for long periods of time and to accelerate in swimming from one end of the pool to the other. It also requires some shot-making ability that is somewhat analogous to threading the needle of a target by passing a football. Dhani trains with water polo expert Maro Jokovic, a Croatia National Water Polo team member.

Dhani always enjoys the local cuisine. Seafood is growing in Ston Bay near Dubrovnik, so Dhani made time for harvesting mussels and oysters crystal clear Ston Bay. Then he sampled the shellfish at the legendary Vila Koruna restaurant. Dhani also went to the "hidden" Buza Cafe, located on the cliff and encouraged by teammate Vinko, did the giant cliff dive into the sea.

Dhani usually attempts to visit a religious site on the day of competition to pray for good luck. In Dubrovnik this is St. Blaise church, named for Dubrovnik's patron saint and protector.

The water polo match was played in the Adriatic Ocean where local team Gusar Mlini has a designated water polo facility with stands for 5,000 spectators. Water polo is obviously an important sport locally. They play against another local team. Dhani did not get in the game for long, but near the end he was sent in again and was able to score one point for his team.


Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
Re: Dhani Tackles the Globe 2
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2010, 02:45:25 PM »
DTTG2 ep. 7 Brazil Beach – Volleyball

This episode is about Rio de Janeiro. Dhani will play beach volleyball with a partner against 2 first-class Brazilian teammates. It involves 2 person teams that compete on beaches all over the world, but the most famous place where beach volleyball happens is Ipanema Beach which inspired the equally famous “Girl From Ipanema” song. Dhani may have played regular volleyball at some time in his career, but unless he has spent major time in southern California or the gulf coast it is not likely that he has plays much beach volleyball previously. His teach, as always a true professional is Brazilian Olympian Jackie Silva. She teaches him to serve, to recover shots, to set and to spike. Now he has to learn to mesh with a partner Jackie has provided to be able to compete.

In the interim, there is much beauty in and around Rio. Corcovado, the hunchback mountain within Rio city limits beckons and on top is the Christ the Redeemer statue. It competed against several better known wonders of the world to be named the 7th wonder of the world in a competition a few years ago (I suspect that the Brazilians learned ballot box stuffing techniques from we Americans to pull that off). Dhani received his divine inspiration from the statue to bring him luck in beach volleyball.

Dhani was introduced to the martial arts dancing techniques of capoeira in this episode. It takes years to master these moves at a high level, but at least Dhani looked good doing them with a young boy.

Dhani tries to sample the cuisine of any region he is visiting and Brazil is no exception. Its national dish is feijoada, a bean stew with lots of meat and spices in it. He got a cooking lesson in how to make feijoada and then got to eat it at the Aprazivel Restaurant.

Dhani sought out the famous Selaron Stairs, which have been installed by the artist Jorge Selaron over 2 decades as a tribute to Brazil. They actually look like mosaics, with a unique design for each of the steps. There are 250 stairs measuring 125 meters long which are covered in over 2000 tiles collected from over 60 countries around the world.

Dhani has his beach volleyball match, which was somewhat anticlimactic compared to the other things he was doing in Rio. His team lost 22 to 20, but I suspect that the other side was trying to keep the match close.

Next he got ready for Carnaval, which is the same as Mardi Gras in New Orleans or Carnival in Europe. He first checked out Samba City, home of the costume workshops and float production centers for the Carnival Samba Parades. There are 3 elements that he has to combine to have a successful Carnaval experience: costume, mask, skill in samba dancing. Dhani decides on a bare chest, pantaloons, a belt and a simple straw hat and a straw basket for his costume. For the mask he went to the Sunday Hippie Market to get something unique. To learn samba, he signed on with a samba school to teach him the basics and them walked as part of the official Samba Parade into the Sambadrome. Dhani got his Carnaval experience.

Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
Re: Dhani Tackles the Globe 2
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2010, 02:48:00 PM »
DTTG2 ep. 8 South Africa - Soccer

Dhani arrived in CapeTown, one of South Africa’s 3 capitals, to place soccer. Since it is 2010 and the World Cup is hosted in south Africa this year, soccer hysteria is rampant all over the country.  Why shouldn’t Dhani be part of that? Anyone that knows anything about soccer knows that he cannot possibly go from nothing to a world-class level in one week, so this is set up to have him compete on a lower level at which he might be able to hold his own once he learns. His soccer coach is Martin Secklenberg and Dhani considers him a genius at devising drills for improving soccer skills. Dhani knew from prior interaction on U.S. soccer fields that soccer requires quick and versatile feet (to be used like hands), a strong head (to be used like a bat) and bodies like butterfly nets. Their first practice is on bouncing the ball from top-of-head over to top-of-hear; the losers (including Dhani) have to do pushups. He was training at the youth academy of Ajax  CapeTown, a Premier Soccer League team. 

Dhani goes with t teammate to visit Nyanga, one of South Africa’s poorest neighborhoods in the Cape Flats area of CapeTown, a violent and high crime rate area suffering from high unemployment and AIDS. There is a lot of interest in soccer among the young, so Dhani brings 24 soccer balls as presents. 8 local men show up to dance and sing for the unexpected visitor. Dhani observed both kites and wind surfers at Bloubergstrand, a popular beach with some of the best views of Cape Town and renowned as one of the world's top 3 beaches for kite-surfing. Then he decided to do a cage dive in an area around Great White sharks off False Bay’s Seal Island, where the high concentration of great whites feast on the high concentration of seals. Bait is prepared and spread to attract the sharks. Dhani went down in a cage with the joke that “if he were a lawyer, he would not even need a cage.” That’s a good one! Nicholas, a kid selected somehow from the pack in Nyanga, got to make the trip with Dhani but he did not want to go into the water with scuba gear and in the cage.

Dhani’s second practice is about dribbling the ball around cones, teaching which part of the foot to use when. Dhani has heard that “sometimes teams hide their weakest link as goal keeper and depend on a sturdy defense to prevent their goalie from facing many good shots. There are more cones to move laterally and beyond and Dhani does the same drills that the kids do.

Dhani wants like any tourist to see some of the best sights the area has to offer. He retraced ground covered by the Amazing Race season 2 and Amazing Race Asia season 2. In Amazing Race 2, teams had to visit the former cell in the Robben Island prison where Nelson Mandela spent more than 2 decades. In amazing Race Asia 2, the penultimate leg in the CapeTown area ended at the Aquila Game Reserve, which is famous for being the home of all 5 of the top “Big Game” animals: water buffalo, rhinoceros, lion, elephant, leopard. Dhani had a brief safari experience there with Nicholas from Nyanga. Its 11,000 acres are almost 20 square miles

Other area attractions visited by Dhani include Cable Mountain, which has a cablecar that takes people to its top for the spectacular views of CapeTown. He got to hike to Lion’s head, one of two major subsidiary peaks at 2100 feet overlooking Cape Town more directly. Dhani also visited Bloubergstrand, a popular beach with some of the best views of Cape Town and renowned as one of the world's top 3 beaches for kite-surfing. To “pay his dues” Dhani visited Nyanga, among South Africa's poorest neighborhoods, suffering from high rates of unemployment, crime and HIV/AIDS. Its residents were especially politically active during apartheid. Dhani worked hard on the filming of each episode, so his producer tries to give him some special events to increase his knowledge of various topics that might interest Dhani. Kanonkop is a fourth-generation wine estate known for its excellent red wine. This was developed by a South African chemist who combined pinot noir and cinsault grapes to make this fine wine. Dhani pretends to be an estate worker sorting grapes, but it just doesn’t wash.

Dhani gets to be an assistant coach applying American football drills designed to teach “going through the man to get to the ball” on his youth. Payback for the kids is to have a rugby scrum against Dhani. Dhani rates his own offensive skills as meager, but his defensive skills are natural.

The game is on. Dhani  wants to make a credible showing to satisfy his own pride. Its Ajax CapeTown youth vs. Vasca da Gama for bragging rights. It’s clear from the beginning that Dhani as large loses to “small and quick.” He summarize that it’s like running wind sprints for 90 minutes. The first half ended in a scoreless tie. Dhani was shifted to goalie. It was 1 to 1 when Dhani’s team earned a penalty kick  Dhani was asked to take it and he scored to win for his side.


DTTG2, ep. 9 Mexico – Lucha Libre

Lucha Libre, free fighting, is the “sport” of the usually masked Mexican professional wrestlers who delight crowds of enthusiastic supporters with their strategy and tactics. Dhani went to Mexico City to perform lucha libre. My first exposure to lucha libre was on the Travel Channel Samantha Brown Mexico City episode (which coincidentally reprised today) in which Corleone, a handsome 300 pound American giant lucha libre who fights without a mask so everyone can appreciate his looks, took Samantha (who appears to be about 125 pounds) to a restaurant named “the Ring” in Spanish for a Gladiator sandwich composed of 14 eggs, 3 pounds of beef, bacon, ham and chicken, plus a huge bread covering and topped with 3 sliced hot dogs. In one of the most hilarious skits I have ever seen on film, Samantha supposedly outeats Corleone by a wide margin, then has the audacity to ask “what’s for dessert?” She really knows how to hurt a guy.

Dhani opens this episode with brief footage of him as a matador in “the ring” followed by him as a lucha libre in that version of “the ring.” He stated “it’s not about how I play the game; it’s about whether I win or lose.” Of course that is rubbish. Professional wrestling is scripted entertainment and no NCAA title or Olympic berth is being contested. So it really is all about “how you play the game” and the ways in which the outlandish personas of the lucha libre wrestlers can be expressed to delight their fans. It depends on communicating roles of heroes versus villains and good versus evil. It is ridiculous, thrilling and unexpected, all at once. Fans scream, cheer, curse and laugh. Naucalpan Arena, where Dhani was viewing lucha libre, seats 2000 and stages fights every Sunday night. Much of the action takes place outside the confines of the ring. There do not appear to be many rules to restrict what the wrestlers can do to their opponents. Dhani was introduced to the crowd with the statement that he will be back one week later to compete. The woman who was teaching him about lucha libre was assaulted by a wrestler in a staged action, so Dhani takes on the hero role in defending her honor against Mascara, the embodiment of evil. There is a press conference to publicize their upcoming match. It will be a grudge match.

Dhani indicated that Mexico City is an urban area of 22 million people. Na   cho, who makes fine silver lucha libre jewelry, became his tour guide and translator for a week. Dhani stated that he came to Mexico City to learn about the culture. His definition of culture includes drinking the “Lucha Libre” brand of mezcal, a distilled alcoholic drink made from the maguey plant with the worm in the bottom of the bottle. Dhani calls it a “pretty strong cricket” and only eats it to show that he is macho.

Dhani needed a coach and Black Terry was the ticket. He had won 500 of 700 bouts in a decades-long career. It takes 3 to 4 years to learn how to become a really good wrestler. Dhani must learn the basic of tumbling, jumping and falling down without injury in one week! As Nacho says, “It’s for your own safety.” He later added bouncing off the ropes and barrel rolling, some nasty holds and flying dropkicks to his training routine.

Dhani visited Teotihuacan, 2 huge steep pyramids known as the temple of the Sun and Temple of the Moon 25 miles northeast of Mexico City. Climbing its 245 steps of the temple of the Sun provided a good cardiovascular workout.

Dhani also visited the Plaza del Toros, the bull ring that is the world’s largest. It is ritual animal sacrifice. This started with the picadors and banderilleros preceding the matador with his cape and intricate footwork and moves. The matadors demonstrate their bravery by bringing the red cape in closer to their body, thus minimizing the clearance the bull has as it goes by and increasing the risks for the matador. A tiny bull is brought out so that Dhani can pretend to be a matador. Using the muleta (red cape) with only one hand is a moxie move which Dhani demonstrated.

Food in Mexico City is very special.  Dhani is introduced to the delicacy of bull balls. It is not very tasty, but he eats it in hope that it will make him “strong like a bull.”

Dhani went to the Sonora Market to get the requisite mask. Every mask is different. Dhani tries on several really weird ones before settling on a gold with red trim mask and a gold cape. Dhani is looking for an edge, so he visited a tarot card reader to learn his fortune. She told a story that is quite plausible. He also visited a witch doctor and went to hear the Plaza Garibaldi Mariachi.

As always, Dhani’s actual athletic competitions are somewhat anticlimactic. He is still a novice at most of the national sports in which he competes, so he cannot expect to appear as a superstar. Dhani took off his mask to show off his pretty face. He is an NFL linebacker, so the violence of basic wrestling moves in competition is not foreign to him. Dhani and Mascara do the requisite time outside of the ring to please and incite the crowd. He did a flying leap to knock his opponent to the mat, then got the pin but was disqualified. Those are the breaks!


« Last Edit: June 27, 2010, 05:52:29 PM by apskip »

Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
Re: Dhani Tackles the Globe 2
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2010, 09:55:08 PM »
DTTG2, ep. 9 Mexico – Lucha Libre

Lucha Libre, free fighting, is the “sport” of the usually masked Mexican professional wrestlers who delight crowds of enthusiastic supporters with their strategy and tactics. Dhani went to Mexico City to perform lucha libre. My first exposure to lucha libre was on the Travel Channel Samantha Brown Mexico City episode (which coincidentally reprised today) in which Corleone, a handsome 300 pound American giant lucha libre who fights without a mask so everyone can appreciate his looks, took Samantha (who appears to be about 125 pounds) to a restaurant named “the Ring” in Spanish for a Gladiator sandwich composed of 14 eggs, 3 pounds of beef, bacon, ham and chicken, plus a huge bread covering and topped with 3 sliced hot dogs. In one of the most hilarious skits I have ever seen on film, Samantha supposedly outeats Corleone by a wide margin, then has the audacity to ask “what’s for dessert?” She really knows how to hurt a guy.

Dhani opens this episode with brief footage of him as a matador in “the ring” followed by him as a lucha libre in that version of “the ring.” He stated “it’s not about how I play the game; it’s about whether I win or lose.” Of course that is rubbish. Professional wrestling is scripted entertainment and no NCAA title or Olympic berth is being contested. So it really is all about “how you play the game” and the ways in which the outlandish personas of the lucha libre wrestlers can be expressed to delight their fans. It depends on communicating roles of heroes versus villains and good versus evil. It is ridiculous, thrilling and unexpected, all at once. Fans scream, cheer, curse and laugh. Naucalpan Arena, where Dhani was viewing lucha libre, seats 2000 and stages fights every Sunday night. Much of the action takes place outside the confines of the ring. There do not appear to be many rules to restrict what the wrestlers can do to their opponents. Dhani was introduced to the crowd with the statement that he will be back one week later to compete. The woman who was teaching him about lucha libre was assaulted by a wrestler in a staged action, so Dhani takes on the hero role in defending her honor against Mascara, the embodiment of evil. There is a press conference to publicize their upcoming match. It will be a grudge match.

Dhani indicated that Mexico City is an urban area of 22 million people. Nacho, who makes fine silver lucha libre jewelry, became his tour guide and translator for a week. Dhani stated that he came to Mexico City to learn about the culture. His definition of culture includes drinking the “Lucha Libre” brand of mezcal, a distilled alcoholic drink made from the maguey plant with the worm in the bottom of the bottle. Dhani calls it a “pretty strong cricket” and only eats it to show that he is macho.

Dhani needed a coach and Black Terry was the ticket. He had won 500 of 700 bouts in a decades-long career. It takes 3 to 4 years to learn how to become a really good wrestler. Dhani must learn the basic of tumbling, jumping and falling down without injury in one week! As Nacho says, “It’s for your own safety.” He later added bouncing off the ropes and barrel rolling, some nasty holds and flying dropkicks to his training routine.

Dhani visited Teotihuacan, 2 huge steep pyramids known as the temple of the Sun and Temple of the Moon 25 miles northeast of Mexico City. Climbing its 245 steps of the temple of the Sun provided a good cardiovascular workout.

Dhani also visited the Plaza del Toros, the bull ring that is the world’s largest. It is ritual animal sacrifice. This started with the picadors and banderilleros preceding the matador with his cape and intricate footwork and moves. The matadors demonstrate their bravery by bringing the red cape in closer to their body, thus minimizing the clearance the bull has as it goes by and increasing the risks for the matador. A tiny bull is brought out so that Dhani can pretend to be a matador. Using the muleta (red cape) with only one hand is a moxie move which Dhani demonstrated.

Food in Mexico City is very special.  Dhani is introduced to the delicacy of bull balls. It is not very tasty, but he eats it in hope that it will make him “strong like a bull.”

Dhani went to the Sonora Market to get the requisite mask. Every mask is different. Dhani tries on several really weird ones before settling on a gold with red trim mask and a gold cape. Dhani is looking for an edge, so he visited a tarot card reader to learn his fortune. She told a story that is quite plausible. He also visited a witch doctor and went to hear the Plaza Garibaldi Mariachi.

As always, Dhani’s actual athletic competitions are somewhat anticlimactic. He is still a novice at most of the national sports in which he competes, so he cannot expect to appear as a superstar. Dhani took off his mask to show off his pretty face. He is an NFL linebacker, so the violence of basic wrestling moves in competition is not foreign to him. Dhani and Mascara do the requisite time outside of the ring to please and incite the crowd. He did a flying leap to knock his opponent to the mat, then got the pin but was disqualified. Those are the breaks!

Offline apskip

  • Geographer Extraordinaire
  • TAR Detectives
  • RFF Frantic Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 6201
Re: Dhani Tackles the Globe 2
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2010, 03:21:05 PM »
DTTG2, ep.10 Nepal   

If you have been all over the world, what might be the quintessential challenge for an athlete who revels in major challenges?  How would climbing Mount Everest do to cap a successful season? That’s what Dhani decided to do in this final episode of season 2 of Dhani Tackles the Globe. Mt. Everest is the highest non-ocean mountain on our planet at 29,035 feet and growing. Take a look at the map of the region between Kathmandu and Mt. Everest in northeastern Nepal at the bottom.

To get there Dhani needed to do the following:
1.   get himself and his crew to Nepal, flying into Kathmandu
2.   get acclimated to the elevation in Kathmandu of 5225 feet
3.   fly east to Lukla at the base of the Khumbu trekking region, elevation 9,350 feet and get reacclimated
4.   trek down to about 9000 feet through the entrance gate to Sagamantha National Park and on to Namche Bazaar
5.   climbing straight up for about 2000 feet
6.   reaching Everest Base Camp above 17,700 feet and re-acclimated, where Dhani felt obligated to leave “Dhani was here” scribbled on a rock.
7.   continuing on up to 18,192 feet at the summit of Kala Patthar before
8.   descending

A slideshow of approximately the same route is available at www.allpineascents.com, a trekking company which leads climbers up as far as they can go toward Mt. Everest (Sagamartha to some in Nepal and Chomolungma to others).

There are a lot of interesting things to observe along that route. Dhani elected to do his praying up front this trip and went to the Boudhanarth stupa (temple), one of the largest Buddhist temples in the world and tone of the holiest in Nepal. The flight to Lukla requires a safe landing on a difficult landing strip. The rest of this trip after Lukla is on foot because there are only footpaths, high bridges crossing streams or rivers, and rocks to climb up. Dhani’s trek group requires a large number of porters to carry the equipment and provisions. Dhani’s guide Ang Fervor has previously reached the summit of Mt. Everest. Ang has pre-selected the Sherpa (indigenous human transportation system with each one carrying a load exceeding 100 pounds on a body much smaller than the typical America) team so that they are experienced and used to working together. That avoids the crush of hundreds of Sherpas begging for work for all plane arrivals into Lukla.

 Advanced Mountain Sickness (AMS) is a common ailment on high altitude treks. At high altitudes there are fewer molecules of everything present, including oxygen. Although the percentage of oxygen in the atmosphere is the same 21%, the thinner air means there is less oxygen to breathe. Dhani reached the Mountain Rescue Association and received an educational lecture on the effects of AMS and how to avoid them. He is the guinea pig for the group , so he goes into a hyperbaric chamber briefly to discover how it works.

Dhani had to cross numerous bridges along the route. He had done his homework and cited a reference to the movie “The Man Who Would Be King” starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine in 1975 in which one of two British adventurers who had stumbled into a mountain kingdom much like Nepal were killed when the natives discovered that they weren’t really kings when the bride bit one and drew blood during a marriage ceremony. Dhani had an encounter with a boxed head of a man-eating yeti at a monastery along the route, but he was unable to resolve the perpetual question of whether yeti really exist today.

The indigenous people of this region, the Sherpa, appear about half our size, somehow twice as strong. Watching the Sherpas navigate the peaks and valleys of the region so effortlessly provided non-stop encouragement because they trek the same route but with more than 100 pounds on each back. Next was a reoccurring cycle of challenges by ascents and descents on difficult trails, breathtaking scenery and camaraderie with the expedition’s guides and with each other. Sir Edmund Hillary, the to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1953, established the Himalayan Trust to provide the provide basic infrastructure needs the Sherpas really want - education, health, forests, monastery repairs and response to natural disasters.  The Himalayas are a gracious host provided that you play by their rules. which are go slow, hydrate and listen to your body. Even the fittest athletes in their prime have been taken down by the elements in the Khumbu region.

Dhani passed the rock cairns and tombstones at the Mount Everest Memorial to all of “the fallen mountaineers," a reminder that death might be around every corner.” Indeed, above 16,000 feet the human body cannot survive long periods of time. Everest Base Camp is a brief stopover, then Dhani is on to Kala Patthar for a close-up view of Mount Everest. He had to stop and rest after every 5 steps, but he made it to the top of Kala Patthar. That’s at least 2500 feet higher than I have ever been in Peru.  Dhani said that he would think about another climb to the top of Mount Everest some other trip.

On the way back to Everest Base Camp, he encountered a team of climbers with a 67 year old trekker suffering severe AMS symptoms. Dhani as the largest and strongest person in the area volunteered to take this man down to safety on his back, which took only 30 minutes but had to have been grueling (which Dhani said on camera it was not given the urgency of the situation where every second counts in getting an AMS victim into a hyperbaric chamber).
« Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 07:48:02 AM by apskip »


 

Custom Search