August 1, 2012 |
LONDON - Saber fencer Mariel Zagunis approached this day with a steely resolve. After each of her first three matches Wednesday, she walked briskly through the mixed zone - where reporters can talk briefly to athletes - with a stern expression and no intention of stopping, even when she had a three-hour break after moving into the semifinals. That may reflect the intense internal pressure she feels to win a third straight saber medal. It also is not uncommon, since track athletes take the same approach when they have two races in a short period of time.
July 31, 2012 |
LONDON — An Olympic sabre match looks something like a pirate movie. Two rivals square off, brandishing long blades. In the blink of an eye, they charge and commence hacking away. Only there is no blood and no one falls to the deck, so it's hard to tell who won. And when the point has ended — often in a second or two — the competitors turn to glare at the referee because even they don't know who struck first. "There's a bit of gamesmanship," said Tim Morehouse, a veteran fencer on the U.S. team.
July 29, 2012 |
LONDON - Shortly before 9:30 a.m., Barbara Mulroney settles into her seat at the ExCeL Centre and thumbs through her souvenir table tennis program. Inside the booklet, the native Londoner sees the names of two athletes who will be competing in the preliminary rounds: Olufunke Oshonaike of Nigeria and Neda Shahsavari of Iran. Mulroney doesn't have the foggiest idea who they are or let alone how to pronounce their names. "No matter," she says, smiling. "I'm at an Olympic event. That's what matters.
May 24, 2012 |
When historians of such things seek the moment the U.S. Olympic Committee found a way to forge the agreement Thursday that put the U.S. back in the game as a potential Olympic Games host, they need look no further than Oct. 7, 2009. It was five days after Chicago had suffered a humiliating first-round loss in the International Olympic Committee vote for host of the 2016 Summer Olympics. There quickly followed calls for heads in the USOC leadership to roll. It was the day USOC Chairman Larry Probst got so angry about being called out by some of his constituents, including athletes and the heads of the national sports federations, that he vowed to show them.
May 22, 2012 |
A North Carolina pastor may have thought he was simply addressing his local flock when he suggested that gays and lesbians be rounded up and held behind electrified fences until they die off. Now, he's finding himself under fire across the country. The sermon, captured on a video camera and posted Monday on YouTube, has gone viral: In the last 24 hours, it's been viewed more than 282,500 times and has been covered in blogs, in newspapers and by TV stations from coast to coast.
May 9, 2012
It's hard to imagine now, but there was a time when a comprehensive rapprochement between Israelis and Palestinians seemed not just possible but inevitable. In the mid-1990s, the two-state solution was gaining support on both sides. Hamas and Islamic Jihad were losing influence. Israel was handing over West Bank cities to Palestinian control. The 50-year-old conflict seemed to be nearing a resolution. Of course, that never came to pass. Peace fizzled in the wake of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the terrorist bombs of the Palestinian militants, among other things.
March 17, 2012
Just because the state says the public can't enter a park doesn't make it so, and that's the chief reason officials should reexamine their plan to close up to 70 parks starting in July. It's not that open space is sacrosanct; as much as we love them, parks are fair game for budget cuts along with almost everything else. But the question that Gov. Jerry Brown must answer is whether California will really save any money, even in the short run, by closing so many parks. The closures were originally supposed to save about $11 million a year, a small item in the budget.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 4, 2012 |
Ten days before Bob Anderson headed to the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki as part of the British fencing team, he responded to a call from a British film studio in need of three fencers to coach the lead actors for sword-fighting scenes in a new pirate movie. The movie was "The Master of Ballantrae," starring veteran Hollywood swashbuckler Errol Flynn. Anderson didn't win any medals at the Olympics, but he unexpectedly launched a new side career in the movies. Anderson, 89, who became an Olympic fencing coach while carving out a more-than-50-year career as a fencing trainer to the stars and a movie sword-fight choreographer and stunt double, died early New Year's Day at a hospital in England, the British Academy of Fencing announced.
December 30, 2011 |
With maturity comes some cognitive declines. But a few sports might provide enough of a mental challenge to curb that age-related wear and tear, a study finds. Researchers focused on young and old fencers to see if the activity was effective in counteracting some cognitive deterioration that happens to people as they age. Fencing was chosen because it's considered an open-skill sport, one in which players have to adapt their movements due to a changing environment -- in this case, a constantly moving opponent.
December 1, 2011 |
Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich, whose plan to give permanent residency to illegal immigrants has angered some conservatives, signed a pledge Thursday to build a double fence along the U.S.-Mexico border by the end of 2013. The former House speaker is on a two-campaign visit to Iowa, which will open the voting in the 2012 GOP contest next month and where anti-immigrant sentiment is intense. "We haven't been able to build a fence on the border because we have not been a serious country," said Gingrich, as he prepared to sign the pledge following a morning speech to employees at Nationwide Insurance in Des Moines.