Hello from Amsterdam!
Originating in Ancient Greece during the olympics, the long jump is part of the field events during track and field competitions. The event includes a sand pit that is connected to a runway. Competitors are tested on their ability to jump a far distance from the line drawn at the
beginning of the pit to whatever point they are able to reach.
Participants are expected to do so by running as quickly as possible down the runway and jumping. According to the European Athletic Championships men doing this event at the higher levels of competition are recorded at running up to 40 km/h on the runway prior to jumping. Also according to the European Athletic Championships the favorites among the men competitors are Greg Rutherford from Great Britain and for women Karin Melis Mey from Turkey. The long jump finals for the European Athletic Championships will occur on July 7th and 8th. Other than the Championship games taking place in Amsterdam this summer and the summer Olympic Games, the long jump is also played at the middle school and high school levels in many countries throughout the world. However, concerning the Olympic Games the United States has maintained dominance among the Men's division with jumpers such as Dwight Phillips. Concerning women's competition the German Olympian Heike Drechsler has become iconic with winning two Olympic medals while setting world records.
Unfortunately, we have yet to start our volunteering with the EAC games, but we have been learning a lot about the culture around Amsterdam and the rest of Holland. Today we started our morning by taking the tram into Central Station, which is located near the end of the city of Amsterdam. We then met our bus that took us to the Alkmaar cheese market, which was about a 50 minute drive. There we got a true taste of the culture in Holland outside of Amsterdam.
We tried many homemade cheeses and learned all about the use of the windmills in their early development. During the 16th century the windmills were created to pump water out of lake areas to create dry land for the Dutch to farm, build, and live on. The saying among the Dutch is "God made the world, but the Dutch made Holland".