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  • Writer's pictureWild Women Coffee (Cyd)

She spins! She wins!

The Hammer Throw is a track and field event that requires strength, coordination and explosive power as athletes compete to throw a weight the farthest distance. The women's event debuted at the Olympics in 2000. A woman competitor holds the grip of a four foot long wire that has an almost nine pound steel ball attached to the other end.  She typically swings the ball over her head then spins and spins and spins—and maybe spins one more time—to create the centrifugal force that will send the "hammer" flying!  She must stay within the bounds of a 7-foot diameter circle until after the ball lands and then, no dizzy staggering allowed, the athlete finishes her throw by exiting the circle only through the back half.

Jannee’ Kassanavoid is the first Native American woman to medal at the World Track And Field championships and the hammer throw is her event.  She is poised to be an Olympic champion on TEAM USA this summer in Paris. Kassanavoid uses her platform as a professional track and field athlete to “fight for indigenous representation, equality and justice.”  She has said “It is with great gratitude that I amplify my voice, walk forward as a leader, and embody the role of those who walked before me.  I am proud to be Indigenous and pave the way for the future generations of young athletes, women and fellow natives to come.” (Team USA News) While she humbly makes history, she remains focused on her goal to “inspire and empower not only athletes, but also others chasing their dreams of being that shining light.  I want to show them that in the end, hard work does pay off.”

The coffee connection?  Until 2004 the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), whose regulations the International Olympic Committee adhere to, included caffeine in their list of banned substances because of its performance enhancing properties. “While caffeine does not increase strength or stamina the way most banned ergonomic compounds do, it does increase energy by encouraging the migration of reserve fat to the bloodstream and leaving more reserve sugar available for the muscle to convert to energy.” Since  2004 coffee has moved to the WADA’s “safe foods” list and then, after more studies was put on the “watch” list in 2018  where it remains today.

So this summer, Kassanavoid and the other elite athletes in Paris may compete penalty-free if micrograms of caffeine  per milliliter of urine is under with 12.  That means they can have 6 to 8 12 ounce cups of coffee in the hours preceding competition.  Too bad Wild Women Coffee is not available in France!  It would surely make winners of all the TEAM USA athletes!   

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