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Intersection of Sports and Public Health Derails the Sports World 1

Posted on March 12, 2020 by Dean Hybl

Less than 24 hours after the World Health Organization declared the spread of the coronavirus to be a pandemic the sports world is coming to a screeching halt as sports leagues and college conferences struggle to deal with this intersection between public health and the sports world.

It started Wednesday afternoon with the NCAA announcing that all of their upcoming championships would be played without fans.

With most of the premier Division I conferences having started their men’s basketball tournaments earlier this week, it didn’t take long until they all announced that they would not admit fans starting on Thursday.

However, after a Wednesday evening address by the President as well as continued uncertainty on how best to address the growing crisis, by soon before game time on Thursday most conferences, including the ACC, Big Ten and SEC had all canceled the remainder of their tournaments. The Big East tipped off their first game on Thursday (Creighton against St. Johns), but the game and tournament were later canceled.

 So, what is typically one of the most exciting weekends for college basketball now looks to be an opportunity to catch up on shows from Netflix or Amazon Prime.

College basketball is not the only major sports group impacted by the growing crisis.

After two members of the Utah Jazz tested positive for the virus the game Wednesday night between the Oklahoma Thunder and Utah Jazz was postponed and the NBA later announced an immediate suspension of their season.

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      Fifty years before Ashleigh Barty claimed her first Wimbledon Championship, another Australian woman claimed the Wimbledon Women’s Singles title on her way to a Hall of Fame career.

      The path to tennis greatness was a unique one for Evonne Goolagong Cawley. The daughter of an itinerant sheep shearer, Goolagong Cawley was the third of eight children in an Australian Aboriginal family. Though Aboriginal people faced significant discrimination during that era, Goolagong Cawley was able to play tennis from a young age due to the generosity and support of numerous people within Australia.

      She emerged on the international tennis stage as a 19-year-old in 1971 as she reached the finals of the Australian Open and then won the French Open and Wimbledon titles. She remains the only person to win the French Open women’s title in her first time playing in the tournament.

      In 1972, she reached the finals of the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon, but did not claim any of the titles. She also played the U.S. Open for the first time in 1972 and reached the third round.

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