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Posts Tagged: sports

Why athletes cheat: “Your self is on the line”

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Lance Armstrong finishes Aspen, Colo.'s Power of Four Mountain Bike Race in August 2012. (Photo by Getty Images)

Steve Portenga, lead psychologist for the U.S. track and field team, suggests it’s more than fame and fortune that can motivate athletes to break the rules of sport to enhance their performance. It’s about the fear of losing an identity — and sometimes a paycheck.

Athletes: Have you ever been pressured to enhance your performance?

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Lance Armstrong finishes Aspen, Colo.'s Power of Four Mountain Bike Race in August 2012. (Photo by Getty Images)

Lance Armstrong may be the highest-profile athlete to fess up to illegally gaming the system, but he’s certainly not the first. The immense pressure to perform has sent athletes from high school to the pros searching for ways to achieve that extra edge, even if it means bending or breaking the rules.

Who are Olympians, really?

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Claressa Shields, before she was an Olympian. Photo by Sue Jaye Johnson.

By the time they get to the games, Olympians are public figures. But most of them, like boxer Claressa Shields, were anonymous athletes just weeks earlier.

Let the kids play? Parents, sports and head injury

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Shawn McCarty played lacrosse in North Canton, Ohio, until a concussion this spring kept him on the sidelines for the remainder of the season. His father, TIM McCARTY, says, "My wife and I know what's coming; that we're going to be advised to have him stop. But he loves the game and he loves the guys and being on the team, so it's not going to be easy trying to convince a 16-year-old to think about when he's 50. His future is in our hands." (Photo shared by Tim McCarty)

Parents are making some tough choices about whether to let their kids participate in sports. And there are no set rules about how young is too young to play contact sports, what kind of game play is too dangerous, or how many concussions are too many.

KPCC covers the Olympic Games from a SoCal perspective

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In this conversation on AirTalk, a sports psychologist gets into the heads of athletes, and an African-American water polo star from the 2004 games talks about the social barriers to participation by athletes of color. More at

Title IX at 40: Opening doors to academics, opportunity and … fencing?

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Title IX was reality for Diane Goldberg, who entered Columbia University the year it went coed. In 1983. As teams battled for women to join their ranks regardless of experience, she left registration day with a new slate of classes and a spot on the fencing team.