As summer hits Cape Cod, out come the fishing rods, sailboats, and…. Hockey pucks? In Falmouth, Massachusetts, youth hockey leagues and recreational skaters are carving up the ice in a brand new ice rink this month – one that’s powered by summer sunlight. Independent producer Sarah Reynoldshas the story.
From toddler gyms to travel leagues, the author of a new book says companies are increasingly targeting kids, creating a highly profitable youth sports economy. And the effects can be damaging, he says, leading families to overspend and kids to lose sight of the life lessons that sports can bring. We’ll take a look at this trend – its causes and effects.
Superstar swimmers Michael Phelps (left) and Ryan Lochte are versatile and talented, making spots on the U.S. men's Olympic team scarce. The pair took silver and gold, respectively, in the 200-meter individual medley at last summer's World Championships.
Credit Blake Farmer / WPLN
Because of Phelps' dominance, "in the 200 butterfly there is just one spot, essentially," says Dakota Hodgson. He's seen here with his father, Charlie, at a training facility in Nashville, Tenn.
Across the country, swimmers are putting in their final laps before this month's Olympic trials. For many, the dream of making the U.S. swim team has been what gets them out of bed for a predawn practice. But on the men's side of the pool, the superstars of swimming often leave little room for anyone else.
At a recent swim practice in Nashville, Tenn., Dakota Hodgson, 20, puts in laps. And speed-walking to keep up, stopwatch in hand, is his gray-haired coach and father, Charlie Hodgson.
The road to any big event, be it a family reunion, a graduation, or the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, is often pockmarked with screw-ups, flubs, and insensitive oversights. Robert Siegel and Audie Cornish catalog a few of the gaffes leading up to the London games, including torch flame-outs, missing hurdles, and the resurrection of the apartheid-era South African anthem.
I'll Have Another will not have a shot at the Triple Crown. His trainer noticed inflammation in the horse's leg, so the winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness will not race in tomorrow's Belmont Stakes. In fact, he's being retired from racing altogether.
NPR's Mike Pesca joins us now. And, Mike, what more have you learned about this injury?
In the words of author Stephen Amidon, “no other figure is the focus of so much passion, controversy, expectation, and disappointment…” regardless of whether it is football or soccer, figure-skating or hockey, watching the world’s top athletes borders on hypnotic… and sometimes stands as proof of our ability to exceed physical human limitations and become something like the gods.
Every four years, the world gears up to become rabid, two-week fans of sports we’d never otherwise watch those featured in the Summer Olympics, like swimming, gymnastics, even equestrian eventing. For the elite athletes who compete at the Olympic level, however, the games are anything but a quadrennial concern. They’re the reward for working the hardest, being the best, and increasingly, it seems, having the latest hi-tech gadgetry in your corner.
The prosecution's star witness underwent a withering cross-examination on Thursday at Roger Clemens' perjury trial. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, is charged with lying to Congress when he testified that he never used performance-enhancing drugs. Brian McNamee, his one-time trainer, is the only witness who has firsthand evidence that contradicts the baseball-pitching ace.
Earlier this week, guided by the prosecution, McNamee testified in agonizing and repetitive detail about how he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone between 1998 and 2001.
New research finds that younger athletes are more susceptible to head injury than once thought, take longer to recover, and are more at risk for suffering second concussions. Now, New Hampshire may join a growing list of states asking coaches and trainers to monitor these injuries more closely. We talk with experts on head trauma in youth sports.
If only ten percent of humans are left-handed, why have 50 percent of the world’s top hitters in baseball been southpaws? Danny Abrams has a theory. He’s Assistant Professor with the Applied Math department at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 12:09 pm
It's hard to pinpoint exactlywhat it is about Fenway Park. A century after it was built, fans still gush about this "lyric little bandbox," as John Updike called it. To guys like Ed Carpenter, Fenway is history and home, magic and mystique.
"I love this place," he says, tearing up. "I mean, it's not mortar and bricks and seats."
Carpenter first started coming to Fenway with his dad in 1949, when he was 6.
"We walked up this ramp right behind this home plate," he recalls. "I can still see everything was green, emerald green. It was love at first sight."
Russian gymnast Victoria Komova competes in the balance beam final during the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo. Komova is one of Russia's top Olympic hopefuls.
Credit Jamie McDonald / Getty Images
Russia's Aliya Mustafina competes on the vault during the 2010 Gymnastics World Championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Russian gymnasts have struggled in recent years, and are battling to reclaim their former glory at the Olympics this summer.
Credit Lintao Zhang / Getty Images
Victoria Komova competes in the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo.
Credit Boris Horvat / AFP/Getty Images
Aliya Mustafina celebrates with her coach, Alexander Alexandrov, after winning the gold medal in the women's individual all-around at the 2010 World Championships in the Netherlands. She suffered injuries that prevented her from competing in 2011.
Back in the days of the Soviet Union, the women's gymnastics competition was highly predictable — the Soviet squad won the team gold medal at every Olympics it participated in.
Even when Nadia Comaneci was reeling off perfect 10s at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, she and her Romanian teammates had to settle for second in the team competition behind the legendary Olga Korbut and her Soviet comrades.