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Hey, Athletes: Don't Feel Guilty About Sex Before the Game

Italian researchers say sexual activity may even enhance sports performance

(Newser) - It's a line of thought that dates back to ancient Greece and Rome and has been handed down to the athletes of today: For peak performance, abstain from sex before the big event. Or maybe not. Italian researchers have done some digging, and they report in the journal Frontiers ... More »

Among Elite Athletes, Practice Isn't Everything

Practice definitely makes us better—but among the elite, not necessarily the 'absolute best'

(Newser) - Ever since Swedish psychologist K. Anders Ericsson published a paper on the impact of 10,000 hours of deliberate practice on a musician's performance in 1993, his findings have become lore—and extended to a range of activities, such as medicine, chess, and sports. But while practice makes us... More »

IOC: We Want Refugee Athletes at 2016 Olympics

It's the first time refugees will be allowed to compete without a home country

(Newser) - Refugees have never been allowed to go for Olympic gold because they can't represent the countries they've fled from. Now they're going to get their shot, thanks to a decision by the International Olympic Committee to allow "highly qualified" refugees to take part in the Summer... More »

80 Years Later, Jewish Games to Be Played in Nazi Venue

Berlin is hosting the European Maccabi Games at Olympic Park

(Newser) - Berlin is kicking off the all-Jewish European Maccabi Games tomorrow—a 10-day event where 2,300 athletes from nearly 40 countries will compete in 19 disciplines, from soccer and basketball to chess and bridge, reports the Local . If Berlin seems like an odd venue, well, "these are the games... More »

Ruling: Brain Is a Muscle, So Bridge Is a Sport

Chess and board games may soon join the ranks as 'mind' sports

(Newser) - It turns out that your 60-something aunt retired to Florida to be a jock, and the "mind games" she dominates aren't the ones you're thinking of. Rather, bridge is an actual sport because the brain is a muscle, a judge in the UK has ruled, and other... More »

How Being a 'Lark' or 'Owl' Affects Performance

Study: Time one wakes, plays has a dramatic impact

(Newser) - If you're an early riser, your peak performance is earlier in the day, typically around lunchtime. If you're a night owl who prefers to sleep in, your prime time is closer to 8pm. One's internal body clock, which influences everything from alertness to risk of heart attack,... More »

A Meatball Wins Stray Dog's Love—and Unreal Devotion

Arthur captures hearts of Swedish racers he doggedly follows

(Newser) - If anyone has something to be thankful about this holiday week, it's a stray dog from Ecuador. Earlier this month, Arthur met up with a team of Swedish athletes competing in a 430-mile endurance race in the Amazon rainforest; he graciously accepted a meatball from Peak Performance member Mikael... More »

Rampant Sex Abuse Dogs USA Swimming

Coaches have attacked young athletes amid years of limited oversight

(Newser) - In an environment of little oversight, leading swim coaches across the US have taken advantage of a power dynamic to abuse their athletes for decades. In an in-depth piece at Outside , Rachel Sturtz recounts the story of Anna Strzempko, a former top swimmer who has reported repeated rapes by her... More »

Judge: College Players Can Sell Names, Likenesses

US District Court rules against NCAA in Ed O'Bannon case

(Newser) - A federal judge has ruled that the NCAA can't stop college football and basketball players from selling the rights to their names and likenesses, opening the way to athletes getting payouts once their college careers are over. In a landmark decision issued today, US District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled... More »

Cuba to Let Athletes Play in Other Countries

But apparently not in the US, at least for now

(Newser) - Pro athletes in Cuba make all of $20 a month, which goes a long way toward explaining why so many baseball players, boxers, and others have been defecting of late. But now the government hopes to remedy that: New rules will let Cuban athletes sign contracts to play in foreign... More »

Meet the Queen of Ultrarunning

Lizzy Hawker can run over 24 hours without sleep

(Newser) - Ultrarunners compete over hundreds of miles and for days at a time in a single race. But even by those superhuman standards, British ultrarunner Lizzy Hawker, 36, is particularly, well, ultra. Hawker is the five-time women’s division winner of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, one of the toughest trail races... More »

To Boost Sperm Count, Get Off the Couch

Exercise increases sperm count: new study

(Newser) - Want a higher sperm count? Get off the couch and start working out. A new Harvard University study found that college-aged men who often exercise have as much as 73% more sperm than their lazier peers, Bloomberg reports. Specifically, those who worked out more than 14 hours a week had... More »

Harvard Cheat Suspects Taking Leave to Dodge Penalty: Reports

Athletes ducking out now so they can play next year

(Newser) - It sounds a little like ... cheating. Some of the Harvard students being investigated in a cheating scandal plan to take a leave of absence—to duck the possibility of being suspended for a year, insiders are telling the New York Times . Harvard isn't saying how many students are taking... More »

What Some Olympic Athletes Eat Is Insane

A whole pizza, an entire pint of ice cream ... and that's just for starters

(Newser) - Some Olympic athletes maintain their prime physical condition by ... eating an entire cheese pizza and a full pint of Ben & Jerry's? Believe it. The New York Times takes a look at the outsize dietary needs of top athletes, who, as one doctor explains, can burn as many as... More »

Most Influential US Athletes

Jimmie Johnson leads Forbes list for second straight year

(Newser) - Forbes is out with its annual list of the nation's 10 most influential athletes, and NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson leads the way for the second straight year. Here are the top 5, with the results based on opinion polls commissioned by the magazine:
  1. Jimmie Johnson
  2. Tm Tebow
  3. Peyton
... More »

No Pain, No Gain? Think Again

Workouts shouldn't destroy you, says fitness blog

(Newser) - A new trend emerging among recreational athletes is extreme exercise, but this habit of overtraining is counterproductive to getting fit and healthy, writes Gina Kolata for the New York Times' Well blog . The body needs to rest—between sets, between days of exercise, etc.—a sentiment that many well-meaning... More »

More Ex-Players Sue NFL Over Brain Damage

2nd complaint claims the NFL covered up concussion dangers

(Newser) - Another lawsuit is being leveled against the NFL over brain damage suffered by former players. Ex-Miami Dolphins team members Patrick Surtain and Oronde Gadsden, along with 19 other players, have filed suit in Miami and are charging that the NFL deliberately omitted or concealed evidence connecting concussions to long-term neurological... More »

Drones to Patrol Olympics

RAF snipers may also be watching from helicopters

(Newser) - Next stop for drones: London. To help bolster security at next year's Olympics, Scotland Yard plans to use unmanned drones equipped with cameras for "eyes in the sky," reports the Independent . Only one local police force currently uses a drone—a radio-controlled mini-helicopter—for surveillance, but three... More »

Athletes, Think Twice About Getting That MRI

Doctors say they're overused and often misleading

(Newser) - Attention weekend warriors: If your doctor recommends an MRI—or worse, surgery based on its results—be very skeptical. That's the gist of a New York Times article explaining that a growing number of specialists in sports medicine think MRIs are way overused, often misleading, and sometimes just a... More »

In Slumdog Director's Olympic Opener, No Athletes?

Coaches fear participation will detract from Olympians' success

(Newser) - The director of Slumdog Millionaire wants to feature athletes in the 2012 Olympics' opening ceremony, which he happens to be directing—but their coaches aren’t so keen on the idea. British track and field coaches have barred their athletes from participating over fears that doing so could tire them... More »

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