KRWG

Sports

Please note:  Sometimes, NPR publishes headlines before the story and/or audio is ready; check back for content later if this occurs.  We also publish national/world news on our home page.

It wasn't the Miracle on Ice, exactly — but when the U.S. men's curling team squared up with their Canadian counterparts in the Olympic semifinal, few could have expected what happened next. Canadian men have won gold at each of the past three Winter Games, after all, and Americans had never — ever! — won an Olympic semifinal.

That all changed Thursday.

The U.S., led by captain John Shuster, shocked the traditional powerhouse in the close contest, riding a late surge of momentum to win 5-3.

Aleksandr Krushelnitckii has officially lost his Olympic bronze.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

There was a beautiful moment at the Olympics last night that might have gone unnoticed. Two U.S. athletes won medals for the first time. But that is not the story, as NPR's Russell Lewis reports from Pyeongchang.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Updated at 3 a.m. ET Thursday

The U.S. women's hockey team owns Olympic gold for the first time in 20 years, after breaking Canada's remarkable streak of success in a gripping final at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. The only previous U.S. win had come in the tournament's first year, in 1998.

When the American women finally received their gold medals, they were placed on their necks by former player Angela Ruggiero, who was on the last U.S. Olympic team to win it all.

Biathlon links two things that don't often go together, at least in the United States: cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. It's the only Winter Olympic sport in which the U.S. has never medaled.

When U.S. long track speedskaters Heather Bergsma, Brittany Bowe, Mia Manganello and Carlijn Schoutens won bronze Wednesday in the team pursuit event, they broke a Team USA drought. It was the first long track Olympic medal since the Vancouver Games of 2010.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Critics tend to judge Olympics coverage by a few key metrics: How many mistakes did the commentators make, and how many people are actually watching the games in prime time?

When it comes to NBC's coverage of the Winter Olympics, the first category has a couple of doozies, such as the network declaring a winner of the women's super-G Alpine skiing event before all the competitors had skied, including the actual winner.

In the last event of her last Olympics – she has been to five – Kikkan Randall finally did what no American woman had ever done: win a medal in cross-country skiing. And she made it a gold, as Randall and her teammate Jessica Diggins won the team sprint free final at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

A meeting that was to have taken place between Vice President Pence and representatives of North Korea during the Winter Olympic Games fell apart when Pyongyang suddenly backed out, the State Department says.

The meeting, between Pence and Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and Kim Yong Nam, North Korea's nominal head of state, was to have taken place on Feb. 10 during the vice president's three-day visit to the Olympic venue.

The U.S. men's hockey team narrowly lost to the Czech Republic in a tight quarterfinal game that ended in a penalty shootout at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics tournament on Wednesday.

The final score was 3-2, after the Americans were unable to get the puck past Czech goalie Pavel Francouz. In the five-round shootout, only one player managed to score: Petr Koukal of the Czech Republic.

With the win, the undefeated Czech Republic team advances to the semifinals in the Olympics tournament. The Czechs outshot the Americans 29-20 in their game at the Gangneung Hockey Center.

U.S. skiing star Lindsey Vonn turned in a time that was a half-second off the lead in the downhill Wednesday in South Korea, fast enough to win a medal in her final downhill race of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics – and almost certainly the last of her Olympic career. It's the third Olympic medal overall for Vonn.

"It was tough to contemplate this being my last Olympic downhill," Vonn said afterward. "I struggled to try to keep the emotions together, but I left it all on the mountain like I said I would."

It's not easy to qualify for the Olympics, but it might not require super-human athletic ability either.

The surprise winning streak of South Korea's women's curling team has put it in the spotlight and made the players the pride of new curling fans across the Pyeongchang Olympics host country. Now ranked first, the team has a 6 to 1 win-loss record.

The NCAA has confirmed the University of Louisville must give up its 2013 national championship in men's basketball, denying the school's appeal of a decision last year that penalized the Cardinals' program for "arranging striptease dances and sex acts for prospects, student-athletes and others."

Before my homeland of Nigeria entered a women's bobsled team in the Winter Olympics, I had no idea what a bobsled even was.

Now I do.

Directions, weather reports, water bottles. Those are some of the things we've seen robots offering at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics — helping to host thousands of visitors and media. They're also helping South Korea present itself as a tech-savvy nation with an eye on the future.

Most of the robots we've seen in Pyeongchang and Gangneung, the two areas where the Winter Games are being held, weren't made to look human. Instead, they present a wide range of looks — and autonomy.

Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitckii, who won a bronze medal at the Pyeongchang Olympics, has tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug at the Winter Games, a spokesman for the Olympic Athletes from Russia team says. The team says it will investigate to learn how the banned drug came to be in the curler's system.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Let's turn now to our team in Pyeongchang, South Korea. They have been spending time with a couple Olympic medalists in speedskating, both long and short track. Both of these formats can be pretty thrilling and also agonizing, as NPR's Melissa Block reports.

MLB Sets New Rules To Speed Up The Game

Feb 20, 2018

The average nine-inning baseball game took 3 hours and 8 minutes to play last season. That's up from 2 hours and 46 minutes in 2005.

Major League Baseball has long had the goal of moving things along, and on Monday, Commissioner Rob Manfred announced new rules aimed at shortening how long it takes to get a game played.

Maia and Alex Shibutani rose to win a bronze medal in ice dance at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on Tuesday, turning in an artful routine named "Paradise."

Canadian legends Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won gold, followed by France's Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron with silver, in a competition marked by both high scores and high drama.

As of today, Virtue, 28, and Moir, 30, are the most successful figure skaters in Olympic history, with five medals (including three gold). That's more than any other competitor, in singles or pairs.

While Ed Sheeran crooned about the shape of some unknown woman, French Olympic ice skater Gabriella Papadakis was struggling to keep her own shape under wraps.

Seconds into the routine, Papadakis said she felt the emerald collar of her costume become unhooked behind her neck. Apparently, the fabric of her bejeweled outfit pushed and pulled the opposite of the way a magnet do. [Hint: Ed Sheeran lyrics.] And despite her best efforts to keep the audience from discovering something brand new, her left breast was eventually exposed on live television.

Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly was in the penalty box after a third period fight with a Blackhawks defenseman on Saturday night in Chicago when four Blackhawks fans started taunting him in unison.

"Basketball, basketball, basketball," they chanted.

"It's pretty obvious what that means," Smith-Pelly said on Sunday. "It's not a secret." The nonsecret racial stereotype at play here is that basketball is a "black" sport and hockey is for white people.

Journalist Laura Ingraham sought to rebuke the Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James for "talking politics" during a recent interview — something the Fox News host believes is out of bounds for an athlete.

Ingraham said she was not interested in the political advice from "someone who gets paid $100 million a year to bounce a ball."

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

In the Winter Olympics, where races can be won or lost by thousandths of a second, tiny imperfections can make all the difference.

Nowhere is this more true than in the ice venues, where skilled technicians called "ice meisters" have honed their expertise over years of crafting the perfect surface.

Make that surfaces: It turns out that all ice is not created equal.

Depending on the sport, the ice might need to be softer or harder, colder or warmer, textured or smooth.

Why The AR-15?

Feb 19, 2018

After nearly every mass shooting, a few words are repeated over and over: Thoughts. Prayers. AR-15.

Pages