He's the only man with two gold medals in Snowboard Cross from the Olympics, in 2006 and 2010. And now Seth Wescott of Maine is trying for a third in Sochi. But this time around, Wescott's recovering from a torn ACL and a broken tibia, injuries sustained during an annual snowboard trek in the rugged Alaska wilderness last April. Wescott knows it will be difficult to defend his title. But at 37 he's no shrinking violet. He's already setting his sights on the 2018 Olympics in South Korea, when he'll be 41 years old.
The Barclays Center in Brooklyn is home to the Brooklyn Nets. It's also home to some of the most advanced technology ever to come to a stadium or arena. Many older sports venues have struggled to keep pace with the latest developments in digital devices and social media. But that's hardly the case at Barclays. The venue even has its own app.
January 1st is the day college football fans dream about - or, at least they used to. Not too long ago, it featured the big event: the last and biggest of the bowl games. We'll have to wait until next Monday for the BCS championship, but no worry, there are still some good games on tap for today. And here with a preview is NPR's Mike Pesca. Good morning.
MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.
MONTAGNE: Six games today, Mike. Which are the big ones?
Football is often called a "gladiator game." This past semester, several football players took a class at the University of Washington that explores the idea. It turns out that both the professor and her football-playing students found that it's not just a glib analogy.
Apart from the extreme fact that the Roman slaves actually killed each other in their games, there are certain fascinating parallels.
Click on the audio link above to hear Deford's take on this issue.
There are 35 college football bowl games on the schedule this year. We'll be a good two-thirds of the way through them by the time the Chick-fil-A Bowl ends this evening. And while there's a good deal of prestige associated with winning the Rose bowl, for example, or beating a highly-ranked opponent, many bowls feature un-familiar opponents facing off in a game with a funny name. As NPR's Mike Pesca reports, that often yields results that are downright strange.
The Detroit Red Wings are kind of playing a home game on New Year's Day — even if it'll be played about 40 miles west of their home ice in downtown Detroit.
Mike Babcock, the Red Wings head coach, told the NHL Network that might not be such a good thing, because home teams haven't fared so well in prior Winter Classics.
"The reason the home team doesn't have much success is there's probably a New Year's Eve party going on in everybody's house," he said. "So you gotta decide whether that's more important, or the game's more important."
We have an update now on a hoop dream. In October, NPR's listeners heard from Kiwi Gardner, a 20-year-old, five-foot-seven inch basketball wiz from Oakland, California. Like so many talented young ballplayers, Gardner's ultimate goal was the NBA. To get there, he chose the minor league route.
KIWI GARDNER: I want to be able to make a D-League team this year, you know. I feel I'm at that level or I play at that level right now.
Racing car legend Michael Schumacher is not out of danger, but is showing "surprising" improvement as doctors in France continue to treat him for the severe head injury he suffered Sunday while skiing, The Associated Press reports from Grenoble.
That improvement has allowed surgeons to operate for a second time, doctors said Tuesday.