Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 10:06 am
Olympic competition began under gorgeous blue skies Thursday in Sochi, with snowboarders soaring in a new event for the games — slopestyle. Boarders performed the remarkable tricks and twists that make slopestyle a thrill to watch. American Chas Guldemond placed fifth in the first heat, qualifying him for Saturday's semifinals.
And at last, we can say this morning, let the games begin. The Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics will be held tomorrow in Sochi, Russia. But there were just too many sports to fit in, so a few got an early start, including a new Olympic event: slopestyle snowboarding. It debuted on a clear, beautiful day on the mountain of Rosa Khutor.
NPR's Robert Smith has been taking in the scene, and joins us now. Good morning. This is pretty exciting.
Soccer star David Beckham is bringing a Major League Soccer team to Miami. He made the announcement on Wednesday in downtown Miami, not far from a site he and his partners are looking at for a stadium. Miami, however, is a city where Major League Soccer has tried — and failed-- before.
And finally this hour, a U.S. Olympic athlete in her own words. Kacey Bellamy plays defense for the U.S. women's hockey team. This is her second trip to the Olympics. She was on the team that made it to the final round in Vancouver in 2010. They lost to Canada, 2-0. Bellamy grew up in Westfield, Massachusetts. And as she prepares for this year's games, she took some time to reflect on the role her family has played in her career.
David Beckham's career in American soccer isn't over, despite his recent retirement from the field. Beckham confirmed Wednesday that he will create a Major League Soccer expansion team in Miami. Details about the team's stadium and start date are still being worked out.
Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 10:45 am
It is fitting that the Winter Olympics, one of the world's fiercest competitions, is taking place amid the breathtaking beauty of the Caucasus.
For centuries, Russia's greatest writers have been inspired by this volatile region full of not only immense natural beauty but also human misery. No matter how or why these writers came to the area, they found a land full of possibility and pain, rich in beauty, yet rife with violence: in short, a concentrated microcosm of the contradictions of life itself.
Americans playing hockey at the Olympics expect to be well-protected. Some are wearing armored socks. The socks are made with materials including copper and Kevlar, more commonly used in body armor. These socks protect the skaters' lower legs from being slashed by the skates of rival players. There is no indication that figure skaters will also take up this fashion. But if Nancy Kerrigan only had them 20 years ago, history would be very different.