Olympics

The Two-Way
8:16 am
Wed November 26, 2014

After 50 Years, An Olympic Medal Dispute Is Resolved

American sibling skaters Ronald and Vivian Joseph perform the "death spiral" on Oct. 26, 1963, at the World Championships. The International Olympic Committee announced this week that the Josephs, who originally placed fourth in the 1964 Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria, were in fact the bronze medalists.
Bill Peters Denver Post via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 1:47 pm

American figure skaters Vivian and Ronald Joseph placed fourth in the 1964 Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria. But a couple of years later, the International Olympic Committee determined that the West German silver medalists, Marika Kilius and Hans-Jurgen Baumler, had signed a professional contract before the games and stripped them of their medals (the IOC took such things seriously in those days).

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Sweetness And Light
2:47 am
Wed May 14, 2014

The Olympics: A Modern Day World's Fair (And Money Magnet)

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and Comcast Corp. chairman Brian Roberts signed an agreement this month that secures U.S. broadcast rights for NBC Universal through 2032.
Arnaud Meylan AP

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 11:50 am

Because it's the 50th anniversary, there's been a wave of nostalgia for the last New York World's Fair. It made me wonder: Whatever happened to World's Fairs?

Well, it turns out that they still exist. In fact, you, too, can go to a certified World's Fair next year in Milan, where the fun theme is "Feeding the planet, energy for life" — real cotton candy stuff that helps explain why World's Fairs are not so popular anymore.

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Classical Music
8:57 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Fiddler On The Slopes

Violinist-turned-Olympian Vanessa-Mae checks out her fellow skiers in Sochi, Russia on Feb. 10.
Clive Rose Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 4:08 pm

Classical music has managed to take center stage at sports events in the last few weeks. Soprano Renée Fleming sang the National Anthem at the Super Bowl two weekends ago.

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Sweetness And Light
2:32 am
Wed February 5, 2014

An Olympic Shame: Vladimir Putin Plays Host To Winter Games

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with Olympic volunteers in Sochi, Russia, in January.
Alexei Nikolsky AP

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 8:33 am

You know those commercials for prescription medicines on television when they devote the first 15 seconds to the benefits of the drug and then take the next 45 telling you all the bad things that could happen if you use it? Vladimir Putin's Olympics remind me of that. For all the happiness his Winter Games are supposed to bring us, you need considerably more time to hear about all the things that could go wrong.

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The Edge
11:00 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Skater Sonja Henie 'Put A Dollar Sign' Behind The Gold

Skater Sonja Henie (right) presents Shirley Temple with a pair of skates.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:12 am

When you see those graceful figure skaters perform at the Winter Games in Sochi — with their athleticism and their big-money endorsement deals — for better or worse, Sonja Henie paved the way.

Henie was the world's first great figure skater. A huge star in the 1930s and '40s, she was also divisive and controversial.

She grew up in Norway and was a dominant presence on the ice for decades, her grace and lyricism captured in newsreels and later in 11 Hollywood films.

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The Edge
2:42 am
Tue February 4, 2014

A Tiny Town Steeped In Skiing Tradition Has Its First Olympian

Russell Currier competes at the Biathlon World Championships in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, last year.
Fehim Demir EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:12 am

Ask locals to describe the landscape in the tiny town of Stockholm, up near the tip of northern Maine, and more than one will call it a winter wonderland. Woods dot the landscape of rolling white fields, and snow-covered spruce trees nestle roadways.

Winter is a long season, and you've got to find something fun to make it through — like skiing.

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The Edge
2:25 am
Mon February 3, 2014

The Games Are A Great Party, But Not A Great Investment

Graffiti covers a vent adjacent to the Athens Olympic Stadium in this photo from Feb. 18, 2012. Expenditures on the 2004 Athens Summer Games contributed to the country's debt load, which sparked the current economic crisis.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 6:02 pm

NPR correspondents Ari Shapiro, in London, and Joanna Kakissis, in Athens, teamed up for this joint look at Olympics economics.

The Winter Olympics in Sochi are just a few days away. Russia has spent $50 billion on everything from construction to security, making these the most expensive games in history.

Countries often justify the Olympic-sized price tag by saying the investment pays off in increased business and tourism.

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The Edge
2:31 am
Thu January 30, 2014

'Mariachi Olympic Prince' Takes Glamour To Sochi Ski Slopes

Mexican-born Hubertus Von Hohenlohe, a German prince, plans to ski in style for the Winter Olympics.
Courtesy of Alex Jorio

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 7:38 am

In Sochi, Russia, Hubertus Von Hohenlohe will compete in his sixth Winter Olympics. The 55-year-old downhill skier and German prince won't be skiing under the flag of his royal heritage, however. He'll be with the team of his birthplace, Mexico.

In honor of his Querido Mexico (beloved homeland), Hohenlohe says he will race down the Russian slopes decked out in a state-of-the-art mariachi ski suit.

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The Edge
1:55 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Too Far, Too Complicated: Why Some Families Will Sit Out Sochi

Security personnel sit in the back of a truck outside the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi. Security concerns are one reason why many U.S. fans and family are not going to this year's games.
David J. Phillip AP

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:52 pm

On a frigid afternoon, Jack Burke is coaching young skiers in a field in Saranac Lake, N.Y. His son Tim — who shoots and skis as part of the U.S. biathlon team — got his start training here. Now, Tim is off to Sochi to compete, but Jack and his whole family are staying home, missing the games for the first time since Tim's first Olympics in 2006.

"The uncertainty certainly did weigh into it," says Jack. "The cost was substantial, and costs seemed to be changing weekly."

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The Edge
5:09 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

'Crazy' And 'Surreal': Figure Skater Jason Brown's Road To Sochi

Jason Brown skates during this year's U.S. Figure Skating Championships at TD Garden in Boston. After his free skate was watched more than 3 million times on YouTube, he said, "I don't know how it happened. ... I'm so shocked, beyond shocked. It's so surreal to me."
Jared Wickerham Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:17 pm

It's been a good month for U.S. figure skater Jason Brown. At only 19, he placed second at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, securing a spot on the team going to Sochi for next month's Winter Olympics. But it was his free skate at the national competition that electrified the crowd and made a YouTube star of Brown.

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