On a cloudless late June Sunday morning in Santa Clara, Calif., the air is already hot enough at 9 a.m. to swallow up any remaining moisture on the athletes’ bodies. The recurrent slosh of the outdoor swimming pool and the deliberately timed sounds of coaches’ whistles help call attention to Olympians and world-record holders, such as Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, who are on hand at the George F. Haines International Swim Center for the last leg of the 2011 USA Swimming Grand Prix.
But as the preliminary rounds from the final day of this international contest get underway, another name — not unknown, but unidentifiable to those outside of conventional swim circles — sits atop the series’ standings: Missy Franklin.
It’s the bottom of the seventh with the top of the order up to bat and Curt Schilling is on the mound, once again attempting to produce into the late innings.
But this time around, for ol’ No. 38 — one of the Boston Red Sox most lionized pitchmen — it has nothing to do with a diamond, and everything to do with selling an online platform. Since officially retiring from the majors in March 2009, Schilling, 44, has primarily focused his time and financial assets toward his start-up video game company, 38 Studios.
On July 28 in Los Angeles, the X Games, now in their 17th edition, once again return to where it all began.
The bikes and riders have changed over the years, not to an unrecognizable extent, but like returning to Southern California, BMX has come a bit full circle.
From modest and makeshift beginnings, the sport of BMX began in the late-1960s, and what it has evolved into today is something perhaps no one could have ever imagined.
While the assortment of disciplines in BMX — an acronym meaning bicycle motocross — draws bright lights, camera flashbulbs and thousands of screaming fans, it was by no means a streamlined process and took a lot of trial and error to create the gravity-defying tricks and breathtaking stunts we see in competitions and on TV.