Before Ninja Turtles and Jackie Chan dazzled audiences with fancy footwork and artful agility, there was Bruce Lee in action movies and Kung Fu on the tube.
But even before those action heroes, there was Jhoon Rhee. Mention Jhoon Rhee to anyone who grew up in the Washington DC area in the 60’s and they’ll immediately respond “Nobody bothers me!” Jhoon Rhee, the Korean immigrant who taught Tao Kwon Do to congressmen in the Rayburn gym, brought the concept of self defense through martial arts to the nation’s capital in the late 50’s. His popular radio and television spots made him a local icon long before karate and other disciplines were regarded as sports.
In the end, it was Germany hoisting the trophy and ESPN crowing about viewership. But here in Maryland, where soccer enjoys a passionate following (see: Gold Cup, 2013) there were plenty of other big winners. For those who kept spirits high and beverages flowing while the games kept patrons riveted, the 2014 FIFA World Cup was a five week fiesta.
Much of the focus in Baltimore and National Harbor (considered part of the DC demographic) was on the large gatherings in front of jumbo screens during the US matches. You found these along the Potomac at National Harbor, on Westside Park in the Baltimore Inner Harbor, and at Power Plant Live!, the entertainment district just north of the Inner Harbor.
The 2014 Allisports Dew Tour opened its 10th season on the beach in Ocean City this past weekend. Now in its fourth year on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the event continues to grow in attendance and size. Located between the Boardwalk and the Atlantic Ocean, just a short stroll from the pier, the festival has established a comfortable footprint in the sand. Its legions of fans can be found occupying hotels, visiting restaurants, and spending time and dropping their wallets along the way.
Maryland’s annual “Super Bowl” (so called because of its significant economic impact and viewership) involves many more facilities than just Pimlico. The pageantry of Preakness engages many aspects of the Maryland horse industry. And it provides the focus for a week’s worth of activities celebrated by fans and families alike.