On this edition of Up To Date, the Ethics Professors take on the recent outcry involving athletes Ryan Lochte and Colin Kaepernick, and look at the University of Chicago's refusal to create safe spaces on campus.


  • Wayne Vaught is dean of the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences and a professor of philosophy, medicine and bioethics.
  • Clancy Martin is a professor of philosophy at UMKC and a professor of business ethics at the Bloch School of Management. 
Courtesy Liana Marti Perez

KC's Brazilian community has been watching the Olympics in Rio with the rest of us, but through a particular lens of pride ... and concern.

We talk to some local Brazilian expats to hear what they think of the Olympics — and how Brazil is being portrayed.


  • Carolina Shank, KC resident from Rio
  • Otavio Silva, local resident from Brazil
  • Liana Marti Perez, local resident who is at the Olympics


How are Kansas City's athletes doing at the Rio Olympics? KCUR's sports reporter gives us an update.


Fernando Frazão / Agência Brasil / Source http://agenciabrasil.ebc.com.br/rio-2016/foto/2016-08/natacao-rio-2016

It’s been a week since the Olympic flame was lit in Rio de Janeiro, and so far these Games have gone more or less as expected — for better and for worse. Amid all the storylines and golden moments, "A Fan’s Notes" commentator Victor Wishna muses on a larger, urgent meaning for all of us watching back home.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

With the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in full swing, nearly all eyes have been glued to the outcomes of the swimming events and women’s gymnastics at their respective venues in Brazil.

But some of the local athletes like archer Zach Garrett of Wellington, Missouri, and tennis player Jack Sock of Overland Park, Kansas, have also made their impact on the Olympic games.

Discus thrower Mason Finley is one of several track and field athletes with local connections scheduled to begin competition Friday.

Ian Echlin / KCUR 89.3

One of the focal points in the Olympics this summer will be swimmer Michael Phelps. Another swimmer, whose first name is Michael and lives outside Lawrence, Kansas, narrowly missed out on the Olympics this year. He’s 17, and big things are predicted of him despite an unconventional training path.

So big that ESPN The Magazine claims that the family of Michael Andrew says he can become this generation’s Michael Phelps. Andrew’s parents don’t recall saying that.

Regardless, Andrew became one of the most talked about swimmers who failed to make the Olympics.


Aug 3, 2016

Lenexa resident Cam F. Awesome barely missed being a Olympian heavyweight boxer in 2012. When that happened, he gained a lot of weight, went vegan and became a stand-up comedian.

But then he decided to give the 2016 Olympics — and himself — another shot. We hear his story ... and what comes after an Olympic run.


  • Cam F. Awesome, boxer


We check in with a former UMKC runner who is headed to Rio for the Olympics.



On Target

Jul 14, 2016

He's a 21-year-old who has gone from his small Missouri town to representing the U.S. in the Olympics. Meet Zach Garrett, an archer from Wellington, Missouri.


Anna Leach / KCUR 89.3

An exit interview with Olympic gold medalist Shannon Vreeland, a swimmer from Overland Park, Kansas, just days after her career ended at the swimming trials in Omaha. We discuss how Kansas Citians make it  from their initial training in local pools and gyms all the way to the Olympics,.


  • Shannon Vreeland, world champion swimmer
  • Greg Echlin, KCUR's sports reporter
Courtesy of Coach Joseph Potts

Kansas may be an unlikely place to find a bobsledder in training, but 23-year-old Anna Norsant says this is where she belongs.

Norsant is committed to the high-speed Olympic sport, which begins with two or four athletes pushing a snow-car-type sled at a sprinting speed, jumping in, and then descending down an ice covered run.

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, began on Feb. 7 and the world has been enthralled with the incredible athleticism displayed at the games.

Today we talk with professional runner Amy Mortimer, who placed ninth at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials. Later, we discuss what it takes for Olympians to train and compete in extreme winter conditions.

Also, KCUR reporter Laura Ziegler talks about the public's reactions to the Olympic games with this week's Tell KCUR. Finally, we explore what's at stake for Russia in hosting these games.


Esther Honig / KCUR

Ski jumping was developed in Norway and has been around since the early 19th century. In this event, skiers go down a take-off ramp, jump, and attempt to impress judges, who give points for style.

The Nordic combined, also developed in Norway, is a combination of cross country skiing and ski jumping.


Dear Kansas City, we want to know what your Olympic dreams are.

As the world’s finest athletes compete at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia,  we’re wondering which gold you’ve been eyeing — from your living room.

Tell KCUR: If you could be in the Olympics, what would be your sport? Why?

Are you a would-be figure skater? A snowboarding hopeful?

Laura Spencer / KCUR

You will likely face two challenges if you want to try cross country skiing in Kansas City: the right weather conditions and available equipment.

Cross country skiing is considered one of the most challenging of the endurance sports. Participants use skis and poles to move across snow-covered terrain. Traditional cross country skis are long and narrow; holding on to the poles, you push with one ski and glide with the other.

Donna Vestal / KCUR

Speed skating is ice skating that falls into two basic categories — long track and short track. Long track races takes places on a 400m long oval rink with skaters competing in pairs. Short track involves four to six skaters on a track about a fourth that size.

Kansas City doesn’t have an Olympic sized rink for even short track, but a hockey rink will work.

Beth Lipoff/KCUR

In America, you try to get to Olympics. In Russia, Olympics come and get you. Or at least, that's the way Russian comedian and Branson sensation Yakov Smirnoff might say it.

In the second part of Monday's Up to Date, Smirnoff joins Steve Kraske to talk about Sochi, comedy and more.


  • Yakov Smirnoff, comedian

Yakov Smirnoff on Sochi:

Of all sporting events, perhaps none is more tangled up in dreams of glory and miracles and fellowship than the Olympic Games. For two weeks, the peoples of the planet come together in celebration of the Olympic spirit and all is well with the world!

Yeah, right.

The Olympics are a human endeavor. All those idealistic “principles” in the Olympic Charter—social responsibility, mutual understanding, universal respect—are written down because they’re so often forgotten. Just search “Olympic Scandals and Controversies” on Wikipedia; you’ll find nearly a hundred offenses.

Last week, the International Olympic Committee announced it will be taking wrestling to the mat--the 2016 Games will be the last for the ancient sport. But with March Madness approaching and spring training already underway, why should the casual fan care? Commentator Victor Wishna explains in this month's edition of  A Fan's Notes.


The 30th Summer Olympic Games come to a close on Sunday in London.

The London 2012 Summer Games are set to begin in earnest, with today's opening ceremony kicking off a weekend of gold-medal competitions. But if you're in America and you hope to watch the Opening Ceremony live, I'm afraid you'll be disappointed: NBC is tape-delaying its broadcast until Friday night.

Why do we like the Olympics?

If somebody hadn't thought to start them up again 116 years ago, would ESPN have invented them to fill in summer programming?

I'm not being cranky. It's just that most of the most popular Olympic sports are the groundhog games. Swimming, gymnastics and track and field come out every four years, see their shadow and go right back underground where nobody pays any attention to them for another four years. Can you even name a gymnast?

Raytown Native, And His Family, Head To London Olympics

Jul 23, 2012
"Awesome Joolie" / Flickr

Many athletes dream of going to the Olympics, but few ever succeed in representing their country on sport’s most prestigious stage. 

Jamie Squire / Getty Images North America

In the Olympic swimming trials Thursday night, Bobby Bollier of Mission Hills, Kan. had a tough assignment.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

Director Peter Sellars has established a reputation for staging classical plays and operas in contemporary settings, from Shakespeare’s "Othello" to Mozart’s "The Marriage of Figaro." 

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Two athletes with ties to Kansas and Missouri will have a chance to compete at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Racing Through The Night

Apr 11, 2012

On the night the Titanic sank, its nearly identical sister ship, the Olympic was 500 miles away.