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Sports Then and Now



Andy Murray’s Golden Journey from London 2012 to US Open Champion 0

Posted on September 13, 2012 by Marianne Bevis

Andy Murray finally raised a grand slam trophy with a five set win over Novak Djokovic at the U.S. Open.

The signs were, if not in the stars then in the skies over London and New York.

On one side of the Atlantic, summer gave way to autumn as a nation waved its thanks and its farewells to the Olympic athletes who had filled and thrilled the six weeks of Great Britain’s summer. These were the brave and the bold who had made 2012 not just a royal jubilee year but a people’s jubilee year, and no-one would rain on their parade. Come the evening of 10 September, though, there was an autumn chill in the air, signalling the inevitable transition to a new season.

On the other side of The Pond, evening had yet to come, autumn had yet to arrive. New York’s weather had provided its usual spectacle—tornados, rain-storms, oppressive heat, debilitating humidity—and it had ensured that the biggest tennis tournament in the world, the last Grand Slam of 2012, would once again end later than planned. But this time, it could not have been planned better. This time, the sun was shining on one remaining Briton who had begun his journey back with those Olympic heroes at the end of July.

The first event of London 2012 started on the day after the opening ceremony at the sport’s most iconic venue, Wimbledon.

This had been the scene of heartbreak for Andy Murray so many times in his single-minded, muscle-burning pursuit of the Holy Grail. In 2008, he was a quarterfinalist and went on to reach his first Grand Slam final two months later in New York. The next year, he reached the semis on London’s green lawns—now it was just a matter of time.

But two more Grand Slam finals came and went, and two more semi-final losses at Wimbledon. Blocking his way at every turn was a phalanx of tennis royalty—Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal—so despite reaching the last four in five out of six of the Majors leading into Wimbledon 2012, the prize seemed always just out of reach. Read the rest of this entry →

“The Blade Runner” One Step Closer to Olympic Dream 5

Posted on July 21, 2011 by Rojo Grande

Try to wrap your brain around this scene:

An 11-month-old South African baby lies in a post-op recovery room, having just had both legs amputated just below the knees.

As his parents hover over the boy, they put aside their own doubts and fears to bravely speak words of affirmation and hope.

Yet secretly, in private moments, they wonder how their child will ever cope in a world populated by people with legs, ankles and feet.

As is true in much of life, the outward appearance often speaks the loudest while hidden inside, the attributes of courage, heart and determination quietly do their work and ultimately have the last word.

Oscar Pistorius was born without fibulae (lower leg bones). His deformed lower legs were surgically removed before he was a year old. He was fitted with carbon fiber prostheses which emulate the function of leg bones, ankles and feet.

In time, the boy with no legs became actively involved in rugby, water polo and tennis. In 2004, he took up running as a therapeutic recovery exercise following a rugby injury.

Before long he was dominating every Paralympics race he entered, from 100m through 400m. Eventually he became the world record holder in the “disabled” version of the 100m, 200m and 400m sprints.

In Beijing, 2008, he won sprinting’s Olympic triple crown (100m, 200m, 400m).

The “disabled” version.

Some would say his accomplishments represented the peak of his potential. But Oscar knew other, more able-bodied runners were producing faster times—and he wanted to run with the big dogs.

He even had visions of one day running beside the world’s best in the World Championships and especially in the Olympics. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

      Read more »

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