The debate over who is the greatest summer Olympian in U.S. history is relegated to a familiar list of names: Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz, Jim Thorpe, Carl Lewis, Jesse Owens, perhaps Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Then there's Ray Ewry, an all-but-forgotten Olympic great with a remarkable story.
Ewry won his 10th gold medal in 10 tries by leaping, bounding and hopping to such heights and lengths that spectators were awed — but also dumbfounded — that a human being could perform such feats. In fact, the French dubbed him L'Homme Grenouille, the "Frog Man."
Michael Phelps has won more medals, and more gold medals than any U.S. Olympian. But how many people have heard of Ray Ewry, perhaps the all time greatest Olympic athlete on land? Ewry entered 10 events and won 10 gold medals. That his events no longer exist, and that he won his last gold 104 years ago are what contributes to Ewry's relative anonymity.
Speaking of jumps for the record books, how's this? A man who jumps from 23 miles above the Earth, trying to break the sound barrier, going more than 700 miles per hour with his body. Skydiver Felix Baumgartner wants to do just that. He's attempting a world record-breaking freefall this summer from a capsule attached to a helium balloon. Baumgartner will jump from way up in the stratosphere, 120,000 feet above Roswell, New Mexico. He explained his plan to me today.
Don Waters was 3 when his father, Robert Stanley Waters, abandoned the boy and his mother. But before Robert Waters died, he sent Don a short autobiography, hoping it would help him understand his father.
It took years before Don could bring himself to read it. When he did, he discovered an unsuspected past — and a shared passion for surfing. What he read prompted him to take a trip along the California coast, where his father played a part in establishing the surfer culture's first beachhead on the American mainland.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Officials are expected to make a sponsorship announcement at a news conference tonight for the Super Bowl Host Committee Volunteer Services Program. The news conference was to include representatives from the New Orleans Saints and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation.
Allyson Felix runs in a 200 meter race at the 2011 IAAF World Championships. Felix, who has twice won silver in the race at the Olympics, has not yet announced her event schedule for London this summer.
The Olympics start in July, but American sprinter Allyson Felix is still deciding which events she'll focus on in London. She's won Olympic silver medals twice in her beloved 200 meters, a distance in which she's also a three–time world champion.
Felix won an Olympic gold in 2008, on the 4x400-meter relay team. But this time around, she wants an individual gold, too.
It's the climax of the hockey and basketball seasons, but both have potential playoff visibility problems. Let me explain.
OK, the NBA first. As you know, basketball is the most individualized, celebrity-ized team game. Like movie stars, the best players are known by their first names: LeBron, Kobe, Dirk. Every basketball superstar wants to take his talents to a hot-dog, big-time market. Or at least marry a Kardashian.
Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling had to push through a mob of reporters on Monday after meeting with Rhode Island officials to discuss the finances of his troubled video game company and ask for more state help.
In 2004, pitcher Curt Schilling became a New England folk hero. That's the year he helped the Boston Red Sox beat their archrival, the New York Yankees, by pitching with a surgically repaired ankle. And when that wound started to bleed, his bloody sock also became legend.
The New Orleans Saints say they have the experience and leadership to have productive offseason practices even without their star quarterback. New Orleans is holding its first three offseason practices, called organized team activities, Tuesday through Thursday. Drew Brees is still holding out for a new contract.
"That's just crazy," Cincinnati Reds fan Caleb Lloyd said Monday night after he ended up snagging two home runs balls — from consecutive batters — during the Reds' 4-1 win over the visiting Atlanta Braves.