The Reluctant Fairy

May 7, 2015 // 0 Comments

By Gary Morly and Olivia Yasukawa Seoul, South Korea (CNN)She’s one of the most popular sports celebrities in South Korea, but don’t expect Son Yeon-Jae to make a big fuss about it. In fact, she will probably just blush — the sweet-smiling 20-year-old’s shy demeanor is part of her endearing charm. The petite athlete is known by her adoring fans as “Fairy” — a nickname she reluctantly accepts, despite being slightly embarrassed by the attention it brings. As the first rhythmic gymnast from her country to reach the all-around final at the Olympic Games, and the first to win a medal at the sport’s world championships, she is learning to deal with the glare of public attention. “Everyone is watching when I come back to South Korea,” says Son, who has spent the past five years training in Russia with elite coaches. “Sometimes it feels like pressure but I think it’s really good because everyone is supporting me, so [...]


May 6, 2015 // 0 Comments

By CNN (CNN)Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid have swept all before them in this season’s Champions League — but perhaps they didn’t anticipate being schooled by an ‘old lady’ and an ex. The ‘old lady’ in question wasn’t wielding a walking stick but instead came in the guise of a Juventus side powered by the insatiable Carlos Tevez and the familiar figure of Alvaro Morata. Juventus, nicknamed ‘La Vecchia Signora’ or ‘old lady’ in English, deserved its win after a pulsating contest against the reigning champion. It was Morata, once of Real, who punished his former side for its slow start and it was Tevez, who ran and ran all night, who finished off Real from the penalty spot. In between, Ronaldo, who else, claimed an invaluable away goal for Real — his 54th of the season — but even he was unable to save his side from defeat. “The most important thing was the win,” Patrice Evra, the Juventus [...]

Standing Ovation

May 4, 2015 // 0 Comments

By ABC News Marcus Mariota received a hero’s welcome Saturday at Oregon, where fans gave the reigning Heisman Trophy winner a standing ovation during the Ducks’ spring football game. Mariota attended the game less than two days after being selected by the Tennessee Titans with the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL draft. Oregon played a video tribute to Mariota during halftime at Autzen Stadium, and the crowd of over 35,000 saluted the former Ducks quarterback with a raucous ovation that lasted several minutes. “That was cool, that was really cool,” Oregon coach Mark Helfrich told reporters. “A couple weeks before the draft, he was jacked that he could be here for the spring game. It just pays tribute to both him and this program, this community, the fans that [attending the spring game] was his main goal. … That was very him.” Mariota watched the game from the sideline and even offered some pointers to  Jeff Lockie, who is competing for the [...]

Wooly Jumpers

May 2, 2015 // 0 Comments

By Sarah Holt (CNN)From office sweepstakes to gambling grannies, Grand National fever is sweeping the UK ahead of the nation’s world-famous horse race at Aintree on Saturday. A record-breaking $219m is expected to be laid in bets across the globe on which colorfully named horse will master the fearsome fences over the four-mile course. “It is the biggest betting event of the year by a long way,” Mark Pearson, of British bookmaker Betfred, told CNN. “With a worldwide television audience of 600m in 2014, it is simply the world’s biggest race.” Irish jockey Tony McCoy will be the star attraction at Aintree as the multiple champion jockey races in his final Grand National on mount Shutthefrontdoor. But for those looking for an outside bet, then the rival Grand National Sheepstakes in Devon could be just the ticket. Grand National fever is so entrenched in the UK that some ideas are a little barmier (or should that be baa-mier?) than others. Visitors to [...]

Chases Racing Crown

May 1, 2015 // 0 Comments

By Motez Bishara (CNN)It’s been dubbed the most “exciting two minutes in sports.” But if you’re a top racehorse owner, the Kentucky Derby can also be the most nerve-racking 120 seconds of the year. “I’m extremely hopeful, scared and excited,” Ahmed Zayat, who has three thoroughbreds running in the most decorated of all horse races Saturday, told CNN. “I can’t sleep and I’m counting the minutes.” His nervousness is warranted. The 141-year-old cup known as the “Run for the Roses” arguably has as much to do with lady luck as it does with pageantry and competition. “You have to be the best horse on the first Saturday in May at 6.35pm,” said John Ward, the executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, who won the Derby as a trainer in 2001. “It doesn’t matter if you’re the best horse in April or you’re the best horse in July. And you don’t get to call a [...]

Scarily Deep

April 29, 2015 // 0 Comments

By Meera Dolasia If you like to showcase your superior diving skills you may want to check out Italy’s Y-40 Deep Joy. As the name indicates, the depth of this pool extends down 40 meters (131-feet) – the height of a 12-story building or nine double-decker buses stacked atop each other! The pool that is located at the Hotel Millepini in Montegrotto Terme, has a wide 21-meter (68-feet) by 18-meter (59-feet) surface and at first sight appears just like any other ordinary pool. However, as the swimmer goes beyond 15-meters (49-feet), it narrows into a circular well-like hole that plummets down a steep 28-meters (91-feet). As you may have guessed, the Y-40 is not for casual hotel guests seeking to cool off with a quick dip, but for scuba enthusiasts and free-divers looking to perfect their skills before going into the open seas. At the pool’s bottom lie some underwater caves that enable athletes to practice their sub-aquatic landscape negotiating prowess. What makes the [...]

Finally Finds a Fit

April 28, 2015 // 0 Comments

By Lori Ewing TORONTO — It’s been a frustrating ordeal that has taken up the better part of two seasons, and involved more than dozen pairs of skates. But finally, Kevin Reynolds believes it’s over. He’s found a pair of skates that fit. And now the 24-year-old from Coquitlam, B.C., headed into Canadian figure skating championships in Kingston, Ont., more confident than he’s been in ages, with eyes on capturing his first national senior title. “I want to be able to show that I can be back in competitive shape, and I’ve done everything that I can, and whatever happens at the national championships, whether it’s good or bad, I’ll know I put my utmost effort into it,” Reynolds said on a conference call Friday. Reynolds’ skate issues began early last season, when he couldn’t find a pair of boots that properly fit his uniquely shaped foot: very narrow at the heel and wide in the front. He went through nine pairs of boots last season, four in the off-season. He [...]