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Rachel Denhollander
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Like any Olympic summer, gymnastics is at the center of attention for many viewers. However, the event is seen in a different light this time around—this is the first Olympics since disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar’s widespread abuse towards USA gymnasts and other survivors became known to the public.

People hanging out along the water in Havana
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, a conversation about how the legacy of abuse by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is changing our conversation on athlete health at this year’s Olympics. Then, a Michigan man turns his paddleboard-making hobby into a full-time career, and we learn about the patchwork regulations on using paddleboards on Michigan lakes. And finally, what Michigan farmers could gain from a shift in U.S. relations with Cuba.

Pandemic protocols have kept Olympic venues primarily fan-free, required extra precautions and testing for athletes and staff and prevented many loved ones from cheering their teams on in person.

But one COVID-19 concession may actually make for a beautiful new Olympic tradition.

Updated July 23, 2021 at 6:53 PM ET

Cleveland's Major League Baseball team has changed its name to the Guardians, ridding itself of a previous name that many found highly offensive.

The team announced the name change Friday morning on Twitter, posting a two-minute video narrated by actor Tom Hanks.

Getty Images

Less than a month away from the July 23 opening ceremony, the nation is full of anticipation and excitement for the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games. Team USA boasts fantastic athletes like Simone Biles and Ryan Murphy, alongside an exceptional first-time Olympic hopeful from Michigan.

DETROIT OLYMPIC COMMITTEE ARCHIVE IN THE BURTON HISTORICAL COLLECTION OF THE DETROIT PUBLIC LIBRARY

After the Covid-19 pandemic postponed the event for a year, the Tokyo Olympic Games are set to begin on July 23. While the thrill of the athletic competition dazzles audiences from around the globe, the unseen process of who gets to host the games is just as competitive.

University of Michigan Stadium
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon joins Morning Edition host Doug Tribou to talk about some of the top stories in the world of sports.

University of Michigan Stadium
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, the son of longtime University of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler went on record to say that he, too, was abused by former UM doctor Robert Anderson. Also, a review of this week’s big auto industry reveal: Ford’s new hybrid mini-truck. Plus, one art fan’s collection, and the personal statement it reflects about gay identity.

a team picture of the women's lacrosse team at cass tech
Courtesy of Summer Aldred

2020 was supposed to be an exciting year for women’s lacrosse players at Cass Technical High School in Detroit.

Updated June 1, 2021 at 12:29 PM ET

Many of the world's top athletes have rallied around tennis star Naomi Osaka and her decision to pull out of the French Open — decrying a culture that doesn't always give athletes the support they need in times of mental distress.

Courtesy of Rentschler's Studio photograph collection, Bentley Image Bank, Bentley Historical Library

Back in 1934, the University of Michigan and Georgia Tech football teams met in a game at Michigan Stadium. Ahead of the event, Georgia Tech made a demand of the U of M athletic director, legendary football coach Fielding Yost: bench Michigan’s Black football player, Willis Ward, or Georgia Tech would refuse to compete. Yost agreed to the racist request and barred Ward from playing and from the stadium that day.

Courtesy of Megan McIntosh

There have been a few big title wins for collegiate athletics in Michigan this spring, despite the challenge of competing amid a public health crisis. The women’s gymnastics team at University of Michigan won the NCAA national championship, and both the women’s field hockey team at U of M and the women’s golf team at Michigan State University won Big Ten Conference titles.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

“Play Ball” will finally be heard in minor league ballparks in Michigan this week.

It’s their first games after missing all of last year's season to COVID-19.

Three minor league baseball teams in Michigan play their opening games of the 2021 season Tuesday. 

UCLA basketball players cheering
Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS — Johnny Juzang scored 28 points while playing most of the second half on a hurt ankle, and UCLA survived a series of nail-biting misses by top-seeded Michigan in the closing seconds for a 51-49 victory Tuesday night that made the Bruins the fifth No. 11 seed ever to reach the Final Four.

basketball player hangs from rim
Photo by Brett Wilhelm/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — What was touted as the marquee matchup in the Sweet 16 turned into a dud.

For everyone but Michigan, that is.

Seven-foot-1 freshman Hunter Dickinson had 14 points and eight rebounds and the top-seeded Wolverines took the inside route to the Elite Eight, pounding away in the paint Sunday for a 76-58 takedown of surprisingly helpless Florida State.

u of women's basketball celebrating
Photo by Ben Solomon/NCAA Photos / 2021 NCAA Photos

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — It’s been a season of firsts for Michigan, and now the Wolverines can add a trip to the Sweet 16 to that list.

Leigha Brown scored 23 points and Naz Hillmon added 19 to lead No. 6 seed Michigan to its first regional semifinals appearance with a 70-55 win over third-seeded Tennessee on Tuesday in the women’s NCAA Tournament.

michigan basketball slam dunk
Photo by Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images / 2021 NCAA Photos

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — What the Big Ten needed was someone, anyone, to start playing like it came from the Big Ten.

Thanks to Michigan, the conference is still part of March Madness.

Longer, taller and deeper than LSU, the top-seeded Wolverines slowly wore down the Tigers. They got 21 points each from Eli Brooks and Chaundee Brown Jr., in a roller-coaster 86-78 victory that salvaged some hope for the hurting conference at the NCAA Tournament.

The Michigan State men's basketball team extended coach Tom Izzo's streak of NCAA tournament appearances to 23, but lost in its opening-round game against UCLA.
2021 NCAA Photos

The NCAA men's basketball tournament is underway, and for Michigan State, it's already over.

Early Friday morning in West Lafayette, Indiana, the Spartans lost to UCLA 86-80 in overtime. Thursday's play-in games also determined Michigan's first round opponent.

Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon joined Morning Edition host Doug Tribou for a look at both teams, the upcoming start of women's tournament, and more. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The state will soon require weekly COVID-19 tests for student athletes aged 13 to 19.

Previously, tests were only required for sports like wrestling and swimming, where masks could pose a hazard.

Doctor Joneigh Khaldun is the state's Chief Medical Executive.

“Due to the many outbreaks linked to sports, this new order requires youth athletes aged 13 to 19 years old to take part in the weekly testing program to participate in athletic practices or competitions.”

u of m basketball players holding championship sign
U-M Photography

It's conference tournament time in college basketball. There have been upsets and disappointments in the Big Ten men's and women's tournaments in Indianapolis.

Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon joined Morning Edition host Doug Tribou for a look at the highs and lows. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

All those commercials promoting new online gambling websites apparently worked.

Online sports gambling got off to a strong start in Michigan in January. Between January 22 and 31, Michiganders wagered more than $115 million on sports online.  

The number does not include bets cast over Super Bowl weekend.

Courtesy of Darlene Walch

From the ski slopes to the snow trails, decreased snowfall and heightened risk of COVID-19 has made this winter season a strange one for many Michiganders hoping to enjoy their favorite cold-weather pastimes. That means that in the Marquette area of the Upper Peninsula, this particular February won’t bring its annual major sled dog races — or the crowd of spectators, mushers, and dogs that usually attend the events.

Gene Gallin / unsplash

“What’s the point of even going to school anymore if I can’t play my sport that I love?” 17 year old  Nataliegh Badgero asked state lawmakers Thursday. She loves basketball. But she can't play for her school right now. 

Michigan legislators held a pair of committee hearings to give high school student athletes and their parents a chance to make their plea to let students play winter and spring sports despite the covid pandemic.

Courtesy to Michigan Photography

The University of Michigan has put its athletic activities on hold. Athletic facilities are closed, and practices, training sessions, and competitions are all shut down.

This comes after several people associated with the athletic department tested positive for the new COVID B.1.1.7. variant.

The University of Michigan football stadium
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has told the University of Michigan to stop all athletic activities in all sports for possibly up to two weeks.

That includes all games, team and individual training sessions, and closing U-of-M athletic facilities.
The mandate follows positive test results for the new COVID B.1.1.7 variant from several people associated with the Athletic Department.

John U. Bacon

After weeks of waiting, University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh and athletic director Warde Manuel finally agreed to extend Harbaugh’s contract through 2025.

There are no polls tracking fan reaction, but it’s clear Michigan fans don’t feel the same way they did six years ago, when Harbaugh surprised the sporting world by returning to coach his alma mater.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s high school football playoffs resume this weekend.

The fall sports playoffs were shut down two months ago as COVID-19 surged in the state.

A spokesman for the Michigan High School Athletic Association is confident they will finish the playoffs this month.

“We haven’t spoken a word in our office about having this shut down again,” says Geoff Kimmerly.

John U. Bacon

University of Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel announced this week that he and football coach Jim Harbaugh would determine Harbaugh’s future on Dec. 19. That’s the day after high school recruits commit to their future schools.

In other words, by delaying the decision, Michigan will force a couple dozen high school students to make one of the most important decisions of their lives without knowing who their head coach will be. Waiting until December 19 is an uncharacteristically short-sighted, selfish move on both sides, at the recruits’ expense.


artist rendering of Olympic Stadium superimposed on downtown Detroit
Detroit Olympic Committee Archive in the Burton Historical Collection of the Detroit Public Library

Detroit loves its sports, and sometimes even loves the results. The new book City of Champions details pivotal Detroit sports moments spanning more than 250 years, and documents how sports history is woven into the city's overall successes and struggles.

Detroit Lions fire coach Matt Patricia and GM Bob Quinn

Nov 28, 2020
The Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions

Matt Patricia opened his final postgame news conference with the Detroit Lions by thanking his wife and children for their support.

Patricia probably knew what was coming.

His boss, general manager Bob Quinn, might not have expected the same fate.

The Lions fired Patricia and Quinn, who hired the coach to replace Jim Caldwell, and effectively ended the franchise’s attempt to replicate the success the men helped Bill Belichick achieve in New England.

The moves were made Saturday, surprising no one.

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