TRAILER PREMIERE : Wheelchair Athletes Push Their Team Towards The Title in THE REBOUND

Wheelchair Athletes Push Their Team Towards The Title
While Responding To Adversity On And Off The Court In New Documentary
Coming To Digital HD November 20th

THE REBOUND

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From director Shaina Allen, producer Michael Esposito, and Emmy Award-winning Executive Producers Nick Nanton and JW Dicks comes THE REBOUND – a feel good story about the Miami Heat Wheels and their quest for their first-ever NWBA Championship – to Digital HD November 20th.

Miami is a city known for its sports and diversity. For the Miami Heat Wheels it’s a city of opportunity, second chances, and a call to win against all odds. THE REBOUND is an insider’s look at the struggling wheelchair basketball team following a defeat at the national championships. In community supported wheelchair basketball programs across the nation, players push their way physically, mentally and emotionally through each season without the recognition or the resources of mainstream sports. Among the Heat Wheels, passion and drive are abundant, but the team’s dwindling checkbook threatens to cut short its attempt to take the national title.

Debut filmmakers Shaina Allen and Mike Esposito step deep inside the lives of three players as they endure and respond to adversity and fight their way to a second chance. Friends, family, and pride hang in the balance as these men find an extraordinary gift in the hand life has dealt. They hope for an education, a big break, and a new life. The cameras don’t stop when the players leave the court: the film follows them through the trials of daily life with a disability. With each victory, the players, and their team, get closer to the idea that anything is possible and it’s all about how you rebound.

THE REBOUND is a production of Evergrain Studios in association with DNA Films. More information can be found at the official movie website, www.reboundthefilm.com.

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Dancing With the Stars: Athletes recap: Who’s in the finals on Season 26?

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Ladies and gentlemen, I know it seems like we only just started watching Season 26 of Dancing With the Stars, but we’re already at the finals! I have to admit, I do not like the shortened season. I’m extra salty that they included Adam Rippon on the short season because we all need a little Adam sass in our lives . . . 4 weeks is just not enough.

Now, yes, I might be a bit biased because I’m Team Adam all the way, BUT I can be objective for the purpose of this post. I was shocked after last night’s elimination because I was certain that it would come down to Adam and Mirai Nagasu in the end. Yes, Josh Norman and Chris Mazdzer were fan favorites, but Adam and Mirai just have that wow factor. Not because they’re skaters, but because of the graceful way they express their movements. If you need a reminder of Mirai’s graceful Foxtrot, here ya go:

She was fantastic, and I definitely think her and Alan deserved a spot in the finals alongside Adam & Jenna and Josh and Sharna. Not to hate on Tonya Harding or anything, but she just wasn’t as good, technically, as the others. But also, like, she plead guilty to the whole Nancy Kerrigan situation, sooooo . . . I don’t want her hurting anyone else for that mirrorball trophy. I do think a lot of time has passed since the incident, but putting her in another competitive situation just doesn’t sit right. #justsaying  Oh, and before I get pounced on for saying that, I do think she’s done a great job on the show. I just don’t think she’s as good as Mirai and Alan have been.

With that being said, and with my bias showing, Adam is my favorite to win. If you know anything about him, you know that he is definitely not a dancer. He’s a skater, yes, but they glide, they don’t dance. His dances with Jenna have been spot-on for the past 3 weeks and I think it has a lot to do with the chemistry they’ve had from the beginning. They have something with each other that I don’t remember seeing with other partners. Sure, there was the brother/sister relationship between Val and Zendaya, and Val and Laurie, but never quite like Adam and Jenna.

What do ya’ll think? Is Adam your favorite or are you rooting for Josh/Sharna or Tonya/Sasha? Let me know! How did you feel when Mirai/Alan, Chris/Whitney and Jennie/Keo were eliminated? Did they make the right call? Talk to me!

And while you ponder those questions, refresh your memory from the past 3 weeks and watch Adam and Jenna SLAY their dances:

As an added bonus, check out the dance battle between Adam/Jenna and Mirai/Alan, where Adam and Jenna jump into what he calls “drag queen splits.” Yes, they did that:

Also, let’s not forget that I recently met Adam when I took myself and my family to see Stars On Ice here in Ft. Lauderdale for my birthday last month. He’s a beautiful human being and deserves all of the attention he’s been getting. Not because he’s an out and proud gay man, but because he’s showing people how important it is to be yourself. Even with his crazy schedule, he manages to meet fans at the shows with grace and humility. So, I’m not saying you should vote for #TeamJustFriends, but I kind of am. (DO IT!)

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Tune in to ABC on Monday to watch Adam Rippon, Josh Norman and Tonya Harding face off in the finale for the coveted mirrorball trophy!

 

Why Adam Rippon & Gus Kenworthy’s Sexual Orientation Is Important

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What’s up, everyone?

I have to preface this post by saying that it saddens me that this is even a discussion in 2018. The fact that members of the LGBTQ community have to “come out,” or explain anything in regards to their sexual orientation is beyond me. I mean, you do realize that all they want to do is be themselves, be happy and LOVE another person, right?

I want to share a little story with you. My niece, Briana, is about to turn fourteen. When she was 5 or 6, I was watching one of my old *NSYNC DVD’s with her. She pointed to Lance Bass and said, “Krissy, he’s cute!” I know she was young at the time, but something came over me and my immediate (nonchalant) response was, “You know, Lance is gay.” She paused the movie and asked me what that meant.

. . . SHE ASKED ME WHAT [BEING GAY] MEANT . . .

I explained to my young niece that it meant sometimes boys like boys and sometimes girls like girls. I reiterated that “the norm” in society is for boys and girls to like each other, but there are others who feel differently and that’s normal too. She responded with a simple, “Oh, ok.” and un-paused the video. From that moment on, she has accepted EVERYONE and never thought of anyone who is gay as “different.” If she ever thought they were different, it’s because she knows how fabulous they are!

Throughout this year’s’ Winter Olympics, we were graced with the presence of two GAY athletes representing the USA, Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy. Even as a straight woman, I actually felt so proud of these men for being honest and for simply being themselves . It wouldn’t have mattered to me whether they were gay or not. Being gay doesn’t mean they train less than other athletes, or that they’re weak. If anything, it makes them stronger because they deliver strong performances regardless of any negativity being directed towards them.

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Yesterday, Kenworthy posted screenshots on his Twitter page of 4 complete strangers who posted extremely hateful comments on one of his YouTube videos. These people called him names and wished that he would get AIDS and die. Let that sink in for a moment . . . . . . . . . . . . Which leads me to the reason for this post. Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy’s sexual orientation shouldn’t matter to anyone. It’s their lives and, if they’re happy and are able to fully love another human being, it shouldn’t matter to ANYONE ELSE whether that other human being is a man or a woman.

The ONLY reason why their sexual orientation is important is because it opens doors for conversations between parents and their children. Children are taught to hate other people. If I had responded to my niece, at 5 years old, that being gay is gross and wrong, she would’ve grown up to believe that as true.  I know that many Christians do believe that to be true, but the hate starts with you as parents, not as Christians. Don’t teach your children to hate others simply because of something you don’t understand. I grew up Catholic, I have tattoos and I’ve had pre-marital sex. Those things don’t make me a bad person. They don’t mean I’m going straight to hell. Neither does being gay. Instead, teach your children that some people love different things, but we all love the same. Teach them that just because you have a certain belief, it doesn’t give anyone the right to make hurtful comments and, more specifically, to wish for someone’s death.

Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy’s sexual orientation is important because it shows that being gay doesn’t define you . . . your character does. The same way that being straight doesn’t define anyone else. Being straight doesn’t mean you’re a good person. It also doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. It’s the same with those who are gay, bi, transgender, etc. Rippon and Kenworthy are both strong AND graceful. They’re respectful. They’re hilarious. They’re kind to others. They’re using their platform to speak for that little kid who wants to lace up a pair of skates and glide gracefully across the ice, but is afraid to tell anyone. They’re speaking to that kid who is afraid that coming out as gay will make people think they’re weak and can’t nail flips on skis or snowboards. They’re speaking out to kids who don’t think that they can be themselves and still stand on an Olympic podium. They’re speaking to anyone who feels that their sexual orientation means they can’t chase their dream, regardless of what that dream is.

There are so many kids out there who are feeling things they don’t quite understand yet because their parents are afraid to actually talk to them about something that should be normalized at this point. THAT is why Rippon and Kenworthy’s sexual orientation is important. Speaking to your child about homosexuality won’t make them gay. What it will do is teach them to be accepting towards others and to embrace what they might be feeling themselves. So, to the parents out there . . . do your jobs. Don’t raise bullies and closed-minded people. Raise young men and women who know who they are and who can accept those who aren’t exactly like them.

It starts with you.

TOP 4 LATINA HOPEFULS TO FOLLOW IN THE OLYMPIC GAMES

The Olympics is a celebration of competition, passion and nationalism that unites nations like no other organized event in the world. For 17 days we will closely watch athletes demonstrate hard work and commitment by overcoming their toughest obstacles in order to earn one of the highest honors in their sport. These athletes include many Latinas that have already become an inspiration to both men and women around the world; from 16 year old Puerto Rican-American gymnast Laurie Hernandez to Colombian BMX cyclist Mariana Pajón, many Latinas are sure to make a mark in sports history this summer. 

You can follow every minute of their journeys through Comcast’s Xfinity. The company has created the ultimate Olympics experience on the X1 platform – Front Row to Rio – where you can easily search, discover and access more than 6,000 hours of live, on demand, and online streaming content, and do so with just the sound of your voice in the language of your choice using the X1 voice remote. As part of the experience, Xfinity will provide a personalized dashboard that gives you the ability to favorite nations, teams and athletes and check out “Must See Moments” when the competition gets fierce. With Xfinity, you won’t have to miss a second of the top Latinas competing in this year’s Games.

Here’s a list of the top 4 Latina athletes to follow during the Olympic Games:

Laurie Hernandez: Team U.S.A’s Overnight Sensation (U.S.A, Gymnastics) Laurie Hernandez, the first U.S.-born Hispanic and youngest member of the “Fierce Five” U.S. gymnastics team, was unknown by casual fans until her breakout performance six months ago in the national championships. This star’s electrifying performances on the floor and the highest beam score during the U.S. trials earned her a spot on the team that is favored to win. To make sure you catch each moment of this up-and-coming star’s performances, Xfinity will provide “Must See Moments” notifications in real-time for marquee Olympic events like gymnastics that you won’t want to miss.

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Credit: Instagram – @lauriehernandez_

Mariana Pajón: BMX Champ Prepares to Rule Again in Rio (Colombia, BMX) Mariana Pajón is arguably the best female BMX cyclist in the world and earned Colombia its second gold medal in history during the 2012 Olympic games in London. Pajón showed the world that women have what it takes to compete in an extreme sport that is dominated by men. She’s a superstar in her home country and part of a new generation of athletes that have put Colombia as a legitimate contender in a variety of sports. You can keep up with her and the rest of her Olympic team by adding Colombia on your ‘Favorites’ section.  

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Credit: Instagram – @marianapajon

Idalys Ortiz: Unstoppable Cuban Judoka (Cuba, Judo) After beginning her judo training at 10 years old, Idalys Ortiz earned a spot on the Cuban national team at the ripe age of 15. Now at 26, and with two world championships under her belt since winning the gold in London 2012, Ortiz will be no easy competition in the women’s heavyweight division in Rio. You can follow her journey through the Olympics by saying her name into the X1 Voice Remote or by simply saying the word “judo.”

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Credit: Instagram – @boxeocubano

Las Leonas: Fierce Legends in the Making (Argentina, Field Hockey) – This Argentinian field hockey team has recently won its seventh world championship trophy, the most by any national team and have won over 20 official titles since the year 2000 when their breakthrough summer earned them the nickname “Las Leonas.” Their nickname came from having a reputation for being relentless even when a match appears to be lost so you can be sure they won’t stop until they’ve reached gold. Catch all the highlights of this determined field hockey team’s matches on the X1 Sports app and the NBC Sports app wherever you go. With these apps you’ll be able to catch live results and scores, real-time stats and highlights of each of their nail-biting games.

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Credit: Twitter – @argfieldhockey

 

Whether you’re inspired by Laurie’s personality-filled dance routines or Idalys’ unstoppable takedown, Comcast’s X1 is your front row to catching every second of these action-packed competitions from day one.

Keep up with your favorite Latina athletes this summer with Xfinity and enjoy every moment of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.