Today on Stateside, hospitals in Michigan’s Thumb region feel the toll of a massive COVID-19 surge. Plus, we talk to the Michigan woman who just broke the world record for fastest 50k. And, we hear about the Michiganders who are crossing state lines to score a vaccine in northern Ohio.
Two decades ago, I covered the Winter Olympics in Japan, and it was great. But when I gushed about the ski jumping, women’s hockey, and speed skating, my readers had no idea what I was talking about.
I soon figured out why: the folks back home weren’t watching the same Olympics I was. What they did see was tape-delayed, over-produced, and cut short by an endless stream of “up close and personal” profiles, almost all of them Americans.
Stateside's conversation with Jerod Swallow, managing director of the Detroit Skating Club, and Yuka Sato, a national, international, world, and Olympic coach and choreographer for the Detroit Skating Club. You'll also hear from the Japanese pair team Miu Suzaki and Ryuichi Kihara.
Two Japanese figure skaters who train in Metro Detroit have had their Olympic moment.
Japan's Miu Suzaki and Ryuichi Kihara finished 21st in the pair skating short program – unfortunately not good enough for them to make the finals. They also competed in the team event, where Japan finished fifth overall.
Eli Brown spent years training for the Winter Olympics, and now he’s finally going. But Brown isn’t competing as an athlete. Instead, he’s making sure the U.S. cross-country ski team has the fastest skis possible.
A feature from Daniel Wanschura, a reporter for Interlochen Public Radio.
Stateside's conversation with Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon.
It was recently announced that the National Hockey League (NHL) will not be sending its players to the 2018 Winter Olympics.
The last time NHL players weren't included in the Olympic hockey tournament was in 1998. After nearly two decades, that is expected to come to a close next year when the Winter Games are hosted in Seoul, South Korea.
In the standings of medals won in Rio, Michigan would rank 16th if it were a country. That’s according to a story in the Detroit Free Press by Brian Manzullo.
“What’s impressive about that is these are the summer Olympics," sports commentator John. U Bacon said. "This is Michigan, man. Summer’s not our thing."
Bacon joined Stateside to discuss Michigan’s outstanding performance at this year’s Summer Olympics – with a special hat tip to Olympians Michael Phelps and Nick Willis – and Ryan Lochte’s “we were robbed at gunpoint” lie.
Flint residents are celebrating local hero, boxer Claressa Shields, who won her second gold medal on the final day of the Rio Olympics.
A standing room-only crowd watched Shields’ fight at Flint’s Berston field house, where Shields learned to box. A picture of Shields wearing her gold medal from the 2012 London Olympics hangs above the front door of the field house.
All through the middleweight fight, the crowd cheered and Shield’s sister Briana shouted at her to “knock out” her opponent, Nouchka Fontjin of the Netherlands.
The Summer Olympics in Rio are heading down the home stretch, and if you're an American, there's a lot to cheer about.
One of the main headlines in the Summer Games has been the return of Michael Phelps. The swimming icon who spent time early in his career at the University of Michigan, finished this year's competition with five gold medals and a silver. With six more, he extended his all-time record of career medals to 28. In fact, Phelps has more gold medals, 23, than the next closest person has total medals (18).
Phelps won his six medals in Rio at the ripe old age (by Olympian standards) of 31. Most believe this will be his last Olympics, but will it be?
Our conversation with Ron Warhurst and Hamish Carson
As the Olympics approached, Ann Arbor was a hive of training activity for a group of New Zealand athletes. They were drawn to the University of Michigan for the chance to work with retired men’s track and field coach Ron Warhurst.
Warhurst helped New Zealand runner Nick Willis win a silver medal in the 2008 Olympics. Willis' success encouraged countrymen Julian Matthews and Hamish Carson to travel from New Zealand to Michigan and work with Warhurst in the hopes of qualifying for their first Olympics.
Warhurst’s coaching paid off — Willis, Matthews and Carson all flew to Rio to compete in the men’s 1500 for their country.
More than 400 Russian Olympic athletes are in danger of being banned from the Rio Summer Olympics.
With just 17 days until the games open, the International Olympic Committee is reviewing its legal options after a stunning report revealed the biggest doping scandal in sports history. Those options could include banning all Russian teams from Rio.
The World Anti-Doping Agency report spells out an elaborate doping scheme run by the Russian government. It says the cheating goes back to the Sochi Olympics and beyond.
It's proof that attitudes toward performance-enhancing drugs have certainly shifted since Greg Stejskal worked for the FBI here in Southeast Michigan.
And, as it turns out, a certain legendary Michigan football coach was ahead of his time when he raised questions that inspired the FBI's first probe into performance enhancing drugs.
The Special Olympics "Flame of Hope" torch is currently on its way through Michigan as part of a cross-country relay trek to California.
It was carried through Detroit on Monday and made it to Ann Arbor on Tuesday, where a group of students from the Lenawee Intermediate School District were waiting at the Big House at 11:30 a.m. for their section of the Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America.
The 2014 Winter Olympics have entered the record books. The Olympic flame has been extinguished, and athletes and reporters are packing up and heading home from Sochi.
NPPR's Sonari Glinton joins us from Sochi.
Meanwhile in Michigan, Michael Lee speaks with Mercedes Mejia. Lee is a professional mime and physical acting coach. He's worked with 10 of the 24 figure skating ice dance teams at the Sochi Olympics this year, including Michigan natives Meryl Davis and Charlie White who are bringing home a gold medal. He also works with Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada.
Lee says he helps the skaters become performers by teaching them how to animate their bodies. He learned miming from the late Marcel Marceau, an acclaimed French mime.
What do Olympic ice dancers who train in Michigan have to do with Michael Lee?
He's a professional mime and physical acting coach. Lee has worked with 10 of the 24 figure skating ice dance teams at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. That includes Michigan natives Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who won a gold medal this year. Lee also works with Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada, who won silver.
“These are professional skaters," said Lee. "They move beautifully, but at the beginning they don’t move as if they are performing, and that’s what I’m about."
Lee helps the skaters become performers by teaching them how to animate their bodies. He himself learned miming from the late Marcel Marceau, an acclaimed French mime.
At the 2012 Summer Olympics, the U.S. team got a lot of criticism for wearing Olympic clothing made in China to the opening ceremonies.
For the Winter Games, designer Ralph Lauren used American material. The yarn for the sweaters and hats that will be worn in the closing ceremonies at the Winter Olympics in Sochi was spun in East Jordan, Michigan.
Listen to John U. Bacon's commentary on the Winter Olympics.
Why in the world are the Winter Olympics in Sochi, one of Russia’s warmest places?
Chalk it up to corruption – both the Russians’, which we’ve come to expect, and the International Olympic Committee’s – which we’ve also come to expect.
The IOC hasn’t just shown a willingness to be bought, but an insistence.
That’s how you get a Winter Olympic skating rink built in the shade of palm trees. The warm weather is funny, unless you spent your entire life training for these Olympics, and there’s no snow. Then it’s just heartbreaking.