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Articles filed under Olympics

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  • Phelps a bit miffed that he’s not going faster Jul 10, 2014 5:05 PM
    Michael Phelps figured he would be swimming faster by now. His coach believes he’s right on schedule. Phelps will get a final tuneup before the national championships when he competes in a special meet at the University of Georgia, featuring Ryan Lochte and some of the world’s top swimmers. Beginning Friday, Phelps will swim three events in three days, another important step in showing how fit he is since coming out of retirement. Coach Bob Bowman says he’s pleased with Phelps’ progress and sees no reason why he can’t eventually come close to some of the times he put up in the prime of his career. But Phelps is a bit miffed that he’s not going faster, only now realizing how difficult it is to return from a long layoff.

     
  • Pistorius trial: Defense ends its case Jul 8, 2014 10:58 AM
    The murder trial of Oscar Pistorius moved closer to a verdict on Tuesday when the defense ended its case. In early August the judge will hear final arguments that will highlight opposing portraits of the Paralympic athlete — a gun-obsessed egotist who shot girlfriend Reeva Steekamp in a rage or a vulnerable figure with a disability who pulled the trigger in a tragic case of mistaken identity.

     
  • War hero Zamperini lived ‘unimaginable drama’ Jul 3, 2014 7:11 PM
    Louis Zamperini, an Olympic distance runner and World War II veteran who survived 47 days on a raft in the Pacific after his bomber crashed, then endured two years in Japanese prison camps, has died. He was 97. Zamperini is the subject of Laura Hillenbrand’s best-selling book “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,” which is being made into a movie directed by Angelina Jolie.

     
  • Pistorius is not a narcissist, psychologist says Jul 2, 2014 10:30 AM
    Oscar Pistorius does not display the narcissism associated with men in abusive relationships and linked to “rage-type” murders, according to a psychologist’s report read Wednesday at the athlete’s murder trial. The report adds to conflicting evidence about the character of the double-amputee runner, who killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp by firing his pistol through a closed toilet door in his home.

     
  • Van Dyken demonstrates social media’s positive side Jun 28, 2014 4:16 PM
    Not long after Amy Van Dyken-Rouen had surgery for a life-threatening spine injury, while she still wasn’t completely out of danger, her husband placed a cellphone in her hands. The decorated Olympic swimmer had always enjoyed sharing her life and thoughts on social media, so Tom Rouen figured it might do her some good when she awoke. It worked more than he could have imagined, providing Amy a therapeutic tool as she makes the transition from elite athlete to possibly spending the rest of her life in a wheelchair.

     
  • Schaumburg Special Olympian a true team player Jun 12, 2014 11:29 AM
    Nick Joseph plays seven sports, but soccer is the one the 20-year-old from Schaumburg calls "very addicting." He's heading to New Jersey this week to play for Team Illinois' soccer squad in the Special Olympics 2014 USA Games.

     
  • No words needed to see Gurnee swimmer’s passion for the sport Jun 12, 2014 11:16 AM
    Gurnee resident Alex Dmytrenko doesn't speak, but no words are necessary to understand his passion for swimming. That passion will take him to New Jersey this week, where he'll swim for Team Illinois in the Special Olympics 2014 USA Games.

     
  • Crystal Lake Special Olympian runs ‘like lightning’ Jun 12, 2014 11:16 AM
    After a three-year hiatus from Special Olympics, Brent Kampert’s comeback in the sport he loves — running — was “like lightning.” Kampert, 28, of Crystal Lake earned a spot in this month's Special Olympics 2014 USA Games with a record-setting performance in the 2013 Illinois Summer Games, running 100 meters in 11 seconds.

     
  • Special Olympics role leads to teaching passion for Hoffman Estates teen Jun 12, 2014 11:16 AM
    Hoffman Estates High School grad Carina Valencia started pitching in with after-school activities for special-needs students. That quickly grew into a presence on the Special Olympics soccer team, and now, on Team Illinois in the national games. "It's a life-changing experience for me," she said.

     
  • After nine trips to state, gymnast ready for USA Games Jun 12, 2014 11:09 AM
    Janna Blowers’ passion for gymnastics started at the age of 5. After competing in Special Olympics for 11 years, the 19-year-old will be representing Illinois at the Special Olympics 2014 USA Games in New Jersey next week. “She is very excited,” said mother Betsy Blowers of Campton Hills. “This is going to be her one and only (time). In Illinois, you only get one (chance at nationals).”

     
  • Wildwood Special Olympian takes leadership role on volleyball team Jun 12, 2014 11:08 AM
    Jason Coy isn't boastful, but the Wildwood man has a room full of medals and trophies for his athletic exploits. He's out to earn more as a member of Illinois' volleyball team at the upcoming Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey. "He's kind of a coach on the court," said his coach, Amber Bodame.

     
  • Downers Grove man perfect choice to represent Illinois at Special Olympics Jun 12, 2014 11:08 AM
    Jeff Osowski says he was "shocked" when he learned he had been selected for the golf team competing in next week's Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey. But those who know the Downers Grove man say he shouldn't be surprised because Jeff is not only a fine golfer, but an even better teammate.

     
  • For peer coach, unified soccer team an ‘eye-opening experience’ Jun 12, 2014 11:05 AM
    Juan Laverde never gave much thought to the athletic aspirations of youngsters with intellectual disabilities. Then he got involved in some eye-opening programs at Neuqua Valley High School and in Special Olympics and discovered just how much some of those athletes have to offer.

     
  • Palatine gymnast aiming high in Special Olympics USA Games Jun 12, 2014 11:06 AM
    When asked what she hopes to accomplish this weekend at the highest level competition in her 10-year athletic career, gymnast Karlee Darow of Palatine does not hesitate. “I want to try to do my best and make sure everyone does a great job too,” Karlee says.

     
  • Teen’s passion for soccer culminates in trip to USA Games Jun 12, 2014 11:06 AM
    Like most Olympians, 17-year-old Matthew Sommerer has spent near a lifetime preparing to compete at the highest levels. In his case, that will be playing soccer for Team Illinois in the upcoming Special Olympics 2014 USA Games games in New Jersey. “I started to play when I was 8 years old,” the Hoffman Estates High School junior says.

     
  • Switch to track and field pays off for Lincolshire Special Olympian Jun 12, 2014 11:06 AM
    Peter Hill has been competing in the Special Olympics since he was a young child living in Virginia. But last year, the 34-year-old Lincolnshire resident switched from softball to track and field. The move paid off, as Peter earned a spot representing Illinois in the upcoming Special Olympics 2014 USA Games, kicking off Saturday in New Jersey.

     
  • Devotion to helping others leads Hoffman teen to Special Olympics Jun 12, 2014 11:07 AM
    Vanessa Sandoval was a freshman at Hoffman Estates High School when she became intrigued by the idea of giving back to the community. Vanessa soon discovered participating in the Special Olympics was her ticket to give back to those who needed it most.

     
  • Suburban Special Olympians going for gold at USA Games Jun 12, 2014 1:19 PM
    You won't see them interviewed by Bob Costas live from an NBC studio, catch highlights of their exploits on ESPN, or even find their results on your favorite sports sites online. But for thousands of athletes from across the country — some of them from the suburbs — years of training, dedication and effort will culminate starting this weekend when the Special Olympics 2014 USA Games open in New Jersey.

     
  • Ex-Olympian swims with suburban kids at Stevenson Jun 11, 2014 8:55 AM
    Six years have passed since swimming legend Dara Torres last competed in the Olympics, but the California native showed she’s still in fine form Tuesday when she joined a group of young suburban swimmers at Lincolnshire’s Stevenson High School. “It’s a lot of fun,” Torres said of the meet-and-greets. “Some of the shy ones are so cute.”

     
  • Japan Olympics organizers review Tokyo 2020 plans Jun 10, 2014 11:47 AM
    Japan’s Olympics organizers said Tuesday they are reviewing their plans for the venues of Tokyo’s 2020 Summer Games due to concerns about cost. Tokyo Gov. Yoichi Masuzoe told a city assembly meeting that the overall plan for the venues needs to be revised. “We must respond to concerns over rising facilities costs, including rising costs for labor and construction materials,” Masuzoe said. “We will review the plan as soon as possible from that point of view and revise what needs to be revised appropriately and promptly so that there will be no obstacles for the preparations for the games,” he said. Japan has already informed the International Olympic Committee about its intention to review and revise its plans, the broadcaster NHK cited Masuzoe as saying. Yoshiro Mori, a former prime minister and rugby enthusiast who heads Tokyo’s Olympic committee, issued a statement saying that Masuzoe and other members of the committee agree on the need to revise the plan for the venues. The statement did not refer specifically to plans to replace Tokyo’s National Stadium with a colossal, 80,000-seat facility, the centerpiece of the city’s Olympics bid. The proposed new stadium has caused protests over its size, cost and design. The Japan Sports Council has already scaled back its original proposal to spend 300 billion yen ($3 billion) on a 75-meter-tall stadium to a still-hefty 169 billion yen ($1.7 billion). It recently presented its plans for the stadium to the Olympics organizers, saying it did not envision revising the basic design concept but would take other concerns into consideration. Mori said the Tokyo committee was dedicated to creating a “legacy of sports-centered and affluent, healthy living spaces.” Tokyo, the 1964 Summer Olympics host, failed in a bid to host in 2016 but won the right to host the games in 2020 with a plan emphasizing the city’s safety and advanced infrastructure. Of the 33 competition venues, 28 will be within 5 miles (8 kilometers) of the Olympic Village, which will be built on reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay.

     
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