Paralympic wrap: Day 1

Quick look at the first day of the Paralympics from an admittedly U.S.-centric point of view: – Six medals for the USA, including gold for swimmer Jessica Long. (Great global swimming roundup at SwimSwam.com) – Matt Stutzman, the armless archer, took first in the ranking round (qualifying). – Women’s goalball: USA 5-1 Sweden. – Men’s wheelchair basketball: Turkey 59-50 USA. – Women’s wheelchair basketball: USA 63-24 France. (First person to make a comment about Title IX gets banned from this blog for life. Well, first person to make a dumb one, anyway.) Total medal count so far: China 15, Australia … Continue reading Paralympic wrap: Day 1

Hope Solo: Too unique for a double standard

It’s tempting to respond to the cries of a “double standard” against Hope Solo with a segment of “Really!?! with Seth and Amy.” Really? There’s a double standard against Hope Solo? She said something totally nasty about one of her teammates at the 2007 Women’s World Cup, but people actually like her because of it because it makes her seem like a badass. Really. Really? A double standard? Landon Donovan quickly moved to apologize for talking in public about David Beckham — saying the same stuff that tons of Galaxy fans were saying as well — but there’s a double standard against Hope Solo? Really? … Continue reading Hope Solo: Too unique for a double standard

Paralympics underway with beautiful ceremony

I only had a chance to catch a few moments of the Paralympic opening ceremony, but what I saw was breathtaking. Stephen Hawking speaking (“There should be no boundary to human endeavor” is the best of many great quotes), Ian McKellen as Prospero encouraging a young woman in the role of Miranda, good music — this ceremony had everything. In a world so dominated by cynicism, we can only hope people everywhere are inspired. http://twitter.com/Paralympic/status/240951989335359488/ For now, at least, you can watch the ceremony in its entirety online. If you want to pick out some highlights, try matching up the … Continue reading Paralympics underway with beautiful ceremony

Chess Olympiad – not just a night in Bangkok

The 40th Chess Olympiad is underway in Istanbul. The one thing we can tell you with certainty is that the country that has won it the most won’t win it this time — the Soviet Union no longer exists. But the former Soviet republics — Russia, Ukraine, Armenia — still dominate. The last time a non-Soviet country won it was in 1978, when Hungary upset the Soviet Union but didn’t take the title very far away. Before that, in 1976, the USA won a boycotted Olympiad when most Eastern bloc countries refused to travel to Israel. The USA isn’t bad … Continue reading Chess Olympiad – not just a night in Bangkok

MLS academy vs. school: So far, school still winning

Soccer America raises a few questions about the MLS homegrown program, noting that a lot of players aren’t playing or have already washed out of the league. One irony — a nice exception to the rule this year has been Jose Villarreal, who plays for the Los Angeles Galaxy. His coach, Bruce Arena, is the one who likened the current system to a “black hole” in a Washington Post interview. One solution seems relatively simple — MLS should probably enter its reserve teams in the USL or NASL to get those players more meaningful games. Not that anything is simple in the turf wars … Continue reading MLS academy vs. school: So far, school still winning

Olympic sports roundup: Aug. 27

What did you miss while you were making Facebook photos superimposing Ted Lange’s face on a hurricane tracking map? Read on. – Basketball: The U.S. Under-17 women didn’t have much trouble with anyone at the World Championships. The 3-on-3 tournament was a little tougher. Literally. After beating France in the final 17-16, Chiney Ogwumike had this to say: In the end, it’s better to be physical than to play like girls. Ouch. – Snowboarding: Already time for 2014 qualifying! And Kelly Clark is dominating the halfpipe. – Rugby: The U.S. men qualified for the 2013 Sevens Rugby World Cup with a few dominating wins, … Continue reading Olympic sports roundup: Aug. 27