Sports

Sports
4:46 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

After a two year fight, Down Syndrome athlete wins right to play senior season

taylorschlades http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/602713

After more than two years of campaigning, a high-schooler with Down Syndrome will be able to play football his senior year. His family fought to create an age waiver for athletes with disabilities.  

Eric Dompierre of Ishpeming has played with his team the last three years. He's a kicker, practices twice a day, and even asked for a Bowflex for Christmas to keep training.  But now he's 19, past the state age-limit for high school athletics.

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Sports
7:09 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Flint's favorite daughter: Claressa Shields takes gold

Shields' family and friends celebrate her victory
Kate Wells

Seventeen-year-old Claressa Shields has won the first US women’s gold medal in boxing.

And her hometown of Flint is celebrating. Residents came together to watch Claressa’s triumph in a standing-room-only bar downtown. Everyone was there, from the mayor, to families with babies strapped into high chairs.

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Sports
12:40 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

RESULTS UPDATE: Your personalized Michigan Olympian TV guide

Gymnast Jordyn Wieber from DeWitt
Team USA Flickr

Update 12:40 p.m., Aug. 8

(SPOILER ALERT)

Here's another update on how the Michigan Olympians are faring so far:

Ann Arborite Betsey Armstrong and the U.S.A. Women's Water Polo Team tied 9-9 in a game against Spain, and went on to beat China 7-6, moving them onto the quarterfinals.  They won in a game against Italy, 9-6, and against Australia in the semifinals, 11-9. Tomorrow, they will play against Spain for the gold medal.

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Sports
12:35 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Cyclists complete 97-day ride around Great Lakes

Great Lakes
NASA Goddard Photo and Video, Flickr

Last Sunday afternoon, Kris McNeal, 26, and Zach Chase, 25, rode their bikes into Duluth, Minnesota after a more than 5,300 mile bike ride around the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway.

The duo had previously completed a 1,700-mile trip from Seattle to Mexico, but that seems like child's play compared to this 97-day long trip.

Averaging about six hours of riding per day, McNeal and Chase covered between 60 and 70 miles before making camp each night. They got their first flat tire after 3,000 miles and ended up having 15 flats by the end of the trip.

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Sports
12:12 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Going for the gold: Flint's Claressa Shields heads to final match

Claressa Shields
Screenshot from Video The New York Times

Flint’s Olympic female boxer Claressa Shields will fight for a gold medal.  The boxer's family and friends gathered to watch their hometown athlete in her semifinal match this morning.  

It was an all-out brawl of a fight, fast and breathless and dominated by Shields. She took down Kazakhstan’s Marina Volnova 29 to 15.

Cheers erupted from the crowd of supporters packed into a bar in downtown Flint. Marcella Adams is Shields’ mother. She says she may just pass out if her daughter wins the gold.“I might just faint! I almost fainted right here!”

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Sports
4:58 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Fighting for football: one Down Syndrome athlete's story

jeltovski http://mrg.bz/PpvEAw

Football practice starts up at high schools across the state this week. But for one athlete's family, the biggest day of the season is tomorrow.

That's when the Michigan High School Athletic Association will decide whether Eric Dompierre can play football his senior year. Dompierre has Down Syndrome, but that hasn't kept him from playing with Ishpeming High's team the last three years. Now nineteen, Dompierre is too old to be eligible for the team.

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Sports
6:30 am
Fri August 3, 2012

The Olympics and The Things You Actually Want to Watch

London 2012 banner at The Monument
Michael Pead Wikimedia Commons

The London Olympics features 26 summer sports, with 39 disciplines, and 302 separate competitions, in a desperate attempt to get everyone to watch. 

So you’ve got the Ancient Sports, or the Events No One Watches Anymore, like horse riding, rifle range, and archery -- also known as, Things You Did in Summer Camp, But Stopped Doing After You Learned How To Drive and Talk To Girls.  Why not include making moccasins and key fobs?     

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Sports
7:32 pm
Sun July 29, 2012

DeWitt gymnast won't compete for all around Olympic title

Jordyn Wieber
USOC

Jordyn Wieber is the defending world all around women's gymnastic champion.  But, the DeWitt teenager will not have the chance to compete for the Olympic title in London.     

Wieber finished fourth in today's competition in London.  The top 24 go on to compete for the all around title.  However, Olympic rules prohibit more than 2 athletes from one nation to compete for the all around title.  Wieber finished behind two of her teammates in the initial scoring.  

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Sports
2:10 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Former Wolverine sues NFL, others over head injuries

user Malinaccier Wikimedia Commons

A former National Football League player from Michigan filed a lawsuit yesterday against the league and four others for failing to warn him of football-related head injuries, reports the Associated Press.

Derrick Walker lives in West Bloomfield, and he began his football career playing for the University of Michigan Wolverines where he served as co-captain in the '80s.  Since then, the plaintiff went on to play tight end professionally for the San Diego Chargers, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders. 

Over that time period, Walker's lawsuit says he was concussed multiple times which led to memory loss, difficulty concentrating, headaches and difficulty sleeping.  Now he's seeking at least $500,000 in damages, reports the Detroit Free Press.

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Sports
3:11 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Penn State's penalties may help MSU and U of M this fall (and into the future)

Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon says the University of Michigan and Michigan State University are inadvertently benefiting from sanctions handed down against Penn State today.  

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Sports
6:30 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Michigan Olympians

Ann Arbor-native Betsey Armstrong will goal tend for the U.S. Water Polo Team at this summer's Olympic Games
Michael Larson USA Water Polo

In the opening ceremonies next week, when the United States’ flag bearer declines to dip the Stars and Stripes for Queen Elizabeth, he or she will be following the lead of Ralph Rose, a Michigan alum who refused to lower the flag in the 1908 London Olympics, for King Edward VII. 

Rose explained, "This flag dips for no earthly king." 

Wolverines have also made their mark on the podium, winning 138 medals, including 65 gold. This year, Michigan is sending 26 athletes and coaches to London, who will compete in nine different sports. 

The list includes Betsey Armstrong, a graduate of Ann Arbor Huron High – widely considered the greatest high school in the history of Western Civilization —who will play goalie for the water polo team.

Tiffany and Jeff Porter both set hurdling records at Michigan, before getting married – even as Tiffany was becoming a doctor of pharmacy. 

There’s Connor Jaeger, an engineering student who walked onto the swimming team, and finished as a three-time NCAA All-American.  

There’s Sam Mikulak, a gymnast, who broke both ankles at a meet last year on the same landing.  He finished his remaining events – and learned afterward he’d fractured both ankles.  Not all tough guys play football.

And there’s Jerome Singleton.  When he was just one year old, doctors amputated his right leg below the knee.  He went on to become an engineering student, and a world-class paralympian – Michigan’s first.  

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5:00 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Slideshow: Michigan gymnasts Syque Caesar, Sam Mikulak will compete against each other at Olympics

Lead in text: 
Read about two University of Michigan gymnasts as they prepare to compete in the London Olympic Games.
  • Source: Freep
  • | Via: Elaine Ezekiel
Syque Caesar will perform on the high bar in the London Olympics that start this month. It's a good thing he doesn't need his left biceps to do this. Caesar tore it clean off the bone last week training in Ann Arbor.
Sports
4:04 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Bayview Mackinac Race this weekend

Courtesy Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race

It's a big weekend for sailors.  This is the 88th year for the Bayview Mackinac race. It starts in southern Lake Huron and ends at Mackinac Island.

This year's event has drawn 222 boats, crewed by about 2,000 sailors.

Greg Thomas is the race chairman.

"Maybe when you stand on shore, and you see a sailboat out there, it doesn't look like there's a lot going on," Thomas says. "But there's a lot going on.  It's very high-tech, there's a physical fitness part to it, an athleticism part to it, and a mental part to it."

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Sports Commentary
11:01 am
Fri July 13, 2012

College Football playoff problem solved!

Go Blue The University of Michigan

A committee of 12 university presidents recently approved a plan to create a four-team playoff for Division I college football – the last major sport to have one.  That has Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon wondering what good will come of it – if any. 

Well, it’s finally upon us.  No, not the apocalypse – Mayan calendar be damned – but a bona fide, Division I, college football playoff.

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Sports
2:29 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

DeWitt gymnast heading to the London Olympics

DeWitt native Jordyn Wieber will compete at the 2012 Olympics in London.
Jordyn Wieber webmasters Facebook.com

In last night's U.S. Olympic Trials for women's gymnastics, Jordyn Wieber placed second all-around, securing a spot on the team headed to London this summer.  The 16-year old DeWitt native nearly cinched the top score, impressing judges in San Jose's HP Pavilion with her performances on the uneven bars, the balance beam and in her floor routine.

In an interview with USA Gymnastics, Wieber, already named the 2012 National Champion in women's gymnastics, said,

"It feels amazing to be an Olympian. This is definitely the best day of my life and knowing that all of my hard work has paid off is amazing. I'm just so proud of each and every girl who competed here today."

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Sports Commentary
6:30 am
Fri June 29, 2012

Remembering Bob Chappuis, WWII hero and 'Mad Magician'

The University of Michigan's Bob Chappuis hurdling a tackler.
Michiganensian (1947) University of Michigan

One of Michigan Football's most famous players died earlier this month. Bob Chappuis played for the Wolverines in the '40s. He was a College Football Hall of Famer and a World War II hero. But that’s not how Chappuis described himself.

You can read about Bob Chappuis’s heroics as a World War II tailgunner, or as a Michigan Wolverines tailback, just about anywhere -- from his Time magazine cover story in 1947, to his obituary in the New York Times last week.  But my favorite stories are the ones he told his granddaughters.

I met Chappuis in 2000, while writing a story about his famous Michigan football team.  But I really got to know him when I coached his grandson Bobby’s high school hockey team.When Bobby went to Culver Academies for a post-grad year, I joined the family to see him graduate.

We all relaxed in a hotel suite, eating and drinking, while Chappuis’s teenage granddaughters goaded him to tell stories.  He could not refuse them, but he shared stories you couldn't find in magazines -- like when his father told him he could go to any school he wanted -- except Ohio State.  

Chappuis skipped the part about leaving college to volunteer for the Army, where he served as an aerial gunner on a B-25.  But his son interjected to explain how their granddad’s plane was shot down over Northern Italy, forcing the crew to parachute behind enemy lines. 

Chappuis waved it off.  “Everybody says we’re heroes.  But what kind of idiot wouldn’t jump from a burning plane?”   

He told his granddaughters how they hid in a ditch behind some bushes while Italian soldiers marched by. One of his crewmates grabbed a knife, and motioned to attack. Chappuis grabbed his shoulder, pushed him down and whispered, “They’ve got us outnumbered 30 to 3, and they’ve got guns.  I think you’ve seen too many Hollywood movies.  We are staying put.”

Smart move.  They were rescued by a family, who hid them in their attic.  They buried the Americans’ identifying clothing – but Chappuis drew the line at his Michigan ring.  “This stays with me,” he said. 

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Sports
1:44 pm
Sun June 24, 2012

Howell Schools plan end of pay-to-play policy

High school football players work out during a summer practice
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

HOWELL, Mich. (AP) - A Michigan public school district plans to do away with fees parents pay to allow their children to participate in sports.

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Commentary
10:00 am
Fri June 22, 2012

Commentary: Baseball and Politics

You may not have realized this, but the best thing President Obama may have going for him in November is that the Detroit Tigers are having a pretty disappointing season.

That may sound nuts to you, but there is documented evidence of this:  Throughout history, whenever the Tigers have done spectacularly well in an election year, the Republicans almost always win. When they’ve disappointed fans, the Democrats usually triumph.

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Sports
7:00 pm
Sun June 17, 2012

NASCAR's Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins at MIS, ends winless streak

Dale Earnhardt Jr.
NASCAR

BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) - Dale Earnhardt Jr. raced to his first Sprint Cup victory in four years, ending a 143-race winless streak Sunday at Michigan International Speedway.

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4:30 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Michigan will let players wear Gerald Ford's No. 48 this season

Lead in text: 
For the first time in almost 18 years, a Wolverine will don jersey number 48 this season. The number was previously retired for Michigan's 1934 MVP and the 34th President of the United States.
  • Source: Usatoday
  • | Via: Elaine Ezekiel
By Mark Snyder, Detroit Free Press The Michigan football program's plan to honor its legends by having current players wear their jerseys apparently will continue this season with former President Gerald Ford's retired No. 48. Michigan coach Brady Hoke made the announcement while answering a fan's question about the storied No.

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