The crisis in Ukraine has prompted the U.S. and Britain to cancel their official delegations to the Paralympic Games for disabled athletes that are set to get underway later this week in Sochi, Russia. The athletes will still participate in sports from wheelchair curling to sled hockey, where the athletes are strapped onto sleds that balance on two skate blades. They use two sticks to propel themselves across the ice and handle the puck. It's really fast and really physical.
College athletes astound us with their power and speed, but they can pay a price years later. Division I players are more likely to be disabled, depressed and in pain in middle age, a study finds. And they may end up worse off because they fail to make the switch from high-level competition to the low-level activity of the rest of us.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're headed to South Africa now where many people are focused on the trial of Oscar Pistorius, the famed Olympic athlete and double amputee known as Blade Runner for the striking prosthetics he uses to race.
Online competitive gaming is increasingly mirroring the world of professional sports. E-sports are attracting hard-working teams that compete for millions of dollars in prize money.
Generally, gamers wage battles with one another using rapid clicks of a computer mouse. "A lot of it comes down to reflexes, but a lot of [it] is strategy," says David Gorman, a sportscaster for the popular e-sport, Dota 2. "It's very much like chess, except it's in real time. Almost like speed chess."
This week, one-fifth of the biggest boy band in the world made up one-eleventh of an English professional soccer team. In a charity game, the One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson turned out to play for his hometown club, the reserve team of Doncaster Rovers.
South African paralympian Oscar Pistorius goes on trial next week for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Guardian reporter David Smith about the upcoming court case.
The first American athlete to win an Olympic medal in singles luge returned home last night. Erin Hamlin's thrilling runs on the ice track in Sochi earned her the bronze. She also earned a police escort past miles of cheering crowds to her tiny hometown of Remsen. It's in the foothills of New York's Adirondack Mountains. North Country Public Radio's David Sommerstein was there for her homecoming.
Broken noses are part of the game for NBA players. Elbows fly. Bodies collide. Balls ricochet.
Beaks get bonked.
Many nights, you'll see at least one player from across the 30-team league protecting his still-sensitive schnoz with a clear plastic mask.
But not the current best player in the game.
A week ago, LeBron James of the Miami Heat broke his nose. Thursday night against the New York Knicks, King James chose a rather menacing look for his return from the injury: an all-black, carbon-fiber mask.