Cheerleading Designated a Sport by AMA

HawaiiPacificCheerleading is far more than pom poms, pep rallies and spankies. As an ex-high school cheerleader, I’ve found myself in many heated arguments defending how truly rigorous and difficult competitive cheerleading is. Finally, the American Medical Association is on our side.

On Monday, delegates at the AMA yearly meeting in Chicago took a vote and designated cheerleading a sport at the high school and collegiate level. USA Today quoted Samantha Rosman, a Boston-area pediatrician, who explained, “Cheerleading is a leading cause of catastrophic injury in female athletes at the high school and college level.”  I mean, you try learning how to double down (when the girl flying around spins two times on their way down) and come out unscathed. Damn near impossible; we’re talking elbows flying,  black eyes, lost teeth and broken noses to name a few.

This is a great stride for the cheerleading community as it will require more training for coaches and more safety measures taken for the cheer-athletes.

I understand, haters are always gonna hate, but for those of you skeptics watch these routines and tell me this looks easy and that cheerleading doesn’t deserve to be designated a sport.

 

Torrance Shipman would be proud #boom #bringiton

What a Guy: Kevin Durant Donates $1 Million to Red Cross Tornado Relief

kevin-durant-nba-playoffs-2013-game-4

I have been in love with Kevin Durant on the basketball court since his debut, I fell more in love with KD after the hilarious Sprint NBA commercial, but today America fell head over heels in love with Kevin Durant the person.

After devastating tornadoes swept through the streets of Oklahoma City stripping people of their homes a beacon of hope emerged with the generosity of one very popular OKC Thunder player. CBS Sports’ Royce Young broke the news that Kevin Durant has donated $1 million to the American Red Cross to support the Oklahoma City Tornado Relief fund.

Even for a superstar NBA player, a million dollars is a really large sum of money. Durant earned approximately $17.5 million playing for OKC this past season – endorsements not included. So that means KD just donated about 5% of his salary to support the city that cheers him on throughout his season. The Oklahoma City Thunder organization then chimed in and matched Durant’s donation in support of relief as well.

Unlike other superstars, Mr. Durant didn’t take to twitter publicizing his donation. Rather, the Red Cross was the one to announce his generous donation while KD was urging others to donate to support the fund.

KD Tweet

I don’t think it gets much better than Kevin Durant ladies and gentlemen. Today he showed the world that he is not only an outstanding professional basketball player, but also an outstanding human being.

Chicago Icons Make SI’s 100 Greatest Photo List

Sports Illustrated just released their top 100 greatest sports photos of all time and some Chicago icons made the list. I feel like a proud mama bear when my city is represented in top lists! Here’s who made the cut:

  • Coming in at 81: Michael Jordan, All-Star Weekend, Feb. 6, 1988, Photo By Walter Iooss Jr./SI

  • Coming in at 50: The one, the only Dick Butkus, St. Louis,Sept. 28, 1969, Photo By Neil Leifer/SI

  • Drum roll please….The number one greatest picture of all time: Michael Jordan’s buzzer beater against the Utah Jazz, Game 6, 1998 NBA Finals, Photo By Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty Images. Doesn’t get much better than that ladies and gents.

Check out the whole gallery, it’s pretty incredible. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/specials/100greatestphotos/?eref=sihp&sct=hp_t14_a0#grid

Get Down with the Chicago Marathon this Sunday

After months of preparation thousands will take to the streets of Chicago this Sunday (October 7) to run their butts off for 26.2 miles. I commend each and every one of them! My limit was 13.1 – love me a nice halfsie. If you’re not down to run the full 26.2 miles, but you want to cheer on friends, family, or just sip on a mimosa while others run around town the Bank of America and the CTA put together a handy little map of how to get to the best viewing locations via the train system, check it out!

Grand (Red Line) Station – Miles 1, 3 and 12
Board a Red Line train and exit at Grand Avenue.

Monroe (Red Line) Station – Mile 2
Board a Red Line train and exit at Monroe Street.

Chicago (Red Line) Station – Miles 3.5 and 11.5
Board a Red Line train and exit at Chicago Avenue. Walk three blocks west to LaSalle Street.

Addison (Red Line) Station – Mile 7.75
Board a Red Line train and exit at Addison Street. Walk four blocks east to Broadway.

Sedgwick (Brown Line) Station – Mile 10.25
Board a Brown Line train and exit at Sedgwick Street. Walk a half-block north to North Avenue.

UIC-Halsted (Blue Line) Station – Miles 16, 16.5
Board a Blue Line train and exit at UIC-Halsted. Use the Halsted Street exit or Morgan Street exit. Walk two blocks north on Morgan Street to Adams Street to view the runners at Mile 16 in Greektown or use the Halsted Street exit to Mile 16.5.

18th (Pink Line) Station – Mile 19
Board a Pink Line train and exit at 18th Street. Walk one block east to Ashland Avenue.

Halsted (Orange Line) Station – Mile 20.5
Board an Orange Line train and exit at Halsted.

35th-Bronzeville-IIT (Green Line) Station – Mile 23
Board a Green Line train and exit at 35th-Bronzeville-IIT. Use the 33rd Street or 35th Street exit.

Sox-35th (Red Line) Station – Mile 23.25
Board a Red Line train and exit at 35th Street. Walk two blocks east on 35th Street to State Street.

Roosevelt (Red, Green and Orange Line) Station – Finish Line
Board a Red, Green or Orange Line train and exit at Roosevelt Road. Walk east on Roosevelt Road toward the Museum Campus/Grant Park.

Good luck runners! Don’t forget to carbo-load, hydrate like crazy, and run like the wind! Oh, and keep warm it’s going to be a chilly one this year!

2012 Illinois Olympians

(Chris Helgren/Reuters)

After months of hype the 2012 London Summer Olympics are finally here! While I was reading the Red Eye today during my morning commute, I came across the page listing out the Illinois Olympians participating in London. And you thought your High School/College war stories were brag worthy – ha!

Here are the list of our home-state Olympians repping the IL:

Lance Brooks
Sex : Male
Competing in Athletics
Event / position / class : Discus Throw
Age : 28
From : Springfield

Kelci Bryant
Sex : Female
Competing in Diving
Event / position / class : 3m synchro
Age : 23
From : Chatham

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Ellis Coleman
Sex : Male
Competing in Wrestling
Event / position / class : Greco-Roman 60kg
Age : 20
From : Oak Park

(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Anthony Davis
Sex : Male
Competing in Basketball
Event / position / class : Forward
Age : 19
From : Chicago

(Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images South America

Conor Dwyer
Sex : Male
Competing in Swimming
Event / position / class : 400m free;800m free relay
Age : 23
From : Winnetka

Matt Grevers
Sex : Male
Competing in Swimming
Event / position / class : 100m back; 400m free relay
Age : 27
From : Lake Forest

Courtesy of Getty Images

Andre Iguodala
Sex : Male
Competing in Basketball
Event / position / class : Guard/Forward
Age : 28
From : Springfield

(Scott Olmos-US PRESSWIRE)

Evan Jager
Sex : Male
Competing in Athletics
Event / position / class : 3,000m steeplechase
Age : 23
From : Algonquin

(Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images Europe

Amy LePeilbet
Sex : Female
Competing in Soccer
Event / position / class : Defenseman
Age : 30
From : Crystal Lake

(Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images)

Candace Parker
Sex : Female
Competing in Basketball
Event / position / class : Forward/Center/Guard
Age : 26
From : Naperville

Sean Rooney
Sex : Male
Competing in Volleyball
Event / position / class : Outside Hitter
Age : 29
From : Wheaton

Bob Willis
Sex : Male
Competing in Sailing
Event / position / class : Men’s Windsurf
Age : 25
From : Chicago

It’s crazy to think we could have potentially grown-up or met one of these Olympians at a local grocery store or park at some point in our lives (I would say local bar, but Olympians are too busy being awesome to consume alcohol). Let’s make sure to tune in and cheer for our home-state heroes! Opening ceremonies start tonight at 9 PM London time, but no live showing of the event will be available for viewers in the United States. Instead, NBC is showing a tape-delayed version in the U.S. at 7:00 PM ET – 6 PM CT :-).

Royalty at Wimbledon

Courtesy of Getty Images

The infamously elite All England Club of Wimbledon got a dose of royalty Wednesday when Prince William and his stunning wife Kate arrived at at the Men’s Quarterfinals at Centre Court.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are definitely fan favorites receiving a loud ovation as they took their seats in the “Royal Box” to watch six-time champion Roger Federer’s match against Mikhail Youzhny. Do you think you actually have to be ROYAL to sit in the royal box?

They later watched British hope Andy Murray defeat David Ferrer of Spain in the second match on Centre Court. William and Kate also watched Murray play at Wimbledon last year, I think they may fancy him :-).

3-Peat for the Hersey Huskies

The Hersey High School Huskies are the Illinois Special Olympics Basketball Champions for the third year in a row, and man was it a fight to the final second!

First, let me introduce you to the crew. Chris Marques – a man of many names on Facebook, you may know him as: Waterbender, Cuban Missile, Clark Kent Boy, ChicagoBlackhawkpartynation, or CMarq, but he has the wing-span of a falcon. Joel Gomez is so speedy quick, he can be up the court in a flash and he’s CMarq’s right-hand man. Tim Cooley, Edmund Woodbury, Harry Fisher, and Jose Lopez are the glue that keeps this unstoppable team together.

Here’s how it all went down – The Hersey Huskies headed to Bloomington for the Illinois Special Olympics Semi-Final game to take on the Argonauts of Argo High School. The Argonauts gave the Huskies a great game, but Hersey came through with a win 57-41. It was a great team effort, Marques had 34 points (must be the D-Rose Adidas shoes), Gomez had 13, Woodbury had 8, and Fisher had a bucket as well. With the victory, the Huskies advanced to the Championship game.

The Huskies took on the Hope Bulldogs Saturday morning for the gold medal. Let me tell you, it was March Madness. The two teams were a perfect matchup of skill and strength; the game was neck and neck throughout all four quarters. After a tough battle, the Huskies pulled off a remarkable 61-60 win. The last 30 seconds were nail biting.  Hope was up 60-57 and with 13 seconds left on the clock, Marques was fouled on his layup attempt, swished both free throws and the Huskies were down by one. Hope’s inbound pass was picked off by Marques, who passed to Gomez for the game-winning bucket. The crowd went nuts! Marques finished the game with 35 points, Gomez added 24, and Lopez contributed 2.

This weekend’s tournament was a great way for graduating members Chris Marques and Joel Gomez to finish their time with the Huskies.  They will be moving on to a new league.  I can’t wait to see what great chemistry this pair will have in the North West Special Recreation Association next season!

Congratulations Hersey Huskies!!