Review Category : National Sports

Michael Phelps discusses new swimming events and post-Olympic career at New York City promotional event

ESPN Images/Phil Ellsworth(NEW YORK) — Olympic legend Michael Phelps was critical of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to add new swimming events to the Games while speaking at a promotional event in New York City.

The IOC recently announced that it will add a women’s 1500 meter freestyle, a men’s 800 meter freestyle, and a mixed-gender 4×100 relay to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, much to the annoyance of the 28-time Olympic medalist. Phelps says the expansion make it seem like “there’s too much going on,” adding, “it takes away from the sport… it’s not swimming anymore.”

He compared the additions to the high-tech, polyurethane-based swimsuits that swimming introduced to the world at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. They were banned after those Olympic Games once officials determined the suits were too much of a performance enhancer. Phelps believes that officials are essentially picking and choosing which races they want in the Games.

However, the racing legend does not completely oppose the idea of adding new events. It gives athletes another opportunity to win a gold medal and one day break his record of 23 career golds. Katie Ledecky, the women’s swimming star who earned four gold medals at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, will now have a chance to compete for one more thanks to the new 1500 meter race.

Phelps seems to welcome that opportunity, telling reporters he “doesn’t care” if a swimmers break his Olympic records. In fact, he says he would, “Love to see it, adding, “I think it’s good to have somebody out there that is willing to challenge themselves in way that they had no idea.”

The legendary swimmer also discussed what he has been up to in retirement, and some of it does not involve swimming. In fact, he has picked up a new sport: golf.

Phelps also spends time with his wife, former Miss California Nicole Johnson, and one-year-old son, Boomer.

As for work, he is spending a lot of time working with his foundation, promoting swim safety to get kids active and prevent drowning accidents. He also testified before Congress earlier this year, speaking out against doping in Olympic swimming.

Phelps joked with reporters that every so often he will post a picture on Instagram with the caption “#2020?” teasing fans about a potential comeback. However, he assures the public that his Olympic career is definitely over.

He did not say, however, that his racing career is over. In fact, he is actually preparing for another highly-anticipated race coming up later this summer. Phelps will race against a great white shark as a part of Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week,” a dream for Phelps as he calls sharks his “number one favorite animal in the world.”

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Scoreboard Roundup — 2/1/17

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

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Cleveland 125, Minnesota 97
Indiana 98, Orlando 88
Miami 116, Atlanta 93
Boston 109, Toronto 104
Detroit 118, New Orleans 98
NY Knicks 95, Brooklyn 90
Dallas 113, Philadelphia 95
Utah 104, Milwaukee 88
LA Clippers 124, Phoenix 114
Memphis 119, Denver 99
Chicago 128, Oklahoma City 100
Golden State 126, Charlotte 111

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Washington 5, Boston 3
Calgary 5, Minnesota 1
LA Kings 5, Colorado 0

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

(3) Kansas 73, (2) Baylor 68
(4) Villanova 66, Providence 57
(9) Virginia 71, Virginia Tech 48
(11) UCLA 95, Washington St. 79
(14) Cincinnati 57, Tulsa 55
(15) Florida St. 75, Miami 57
(19) South Carolina 88, LSU 63
(23) Purdue 80, (25) Northwestern 59

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National Signing Day: Alabama Boasts Top Recruiting Class Again

Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Alabama football is once again the kings of recruiting, bringing in the top-rated class in the country for the fifth time in six years.

The Crimson Tide brought in 21 of the top 300 players in ESPN’s recruiting rankings. Defensive end LaBryan Ray, the number 17 overall player, highlighted their class.

Earlier in the day, Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban told ESPN 300 defensive end Jarez Parks that there would be no room for him to sign with the school.

The top ranked recruit in ESPN’s rankings, offensive tackle Trey Smith, signed with the Tennessee Volunteers. The only uncommitted member of the ESPN 300 entering the day, Marvin Wilson, chose Florida State University over Texas, LSU, TCU and South Florida.

The big winner on National Signing Day, however, may well have been USC. The Trojans brought in the best rated class in the Pac-12 and the ninth-best class in the country. USC snagged four-star wide receiver Joseph Lewis among their 14 ESPN 300 commitments Wednesday.

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NFL: Raiders and Patriots to Play Regular Season Game in Mexico City in 2017

Derek Carr (4) of the Oakland Raiders during a regular season Monday Night Football game (Photo by Scott Clarke / ESPN Images)(NEW YORK) — The NFL announced that it would play a regular season game in Mexico City next season, marking the second consecutive season the league would host a game south of the border.

According to Commissioner Roger Goodell, the Oakland Raiders will play the New England Patriots next season. The addition of a game in Mexico City means the league will play five regular season games abroad in 2017, including four in London.

“We have a tremendous fan base in Mexico,” Goodell said Wednesday. “Their passion for football is inspiring, and we look forward to another memorable game in Mexico City between two great teams next season.”

The Raiders played in this year’s game in Mexico, defeating the Houston Texans 27-20.

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Former Cheerleaders Sue the NFL over Wage Dispute

Scott Cunningham/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — A group of former NFL cheerleaders have filed a lawsuit against the NFL, saying the league teams underpaid them for years and prohibited them from comparing wages.

The class action lawsuit claims that the cheerleaders were paid around $100 per game without compensation for practices or photo ops. That compares to the $6.4 billion the NFL players earn collectively in one year alone.

“The NFL and it’s member teams have intentionally conspired together to thwart competition so that they could pay these women illegally,” attorney Drexel Bradshaw said.

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How Tom Brady Stays Super Bowl Ready

Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — New England Patriots star Tom Brady will attempt to win his fifth Super Bowl championship ring on Sunday.

But what is the secret to the quarterback’s success? Brady told ABC News on Tuesday that for an athlete, their body is the biggest asset.

“If your body breaks down then you can’t perform and you have no job, so I’ve tried to learn the right ways to take care of [my] body,” Brady said.

Brady and his supermodel wife Gisele Bundchen have a private chef, Allen Campbell, who prepares healthy meals based on a restricted diet, but that’s not all.

Here’s a list of the 39-year-old athlete’s strict lifestyle regime:

Diet — According to Allen Campbell, Brady’s meals include vegetables, whole grains, fish and lean meats, such as certain cuts of steak and duck. All the meat is organic. The player doesn’t touch sugar, dairy, white flour, and certain fruits and vegetables.

Sleep — Brady told ABC News in May 2016 that he is in bed by 8:30 p.m. and up at 5:30 a.m.

“Because my career is so important, I think I make a lot of, I wouldn’t call them sacrifices, but just concessions for my job,” Brady said. “I love what I do and I want to do it for a long time.”

Exercise — In a Jan. 2 interview with Men’s Fitness, Brady said he maintains his tough workout regimen even in the off-season.

“I don’t think that being a quarterback means that you go in and see how much weight you can lift all the time,” Brady said. “I would say that was very different when I was younger. Because when I was younger, I would go in there and I would squat, I would bench, and then I would be sore all the time. So much of what I do now is maintaining my strength, maintaining my conditioning, but also keeping my muscles I would say soft and pliable…it’s been a lot of fun to commit in the off-season to the same things I’m doing in the season, in order to maintain a high level of play.”

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Top Security Measures in Place for Super Bowl 51

Tim Warner/Getty Images(HOUSTON) — As Houston, Texas, gears up to play host to its third Super Bowl this Sunday, officials are taking no chances when it comes to the major security preparations for the annual sporting event.

While the NFL’s security detail says there are no real, credible threats against Super Bowl 51, local, federal, state and private agents have worked around the clock to ensure that security is tight as NRG Stadium gears up for some 73,000 fans for football’s biggest night.

“We have almost three miles of security perimeter around our venues,” Cathy Lanier, the senior vice president of security for the NFL, said at a press conference.

Following terrorist attacks in Nice and Berlin last year, authorities have remained on high alert, preparing for any crisis possibility including similar vehicle style attacks.

Deputy special agent in charge at Homeland Security Investigations, Sean McElroy, said barricades are among some of the physical stops around the venue.

“The city of Houston [and] Houston Police Department actually brought in cement barricades downtown,” he said. “So those cement barricades are in place and will stop any vehicles from going through.”

According to officials, more than 5,000 officers will be patrolling the area, aided by SWAT teams, cyber squads, intelligence analysts and surveillance specialists.

Verizon has teamed up with authorities to provide smart cameras that will monitor any abnormal behaviors.

“If we had an object left behind or a vehicle placed where it shouldn’t be, the cameras could actually pick that up and flag that as an abnormal event and trigger an alert for us to look at that,” said Darren Pokonene, a solutions architect at the Verizon Command Center.

Perrye K. Turner, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Houston Division, said the security strategy will be to stay out of the way on game day so that fans can enjoy the event.

“Our goal is to be behind the scenes,” Turner said. “We want everybody to enjoy the event.”

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Scoreboard Roundup — 1/31/17

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

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Toronto 108, New Orleans 106 (OT)
Washington 117, NY Knicks 101
Houston 105, Sacramento 83
San Antonio 108, Oklahoma City 94
Portland 115, Charlotte 98
LA Lakers 120, Denver 116

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Columbus 6, NY Rangers 4
Carolina 5, Philadelphia 1
Pittsburgh 4, Nashville 2
NY Islanders 3, Washington 2
New Jersey 4, Detroit 3
Boston 4, Tampa Bay 3
Montreal 5, Buffalo 2
Florida 6, Ottawa 5
Winnipeg 5, St. Louis 3
Dallas 6, Toronto 3
Minnesota 5, Edmonton 2
LA Kings 3, Arizona 2
Anaheim 5, Colorado 1
San Jose 3, Chicago 1

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

(7) West Virginia 85, Iowa St. 72
(8) Kentucky 90, Georgia 81 (OT)
(10) Wisconsin 57, Illinois 43
(12) North Carolina 80, Pittsburgh 78
(22) Creighton 76, (16) Butler 67
(17) Maryland 77, Ohio St. 71

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Airman Surprises Family in Emotional Reunion at Celtics Game

ABCNews.com(BOSTON) — For Staff Sergeant Mathew Noll’s family, the best part of the Celtics game last night wasn’t the fact that Boston won, but rather, it was the moment their son surprised them on the basketball court home from his seven-month deployment to Iraq, Jordan and Qatar.

“I knew I was going to react big, but they were hitting the roof,” Noll, who is in the U.S. Air Force National Guard, told ABC News of his family’s emotional reaction.

Noll is a teacher on the civilian side. One of his former students helped him pull off this monumental surprise, which was roughly two months in the making.

“One of my seventh-graders from last year was the one who facilitated all of this,” he said. “I had them doing a lot of community service projects where they’d be the one reaching out to companies to facilitate a project, like Make-A-Wish. He, having the knowledge of pulling something off like this, got the ball rolling with finding the members of the Celtics’ front office and he must’ve found the right person and sent the right email. He’s been great.”

Noll originally told his family he was returning home on Feb. 10, but unbeknownst to them, arrived home much sooner.

“I spent a few days hiding out at friend’s houses,” he said. “I knew it would be worth the wait. That’s what I kept telling myself.”

And it certainly was. His mom, Susan Noll, could hardly contain herself when she saw her eldest son entering the arena.

“There are no words. I’m still in shock,” she said. “It all felt like a dream. Like, ‘Oh my God, that’s really him. It was surreal. It was just surreal. My husband is retired military and my other son just finished basic training, and to be a military family and to have it happen like it did was just great.”

#WelcomeHome #SeatsforSoldiers pic.twitter.com/nMePN13ZcG

— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 31, 2017

Noll said he was really nervous before his big unveiling, adding that the one thing going through his mind beforehand was, “Try to not look like an idiot. You only have one shot at this.”

Fortunately, the surprise went off without a hitch.

“It went as smooth as possible. There wasn’t one hiccup,” he said.

Noll is home for good now, and said he is very much looking forward to relaxing and seeing his pup.

“I’m going to sit in front of the fire and hang out with my dog,” he said. “I’m going to go grocery shopping and bunker down for the rest of the week.”

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Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor Celebrates Engagement with Empire State Building Run-Up

ABC News.(NEW YORK) — The 2013 Boston Marathon bombing cost Roseann Sdoia her leg, but she found a gift that will be hers forever as a result.

The firefighter who rescued Roseann, Mike Matera, just became her fiancé in December.

Now, the two are going to celebrate their engagement by running in the 40th Annual Empire State Building Run-Up.

Sdoia met her future husband when he rescued her from the second bombing. He visited her in the hospital, met her family, and the two eventually began a relationship. It resulted in him proposing to her in Nantucket in early December.

Sdoia spoke with ABC News about the run. Over 200 participants from around the world will race 86 floors, taking more than 1,500 steps and travelling over one thousand feet.

Nearly four years later, she’s partnered with the Challenged Athletes Foundation, a non-profit that provides opportunities and support to people facing physical challenges. She’s trying new activities, such as learning Italian, that she says can help raise her self-esteem and give her a sense of purpose. Sdoia credits the foundation for helping her and so many others try new and rewarding activities.

Sdoia and her fiancé will run on February 1, 2017.

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