Showing posts with label Sports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sports. Show all posts

December 11, 2019

Pete Frates Boston College Star with ALS (Ice Bucket Challenge), Dead at 34


Pete Frates, the former Boston College baseball star whose battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis inspired the viral Ice Bucket Challenge and raised millions for ALS research, died Monday at age 34. 
"Pete was an inspiration to so many people around the world who drew strength from his courage and resiliency," his family wrote in a statement, released by Boston College. 
"A natural-born leader and the ultimate teammate, Pete was a role model for all, especially young athletes, who looked up to him for his bravery and unwavering positive spirit in the face of adversity. He was a noble fighter who inspired us all to use our talents and strengths in the service of others."
At Boston College, Frates set baseball team records, once hitting a grand slam, a three-run homer and a double in a single game. After college, he played professional baseball in Germany and coached young players before returning home to sell insurance.
Up to bat during a men's league baseball game in 2011, Frates was struck on his left wrist by a fastball. The injury led to a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease — a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. 
Frates did not invent the Ice Bucket Challenge, but he helped it gain national attention. The idea originated with another ALS patient, Patrick Quinn, whom Frates met online and later befriended. 
The typical Ice Bucket Challenge looked like this:
Often outfitted in bathing suits or wrapped in a towel, participants would get in front of a video camera and then dump a big bucket of ice water on their heads. The soaked participant would then nominate friends to take on the challenge and make a donation to ALS research.  

Frates spread the word on social media and got high-profile participants involved, like New England Patriots star Tom Brady and Red Sox owner John Henry. Before long, celebrities like George W. Bush, Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga, Bill Gates and Steven Spielberg were making their own Ice Bucket Challenge videos throughout the summer of 2014. According to the Boston Globe, the challenge is estimated to have raised between $160 million and $220 million for ALS research. In 2016, a global gene-sequencing effort, funded by Ice Bucket Challenge donations to the ALS Association, led to the discovery of a new ALS gene.
"Our hearts go out to Frates family and Boston community," the ALS Association wrote on Twitter. "Pete Frates changed the trajectory of ALS forever and showed the world how to live with a fatal disease. His efforts to lead the Ice Bucket Challenge had a significant impact on the search for treatments and a cure for ALS."

Boston College spokesman Jack Dunn wrote in a statement that Frates embodied the university's values: courage, integrity, selflessness and a drive to help others.
"He accepted his illness and devoted the remaining years of his life to raising awareness of ALS and helping to raise money for a cure," Dunn wrote. "He is a role model for all BC students and a beloved figure on our campus."
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who made his own Ice Bucket Challenge video back in 2015, weighed in on Twitter. 
"Pete, you changed our city & our country for the better and made a difference in the lives of countless people," he wrote. "You helped us remember that we're all one family & we have to look out for one another. There's no telling how much good you've set in motion."
A year after his diagnosis, Frates was interviewed by the Boston College student newspaper, The Heights. Back then, he said his newfound role as an advocate "gives me another reason to get out of bed every day. Being part of something bigger than yourself is one of the best things you can do."

April 23, 2018

29 y.o. MasterChef Semi-finalist Collapsed and Died During London Marathon

Matt Campbell on the right was running his second marathon in two weeks

[From the BBC]
A MasterChef semi-finalist has died after collapsing during the London Marathon, it has been confirmed.
Matt Campbell, 29, collapsed at the 22.5 mile mark and died later in hospital.
He appeared on the BBC's MasterChef: The Professionals in December 2017, and had been running the race - the hottest on record - for his father who died 18 months ago. 
His social media posts said that it was his second marathon in a fortnight. 
The Kendal chef was running the race for The Brathay Trust in honour of his father Martin. 
On 8 April Mr Campbell completed the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon. 
Helen Hokin, who was Mr Campbell's PR consultant, said: "He was a lovely, kind-hearted and down-to-earth man. I believe he was poised to become the next great innovator in British food.
"He was in the middle of a roadshow tour and he had such a way with inspiring young chefs. This is so sad."
Mr Campbell began his career working in Michelin-starred restaurants after finishing second in the BBC's Young Chef of the Year aged 20 in 2009. 
According to his website he left the UK for the French Alps and worked in private villas and "award-winning luxury" ski chalets.
A spokeswoman for MasterChef said: "We are shocked and saddened to hear the news about Matt Campbell, one of our talented contestants from last year.
"It was a privilege to have him on the show. He will always be remembered for producing some of the most innovative and groundbreaking food that we saw on the series.
"From the whole MasterChef team, our sincere condolences and thoughts are with his family and friends." According to his Justgiving page, he only completed his first ever marathon with his late father Martin and brother Josh in 2016. 
Speaking of his father he said: "The past year and a half have been the toughest of my life but his spirit and energy live on in me.
"He was the most inspirational man in my life and was the one who said: 'go on, why don't you give it a go? I know you can do it' and entered me into my first marathon."  Godfrey Owen, chief executive of the Brathay Trust paid tribute to Mr Campbell.
"He was a real creative chef and one of the things he was very keen on doing was sharing that knowledge with young chefs who wanted to get involved in the industry,"
He was such a great athlete and also a wonderful supporter of Brathay." 

January 17, 2018

21 Yr Old Washington Quarterback Found Dead of Gunshot Wound, Note Found

 21 yr old Tyler, too young for everything. What did he hate?

Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski has died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The 21-year-old Hilinski was discovered in his apartment after he didn't show up for practice Tuesday. A rifle "was recovered next to Hilinski and a suicide note was found," according to the Pullman Police Department.

"We are deeply saddened to hear the news of Tyler's passing," Washington State coach Mike Leach said in a statement. "He was an incredible young man and everyone who had the privilege of knowing him was better for it. The entire WSU community mourns as thoughts and prayers go out to his family."
Hilinski was the presumptive starting quarterback going into next season. He started Washington State's Holiday Bowl loss to Michigan State after Luke Falk was unable to play due to a wrist injury.

"The tragic news today surrounding Tyler Hilinski is devastating to all. Tyler was a tremendous individual, great friend, and teammate, and he will be deeply missed. Our hearts go out to his family and friends," interim athletic director John Johnson said. "Earlier tonight, the football team was brought together and informed of the tragedy. There, they were met by campus and department counseling and psychological services, including athletics' on-staff clinical psychologist and a licensed mental health counselor, along with WSU Athletics medical team. The university will continue to coordinate and provide ongoing counseling care for all student-athletes as long as needed."

Hilinski appeared in eight games during his sophomore season, throwing for 1,176 yards and seven touchdowns. His most memorable outing came in the second week of the season when he led Washington State from a 21-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat Boise State 47-44 in triple overtime. Hilinski threw for 240 yards and three touchdowns coming off the bench and was carried off the field after the victory.

His only start came in the bowl game against Michigan State, although he played extensively in a loss to Arizona.

Washington State v Arizona
This is heartbreaking and tragic.
Three weeks ago, Washington State Cougars back-up QB Tyler Hilinski got his first start during the 
Holiday Bowl against Michigan State. And while the team lost, Hilinski played great, putting up272 yards with 2 TDs and 1 interception.
It would be the final time his teammates saw him in uniform after he was found dead on Tuesday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.


November 5, 2016

Harvard Soccer Team Sidelined After Sexist Vulgar Emails

 Harvard Boston, Mass

The Harvard men's soccer team has been suspended for the remainder of the season after the school discovered the team had repeatedly written and circulated vulgar, sexually explicit "scouting reports" about new recruits on the women's team, in a practice that continued up to this year.

"The decision to cancel a season is serious and consequential," Harvard President Drew Faust said in a statement Thursday. She wrote that "both the team's behavior and the failure to be forthcoming when initially questioned are completely unacceptable, have no place at Harvard, and run counter to the mutual respect that is a core value of our community."

Men's soccer coach Pieter Lehrer said the team was "beyond disappointed" to see the season end this way, but would respect the decision.

"Actions have consequences, and character counts," Lehrer said in a statement. "We accept responsibility for our actions, and I know that we will use the experience of this terribly unfortunate situation to be better."

The suspension follows a story by The Harvard Crimson, the university's student newspaper, revealing that in 2012, the soccer team had circulated a "scouting report" on the new freshman recruits for the women's soccer team.

The document — which appeared to be part of an annual tradition — described the female players in graphic, frequently degrading terms. It ranked their attractiveness with numerical values, assigned them sexual positions, theorized about their sexual behavior and described their physical attributes in terms that were variously crude and insulting.

After that story, Harvard ordered a review of the team's behavior. The review found that the "scouting report" was, indeed, a tradition.

"I understand that this practice appears to be more widespread across the team and has continued beyond 2012, including in 2016, and that current students who participated were not immediately forthcoming about their involvement," Athletics Director Bob Scalise wrote in an email to the student body on Thursday.

He said that "immediate and significant action is absolutely necessary."

The university has "zero tolerance" for such behavior, he wrote, and the team will be forfeiting its remaining games this season and will not participate in the Ivy League championship or the NCAA tournament.

"The decision brings to a sudden halt the season of a team that had a record of 10 wins, three losses and two ties, and was likely to win a championship berth if it won a scheduled Saturday game against Columbia University," Reuters reports.

We'll give the last word on this story to those players from the women's team who were described so graphically in the 2012 document uncovered by the Crimson.

Brooke Dickens, Kelsey Clayman, Alika Keene, Emily Mosbacher, Lauren Varela and Haley Washburn, the incoming recruits that year, wrote a response to the story that ran in the newspaper a few days later. It read in part:

"We do not pity ourselves. More than anything, we are frustrated that this is a reality that all women have faced in the past and will continue to face throughout their lives. We feel hopeless because men who are supposed to be our brothers degrade us like this. ...
"Having considered members of this team our close friends for the past four years, we are beyond hurt to realize these individuals could encourage, silently observe, or participate in this kind of behavior, and for more than four years have neglected to apologize until this week."
The women said they read their classmates' lewd and mocking words in their entirety and were "deeply hurt," but that they hoped this story would catalyze a change in culture. They concluded:

“Finally, to the men of Harvard Soccer and any future men who may lay claim to our bodies and choose to objectify us as sexual objects, in the words of one of us, we say together: 'I can offer you my forgiveness, which is — and forever will be — the only part of me that you can ever claim as yours.' "

August 2, 2016

NFL Responds to Trump and Denies Sending Him Any Letters


“Well, I’ll tell you what I don’t like. It’s against two NFL games. I got a letter from the NFL saying, ‘This is ridiculous. Why are the debates against—’ ‘cause the NFL doesn’t wanna go against the debates. ‘Cause the debates are gonna be pretty massive, from what I understand, OK? And I don’t think we should be against the NFL.”
Now, aside from the obvious questions of why the NFL would be sending Trump a letter about this, rather than the Commission on Presidential Debates, it appears that this is one of Trump’s most blatant lies yet. CNN’s Brian Stetler says the NFL responded by disavowing any contact with Trump at all:
“While we’d obviously wish the debate commission could find another night, we did not send a letter to Trump.”
And there it is. Most politicians who are given to lies will at least attempt to lie in such a way that it’s hard to prove, even with a statement from whomever or whatever they’re lying about. Not Trump! No…he’s so important that it doesn’t matter that the debate schedule has been in place for a year already. Agencies like the NFL will communicate to him first, because he’s just that crucial to the whole process.
Why is this significant? Because it’s not a gaffe. A gaffe is when a politician, pundit, or someone else heavily involved in politics accidentally lets loose what’s really on their minds. Romney’s 47 percent comment four years ago is a gaffe. Trump, however, commits gaffes and also tells outright lies. And because of that, it’s virtually pointless to fact-check him, because even with a statement from whoever he’s lied about, he’ll double down on it.
If nothing else, this lie, while seemingly stupid, provides a deep look into the psyche of the man who is Donald Trump. He’ll say whatever he wants – he doesn’t care. And if the NFL wants to take him down a notch or twelve by denying they even communicated with him, then he’ll make sure they’re sorry for making him look like the fool that he is. Or he’ll ignore them altogether.
His façade is coming down, and only the truly brainwashed voters, along with the white supremacist masses he’s attracted, remain willfully blind to his lack of honesty. The NFL is a major organization. They just made Trump look very bad indeed.

March 1, 2016

College Runner is Outed and He is Shock by the way its received

This posting appeared on Outsports last night:    Cavender Salvadori must talk to Jacob Sears. Salvadori starts walking to the party where he saw Sears and sends his teammate a text.
Salvadori left the party shortly after midnight with his ex-boyfriend and walked to the College of William & Mary campus. Now, he can't get back soon enough.
He walks as fast as he can. His heart throbs in his chest. Tears come to his eyes, and he takes deep breaths to keep from crying.
Salvadori's ex-boyfriend told him as they walked away from the party that a week earlier he let Sears know about their relationship.
Salvadori had never told his track and field teammates that he's gay. He'd been outed.
"That freaked me the fuck out," Salvadori says. "I can't believe the moment I've been dreading my whole life is about to happen."
The panic Salvadori felt walking back to the house party that May 2, 2015, night made sense to him. He couldn't comprehend being accepted as a gay athlete. Over the next 13 days, the dread he harbored gradually made less sense. Each chance he gave them, his William & Mary teammates showed they treasured him as a person and openly gay man.
"He's my teammate, and this didn't change anything," Sears says. "He my friend. I love him."
Salvadori's ex-boyfriend asked to not be identified and declined to be interviewed for this story. The name Tizio will be used for him.    

"It was pretty random," Sears says of Tizio revealing his relationship with Salvadori.
Sears worked with Tizio at Ruby Tuesday in Williamsburg. He previously learned Tizio identifies as LGBT, but it surprised him Tizio knew Salvadori let alone that Salvadori is gay.
"That particular way that I found out wasn't the ideal way, but I was determined to try to spin it as positively as I could," Sears says.
It bothered Sears that Salvadori felt a need to keep his sexuality secret, and Sears wanted to talk with his teammate about it. When Sears and Tizio talked the next day, Sears said he wanted Salvadori to know he knew. It took Tizio about a week to talk to Salvadori, but when Sears received Salvadori's late-night text message, the topic seemed obvious.
When the 6-foot-1, 155-pound Salvadori located Sears at the party that night, they went outside. Many of their teammates were inside celebrating successes from earlier that day at the Colonial Athletic Association conference championship meet, so Sears and Salvadori walked a couple blocks and sat at a picnic table outside the School of Education.
It was approaching 1:30 a.m. as they sat across from each other.
"In my head, everything was quiet," Salvadori says. "The only thing that I could hear was the conversation. I was so involved in the conversation itself, because obviously, it was a huge turning point in my life."
Sears tried to ease Salvadori's tension with jokes, and he tried to connect by sharing his own mental health difficulties. Sears also made sure Salvadori knew he loved him.
Salvadori remembers Sears repeated encouraging phrases: "No one cares," "It's what you're attracted to," and "People are people." His first conversation with a straight person, not to mention a teammate, about being gay surprised him.
"It was so relieving, and I felt so strong," Salvadori says.

2. The Consoler

Salvadori planned weeks earlier to start the conversation about his sexuality with his roommate, Faris Sakallah. They had grown close their first two years as William & Mary teammates, but Salvadori repeatedly created reasons to delay the conversation.
Instead of Sakallah being the first to know, he became the person consoling Salvadori after an emotional night.
Around 3 a.m. the morning of Sunday, May 3, Salvadori returned to their apartment from talking with Sears. Sakallah was still awake, and Salvadori asked him to go outside. They walked around the Ludwell Apartment Complex and found a bench. It rained earlier in the night, leaving the sky calm and the campus peaceful.
Once they started to talk, Salvadori pulled the top of the gray sweater he was wearing over his mouth. The tears, which he suppressed talking to Sears, poured now.
"Just say it," Sakallah told him.
Salvadori did: "I'm gay."
Sakallah hugged Salvadori with no regard for the snot and tears.
"It just broke my heart," Sakallah says. "I couldn't bare to see how much pain he was in trying to deal with this."
Their conversation lasted a couple hours and approached dawn in southeastern Virginia. Salvadori explained that the past three months he started using Tinder to meet guys, met Tizio, and developed his first romantic connection. Sakallah learned about the lies Salvadori told to secretly see Tizio. Salvadori explained the betrayal he felt earlier that night to learn Tizio told Sears his secret.
By the end of their talk, Salvadori says, "I remember being emotionally exhausted."
The next day, Sakallah saw Salvadori begin to transform.
"He just looked better," Sakallah says. "He was smiling, which I hadn't seen in a long time. He was just coming back to his old self.” 

3. The wingman

Since Salvadori started running cross country in seventh grade, he liked that a clock, not a person, determined his success.
"It [running] was a way for me to objectively do well," says Salvadori, who earned all-state eight times at his Wilmington, Delaware, high school. "You can't argue a really fast time. My whole life, I wanted to be objectively viewed not subjectively. If someone subjectively viewed me, they could call me gay or something like that."
Ryan Gousse became the third teammate to know Salvadori is gay, and that conversation changed Salvadori's relationship with running by connecting his sexuality with his sport. Salvadori texted Gousse that he wanted to tell him something. When Salvadori stopped for a bathroom break during a long workout, Gousse waited for him to learn what he had to say.
As they ran alone the next 30 minutes, Salvadori talked about his self-acceptance. Gousse remembers Salvadori getting choked up and releasing big gasps as he talked about being gay and how it led him to withhold emotions from friends and teammates, particularly in recent months.
Salvadori says Gousse is the most important person he told, because he helped him tell the rest of the team.
"He was there for pretty much everyone I told," Salvadori says. "He was really good at forcing me to tell people, because he knew I wanted to but was terrified to do it."
Through nearly a dozen face-to-face conversations, Salvadori told William & Mary's other distance runners that he now identified as gay. Gousse went, too, just to sit, listen and smile.
"It was kind of fun, because you could see him becoming less bottled up every time," Gousse says. "The first few people, it would take him like five to 10 minutes to actually say it. Then, it was just right off the bat."

4. The Party 

On the Friday night at the end of finals week, some runners asked Salvadori a question: How much Ben & Jerry's ice cream can he eat? A year earlier, Salvadori inhaled three pints faster than Sears during a competition.
Would a Vermonster, the Ben & Jerry's 20-scoop sundae, be something he could consume by himself? Of course, a confident Salvadori said.
About that time, members of the William & Mary women's cross country team walked into the house. Salvadori suddenly displayed a face-filling smile to see them toting a Vermonster.
In the 14 days since he started telling teammates, Dylan Hassett was the only women's cross country runner Salvadori told he's gay, and Hassett suggested a party for the rest of the women's team to celebrate his self-acceptance. Salvadori liked the idea, but he received no warning when it would happen.
"I wanted him to know that we're really happy for him to be out," Hassett says. "He was really thankful to have so many of us show up and be so supportive."
One of the women tied a rainbow ribbon to the plastic bucket carrying the 1 1/4 gallons of ice cream. There were also two notes written on Post-its. One said, "Ben loves Jerry." The other said, "We love Cav." Salvadori saved the notes and keeps them in the bag he takes to practices and meets.
"It represented the end of my coming out to my friends at college," Salvadori says. "I kept them as a reminder of that period and the positives that came out of it and how all my fears were wrong. ... People still like me and they care about me and nothing is going to change that."
The support from his teammates continued this season. Salvadori, currently a junior academically and a redshirt sophomore athletically, feels free running for the first time as a member of the William & Mary Tribe.
"I want to be happy, and I finally realized that," Salvadori says.
He broke his personal record in the 8,000 meters during the fall cross country season then opened the 2016 indoor track season with personal bests in the 3,000 and 5,000 meters.
"A happy runner is a successful runner, and that was one of the issues that was holding Cav back that is no longer in front of him anymore." says Chris Solinsky, the William & Mary distance running coach.
Salvadori's enjoying these new, genuine relationships with his teammates from the grand (winning the 2015 CAA cross country team title) to the minute (dancing to Kesha in the locker room).
"When I think of happy or hilarious moments in my life, my friends are always there," Salvadori says. "The really funny, even stupid stuff, those are the moments I enjoy the most.
"Those little moments where you're just driving around with your friends laughing so hard and your cheeks hurt from smiling so much, I wouldn't want to have a life without those moments."
Cavender Salvadori runs cross country and track and field for William & Mary, a Division I school and the second oldest college in America. Salvadori can be reached via email at or on Instagram @Lavender_Salvadoli
Erik Hall is a member of the Track and Field Writers of American. He can be reached at or on Twitter @HallErik.

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