Tom Goldman

Tom Goldman is NPR's sports correspondent. His reports can be heard throughout NPR's news programming, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and NPR.org.

With a beat covering the entire world of professional sports, both in and outside of the United States, Goldman reporting covers the broad spectrum of athletics from the people to the business of athletics.

During his more than 20 years with NPR, Goldman has covered every major athletic competition including the Super Bowl, the World Series, the NBA Finals, golf and tennis championships, and the Olympic Games.

His pieces are diverse and include both perspective and context. Goldman often explores people's motivations for doing what they do, whether it's solo sailing around the world or pursuing a gold medal. In his reporting, Goldman searches for the stories about the inspirational and relatable amateur and professional athletes.

Goldman contributed to NPR's 2009 Edward R. Murrow award for his coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and to a 2010 Murrow award for contribution to a series on high school football, "Friday Night Lives." Earlier in his career, Goldman's piece about Native American basketball players earned a 2004 Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award from the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University and a 2004 Unity Award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association.

In January 1990, Goldman came to NPR to work as an associate producer for sports with Morning Edition. For the next seven years he reported, edited and produced stories and programs. In June 1997, he became NPR's first full time sports correspondent.

For five years before NPR, Goldman worked as a news reporter and then news director in local public radio. In 1984, he spent a year living on an Israeli kibbutz. Two years prior he took his first professional job in radio in Anchorage, Alaska, at the Alaska Public Radio Network.

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Sports
6:57 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Armstrong Confesses To Doping During Cycling Career

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 9:11 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene, good morning. It was one of the most dramatic about-faces ever, by a public figure. Last night, in a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey, Lance Armstrong confessed to using banned performance-enhancing drugs throughout his bicycle racing career. That included seven straight Tour De France victories, though Armstrong was stripped of those titles late last year.

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Sports
6:06 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Alabama Wins 2nd Consecutive BCS Championship

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 9:32 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. The good news for Notre Dame fans is that they should be well rested this morning. They had no reason to stay up late last night. Alabama took the fight out of the Irish, 42-14, defeating the previously undefeated team and winning the BCS championship. NPR's Tom Goldman was at the game in Miami.

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Education
5:25 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Pa. Governor Sues NCAA Over Penn State Sanctions

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 7:51 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. The governor of Pennsylvania is stepping in on behalf of Penn State University. He's filing an antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA for its sanctions against Penn State. The NCAA had imposed harsh penalties in response to the child sexual abuse case involving the school's former assistant football coach. We'll hear more now from NPR's Tom Goldman.

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Sports
5:15 am
Thu December 20, 2012

'Bowie Over Jordan': A New Look At The Pick That Still Haunts Portland NBA Fans

Sam Bowie of the Portland Trail Blazers shoots over Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of the Los Angeles Lakers during a game circa 1984-1988 at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, Calif. Bowie's NBA career is the subject of a new ESPN documentary airing Thursday.
Rick Stewart Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 11:37 am

In 1984, the Portland Trail Blazers chose Sam Bowie, a 7-foot-1 center from the University of Kentucky, with the second pick in the college draft. The Chicago Bulls then took Michael Jordan.

The words "Bowie over Jordan" are part of pro basketball lore, and are still a source of pain for many fans of the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers. Bowie's tenure in Portland was marred by leg injuries; Jordan became a legend. ESPN recounts it all in a documentary about Bowie on Thursday night.

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Sports
4:48 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Talks Resume In Nation Hockey League Dispute

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Professional hockey is getting close to the moment when it will have to cancel its entire season for the second time in eight years. So far, a lockout that began last September has forced games to be cancelled through the middle of December. The two sides in the National Hockey League labor dispute are expected to meet again today, after nearly 10 hours of talks yesterday.

NPR's Tom Goldman has more.

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Planet Money
12:05 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Lance Armstrong And The Business Of Doping

Christophe Ena AP

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 5:57 pm

The story of Lance Armstrong's alleged doping is, in part, the story of an astonishing business enterprise — an enterprise that drove what the U.S. anti-doping agency called "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program" cycling has ever seen.

The story of that enterprise starts in 1998, when the Festina cycling team was caught at the Tour de France with a car full of banned drugs. According to author Daniel Coyle, this marked a huge shift in the culture of doping in cycling.

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Sports
8:11 am
Mon October 22, 2012

World Cycling Body Upholds U.S. Ruling On Armstrong

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Lance Armstrong became a bicycle racing legend when he won every Tour de France from 1999 to 2005. But after what happened today, there will be no official record of all those victories. Cycling's international governing body announced it will not appeal sanctions by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

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Sports
5:24 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Nike Drops Sponsorship Of Armstrong Over Doping

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 7:09 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

We begin this hour with major fallout for Lance Armstrong. Last week's scathing report from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency linked Armstrong to a widespread doping program in cycling. Today, Armstrong stepped down as chairman of the foundation Livestrong, which he created to support those with cancer. Armstrong also lost major sponsors, including longtime supporter Nike. NPR's Tom Goldman begins our coverage.

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Sports
3:26 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Head Injuries Rattle Even Devout Football Parents

The Angleton Wildcats pose for picture day. The team of 7- and 8-year-olds is from the south Texas town of Angleton.
Tom Goldman NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:16 am

It's Monday after another football weekend in America. From the Friday night drama on high school fields to the multibillion-dollar juggernaut NFL, the game seems as popular as ever.

But in fact, amid the cheering, there's concern — a growing anxiety about head injuries in the sport, from the NFL all the way down to the pee-wee leagues. Some say kids shouldn't be playing until their teenage years. High-profile NFL players have gone on record saying they don't want their children playing at all because of the concussion risk.

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Sports
4:47 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Doping Agency Outlines Evidence Against Armstrong

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 6:41 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Former cycling champion Lance Armstrong conquered mountains to win the Tour de France seven times. Now, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has revealed a mountain of evidence against him. The agency known as USADA documents a sophisticated doping scheme and puts Armstrong and his U.S. Postal Service teammates at the center of it, laying out the reason why Armstrong was banned for life from the sport and stripped of his Tour de France titles.

NPR'S Tom Goldman reports.

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Sports
4:56 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Major League Baseball To Begin Post-Season Play

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 10:19 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Major League Baseball's regular season ended yesterday with the kind of day that would warm the commissioner's heart: fans cheering from coast to coast, a towering achievement for one very good hitter, and the promise of even more excitement to come as the playoffs begin. NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman has been tracking this season. He's on the line.

Good morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hello.

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The Torch
5:47 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Gaming The Games: The Rules That Got Bent In London

Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa celebrates his gold medal in the men's 100m breaststroke. He later admitted that he took extra dolphin kicks during his swim, a violation of the rules.
Adam Pretty Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 8:06 pm

The London Summer Olympics are winding down, and by most accounts, the games have been a success. There were plenty of "thrill of victory, agony of defeat" moments; big, enthusiastic crowds — although there were too many blocks of empty seats; and for those who like a helping of scandal served up at their Olympics, there was that, too.

It wasn't the usual scourge of doping. Instead, the London Olympics had incidents of bending the rules and ethics of sport.

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London 2012: The Summer Olympics
5:08 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Summer Olympics Marked By 'Gaming The Games'

Rarely has cheating been such an issue at the Olympics until this year. From badminton to women's soccer to the South African swimmer who admitted cheating, athletes and their coaches are talking openly about gaming the system. And all of it, ironically, is playing out against the constant background music from Chariots of Fire, that iconic nod to gentlemanly, rule-observing sport.

The Torch
12:48 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Allyson Felix Wins Gold In Women's 200 Meters

American sprinter Allyson Felix leads the field on her way to winning the women's 200 meters gold medal in London's Olympic Stadium.
Quinn Rooney Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 10:29 am

Allyson Felix has won the women's 200 meter race in London's Olympic Stadium, running a time of 21.88. Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce took the silver medal at 22.09, as she wasn't able to track Felix down in the closing stretch.

The four center lanes were stacked with speed, with Jamaica's Fraser-Pryce and defending gold medalist Veronica Campbell-Brown in lanes 4 and 5, respectively. Just outside of them were Americans Sanya Richards-Ross and Felix, in lanes 6 and 7. And on the outside, in lane 9, was Carmelita Jeter.

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Sports
5:24 am
Wed August 8, 2012

U.S. Gymnast Raisman Wins Gold, Bronze Medals

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 11:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

The Fierce Five have finished their run at the London Summer Olympics. Fierce Five is the nickname given to America's whiz-kid female gymnasts - average age just a bit over 16. They started the Games by winning the most important gold medal, in the team event. They finished yesterday with their team captain finally getting a break that seemed elusive. From London, here's NPR's Tom Goldman.

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The Torch
1:02 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

U.S. Judo Athlete Delpopolo Disqualified Over Failed Drug Test

American judo athlete Nick Delpopolo has been disqualified from the London 2012 Games after failing a drug test, according to the International Olympic Committee. The 23-year-old Delpopolo tested positive for the substance THC, found in marijuana.

Delpopolo finished seventh in the 73 kg — or 160.5 pound — judo event. After the competition, his urine sample showed the presence of THC, a prohibited substance in Olympic sport.

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NPR Story
4:34 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Jamaica's Bolt Retains Title As 'World's Fastest Man'

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 1:02 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Usain Bolt remains the world's fastest man. Last night at the London Summer Games, the Jamaican superstar successfully defended his Olympic 100-meter title. Bolt ran his second-fastest time ever, an Olympic record - 9.63 seconds. He joins American Carl Lewis as the only other man to win consecutive Olympic 100s. NPR's Tom Goldman is in London.

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NPR Story
4:34 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Rumors Of Doping Swirl Around Chinese Swimmer

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 6:06 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish. The Chinese swimming champion Ye Shewin has accused a U.S. coach of acting unprofessionally when he suggested she was doping. That's after the 16-year-old blasted past her opponents to win two Olympic gold medals.

It's been a dramatic week for her. Instead of reveling in breakout-star status, she left a controversy in her wake. From London, NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: The London games ended quietly for Ye Shewin.

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London 2012: The Summer Olympics
7:45 am
Tue July 31, 2012

American Men Swimming Upstream In Medal Race

The latest results and what's coming up at the Olympic swimming pool in London — including another shot at Olympic history for American Michael Phelps, and a missed medal for his teammate Ryan Lochte.

London 2012: The Summer Olympics
7:02 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Olympic Swimming Records Smashed, Hopes Dashed

American Dana Vollmer celebrates after her gold medal win Sunday in the women's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park.
Matt Slocum AP

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 5:16 pm

The opening weekend of the Summer Olympics was marked by highs and lows, of course, and the swimming pool had its share of both. World records, a stunning loss and a medal for the home team — and that was all in just one afternoon.

Before American Dana Vollmer answers how a 55.98-second 100-meter butterfly — the fastest time ever, and worth a gold medal — feels, consider this: Vollmer was diagnosed as a teenager with two life-threatening heart conditions that prompted her mom to carry a defibrillator to Dana's races.

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The Torch
11:44 am
Fri July 27, 2012

'Tremendous Honor': Dancing For The World At Olympics Opener

Sasha Feachem (right) will be performing in an urban street dance during the London Olympics' opening ceremony Friday.
Tom Goldman NPR

The London Summer Olympics officially begin today with the opening ceremony. Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle of Slumdog Millionaire has put together the latest Olympic kickoff spectacle. As NPR's Philip Reeves reported yesterday, a preview video has been released.

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NPR Story
4:30 am
Mon July 16, 2012

After Damning Report, Will NCAA Sanction PSU Football?

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 5:45 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renée Montagne. The damning report on Penn State by former FBI director Louis Freeh confirmed, last week, what many said all along - the scandal is the biggest and most damaging in the history of college sports. Of course, child sexual abuse and a cover-up go way beyond the infractions commonly punished by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

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NPR Story
5:13 am
Wed June 27, 2012

College Presidents Approve Switch To Football Playoff System

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 7:08 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

College football fans are belting out a one word chant this morning: Finally. As in finally, there's a post-season playoff at the sport's highest level. Yesterday, a committee of college presidents approved a four-team, three game plan. When it starts in 2014, it'll end major college football's isolation as the only big time team sport that does not decide its championship with a playoff. NPR's Tom Goldman has more.

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Sports
5:47 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

40 Years On, Title IX Still Shapes Female Athletes

Michelle Marciniak (right) of the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers attempts to elude the defensive pressure of Nykesha Sales of the UConn Huskies during the 1996 NCAA Women's Final Four.
Matthew Stockman Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 6:30 pm

Title IX, which turns 40 on Saturday, has helped reverse years of bias, banning sex discrimination in federally funded schools and colleges.

Its guarantee of equal access to sports was a small part of the original legislation. But it's become the most recognizable part of Title IX. That guarantee has not always played out, and the law has its critics. For four decades, however, it's played a huge part in shaping lives.

'I Can Handle This World'

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Sports
5:14 am
Fri June 22, 2012

LeBron James Leads Heat To NBA Title

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 7:17 am

The Miami Heat are the new NBA champions. Thursday night in Miami, they beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5, 121 to 106. LeBron James had 26 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists.

History
5:23 pm
Sat May 12, 2012

How Teddy Saved Football

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 6:05 pm

Football is a violent game, but a century ago it used to be a lethal pastime. NPR's Tom Goldman explains how President Teddy Roosevelt stepped in and forced the establishment of new rules that made the game safer.

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