Olympians help Stuttgart Piranhas perfect swim strokes

Aaron.jpgOlympic athlete Aaron Peirsol races the length of the pool at the Maichingen Gartenhallenbad in Sindelfingen, Germany, May 21 against swimmers of the Stuttgart Piranhas to finish out a day of drills and training.

Story and photos by Kevin S. Abel

Olympic athletes Aaron Peirsol and Kim Vandenberg visited Sindelfingen on Saturday, May 21, for a swim clinic to help Stuttgart Piranhas improve their swimming stokes and get ready for swim season, which runs from August through February.

The clinic featured two sessions that allowed the Olympians to teach in a small group settings, maximizing the time spent with each swimmer.

During the clinic, the Olympians focused on favorite drills that helped them throughout their career to become a faster swimmer. “As a coach, I learned some new drills that will benefit our swimmers,” said Andrea Symak, head coach, Stuttgart Piranhas. “I think overall our team was thrilled to have Aaron Peirsol and Kim Vandenberg here to instruct.”

Peirsol is a three-time Olympian and seven-time Olympic medalist, earning five gold and two silver medals. He currently holds the world record in the 100-meter and 200-meter backstroke and the 4×100-meter medley relay.

Vandenberg who is a butterfly swimmer, was a member of the bronze-medal-winning U.S. team in the  women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

“These kids are at the age that both Aaron and I started swimming,” said Vandenberg. “When I was their age, I looked up to the Olympic athletes, so for me it’s so important to give back to the community.” Adding that she, “find(s) that a lot of younger swimmers doubt their abilities; you must believe in yourself and your abilities.”

The day started with the younger swimmers getting their chance in the pool and two hours of training to help improve the foundations of the backstroke and butterfly. The afternoon training session allowed the seasoned swimmers to take a moment to get to know the Olympians and their training regiments. “It is interesting to know their favorite drills to correct technique, what type of sets they like to work on and their approach to teach different age groups,” said Symak.

“The best thing about the Olympians being with us was when each one of us had the chance to interact with Peirsol and Vandenberg, personally, all throughout the clinics,” said Annelise Meyer, senior swimmer, Stuttgart Piranhas. “A few of us have had other opportunities to meet Peirsol and Vandenberg long before this clinic. I was coached by Peirsol at the University of Texas swim camp when I was nine years old, and it was really cool to interact with him once again.”

To round out the clinic the Stuttgart Piranhas’ swimmers had the opportunity to race the Olympians in their choice of strokes.

“It was an awesome privilege to have Aaron Peirsol and Kim Vandenberg here conducting a clinic for the Piranhas in Germany,” said Meyer. “We don’t have the same opportunities to attend swim clinics as other swimmers do in the United States, it was a very exciting and unforgettable experience.”

The Stuttgart Piranhas are an international youth swim team open to swimmers in the Stuttgart area, representing the United States and the Stuttgart Community.

The team is part of the European Forces Swim League, competing in swim meets around Europe including Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Belgium.

For more information on the Stuttgart Piranhas or to register contact registrar@ stuttgartpiranhas.org To view more photos from the swim clinic visit our Flickr site at http://bit.ly/ stuttgartpiranhas

olympic-dtPublished June 2, 2016 in the Stuttgart Citizen
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Harbor Defense Museum- Quad fold brochure

Quad fold brochures are ideal handouts and marketing pieces. This quad fold brochure is an effective method to deliver more complex information. It was used with a gate fold on the inside to draw attention to the Harbor Defense Museum located on Fort Hamilton in New York City.

museum-quadfold-email_page_1   museum-quadfold-email_page_2



Downloadable Adobe Portable Document File (pdf)













Video of the fold

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A Crack in Time

CITG-Pano1.jpgEst. 1001 A.D. (Approximately)

Story and photos by Kevin S. Abel

A visit to Crack-in-the-Ground near Bend is like traveling back in time to Oregon’s volcanic past.

BOOM! For more than a millennium, Oregon’s Crack-in-the-Ground has served as a majestic memento of its explosive past.

Across eons, earthquakes and volcanos have split and splintered the earth’s surface. Such shocks to the system are not uncommon over the span of six billion years. But still, they have caused many cracks and blisters in the ground.

So…why doesn’t more of our earth look like the Grand Canyon – if not “Land of the Lost?”

The reason we don’t see as much blunt trauma to local landscape is because, over time, rock rubble along with hardening lava generally serve to refill and patch up fissures. As the earth cracks, so it fills itself. Think bondo. But not all breaks mend equally.

Time Traveling

Eight miles north of Christmas Valley in south central Oregon – some 100 miles from Bend – there’s a unique fissure called, aptly, Crack-in-the-Ground. The volcanic crevice covers over two miles and descends 70 feet. This particular split has likely been open for 1,000 years.

And it’s also available to visit on your public lands.

Normally, fissures like this one would have been washed away with soil and rock through years of erosion and changing landscapes. But because Crack-in-the-Ground exists in such an arid, desert-like region, very little filling-in has occurred.

The Lost Fountain…of Ice Cream?

Crack-in-the-Ground may live in the desert, but it is also a source of cool weather. The temperature at bottom of the crack can be as much as twenty degrees cooler than that of the surface above it.

Reub Long, renowned author of The Oregon Desert, reported that when he lived at Christmas Valley as a boy, he used to explore “the Crack” as it was called locally. He remembered homesteaders who went there to hold picnics where they made homemade ice cream from the ice they found in the caves of the chasm.

Today there’s no guarantee of free ice cream. But the entire two-mile length of the fissure can be hiked. An established trail runs along the fissure’s bottom from the parking area – which is open to the public year-round.

Ultimately, Crack-in-the-Ground is a gateway to the past. And if you’re ready to drop down into an adventure and go back in time to see what this land looked like 1,000 years ago, your journey awaits.

Crack1.jpgCrack 2.jpgPublished Winter 2014 Edition of the Northwest Passage magazine.



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