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A Pitch For Getting Girls In The Game

Mar 8, 2018

For thousands of female athletes whose sport of choice is baseball, there are few professional options. There is a national women’s team, and a handful of women have competed at the minor league level.

The stands shake as fans break into song. Hundreds jump up and down, setting a much faster tempo than the play on the field.

This soccer stadium is in the heart of political opposition territory in Ethiopia. On a recent Sunday, thousands of supporters are sitting shoulder to shoulder. And surrounding the pitch, dozens of paramilitary police look out at the crowd, some with their guns in hand, others at the ready with tear gas canisters.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Nearly every sport has been hit with news of doping — of athletes using illegal performance-enhancing drugs. Perhaps the most famous example is cyclist Lance Armstrong, who denied doping allegations for years and then admitted using performance-enhancing drugs in 2013. That's where the documentary Icarus begins.

In 1954, at the age of 25, Roger Bannister made headlines around the world as the first person to run a mile under 4 minutes.

Bannister's 3:59:4 mile unlocked the door to what was possible in track — both physically and psychologically.

It had long been thought that a sub 4-minute mile was far from achievable and perhaps deadly for those who tried.

British Prime Minister Theresa May led the tributes to the former athlete, who later became one of Europe's leading neurologists and was made a knight.

On Sunday, dozens of competitors will take to the slopes at Mount Snow in Vermont for the annual world championship of jack jumping.

Wait. What's a jack jump? Yeah, I wondered that too.

Even as a longtime skier — and Vermont reporter — I had no idea what the snow sport entailed — but I became determined to find out.

A Basketball Player Lets A Record Stand

Mar 3, 2018

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And now it's time for sports.

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If you're an American Winter Olympics fan, you probably follow the sports where Americans usually win — snowboarding, downhill skiing, different snowboarding. If you did, you may have missed the United States' Olympic gold in cross-country skiing. And of course, it was the women who did it — Skier Jessie Diggins charged from behind to win first place.

Diggins clearly knows how to ski, but does she know how to skee-ball? We asked her three questions about the classic arcade game.

Click the listen link above to see how she does.

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, Alaska's premier wilderness challenge, begins this weekend mired in scandals.

There's fallout from a dog doping fiasco, a musher mutiny, and unprecedented pressure from protest groups. All of which, according to a leaked report, are putting the event's future in dire jeopardy.

The Himalayan village of Kalinchowk, sitting at an altitude of about 12,000 feet in eastern Nepal and known for its temple to the Hindu goddess Kali, gets snow every year. After a recent storm, the town's young people flock to wooden lodges and dance around campfires.

Utsav Pathak is determined to get some of them on skis.

"In Nepal, nobody skis, I think," says Pathak.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

For the fourth time since taking office, President Trump will soon have to name a new communications director.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Steps Down

Mar 1, 2018

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The head of the U.S. Olympic Committee, Scott Blackmun, has resigned. The Olympic Committee says Blackmun is leaving because of cancer treatments. But as Alexandra Starr reports, his departure follows a series of sexual abuse scandals in Olympic sports.

Under growing pressure to quit, Scott Blackmun, CEO of the United States Olympic Committee, resigned "due to ongoing health issues resulting from prostate cancer," according to a USOC statement on Wednesday.

Board member Susanne Lyons will step in as the acting CEO until a permanent replacement is named.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

After a major doping scandal limited Russia's participation at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, the country's Olympic committee has been formally reinstated by the International Olympic Committee.

This comes after the IOC said remaining test results from Russians who competed in the games came back negative.

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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

The gold medal-winning U.S. men's curling team received a hero's welcome Tuesday night in Duluth, Minn., sweet redemption for a team that finished last and second-to-last in the last two Olympics. They brought home the first-ever curling gold for the U.S.

To chants of 'U.S.A', four gold medalists from the men's team, along with two women's team members, followed a bagpiper into a packed ballroom through a canopy of curling brooms held up by local players.

They seemed overwhelmed by the reception.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to try to recover the money spent on a seven-figure legal bill after recent battles with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

The story was first reported by The New York Times, and since then, other publications have had sources speak off the record. NPR has not independently confirmed the reports.

It all began several months ago when Jones tried to derail negotiations for Goodell's contract extension. At the same time, Jones tried to get a six-game suspension reversed for Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott.

The 2018 Winter Olympics ended Sunday evening in Pyeongchang, South Korea, with a closing ceremony featuring fireworks, K-pop performances, the reappearance of Tongan cross-country skier Pita Taufatofua sans shirt, and a dance party that brought athletes onstage, eager to let loose and celebrate their games.

The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics concluded Sunday evening in South Korea. The closing ceremony saw fewer athletes than the opening event 17 days ago — some Olympians have already gone home — but didn't skimp on pageantry, K-pop and expressions of hope for peace between the two Koreas.

Ivanka Trump, daughter of the U.S. president, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in sat near a visiting North Korean general, Kim Yong Chol, believed to be a former spy chief, whose delegation had earlier been met with a sit-in by conservative South Korean lawmakers near the border crossing.

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

The cauldron has been extinguished. The 23rd Olympic Winter Games has wrapped up in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

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CL: 2018, Korea. Let's go.

The Winter Olympics closes the door on the Pyeongchang 2018 Games, with a big party and a last farewell from the 2,920 athletes who competed on ice and snow in South Korea. The number of athletes set a new record; so did the number of nations — 92 – represented.

Pyeongchang organizers promised that the Olympic Stadium, which seats 35,000, will be "filled with the roar of compliments and the applause of friendship."

The only individual gold medal won by an Olympic athlete from Russia came in a ceremony that was different from others at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics: Figure skater Alina Zagitova didn't hear her country's anthem or see its flag, as other medalists did.

Because of doping sanctions against Russia, the Olympic flag flew and the (rather generic) Olympic anthem was played at the ceremony Friday. The same procedure occurred Sunday, when hockey players from Russia beat Germany for gold.

Canada had its best Olympic Games ever medal-wise in Pyeongchang, despite missing out on gold in men's and women's hockey and men's and women's curling — sports that country usually dominates.

The country has 29 medals, including 11 gold. Norway is leading the overall medal count with 38 medals, Germany is in second with 31 and the U.S. is in fourth with 23.

The Olympic Athletes from Russia won 4-3 in a game against Germany where neither team had much to lose.

Germany had defeated hockey powerhouses Sweden and Canada in the semifinals, and the Olympic Athletes from Russia were highly stacked. Neither country had medaled in men's hockey since 2002, when Russia won bronze.

With 0.5 seconds remaining in the first period, Russian Vyacheslav Voynov scored the first point of the match after an ambitious shot that made it past German goaltender Danny aus den Birken.

Citing two cases of Russian athletes who were disqualified over doping at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, the International Olympic Committee says it won't yet lift its suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee.

Going into the Winter Games, the IOC had said there was a chance Russia's athletes could march under their country's flag at the closing ceremony — depending on how the athletes behaved.

A Canadian athlete, his wife and his trainer were detained by South Korean police after drunkenly driving off in an unoccupied, idling car in Pyeongchang on Saturday, according to Reuters. Local press reported that the car was a pink Hummer.

The Winter Olympics end Sunday after a 17-day run in and around Pyeongchang, South Korea.

But let's go back to the start and do some quick math.

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