News Extras

July 28, 2012

Business, Entertainment


Army Olympian to Teach Race Walking on ‘Today’

By Gary Sheftick

Source:  Army News Service

LONDON- Army Olympian Staff Sgt. John Nunn will teach Americans how to race walk Monday  morning July 30th, 2012 on NBC’s “Today” show.

Nunn and his Olympic teammate, Maria Michta, spent Saturday afternoon teaching the program’s cast members the finer points of their event. After some instruction, NBC broadcasters Al Roker, Matt Lauer and Ryan Seacrest joined Nunn for a lap around the track.  Meanwhile, Michta coached Savannah Guthrie, Natalie Morales and Meredith Vieira and urged them to try to defeat the men in a race that will highlight the televised segment.

NBC producers said they selected race walking as the sport to showcase because it’s fun, interesting and unfamiliar to most Americans.  Race walking has more of a following in countries such as China and Russia, Nunn said. He and Michta said they hope the “Today” segment will help to make the sport more popular in America.

In race walking, one foot must remain in contact with the ground at all times. The toes of the athlete’s back foot cannot leave the ground until the heel of the front foot has touched. The front leg must straighten when it touches the ground and remain straight until the body passes directly over it.

Athletes stay low to the ground by keeping their arms pumping close to their hips. They keep their strides short and quick and push off from the balls of their feet.
After trying it out, Vieira said race walking is more difficult than running. Other “Today” cast members agreed the sport is harder than it looks.

Nunn, 34, has been race walking since he was a youngster. He is a 12-year veteran of the U.S Army World Class Athlete Program and has been training on and off with the program since 2000.  He competed under WCAP at the 2004 Olympics, finishing 26th in the 20-kilometer race walk in Athens, Greece.  Nunn is a five-time U.S. National silver medalist in the 20k race walk, but has trained for less than eight months for the 50k race walk, a 31-mile across-terrain event he won at the U.S. Olympic Trials earlier this year and will compete in here Aug. 11.

Nunn said he wants to focus on the 50k in the future, adding that he’d like to stay with the Army and continue training after the London Games.  Nunn said the Army has helped him focus. From basic training onward, he added, the Army has taught him many things, including discipline and how to focus on benchmarks.  “The Army has really taught me how to bring it all in together and realize what is important,” Nunn said.

Nunn’s teammate, Michta, said she has looked up to the soldier since she began competitive race walking as a young teenager.

“I was in high school the first time I met John, [and] he was one of those big-league Olympian race-walker guys,” said Michta, 26. “In race¬ walking … it’s a tight-knit crowd, so you look up to all the senior athletes.”  Michta said Nunn has helped her in London by telling her what to expect.  “It’s great to hear from the veterans who know the ropes,” she said.

Nunn is a single parent, and his 8-year-old daughter, Ella, will join him in London, where the 50-kilometer race-walk course will cover city streets and pass by Buckingham Palace.


Spike Lee Protégé Michael Pinckney Prepares for “Mulatto Saga” Short Film TV Debut

Mulatto Saga Actress Juliette Fairley Wrote and Starred in the original Stage play directed by Charles Burnett. Photo Courtesy: Chloe Feigen Publicity

Los Angeles, California — A scene from the acclaimed stage play Mulatto Saga will premiere on national television from August 4 to September 29, 2012. The short film highlights the controversial issue of interracial relationships.  Written and produced by Juliette Fairley, the 7-minute film was directed by Spike Lee’s assistant director Michael “Boogie” Pinckney who has worked with Lee on Inside Man, 25th Hour, Bamboozled and many other 40 Acres and a Mule feature films.

Starring Fairley, the long awaited short film educates viewers about the ups and downs of interracial relationships and the sometimes-tumultuous life experiences of adult bi-racial people as it relates to their childhood.  NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX and the CW TV networks will air Mulatto Saga on rotation as part of an African American Short Films showcase syndicated by Badami Productions from August 4th through September 29th nationally.  Sponsors include Halle Berry and Kimora Lee Simmmons’ perfume company Coty.

Co-stars Gary Fletcher and Cassidy Knight filming a scene in Mulatto Saga. Photo Courtesy:
Chloe Feigen Publicity

The short film Mulatto Saga is excerpted from a larger 90-page feature film script that is based on a true story about Fairley’s Caucasian French mother Mauricette and African American military father James Fairley who met in France during the Nazi occupation and the impact of their interracial relationship on Fairley’s own romantic life.  A flashback scene in the film features 8-year-old Cassidy Knight, (portraying Miss Fairley as a child) along with Kaylee Souther as a snippy wedding planner and Gary Fletcher and Sara Visser portraying Fairley’s interracial parents in their younger years.

“Growing up with a white mother and a black father had its challenges. I share them with the world so that I can help other bi-racial people know that they are not alone in these difficulties,” said Fairley. “If my family story and my experiences in life as a bi-racial on screen can help one family or one child feel normal and comfortable than I have accomplished my goal. So many of us bi-racials feel stuck in the middle in America’s often racially divided society.”

Continuously working on new film endeavors that she stars in, Fairley recently wrote and completed a second short film called Juliette Fairley’s Mulatto’s Dilemma.  Fairley is currently casting her third short film Juliette Fairley’s Diary of a Mulatto Bride, which is also based on a scene from the larger stage play Mulatto Saga.

Michael Pinckney is known for his assistant directing work on the Academy Award winning film Precious as well as Brett Ratner’s Tower Heist. His feature film “You’re Nobody Til Somebody Kills You.”  (YNTSKY) was acquired for DVD release by Lionsgate earlier this year. Burnett is known for directing Halle Berry in the Wedding, Danny Glover in both Namibia and To Sleep With Anger.

Preliminary Broadcasts on August 4 and 5, 2012

Mulatto Saga is based on James and Sophie Fairley, an interracial couple in the 1950s. Photo Courtesy: Chloe Feigen Publicity

San Francisco:
KOFY-TV IND 08/05 03:00PM
WZTV FOX 08/04 03:00PM
WSYM-TV FOX 08/04 06:00PM

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.


Headed in the Right Direction

Keith Warren Justice Site

"What is it that the systems doesn't want me to know about my child's life and or death?"- Mary Couey

Truth- A Right to Fight For...

My Words & Random Videos Exposing TRUE History & Facts, Current News and Info Mainly Relating to Amerikkkan Racism & the Government, Especially Police & the Black Community... RBG...MakaveliTrained

%d bloggers like this: