The Hateful Life And Spiteful Death Of The Man Who Was Vigo The Carpathian

You’ve seen a painting of Norbert Grupe. A heavy, creased brow and shoulder-length hair framing a frightening scowl, the massive work hung in the fictional Manhattan Museum of Art in Ghostbusters II. When the medieval sorcerer pictured within the painting begins to physically manifest, it is on the Ghostbusters to…

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How The Most Iconic Photo In Women's Soccer Was Almost Never Taken

It was arguably the biggest moment in the history of American women’s sports, and the single most memorable and reproduced image of the celebration. Brandi Chastain had just converted the penalty kick that cemented the 1999 Women’s World Cup for the United States over China. She then experienced a fit of irrational…

Behind The Photo That Changed The Boston Marathon Forever

Everyone knows someone who’s run the marathon. Today’s big-city races—in places like Boston, New York, Berlin, and London—draw Olympic hopefuls competing for hundreds of thousands of dollars and hordes of weekend warriors raising money for their favorite charities or just hoping to check off “complete a marathon” on…

When A Famed Nike Coach Tried To Steal A Race, A Track Protest Was Born

The scene was unprecedented: seven runners walking off the track hand in hand, in quiet protest against their own governing body. The women had just run the 1,500-meter race at the U.S. indoor national championships on Feb. 23 in Albuquerque. The day before, the winner of the 3,000-meter race, Gabe Grunewald, had been…

Title IX's Other Effects: Do Sports Make Women Less Religious?

How does playing a sport in high school affect a woman after she has graduated? We know from Betsey Stevenson's 2010 study in The Review of Economics and Statistics that female former high school athletes tend to go further in school and make more money. But what about the effects on a woman's social life? Does she…

The Coach Who Doesn't Care: How One Man Turns Skaters Into Champions

Gracie Gold was having a bad night. The 18-year-old figure skater was about a minute and a half into her free skate at the U.S. International Classic in September when she singled a double axel. It was a significant mistake—a loss of a couple of points—but for a disciplined skater, that kind of error shouldn't have…

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Why It Took 90 Years For Women's Ski Jumping To Make The Olympics

The first measured ski jump was explicitly a show of manhood. In 1809, the story goes, a lieutenant in the Norwegian military launched himself 9.5 meters through the air "to show his soldiers what a courageous fellow he was." The sport that grew out of that jump was likewise a test of manliness—far too dangerous, it…

The Real Reason Ashley Wagner Made The U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team

On Sunday, U.S. Figure Skating gave the final spot on its three-member women's Olympic team to Ashley Wagner, even though she had fallen twice the previous day during an "embarrassing" skate at the national championships in Boston. The other selections were Gracie Gold, the newly crowned national champion who gave…