Review Category : National Sports

Obama Honors Team USA for Its Medals, Diversity

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden welcomed Team USA — about 600 Olympians and Paralympians — to the White House Thursday, congratulating them not only for their gold, silver and bronze medals but also for their representation of a diverse set of ideals that inspired Americans during the Rio summer games.

The event started with a picture of Mrs. Obama towering over gold medal gymnast Simone Biles, posing with her elbow over Biles’ head.

President Obama joked that he was going to begin the ceremony with a floor routine but he decided against that because he can’t even touch his toes.

The president emphasized that it wasn’t just high scores or fast times that made Team USA Olympic champions, it was also the team’s diversity.

“Everybody’s from all different kinds of backgrounds,” he said, adding they are all “very good looking” with white teeth and shiny eyes, prompting the first lady to shout out “fruits and vegetables!”

“We’ve become something more than just the sum of our parts. We’ve become Americans, together. And there’s something special about that — all races, all faiths, all traditions, all orientations, all marching together under that same proud flag, not bound by a creed or a color, but by our devotion to an enduring set of ideals — that we’re all created equal, that we can think, and worship and love as we please, and that we can pursue our own version of happiness. That’s a great gift, that’s what makes us strong,” President Obama said.

The president also recognized Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who’s black power salute on the podium created controversy in 1968.

“Their powerful, silent protest in the 1968 games was controversial but it woke folks up and created greater opportunity for those that followed,” he said.

Obama then recounted Jesse Owens, whose family was in attendance, for his performance “under the gaze of Adolf Hitler” in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin but “whooped” the competition.

The president said he continues “to be inspired by paralympians” and stressed that the Rio Olympics “belonged to America’s women Olympians.”

“As father of two young women, for [Malia and Sasha] to have that example of health, drive, competition, persistence and strength, it makes me really proud,” Obama said.

The president recognized several individual Olympians, including Katie Ledecky.

“I was nervous if she was going to ask me to hold all her medals while I was speaking or something,” he joked.

Obama called Michael Phelps “the greatest Olympian of all-time” — remarking that breaking a 2,000 year record was “pretty impressive” given you have to “go back to the Greeks” to find the previous record holder.

The president also singled out Sam Kendricks, the Army reservist participating in the pole vault who gained national respect when he abandoned an attempt to stand at attention for the national anthem playing on the other side of the venue.

Obama was presented with two surfboards, which Biles explained — at the president’s urging — represented that surfing will be an Olympic sport in the 2020 summer games.

“I’m going to have a lot of time to surf next year,” Obama quipped.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Whom Does Tom Brady Like More: Ben Affleck or Matt Damon?

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — To Bostonians like Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is as close to a deity as one can be on this spiritual plane. Now, a new charity experience from Omaze.com will let one lucky fan find out which film star Brady likes more.

In a video that aired exclusively on ABC News’ Good Morning America Thursday to promote the campaign, Affleck and Damon have an “argument” over which of them the NFL quarterback likes better.

The argument — conducted over video call — is interrupted when Brady himself calls in.

The Omaze campaign offers one person and a guest the chance to win a night out in Boston with Brady, Affleck and Damon for as little as $10. The funds raised will support the stars’ individual charity initiatives: Affleck’s Eastern Congo Initiative, Damon’s Water.org and Tom Brady’s TB12 Foundation.

At the end of the video, Brady invites people to visit Omaze.com/Boston to enter, then adds: “I can’t wait to meet you and tell you which one of these guys I actually like better.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Scoreboard Roundup — 9/28/16

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE

Texas 8, Milwaukee 5

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Chi White Sox 1, Tampa Bay 0
L.A. Angels 8, Oakland 6
Seattle 12, Houston 4
N-Y Yankees 5, Boston 3
Baltimore 3, Toronto 2
Kansas City 5, Minnesota 2
Detroit 6, Cleveland 3, 5 Innings

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Pittsburgh 8, Chi Cubs 4
San Diego 6, L.A. Dodgers 5
Colorado 2 San Francisco 0
Arizona 3, Washington 0, 6 Innings
N-Y Mets 5, Miami 2
Atlanta 12, Philadelphia 2
Cincinnati 2, St. Louis 1

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Rival Teams Work Together to Allow Teen With Cerebral Palsy to Score Touchdown

PhonlamaiPhoto/iStock/Thinkstock(CANTON, N.C.) — Two rival teams in North Carolina displayed the embodiment of good sportsmanship when they worked together to allow a teen with paraplegic cerebral palsy to achieve his dream of playing football.

Lou Stamey, a 15-year-old who is confined to a wheelchair and has limited speech, scored a touchdown at the beginning of Canton Middle School’s football game against Waynesville Middle School on the night of Sept. 22. The game was a precursor to the Friday night game between Pisgah High School and Tuscola High School, one of North Carolina’s biggest football rivalries, which draws up to 20,000 fans annually, Canton Middle School football coach Joshua Simmons told ABC News.

Lou’s love of football was passed on to him by his father, a local referee who called football games at the high school, middle school and youth levels before he unexpectedly died three years ago, Lou’s mother, Belinda Stamey, told ABC News.

Simmons approached Lou’s gym teacher and asked her if she thought Lou would be interested in participating in the football game.

“Lou’s very special in our school,” Simmons said. “He brings a lot of joy to a lot of people.”

Simmons created the “Lou Play,” and worked with Waynesville Middle School football coach Robert Sutton to pull it off. In the play, the ball was snapped to Canton’s quarterback and handed to Lou, who held it in his lap. Classmate Brayden West then pushed Lou toward the goal line as Waynesville defenders dived for him.

“Look, Lou, they’re cheering for you,” a teammate can be heard saying to him as they make their way toward the goal.

Once he scored the touchdown, players from both teams rallied around Lou and chanted his name, Simmons said.

For one special moment, the rivalry “took a backseat to Lou,” Simmons said, calling it “such a cool day.”

For the rest of the game, he held a sign that read “Eat my dust,” made for him by his mother.

“He thought it was funny,” Stamey said of the sign. “He has a great sense of humor.”

Simmons said it took effort from both teams to make the play a success, giving Waynesville credit for going “well beyond” his expectations. Waynesville’s football coach, Robert Sutton, told ABC affiliate WLOS in Asheville that he was glad to be a part of the play.

While Simmons said including Lou in the biggest football game of the year was something the teen “would never forget,” he said he hopes that it taught his players a lesson to never take for granted their ability to walk.

It was a “dream come true” for Lou to be on the field with his teammates, Stamey said. After his father died, he would see referees on televised games and say, “Daddy?”

Although the points from Lou’s touchdown didn’t count toward the official school, the momentum it created must have paid off. Canton won the game 38-8.

This may not be Lou’s final participation in a rivalry game. Next year, Lou will attend Pisgah High School, and the “popular” teen will continue his role as a “staple in the community” there, Stamey said.

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Fans Gather at Marlins Park to Honor Jose Fernandez

Joe Skipper/Gtty Images(MIAMI) — Miami Marlins star pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident Sunday, was honored in a public memorial service on Wednesday.

Pallbearers wearing Fernandez’s jersey carried his coffin into a hearse, which left a Miami funeral home for Marlins park at 1:30 p.m., ABC’s Miami affiliate WPLG reported.

The Marlins invited fans to gather at Marlins Park for the departure of a funeral motorcade at 2:16 p.m., with the scheduled time honoring the No. 16 jersey Fernandez wore on the field.

A private funeral service is scheduled for Sunday, attended by Fernandez’s family, Marlins players and coaches.y Images

Marlins players paid tribute to Fernandez on Monday night by wearing No. 16 jerseys in the first game since his death. Infielder Dee Gordon fought back tears after hitting a leadoff home run, later saying that Fernandez should have been “cheering” for him from the dugout.

Two others were killed alongside Fernandez early Sunday when the boat they were in crashed into a jetty on Miami Beach. The boat was registered in Fernandez’s name, but it is not clear who was driving at the time of the crash.

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Tim Tebow Hits Home Run in First Pro at Bat

Rob Foldy/Getty Images(PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.) — Former NFL star and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow hit a home run on the first pitch of his first at bat as a professional player in the instructional league games in Florida.

Tebow, an outfielder with the New York Mets farm team, hit his left-center bomb off a young pitcher from the St. Louis Cardinals farm team, according to video from ESPN.

Former NFL star Tim Tebow hits a home run on the first pitch of his first at-bat as a member of the New York Mets instructional league. pic.twitter.com/zFLxhZIuIi

— ABC News (@ABC) September 28, 2016

Tebow grounded out in his next at-bat.

The two-time National Champion signed with the Mets earlier this month and hasn’t played organized baseball since 2005, while still in high school. After his time at the University of Florida, Tebow played in the NFL for the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots and New York Jets.

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President Obama Pulls Out All The Jokes For Ceremony With Kyle Busch

DigtialStorm/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — President Obama morphed into the Comedian-in-Chief once again as he honored another winner – this time NASCAR’s Sprint Cup champion Kyle Busch.

“Now, as you may be aware, I host a lot of teams from other sports — they all call themselves national champions or world champions,” Obama began. “But I’ve got to hand it to the Number 18 Team, who have given themselves the title of ‘Galaxy Champs.’ That’s a first, and I’ve put in a call to NASA to check to see whether this is, in fact, accurate.”

The president continued winning laughs from the friendly audience, joking that while Busch brought his “ride” to the White House, there may be a time soon when the president can take over the wheel.

“Most years when NASCAR comes to town, I make a joke about looking at the car full of longing and feeling kind of wistful, and trying to get Secret Service to let me take a spin,” Obama said to chuckles. “But this year’s different. In a few months, I can actually do anything I want. So Kyle, we’re going to talk.”

“I’m not sure, though, Michelle is going to let me drive with a car with a whole bunch of M&M’s on it. She may want carrots or something,” Obama continued, winning a smattering of laughter once again. “Actually, we have White House M&M’s here, so those of you who have sampled them, they are good old-fashioned M&M’s.”

Finally the president pulled out a joke worthy of late night television.

“Now, it’s 2016. I think there were some people who thought we were going to see a Bush back here in the White House this year,” Obama joked. “But they didn’t know it was going to be Kyle.”

When Busch presented the president with a helmet, the president went for one of his edgier jokes.

“Tell me the truth, what are you pumping in through here, though?” Obama joked, pointing to an oxygen valve on the helmet.

“Some really good stuff,” Busch quipped.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Yankee Fan Loses Ring, Almost Blows Jumbotron Proposal

Lisa Wiltse/Corbis via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Yankees may have beat the Red Sox Tuesday night, but one die-hard fan of the Bronx Bombers almost blew it.

Andrew Fox of New Castle, Pennsylvania was in Center Field in Section 228 with his girlfriend Heather Terwilliger, when, during the fifth inning of the game, he dropped to one knee to propose.

When the couple appeared on the stadium scoreboard, which Fox had arranged, people began cheering.

[WATCH THE VIDEO HERE]

And that’s when he dropped the ring.

No worries, though. In a fine example of Yankee pride, the crowd around them began frantically searching for the ring. And fortunately, they soon found it — it had fallen into the cuff of Terwilliger’s jeans.

Fox got back down on his knee and a teary-eyed Terwilliger said yes.

The icing on the cake? The Yankees beat the Red Sox, ending their eleven-game winning streak.

MLB has posted videos from the incident, which social media quickly dubbed #RingGate, on their Facebook page.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. to Make an Appearance at This Weekend’s Race

Hemera/Thinkstock(DOVER, Del.) — Dale Earnhardt Jr., who’s missed NASCAR action over the past couple of months due to a concussion, will make an appearance at this weekend’s race at Dover International Speedway, though he won’t be behind the wheel of his No. 88 car.

Earnhardt Jr. says he will sit in the No. 88 pit box and observe the Sprint Cup Series’ Citizen Soldier 400 as Jeff Gordon again fills in for him.

“It’s going to be kind of different, tough, maybe not a ton of fun,” Earnhardt Jr. said on The Dale Jr. Download podcast this week, according to NASCAR.com. “It’s a bit weird to be not in the car but at the track when you’re a driver. You don’t know what to do with yourself. But I’m going to try to support the guys and maybe learn a thing or two.”

Earnhardt Jr. also discussed his progress in recovering from the concussion. It’s believed he suffered the concussion during a crash at Michigan International Speedway in June.

“[I]t’s getting better,” he said. “My doctors talk about getting me back to where I can be a normal person, and then there’s getting me back to being a race car driver. I’m almost back…to being a normal, functioning person with no issues. To become that guy I need to be inside the car, we really have to train my senses to be perfect.”

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Scoreboard Roundup — 9/27/16

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE

Texas 6, Milwaukee 4

AMERICAN LEAGUE

L.A. Angels 8, Oakland 1
N-Y Yankees 6, Boston 4
Toronto 5, Baltimore 1
Detroit 12, Cleveland 0
Kansas City 4, Minnesota 3, 11 Innings
Houston 8, Seattle 4
Chi White Sox 13, Tampa Bay 6

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Atlanta 7, Philadelphia 6
San Diego 7, L.A. Dodgers 1
San Francisco 12, Colorado 3
Washington 4, Arizona 2
Chi Cubs 6, Pittsburgh 4
N-Y Mets 12, Miami 1
St. Louis 12, Cincinnati 5

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