Explosions at Finish Line of Boston Marathon: Authorities are investigating a report of two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. There were two booms heard from near the finish line inside the Fairmount Copley Plaza Hotel. Photo taken during explosion.
Cyclist Gropes Woman's Butt on Race Podium: Slovakian cyclist Peter Sagan was pictured groping the bottom of a podium girl after the Tour of Flanders as the event hostesses gave congratulatory kisses to race winner Fabian Cancellara. AFP calls his actions sexual harassment and asks, "[I]s the use of models as some kind of uncomfortable hybrid of hostess and shamelessly exploitative "eye candy" now outmoded and inappropriate to the modern sport?"
Brian Lara vs Sachin Tendulkar: And why sports comparisons are meaningless but still jolly good fun.
We Can't Accept Mediocrity: Australia sacks four cricketers for not preparing a presentation.
Lance Armstrong Admits Using PEDs, Destroying People: In an interview with Oprah Winfrey broadcast on her cable network Thursday, disgraced champion cyclist Lance Armstrong admitted that he took performance enhancing drugs, engaged in blood doping and engaged in lawsuits and other efforts to destroy the people who told the truth about his efforts to cheat. "I view this situation as one big lie that I repeated a lot of times," said Armstrong, whose public act of contrition is part of a choreograped campaign to persuade the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to let him compete in elite triathlons. One of his victims was former U.S. cycling team massage therapist Emma O'Reilly. After she went public with her knowledge of Armstrong's cheating in 2003, he sued her and characterized her as a prostitute with an alcohol problem. "He was suing me for more than I was worth. I was worried he would bankrupt me," she said.
Tony Hawk Ruffles Feathers with Family Photo: A photo of Tony Hawk skateboarding in his backyard skate park with his four-year-old daughter upset some people because she's not wearing a helmet. In response, Hawk tweeted, "For those that say I endanger my child: it's more likely that you will fall while walking on the sidewalk than I will while skating with my daughter."
Tom Sims, skate- and snowboard pioneer, died Sept. 12 of cardiac arrest. He was 61: As a young star in the 1970's SoCal skateboarding circuit, Sims was a tireless promoter of the sport, building the first longboards for skating and founding Sims Skateboards, who made the first lightweight laminated skateboards and managed the Sims skateboard team, sponsoring rising stars like Stacy Peralta, Tony Hawk, Christian Hosoi, Kevin Staab, and the late Jeff Philips (it's all a little complicated, hard feelings all around, as the above links hint). Sims' attention moved to the slopes and his company morphed into Sims Snowboards, making the first metal edged snowboard, the first snowboarding half pipe, the first freestyle snowboard, the first snowboards designed specifically for women riders, and the first pro-model snowboard. Here he is in the 1985 James Bond film A View to a Kill riding down the mountain on a snowmobile ski. Peers, friends, and former riders reflect.
Tour de France Sabotaged by Tacks: Around 30 competitors in the main pack of the Tour de France got flat tires and one rider crashed Sunday after someone spread tacks on the road. Astana rider Robert Kiserlovski broke his collarbone and has dropped out of the race. "There's nothing stopping more of that sort of stuff happening," said leader Bradley Wiggins. "It's sad."
The most amazing bowling story you'll ever read: Bill Fong is tied as the 15th-best competitive league bowler in Plano, Texas. One night in January two years ago, he almost achieved immortality. And then again, maybe he achieved it anyway.
"He's in pain, he's risking his career... and he's doing it for someone else.": Olympic lifting is not the easiest of endeavours. Getting 157 kilos over your head would be a challenge at the best of times. But imagine, for a moment, you were trying to execute a clean and jerk with a torn quadracep that has left you barely able to walk. Would you do that to qualify for the Olympics? Would you do that for someone else to qualify? Tevita Ngalu did.
No Triple Crown as I'll Have Another Scratched: I'll Have Another has been scratched from the Belmont Stakes due to injury, trainer Doug O'Neill said on the Dan Patrick radio show Friday. The thoroughbred was a 4-5 favorite to win the race, which could have brought horse racing's first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.
Stray Dog Joins 1,000-Mile Bike Race: A stray dog has completed a 1,000-mile journey across China after joining a bicycle race from Sichuan province to Tibet. The dog, Xiaosa, joined the cyclists after one of them gave him food and followed the pack for 20 days, covering up to 37 miles a day and ascending 12 mountains.
Death in the London Marathon: Claire Squires, 30, from Leicestershire, collapsed on the final stretch of the 26.2-mile course on Sunday. She was running to raise money for the Samaritans, for whom her mother has been a volunteer for 24 years, and in memory of her brother who died of an overdose. She hoped to raise a few quid. As of this post, her Justgiving account had raised almost £450,000 from more than 40,000 donations.
Two Horses Put Down at 2012 Grand National: For the second consecutive year two horses have died at England's prestigious Grand National. Synchronised and According to Pete were destroyed after breaking legs. The RSPCA described the deaths as "totally unacceptable" and called for "an urgent examination" of the race.
Why You Should Always Use Protection: New Zealand cricket batsman Kane Williamson suffered a broken box during a match today against South Africa when a throw by an unapologetic Dale Steyn hit him "flush in the groin region." "You do want your box to break rather like the front of a racing car," said the announcer. "If it smashes up then it disperses the energy."
Williams Late Try is Winner for Wales: Wales lifted the Triple Crown at Twickenham after a thrilling victory over England. Replacement Scott Williams was the hero as his sensational second-half try completed a dramatic Welsh comeback. With the scores tied at 12-12, the replacement centre ripped the ball off Courtney Lawes and regathered his own kick ahead to score the decisive try. In a thrilling finale, England wing David Strettle came within inches of scoring with the final play of the game, as the television official ruled he had not grounded the ball in the corner.
Iditarod Dog Runs Away in Alaska: The German musher Silvia Furtwrangler had a small problem after she arrived in Alaska to prepare for the Iditarod sled dog race a week ago. Her lead dog, Whistler, escaped the truck and ran into the woods around Anchorage. Neither cries of "Whistler, kommen sie!" nor moose steaks and bacon lured him back, and he was seen at various places around town for four days. Finally, a brownie and roast beef lured him into the garage of someone who saw him on the news. "Iditarod dogs bolt from their mushers seemingly every year -- often during the race, but sometimes before, when teams arrive in Anchorage and skittish huskies, unfamiliar with the city, disappear into neighborhoods," reports the Anchorage Daily News.
Cyclist: Why Doping Must Never Be Legalized: "I was a professional cyclist. ... I had several contract negotiations with teams that were at a higher level than mine. I possessed all they wanted as far as skills, personality, engine, etc. But there is always a question they ask at the final meeting. It is code. And if you answer incorrectly, your contract offer is pulled. That question is 'Are you willing to do everything it takes for the team to win?'"
Contador should have hired Armstrong's lawyers: Contador gets a two-year ban and forfeits a Tour de France win (among other victories). Andy Schleck is now elevated to the yellow jersey for that year.
Volleyball's Wizard of Westwood to retire at the end of this season: "The era of Al Scates coaching UCLA is a special era in collegiate athletics that, maybe because it's men's volleyball, most people don't appreciate." This will be Coach Scates 50th and final season as the head coach at UCLA, highlighted by 19 NCAA titles, 44 USMNT members, 27 Olympians, and 42 seasons of "mutually agreed-upon one-year contracts".
Not your business: after a yes-it-is-no-it-isn't ruling on the permissability of her underwear, Tina Maze tells the FIS where to get off.
Bowling Great Don Carter Dies: Don Carter, the bowler who led his sport during its golden age on television in the 1950s and 1960s, has died at age 85. Carter was the first athlete in American sports to sign a $1 million endorsement deal. "Don was one of the greatest bowlers who ever lived," fellow pro Carmen Salvino said.
"In the white spaces. I think about the silence at Lord's, and I understand. Test cricket is different from the rest of the world because it was designed to be." : Having travelled to India for the World Cup (as mentioned here), Wright Thompson visits the home of cricket and meditates on the nature of the Test match.
Kim Jong Il: Greatest athlete of his generation.
Kisenosato promoted to ozeki: Sumo's rising star Kisenosato has been promoted to the elite rank of ozeki after a tremendous run of 60 wins in 90 bouts over the past 12 months. He seems to be the only rikishi who has Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho's number, having beaten the grand champion several times. Here's a 2006 interview with Kisenosato, and for a bonus, Hakuho vs. Asashoryu, splitting the world in half.
Antelope Takes Out Cyclist: During a weekend competition at Albert Falls Dam in South Africa, cyclist Evan van der Spuy was knocked off his bike when a red hartebeest sprung from the brush and head-butted him. Red hartebeests, a type of antelope, are among the swiftest animals in Africa and can attain speeds of 65 mph. "Think I might need a new helmet, that's just a guess," Van der Spuy said.
Calipari, Rose, and Memphis Athletic Director R.C. Johnson settled.: After the NCAA completed an investigation into Rose's SAT scores, they vacated Memphis's 07-08 season and faced 3 years probation. Now comes word that in May of last year, attorneys representing a group of season ticket holders settled a lawsuit against Coach Calipari, Rose, and A.D. Johnson. The suit alleges that the ticket-holders had made donations to the Tiger Scholarship Fund, but that the actions of the accused could lead to further charges against the University's athletic department which would in turn, lower the value of their season tickets.
The Shame of College Sports: The Atlantic on some of the legal problems with the NCAA's amateurism rules.
Could Rugby Take Off in the US?: The fastest growing team sport in the United States is rugby, according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers' Association. The number of players for full-contact rugby in the country grew from 750,000 to 1.13 million in 2010. Four of the U.S. matches in the Rugby World Cup, which begins Sept. 9, will be broadcast in the U.S. "There are huge opportunities for rugby in America," said Nigel Melville, the chief executive of U.S. Rugby.
The Rugby World Cup 2011: starts this Friday. Held in New Zealand for the first time since 1987, the home side are hoping they can repeat that victory. Because it's been pretty lean since. And like all other kinds of World Cup, there's the obligatory hoax prostitution story.
Woman, 98, Earns Judo's Top Belt: At age 98, Sensei Keiko Fukuda of San Francisco has become the first woman to be promoted to judo's highest level of 10th degree black belt -- a mark reached only by three people in the world. "All my life," this has been my dream," said Fukuda, who was kept at lower belts for decades longer than less-skilled men, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Cadel Evans Takes Yellow Jersey: In the next-to-last stage of the Tour de France, Australian Cadel Evans seized the yellow jersey by overcoming a 57-second deficit to Andy Schleck of Luxembourg and a four-second gap to his brother, Frank. Evans, a two-time runner up, is all-but-guaranteed to win because the final stage is largely ceremonial.
Meet the Michael Jordan of Bulls: One of the top athletes in the world at the moment is a 1,600-pound bull. Since October 2009, no pro bull rider has ridden Bushwacker for even eight seconds, the minimum needed to earn a score. The average is 2.97. The bull tops the rankings. "When the gate opens he just explodes," said Shorty Gorham. If you can spare nine seconds, watch videos #1, #2, #3 to see him in action.
Motorcross Racer May Be Indestructible: Australian motorcross racer Chad Reed flew more than 40 feet off a hill during the AMA Pro Motocross Championship in Minnesota this weekend, then unbelievably got up, picked his bike up and continued racing. "I'm just happy to still be here," Reed said.
So, Cricket, Maybe?: With the NFL and NBA potentially going dark in the fall, Michael Schur and Nate DiMeo of Grantland.com decided to watch the India-Pakistan cricket match to see if it can be a suitable replacement (via MetaFilter).
Lesnar out of UFC 131 amid health battles: Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar has had a reoccurrence of diverticulitis and has been forced to withdraw from his June 11 fight against Junior dos Santos in Vancouver.
Jockey Found Dead at Churchill Downs: Michael Baze, a 24-year-old jockey who rode this year's Kentucky Derby second-place finisher Nehro to its only win, was found dead in his vehicle Tuesday afternoon at Churchill Downs. No signs of foul play were found. Baze had 34 wins out of 238 starts this year with purse earnings of nearly $1.2 million.
'The GAA Player who Performs in Front of 70,000 at the Weekend Will Be Teaching Your Kids on Monday': "It was a picture of the dissidents' worst nightmares. The GAA was defining the police in Northern Ireland as 'us' and Ronan Kerr's killers as 'them'." Fintan O'Toole muses on the role of the Gaelic Athletic Association in defining and redefining what it is to be Irish (via MetaFilter).
Belgian cyclist dies in Giro D'Italia crash: Today was a tragic day in professional cycling. Leopard-Trek's Wouter Weylandt was fatally injured today in a crash on the third stage of the Giro d'Italia. The 26-year-old went down on the Passo del Bocco and was unable to be revived by paramedics and doctors.