NowVIZ / Christian Yelich

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-even the smallest thing counts.



world no.1 Doubles Player


Intro by Mark Saffieri, Q + A with NowVIZ Photos by Andrea Mead Cross


the rise of christian yelich

30 Intro by David Shanoskie, Q + A with NowVIZ Photos by Andrea Mead Cross

Cover photo by Andrea Mead Cross Spring Training begins for Miami Marlins Center Fielder Christian Yelich



44 Intro by David Shanoskie, Q + A with NowVIZ Photos by Andrea Mead Cross



contents issue 02. 2017


arielle gold

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54 Intro by David Shanoskie, Q + A with NowVIZ Photos by Andrea Mead Cross

NowVIZ sports + beyond where the usual rules don’t apply.

NowVIZ sports + beyond Team

Dave Shanoskie holds a Bachelors degree in the Administration of Justice: Courts & Corrections and a Masters degree in English. A competitive pole-vaulter in high school, he played tennis throughout college eventually leading him to coach both sports for Miami Beach High where he helped produce ATP ranked players as well as several top ten state finalist pole-vaulters. A true ‘jack-of-all-trades,’ he spent several years working for an international law firm in construction litigation, became an operations manager for a multi-million dollar architectural firm, and presently finds himself teaching Art History at a nationally ranked magnet school for the arts. David Shanoskie



Photographer Andrea Mead Cross

Andrea Mead Cross, a former world-class athlete, has traveled across the globe competing on US teams as a competitive swimmer and in the triathlon. Sponsored by top companies in the industry, she ranked among the top 10 in the world. Transitioning from sports into the corporate world, she started her own design business, working with many national and international clients, including Parade, Huffington Post, ESPN, and HSBC while teaching Visual Communications as an adjunct professor for both Florida International University and Miami Dade College. Photography soon became Andrea’s passion, which she turned into a thriving career photographing some of the best athletes on the globe. Her work has been featured in Sports Illustrated, National Geographic, Outside Magazine, Fitness, and MORE, in addition to Oprah Winfrey’s, “Super Soul Sunday” and ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer. Andrea recently released a collection of her photographs entitled, Sports Souls the book, featuring over 25 world-class athletes, available on Amazon.


issue 02.

beyond the bod

side orders

HEALTH + FITNESS Health Activist and #1 New York Times Bestselling author of The Engine2 Diet, Rip Esselstyn talks Plant-Strong and about becoming physically fit!


right brain FIT DESIGN


It’s All About the Kicks, NIKE / Jordan Brand Footwear designer Precious Hannah takes a moment to talk about her design, inspiration, and awesome shoe collection!


BOOK REVIEW Sports Souls the book, photographer Andrea Mead Cross takes an up close and personal look at world-class athletes outside the arena.


The Sound MUSIC


Listen to your World. Find out what they’re listening to!

out takes! BEYOND SPORTS


Skimboard Session! NowVIZ sports + beyond Q + A with Skimboarder Cesar Caminero.

NowVIZ sports + beyond is a new hip online visual magazine that evolved because we wanted a place to showcase all things sport in a different perspective. We’re committed to presenting exceptional work in design + photography. The usual rules don’t apply. Enjoy. Follow us!



Mark Saffieri

Kelley Kwiatkowski

Best known for his insights on women’s ice hockey, Mark Staffieri is based in Canada’s capital region and has reported on events such as the Clarkson Cup and the Women’s World Football Games. With works included on Bleacher Report, along with features for Hockey Canada during its coverage of the 2013 IIHF Women’s World Championships, Mark has also covered WWCFL football. Among a group of writers that recently voted for the inaugural NWHL Awards, Mark is currently a regular contributor to Women’s Hockey Life and Women Talk Sports.

Kelley Kwiatkowski has always had sports in her blood as part of a family who lived and breathed them. Growing up with a father and uncles who played or coached professional football, sports filled her existence. Following in the family tradition, she became a professional triathlete and for over a decade was one of the best, competing for the USA worldwide on national teams, world teams, and the Pan Am team. Seeking new challenges as her athletic career came to a close, Kelley began working in NYC at one of the top firms in the country using her background in industrial design to design products for companies such as, American Airlines, AT&T, and Polaroid. Eventually, she started her own business relocating to South Florida, where she worked with Disney and Warner Brothers, while also teaching both undergraduate and graduate students at Florida International University. For the last ten years, she has been collaborating with Andrea Mead Cross, producing projects and designing all media content. Her most recent design work can be seen in Sports Souls the book, by Andrea Mead Cross and in this issue of NowVIZ sports + beyond!

Behind the scenes in MIA with photographer Andrea Mead Cross and MIAMI Marlins Christian Yelich

LETTER from The Editor-in-Chief The beginning of anything new brims with excitement and potential. As we launch our second issue, we hope that what you’ll find in these pages, in the exquisite photographs by Andrea Mead Cross, as well as in the subjects’ own words, is exactly what sports fulfills in many of our everyday lives—excitement and potential. NowVIZ sports + beyond is committed to exploring and presenting the uncommon and the incomparable aspects of what it takes to be a world-class athlete, and so, the usual rules don’t apply. One of our featured athletes, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, the world’s #1 ranked doubles player, recently ended Sania Mirza’s run of 91-weeks atop the doubles rankings by winning the Brisbane International. Mark Saffieri takes us inside the fascinating and iconic world that is Bethanie’s reality. The meteoric rise of Christian Yelich has many in the world of major league baseball paying attention. His own insight on how that came to be will captivate and surprise you. You’ll find the unusual candor of both Oksana Masters and Arielle Gold refreshing and inspiring as they bring us into what motivates each to be her best. Body + Soul maintenance is the subject of Rip Esselstyn’s interview in Beyond the Bod where you’ll discover the advantages of improving fitness through a Plant-strong diet. Rip’s advice is backed up by the findings of his father, Caldwell, a world-renowned cardiologist and author. For something truly unique, we’ll take you into the world of designing for Nike’s Jordan brand with the quirky and lovable product designer Precious Hannah. Next, we check in with skimboarder Cesar Caminero sliding out to and riding in the audacious waves of south Florida making it look altogether effortless and genuinely uplifting. Music may be the food of love, but here it’s the essential essence of motivation. In The Sound, we’ll take a look at just what’s pumpin’ through our athletes’ headphones and energizing them to excel beyond potential and keep us excited. Stayed connected! --Dave Shanoskie


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issue no.2 2017

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In ofthe aftermath a golden performance

at the 2016 Rio Summer Games, the sporting world caught up to Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Having shown tremendous versatility in tennis as both an accomplished singles and doubles competitor, she is one of the sport’s most underappreciated superstars. Undoubtedly, the fashionable renditions that encompass both her body of work and her individuality have also run parallel to her sterling career as a doubles specialist, truly representing the gold standard in her sport. Having recently ascended to unprecedented status as the number one ranked doubles team in the world, such a monumental milestone builds on the highlights attained during the calendar years of 2015 and 2016. Said years saw her trophy case expand to reflect an astonishing number of career pinnacles. Capturing the women’s doubles titles with Lucie Safarova at the Australian and French Open in 2015, Mattek-Sands would simultaneously achieve a rare double on the clay courts in Paris. Complementing her collaborative triumph with Safarova, she also prevailed in the French Open’s mixed doubles competition, winning the title with Mike Bryan. Such an impressive run followed in 2016 as it began with Mattek-Sands making her mark on the world’s biggest stage in sports. Emerging with a gold medal in mixed doubles with Jack Sock at Rio 2016, this dazzling duo defeated fellow Americans Venus Williams and Rajeev Ram. Just a few weeks later, she would enjoy another fantastic finish, capturing the women’s doubles crown with Safarova at the 2016 US Open. Although Mattek-Sands may not possess that instant name recognition as fellow American Serena Williams or the perpetually popular Maria Sharapova, she is highly noticeable on the tennis courts. Of note, her on-court presence is an extension of her love of fashion, expressing herself with shades from a seemingly infinite palate of colors that flatters her mood or competitive spirit on any given day of competition. Despite other competitors remaining faithful to the traditional white garb that defined the game’s nascent years, showing the occasional splash of color, Mattek-Sands sees the court as her canvas. Shattering such traditions with outfits that combine visual appeal, such penchants reflects a remarkable confidence on the court, simultaneously providing a daring yet exciting tone in match play. Among the most intriguing outfits that have accentuated her flamboyant persona, panache was an evident theme during the 2011 season. Gracing the court with black knee socks, a white skirt and a sweater with a zebra-style motif, it was a reflection of personal style and empowerment, adding to a long list of fashionable renditions that have drawn comparisons to pop songstress (and fashion icon) Lady Gaga. Having also dyed her hair in numerous colors for tournament play, hardcore sports fans could definitely draw comparisons to basketball’s Dennis Rodman, whose hair was tinted in a rainbow of multiple colors in the latter half of his career. Taking into account that Mattek-Sands has also employed leopard prints in her career, it is also reminiscent of another icon in women’s tennis, Gertrude “Gussie” Moran, whose outfit at the 1949 Wimbledon tournament made worldwide news, with Life Magazine featuring the photo. For both, Wimbledon would serve as key fashion moments in their careers, intertwining them while bridging generations.

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Coincidentally, Wimbledon also defined the memorable 2011 season for Mattek-Sands. With designer Alex Noble utilizing her grace and beauty as his muse, she attended the pre-tournament party in a fluorescent green dress, which is also the same color as the tennis ball. Displaying great bravura by completing the ensemble with a Mohican-style hat, it was an exotic creation that would have been worthy of her presence on the catwalk. During tournament play, she would follow it up by wearing a coat with many tennis balls adorning the sleeves. While traditionalists in the sport would view some of her outfits as a fashion risk, most notably, a cowboy hat worn at the US Open, the truth is that the latter half of her career is one defined by not being afraid to take risks. Despite a dozen years as a competitor on the singles circuit, where a fourth round appearance at Wimbledon in 2009 signified one of her most notable finishes in a major event, she experienced a turning point in her career during the 2011 campaign.

Photographer Andrea Mead Cross

Teaming with John Isner, she not only reached the mixed finals at the Hopman Cup, the two emerged victorious, defeating Belgium’s Justine Henin and Ruben Bemelmans, setting the tone for a string of inspiring wins to follow. Among them was a women’s doubles victory in Paris where she teamed with Meghann Shaugnessy to capture her ninth WTA doubles title. While Mattek-Sands remained ambitious to succeed on the singles leg of the tour, experiencing big wins against the likes of Li Na in 2013, along with a string of impressive 2014 victories against Eugenie Bouchard (beating her twice) and Agnieszka Radwanska, the number of doubles championships attained in 2015 and 2016 remain the jewel in the crown of her career. Bringing a love of design, combining a flair for the exotic and the daring, Mattek-Sands has emerged as the game’s most vibrant and perhaps original personalities. Whether her style establishes her as a maverick in the sport, refusing to conform to trends, or one of the courts’ most authentic competitors, where her embracing of non-traditional styles weaves a unique tapestry, she is undoubtedly someone that is impossible to look away from when she graces the court.

The new World No.1 Doubles Player just kicked off the 2017 season with a Major win at the Australian Open.

Bethanie: My first Olympics down in Rio was an AMAZING experience, and believe it or not, Jack and I getting together to play the Mixed Doubles event was super last minute! The Bryan Brothers, another American men’s doubles team, were going to play men’s doubles, and so I was supposed to play with Mike Bryan. Unfortunately, they ended up withdrawing, but I quickly asked Jack if he wanted to give it a whirl! Fun little fact is that the two American teams that ended up playing for the gold medal were the last two teams to qualify for the event. So, we didn’t even know we were playing until the last minute! Jack and I are great friends, and despite never having played together, we really meshed well on the court. I have a lot of fun with all the partners I’ve played with and it’s one of the reasons I’ve been able to have some great results. This gold medal is in a class of its own though, and it’s something Jack and I will always share!

Makeup + Hair Zac Phoenix


NowVIZ: You not only made the USA Olympic Team for RIO, you won GOLD with Jack Sock! Can you give us some “Behind the Scenes” details of what that was like?

NowVIZ: You have been in this game for many years and the last few years have been off the chain! What do you attribute this outstanding play and success to? Bethanie: First and foremost, I’ve really been able to enjoy competing. I love challenging myself physically and mentally, and each year, all the other girls on tour keep pushing the envelope for me to improve. I have an amazing family and a team that have always supported and inspired me helping me to maintain a good balance in my life. Even though I’ve been on tour for many years, (no need for an exact number, ha!) I feel like a fine wine that’s just been getting better with age!

NowVIZ: Tennis crowds are pretty electric these days. Is there a particular tournament where the crowd somehow impacted your game and do you have a favorite city because of the crowd interaction? Bethanie: I’m going to have to say the finals of the 2016 US Open! It was such a special day for me as an American to be playing in NYC on 9/11. We actually got pretty far behind in that match, really only a couple of games from losing. After a few spectacular points, I think the crowd sensed a little momentum shift and really started rallying behind Lucie and me. They helped us rise like the phoenix from the ashes, and come back to take our first US Open title!

NowVIZ: You definitely seem to have a very compatible and consistent doubles partnership with Lucie Safarova. What do you attribute this synchronicity to? Bethanie: Lucie is one of my absolute besties! And such a doll on and off the court. Don’t get me wrong, she’s got some mean leftie strokes that cause our opponents a lot of grief, but our successful partnership goes beyond just being great tennis players.

NowVIZ: Through the years a number of professional tennis players have had to deal with some type of injury in their careers. You’ve had major hip surgery. What is it in your personality that helped you overcome those difficult times and come back with a dominating resurgence? Bethanie: I’m one of the most competitive and stubborn people you will meet ever meet--I think it’s the Aries in me! I love challenges and through all my injuries I’ve learned how much you can really accomplish even when you think you’re down and out. We always have a choice in how we see things, but it has to be habit--something you consciously think about and choose. I’m a person of action, well, until my body tells me I really need a power nap! Ha!

NowVIZ:: What would you say you are most proud of on and off the court? Bethanie: It’s easy to say I’m most proud of my accomplishments like my Olympic gold medal and my Grand Slam trophies, but I think my greatest feat is learning how to enjoy each moment as it comes. I believe the present moment is all we actually ever have, so no reason to dwell anywhere else for too long!

NowVIZ: You’ve done some commentating in the past and seemed to shift right into that position with the ease of a seasoned professional. Would you like to continue doing more down the road? Bethanie: I love the camera! And tennis is something that I love talking about. I have so much respect for everything my peers and I do, and I really enjoy exposing the “behind the scenes” details that not everyone hears about. I don’t think any of my friends are too nervous about me spilling all of their secrets. Ha!


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“I think one of the most beautiful and interesting parts of a person is seeing him or her be their true self.“

NowVIZ: What do you most enjoy doing when you’re not training, traveling for tennis, and competing? Bethanie: I’m a big foodie and I love to shop. I recently went to Hong Kong and it really might be one of my favorite destinations for both--had some amazing culinary dishes while we were there, and it was so much fun to discover Asian fashion brands that I had never heard of! I’m super spontaneous, so don’t be surprised if you hear of me jumping out of a plane somewhere, sometime soon!

NowVIZ: You’re a super vibrant personality on Tour who definitely stands out on and off the court. How do you navigate so successfully in a sport that doesn’t always seem to embrace change or longestablished attitudes? Bethanie: I think one of the most beautiful and interesting parts of a person is seeing him or her be their true self. Nothing is more inspiring to me, so that’s how I choose to be as well. I embrace the responsibility that I’m in charge of my attitude and my decisions, and hope to encourage others to take the bull by the horns if you will, and live life to the fullest!

NowVIZ: What do you most enjoy doing when you’re not training, traveling for tennis, and competing? Bethanie: I’m a big foodie and I love to shop. I recently went to Hong Kong and it really might be one of my favorite destinations for both--had some amazing culinary dishes while we were there, and it was so much fun to discover Asian fashion brands that I had never heard of! I’m super spontaneous, so don’t be surprised if you hear of me jumping out of a plane somewhere, sometime soon! Thank You Bethanie! Good luck this season!

beyond the bod

Rip Esselstyn

Health Food Activist and #1 New York Times Bestselling Au Rip Esselstyn was born in upstate New York, raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and educated at the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a three-time All-American swimmer. After graduation, Rip spent a decade as one of the premier triathletes in the world. He then joined the Austin Fire Department where he introduced his passion for a whole-food, plant-based diet to Austin’s Engine 2 Firehouse in order to rescue a firefighting brother’s health. To document his success he wrote the national bestselling book, The Engine 2 Diet, which shows the irrefutable connection between a plant-based diet and good healtlh. Rip left his job as a firefighter in 2009 to team up with Whole Foods Market as one of their Healthy Eating Partners to raise awareness for the Whole Foods employees, customers and the communities about the benefit of eating a plant-strong diet. As the founder of Engine 2, Rip develops and implements a range of programs and events geared toward education, inspiring and nurturing plant-strong living for individuals, families and organizations across the globe. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and national television shows, including the Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning, Good Morning America and The Dr. Oz Show. Rip is a New York Times Bestselling Author who has published four books. He is currently on a US tour in support of his most recent book, The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet.

Health / Fitness

. Nowviz

uthor talks Plant-Strong!

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NowVIZ: You’ve written three books on Plant-Strong healthy eating, The Engine 2 Diet, The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet, and the #1 New York Times bestseller, Plant-Strong: Discover the World’s Healthiest Diet. As a leader in the movement for healthy living, what nutritionally inspired message can you provide to people of all ages? Rip: I’m out on tour right now, talking to audiences across the US in support of my latest book, The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet, and this book is opening people up to something that I think they didn’t expect--that plant-strong living can be simple, not only simple, but delicious! We have a private Facebook support group for our Seven-Day Rescue Challenge in support of the book. It’s more than 11,000 people strong right now. Overwhelmingly, I am hearing from folks who cannot believe how easy it is to not only eat plant-strong, but also to reverse their chronic health problems. Those who are athletes are raving about their shortened recovery time and increased energy. No supplements--just whole, plant-strong foods. We athletes build up massive amounts of oxidative stress and free radicals. The best way to mitigate that oxidative stress and to neutralize those pesky free radicals is with whole, plant based foods that contain over 25,000 known phytonutrients only found in plants, and on average, 64 times more antioxidants. If you want to up your game, then up your intake of plants and go plant-strong! NowVIZ: You are a former Professional Triathlete and now a Health Activist. What challenges/questions, if any, do you get asked from the athletic community who predominantly consume meat-based diets?

NowVIZ: Every sport requires different methods of training and performing, but if it were possible to put all athletes in one room as their nutritional coach, what could you provide that would help them perform at their best? Rip: Steel cut oats, sweet potatoes, brown rice, black beans, bananas, mangoes, blueberries, lentils, kale, broccoli and no particular order! NowVIZ: What hurdles do you find are most difficult or challenging for those who switch to a Plant-Strong diet? Rip: The biggest hurdle is in our heads. It’s undoing years of incorrect recommendations and billions of dollars in advertising programming us to believe that the only way to perform at the highest level is by consuming meat, eggs, and dairy.

Rip: Well, you know I get the “Where am I gonna get my protein?” question all the time. That’s probably always going to be the most common. Athletes should know that the strongest, safest, smartest and healthiest form of protein comes from plants, not animals. The essential amino acids that form the basic building blocks of proteins originate from plants. Bypass the middle cow/pig/chicken and go straight to the mother source for the best protein available. A lot of push back comes from supplementation. You can absolutely maintain or increase performance eating just whole, plant-strong foods--spend your money on real food! Protein shakes and other fancy supplements are unnecessary to perform at your best. I think that generally, though, as more and more athletes like Tom Brady, Venus Williams, Griff Whalen and others are coming forward raving about how plant-based eating has helped them step up their games, there are fewer challenges and more questions. In my conversations, I’ve found that many athletes are aware of the benefits and are genuinely curious about how it can work for them. The tide is turning!

“Athletes should know that the strongest, safest, smartest and healthiest form of protein comes from plants, not animals.�

str nt-

pla !


NowVIZ: You mention you were initially inspired to switch to a vegan diet by Ironman triathlete Dave Scott. How did that come about and in what ways did that help you as an athlete? Rip: I decided I wanted to compete full time as a professional triathlete in 1987, and I discovered that the #1 triathlete on the planet was this badass vegetarian from Davis, California who even rinsed his cottage cheese to get all the excess fat off! My father was three years into his research at the Cleveland Clinic to show that people could metabolize the plaque formations in the arteries by switching to a plant-based diet with amazing success, so when I discovered that Dave was eating this way, it was a slam dunk for me to start eating this way too. Think of whole, plant-based foods as premium fuel that won’t gunk up your engine and animal-based foods and dairy as a weak and dirty fuel that will cause your performance to sputter. NowVIZ: Your father, Caldwell Esselstyn, was a cardiologist and author of the book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, which essentially calls for a low-fat plant-based diet and was advocated by former US President Bill Clinton. He was also part of the 1956 Melbourne Olympic American rowing team “eight” that won the gold medal! In what ways has he helped contribute to your own pursuit of finding better ways to live a healthy lifestyle? Rip: He has given me the courage to go against the grain and do what I believe in my heart of hearts is the truth. One of the greatest gifts he has given, not only to me, but also to my whole family and the families of my brothers and sister, is the gift of a whole food, plant-strong lifestyle to live healthy and happy lives.

Rip: Back in 2009 my first book, The Engine 2 Diet, grabbed the attention of Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey. He asked me to become a Whole Foods Market Healthy Eating Partner and to create an exclusive brand focused on the principles of plant-based nutrition. I was, of course, honored to be asked to partner with a brand like Whole Foods Market, and we got right to work. Right now, we have 38 products across 12 different categories, and we’re working on 10 great new products that will be coming to all stores in the US in October. I just heard from a Major League Baseball player the other day who loves Engine 2 products. From professional football players to high school and college athletes and everyone in between, I love hearing from athletes who fuel their bodies with Engine 2 products!

You can check out Rip’s website for more info!

All photos courtesy of Rip Esselstyn

NowVIZ: You’ve created your own line of food products called, Engine 2 Plant-Strong, available at Whole Foods. Can you tell us how this came about and what inspired you to create your own line?


“The biggest hurdle is in our heads. It’s undoing years of incorrect recommendations and billions of dollars in advertising programming us to believe that the only way to perform at the highest level is by consuming meat, eggs, and dairy.”



Christian Yelich,

" Yelly "


as he is known to his teammates, has become one of the best all-around players in MLB for the Miami Marlins since becoming a full-time starter in 2014. With references to Don Mattingly, Garret Anderson and Jim Edmonds, he has proven to be a very solid contact hitter who maintains a strong approach while developing into a steady presence in the Miami outfield. In his first full season in the MLB, he finished with a 4.4 WAR (a tool that allows fans to both compare players across teams, leagues, and eras, and gauge their value to their teams) that placed him in the top 10, ranking ninth among National League outfielders. He maintains a quality eye at the plate and is an excellent baserunner. “Power potential” and “power-fueled “are descriptions that have become synonymous with his abilities. Christian remains focused on staying healthy, building up strength, and letting the power he has been highly praised for continue to develop. Recently, he has been training with Barry Bonds and with 2016 already posted as a career-best season, what we’ve seen so far can only be described as stellar! 32.

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NowVIZ: You’ve had great success in your baseball career to date, winning the 2014 Golden Glove Award, the 2016 Silver Slugger Award, and you were named to the 2017 Team USA for the World Baseball Classic! To what do you attribute your success? Christian: I attribute my success to a lot of hard work from a lot of different people who I have encountered throughout my career. From coaches to trainers to my parents, there have been many people who have helped put in work behind the scenes to allow me to succeed on the field, and I’m forever grateful for that.

NowVIZ: Opponents are now pitching you differently than in the past--the fastballs are declining and the number of changeups are increasing. What is it at the plate you’re doing differently to accommodate for the changes? Christian: You are pitched differently throughout the season and baseball is a game of adjustments and being able to make those adjustments quickly. I have a plan and approach before each at bat and I try to stick to it as closely as possible every night.

NowVIZ: You are an integral player for the Miami Marlins organization. Has there been a specific teammate who has been a benefit to helping you grow and adjust to the majors? Christian: I’d say Jeff Mathis, even though he’s now a former teammate. We spent the past four years together. He was the one who showed me the ropes in the Big Leagues and somebody I could go to at anytime if there ever was a question. He’s a true pro and a great friend, and I wish him the best of luck in Arizona.

NowVIZ: This was said about you when you signed your 7-year contract extension in March of 2015: “We always talk about the rhythm of a hitter,” general manager Dan Jennings said. “He possessed that from the first time we laid eyes on him. I think when you look at the progression and where he is now, he reminds me of a young Don Mattingly.” How ironic that 7 months later Don Mattingly is the new Marlins General Manager! Is there any one person on this staff who has been able to help you grow to become the player you are today? Christian: Donnie has been great to play for and work with, and I think a combination of talking to him and working last year with our two hitting coaches, Frank Menechino and Barry Bonds, has allowed me to develop into a better player. It’s always great to learn from players who have had the kind of success that those three have had in their careers.

“I attribute my success to a lot of hard work from a lot of different people I have encountered throughout my career. From coaches to trainers to my parents there have been many people who have helped put in work behind the scenes to allow me to succeed on the field and I’m forever grateful for that.”

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NowVIZ: Football runs in your family--your great grandfather, Fred Gehrke, was an NFL football player from 1940 to1950 who played for many teams including the Los Angeles Rams! Did you ever have the opportunity to meet him, or did your family tell you anything interesting about him? Christian: I unfortunately never had the chance to meet him, but I’ve heard great things about him from family, and he was able to leave his mark on the NFL. NowVIZ:, Marlins manager Don Mattingly said, “Christian has had success already.” “I think it’s a matter of how much better is he going to get and is he going to continue to grow and develop as far as strength and power at the plate.” How would you respond? Christian: I think you’re always trying to get better as a player every year, and it’s nice to play for a manager who believes in his players the way Donnie does. I’m excited to see what the 2017 season holds for us all.

Thank you Christian!

good luck this season!

Name: Precious Hannah Age: 27 Company: Nike / Jordan Brand Title: Footwear Designer Designer Highlights: AJ XI backpack / Doernbecher Children’s Projects / Jordan Galaxy / Jordan Nouveau

NowVIZ: You are the first named “Equipment Designer” for the Jordan brand, creating products including hats, bags, socks, gloves, and a basketball. Can you tell us a little bit about how you landed that position and what it has been like so far? Precious: Honestly, that position literally kind of transitioned into its own title. I started my career with an internship at Nike designing bags. That led to one of the directors in the Jordan Brand asking me to work on a bag project for them, which then quickly led to a full time position. After that one bag project, the director, who then became my manager, would give me random projects as a test saying things like, “Hey Precious, sketch up some socks and a hat, and while you’re at it, a basketball too!” A small snowball quickly turned into a snowman and I was responsible for doing way more than just bag designs. So far, this journey has taught me a lot, not only about myself, but also about being a designer in the corporate world. There are a lot of things that you have to put into perspective while designing, such as cost, materials, style and functionality. NowVIZ: You are now not only designing Jordan bags, but other Jordan products such as accessories, socks, and shoes like the Jordan Galaxy. What gets you inspired to design for such an iconic line? Precious: I can honestly say that a lot of my inspiration comes from competitive cooking shows. Odd as it may seem, it reminds me of how you can take something so simple and transition it into something that someone has never seen before. It excites me to create that product that has never been seen before while also tying it back to the brand. All you need is a story--everything else usually falls into place. NowVIZ: Nike designed the first shoe for Michael Jordan in 1984. Then, Nike launched the Jordan brand in 1997 and its success continues today long after Michael has left the sport. How do you approach your work knowing your market is so loyal to the Jordan brand? Precious: With confidence and knowledge. The consumer knows so much about the legacy of MJ that you can’t come up short, not even a tiny bit. They’ll call you out, so you have to be prepared to back your designs with any means necessary.

It’s All About the Kicks!

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jordan executive low

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NowVIZ: Have you ever met Michael Jordan? If so, what was that like, and has he said anything to you directly about your design work? Precious: LOL! Yes, I have met MJ. He is an amazing man who is very inspiring to say the least. I would have never thought that someone like him, someone with title, could be so invested in my career, especially with me still being pretty new to the company. I’ve worked with him on some of the accessories that he has been rocking. MJ is very involved in the design process, but not in a bad way--more like you teaching him what it’s like to be a designer, and how you can help to influence the design world even more with your own innovation and style. NowVIZ: We know you can’t talk about what designs you’re currently working on, but can you tell us what products you’ve designed that are out on the market now? Precious: Here’s a couple to name a few: the Air Jordan 1 Retro Ultra High, the Jordan Hydro 5 Men’s Slide, the Jordan Sportswear Top-Loading Backpack, Sportswear Backpack and the Jumpman Backpack, the Jordan University of Michigan Accessories including beanies, scarves, gloves, socks, and Snapbacks, the Jordan Retro Snapbacks, the Jordan Hyper Grip OT Basketball, Jordan Ultimate Flight Crew Socks, Jordan Jumpman No Show Socks and Jordan Ultimate Flight Ankle Socks. There are some other products that are floating out there too! NowVIZ: When you’re not designing, what keeps you fresh? Precious: Architecture has to be the most inspiring thing that keeps my mind fresh. Recently, Portland has started to expand a lot and watching the buildings go up is nothing but an inspiration, especially in trying to understand someone else’s thought processes. Also, working with children has kept me relevant in the design process. The honesty in the advice they give is like no other, and with honest feedback, it’s easier to create functional products. NowVIZ: We’ve been told you have an extensive shoe collection! If that’s true, will you give us the run down? Precious: I have a very extensive shoe collection! A lot of it is on ice because it rains so damn much in Portland! Working at Nike has become a bit of a problem because it’s easy to get the kicks and easier for me, because I’m kids size! I’ve moved a couple of times, and honestly, more then half the truck was filled with boxes full of shoes. I mean, all you really need in this life of sin is a bed, a pencil with dope paper, and banging-ass kicks to get you through the day! Everything else usually falls into place.

Thank you Precious!

jordan top loader

jordan xi bag







immense drive, unparalleled determination, and a quiet beauty, Oksana Masters has begun to emerge as one of the most exceptional new faces of athletes competing in the Paralympics. Known for her charm and grace under pressure, it is Oksana’s sheer will of force to overcome any and all obstacles in her path that belies the extreme hardships of her extraordinary upbringing in an orphanage in the Ukraine. For Oksana, accomplishment is an act predicated on perseverance, unfettered adaptability, and sparkling optimism. Three consecutiv Paralympics in three different sports, rowing in London in 2012, biathlon and Nordic in Sochi in 2014, and hand cycle in Rio in 2016, garnered her three Olympic medals. A resident of Louisville, Kentucky, she trains in Illinois and Colorado Oksana’s most personally satisfying achievement simply is in representing the U.S. Paralympic team and to be able to represent it in more than one sport as sh confided, “I feel very, very, very humbled and thankful to have that opportunity an I’m really excited to show the versatility of any athlete.”

World Para Nordic Skiing World Cup ski race Photo credit US Paralympics Nordic Skiing


he nd



NowVIZ: Your life story is one of tremendous strength and resiliency. Can you tell us about that and have those qualities helped you as an athlete? Oksana: I was originally born in the Ukraine and when I was born, I had multiple birth defects that doctors here in the US said were the results of radiation exposure while I was still in my birth mom’s uterus. For the first seven and a half years of my life, I lived in three different orphanages. Like most Eastern European orphanages, mine was lacking in food, heat, clothes, and toys, and there was numerous cases of neglect on the part of the care workers toward the children. When my mom came to adopt me, I was 36 inches tall and weighed 37 pounds just before my 8th birthday. She was told I was “failure to thrive” and was literally starving to death. But living in different orphanages, I learned to rely on myself. I definitely believe that where I came from, and how I spent the first seven and a half years of my life, have helped tremendously to shape unique qualities that I feel I have as an athlete. I didn’t have a home, a family, or a safe place to live as a child. It’s one of the reasons why I feel that you have to work for what you want. My mom called me a “resilient rascal” when I was a kid, and resiliency is something I defiantly believe has helped me in my athletic career.

NowVIZ: You are incredibly both a Summer and Winter Paralympian! It’s tough enough to qualify for one sport let alone three different sports! How do you adjust between both summer and winter sports? Oksana: I originally started just rowing and trying to make the London 2012 games. Never in a million years would I have thought I would be bouncing between summer and winter sports let alone qualify for the Paralympic Games in three different sports. I focused on sports that gave me the best cross-over training and stayed within a strong endurance aspect. Switching from rowing to skiing was very hard in the sense that I had to learn how to race more than just a 1km sprint. Pacing was tough and getting specific muscle strength was also tough, but my main fitness was there, which made the transition easier. Plus, I always get to look forward to a good tan after my winter season!

NowVIZ: You’ve had some injuries in the past and you switched from rowing to biking. Did that affect your training regime in anyway? Oksana: In 2013, I had to make the choice to take a step back from rowing and give my back a chance to heal from its injury. I didn’t want to lose fitness, because I always thought I would get back to boat racing. After going to a few surgeons, I was told the only option would be to get rods placed in my back if I were to continue racing. I decided to switch focus. I began to ski, which didn’t hurt my back, and in the summer of 2014, I tried hand cycling. That was a tough transition because hand cycling is all push motion with a slight pull, and my body was developed more for pulling from rowing and skiing. My training regimen was very different in cycling than in rowing. I rode my bike for 3+ hours in just one session, where as in rowing, we would have short intense workouts with concentrated intervals. My body was not used to 3+ hour rides, so that was a bit of a transition.

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NowVIZ: Throughout your life you’ve been able to overcome such awe-inspiring obstacles. What or who helped you become the successful individual you are today and what would you like people to draw from your story? Oksana: My mom is the main person I owe everything to. She adopted me as a single parent. She literally saved my life bringing me out of that orphanage. Her love is so amazingly strong and big. I truly believe my mentality to dig deeper, fight harder, try harder and never give up, especially in sports, is all because of her. She always believed I was meant to be her daughter even though I was born half way across the world. She fought for me for two years while Ukraine had a ban on foreign adoptions. She was told multiple times that she should give up on me and go to Russia, that she would be able to get a baby there in a few weeks. She always said, “No, that is my daughter, I will wait for her.” And she did. Her love has given me the strength to try anything I want to, and she supported me through my sports career so much. I guess one thing I hope people can take away from my story is that out of this imperfect world, we have the power to create our own perfect world and our own happiness--like my mom taking a leap of faith in adopting me. Yes, orphanages are scary places to have to live in, let alone spend almost 8 years in, but it’s all about those families who help the kids in them get homes and give them chances to discover and to feel what love is. I had the choice to sit and be sad because I didn’t have a home to go to, but I always focused on my dream of having a mom. It’s the one thing I never doubted.

NowVIZ: The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Paralympics are on the horizon. Can you tell us what your goals are for the Games? Oksana: I am so excited for the 2018 PyeongChang winter games. When I made the team for the 2014 Sochi games, I only had been on snow for maybe the total time of a year and surprised myself there. Now going into the 2018 games, I will have had a solid 4 years of experience in racing on snow at World Cups and World Championships. In PyeongChang, I hope to build upon the event I medaled in in Sochi and upgrade the color of those medals to gold. I also would absolutely be ecstatic if I were able to win a medal in the biathlon at the games. I would love nothing more than to bring home a medal, especially a gold for my country and my team.

NowVIZ: You have immense compassion for animals and have a rescue dog that had a rough start in life. Can you tell us more about your love for animals? Oksana: All of our animals are rescued or adopted. I am one of those people who can watch a movie and if a person is hurt or dying, I am okay, but if an animal is in any type of pain or dying, I will ball like a baby. It hurts my heart to see how people can be so cruel to animals. My dog, Mishka, was rescued. My mom was coming home from work one night and there was a horrible storm with lots of wind and rain, and there was a tornado warning. My mom was standing near a car when she noticed a dog trying to hide under it for shelter from the storm. She brought him home, and the next week we tried to find out if anyone was missing a dog. No one responded, and my mom started to realize that she thought that the people who owned the car were dumping him. He changed both of our lives. I love that silly dog to death. People can talk for themselves, help themselves if they are in pain or hungry, or seek help for anything. Animals can’t do the same. They can’t say they are hungry or if they are in pain. They have to rely on other people to help them and take care of them. I feel like you can see the soul of an animal when you look in its eyes, and there is nothing better in this world than seeing a happy, healthy animal with its owner.

NowVIZ: What do you see yourself doing and where will that be after your career as a competitive athlete ends? Oksana: I have always dreamed of owning my own coffee shop one day. I don’t like being in one place for too long, so it most likely will be one on wheels!

You Rock Oksana! Good luck this season!

first draft


book review nowviz

photography by

Andrea Mead Cross

My passion + World-class athletes + For a cause

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sports souls the book began with a love of photographing world-class athletes, a passion for helping animals in need, and the ambition to combine the two successfully. Over a twoyear period, Andrea Mead Cross traveled across the country to capture an up close and personal moment with each athlete. The beautiful full color portraits are unassuming and fresh with a unique perspective away from the competition arena. The bold series includes and features renowned athletes Misty May-Treanor, Beach Volleyball star and three-time Olympic gold medallist. Taylor Phinney, two-time Olympian Cycling; Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux, two-time Olympian silver medalists Ice Hockey; Sam Mikulak, Olympian and seven-time NCAA champion Gymnastics; Lauryn Williams, two-time Summer Olympian; gold and silver medalist for Track and Winter Olympian, silver medalist Bobsled and Diana Nyad, history-making Marathon Swimmer. Also featured Christy Gardner, USA National Sled Hockey Team; Tony Azevedo, four-time Olympian and silver medalist Water Polo; Mirinda Carfrae, triathlete and three-time Ironman World Champion; Connor Jaeger, Olympian and American record holder Swimming; Anna Tunnicliffe. Olympian Gold medalist for Sailing; Steven Langton, Olympian and two-time bronze medalist Bobsled and more! The athletes also write their inner struggles, philosophy on life, and what it takes to be the best. The body of work is truly inspirational for those who appreciate awe-inspiring images and the quest for perfection. Andrea is recognized as one of the premier sports photographers in the country. Her work has been published in numerous magazines including Sports Illustrated, National Geographic, Outside, Fitness, has been shown on Oprah Winfrey’s “Super Soul Sunday” and on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer. Additionally, her photographs can be found in the projects of well-known athletes published by Random House, Knopf, and Crown Publishing. Proceeds benefit animal charities.

Be Soulful.

For more info:

Sports Souls is available on Amazon


arielle gold

A rising star considered by some as quite possibly “the next great

athlete in women’s snowboarding,” Arielle Gold, queen of the Halfpipe, lives in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. At 15, she became one the youngest athletes ever to win the Snowboarding World Championship, quickly following that accomplishment with a spot on the USA Snowboarding Team for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. In addition to studying psychology at the University of Colorado, she is an avid proponent of animal rights actively supporting Animal Rescue of the Rockies as a foster parent for dogs. Arielle’s titles include the 2012 FIS Snowboarding Junior World Champion and the 2013 FIS Snowboarding World Champion. Just as impressive, she has placed in the top four in all six of her X Games appearances winning one silver and three bronze medals. Now 20, as a member of “the new guard,” Arielle’s goals are firmly set on the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.


NowVIZ: In 2012, you won the gold medal in the halfpipe at the FIS Junior Snowboarding World Championships at the age of 15. The following year you won the gold in the halfpipe at the FIS Snowboarding World Championships, becoming the second-youngest snowboarder to win a world championship. Can you give us some behind the scenes of what that was like? Arielle: That was a huge experience for me. The contest was in Quebec, Canada, and it happened to be -27 degrees Fahrenheit that day. Needless to say, I was reluctant to even go outside! It ended up being a great day for me, which gave me a lot of confidence and sparked one of the best seasons I’ve had to date.

NowVIZ: In 2014, you were also the youngest competitor on the Olympic Snowboard Halfpipe Team for Sochi, but unfortunately, an injury prevented you from competing. Did you learn from that difficult experience and how have you grown as a person since then? Arielle: Dislocating my shoulder in Sochi was one of the hardest setbacks I’ve ever had to face.

Leading up to Sochi, I was so focused on staying healthy in the qualifying events that I didn’t even consider the possibility of getting hurt at the Olympics. Unfortunately, the conditions weren’t ideal, and we didn’t get much practice time, which put everyone who was competing in a tough spot. I ended up falling on a trick I’ve done thousands of times, and that was that. That’s just the way things work out sometimes, and although it was hard to cope with, that experience taught me the importance of being resilient, and using it as motivation to come back stronger.

NowVIZ: You’re known on Tour for catching some huge air and throwing down some flawless technical tricks, such as the Cab 900s. Do you have anything new up your sleeve for this season? Arielle: I’ve been working throughout the summer on some new stuff, but there will always be more that I want to learn!

NowVIZ: Besides competing in Snowboard Halfpipe, you train and compete in other sports such as (horse) barrel racing! The two sports seem so vastly different from each other. Do you have to adjust your training in anyway? Arielle: I don’t necessarily change anything. It’s more about just finding a way to balance things out so that I can spend plenty of time training for snowboarding, while making sure that my horse doesn’t feel neglected!

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g n i n i a “Tr

i s c i p m y l O e h t for

It’s not something that you decide to do the year of the Olympics. Ever since I healed from my injury before the last Olympics, I have been training both on and off the snow to make sure that I go into this Olympics stronger, both mentally and physically, than I’ve ever been.

Photo Credit U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association

is a 4

� . t n e m t i m m o c r yea

NowVIZ: Your father was a professional moguls skier. How has he influenced your own career? Arielle: Obviously halfpipe snowboarders are completely different than mogul skiers in most senses, but the one thing that we have in common is our love for the snow. Both of my parents have been skiing for nearly 30 years, and regardless of whether it’s two planks or one, they instilled the same love of snow in their kids.

NowVIZ: The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics are on the horizon. How are you gearing up for that? Arielle: Training for the Olympics is a 4 year commitment. It’s not something that you decide to do the year of the Olympics. Ever since I healed from my injury before the last Olympics, I have been training both on and off the snow to make sure that I go into this Olympics stronger, both mentally and physically, than I’ve ever been.

NowVIZ: Your brother Taylor is also an elite snowboarder and the two of you are quite often grouped in the media together. Now as you mature, do you find yourself becoming more independent in the sport? Arielle: Taylor and I will always love and support each other--that is never going to change. He is a huge

part of why I am even in the snowboarding industry in the first place. When we both started having success in the industry, we were often grouped together as the ‘Gold kids,’ which has been both a curse and a blessing. It is amazing having someone so close to me to share these experiences with, but we are also different people with unique identities, and want people to recognize that.

NowVIZ: You mentioned you may be interested in pursuing veterinary school. Is that where you see yourself when you finish competing? Arielle: Definitely. I have been gradually chipping away at a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology for the last couple of years, but that is only a starting point for me. Ideally, I’d like to finish up my psych degree while I’m still competing, and move on to vet school once I decide to step away from snowboarding.

NowVIZ: Obviously, you are an avid animal lover and even foster dogs for adoption! How did that come about? Arielle: I actually found out about fostering around the time of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. Russia is

unfortunately filled with stray dogs. It seemed like there was at least one on every street corner. Although it looked bad at first, I realized that the issue is so much worse in the US. We have millions of dogs and cats in animal shelters, and hundreds of them are euthanized every day to make room for more. Since I am almost always traveling for snowboarding, I don’t have time for a dog of my own. Fostering is a great way for me to get some puppy love when I have the time. Through Animal Rescue of the Rockies, I’m able to pick a dog from a high-kill shelter in the United States and have it transported to Colorado. I usually have him/her for a couple of weeks before finding an adopter. It has been such a great experience, and I have met so many amazing dogs along the way.

NowVIZ: There’s a rumor you’re a huge Denver Broncos fan! Besides living in Colorado, what’s the attachment to the Broncos? Arielle: Ha, guilty as charged! I actually didn’t really get into football until probably 3-4 years ago. My dad

grew up in Philadelphia, so he’s an Eagles fan through and through, and when he and my mom moved out to Colorado, the Broncos became his 2nd team. He used to take me to football games, which I didn’t understand at all, but I was always happy to go because I got to eat tons of junk food and watch Thunder (the Broncos horse mascot) run across the field before the game. Since then, I’ve become a huge fan. I understand the game now, which definitely helps, and it’s also been a great way to bond with my dad, which I know he loves. Thank You Arielle!

Good luck this season!

the sound

Bethanie Matte

NowVIZ: Can you give us playlist?

Oksana Masters, Paralympian, medalist NowVIZ: Give us some highlights of what’s on your favorite playlist at the moment!

“My little brother is m finding the coolest an remixes. Currently, I’m The Lumineers, G-Ea

“Oh, my gosh! My music is so all over the place. I really love listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, old school hip-hop like Dr. Dre and Snoop Dog, and country music by Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks and Johnny Cash.”

Arielle Gold

Christian Yelich, Pro Baseball Player

NowVIZ: Give us a run down of what’s pumpn’ through your headphones!

“My playlist has a little bit of everything. It usually just depends on the mood or what I’m getting ready for. Been liking The Lumineers’ new album, and a new guy by the name of Quinn XCII--he’s got some chill music that reminds me of Southern California. Pre-Game is all about the Rap music with a little bit of Future, 21 Savage, mixed in with The Game.”

NowVIZ: Music is a music motivates yo highlights of what’s

“I like a lot of diff Eminem, to class but it’s not neces before a contes


Rip Esselstyn, Health Activist

NowVIZ: What music helps motivate you to train to that next level?!

“Gotta go with some Coldplay or Maroon 5 to keep me in the zone!”

Cesar Caminero, Skimboarder

NowVIZ: What’s pumpin’ through your headphones right now?

Precious Hann

NowVIZ: Tell us what mu at the moment.

“For some time now a mix of various “un make it in the music much because it rem

“Free” by Bronko Yotte, con Camileazy. I love music--pretty much all kinds of music, different languages, different genre-- from reggae, to hip hop, to electronic, to salsa, to samba, to rock. Music keeps Weyoung caught up P1 Groupe race drivers me at with heart and sets me incar the rightand moods for whatever I’m ezine goingdidtoa do. skimboarding, and NowVIZ shortMusic, Q+A interview with each driver-Check it out! surfing are my drugs, literally!”



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Music Nowviz

ek-Sands, Pro Tennis Player

s a run down of what’s on your favorite

my official Playlist DJ. He’s always nd almost unheard of artists and m digging Kygo, The Chainsmokers, azy, and Quinn XCII.”

d, Snowboard Halfpipe, Olympian

a huge part of your competitions. What kind of ou to do your best and can you give us some s on your favorite playlist at the moment?

ferent kinds of music, from rap, like sic rock. I am also a huge fan of country, ssarily the best for getting me ‘pumped up’ st.”

sten to your world

nah, Nike/Jordan Footwear designer

usic is pumpin’ through your headphones

w I’ve really been into Soulection. It’s nderground” artists just trying to c industry. I guess I like them so minds me of why I grind so hard!”

out takes!


Beyond Sports nowviz


NowVIZ: How did you get into skimboarding and how long have you been at it? Cesar: I got into skim boarding as an alternative to surfing. It became

a great way to wait for waves in south Florida on those summer “flat spells.” I picked up my first skimboard when I was 14. It was a small wooden board that my dad bought at a beach souvenirs shop for 20 bucks! I remember the first day I tried it--I was sharing it with two of my cousins and we felt like doing simple “shuvits” and “180s.” It was the most awesome thing ever! I never really practiced much until I turned 18. Just out of high school during my first week of employment, I took my first ever paycheck and bought a small Zap skimboard. Skimboarding quickly became a thing I did almost every week. While in college, I practiced almost every day after class or after work, and I quickly learned a wide variety of tricks. By the time I graduated, I decided to try competing and quickly got hooked on trying to be the best I could be. I competed for a few years, but now, skimboarding is a strong, personal avocation that keeps my body healthy and my mind young.

NowVIZ: One difference between surfing and skimboarding is that many more things can be done on a skimboard than can be done on a surfboard. Can you give us some specifics? Cesar: Because a skimboard is much smaller than a surfboard, and

because it has no fins, it is a lot easier to toss and kick around to perform tricks more similar to skateboarding. Shuvits would be the most signature kind of technical tricks. A shuvit (or 180 shuvit) is a trick where your back foot pushes the tail of the board while you jump, making the board spin under your feet while you land with the tail of the board in front of you. That basic trick can be pushed to higher levels by kicking the board harder to make it spin more times under you (360 shuvits, 540 shuvits, etc.), or by mixing the spin of the board with your body rotating in mid-air, making tricks like big-spins, and bigger-spins. The fun thing about skimboarding is that it can be split into two categories, flat-land and wave riding. Flat-land is practiced on beaches and at lakes that have extremely low tides, and skimmers can perform a lot more technical tricks that are more similar to skateboarding. They even place ramps and rails to set up a sort of skim-park. Wave riding is more like surfing because it consists of the skimmer sliding out to a wave and riding it back to the shore. In that process, a wide variety of surf-like and skate-like tricks can be involved, including cutbacks, aerials, riding in the barrel, floaters, and shuvits. Some guys are doing even more complex tricks like kick-flips and varial-flips. Each category is extremely fun in its own way, and each can require some extreme levels of practice to perform the more advanced tricks. Most skimmers will tell you that skim boarding is a very under-rated sport, and I agree with that statement.

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NowVIZ: Is there a particular skimboard brand or shape that you like best and why? Cesar: I’ve never been a die-hard fan of any brand, as most brands tend to have moments of great quality and moments were they create just plain garbage. No particular brand will make you a better skimmer, it’s all about how much you practice and how much you actually enjoy skimboarding. I’ve ridden many kinds of boards of many different brands and there are pros and cons to all of them. NowVIZ: We heard you used to design at a skimboard company. Can you tell us more about that? Cesar: Yeah, I went to school for design and development, and had the opportunity to do some of my first work for the board company that also sponsored me. It was a super fun experience. NowVIZ: What’s your local break? Cesar: Pretty much all of South Florida is my local break! From Miami to Jupiter, I’ve skimmed them all, and I continue to frequent most of them. NowVIZ: When you’re not at the beach, what are you doing? Cesar: I am either working or spending time with my lady love and/or with my family. I’m lucky to have such an amazing girlfriend and parents that share in the lifestyle I love. My career and loved ones take up a lot of my time, but I always make extra time almost every day for skimboarding and surfing. Don’t wanna lose my edge! NowVIZ: Traveling to your favorite city or country, where would that be and why? Cesar: Of all the places I’ve been to, I’d have to say Hawaii. Of course, I still want to go to many new places around the world, but Hawaii has always been the place where I can’t wait to go back to every time I leave it. I’m stoking on this year’s trip to Hawaii with my girlfriend. It’s going to be a blast!

Thank you Cesar! Epic pics!

Photographer Andrea Mead Cross on location in MIA with Miami Marlins Center Fielder Christian Yelich


credits + (more) Our most recent addition at NowVIZ sports + beyond is David Shanoskie who will be our new Editor-in-Chief! We’re super excited he’s taken this crazy job and infused his expertise and incredible talents into NowVIZ sports + beyond! Thank you for putting up with us David-you rock! Huge thank you to Mark Saffieri for his efforts and mastery in writing the Feature Athlete Intro for Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Go your own way. His work and talent are incredible! We are very fortunate to have him onboard at NowVIZ sports+ beyond! Additional thank you to footwear designer Precious Hannah! We’re stoked she hopped on board to be a part of this NowVIZ sports + beyond’s issue02. We hope you all dig her work as much as we do! ox! And to photographer Andrea Mead Cross who has been integral in the inception, development, and launch of the NowVIZ sports + beyond Ezine! Her vision and creativity continue to exceed expectations and we’re fired up she is part of the NowVIZ Team! Thank you AMC! Rock on!

NowVIZ sports + beyond Magazine design and layout: by Kelley Kwiatkowski -Hope you enjoyed the ride see-you soon! Follow us on


All inquires please email us at: 2016 All Rights Reserved NowVIZ sports + beyond ezine and COPYRIGHT 2016 No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written permission. This magazine is viewed with the understanding that the information present is from varied sources for which there can be no warranty or respondsibility by as to the accuracy or completeness.

“dwell in possibility� -Emily Dickinson

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