espnW's Impact 25: Olympians on the list

December, 18, 2014
Dec 18
1:29
PM ET
Becky HammonBarry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images
Becky Hammon, former Olympian and WNBA star, broke new ground with the San Antonio Spurs earlier this year as the first full-time female assistant coach in NBA history. It is why she tops espnW's annual Impact 25.

Click here to see the other Olympic athletes who made the list.

Meyers Taylor, Humphries on verge of history

December, 18, 2014
Dec 18
1:20
PM ET
Kaillie Humphries, Elana Meyers TaylorJeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press/AP Images; Mike Groll/AP ImagesKaillie Humphries and Elana Meyers Taylor are set to compete in four-man bobsled this weekend in Calgary.
Katharin Dewey showed Elana Meyers Taylor and Kaillie Humphries the possibilities, decades before either was born.

Dewey started bobsledding in the mid-1930s, a woman competing against men before new safety rules prevented that from happening. It probably was no coincidence those rules were amended soon after Dewey outdrove all-male sleds at Lake Placid, New York for the national championship in 1940.

Her torch is now passed.

Meyers Taylor and Humphries will make history at Calgary, Alberta on Saturday, when they compete against men on bobsledding's top circuit, the World Cup tour. Meyers Taylor will drive a sled for the U.S. with three men along for the ride. Humphries will do the same for Canada.

[+] EnlargeElana Meyers
Leon Neal/AFP/Getty ImagesThis is the first World Cup season that bobsled's international governing body has defined what was called four-man bobsledding as gender neutral.
"This is my passion," said Humphries, the two-time Olympic gold medalist in women's bobsledding, where only two are in a sled. "It's what I love to do. I do this to be the best I can be. I don't do it to prove anything to anybody."

Still, that's exactly what will happen this weekend.

Neither Meyers Taylor nor Humphries is expected to win any four-person race this season. That's not an indictment of their skill; they're considered the best two women's drivers in the world, strong, speedy, explosive and powerful, the perfect mix for bobsledding. But since both will be driving the No. 3 sleds for their respective countries, they won't have the best equipment or pushers.

They'll get leftovers.

"The biggest thing is just proving that women can drive four-man sleds," Meyers Taylor said. "It's baffling to me that it's not just assumed. We're driving a sled. We do that. I don't know why it's such a big deal."

She knows exactly why it's a big deal.

This is the first season that bobsled's international governing body has defined what was called four-man bobsledding as gender neutral. Officially, the sport is still classified as four-man, though some are now calling it four-person in deference to Meyers Taylor and Humphries being part of the tour.

Rules allowing the coed sled were changed this fall, so it was a mad scramble for Humphries and Meyers Taylor -- the top two drivers, respectively, in both the women's World Cup standings and in the women's race at the Sochi Olympics last winter -- just to qualify for World Cup. To be certified for the top series, they needed to compete in five races on three tracks in a two-year span.

(Read full post)

Even Ashley Wagner is flipping out over Taylor Swift mystery man

November, 21, 2014
Nov 21
9:27
AM ET


Ashley Wagner is a two-time U.S. figure skating champion, an Olympic medalist and a meme sensation, but it turns out she’s somehow really just like the rest of us normals.

On Friday morning, Wagner tweeted on the most important topic of our time, or at least of the hour. And by that I mean she gave a shout-out to the guy in Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” video. Obvs. And it probably reads exactly like something you saw your college roommate post on Facebook.


Ohhhh HEYYYYYY, indeed. Ashley Wagner: Woman of the people.

See something entertaining on social media that you think deserves to be shared? Let me know on Twitter, @darcymaine_espn.



Raisman, Wozniacki join fight against sexual assault

November, 18, 2014
Nov 18
3:38
PM ET

Caroline Wozniacki and Aly Raisman teamed up with SB Nation and a handful of other professional athletes for a public service announcement called “It’s On Us.” Released on Monday, the spot urges viewers to help do their part to stop sexual assault. It’s the latest in a string of clips for the campaign, which has been publicly backed by President Barack Obama, and joins other entities like the SEC, the Oregon athletic department and the U.S. Military Academy that have also produced videos.

Now let’s just hope all these influential people and institutions can actually help get this crucial message across.

See something entertaining on social media that you think deserves to be shared? Let me know on Twitter, @darcymaine_espn.


Runners face 'hazardous' conditions in Beijing

October, 20, 2014
Oct 20
2:17
PM ET
Beijing MarathonThe Yomiuri Shimbun/AP ImagesSome of the estimated 30,000 participants at the Beijing International Marathon weekend donned masks during the race.

Runners competed in this past weekend's Beijing Marathon despite "hazardous" conditions, according to multiple reports.

Runner's World reported that an estimated 30,000 people were expected to participate in Sunday's half marathon and marathon events, but some of the runners dropped out early or wore masks during the race.

One of those runners who dropped out mid-race was Chas Pope. He posted before and after pictures of his mask vis Twitter:


For more details around the Beijing race conditions, check out Competitor.com.

Beijing International MarathonReutersThe United States embassy in Beijing described the city conditions on its website as "hazardous."