Athletes Jesse Owens and Carl Ludwig "Luz" Long, competitors at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, became devoted friends and corresponded long after Owens returned to America. [more inside]
Amid a potential financial disaster and accessibility problems, on Wednesday, September 7, the 15th Summer Paralympic Games will begin in Rio de Janeiro. The Rome 1960 Paralympic Games included only eight events. At Rio 2016, athletes will compete in 23 scheduled sports. A list of broadcasters by country is available here. Some sports only have one classification, while others have several... [more inside]
In June of 2015, Chris Mosier, "athlete, coach, cool dude," and also a trans man, earned a spot on the US National team in Sprint Duathlon. He is now training for the world championships. But will he be allowed to compete? [more inside]
Playing in the Red: College athletic departments are taking in more money than ever – and spending it just as fast — a Washington Post report on how perennial NCAA powerhouses and aspiring contenders alike are using student fees to pay for exploding athletic department budgets. [more inside]
Jamaal Charles, star running back for the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs, offers an inspiring speech at the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics. He discusses the influence competing in the Special Olympics had on his own life as he struggled with a learning disability as a boy.
When a female student sued the University of Oregon over their manipulation of the punishment of three basketball players for gangraping her in order to allow them to compete in the NCAA Tournament, the university came up with a novel defense strategy: they released her records from the campus health center from when she sought therapy after the rape to their legal team. Without either consent from the student or a legal order opening the records to discovery. The scariest part: they may very well be in the legal clear. [more inside]
“So You Want to Pick Up and Lift a Man Overhead”: A Fitness Roundtable: The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it wasn’t any more ridiculous or unlikely than any headline or superlative you catch on a mainstream fitness magazine, like “Get Amazing Abs in 16 Minutes!” I figured any program written to help a woman pick up a man and lift him overhead was going to lead to better overall health and fitness than any program written to “reveal your abs” in short period of time. [more inside]
Over a period of 18 years, 3100 students at The University of North Carolina were afforded the opportunity to pad their GPA by taking classes that had no actual requirements, and never even met. Over 1/2 the students were athletes, who without the help presumably would not have stayed eligible to
compete make money for the University.
"Like South African 800m sensation Caster Semenya before her, Chand discovered - in bold newsprint - that she had natural levels of the hormone testosterone normally only found in men. It did not take long before reporters were outside her parents' humble home asking them and her six siblings if she was a boy or a girl." [Via BBC Sport] [more inside]
This past Sunday, Philadelphia's Taney Dragons punched their ticket to the Little League World Series behind the complete game shutout pitching performance of Mo'Ne Davis, who at 13-years-old already throws a 70 MPH fastball. Davis will become only the 17th girl to play in the LLWS in 68 years. She has become an inspiration to others as she redefines what it means to "throw like a girl".
Very pregnant Alysia Montano runs at U.S. Championships Montano said she knew she wouldn’t advance out of the first round. Rather, she viewed her participation as a celebration. Video of the race and her finish.
The large got larger. The small got smaller. The weird got weirder. When you look at sporting achievements over the last decades, it seems like humans have gotten faster, better and stronger in nearly every way. Yet as David Epstein points out in this delightfully counter-intuitive talk, we might want to lay off the self-congratulation. Many factors are at play in shattering athletic records, and the development of our natural talents is just one of them. TED talk, 14:53
Curious about which sport has the best odds of a male or female High School or College player going pro? OSMguy has a data visualization for that. [Via Tableau's Viz of the Day]
Northwestern Football Players Are Trying To Unionize. More coverage from Deadspin, ThinkProgress, and Bleacher Report. The NCAA's predictable response.
Nightmare in Maryville - The Kansas City Star investigates the backlash against the victims family after rape charges were brought (and dropped) against local atheletes. The pattern of victim blaming and local indiference have brought comparisons to the Steubenville, Ohio case (previously) and anger on the internet. Meanwhile the Grand Jury investigation into Steubenville has brought it's first charges against an adult involved with the cover-up.
Is Your (U.S) State's Highest-Paid Employee A (Football) Coach? and why they deserve it. [more inside]
1st Triple Play of 2013. The Yankees pull off a unique 4-6-5-6-5-3-4 triple play. It's the first turned by NY since they executed a more conventional version in 2010. But as an A's fan, I prefer this one, which is is bit more uncommon.
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
T. Boone Pickens and other wealthy, elderly Oklahoma State alums decided to participate in a scheme named "Call of a Lifetime", where they would allow the university to take out $10 million life insurance policies on them. What could go wrong?
Clearing the Bar Is the Easy Part: [NYTimes] "Mark Hollis is a pole-vaulter, and while he and his competitors here feel significant pressure as they compete for a place on the Olympic team, the anxiety they experience just trying to get their equipment to meets is sometimes even more excruciating."
Adaptive sports are generally limited to people with disabilities. What if everyone participated in adaptive sports?
Not content with displacing the poor, menacing photographers and blocking ambulances the london olympics now wants ground-to-air missiles, presumably to shoot down rogue skywriters who might misuse it's brand.
Dick Pfander's obsession with basketball box scores means that every NBA box score in the league's history is now accessible.
The historian Taylor Branch, who in October published a lengthy excoriation of the N.C.A.A. in The Atlantic, comparing it to “the plantation,” was only the most recent voice to call for players to be paid. Like most such would-be reformers, however, he didn’t offer a way to go about it. That’s what I’m setting out to do here. Over the last few months, in consultation with sports economists, antitrust lawyers and reformers, I put together the outlines of what I believe to be a realistic plan to pay those who play football and men’s basketball in college. Although the approach may appear radical at first glance, that’s mainly because we’ve been brainwashed into believing that there’s something fundamentally wrong with rewarding college athletes with cold, hard cash. There isn’t. Paying football and basketball players will not ruin college sports or cause them to become “subcontractors.” Indeed, given the way big-time college sports are going, paying the players may be the only way to save them. - Joe Nocera, Let's Start Paying College Athletes [more inside]
Are Big Time Sports a Threat to Student Achievement? A study by 3 University of Oregon economists suggests that male University of Oregon students’ grades drop during successful seasons for the UO football team, as students study less and drink and party more to celebrate Duck victories. [more inside]
Serum hemoglobin is related to endurance running performance. Smoking is known to enhance serum hemoglobin levels ... alcohol may further enhance this beneficial adaptation.A recent paper by Kenneth Myers in the Canadian Medical Association Journal reviews the potential benefits of smoking for endurance atheletes. [more inside]
Here's the deal: If you don't play for, or you are not an employee of, the team in question, "we" is not the pronoun you're looking for. "They" is the word you want.Why "We" is the most overused term in sports.
Embarrassment alert: some would say Channel 4 hired the wrong man (Youtube) to host live coverage of the Athletics World Championships. The consensus seems to be that Channel 4 are to blame.
"When I go to heaven, they're going to tell me where I really finished in the world." Ted McClelland suggests that women's track and field records be abolished to "give today's runners realistic times to chase." An As It Happens (CBC) interview with McClelland begins around 11:40 of this link.
The Aeronautical Pentathlon Has Six Events—and Flying Doesn't Count. Aeronautical pentathlon—which inexplicably has six events—is a riff on the modern pentathlon at the Olympics. Created 63 years ago, the military pilots' version has pretty much flown under the radar. And though the sport is based on flying, the nonflying parts of the competition determine the winner. While it is exclusively practiced by air forces, it was always excluded from the military Olympics—called the World Military Games—until last month's event in Rio de Janeiro. ... and the home team wins. [more inside]
The unlevel playing field - "Contrary to popular perception, poverty and broken homes are underrepresented in the NBA, not overrepresented. ... We believe that skills always trump circumstances. But that's a myth."
An oldie but a goodie: Don Reese, then of the San Diego Chargers, talks about his own problems with cocaine and the widespread drug use in the NFL at the time. [more inside]
In 2006, Joss Naylor ran 50 miles up and down seventy Lake District fells, ascending more than 25,000 feet in 21 hours. Not his best performance, but to be fair, he was 70 at the time. Cumbrian shepherd Joss Naylor (warning: Youtube link; Cumbrian accent, impossibly adorable sheepdog) is one of the greatest British athletes most people have never heard of, and perhaps the greatest competitor ever in a sport most people have never heard of either: fell-running. [more inside]
Jessica Hilltout has been traveling around Africa taking pictures of matches as they are played in the continent's small villages, its players, goals, boots and balls. It is especially striking to compare that last collection to all the official World Cup balls. You can see slightly larger versions of some of Hilltout's pictures here and here.
Bulgaria is not what you'd call a wealthy country. It has a smaller population than New York City. But Bulgaria utterly dominates the sport of Olympic Weightlifting. A full explanation of this prowess is beyond the scope of a simple blog post, but I will share with you this six-minute video about a man who built a nationally-ranked team training his athletes with barbells made of pipes and cogs and assorted industrial junk. I hope this goes at least a little way towards explaining their remarkable accomplishments.
Kelly Kulick just won the PBA Tournament (warning automatic video starts with this link). She is one of the first female professional athletes to ever win a prominent national sporting event against the best males in the sport. Interesting article questioning why she isn't being given more national recognition.
Cleveland Rocks! While the IOC is still preparing to elect the host city for for 2016 Olympics, the (unaffiliated) Federation of Gay Games has just announced that the 2014 Gay Games will be held on Lake Erie, with Cleveland's bid beating those of Washington, DC and Boston. [more inside]
US Pole Dance Championships 2009 (no nudity, but possibly NSFW) It’s significant to understand that pole dancing is not stripping. This misconception prevents pole dancing from becoming something every woman should be able to enjoy. Pole dancing is a sensual athletic dance form that demands coordination, flexibility and physical strength. Like the Jane Fonda workout combined with Cirque du Soleil.
Peak Performance is a website featuring dozens of articles on just about every aspect of sports science, including large sections devoted to cycling, swimming and sports psychology. Some of my own favorites deal with the beneficial effects of Omega-3 fatty acids, the Chinese government’s plan to dominate the Olympics, Veronique Billat’s 30-30 running workouts and how to increase growth hormone levels naturally.
Baseball's White Elephants: When the Philadelphia Athletics joined the American League, Muggsy McGraw derided the team as White Elephants ^. Though the team has moved on, the Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society still follows the Elephant Trail.
My eensy-beensy alma mater in eastern Wisconsin currently has the only undefeated men's basketball team in the nation. This is not just in the NCAA, but in the NAIA as well. It's a Division III team, and its only loss this season didn't count--it was to Division I UW-Madison in an exhibition game. Like most Division III schools, Lawrence offers no athletic scholarships whatsoever. Its immediate past president, Richard Warch, in a 1987 speech at the NCAA national convention, controversially called for abolishment of all athletic scholarships.
Anyone up for a quick game of Murderball?
The Naked Olympics
Sex, nude sports, violence, boozing; a scholar's view of ancient Olympic practices.
Sex, nude sports, violence, boozing; a scholar's view of ancient Olympic practices.
On sunday, Rush Limbaugh commented that Donovan McNabb, quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, was overrated and was only seen favourably by the media because they want to see a black quarterback do well. McNabb responded, and earlier tonight Limbaugh resigned from his post on ESPN's pre-game show. N.D. Kalu, one of the Eagle's defensive ends, offered this choice quote: "He speaks well, he's well-read, but he's an idiot."
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