In Sochi, Russia, Hubertus Von Hohenlohe will compete in his sixth Winter Olympics. The 55-year-old downhill skier and German prince won't be skiing under the flag of his royal heritage, however. He'll be with the team of his birthplace, Mexico.
In honor of his Querido Mexico (beloved homeland), Hohenlohe says he will race down the Russian slopes decked out in a state-of-the-art mariachi ski suit.
Freestyle aerial skier Mac Bohonnon recently finished second at the Val St. Come World Cup in Quebec, and that helped him qualify for the Olympics in Sochi. But when he's not doing triple-twisting double backflips, he's taking Advanced Placement classes at Team Academy in Park City, Utah.
Offensive lineman John Moffitt played pro football for the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos. Those are the teams playing in this Sunday's Super Bowl. In fact, Moffitt was on Denver's roster this year until he decided to walk away mid season. Unhappy with football, the 27-year-old turned his back on more than a million dollars in salary.
NPR's Mike Pesca talked to John Moffitt and to his former teammates about his decision to leave the game.
Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 1:44 pm
Even during a week when the NFL's Super Bowl is dominating sports pages and sports talk shows, college football is back in the headlines because players at Northwestern University have voted to form a union.
As we start this next story, let's remember that college football is big business, TV contracts, million dollar coaching salaries, game day revenues and more. Everybody profits except the players who may get treated like royalty and get all sorts of benefits on campus, but technically, are not supposed to be paid. So are they students or are they employees risking their health and the service of a big business?
The Super Bowl is just four days away in New York.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Actually, New Jersey.
INSKEEP: The teams have arrived at their New York hotels.
MONTAGNE: In New Jersey.
INSKEEP: The game itself will be played at New York's MetLife Stadium.
MONTAGNE: In New Jersey.
INSKEEP: Local towns have been hoping for an economic boost from hosting the big game. But as NPR's Joel Rose reports, some officials in New Jersey complain that tourism dollars seem to be flowing instead to New York City.
Football fandom simply overwhelms all other sports in America, growing not just merely super, but superior, from high school right on up to this Sunday's quasi-religious festival — which celebrates our adoration of the sportas much as the sport itself.
On a frigid afternoon, Jack Burke is coaching young skiers in a field in Saranac Lake, N.Y. His son Tim — who shoots and skis as part of the U.S. biathlon team — got his start training here. Now, Tim is off to Sochi to compete, but Jack and his whole family are staying home, missing the games for the first time since Tim's first Olympics in 2006.
"The uncertainty certainly did weigh into it," says Jack. "The cost was substantial, and costs seemed to be changing weekly."
Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 10:26 pm
East Timor, a small Pacific nation, will be represented at the Winter Olympics for the first time in history next month, when skier Yohan Goutt Goncalves, whose father is French and whose mother is Timorese, competes in the slalom ski race.
But before he could be sent to Sochi, Goncalves, 19, first had to take the unusual step of creating his country's national skiing federation, as Agence France-Presse reports.
It's single-digit cold as Brett West steps into the snow in his backyard in Ridgefield, Conn., and points to a wooden monstrosity. It stands 32 feet high and looks kind of like a wooden roller coaster.
"The whole thing's made of wood — two-by-fours, four-by-fours and 3-quarter-inch plywood, all pressure-treated lumber, with a lot of screws."
The homemade track was the first training ground for his son, Tucker, an 18-year-old who is the youngest member of the U.S. luge team in Sochi.