‘The Invisible Cut’: A look into racism in fencing

By Leah Vann & Emine Yücel Medill Reports This summer, Boris Vaksman, a prominent fencing coach for St. John’s University and New York’s Fencers Club, was fired after he was recorded making racist remarks on a Zoom call. The comments, which followed the killing of George Floyd and in the wake of a nationally amplified […]

Illinois models boys’ and men’s volleyball growth at all levels

By Leah Vann Medill Reports Christine Giunta’s deep, sharp voice swells in the Glenbard West High School gym, permeating the air with commands to the boys’ volleyball players who dwarf her in height. Giunta is not only the head coach, but also the founder of the boys’ volleyball program at Glenbard West. She developed it […]

Bridget Venturi Veenema makes opportunity a focal point for girls’ baseball clinics

By Leah Vann Medill Reports Former pro player Bridget Venturi Veenema leads a group of girls aged 8 to 14 who are standing on one foot and holding baseballs. They’re practicing proper pitching form at the mound inside the University of Illinois-Chicago’s physical education building on Sunday during one of the six Illinois Girls Baseball’s […]

Chicago’s Latinx community struggles to find answers to mental health

By Leah Vann Medill Reports Linette Aleman, 20, rubbed her hands together as she sat in Los Gallos restaurant on Nov. 17, 2019, recalling the first panic attack she had 11 months ago. Aleman vividly remembers the episode. She described the feeling of her shoulders rising up uncontrollably, and what followed was a series of […]

Why the Genesis Open changed to an Invitational

By Leah Vann Medill Reports LOS ANGELES — Even a slight change in name gave the Genesis Invitational more weight on the PGA Tour this year. The Genesis Invitational in previous years played in an Open format, fielding 144 golfers that play through a Monday qualifying round to earn a spot. The switch to the […]

Two weeks later, the LA community continues to process Kobe Bryant’s death

By Leah Vann Medill Reports LOS ANGELES – Two weeks ago, Tiger Woods learned of Kobe Bryant’s death from his caddie Joe LaCava as he walked off the 18th green at Torrey Pines. As he tees off for the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club this week, he’s still grappling with the death of a […]

Chicago curling clubs embrace the ice

By Leah Vann Medill Reports During an otherwise miserable Chicago winter, local curling clubs are hosting classes to teach people about the ancient sport. Curling is like life-sized shuffleboard on ice, where players slide large stones and melt the path ahead to drive them toward a target,  accumulating points. Its origins date back as far […]

Ski jumping competition lives on for 115 years in Illinois

By Leah Vann Medill Reports An uncharacteristically large, steep hill lies in the depths of the Fox River Forest Preserve in Fox River Grove. More than 100 years ago, a group of Norwegian immigrants deemed it fit for one of their favorite sports, creating a tradition that persists today. Every year, world-class ski jumpers migrate […]

Chicago’s Kansas City Chiefs bar fans erupt during playoff win

By Leah Vann Medill Reports Professional and collegiate team flags hanging from sports bars decorate many streets in Chicago. Outside, it’s Bears, Cubs, Sox, Blackhawks and Bulls country. But inside, each bar shelters a haven of raucous sports fans avid to share the spirit for hometown teams that may be far away. The AFC divisional […]