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NYCMarathon18aNYCMarathon18eThe leaders approaching Mile 14, in Long Island City, Queens.

YankeesSubway from 1917, pressed into service to help Yankee fans get to The Stadium on time.

Croatia

Squash18In the finals of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, at Grand Central Station, World No. 1 Nour El Sherbini of Egypt defeated Nour El Tayeb (foreground), also from Egypt. On the men’s side, Simon Rosner, of Germany, beat Egypt’s Terek Momen.

USOpen17b.JPGUSOpen17cChung Hyeon, South Korea’s best male tennis player (ranked #47 in the world), the day after being eliminated in the second round of the US Open by American John Isner in straight sets. Chung is still alive in the double’s competition.

Mets2017

NYCMarathon2015hNYCMarathon2015fNYCMarathon2015gStanley Biwott and Mary Keitany, of Kenya, won the 45th NYC Marathon.

Even with Spike Lee and 56,000 runners, this year’s race seemed diminished from past years, without Mary Wittenberg and the elite Russian runners.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

IslandersMartinNew York Islanders’ defense man Matt Martin at a Hockey Fights Cancer event this evening at the NHL store in Midtown.

Murphy

USOpen2015USOpen2015bPhotographs: Stephen Wise

Fitness-Boxing1Fitness-BoxingPhotographs: Stephen Wise

USASoccer1USASoccer

ThePacer

SuperBowl2015We’re passing on this year’s Super Bowl and all the Super Bowls in the future.

American style Football is turning its players and spectators into vegetables. See the way they sign their names. Look at the way their government is acting (staging coups and spreading misery), while fans slobber all over themselves.

The history of the United States has seen the American people lose control of themselves and their government, while they play their games, leaving the world in peril.

NYCMarathon2014hKenyan Wilson Kipsang leads at the 14 mile marker of today’s NYC Marathon. He would go on to win the race in 2:10:59.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

 

USOpen2014eKristinaMladenovicUSOpen-ShuaiZhangUnder a perfect sky in Flushing the U.S. Tennis Open got underway today.

One of the stories at this year’s Open is the lack of American men, among the top performers, in Grand Slam matches during 2013 & 2014. A Tennis Hall of Fame official we spoke with was forthright, saying the reason may have something to do with the adverse effects of American culture — making people soft (especially mentally), with no work ethic.

Kristina Mladenovic (top right) of France plays Petra Kvitova (recent Wimbledon champion) of the Czech Republic, 8/26. in what could be an interesting match.

USOpen2014a

Photographs: Stephen Wise

Rangers060914

NYRangersNYRangers2014cFormer NY Ranger greats Ron Greschner & Jeff Beukeboom joined fans before the team wrapped up its series against the Montreal Canadiens — advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals. They both said it would be a low scoring game, decided by one goal. Indeed it was (1-0).

Photographs: Stephen Wise

NYCMarathon2013NYCMarathon2013wwNYCMarathon2013chairNYCMarathon2013McFaddenGeoffrey Mutai (top) and Priscah Jeptoo (middle), winners of the NYC Marathon, at the 14 mile mark in Long Island City, Queens.

The wheelchair winners were Marcel Hug and Tatyana McFadden (bottom photo).

Photographs: Stephen Wise

TeamUSA2014TeamUSA2014aTeam USA slopestyle skiers, Alex Schlopy and Grete Eliassen, performed in Times Square today.

Slopestyle skiing, an Xsport, will have its Olympic premiere at Sochi.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

Linsanity1Linsanity: The Jeremy Lin Story, is a moving presentation of the David and Goliath story of NBA player Jeremy Lin. The film, put together by friends of Lin, is an intimate look at the journey of the son of Asian immigrants from high school to Harvard and the NYKnicks.

LinsanityA special showing of Linsanity this evening in New York included NYC Comptroller John Liu and the film’s director Evan Jackson Leong.

In America today a Goliath has been erected—as egoism and algorithms ‘chew everything into nothing.’ Jeremy Lin confronts that beast and wins, but the struggle continues for him and for us.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

FP2013Chew

ARodAlex Rodriguez, of the New York Yankees, greeted supporters this evening in front of Major League Baseball’s headquarters, where he is appealing his suspension for using performance enhancing drugs.

It seems hypocritical for a society that gives psychopharmaceuticals to millions of children (to improve concentration and academic performance) to then turn around and have a problem with athletes doing the same with HGH.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

BuonicontiFund2013Sports legends, celebrities and business leaders turned out to support NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti’s Fund, which aids spinal cord injury research—done by scientists at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.

According to their press release: “The Miami Project’s Christine E. Lynn Clinical Trials Initiative is designed to take discoveries found to be successful in laboratory studies and fast track them to human studies. Our FDA approved Schwann cell transplantation trial, the only one of its kind in the world, is changing the spinal cord injury field and sets an important foundation for future Miami Project cell replacement therapies.”

The problem is the Schwann cell transplantation trial uses harvested hESC (human embryonic stem cells) which undermines the moral integrity of society. A better approach would be to use stem cells from umbilical cord (placenta) blood.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

CraigKimbrelAtlanta Braves All-Star relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel accommodating autograph seekers in Manhattan today.

With a 98-99 mph fastball, Kimbrel’s 2012 Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) statistic — which takes into account strikeouts, walks and HR allowed was .78 — the best in modern baseball history (ESPN).

Photograph: Stephen Wise

RyanChalmers1RuanChalmers3 (2)Ryan Chalmers, a 24-year-old U.S. paralympian born with spina bifida, took 71 days to travel 3000 miles across the United States in a wheelchair. The trip concluded on 6/15 with his arrival at New York’s Central Park.

The 27th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner honored Alonzo Mourning, Lisa Leslie, Joe Torre, Shaquille O’Neal and Jake LaMotta among others, at a fundraiser for The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis.

Commentary: With all the problems in American society, it’s edifying to see excellence in sports.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

American John Isner, #9 in the world, defeated Xavier Malisse at the U.S. Open today. The 6’9″ Isner is top ranked among American men.

Also at the Open today, Kim Clijsters — three time winner of the U.S. Open — played her last singles match.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

Vesa Ponnka, Senior Director of Tennis at Junior Champions Tennis Center in College Park, MD, gave a class to tennis instructors today at the Tennis Teachers Conference in NYC.

Mr. Ponnka’s insights are directed at teaching tennis, but can be applied to any field or endeavor. For him creating a ‘culture of success’ requires character, the right mindset, and surrounding yourself with good people. He emphasized the need for coaches to be creative, disciplined, and consistent in order to keep players engaged. For him high performance tennis requires technical, tactical, mental, emotional, and physical proficiency. LE asked Mr. Ponnka if he saw digital devices as a hindrance to his player’s performance? He nodded saying “I’m old school on that.”

The inaugural Ironman U.S. Championship was held today in New Jersey and New York City.

Americans Jordan Rapp and Mary Beth Ellis (lower photo far left) were the winners with times of 8:11:18 and 9:02:48 respectively. There were 2500 athletes at the start of the race from 47 states and 46 countries. It was reported that one person died during the swim portion of the race.

Regarding the heat and humidity, Mr. Rapp said his head was near “redline” the whole way. Commenting on the condition of the Hudson river, Ms. Ellis said she has been in worse (dirtier) water.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

Outside of Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, this dog was posing for pictures.

The sign reads: Thank You For The Picture But Don’t Forget I Don’t Like $$ Cheap $$ People

Given the price of tickets for tonight’s game ($215 face value for seats 30 rows behind third base), the same could probably be said of the team’s owners.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

It’s nice to see good guys win.

You can’t spell Elite without Eli.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team represented by global superstars Hope Solo and Abby Wambach were honored today at the March of Dimes Annual Sports Luncheon in New York.

Both women were instrumental in helping the U.S. earn a silver medal in the 2011 World Cup in Germany. The U.S. reached the finals, falling to Japan in a penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw.

Hope Solo was the goalkeeper of the U.S. team that won the gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Ms. Solo’s success in soccer has come with family struggles that others can relate to. Her father (a Viet Nam war vet) taught her soccer and experienced being homeless at various times. He died in 2007. LE asked Hope to offer any advise to others from her experience with her father. She said: “So many of us are from different walks of life. And at the end of the day it’s about love. I mean you’re not always going see eye to eye, not always going to be in agreement with different ways of living but I think acceptance is the key to all happiness. I know that I accepted my father for everything that he was — good decisions and bad decisions, it all circled back to love. And I think that’s why I have such a great relationship with him”

Photograph: Stephen Wise

Out shopping in Manhattan today, NBA player Larry Sanders (Milwaukee Bucks) was also seen helping a homeless man on 42nd Street.

LE asked Sanders about the NBA lockout? He said he remains hopeful about a deal getting done, that would salvage part of the season, but if it doesn’t happen he’ll explore options in Europe.

If a deal does get done between the NBA, players and owners, hopefully games won’t be played on Christmas day.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice signs a photograph of an American soldier heading to Afghanistan, at the 26th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC tonight.

Other honorees included: Don Shula, Chris Mullin, Nancy Kerrigan, Ernie Els, Andre Dawson, Clarke Gilles and John Force.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

American Irina Falconi upset Dominika Cibulova of Slovakia (ranked No. 15 in the world), 2-6 6-3 7-5, in the 2nd round of the U.S. Tennis Open today.

The 21 year-old Falconi is currently ranked No. 78 in the world, after just 14 months as a professional.

The match was first scheduled to be played on Court 11 but was moved to the Arthur Ashe Stadium at the last minute. Perhaps the USTA sensed something special was about to happen. And indeed it did.

Born in Ecuador, Ms. Falconi grew up in New York City and attended Georgia Tech University for two years. It was there that she met her coach Jeff Wilson, who runs a tennis academy near Atlanta, and Jeff’s wife Kim, who is Falconi’s fitness trainer. LE caught up with the Wilsons earlier in the week and they shared some of their techniques and insights that have helped Falconi as she becomes an elite tennis player.

With the distractions and temptations in contemporary society, its a challenge for anyone to be clear headed and able to perform at a high level, but especially young professional athletes. Kim Wilson commented that Ms. Falconi had been ‘home-schooled’ in high school, which she thought put Irina ahead of her peers mentally. Wilson talked about a work-out routine that she calls “kick-box-jam,” which incorporates dance, boxing, and kick-boxing in a program intended to “free-up” Falconi on the court.

I asked Jeff Wilson what Falconi does just before matches? He said they find a quiet place and talk about ‘non-tennis’ subjects, like “Seinfeld.”

Photographs: Stephen Wise

The USTA held a “Tennis Teachers” Conference in conjunction with the U.S. Tennis Open now underway in Flushing, NY. One of the sessions, conducted by Tom Gullikson (photo), was called Teaching & Training for Modern Doubles.

Mr. Gullikson is a former professional player turned coach. As a player he won 16 doubles titles — ten of them partnering with his (now deceased) twin brother, Tim. He has captained the U.S. Davis Cup Team and coached the U.S. Men’s Olympic Tennis Team.

During today’s class, Gullikson said “the most important thing in tennis is knowing how to pick a good partner.” He said, “one of the two players has to be captain” and their “game styles and personalities” should be complimentary — one being agressive, the other laid back; one better at the net, the other with ground strokes etc. He commented on what he called the “myth” that “strength should be played down the middle.” Saying instead that doubles is a “crossward game” and “strength should be on the outside.”

Several times Gullikson mentioned the importance of communication between partners. While commenting on the two professional women players participating in the session, he said, “I like the fact they are talking.” But added, “the only time you say you’re sorry is when you miss (a shot) on purpose.”

I asked Coach Gully about ‘mental’ preparation for playing professional tennis. He said he follows the thinking of “performance” psychologist, Jim Loehr.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

The coach of the New York Jet’s football team, Rex Ryan, was in Manhattan today promoting his book “Play It Like You Mean It.”

Ryan is known to sports fans for having guaranteed a Superbowl win last season only to fall short.

The question of does he regret the “guarantee” is answered in the book, when he sneers at coaches who try to “downplay expectations” — saying “to hell with that,” and then adding “we’re going to kick their ass.”

Throughout history, pride (hubris) has been understood to be a bad thing — sure to produce bad outcomes over time. Today, it’s rare to find leaders who understand the power and truth of humility.

Edna Kiplagat of Kenya (top photo) winning the 41st New York City Marathon with a time of 2:28:20. The men’s winner was Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia in 2:08:14. His countryman, and marathon world record holder, Haile Gebrselassie pulled out of the race at the 16 mile mark.

There were 44,000 participants in this year’s race. American Shalane Flanagan (middle photo) came in 2nd for the women. It was her first marathon. Meb Keflezighi (lower photo) was first among American men and 6th overall.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

The Women’s Sports Foundation presented the 31st Annual Salute to Women in Sports Awards Gala, last night at the Waldorf in NYC.

Among the athletes on hand were American figure skater Michell Kwan (left) and Kim Yu-Na of South Korea, 2010 Olympic gold medalist in figure skating.

Billie Jean King, founder of the Women’s Sports Foundation, was joined by Laila Ali.

In the lower photo, Annika Sorenstam is seen being photographed by her husband Mike, who said Annika is busy with her Golf Academy, clothing line, and golf course design projects. She’ll be doing exhibitions in China and the U.S. in the coming months.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

Several current and former NY Jets and Giants players — including Rich Caster helping to raise money for charity at the Waldorf.

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