athletes

One Year Later
7:53 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Runner Returns To Boston With A New Outlook On Life

A March 2014 portrait of Demi Clark in front of her Mount Pleasant, S.C., home.
Wright Bryan NPR

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 5:14 pm

Eight runners entered in the 2014 Boston Marathon are documenting their race preparations for NPR in a Tumblr blog. Demi Clark is one of the eight, and this is her story.

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Sports
6:42 pm
Sat April 12, 2014

By Helping Gay Athletes, Group Hopes To Refocus On Talent

Massachusetts' Derrick Gordon (No. 2) drives past Northern Illinois' Dontel Highsmith (No. 4) and Travon Baker (No. 5) during an NCAA basketball game in Amherst, Mass., on Dec. 14.
Michael Dwyer AP

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 1:50 pm

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Here & Now
2:52 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Father-Son Team To Run One Last Boston Marathon

Rick and Dick Hoyt, Boston Marathon stalwarts since 1981, by the Hamilton Reservoir behind their home in Holland, Mass. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 2:57 pm

Later this month is the 118th running of the Boston Marathon, and this year’s race is especially significant because it’s the first time it’s being run since last year’s bombing at the finish line. Because of that attack, two people will be taking part in this year’s Boston Marathon who hadn’t intended to be there: Dick and Rick Hoyt.

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Code Switch
1:36 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Poetic Take On Black Boxer Lands Punches With Broad Appeal

In the ring, Johnson was a master of defense, with a powerful knockout punch and an unprecedented talent for talking trash.
Topical Press Agency Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 10:30 am

April is National Poetry Month, and Code Switch is celebrating by writing about great poets of color and their poems that address issues of race, culture and ethnicity. We began the series with an invitation to our readers to help us build a collaborative poem.

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Boston Bombing One Year Later
4:43 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

In New Exhibit, Running Shoes Are Potent Symbol Of Boston Bombing

A pair of running shoes left at the Boston Marathon memorial last year.
Jesse Costa WBUR

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 7:29 pm

In the wake of most tragedies, makeshift memorials fill up with flowers and teddy bears. After the Boston Marathon bombings last April, running shoes became potent symbols in the vast memorial there.

Now, after months in storage at the cavernous City Archives, a group of objects left at the site are in a new exhibition at the Boston Public Library.

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College Sports
12:03 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

What a Ruling on Football Players Means for College Athletes

Credit Flickr Creative Commons/The U.S. Army

Earlier this week, a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago ruled that Northwestern University football players are employees of the university. That could have implications for other student athletes in private universities nationwide, including local schools like the University of Hartford.

This all started because the football players at Northwestern wanted to form a union so they could have collective bargaining rights and better health coverage.

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NCAA Tournament
1:08 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Down Goes Duke In Biggest Upset So Far

Duke forward Amile Jefferson, in white, and Mercer guard Langston Hall battle for the ball during Friday's game.
Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 6:53 pm

We updated this post with the first shock of the day at 2:35 p.m. ET:

It's one-and-done for the Duke Blue Devils as their men's basketball team was beaten Friday by the Mercer Bears, 78-71, in the Division I men's basketball championship.

Mercer, a No. 14 seed in the Midwest region, was a huge underdog to the No. 3 seed Duke.

The win for Mercer, which has its main campus in Macon, Ga., is by far the biggest upset of the tournament so far. Heading into play, Duke was No. 8 in The Associated Press rankings. Mercer wasn't even among the nation's top 75 teams.

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Covering Sports
11:09 am
Fri February 28, 2014

More Women Are Athletes, But Sports Reporters Are Still Mostly Men

Credit Jim Larrison / Creative Commons

Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972  gave women the same rights to educational opportunities as men at every level of schooling.

While the law says that schools must give equal consideration to men and women when deciding who gets admitted to a school, who gets financial aid, and where a student lives while at school, the clause allowing women entrance to sports has long overshadowed the rest. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:01 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Women Speak Out on the State of Sports

Meg Greenwell is a senior editor for features at ESPN the Magazine
Chion Wolf

Four women join us to talk about sports, mostly football. Two of them are sports journalists. A third is a journalist specializing in legal issues, and a fourth is a scientist and engineer.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:26 am
Mon February 24, 2014

The Scramble Talks TV, Drones, and Big Changes in Sports

Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in House of Cards
Credit www.emmys.com

There's something exciting about a critic who challenges your perceptions in a compelling way. I love the movie American Hustle but when I read Willa Paskin's take-down of it in Slate, she really got me thinking. 

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Basketball
9:45 am
Mon February 24, 2014

VIDEO: Warm Reception As NBA's Jason Collins Makes History

Jason Collins of the Brooklyn Nets during Sunday's game against the Lakers in Los Angeles.
Jeff Gross Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 12:01 pm

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Winter Olympics
5:06 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Same Banned Substance Fells German Biathlete, Italian Bobsledder

Germany's Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle has left her country's Olympic contingent — and Sochi — after testing positive for a banned stimulant. She's seen here in the biathlon earlier this week; Sachenbacher-Stehle finished fourth.
Odd Andersen AFP/Getty Images

Germany's Sochi 2014 contingent is reeling from the news that Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle, a former Olympic medalist in cross-country skiing who took fourth place in the biathlon Monday, has tested positive for banned substances at the Sochi Winter Olympics. An Italian athlete also tested positive, officials said Friday.

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Winter Olympics
11:35 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Women Are Front And Center In Today's Olympic Events

The Canadian women beat the U.S. in an early round match in Sochi on Feb. 12. The two teams face each other again today for the gold medal.
Matt Slocum AP

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 7:32 pm

Forget about the men. There's only one Olympic hockey rivalry that matters today, and it's between the women.

The women's hockey teams of Canada and the U.S. will face off today for Olympic gold. It's the latest square-off in a tug of war that's been hot since 1998, when the U.S. team won the first Olympic gold in women's hockey, beating Canada.

Update at 6:30 p.m. ET: Canada Won, 3-2

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Winter Olympics
4:53 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

The Roller Rink Where Olympians Are Born

Youth inline skaters line up to practice sprint starts at Pattison's West in Federal Way, Wash. (Tom Banse/Northwest News Network)

At the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the U.S. has collected no medals so far in speedskating, an uncharacteristic result.

The Americans’ best remaining hope for hardware rests with short track speedskater J.R. Celski and the men’s relay team. Celski began his career at a skating rink in the Seattle suburb of Federal Way, the same city where his former speedskating idol Apolo Ohno got his start.

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Winter Olympics
8:31 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Team USA's Ted Ligety Wins Gold In Giant Slalom

Ted Ligety of Team USA celebrates Wednesday after winning the men's giant slalom event at the Sochi Winter Games.
Hans Klaus Techt EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 8:10 am

Ted Ligety is now only the second American to ever earn two Olympic gold medals in Alpine skiing after finishing first Wednesday in the giant slalom at the Sochi Winter Games.

As USA Today writes:

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:57 am
Fri February 14, 2014

The Nose Questions God and Atheists; Judging the Morality of Athletes

Irene Papoulis is a principal lecturer in the Allan K. Smith Center for Writing and Rhetoric at Trinity College
Chion Wolf WNPR

I was still digesting some of the lessons of the play "Freud's Last Session" -- a 90 minute conversation between Freud and C.S. Lewis -- when I stumbled upon Adam Gopnik's New Yorker essay about rise of polemical atheism -- that is atheism that takes an openly contemptuous tone toward faith.

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Winter Olympics
2:22 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Why Some Olympians Load Up On Salad Instead Of Pasta

Peter Frenette of the United States jumps during training for the Men's Normal Hill Individual ahead of the start of the Sochi Games.
Lars Baron Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 11:53 am

When we imagine Olympic athletes at the table before the most important competition of their lives, we might picture a huge plate of pasta, with Gatorade to wash it down and a well-deserved ice cream sundae for dessert.

Turns out, they might be preparing with a salad, a glass of beet juice and some almonds.

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Winter Olympics
1:51 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Shaun White Falls Just Short Of Three-Peat Quest In Half-Pipe

Shaun White, right, congratulates gold medalist Iouri Podladtchikov of Switzerland after the Snowboard Men's Halfpipe Finals of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Tuesday.
Al Bello Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 1:47 pm

In an event that came down to a dramatic final run, American snowboarder Shaun White finished in fourth place in the men's halfpipe Tuesday, falling just short of the podium with a score of 90.25. White needed a score of better than 94.75 to take gold.

The margin was close – the top four men all finished with scores above 90. But Switzerland's Iouri Podladtchikov moved from third to first place on his second run, in the event in which only the best score is counted.

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Winter Olympics
6:42 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Slopestyle Skier Devin Logan Keeps It Cool, But She's 'All In'

Devin Logan practices during a ski slopestyle training session in Sochi on Friday. She says she doesn't stress about competing, even on a course that some have called dangerous. "What we do is scary in general," she says. "But we know how to do it."
Cameron Spencer Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 7:01 pm

Much of the attention on the slopestyle events in Sochi has been focused on snowboarders like Shaun White. But Devin Logan and her other American teammates twist and soar down mountains, too — on skis.

I first met Logan at an Olympic qualifier event in Colorado back in December. We were hanging out at the base of the halfpipe watching the competition. She's 20. She smiles a lot. We bonded over Instagram and 2 Chainz. I told her I'd look for her in Sochi — but she didn't know then if she'd even make the U.S. team.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:20 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Scrambling to Make Sense of Russia, Woody Allen, and the Westminster Dog Show

A happy dog!!
Credit Goingslo / Creative Commons

While visitors watching the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, enjoy spectacular feats of athletic ability from the world's most accomplished athletes, those in Russia's LGBT community anticipate laws that punish Russians for even suggesting that it's okay to be gay, let alone live openly as a gay adult.

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Football
10:20 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Coming Out Complicates Player's Prospects, NFL Execs Say

Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Michael Sam.
Rick Scuteri AP

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 3:55 pm

Michael Sam has been a star defensive end at the University of Missouri. He's been an All-American and The Associated Press SEC Defensive Player of the Year.

A senior, he's been among the players scouts have said are sure to be selected by an NFL team when the league holds its draft on May 8-9.

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Winter Olympics
9:14 am
Sun February 9, 2014

U.S. Speedskaters Get A Little Help From Their Friends

From left: U.S. Speedskaters Kelly Gunther, Brittany Bowe, Heather Richardson and Sugar Todd are aiming for Olympic glory in Sochi, Russia.
Matthew Stockman Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 4:15 pm

Speedskating is the U.S.'s most successful winter Olympic Sport. In Sochi this year, great things are expected again.

The secret to their success includes talent, skill and hard work, but there's also a network of support that buoys the team.

Two-time gold medalist Shani Davis is looking to win a history-making third: He would be the first speedskater to win the same event in three different Olympics.

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Winter Olympics
7:53 am
Sun February 9, 2014

U.S. Sweeps Slopestyle Snowboarding With Women's Gold

Jamie Anderson of the United States, center, celebrates with silver medalist Enni Rukajarvi of Finland, left, and bronze medalist Jenny Jones of Britain, after Anderson won the women's snowboard slopestyle final at the 2014 Winter Olympics, on Sunday.
Sergei Grits AP

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 12:06 pm

Jamie Anderson's win in the slopestyle snowboarding competition has given the U.S. a sweep of the event following Saturday's win by Sage Kotsenburg.

Anderson's near-flawless run clinched the women's gold.

The Associated Press reports:

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Winter Olympics
8:51 am
Sat February 8, 2014

U.S. Snowboard Wins First Gold Of Sochi Olympics

Sage Kotsenburg takes a jump during the men's snowboard slopestyle final at the 2014 Winter Olympics on Saturday.
Sergei Grits AP

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 6:27 am

Sage Kotsenburg of the United States won the first gold medal of the 2014 Olympics on Saturday, soaring to victory in the men's snowboarding slopestyle final.

Kotsenburg had a score of 93.50 to edge Staale Sandbech of Norway. Mark McMorris of Canada, who barely made the finals, took bronze.

Canadian Max Parrot, who topped qualifying on Thursday, missed the podium. He washed out at the end of his first run and his second run wasn't quite crisp enough. Parrot finished fifth.

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Yankees
5:18 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Alex Rodriguez Drops Lawsuit Against Baseball, Players Union

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez in September 2013.
Patrick Smith Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 7:32 pm

Baseball super star Alex Rodriguez dropped a federal lawsuit against Major League Baseball and its players union that challenged a 162-game suspension.

The federal lawsuit was the Yankees third baseman's last chance at trying to overturn the unprecedented punishment handed down by the league over allegations that Rodriguez used performance-enhancing drugs and then tried to scuttle an investigation into his use of the drugs.

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Connecticut Olympian
3:47 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Ridgefield Supports Their Olympian With a Luge Screening

The luge track at Sochi will be on display at the Ridgefield Playhouse on Saturday.
Credit Digital Vision/Photodisc / Thinkstock

The Olympic Games officially get underway on Friday in Sochi, Russia, with opening ceremonies airing Friday night. Three billion are expected to watch as teams from around the world gather in Fisht Stadium to celebrate the start of the games.

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Winter Olympics
2:51 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

A Homemade Wooden Luge Track Launches Teen To Sochi

Tucker West started in luge when he was 6.
Brett West

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 11:10 pm

It's single-digit cold as Brett West steps into the snow in his backyard in Ridgefield, Conn., and points to a wooden monstrosity. It stands 32 feet high and looks kind of like a wooden roller coaster.

"The whole thing's made of wood — two-by-fours, four-by-fours and 3-quarter-inch plywood, all pressure-treated lumber, with a lot of screws."

The homemade track was the first training ground for his son, Tucker, an 18-year-old who is the youngest member of the U.S. luge team in Sochi.

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Winter Olympics
3:23 am
Fri February 7, 2014

In Team Event, Figure Skating Rivals Cheer For Each Other

Marissa Castelli (front center) and Simon Shnapir (front right) of the U.S. wait for their scores in the pairs short program Thursday in Sochi. With them are coach Robert Martin and teammates (back, from left) Jeremy Abbott, Charlie White and Meryl Davis.
Darren Cummings/Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 11:26 am

There's always a lot of drama in figure skating, and not necessarily on the ice. There's the judging and the personalities — think Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding.

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Winter Olympics
4:58 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Trains May Be Slow In Sochi, But The Snowboarders Are Flying High

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:55 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Enough talk about whether or not Russia is ready to host the Olympics, it's time. The competitions have begun. Snowboarders and figure skaters took to the snow and ice today, even though the Opening Ceremony doesn't happen until tomorrow.

NPR's Robert Smith traveled with Russian fans to the first event to see if years of planning have paid off.

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Winter Olympics
5:16 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Airline Loses Jamaican Bobsled Team's Belongings

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:59 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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