I FOUND OUT VERY EARLY ON THAT I COULD RUN FAST. Shell, the company my dad worked at for 40 years, hosted these annual picnics where they’d put on a 50-yard dash for the kids. I’d win every year, my dad bragging, “That’s my boy!” Now, if it had been up to him, I would have played third base for the Giants. But at age 13, I pledged the next decade of my life to becoming the world’s fastest human.
WHEN CAMRYN ROGERS WAS A HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR, she downloaded an app that counted the days until the 2020 Olympics. It was 2017, and the Vancouver native was already a record-breaking competitor in the hammer throw.
Posted on April 7, 2020 - 1:28pm
IN NOVEMBER OF 2015, A FEW DAYS BEFORE the Big Game between UC Berkeley and Stanford, California State Sen. Nancy Skinner attended an Oakland Rotary Club meeting. That day, as it often does, the club was discussing athletics, and it had invited antitrust economist Andy Schwarz, a longtime critic of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Schwarz, “a Stanford guy,” shared the stage with the Cal Band, which played Cal songs, before he began his presentation.
PATTY HEARST STARED OUT THE WINDOW at the corn rows flying past, bored to death by the man next to her who talked nonstop about sports and revolution—two things she was pretty sure had nothing to do with each other. The man’s name was Jack Scott. He was 32, balding, with a runner’s build and alert blue eyes that Patty would later describe as shifty.
From her office in Haas Pavilion, Teri McKeever can look down on Spieker pool. She’s been known to yell out the windows if things aren’t going the way she wants—just one of the many ways she’s distinguished herself over three decades of coaching at Cal.
Posted on January 10, 2019 - 3:50pm
This weekend, the NCAA’s newest “Emerging Sport for Women,” varsity triathlon, will be holding the Women’s Collegiate National Championships in Tempe, Arizona. But the 75 women racing the sprint triathlon aren’t NCAA athletes. And triathlon isn’t an NCAA sport—at least not yet.
Posted on November 2, 2018 - 1:46pm
I knew my experience at Cambridge University would be far different from my four years at Berkeley when the suggested list of items to bring overseas inquired: Do you have enough formal wear?
My suitcase overflowed with ripped denim and shabby sweaters, so the answer, definitively, was no.
Earlier this month, the New York Times published its first feature story with augmented reality, or AR, depicting 360 degree models of Olympians suspended in action: a figure skater frozen in the middle of his quadruple jump, a speed skater paused during the sharp angling of a turn.
Posted on February 20, 2018 - 12:55pm
When I was five years old, I was entered into my first swimming competition.
Waiting for my event to begin, I stood at the edge of the pool, nervous and unsure of myself. The buzzer went off, and I dove into the pool. I swam my heart out, loving the feeling of adrenaline coursing through my veins. The cheering of the crowd was muffled underwater, making me feel a world away. As I reached the end of the pool and the race, I raised my head out of the water and the sounds of the crowd burst back to full volume.
Posted on May 30, 2017 - 2:20pm
In the afternoons, Dana Vollmer, 7-time Olympic medalist, takes her kid to the playground near their house in Danville. Sometimes people recognize them. But not usually.
“It’s always the moms,” she says, who recognize her. Or more accurately recognize her and her 19-month-old son, Arlen, together.
Posted on November 9, 2016 - 2:49pm
The debate raging about testosterone tests in track and field will come to an ugly climax in Rio, and reasonable people on both sides agree it is unfair that the ugliness has landed squarely on the shoulders of women like South African middle-distance runner Caster Semenya.
Posted on August 11, 2016 - 10:43am
With so many world-class athletes, UC Berkeley is always well represented at the Olympics. The joke in 2012 was that if Cal were its own country (and isn’t it, in its own way?), it would have tied for sixth in the world for the number of gold medals won. That number was 11, by the way.
Posted on June 16, 2016 - 3:31pm
The way Alysia Montaño sees it, she should have one Olympic and two world championships medals, instead of none. The former UC Berkeley runner finished fourth in the 800 meters at the 2011 world championships, fifth in the 2012 London Olympics, and fourth again at the 2013 world championships. In each of those races, she finished behind athletes who now face bans after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.
Posted on March 23, 2016 - 4:42pm