Olympics

US women's basketball team wins gold in Elena Delle Donne's first Olympics

delle-donne-us-0820.jpg

US women's basketball team wins gold in Elena Delle Donne's first Olympics

First-time Olympian Elena Delle Donne got her first taste of gold as the United States women's basketball team won gold for the sixth straight Olympics.

The Americans defeated Spain, 101-72, in the gold-medal game Saturday in Rio, claiming gold for the eighth time in 11 Olympic women's basketball tournaments. The U.S. went undefeated in the tournament, averaging a stunning 102.1 points in eight victories.

Saturday, Diana Taurasi and Lindsay Whalen each dropped a team-high 17 points, Taurasi hitting five 3-pointers. Maya Moore had 14 points, and Breanna Stewart scored 11 points.

Delle Donne, the Chicago Sky star and reigning WNBA MVP, scored 10 points in 16 minutes.

Delle Donne was one of three players on the team — along with Brittney Griner and Stewart — playing in her first Olympics. The other nine players on the roster were at least all members of the 2012 gold medal-winning team in London.

Three players — Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings and Taurasi — matched American Olympic records by winning four gold medals and four consecutive gold medals. They are three of five American players to win four medals in women's basketball and three of seven female players overall. Only Teresa Edwards has more medals in women's basketball with five (four golds, one bronze). Only two men's basketball players have won four Olympic medals. Carmelo Anthony will become the third (and first American) regardless of the result of Sunday's men's gold-medal game between the U.S. and Serbia.

The Americans have won the gold medal in every women's Olympic tournament but one since 1984.

Chicagoan headed to the 2017 Special Olympic Winter World Games

screen-shot-2017-02-27-at-2.39.58-pm-1038x576.jpg

Chicagoan headed to the 2017 Special Olympic Winter World Games

Rosie Langello

Special Contributor to CSNChicago.com

Barbra Shimoda said she vividly remembers the first time her son starting skating at the age of 7. She never imagined it would lead to him attending the 2017 Special Olympic Winter World Games.

"Not in my wildest dreams did I think this would happen," Barbra Shimoda said. "We know we have our State Games in Illinois but the World Games—it's just not something you can plan for."

Out of 6,800 Chicago Special Olympic athletes, Tommy Shimoda is the only Chicagoan attending the games. The 24-year-old is headed to Austria in March with six other athletes from Illinois that will be representing Team USA. He will be competing in two speed skating events; the 500-meter race and the 777-meter race.

Shimoda is diagnosed with autism and communicates to others using a voice box. He’s been skating for 17 years and said his biggest inspiration is his brother, Clarke.

"I like speed skating because I get to go fast," Shimoda said. "Since I started training more for the games, my brother said I now skate faster than him."

Shimoda has been preparing for the World Games ever since he found out he would be attending after the State Games last year.

"I have been practicing three times a week," Shimoda said.

Read the full story at Medill Reports Chicago.

CSN Chicago, in partnership with Northwestern University,  features journalism by students in the graduate program at Medill School of Journalism. The students are reporters for Medill News Service. Medill faculty members edit the student work. Click here for more information about Medill.

Local blind triathlete wins national championship

blind_triathlete_wins_national_title_hopes_to_repeat.jpg
Kathleen McAuliffe/MEDILL

Local blind triathlete wins national championship

Kathleen McAuliffe
Special Contributor to CSNChicago.com

Swimming 750 meters, cycling 24.8 miles and then running 6.2 miles is demanding enough.

But at this year’s USA Triathlon national championships, Ashley Eisenmenger couldn’t see the pool before diving into the water. She didn’t know which way to turn on her bike. She couldn’t monitor her running pace on a watch. She couldn’t even reach for her water bottle.

But for Eisenmenger, a national champion triathlete who is legally blind, it’s her reason to wake up every morning.

“To give the most I have to give,” she said, “not in just in triathlon but in life. It’s about discipline and structure. That’s what triathlon gives me.”

With no vision in her left eye and limited, fading vision in her right, Eisenmenger, 20, has been legally blind since birth. Despite her physical limitations, the Tolono, Ill. native played softball and basketball during middle school. When she started high school, she turned to running to cope with social changes and her diminishing vision.

“I wanted something that I knew I could do no matter what changed and that was running,” she said. “If the remainder of my vision was gone, I could still tether to a guide and still run.”

Read the full story at Medill Reports Chicago.

CSN Chicago, in partnership with Northwestern University,  features journalism by students in the graduate program at Medill School of Journalism. The students are reporters for Medill News Service. Medill faculty members edit the student work. Click here for more information about Medill.