Expert shares the benefits of rock-climbing

By Carmen Lopez

Rock climbing is gaining traction in Chicago with the addition of the Malkin-Sacks Rock Climbing Walls at Maggie Daley Park. Keith Geraghty, 38, is the director of climbing programming at the Chicago Athletic Clubs has been scaling walls for 15 years. Geraghty discusses how those who participate in the sport reap the benefits.

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VIDEO: MMA hits its stride in Chicago and the U.S.

By Brian MacIver

The spinning backfist connected and the crowd jumped. His opponent was dazed. The soon-to-be-victor continued the onslaught. He threw wide, powerful hooks at his opponent’s head as he backed him into the cage.

The final seconds ticked away, the cheering grew louder and it was clear what these 100 or so people were here for: blood, bruises and beatings.

The fact that a small-time promotion company like the International Fighting Organization, or IFO, could attract 100 people at $30 per ticket to its debut Mixed Martial Arts show earlier this month in Irving Park, was a testament to the growing popularity of mixed martial arts.

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Fans celebrate win after longest game in Blackhawks history

By Scott Guthrie and Sam Fiske

Fans who stayed up to watch the Blackhawks’ thrilling triple-overtime playoff win over Anaheim, might have had to start their Wednesday morning workday with a triple espresso.

When the final horn sounded at 1:15 a.m. Chicago time, the
Blackhawks had defeated the Ducks 3-2 in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals, the longest game in Blackhawks’ history.

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VIDEO: Trapeze school offers Chicagoans chance to fly

by Lukas J. Voss

If you ever wanted to fly, trapeze is probably the closest experience you can get: swinging from a 23-foot platform performing jumps, swings and flying dismounts. Afraid of flying? No problem. The Trapeze School New York Chicago has been teaching students how to handle the trapeze for the past 15 years.

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VIDEO: High school athletics experiencing budget obstacles

Obstacles from Chicago’s budget deficit are forcing many coaches to spend their own money or suffer the consequences.

By Connor Morgan

Coaching high school sports in Chicago can be an expensive job. Just ask Bill Curry, Westinghouse College Prep’s boys’  basketball coach.

Curry has only been the varsity coach for two years but has seen the cost of his labor add up, mainly in the form of paying for food and summer league fees for his student-athletes.

“You do whatever you can, whatever you can get your hands on,” Curry said. “Often times, a coach looks at it and says, ‘That was $35’ or ‘That was $89.’ And you can try to turn it into the school, but the school doesn’t have the money either.”

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Fairdale residents look to rebuild; White Sox donate to relief

By Hannah Beery

Tornado survivor Tom Marston saw his small farm town of Fairdale, Illinois demolished by an EF-4 tornado last month.

“If you had seen what I’d seen, we’re lucky to be alive, ” he said this week.

Now, he and other residents of the town 80 miles west of Chicago have finished the cleanup stage and have begun the daunting rebuilding process.

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Video: Special Olympics brings Spring Games to Chicago

By Lukas J. Voss

Over 3,500 athletes gathered on Chicago´s Southeast Side to celebrate the annual Special Olympics Spring Games. The week-long competition featured athletes from all over the state, who will compete in several track and field competitions.

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VIDEO: Maggie Daley Park’s Rock Climbing Walls Open

By Evan Garcia

The Malkin-Sacks Rock Climbing Walls at Maggie Daley Park opened somewhat anticlimactically on Tuesday.

For most of the afternoon, park employees outnumbered climbers.

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NFL’s Play 60 sparks youth interest

By Sam Fiske

The glow of the 2015 NFL Draft has come and gone, but the lasting imprint may ultimately reside with Chicago youth through the league’s Play 60 marketing campaign.

Play 60, which promotes an active and healthy lifestyle in the fight against childhood obesity, leveraged the popularity of the draft to draw kids, including those from Willa Cather Elementary School, to participate in football clinics in Grant Park last week.

“This is an amazing experience for the kids,” said Cather’s Dean Arick Lockheart, who campaigned to get 100 of his students invited to the Play 60 events. “It’s more about health and wellness.”

With raised awareness of concussions due to the violent nature of the sport, Play 60, which conducts clinics and football-related games and activities for kids nationwide, attempts a positive re-branding of the sport.

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Two steps forward, three steps back: NFL teams choose talent over troubled pasts

By Hannah Beery

Despite the NFL’s efforts to clean up its image, the 2015 draft revealed a troubling trend as teams continued to select players with allegedly violent pasts.

More troubling, however, said domestic violence experts and observers, was that the extensive vetting process employed by prospective teams failed to include the alleged victims of three high-profile draft picks.

“There are ramifications when you take on this kind of risk and they darn well should have been aware of everything that would go with it,” said columnist Gary Shelton about the Buccaneers ‘ selection of Jameis Winston. “I was deeply disturbed that [the team] did not talk to Erica Kinsman at any point in their process because ‘We knew what she would say from the reports.’ I think you cover all bases.”

Kinsman accused Winston, former Florida State quarterback and the NFL’s No. 1 overall pick, of rape in 2013. No criminal charges were filed and Winston was cleared again at a university conduct policy hearing late last year. She has since filed a civil suit, which Winston countered. Continue reading