The most unforgiving criticism in sport is directed at any athlete who fans believe is celebrated too excessively above his true talent level — especially those stars who are gloried because they're such pretty people.
Speedskaters practiced for the U.S. Single Distance Short Track Speedskating Championships in Kearns, Utah, last year.
Credit Rick Bowmer / AP
Rebellious athletes, drained budgets, dysfunctional management and a string of embarrassing scandals forced a major reorganization of U.S. Speedskating over the weekend.
The group governs a sport that has produced 85 Winter Olympic medals for the United States — more than any other sport. But persistent turmoil threatened continued success in the next Games, just nine months away in Sochi, Russia.
The changes leave USS with a smaller board and without numerous committees that have permitted parochial interests to meddle in the governance of the sport.
Phil Jackson is famous not only for coaching stars — Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen with the Chicago Bulls, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal with the L.A. Lakers — but also for his distinctive "zen" approach to basketball. He introduced his teams to yoga and meditation, and regularly assigned his players books to read.
It's Cinderella plus Jackie Robinson times two. When Venus and Serena Williams burst onto the lily-white world of tennis, they changed the game and made history: They were sisters. From a poor neighborhood. Who brought unprecedented power to the game. And both reached No. 1.
Their journey is the subject of a new documentary called Venus and Serena, showing in select theaters around the country.
The Artemis Racing AC72 catamaran lies capsized after a training sail in San Francisco Bay on May 9.
Credit Noah Berger / AP
America's Cup, the oldest and most prestigious sailing competition, has hit some choppy water.
The death last week of British sailor and gold medal Olympian Andrew "Bart" Simpson when the boat he was crewing capsized and broke up during a practice run off San Francisco, has prompted tough questions about safety.
In San Francisco, organizers of the America's Cup race say the event will go on as scheduled in July. That's despite the death of a British sailor during a practice session last week. Olympian Andrew Simpson drowned after his high-tech catamaran capsized. He was pinned underwater for about 10 minutes. America's Cup officials say they will investigate the incident, but they believe the sailboats are safe. As NPR's Richard Gonzales reports, not everyone agrees.