Review Category : National Sports

Prince Harry Closes 2016 Invictus Games: ‘Never Stop Fighting’

Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Invictus Games(ORLANDO, Fla.) — Prince Harry closed out the 2016 Invictus Games Thursday night with a star-studded closing ceremony that included performances from Rachel Platten, Rascal Flatts and Flo Rida and a spectacular fireworks presentation.

“You are all Invictus,” Harry told service members and veterans from around the world who gathered at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, over the past week to compete in dozens of athletic competitions.

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“You are now ambassadors for the spirit of these games. Spread the word. Never stop fighting and do all you can to lift up everyone around you,” Harry said before adding, “I’ll see you in Toronto.”

That’s a wrap! See you @InvictusToronto in September 2017. pic.twitter.com/EOhUWVwNeV

— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 13, 2016

Harry, 31, himself a veteran, created the Paralympic-style Invictus Games as a way to draw attention to and inspire wounded servicemen and women. Harry was an ever-present force at the games in Orlando, cheering the athletes on and even supporting the games’ four-legged competitors.

Harry attended the service dog swimming relay on Thursday and greeted the sopping wet dogs as they jumped out of the pool.

A last minute event – let’s not forget the 13 service dogs here who always provide huge support to their owners.https://t.co/qIRB8J0vXL

— Invictus Games (@WeAreInvictus) May 12, 2016

At Thursday night’s closing ceremony, the prince presented the Invictus medallion to every competitor.

“I’ve been hugely honored to hand out gold silver and bronze medals over the course of this competition, but what meant the most to me, was handing out your Invictus Foundation medallions this evening,” Harry said Thursday. “Those medallions are the real prizes, for the years of intense rehabilitation you’ve put yourselves through to be here.”

Prior to the Games, Prince Harry, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama challenged their respective U.S. and U.K. teams to perform their best, tweeting video mesages in a lighthearted Team USA vs. Team Great Britain battle for gold.

Unfortunately for you @FLOTUS and @POTUS I wasn’t alone when you sent me that video 😉 – H.https://t.co/sjfSQvkzb6

— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 29, 2016

Although the U.S. edged out the U.K. in the final medal count, the competition was about much more than medals. In the end, it was about the indomitable Invictus spirit that carried the way, about overcoming obstacles and surmounting life’s greatest challenges.

“What inspired me was the courage to make it to the starting line, to take to the field or to dive into that pool, motivated by the goal of giving your all, medal or no medal,” Prince Harry told the competitors. “You showed your families, your friends and yourselves just how far you’ve come, regardless of the result.”

Joining Prince Harry at Thursday’s closing ceremony was Dr. Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, who reminded the world of the competitors’ heroism both on the field and off.

“For the past four days the world has watched as some of the finest athletes and warriors carried their country’s flag in competitions against others who truly know the meaning of duty and sacrifice,” Biden said.

The next Invictus Games will be held in Toronto in September 2017.

The Invictus Games officially hands over from @InvictusOrlando to @InvictusToronto. Can’t wait Toronto! pic.twitter.com/llylZOK5GE

— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 13, 2016

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Scoreboard Roundup — 5/12/16

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

INTERLEAGUE
St. Louis 12, L.A. Angels 10

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Baltimore 7, Detroit 5
N-Y Yankees 7, Kansas City 3
Boston 11, Houston 1

NATIONAL LEAGUE
San Diego 3, Milwaukee 0
San Francisco 4, Arizona 2
L.A. Dodgers 5, N-Y Mets 0
Philadelphia 7, Atlanta 4, 10 Innings

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS
Oklahoma City 113, San Antonio 99

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS

San Jose 5, Nashville 0

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Sprint Cup Series Holding Race at Dover This Weekend

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Sprint Cup Series is in Delaware this weekend for its latest race.

Dover International Speedway will host the AAA 400 Drive for Autism on Sunday afternoon. FS1’s coverage of the race will begin at 1 p.m. Eastern time.

Kevin Harvick enters the weekend as the points leader. He has a four-point edge over Kyle Busch.

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Carson Wentz, Second Overall Pick in NFL Draft, Signs Rookie Contract

Photo by Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images(PHILADELPHIA) — Second overall draft pick Carson Wentz has signed his rookie contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, the team announced on Thursday.

Done deal! #Eagles QB @cj_wentz puts the pen to paper on his deal. All of the #EaglesDraft picks are under contract pic.twitter.com/XNjwMfDnk1

— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) May 12, 2016

Wentz, a rookie quarterback from North Dakota State University was the final Eagles draft pick who had not yet signed. He will make $26.67 million dollars over the span of his four-year contract with a $17.6 million signing bonus.

So blessed… Finally get to compete on the field again tomorrow! #firedup #FlyEaglesFly #AO1

— Carson Wentz (@cj_wentz) May 12, 2016

The Eagles begin their three-day rookie camp on Friday.

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Scott Skiles Resigns as Head Coach of Orlando Magic

Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images(ORLANDO) — After one year in charge of the Orlando Magic, veteran coach Scott Skiles resigned his position on Thursday.

The decision was announced by Magic General Manager Rob Hennigan. According to the team website, Skiles said that “after much thought and careful consideration, I and I alone, have come to the conclusion that I am not the right head coach for this team.”

His resignation is effective immediately, and a search for the team’s next coach will began right away, Hennigan said.

“I sincerely apologize for any unintended consequences that may adversely affect anyone associated with this decision,” Skiles said.

Hennigan acknowledged the difficult season, in which the team went just 35-47, saying that the team “reluctantly…accepted Scott’s resignation” and that they appreciate his effort in “instilling a culture of accountability.”

The 52-year-old was the 12th head coach in franchise history, and leaves with a career record of 478-480. His teams in Phoenix, Chicago, Milwaukee and Orlando made the playoffs in six of his 14 seasons as head coach.

The Magic did improve their record by ten games from last season, the fifth-largest single-season increase in franchise history.

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Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski to Grace Cover of “Madden NFL 17”

Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will grace the cover of the newest edition of Madden NFL.

GRONK. SPIKE.

Introducing the cover of #Madden17! pic.twitter.com/iCZUwIAuYO

— EA SPORTS Madden NFL (@EAMaddenNFL) May 12, 2016

An image of Gronk performing his customary post-touchdown spike will feature prominently on the front of all cases of Madden NFL 17, set to come out this summer. He will be both the first tight end and the first Patriots player to be honored on the cover.

“My rookie year, it was just an honor to be in the game, just using yourself as a player, throwing yourself the ball every single time you can at home, just playing the game,” Gronkowski said on ESPN’s SportsCenter. “Now it’s a dream come true, going into my seventh season and being on the cover.”

“When I first found out,” he said, “I was blessed. It was a surreal moment.”

It’s Official! What an honor it is to be the cover of @EAMaddenNFL https://t.co/FkCzLRxGVs pic.twitter.com/QStEWuOvIi

— Rob Gronkowski (@RobGronkowski) May 12, 2016

Gronkowski was a finalist for the Madden cover last year, but lost in a fan vote to New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

The past five covers had been decided by fan votes. The winners of those votes included then-Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis, Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman.

The Madden cover also, according to some superstitious fans, comes with the “Madden curse.” A number of players who have graced the game’s cover in the past have suffered major injuries or seen their performance drop precipitously in that year.

But Gronkowski’s not worried, saying that the curse has “definitely reversed itself from back in the day…you have Odell, who had an unbelievable year last year. You have Richard Sherman, who went to the Pro Bowl the year he was on it. Calvin Johnson, who broke the receiving record when he was on the cover.”

Your official first look at #Madden17 https://t.co/WfD9D5GcTL 👀 https://t.co/Ab9jWmfqT9

— EA SPORTS Madden NFL (@EAMaddenNFL) May 12, 2016

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Why This Invictus Games Winner Gave Back Her Fourth Gold Medal to Prince Harry

Alex Menendez/ Getty Images for Invictus Games(ORLANDO, Fla.) — After Prince Harry presented Team USA swimmer Elizabeth Marks with her fourth gold medal at the Invictus Games in Orlando Wednesday, she asked him to take it back and to deliver it to the hospital in Cambridge, U.K., that saved her life.

The 25-year-old swimmer, who is also an active duty Army staff sergeant, said she felt giving the medal back was the only way she could really say thank you to Papworth Hospital staff, who she credits with saving her life.

Prince Harry initially declined to take back the medal, but when Marks approached him again, he accepted.

At the time, Marks had fallen ill after traveling for the 2014 Invictus Games. She had trouble breathing and was admitted to Papworth, where she was eventually put on life support for two weeks and needed a machine to breathe for her.

Prior to that near-death experience, Marks also suffered bilateral hip injuries during a tour in Iraq.

Despite the setbacks, Marks has always continued swimming.

On Wednesday, Marks won gold in all of the four Invictus events she competed in: the 50-meter freestyle, 50-meter backstroke, 50-meter breaststroke and 100-meter freestyle.

Marks is ranked No. 1 in the world in the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 1:30.44, according to the International Paralympic Committee, and hopes to make the U.S. Paralympic team that will swim in Rio this summer.

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Mets’ Pitcher Noah Syndergaard Hits Two Home Runs Against Dodgers

Scott Clarke/ESPN Images(LOS ANGELES) — Just one day shy of the anniversary of his major league debut, Noah Syndergaard became the second pitcher in Mets history to hit two home runs in a game, according to ESPN.

Syndergaard hit a solo homerun and then a three-run homer against Los Angeles Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda.

“I don’t think I ever hit two home runs when I played little league,” Syndergaard said after the game. “To be able to hit two home runs in a big league ballgame, especially with a pitcher like Maeda up there, it’s an awesome experience.”

Walt Terrell is the only other pitcher in Mets history to hit two homers in a game, ESPN reports.

Syndergaard’s big night comes just days after his team mate Bartolo Colon hit a home run on Saturday in San Diego, making it an eventful week for Mets pitchers.

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Kyle Busch’s Crew Chief Fined, Suspended

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Kyle Busch’s crew chief has been fined and suspended in connection with infractions incurred last weekend at Kansas Speedway, the site of the Sprint Cup Series’ GoBowling 400.

Adam Stevens was fined $20,000 and suspended from points events through May 18, NASCAR.com reports. He was placed on probation through the end of the year.

The team’s front tire changer, Josh Leslie, was also suspended through May 18 and placed on probation through the end of the year.

An infraction with the team’s lug nuts was found in post-race inspection, according to Richard Buck, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series managing director, NASCAR.com reports.

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Scoreboard Roundup — 5/11/16

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

INTERLEAGUE
St. Louis 5, L.A. Angels 2
San Francisco 5, Toronto 4, 13 Innings
Washington 3, Detroit 2

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Baltimore 9, Minnesota 2
Texas 6, Chi White Sox 5
Houston 5, Cleveland 3, 16 Innings
Seattle 6, Tampa Bay 5, 11 Innings
Kansas City 7, N-Y Yankees 3
Boston 13, Oakland 3

NATIONAL LEAGUE

N-Y Mets 4, L.A. Dodgers 3
San Diego 7, Chi Cubs 4
Colorado 8, Arizona 7
Atlanta 5, Philadelphia 1
Pittsburgh 5, Cincinnati 4
Miami 3, Milwaukee 2
San Diego 1, Chi Cubs 0

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS
Golden State 125, Portland 121
Toronto 99, Miami 91

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS

St. Louis 6, Dallas 1

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