athletes

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:

Winter Olympics
6:01 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Before Taking The Ice, Olympian Gives Thanks For Family

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 10:23 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And finally this hour, a U.S. Olympic athlete in her own words. Kacey Bellamy plays defense for the U.S. women's hockey team. This is her second trip to the Olympics. She was on the team that made it to the final round in Vancouver in 2010. They lost to Canada, 2-0. Bellamy grew up in Westfield, Massachusetts. And as she prepares for this year's games, she took some time to reflect on the role her family has played in her career.

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Winter Olympics
12:42 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

A Tiny Town Steeped In Skiing Tradition Has Its First Olympian

Russell Currier competes at the Biathlon World Championships in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, last year.
Fehim Demir EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 8:12 am

Ask locals to describe the landscape in the tiny town of Stockholm, up near the tip of northern Maine, and more than one will call it a winter wonderland. Woods dot the landscape of rolling white fields, and snow-covered spruce trees nestle roadways.

Winter is a long season, and you've got to find something fun to make it through — like skiing.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:19 am
Mon February 3, 2014

The Scramble: The Famous Are Human Too

Philip Seymour Hoffman
Credit Justin Hoch and the Hudson Union Society / Creative Commons

On Sunday, two people named Dylan made news. So much so that you had to be careful on Twitter. If you tweeted "Dylan sold out" about Bob Dylan's Super Bowl commercials, you might offend people who thought you meant Dylan Farrow who broke 20 years of silence to talk about her memory of childhood molestation by Woody Allen. 

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Athlete Safety
3:26 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Young Athletes Risk Back Injury By Playing Too Much

A West Coast team player kicks the ball during a match at the Adidas Challenges America's Youth Soccer Stars tournament in Venice, Calif.
Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 9:27 am

Jack Everett sat on his living room couch wearing a back brace, eyes glued to a massive TV set playing his favorite video game, NHL 2013.

"I'm the Boston Bruins," the 10-year-old said as he deftly worked the video controls. "The guy that just shot was Milan Lucic. He's a really good guy on our team."

Whether at home or during recess at his elementary school in suburban Los Angeles, Jack's young life now is about sitting still.

"Well, I can eat lunch with friends, and I play cards," Jack says. But his classmates are out running and jumping outside.

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Football
9:17 am
Sun February 2, 2014

There's 'More To Life Than Sports': Lineman On Leaving NFL

John Moffitt, #74, protects Seattle Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst in a 2011 game versus the Cincinnati Bengals.
Otto Greule Jr Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 4:35 am

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

John Moffitt started playing football when he was 8 years old, and made it all the way to the top of the game. He played offensive lineman for the Seattle Seahawks for two seasons, then got traded to another powerhouse team, the Denver Broncos.

Incidentally, those two teams are playing in Super Bowl XLVIII, but Moffitt won't be on the field; he quit midway through this season.

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Olympics
10:03 am
Sat February 1, 2014

U.S. Figure Skaters Are Underdogs In These Games

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 12:00 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Winter Olympics
3:31 am
Thu January 30, 2014

'Mariachi Olympic Prince' Takes Glamour To Sochi Ski Slopes

Mexican-born Hubertus Von Hohenlohe, a German prince, plans to ski in style for the Winter Olympics.
Courtesy of Alex Jorio

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 8:38 am

In Sochi, Russia, Hubertus Von Hohenlohe will compete in his sixth Winter Olympics. The 55-year-old downhill skier and German prince won't be skiing under the flag of his royal heritage, however. He'll be with the team of his birthplace, Mexico.

In honor of his Querido Mexico (beloved homeland), Hohenlohe says he will race down the Russian slopes decked out in a state-of-the-art mariachi ski suit.

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Schooling Athletes
3:29 am
Thu January 30, 2014

High Schoolers Hit The Slopes, And The Books, At Team Academy

Elite athletes at Team Academy keep up their education in classrooms like this one; their training facilities are downstairs in the same building.
Sarah Brunson USSA

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 10:41 am

Freestyle aerial skier Mac Bohonnon recently finished second at the Val St. Come World Cup in Quebec, and that helped him qualify for the Olympics in Sochi. But when he's not doing triple-twisting double backflips, he's taking Advanced Placement classes at Team Academy in Park City, Utah.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:29 am
Mon January 27, 2014

The Scramble Shares Limited Information About Today's Show: FOI and Football

In 2012, professional football players suffered 1,496 severe injuries.
Credit Ron Cogswell / Creative Commons

It's Monday. That means our show is The Scramble, where we make a lot of decisions on a last minute basis. We asked our super guest, Marc Tracy of The New Republic, to pick three topics about which Colin would quickly get up to speed. 

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Winter Olympics
6:26 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Aerial Skiing Is A Game Of Skill — And Strategy

Emily Cook trains in aerials for the Visa Freestyle International in Park City, Utah, last February.
Matthew Stockman Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 8:08 pm

During the Winter Olympics, seeing an aerial skier perform is unforgettable.

It's like gymnastics in the air. And, like gymnasts, aerial skiers get points for doing a harder routine and for sticking the landing. But there's a crucial difference between the two sports.

In the final few rounds of aerials, you can't use the same trick twice. Sometimes, after seeing what the athletes before you have done, you have to change which moves you'll use in the very last seconds.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:10 am
Tue January 21, 2014

The Scramble Is on the Scrimmage Line

The Miniature Football Coaches Association is comprised of hobbyists and collectors passionate about electric football
Credit Stefano Tinti/iStock / Thinkstock

Through no act of overarching planning, all three of our segments today will deal directly, or otherwise, with sports.

In our first segment, we talk with Linda Holmes from the NPR culture blog, Monkey See. We also delve into the controversy over a recent New York Times column by former executive editor, Bill Keller

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Winter Olympics
3:32 am
Mon January 20, 2014

U.S. Olympic Skier Finds Team Spirit, Minus The Team

Kris Freeman, skiiing here for the U.S. team in 2011, during the Winter Games NZ, was cut from the U.S. Ski team before the upcoming Sochi Olympic Games. Freeman has had to train without their support and still hopes to qualify to compete in Russia.
Hannah Johnston Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 8:57 pm

The U.S. Olympic team is taking shape in the run-up to next month's Winter Games in Russia. This week, the Olympic cross-country ski team names the athletes who'll be going to Sochi, and veteran Kris Freeman is vying for another spot.

The 33-year-old Freeman already has been to three Olympic Games, and he's considered the country's best long distance racer over the past decade.

All that despite the fact that he has diabetes.

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Winter Olympics
5:26 am
Sat January 18, 2014

Sibling Snowboarders Hope To Reach Olympics At The Same Time

Taylor Gold competes at the 2013 U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colo., one of the qualifying events for the U.S. team. His sister Arielle is also competing in the women's contest.
Sarah Brunson U.S. Snowboarding

Originally published on Sat January 18, 2014 11:35 am

Patty Gold may be the loudest spectator at the bottom of the half-pipe, with her cheers, gasps and the yelling of her children's names. She mostly stands perfectly still with her hands clasped to her face, waiting for scores, safe landings, and possibly medals.

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Sweetness and Light
10:34 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Women's Team Sports: Where Is The Love?

Candace Parker (right) of the Los Angeles Sparks and Candice Dupree of the Phoenix Mercury during Game 2 of their WNBA semifinal series in September.
Matt York AP

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 11:51 am

Two recent sporting disappointments underscore the state of interest in women in sports. The first: Lindsey Vonn, sadly acknowledging that her injuries were too serious, announced that she would not be able to compete in the Olympics next month. The second: The owners of the Los Angeles Sparks, acknowledging that they were overwhelmed by debt, just gave up the franchise.

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Skiing
5:49 am
Wed January 8, 2014

31-Year-Old Hopes To Ski Past Her (Younger) Competitors

Holly Brooks competes in the 2012 Cross-Country World Cup tour in Sweden. If she makes it to Sochi, it would be her second Olympics.
Jonas Ekstromer AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 10:26 am

On a frigid day at Hatcher Pass, north of Anchorage, Alaska, cross-country skier Holly Brooks glides up to a start line.

This race is just a practice with her Alaska Pacific University teammates. It's a chance for Brooks to test her skills before heading to Europe for the busy World Cup season, and then to Sochi in February for the Winter Olympics. Brooks is now a seasoned member of the U.S. Ski Team, but a little more than four years ago, she was on the sidelines.

On July 4, 2009, that all changed.

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Olympics
5:10 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Lindsey Vonn Is Out, But Some Advertisers May Still Win

Skier Lindsey Vonn in Vail, Colo., in November. Vonn's high profile has won her several lucrative commercial sponsors, including Red Bull, Procter & Gamble, Under Armour and Rolex, among others.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 8:50 am

Lindsey Vonn's decision to sit out next month's Olympic Games because of a knee injury is surely a personal and professional disappointment for the Alpine skiing star. But Olympic athletes with Vonn's star power also mean big advertising dollars — and not competing in Sochi may create winners and losers among the skier's sponsors.

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Olympics
9:05 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Skier Lindsey Vonn Will Miss Winter Olympics Due To Injury

Skier Lindsey Vonn in November, before her latest injury.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 6:38 pm

Saying she is "devastated" to have to miss the competition, Team USA's best-known and most dominant Alpine skier said Tuesday that she will not be competing in next month's Winter Olympics.

Here's what Linsey Vonn posted on her Facebook page:

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