Sports

Sports
3:36 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Don't Overlook The Unsung Umpire; Referees Can Be Pretty, Too

Referee Mendy Rudolph officiates a Knicks-Pistons game in 1971. Refs often say it's best to go unnoticed, but an official who "makes a call with vigor and elan is really a beautiful part of the game," says Frank Deford.
AP

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 12:57 pm

Not so long ago, while enjoying a libation in a decorous saloon, the proprietor — who happened to hail from the fabled Windy City — suddenly jarred the genteel assembled by turning on the Cubs game. Just at that moment, a Cubby was heading toward the plate when the throw came in, and the runner (spoiler alert!), being a Cub, was tagged out.

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Sports
12:15 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Javon Francis, Jamaica's Next Big Running Star

Javon Francis takes the baton in the men's 4x400 relay heats during the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Moscow in August.
Ian Walton Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 6:48 am

The stadium was quiet as eight schoolboys settled into the blocks for the start of the 400-meter finals at Jamaica's annual Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association Boys and Girls Athletic Championships earlier this year — "Champs for short. The favorite? Nineteen-year-old Javon Francis. Case closed. Spectators sat in their seats munching on food and chatting with friends when the starter gun went off.

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Sports
3:42 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Afghan Female Cyclists: Breaking Away, And Breaking Taboos

The women of the Afghan National Cycling Federation team train outside Kabul, the capital. They face poor road conditions, terrible traffic, lots of gawking and even threats of violence in pursuit of their sport.
Peter Breslow NPR

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 11:38 am

On a recent day, just west of Kabul — where the city's sooty sky gives way to fresher air — Abdul Sadiq coaches four young members of the Afghan National Cycling Federation. They're working on their riding technique while dodging the free-form traffic.

"The road is very narrow. Make sure you don't get into an accident, as you can see the cars are coming," the former competitive cyclist tells them, amid zooming vehicles and honking horns.

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Sports
5:12 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Why Would The NAACP Honor Donald Sterling Anyway?

Actress Meagan Good and actor Chris Brown present an award during the 37th Annual NAACP Image Awards on Feb. 25, 2006
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 10:45 pm

Update: The NAACP issued a press release on Thursday advising that Leon Jenkins has resigned his post as president of the Los Angeles chapter. The national organization said it is "developing guidelines for its branches to help them in their award selection process."

"The Los Angeles NAACP intention to honor Mr. Sterling for a lifetime body of work must be withdrawn, and the donation that he's given to the Los Angeles NAACP will be returned."

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Sports
7:33 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
3:51 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

The Ragged Edge: A Runner Chasing Greatness Finds His Muse

Eric Ashe, 25, is hoping to qualify for the Olympic marathon trials at the Boston Marathon this spring.
Eyder Peralta NPR

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 7:32 pm

Through the spring, NPR will be tracking eight runners competing in the 2014 Boston Marathon. This is the story of Eric Ashe, the fastest of the eight.

At mile 10, he could tell it was going to be close. Eric had consistently run each mile at a 4:47 pace.

He had to finish 13.1 miles in 65 minutes to qualify for a spot in the Olympic trials in Los Angeles in 2016.

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Sports
1:21 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Rhythmic Gymnastics Competition Returns To Columbus

For the 4th consecutive year, Columbus will host the Spring Fling International Rhythmic Gymnastics Invitational. 

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Sports
10:50 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Michael Sam, A Distraction? Please

Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel with players Robert Luce (from left) and Michael Sam, ahead of the Cotton Bowl in January.
Tim Sharp AP

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 8:05 am

Now that Michael Sam, an NFL draft prospect, has announced that he is gay, there's been a lot of mumbling that he would be a distraction — but it's really an issue of antipathy.

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Sports
9:12 am
Mon February 10, 2014

NFL Prospect Michael Sam Comes Out As Gay

Missouri senior defensive lineman Michael Sam speaks to the media during an NCAA college football news conference in Irving, Texas. Sam revealed in interviews on Sunday that he is gay.
Brandon Wade AP

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 3:30 pm

On Sunday, in interviews with The New York Times and on ESPN's Outside the Lines, Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam said that he is gay.

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Sports
10:36 am
Thu February 6, 2014

How To Watch All Of The Games: Step 1, Prove Yourself Worthy

Rebecca Torr of New Zealand competed Thursday in the women's slopestyle qualification at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Mike Ehrmann Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 2:14 pm

Now that the Winter Games have begun, it's time to remind fans in the U.S. about how to watch them.

As NPR TV critic Eric Deggans said earlier this week:

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Sports
8:56 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Seattle Dominates Denver To Win Its First Super Bowl

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson stiff-arms Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey on Sunday during Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Jeff Zelevansky Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 9:52 am

The Seattle Seahawks defeated the Denver Broncos 43-8 to win Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. on Sunday night, the first Super Bowl victory in the team's history.

The game got off to an odd start on the first play from scrimmage when Broncos center Manny Ramirez snapped the ball past quarterback Peyton Manning, who was walking up to the line and didn't have his hands ready. That set the tone for the trouncing the Broncos would receive over the course of the night at the hands of the voracious Seahawks.

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Sports
3:25 am
Mon February 3, 2014

The Games Are A Great Party, But Not A Great Investment

Graffiti covers a vent adjacent to the Athens Olympic Stadium in this photo from Feb. 18, 2012. Expenditures on the 2004 Athens Summer Games contributed to the country's debt load, which sparked the current economic crisis.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 7:02 pm

NPR correspondents Ari Shapiro, in London, and Joanna Kakissis, in Athens, teamed up for this joint look at Olympics economics.

The Winter Olympics in Sochi are just a few days away. Russia has spent $50 billion on everything from construction to security, making these the most expensive games in history.

Countries often justify the Olympic-sized price tag by saying the investment pays off in increased business and tourism.

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Sports
1:03 pm
Thu January 30, 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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Sports
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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Sports
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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Sports
7:22 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

A Baby Didn't Bump These Moms Out Of Competition

Malaysian shooting athlete Nur Suryani Taibi was eight months pregnant in 2012 as she prepared for the Summer Olympics in London.
Rebecca Blackwell AP

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 5:32 pm

Let's be clear: Olympians handle the physical challenges of childbirth differently than most of the rest of us.

Aretha Thurmond is a discus thrower who'd already competed in two Olympics when she went to the hospital in labor.

"So I get there and they're like, 'Yeah, whatever, you're 4 centimeters dilated. Go walk around the hospital and come back,' " she says.

Thurmond's hospital was part of a university, so she headed straight for its track, where she power-walked for the next two hours. Then the school's discus throwers came out.

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Sports
6:19 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

How To Follow The Sochi Olympics On Twitter

You don't need a fancy outfit and a torch to connect to the 2014 Winter Olympics. Just use Twitter.
AP

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 11:05 am

Though Sochi is nine hours ahead of New York, social media will make it easier to keep track of many Winter Olympians in real time. We've compiled Twitter lists for each of the U.S. team rosters. We're also making lists for media, teams and international athletes — and will be adding to them as the Olympics go on.

Feel free to subscribe to any of these lists and follow @nprolympics on Twitter for the latest updates from NPR's team in Sochi.

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Sports
3:19 am
Tue January 21, 2014

After Tragedy At 2010 Games, Sochi Slows Down The Sled Track

A Latvian four-man bobsled team competes in the World Cup on Feb. 17, 2013, at the Sanki Sliding Center near Sochi, Russia. The track, which actually ascends in three places to slow the speed of the athletes, is being used for Olympic bobsled, skeleton and luge next month.
Richard Heathcote Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 11:49 am

With bobsled, luge and skeleton racers rocketing down a winding, ice-covered track, sled racing will be one of the most exciting events at the Winter Olympics next month in Sochi, Russia.

The first thing you have to know about sled racing is that it's a little like NASCAR: It's all about speed. And the tracks, built all over the world — including the new one in Sochi — are really different, according to Steve Holcomb, who won a gold medal in four-man bobsled four years ago.

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Sports
1:20 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Violence, Injuries Headline In NFL, NBA And MLB

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:31 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Safety: the word in sports in 2013. The NFL playoff spots may go to the last players standing; Major League Baseball wants to ban collisions at home plate; and an especially vicious hit in hockey - and that's saying a lot in hockey - renews calls to try to ban violence. Howard Bryant of ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine joins us now from the studios of New England Public Radio. Thanks very much for being with us, my friend.

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Sports
7:52 am
Fri December 13, 2013

2001 Army-Navy Game Marked By Specter Of Sept. 11

Navy players await the start of their annual game against Army, on Dec. 1, 2001.
AP

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 12:59 pm

On Saturday, Army and Navy will take the field to renew their legendary football rivalry for the 114th time. The teams are playing in Philadelphia, which is also where they faced off in 2001, just weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks. The players that year faced a sobering new reality: The nation was at war, and they'd soon leave the football field behind for the battlefield.

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