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Andrew C. Billings, Paul J. MacArthur, Simon Licen and Dan Wu

Media renderings of the Olympics continue to offer opportunities for hypernationalism. This study analyzes the same basketball game (U.S. vs. China in men’s basketball at the 2008 Summer Olympics) through the lens of 4 different telecasts in the United States, China, Slovenia, and Canada. Results illuminate us/them and collectivist/individualist dichotomies, differing themes of redemption and expectation, and stark contrasts in network style and content in game coverage. Ramifications for theory, fans, and network gatekeepers are postulated.

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Lachlan J.G. Mitchell, Ben Rattray, Paul Wu, Philo U. Saunders and David B. Pyne

Purpose: Critical speed (CS) and supra-CS distance capacity (D′) are useful metrics for monitoring changes in swimmers’ physiological and performance capacities. However, the utility of these metrics across a season has not been systematically evaluated in high-level swimmers. Methods: A total of 27 swimmers (mean [SD]: 18 females, age = 19.1 [2.9] y, and 9 males, age = 19.5 [1.9] y) completed the 12 × 25-m swimming test multiple times (4 [3] tests/swimmer) across a 2-y period. Season-best times in all distances for the test stroke were sourced from publicly available databases. Swimmers’ distance speciality was determined as the event with the time closest to world record. Four metrics were calculated from the 12 × 25-m test: CS, D′, peak speed, and drop-off %. Results: Guyatt responsiveness index values were calculated to ascertain the practically relevant sensitivity of each 12 × 25-m metric: CS = 1.5, peak speed = 2.3, D′ = 2.1, and drop-off % = 2.6. These values are modified effect sizes; all are large effects. Bayesian mixed modeling showed substantial between-subjects differences between genders and strokes for each variable but minimal within-subject changes across the season. Drop-off % was lower in 200-m swimmers (14.0% [3.3%]) than in 100-m swimmers (18.1% [4.1%], P = .003, effect size = 1.10). Conclusions: The 12 × 25-m test is best suited to differentiating between swimmers of different strokes and events. Further development is needed to improve its utility in quantifying meaningful changes over a season for individual swimmers.

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Kerry Ann Vander Ploeg, Biao Wu, Jon McGavock and Paul J. Veugelers

Background:

Schools are frequently cited as a favorable venue to promote physical activity (PA), however little data exist describing times when students are least active. Our objective was to overcome this limitation and describe time periods when students are least active.

Methods:

We used a cross-sectional design to assess patterns of PA in 923 grade 5 students [mean age: 10.9 (± 0.4) years] from 30 schools in Alberta, Canada. Students wore time-stamped pedometers for 9 consecutive days, providing 7 full days of data. We compared step counts adjusted for nonwear time between school days and nonschool days as well as during school hours and after school hours.

Results:

689 (75%) students provided complete data. The average daily step count was higher on school days (boys 13,476 ± 4123 step/day; girls 11,436 ± 3158 steps/day) than nonschool days (boys 11,009 ± 5542 steps/day; girls 10,256 ± 5206 steps/day). More steps were also taken during school hours than nonschool hours (boys +206 ± 420 steps/hour, P < .001; girls 210 ± 347, P < .001 steps/hour).

Conclusions:

PA levels of children are below Canadian recommended levels for optimal growth and health. Health promotion should emphasize PA particularly among girls, outside school hours, and weekends.