Greatest plays in NFL playoff history: Vikings’ miracle game winner makes list

How good was Keenum’s throw to Diggs for a 61-yard TD to put Minnesota in the NFC title game? It’s one of many miraculous plays in NFL playoff history.
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Olympic Champion Simone Biles Says She Was Also Sexually Abused by Team Doctor

In a tweet hashtagged #MeToo, reigning Olympic all-around champion Simone Biles revealed that she was a victim of sexual abuse by team doctor Larry Nassar.

“I too am one of the many survivors that was sexually abused Larry Nassar,” Biles writes.

“There are many reasons that I have been reluctant to share my story, but I know now it is not my fault,” she adds.” I am not afraid to tell my story anymore.”

Biles credits the recent revelations by her friends and teammates including Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman with helping her to also speak up. Like those gymnasts, Biles also lays blame with USA Gymnastics, the sport’s governing body, for failing to protect her and others from Nassar’s abuse.

“It is not normal to receive any type of treatment from a trusted team physician and refer to it horrifyingly as the ‘special’ treatment,” Biles writes. “This behavior is completely unacceptable, disgusting, and abuse, especially coming from someone whom I was TOLD to trust.”

According to accounts by more than 100 gymnasts, Nassar, who volunteered as the national team doctor for USA Gymnastics, abused the athletes under the guise of medical treatment for years, including at the national team training camps in Houston, Tex. and at international competitions.

In a lawsuit filed against USA Gymnastics, Maroney says that she was paid by USA Gymnastics to keep the allegations of abuse private. In her suit, Nichols says that the organization delayed reporting Nassar to law enforcement for five weeks.

In response to Nichols’ suit, USA Gymnastics said in a statement that “U.S.A. Gymnastics kept the matter confidential because of the F.B.I.’s directive not to interfere with the investigation. U.S.A. Gymnastics reported Nassar to the F.B.I. in July 2015 and to a different F.B.I. office again in April 2016.”

Nassar pleaded guilty to federal charges of child pornography in December, and was sentenced to 60 years in prison. He pleaded guilty to 10 counts of first degree criminal sexual assault in two Michigan courts; the sentencing hearings are scheduled for this month and many of the athletes who were abused are expected to testify.

Sports – TIME

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Magic in Minneapolis: Case Keenum, Vikings get moment they’ve waited for

Keenum scrambled for someone to hug. Fans’ “jaws were on the floor.” Mike Zimmer turned his postgame news conference into a pep rally. It was pandemonium for a quarterback who is always underestimated and for a franchise that always falls short.
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Jaguars’ incredible start takes scary Leonard Fournette turn

Jacksonville running back Leonard Fournette has gone to the locker room with an ankle injury. Fournette appeared to tweak his ankle on a spin move after catching a 10-yard pass from Blake Bortles in the second quarter. Fournette, who earlier scored on a 1-yard dive, was checked on the sideline before he limped to the…
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2018 Australian Open Roundtable: Predictions, Dark Horses and Top Storylines

Sports Illustrated’s tennis experts highlight the top storylines and matches to watch and predict the winners for the first major of the year at the 2018 Australian Open.

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Keith Jackson, Legendary ‘Whoa, Nelly!’ Sportscaster, Dies at 89

(SHERMAN OAKS, Calif.) — Keith Jackson, the down-home voice of college football during more than five decades as a broadcaster, has died. He was 89.

He died Friday and no cause was given in a statement Saturday by ESPN. Jackson’s longtime employer was ABC Sports.

Jackson covered many sports, but he was best known for college football. His signature phrases like “Whoa, Nelly!” gave his game calls a familiar feel.

Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger says Jackson “was college football” for generations of fans.

Jackson retired after the 2006 Rose Bowl and is a member of the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

Jackson was a longtime resident of Sherman Oaks, California, and Pender Harbor, British Columbia. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Turi Ann.

Sports – TIME

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Starbucks settles suit with mall giant over Teavana stores

The months-long bitter battle between Starbucks’ Teavana chain and the country’s No. 1 mall operator is over — with the java joint’s tea chain winning the right to shutter some of its stores. Simon Property Group sued Starbucks last August to keep it from closing 77 Teavana stores in its malls. In July, Starbucks announced…
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CBS, Viacom stocks rally on rumors of possible merger talks

CBS and Viacom shares jumped Friday as rumors swirled that the formerly joined media giants had re-entered merger talks. Both companies are controlled by the Redstone family — which split them in two in 2006 to maximize their value. While CBS, led by Chief Executive Les Moonves, has prospered, Viacom has struggled mightily — sparking…
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How to Watch the Alabama vs. Georgia College Football Championship Game Tonight for Free

On Monday night, the Alabama Crimson Tide and Georgia Bulldogs square off in the 2018 College Football National Championship game, and interest is extraordinarily high. Not only is it the season’s biggest college football matchup featuring two celebrated SEC rivals, but the game is also being played in Atlanta, which has been called “college football’s capital.”

Oh, and President Donald J. Trump is going to be in attendance to watch Alabama vs. Georgia live. His presence has in turn inspired the NAACP and other groups to stage anti-Trump protests in Atlanta on Monday. Rapper Kendrick Lamar will also perform at the first-ever National Championship halftime show.

Watching or live-streaming Alabama vs. Georgia from the comfort of your home is easy enough. Like the playoff games on New Year’s Day, tonight’s championship game is being broadcast exclusive by ESPN. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET, and if you have cable or another standard pay TV package, all you have to do to watch is find any of the ESPN channels airing the game. You can also stream the college football national championship game for free by logging in to the ESPN app with the number and password of your pay TV provider account.

If you don’t have cable or another pay TV service, it is still possible to watch the national championship game for free tonight. You could of course head to a nearby bar or restaurant to watch—but then you’d probably run up quite a bar tab, so it wouldn’t nearly be free. Or you could take advantage of one of the many streaming TV services now on the market, nearly all of which have ESPN, and all of which have free trial periods.

These streaming services include options such as DirecTV Now, Hulu Live, Playstation Vue, Sling TV, and YouTube TV. All of the services above allow you to live-stream ESPN and dozens of other pay TV channels on a variety of devices. New subscribers can watch for free during trial periods, which last a week or more depending on the service.

Just remember, though, that you will be charged the regular monthly rate if you don’t cancel the service before the trial period ends. The normal monthly rates for these streaming TV services start at $ 20 and up per month, and Sling TV is the cheapest (though most limited) of the bunch.

Sports – TIME

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Everything You Need to Know About Curling for the 2018 Winter Olympics

Curling is our strange quadrennial winter sports obsession. Depending on one’s taste, it’s either a compelling chess match on ice, or glorified shuffleboard with no proper place in a global sporting spectacle. But once the opening ceremonies of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics begin on Feb. 9, you — or someone you encounter regularly — will suddenly start caring about curling. You know, that winter Olympic sport with the stones and the brooms and that dartboard-looking-thing on the TV.

For NBCUniversal, the Olympics broadcaster, curling is a consistent ratings winner. CNBC goes from picking stocks to sweeping rocks during the Games, as the network will air hours of evening curling coverage during the Olympics.

So it pays to know the basics of the sport. Here’s what you need to know about curling’s rules, positions, scoring, equipment and more:

What is the history of curling?

The origin of curling traces back to 16th century Scotland, where the sport was played on frozen ponds and lochs. The first recorded match took place around 1541: a Scottish notary recorded a challenge between a monk at Paisley Abbey and a relative of the abbott. Scottish immigrants spread the sport to North America: the first Canadian curling club opened in Montreal in 1807, and the first American club appeared in Pontiac, Mich. in 1828. The Royal Caledonian Curling Club in Scotland, the so-called “mother club” of curling, wrote the first official curling rules in 1838.

Curling first appeared as a medal sport at the 1924 Olympics in Chamonix, France. Only the men held a tournament, and Great Britain won gold (the entire team was Scottish). Curling made five appearances as an Olympic demonstration sport — in Lake Placid in 1932, Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 1936, Innsbruck in 1964, Calgary in 1988 and Albertville in 1992 — before the sport was added to the Olympic program in Nagano in 1998. Since 1998, Canada has won three Olympic golds in curling on the men’s side — including the last three — while Switzerland and Norway each won one. Both Canada and Sweden have earned two women’s gold medals in curling; Great Britain won the women’s gold in 2002.

Olympic curling stones weigh between 38 and 44 pounds; the granite is harvested from Ailsa Craig, an island off the west coast of Scotland that resembles, from a distance, a curling stone.

How do you play curling and what are the rules?

A key driver of curling’s appeal is its relative simplicity. Though the sport may have unfamiliar terms, and thus seem complicated, it’s actually pretty easy to follow.

A curling match consist of 10 ends, which are equivalent to innings in baseball. In each end, the four players on both teams alternate throwing stones. The lead throws first, followed by the second, then the third — or vice-skip — then finally, the skip. Each of the four players on the competing teams throws two stones per end, for a total of 16 stones. The “skip” is the most important player on the team. The skip not only throws the last stone in an end — which often determines the scoring — but also directs the overall strategy.

To execute a shot, a curler pushes a foot off the hack, a piece of rubber akin to a starting block. The curler slides across the ice, or sheet, to the hog line, and must release the stone before it touches the line. The stone then heads for the house — the area with four concentric circles on the other side of the sheet that loosely resembles a dartboard. The house is the scoring area.

How does curling scoring work?

Only one team can score during a curling end. The team with the most stones closest to the curling bullseye — the button — is awarded points. So if, after 16 stones are thrown, Team A has a stone right on the button, and Team B has a stone a few feet off the button, Team A scores a point. If Team A had one stone on the button and a stone a few feet off the button, while Team B had a stone on the outer edge of the house, Team A scores two points.

The team that fails to score in an end gets the hammer, or the advantage of throwing the last stone, in the next end. If no stones remain in the house after an end, no points are awarded: the team with the hammer in a scoreless, or blank, end retains the hammer in the subsequent end. The team with the most points after 10 ends wins the match.

What’s with the curling brooms?

After a curler throws a stone, his or her teammates will often start sweeping the ice in front the stone as it glides down the ice. Why is sweeping the activity that requires the most exertion in this particular Olympic sport? Physics! The sweeping warms the ice and reduces friction, allowing the stone to travel farther and straighter. Depending on the path of the stone and its intended target, a team’s skip will instruct the other curlers to either start sweeping like a teen whose parents are returning home early to an illicit house party, or to lift their brooms.

What’s new for curling at the 2018 Winter Olympics?

A mixed doubles tournament! Olympic organizers have added a mixed doubles curling event to the PyeongChang program to complement the men’s and women’s competitions. Mixed doubles curling teams consist of just two players — a woman and a man — instead of the usual four players per team. Matches are eight ends long, not 10, and the two players alternate throwing five stones per end instead of eight: one player throws the first and last stones, while the other throws the second, third, and fourth rocks.

Mixed doubles adds a wrinkle. A sixth stone for each team isn’t thrown, but set on the ice before the start of the end. The stone of one team is positioned in the middle of the ice, guarding the house, while the other team’s stone is set in the house, near the button. The team with the hammer decides where the stone is positioned; if the team places its stone as the guard, however, the other team gets to take the last shot of the end.

Once per game — but not in tie-breaking “extra ends” — the mixed doubles team with the hammer can decide to exercise a “power play.” In the power play, the pre-positioned stones are shifted to the side.

In a perfect world, would curling power plays involve broomstick fighting and a penalty box like they do in hockey, rather than moving rocks around? Probably. But a more genteel game will do just fine. Mixed doubles scoring is the same as the traditional curling game. The team with the most stones closest to the button earns the points in that end.

Who are the American curling competitors at the Olympics?

For the third consecutive Olympics, John Shuster, 35, will serve as skip for the U.S. men’s team. He’s the first American men’s curler to make four Olympic squads; Shuster, a Chisholm, Minnesota native, was lead for the 2006 Olympic team that won bronze in Torino. Shuster’s Olympic skip record isn’t so sterling. Faced with high expectations after the 2006 bronze medal, the Americans finished last in Vancouver and ninth in Sochi.

Joining Shuster on the team are John Landsteiner — who competed with Shuster in Sochi — Tyler George and Matt Hamilton. Hamilton’s sister, Becca, made the U.S. women’s team, joining fellow first-time Olympians Nina Roth — the team’s skip — Tabitha Peterson and Aileen Geving.

The Hamilton siblings, who hail from McFarland, Wisconsin, will be busy in PyeongChang. Older brother Matt, 28, and sister Becca, 27, will represent the U.S. in mixed doubles.

Millions will be watching their PyeongChang power play.

Sports – TIME

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Alabama Claims National Title With Overtime Win Against Georgia

(ATLANTA) — Tua Tagovailoa threw a 41-yard touchdown to DeVonta Smith to give No. 4 Alabama a 26-23 overtime victory against No. 3 Georgia to win the College Football Playoff national championship Monday night.

Tagovailoa entered the game at halftime, replacing a struggling Jalen Hurts, and threw three touchdown passes, including the game-ender to give the Crimson Tide its fifth national championship since 2009 under coach Nick Saban.

After Alabama kicker Andy Pappanastos missed a 36-yard field goal that would have won it for the Tide (13-1) in the final seconds of regulation, Georgia (13-2) took the lead with a 51-yard field goal from Rodrigo Blankenship in overtime.

Tagovailoa took a terrible sack on Alabama’s first play of overtime, losing 16 yards. On the next play he found Smith, another freshman, streaking down the sideline and hit him in stride for the national championship.

This game will be remembered for Saban’s decision to change quarterbacks trailing 13-0.

“I just thought we had to throw the ball, and I felt he could do it better, and he did,” Saban said. “He did a good job, made some plays in the passing game. Just a great win. I’m so happy for Alabama fans. Great for our players. Unbelievable.”

What was he thinking as the winning pass soared?

“I could not believe it,” Saban said. “There’s lots of highs and lows. Last year we lost on the last play of the game and this year we won on the last play of the game. These kids really responded the right way. We said last year, ‘Don’t waste the feeling.’ They sure didn’t, the way they played tonight.”

Saban now has six major poll national championships, including one at LSU, matching the record set by the man who led Alabama’s last dynasty, coach Paul Bear Bryant.

This one was nothing like the others.

The all-Southeastern Conference matchup was all Georgia in the first half before Saban pulled Hurts and went with the five-star recruit from Hawaii to start the second half.

The Tide trailed 13-0 at halftime and 20-7 in the third quarter after Georgia’s freshman quarterback, Jake Fromm, hit Mecole Hardman for an 80-yard touchdown pass that had the Georgia fans feeling good about ending a national title drought that dates back to 1980.

A little less than a year after the Atlanta Falcons blew a 25-point lead and lost in overtime to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, there was more pain for many of the local fans. With the title game being held 70 miles from Georgia’s campus in Athens, Dawg fans packed Mercedes-Benz Stadium, but it turned out to be sweet home for Alabama.

It was not without angst.

Alabama drove into the red zone in the final minute and Saban started playing for a field goal that would end the game and win it for the Tide. A nervous quiet gripped the crowd of 77,430 as ‘Bama burned the clock. With the ball centered in the middle of the field, Pappanastos lined up for a kick to win the national championship. The snap and hold looked fine, but the kicked missed badly to the left.

For the second straight week, Georgia was going to overtime. The Bulldogs beat Oklahoma in a wild Rose Bowl in double overtime to get here, and after Jonathan Ledbetter and Davin Bellamy sacked Tagovailoa for a big loss on the first play, Alabama was in trouble — second-and-26.

Not for long. Tagovailoa looked off the safety threw the biggest touchdown pass in the history of Alabama football.


Sports – TIME

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For Darren McMullen, there’s more to NFL teams than victories. “Winning all the time isn’t a big thing for me in picking a team,” the Scotland-born star of USA Network’s “NFL Football Fanatic” recently told The Post. “The prerequisite I had was I wanted it to be in a cool city, because I want to…
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Why Is Tennis Scored So Weirdly?

Do you have a question about history? Send us your question at history@time .com and you might find your answer in a future edition of Now You Know.

All sports have their own vocabularies, the shorthand lingo to communicate intricacies of rules and how play proceeds. But usually the scoring can at least be counted on to be fairly straightforward. Not so much for tennis.

For the unfamiliar, tennis starts with both players at zero, called love: “Love-all.” One person scores: 15 to love. The server’s score is said first, the receiver’s second. The other now scores, and they’re tied at “15-all.” The next point is 30, then 40, and the following point wins that game. If they tie at 40 it’s called a deuce. From that tie the next person to get a point has the advantage, but generally has to win by two points — that is, to score twice in a row — to win the game. And it doesn’t stop there. Six of these games make a set, and the set must be won by two games or it goes to a tiebreaker. After the set is over, it repeats. To win the whole match requires either winning best of five sets or best of three sets, depending on the competition.

With the Australian Open set to begin on Monday, observers may once again ponder an inevitable question: Why count this way?

Disappointingly, the origins of pretty much every part of the scoring system are a mystery. “I don’t think anybody really knows how it started or why it developed how it did,” says Elizabeth Wilson, who wrote Love Game: A History of Tennis, from Victorian Pastime to Global Phenomenon.

“There are various theories, all sorts of romantic theories have been built up about it.” says Wilson. “That’s partly what makes tennis into a kind of romantic game, because it had all this history that isn’t really history, it’s legend more than actual history. Some of the ideas about how it began are quite fanciful.”

The Points

Despite its complexity, the tennis scoring system has been stable since the Victorian period.

The modern game of tennis traces back to a medieval game called jeu de paume, which began in 12th century France. It was initially played with the palm of the hand, and rackets were added by 16th century. With its strong association with pageant traditions of the French court, Wilson says, tennis was highly stylized from the beginning. Over a course of the next few centuries the game saw periods of incredible popularity, with more than 1,000 tennis courts in Paris in the 16th century. Though it’s well known for being beloved among royalty (Henry VIII was a notable and avid player, and the French revolutionaries’ tennis court oath was made on an indoor court at Versailles), it was also enjoyed among commoners and monks.

Records of scoring systems related to today’s date back almost to the beginning of the sport, but in these years the scoring was 15, 30, 45 — the math of which at least makes more sense than the modern system, as each increment was 15 points. A poem written a few years after the 1415 battle of Agincourt counts up the points — 15, 30, 45 — in a tennis game between English King Henry V and the French Dauphin. Charles d’Orléans composed a ballad around 1439 while imprisoned in an English castle after the battle of Agincourt, in which he compared life with a game of tennis and uses the French word for 45, playing on the number as both his age and the score in a tennis match. A 1505 tennis match at Windsor castle gave one player a handicap of 15. Around the 1520s Erasmus wrote a dialogue between two tennis players where one says “we’ve got 30, we’ve got 45.” Though one 16th-century English text did use 40 for a tennis score, a treatise from a few decades earlier indicated that French students were simply shortening the word “45” to “40” when they described the game (and their teacher corrected that it should be 45), writes Heiner Gillmeister, linguistics scholar at Bonn University in Germany and sports historian, who authored the thoroughly researched Cultural History of Tennis in 1998.

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But the reasons behind this counting method were obscure even then. (There’s plenty to speculate about where the English word tennis originates, too, but it definitely emerged sometime in the 15th century.) In the 1520s, for example, one Jan van den Berghe had questions: “What was not explained was how players can win fifteen points for a single stroke. It is, after all, a little curious that they count or win more than one point for a single stroke… Why is not one point given for one stroke, and two for two strokes?” Over the centuries, various theories have relied on everything from complicated multiplication to the history of scoring systems in other games to measurements of distances between lines of demarcation on early courts, but no definite answer could be found.

One of the most common suggestions, Wilson says, is that the progression is related to minutes on a clock. “It’s been suggested that the monks would look at the clock, the 4 points and somehow felt that was a good way of scoring,” she says, “and then 45 became 40, though nobody knows why.” Clocks were rapidly developing in the Middle Ages and division into a rough quarter hour was imaginable. This theory’s detractors point out that minute hands on clocks were only introduced in the late 1500s and became common even later.

The Terms

As for “love,” the word has been used since the 1700s to mean “nothing” and is also used in a variety of other games from racket sports to cards (including bridge and whist). But how it came to mean this is also unexplained.

One often repeated option traces the etymology to the French l’oeuf, meaning egg, an object the same shape as the number 0. But there is no indication the French ever used l’oeuf in relation to tennis scoring, writes American tennis player Malcolm D. Whitman in his 1932 book Tennis: Origins and Mysteries, and they didn’t write scores down, so the visual association wouldn’t cue the egg comparison. Gillmeister also writes that “love” is not how that type of loan word would be modified into English — Latin’s bovem became the French boeuf and turned into beef in English, so l’oeuf would likely have become something sounding more like leaf if that theory had held true. Gillmeister has a different loan-word idea. Perhaps it’s from the Dutch or Flemish lof, meaning honor, which would have made sense if players saw a tennis match as akin to a battle. (“Deuce” is a clearer loan word — deux is French for “two” — but the mechanism or timing of that transition is less clear.)

Or maybe it’s not a loan word at all: phrases along the lines of “neither for love nor money” had already entered the lexicon, according to Gillmeister. So the idea that a person with “love” had no money could be a plausible option as to why that might be the word for having no points in a game that was a frequent subject of wagers.

The Side Effects

By the 1800s, tennis’ popularity was in decline. The game we know as tennis today grew out of an adaptation called lawn tennis to distinguish it from the older indoor version, “real” or royal tennis. (In the U.S. that older version goes by “court tennis.”) In the 1870s, Major Walter Clopton Wingfield published rules for that new game, and a few others developed a similar game elsewhere in England at the time. Played outdoors, the court was hourglass shape and points were counted one by one. But when the All England Croquet Club set a field aside for the new game and held a championship in 1877 — the first Wimbledon Championship — they combined the new and old rules. Part of that change was a reversion to the “real” or medieval tennis scoring system: 15, 30, 40.

Lawn tennis, which was associated with the upper classes, “could afford to be more ornate, have these refinements, these quirks,” Wilson says. Even as competition increased, it remained a social spectacle. Those associations “perpetuate the retention of this weird scoring system,” says Wilson. “It becomes part of the glamour, people who watch tennis, who know tennis, can understand the scoring system, which is a bit obscure. That gives it more cachet, chutzpah, more glamour again in a funny way.”

The rules for scoring have remained almost entirely static ever since, despite some attempts to simplify it.

In 1966, for example TIME quoted James Van Alen, then president of the tennis Hall of Fame, as blaming the scoring system for the fact that “the players outnumber the spectators” in American tennis. Perhaps, the story mused, “the International Lawn Tennis Federation, which controls amateur tennis, will fall out of love with love.”

As it turns out no such luck, though one part of Van Alen’s proposed revised scoring system — tiebreakers — was added in the 1970s.

“Somewhere in this vast, great nation, there undoubtedly is a strong, agile, fiercely competitive youngster who could be the best tennis player the world has ever seen. This youngster himself may never know it. Or even care,” TIME observed in 1967. “Little that surrounds the game of tennis today is likely to appeal to him much. For a starter, there is the scoring system.”

Today, despite the scoring system, some tennis players are super stars, hundreds of thousands attend games in person, millions avidly watch televised matches and about 18 million people play the game in the U.S. alone.


Sports – TIME

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Federer to open Australia Open against Bedene

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Roger Federer will open his Australian Open title defense against Slovenian Aljaz Bedene next week, while top seed Rafa Nadal, the losing finalist last year, was paired with Dominican Victor Estrella Burgos at the draw on Thursday.


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‘He Violated Our Innocence.’ Maggie Nichols Says She Was Abused by Gymnastics Doctor Larry Nassar

Another elite gymnast has come forward to say she was molested by Larry Nassar, the former longtime doctor for the U.S. national team. Maggie Nichols, a former member of the U.S. national gymnastics team who was a top contender for the 2016 Olympic team, said in a statement released by her attorney Tuesday that she was sexually assaulted by Nassar:

“Recently, three of my friends and former National Team members who medaled at the 2012 Olympics have bravely stepped forward to proclaim they were sexually assaulted by USA Gymnastics Team Physician Dr. Larry Nassar.

Today I join them.

I am making the decision to tell my traumatic story and hope to join forces with my friends and teammates to bring about true change.”

Nichols joins Olympic team members Aly Raisman, Gabrielle Douglas and McKayla Maroney as well as more than 100 other gymnasts and athletes who have accused Nassar of sexual misconduct. The gymnasts report similar experiences in which Nassar touched them inappropriately under the guise of medical treatment.

Nassar’s attorney declined to comment on Nichols’ accusation.

Read more: Aly Raisman Opens Up About Sexual Abuse by USA Gymnastics Doctor Larry Nassar

Nichols began competing at a young age, entering junior events in 2011 then progressing to the senior level. In 2015, she earned two world championship medals — a team gold and an individual bronze in the floor exercise.

While she was competing on the national team, she says in her statement, Nassar abused her on “numerous occasions.” As with many of the other elite gymnasts, Nichols’ interaction with Nassar began when she began having health issues, in her case with her back.

“When I was 15 I started to have back problems while at a National Team Camp at the Karolyi Ranch. My back was really hurting me, I couldn’t even really bend down, and I remember he took me into the training room, closed the door and closed the blinds. At the time I thought this was kind of weird but figured it must be okay. I thought he probably didn’t want to distract the other girls and I trusted him.

I trusted what he was doing at first, but then he started touching me in places I really didn’t think he should. He didn’t have gloves on and he didn’t tell me what he was doing. There was no one else in the room and I accepted what he was doing because I was told by adults that he was the best doctor and he could help relieve my pain.”

It was Nichols ended up accelerating the inquiry by USA Gymnastics into Nassar that eventually led to his arrest in 2016. In the summer of 2015, Nichols said she was talking to a teammate while at the training camp about whether Nassar’s treatments seemed appropriate. Her coach overheard her conversation and asked Nichols about the treatments she was receiving, which she had never discussed with her coach before. At the same time, Nichols also shared with her coach Facebook interactions she had with Nassar.

“Not only was Larry Nassar my doctor, I thought he was my friend,” Nichols says in her statement. “He contacted me on Facebook complimenting me and telling me how beautiful I looked on numerous occasions. But I was only 15 and I just thought he was trying to be nice to me. Now I believe this was part of the grooming process I recently learned about.”

Read more: USA Gymnastics Paid McKayla Maroney to Keep Quiet About Alleged Sexual Abuse, Lawsuit Alleges

Aly Raisman, the reigning Olympic silver medalist and two-time Olympian, reported similar interactions with Nassar in her book Fierce, noting that he made her feel as if he was her only support at the regimented, challenging training camps where the girls spent a week away from their families.

As an unidentified plaintiff, Nichols and her family sued USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), and Michigan State University (MSU), where Nassar was employed from 1997 until he was fired in 2016. Two years before, in 2014, he was allowed to “retire” from USA Gymnastics.

Read more: Review Sharply Criticizes How USA Gymnastics Handled Sexual Abuse Complaints

“USA Gymnastics and the USOC did not provide a safe environment for me and my teammates to train,” Nichols said in her statement. “We were subjected to Dr. Nassar at every National Team Camp, which occurred monthly at the Karolyi Ranch. His job was to care for our health and treat our injuries. Instead, he violated our innocence.”

Nicols retired from elite gymnastics after not making the 2016 Rio Olympic team following an injury. She now competes for the University of Oklahoma. She finished last season as the No. 1 ranked collegiate gymnast in the all-around, beam and floor exercise.

Read more: Who Is Larry Nassar, the Former USA Gymnastics Doctor Aly Raisman Accuses of Sexual Abuse?

Olympian Maroney said she was paid by USA Gymnastics to remain quiet about her allegations of abuse by Nassar, after she and her family agreed to a settlement with USA Gymnastics. In response to Maroney’s decision to file a lawsuit against USA Gymnastics, the USOC and MSU, USA Gymnastics said in December, “Although USA Gymnastics is disappointed by today’s filing, we applaud McKayla and others who speak up against abusive behavior — including the despicable acts of Larry Nassar. We want to work together with McKayla and others to help encourage and empower athletes to speak up against abuse.”

Nichols says MSU “ignored complaints against Larry Nassar…going back 20 years” and that if MSU had alerted USA Gymnastics to their investigation of Nassar, “I might never have met Larry Nassar and I would never have been abused by him.”

MSU’s leaders have previously apologized to Nassar’s victims, and praised their courage in coming forward.

In December, Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in prison on federal child pornography charges, and pleaded guilty to 10 charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with young girls, including one who was under age 13, in Michigan state courts. He is expected to be sentenced for his state crimes in mid to late January.


Sports – TIME

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Diet Coke trying to be cool for millennials with new look, flavors

NEW YORK — Diet Coke is getting a makeover to try to invigorate the sugar-free soda’s slumping sales. Coca-Cola Co. said Wednesday it’s adding a slimmer 12-ounce Diet Coke can, updating the logo and offering the 35-year-old drink in four new flavors, including mango and ginger lime. The taste of the plain Diet Coke will…
Business | New York Post

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Video: Hey Ho Let’s Go Surfing

Hey Ho Let’s Go Surfing is an adventure packed edit based entirely on the Southern California beach culture featuring surfers, Sage Joske, Brett Caller & Jake Bevan. Watch these guys carve up knee to chest high waves on retro style boards. It’s simply… timeless!

Production/Edit: Nathan Oldfield
Camera: Tom Woods
Titles: Paul Butterworth & Kyle Downes
Music: ‘See How The Sun’ by Surf City
myspace.com/killsurfcitygo

The post Video: Hey Ho Let’s Go Surfing appeared first on .

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Mailbag: Injury Transparency in Tennis and More Ahead of the 2018 Australian Open

Cleaning out the inbox ahead of the 2018 Australian Open, including thoughts on Eugenie Bouchard’s career, the mystery of tennis players’ injuries and more.

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Shop The Official FILA® Store for the latest Performance apparel and footwear for men, women, and kids at FILA.com