Sports

6:05am

Wed February 19, 2014
Sweetness And Light

Michael Sam, A Distraction? Please

Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel with players Robert Luce (from left) and Michael Sam, ahead of the Cotton Bowl in January.
Tim Sharp AP

12:22pm

Thu February 13, 2014
The Salt

Why Some Olympians Load Up On Salad Instead Of Pasta

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 9:53 am

Peter Frenette of the United States jumps during training for the Men's Normal Hill Individual ahead of the start of the Sochi Games.
Lars Baron Getty Images

When we imagine Olympic athletes at the table before the most important competition of their lives, we might picture a huge plate of pasta, with Gatorade to wash it down and a well-deserved ice cream sundae for dessert.

Turns out, they might be preparing with a salad, a glass of beet juice and some almonds.

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5:03am

Wed February 12, 2014
Sweetness And Light

Double Axels And Death Spirals — Yes, Figure Skating Is A Sport

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 5:57 am

Russia's Maxim Trankov and Tatiana Volosozhar helped Russia take gold during the team figure skating competition in Sochi.
Adrian Dennis AFP/Getty Images

With the addition of team figure skating to the Olympic manifest, I wasn't surprised to hear from my grumpy old pal the Sports Curmudgeon. "Hey, Frank," the crabby kibitzer said, "when you gonna admit that anything that calls itself a sport that has music outside o' halftime ain't a real sport?"

Actually, there are other sporting defenders of the faith who are even more critical. They maintain that any sport — like figure skating, gymnastics, diving, halfpipe — that is resolved by exterior judges rather than by the participants themselves is not a true sport.

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8:25am

Tue February 11, 2014
The Edge

Female Ski Jumpers Finally Make Their Olympic Debut

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 2:53 pm

Lindsey Van trains in Sochi on Sunday. Van has spent the past decade fighting for female ski jumpers to be allowed to compete at the Olympics.
Lars Baron Getty Images

Update at 4:15 p.m. ET: Leaping Into History

When American Sarah Hendrickson launched herself down the 90-meter jumping hill in Sochi, she flew into history, becoming the first woman to ski jump in Olympic competition. She ultimately finished in 21st place.

Carina Vogt from Germany brought home the gold. Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria took silver, and France's Coline Mattel, 18, won bronze.

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2:55am

Tue February 11, 2014
Backcountry

With An Air Bag, Help During An Avalanche Is A Cord-Yank Away

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 9:03 am

Derick Noffsinger models a deployed avalanche air bag pack made by Black Diamond at an industry market in Salt Lake City last month.
Rick Bowmer AP

Let's say you're skiing in the backcountry, looking for some powder — but instead, you trigger an avalanche.

If you have an avalanche air bag pack strapped to your back, you just yank the cord. That deploys the air bag, which keeps you close to the surface and easier to dig out, says Andy Wenberg with Backcountry Access, one of several companies making the devices. When deployed, his company's version of the air bag comes out like wings.

"The whole idea when you deploy that thing in an avalanche is you're avoiding burial death," he says.

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