August 15, 1996 |
Sailing has been a big part of Dr. John Ross-Duggan's life since he was 7. By the time he was a teenager, he was doing well in California regattas, and at 15 he was seventh in the 1970 Hobie Nationals in Honolulu. After three years at Newport Harbor High, he entered premed studies at UC Irvine, where he also sailed for the university team. But an automobile accident in 1978, after he had completed his third year of medical school, left him a quadriplegic.
August 25, 2001 |
This month, I wrap up 40 years of covering sports in Southern California, the last 32 of them for The Times. As retirement draws near, memories of great moments come into sharper focus: * My first big-time assignment: Cassius Clay--now Muhammad Ali--knocking out Archie Moore at the Sports Arena in 1962. * Jockey-sized American Gerry Lindgren blowing away Russian veterans in a memorable 10,000-meter race at the Coliseum in 1964.
October 6, 1995 |
Bert Shepard fell 2,129 games short of tying Lou Gehrig's previous record for consecutive baseball games played. He never won a game as a major league pitcher. He even took a back seat to Pete Gray as a wartime baseball oddity. Shepard is a record-book blip. On Aug. 4, 1945, more than a year after his right foot had been shot off while he was flying a mission over Germany, Shepard took the mound for the Washington Senators.
February 2, 1999 |
In the emergency room, 14-year-old Jamie Whitlow listened as doctors told her parents: She'll never walk again. "My dad passed out," she remembers. But later, when it sank in, she recalls, "I wasn't upset that I wasn't going to walk. "I was upset that I wasn't going to play basketball." A top high school athlete, she'd dreamed of becoming a professional basketball player. There was no women's league at that time, but she "figured there would be by the time I got old enough."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 3, 1996
In their physical prime they may not be, but these athletes are never out of training. Day in and day out, the year round, they come to the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Sepulveda to work out. They run the 50-yard dash, throw the discus and--not everybody can be Hercules--play checkers and croquet. Officially, they're outpatients in the VA's rehabilitation therapy and wellness programs. In their hearts, they're going for the gold.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 1990 |
His 9-year-old brow furrowed in concentration, Nick Boehm waved his racquet as the green tennis ball floated past him. Crouched in his wheelchair, Nick missed three more times before connecting solidly, buzzing the ball past his instructor's ear. "I used to feel bad that I couldn't do a sport," he said with a smile, "but now I can and it makes me feel good."
June 18, 2001 |
Starting corrals at elite-runner marathons often showcase the sport's diversity--the long-legged and sleek, the short and slightly built and a host of others with pedigrees as long as their strides. With increasing regularity, Anthony Crudale has been in the front-of-the-pack fraternity, as he was at the start of the 20,000 runner Rock & Roll Marathon in San Diego on June 3. At 5 feet 7 and 135 pounds, the Las Vegas runner fit in well.
May 13, 2001 |
They stare, they whisper, they wonder. That's the reaction of spectators when they see sophomore Alex Elliott of Los Angeles Marshall High pitch for the first time. Then it hits them. "He's like Jim Abbott," someone observes. Elliott was born without a right hand, just like Abbott, who pitched 11 seasons in the major leagues. After Elliott releases the ball, he transfers his glove from his right arm to his left hand, catches the return throw from the catcher and repeats the routine.
December 4, 1994 |
John Sikora's wheelchair basketball career ended after 18 years because the medications he needs for hypertension and high blood pressure are banned by the worldwide governing body for disabled athletics. His situation underscores the problems sports officials face when trying to police the use of performance-enhancing drugs among the disabled. Sometimes the innocent become victims. During a U.S. tryout in spring, Sikora, of Sarrer, Pa., was tested by team officials.
December 4, 1994 |
David Kiley awoke in pain. Stabbing, gripping, tormenting pain. What Kiley did next changed his life as the world's greatest wheelchair basketball player. He took a red, spiral-shaped painkiller and hoped that the burning in his legs would stop. Now, he regrets taking anything that morning, 50 hours before the United States won the gold medal at the 1992 Paralympic Games in Barcelona. He regrets it because shortly after the U.S. victory, Kiley tested positive for a banned drug.