Danger Games: All-action attraction of Sochi
Australian Cameron Bolton fractured a bone in his arm in the snowboard cross competition.
February 19th, 2014
12:18 PM ET

Danger Games: All-action attraction of Sochi

Arguably only three events at the Winter Games could be deemed low risk to athletes' health. That is to say, with a small chance of injury from speed, stage or equipment.

By my reckoning curling, cross-country skiing and biathlon are low risk, though even in the last discipline - given athletes are carrying a firearm - there is a potential for injury.

All the others border on the bonkers end of the risk spectrum when you take a moment to assess them. Other global sport competitions just can't match the feast of fear-conquering on show here.

In the Summer Games, the 100 meters is undoubtedly a tough competition to take part in, but the injury threat it carries can't be too dissimilar from a walk in the park.

Hockey superpower showdown: How great was that?
Fans were out in full force to watch a battle of hockey superpowers.
February 15th, 2014
05:19 PM ET

Hockey superpower showdown: How great was that?

Let's wind this back a bit. In the 1960s, during the height of the Cold War, the United States of America and the Soviet Union took the world to the brink of nuclear war over 13 long days of missile mayhem in Cuba.

How nice then, that in 2014, not only are we all still alive and breathing but that relations have improved to such an extent that when the mother country of the USSR, Russia, now hosts an Olympics, America turns up to participate.

Better still, all of the historical grievances, cultural differences and national posturing can live on, peacefully, through the prism of a sport both nations are completely united in their passion over.

Ice hockey: It's the game that always takes top billing at the Winter Olympics, the men's final has a box-office appeal that no other event can match. And it's easy to see why.

From Russia with love: Sochi volunteers give good vibes
Russia's legion of Olympic volunteers have given the Sochi Games a human touch.
February 10th, 2014
01:24 PM ET

From Russia with love: Sochi volunteers give good vibes

It's not a fashionable thing, to report good news.

As a reporter the focus is all too often on unearthing the "sexier" headline and go straight for the jugular. And let's face it, Sochi has had plenty of bad press.

"Tradition is the living faith of the dead" as theologian Jan Pelikan once said and I'm in romantic mood, and not only because Valentine's Day is just around the corner.

So here's a thought for you - Sochi is proving more charming than anticipated. FULL POST

Is Sebastian Vettel Formula One's greatest?
Sebastian Vettel wrapped up a fourth consecutive drivers' championship in India on Sunday. (Getty Images)
October 28th, 2013
06:03 PM ET

Is Sebastian Vettel Formula One's greatest?

There aren’t many four-time Formula One world champions to speak of. In terms of scarcity they’re up there with hen’s teeth, tires that last a whole race and single-dollar bills in Bernie Ecclestone’s wallet.

Of the hundreds of drivers who have pitted their wits in one of the world’s top motorsport divisions since 1950, only four have sealed a quadruple of titles: Juan Manuel Fangio, Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost and Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel entered this elite club with his win in India on Sunday and, for once, topped the podium to cheers rather than the boos that have become all too regular for the young German this season.

Speaking to reporters after the race the man from Heppenheim said:  "It's very difficult for me personally, to receive boos, even though you haven't done anything wrong.


World Cup dreams: Should football be front page news?
British newspaper The Sun devoted the whole of its front page to England's qualification. (News International)
October 17th, 2013
12:44 PM ET

World Cup dreams: Should football be front page news?

Trust the English to be level-headed and rational in their response to qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. Well, not quite ...

Known for its population of the stiff upper-lipped and emotionally aloof, England’s green and pleasant land is also home to a gaggle of hacks who seemingly lead the world in their habit for hyperbole.

Ok, so the football team are perennial underachievers; glory on the pitch has not been in abundance. In fact, the side of the self-dubbed 'Home of football' has a track record for success that would give IBM a run for it’s money.

Having invented the damn thing the nation has since endured every competitor under the sun reshaping the product into a new form that betters the original: the Spanish, with their Apple-like aesthetic,  the Germans, who produce consistent year-on-year success growth like Hewlett Packard, and then there’s Lenovo ... (add further PC-based metaphors here). FULL POST

FIFA's folly?: What's riding on the Qatar question ...
Sepp Blatter has many factors to balance at the FIFA Executive Committee meeting
October 2nd, 2013
02:50 PM ET

FIFA's folly?: What's riding on the Qatar question ...

As events go, committee meetings usually engender the same level of excitement as that felt by Willy Wonka on hearing his dentist appointment has been brought forward.

“A committee is a thing which takes a week to do what one good man can do in an hour,” was the assessment of American writer Elbert Hubbard. And if the judgement of Mr Hubbard is to be valued nearly one hundred years after his unfortunate death at the hands of a German U-Boat then it’s probably fair to assume such a gathering of bureaucrats won’t make for a great spectator occasion either.

However, even if you’re a sport hack more used to the drama-drenched fare of World Cup football, the deliberations of soccer’s biggest suits at the 28th executive committee (ExCo) on Thursday and Friday just might be different.

That’s because agenda point 25.2 will see a discussion on the future of the controversial 2022 World Cup in Qatar, an important bone of contention for a number of reasons: FULL POST

September 22nd, 2013
05:29 PM ET

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Filed under:  Motorsport
Does F1 lack the characters of the past?
The rivalry between Niki Lauda (left) and James Hunt (right) has been given the Hollywood treatment. (Getty Images)
September 19th, 2013
04:39 PM ET

Does F1 lack the characters of the past?

It’s a difficult task, to pin down the criteria that need to combine for a sporting figure to be deemed a "character," a figure whose personality helps to popularise their field of competition in a transformative way.

Ingredients such as daring in the face of danger and desire to rise to the challenge are prerequisites. A romantic backstory of overcoming the odds makes compelling viewing to all dreamers out there, while the facing down of a nemesis provides drama and justice to devotees.

But it’s not just the conquering of the seemingly impossible that makes a sporting "character," maybe most important of all is the ability to connect with an audience on an emotional level. To force the viewer to empathise with your test and triumph as if they were personally involved in the victory. So they win with you.

Is there a driver on today’s grid who matches up? FULL POST

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Filed under:  Motorsport
September 10th, 2013
01:00 AM ET

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Filed under:  Tennis
Football’s winners and losers of the last-day transfer dash …
Four men who were all busy on transfer deadline day. (Getty Images)
September 3rd, 2013
05:07 PM ET

Football’s winners and losers of the last-day transfer dash …

In a bid to make the assessment of the transfer deadline day activity more manageable, let’s take a look at how Champions League clubs from the top divisions in Europe - the English Premier League, the Bundesliga, La Liga and Serie A - fared. The transfer window, from the point of view of managers and coaches, is all about improving your side’s stock. Some traders proved better than others as the clock ticked down in the final 24 hours (marked out of 10) … FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
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