At age 79 after he fell and hit his head on a concrete gym floor, Harold Connolly (above), who won the gold medal in the hammer throw at the 1956 Olympics despite throwing with a left arm that had been withered since birth. Born in Somerville, Mass., Connolly fractured that arm 13 times as a child, stunting its growth so much that it measured 4½ inches shorter than his right arm as an adult. (His left hand was two thirds the size of his right.) Despite that handicap, he became one of the world's premier throwers in the 1950s and '60s, breaking the world record six times and competing in four Olympics. It was at the '56 Games in Melbourne that Connolly also met his first wife, Olympic discus champion Olga Fikotova, of Czechoslovakia. That couple divorced in '74, and Connolly wedded another Olympian, American runner and pentathlete Pat Daniels, a year later. In '83, in retirement, Connolly shed some light on track and field competition in the Cold War era, admitting that he had competed on steroids for a number of years and supporting acceptance of their use, a stance that he would later reverse.
At age 43 of pancreatic cancer, former Pro Bowl return man Johnny Bailey. After a career in which he set an NCAA record with 7,803 total yards at Division II Texas A&M--Kingsville (then known as Texas A&I), Bailey was a ninth-round pick of the Bears in 1990. He played six seasons with three teams and scored nine touchdowns, including one on a Bears' team-record 95-yard punt return during his rookie season. Bailey was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000.
August 29, 2010
After nearly six years of marriage, Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren. Woods announced on his website that the marriage, which had been on the rocks since revelations about his extramarital affairs began surfacing last November, had been dissolved. "We are sad that our marriage is over and we wish each other the very best for the future," the couple said in a statement. This week Woods, who hasn't won a tournament since Sept. 2009, will play in The Barclays, the first round of the FedEx Cup playoffs, but he sits in 112th place in the points standings entering the event.
After Sunday's game, Cubs manager Lou Piniella (right). Last month Piniella announced that he would step down following the season. But with Chicago languishing in fifth place in the NL Central and his mother ailing, the 67-year-old decided to accelerate his plans. "My mom needs me home and that's where I'm going," Piniella said before Sunday's game, a 16--5 loss to the Braves that dropped the Cubs to 51--74. Piniella played in the majors for 18 seasons and managed for another 23, finishing with a record of 1,835--1,713. He led the Reds to a World Series win in 1990. The Cubs named third base coach Mike Quade manager for the rest of the season.
By Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie, that he was coached by a director of the HBO show Hard Knocks to appear to struggle while recounting the names and ages of his eight children. Cromartie, who has fathered children with six women in five states, was featured on the program last Wednesday in an interview during which he stumbles while counting off his kids on his fingers. But Cromartie, who was blasted in the media the following day, told the New York Post that a director ordered a "redo" and asked him to pause longer between names in the second take. An HBO spokesman insisted that only one take was filmed and that the show was "not manufactured."
That he had heart surgery last month to treat blood clots, NASCAR driver Brian Vickers. The 26-year-old, who hasn't raced since a May trip to the emergency room with clots in his legs and lungs, underwent two procedures in July, to patch a hole in his heart and insert a stent into a vein in his left leg. Appearing in front of the media last Saturday in Bristol, Tenn., Vickers—who has won two races in his eight-year career and qualified for last year's Chase—said he has been okayed by his doctors to return to his Red Bull--sponsored Toyota next year. "I have a new appreciation for life," he said. "I'm looking forward to it, and I'm excited to race."
To the Oxford Dictionary of English, the word vuvuzela. The plastic horn, which came into prominence during this summer's World Cup, joins nearly 2,000 other new words—including defriend, turducken and tweetup—in the new edition of the dictionary. The inclusion of vuvuzela comes after months of exclusion for the annoying noisemaker; since the July Cup final, the horns have been banned by many baseball, football and soccer teams, and recently FIBA announced that they would not be permitted at the upcoming world basketball championships in Turkey.
THEY SAID IT
Former NFL quarterback, on his wife Brenda's wish that Denzel Washington portray him in a proposed Hollywood movie about Warner's career:
"It would probably challenge Denzel in ways he's never been challenged before."
Career walk-off home runs by Twins DH Jim Thome after he went yard to beat the White Sox on Aug. 17, tying the MLB record shared by Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Frank Robinson and Babe Ruth.
Innings it took Yankees pitcher Kerry Wood to reach 1,500 strikeouts, breaking the record held by Pedro Martinez (1,337 innings).
Amount Alabama spent to send its football team to the White House in March to meet with President Obama.
Portion of that bill that was spent on lunch at Chick-fil-A.
Income generated by the 20 English Premier League soccer teams this season by selling ad space on their jerseys. Liverpool and Manchester United made the most, at $31 million each.
Attendance, estimated by NASCAR, at the Aug. 1 Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.
Attendance, estimated by The Pocono Record, using aerial photography with a 15% margin of error.