Olympic Dreams
6:00 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Olympic Hopeful Pursues Her Blobsled Dream In Lenexa, Kansas

Anna Nostrant preparing for a bobsled run.
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.

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Central Standard
4:00 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Sochi 2014: What It Takes To Be An Olympian

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.


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Olympic Dreams
9:57 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Olympic Dreams In Kansas City: Ski Jumping And Nordic Combined

The world's tallest water slide, the Verrüct is the newest attraction at Kansas City's Schlitterbahn water park
Credit 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.

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7:38 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Tell KCUR: If You Could Be In The Olympics, What Would Be Your Sport? Why?

If you could be in the Olympics, what would be your sport? Why? Tweet us at #TellKCUR.
Credit KCUR

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?

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7:36 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Olympic Dreams In Kansas City: Biathlon And Cross Country Skiing

Cross country trails in Shawnee Mission Park.
Credit 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.

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Olympic Dreams
7:26 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Olympic Dreams In Kansas City: Where To Speed Skate

Members of the Kansas City Speed Skating team race around the ice at Line Creek Community Center
Credit 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.

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Up To Date
11:42 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Yakov Smirnoff: Comedy And A Russian View On Sochi

Yakov Smirnoff joins Steve Kraske to comment on the Sochi Olympics.
Credit 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:

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Up To Date
3:25 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

A Fan's Notes: Why Be Sochi Pessimist?

The 2014 Winter Olympic Games are being held in Sochi, Russia.

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.

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Up to Date
12:15 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

A Fan's Notes: Wrestling With Decisions Of Olympic Proportions

American wrestler Rulon Gardner beat Russian Alexander Karelin in the 2000 Summer Olympic Games

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.

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A Fan's Notes
2:04 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

The 2012 Olympic Games: Inspiration Through Perspiration

U.S. hurdler Lolo Jones

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

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The Torch
11:21 am
Fri July 27, 2012

London Olympics: Watching The Opening Ceremony, And This Weekend's Events

The Olympic torch is delivered by row boat to the royal barge, Gloriana, on the River Thames, near Tower Bridge in London ahead of the opening ceremony on Friday.

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 12:46 pm

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.

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Sweetness And Light
9:03 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

From Obscurity To The Olympics Back To Obscurity

Know who this gymnast is? You will soon. Seventeen-year-old Jordyn Wieber will compete for the U.S. women's gymnastics team in the 2012 London Olympics.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 7:12 am

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?

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KC Currents
12:09 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Raytown Native, And His Family, Head To London Olympics

"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. 

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2012 Olympics
9:06 am
Fri June 29, 2012

Olympics Trials A Disappointment For Bollier

Olympics hopeful Bobby Bollier
Jamie Squire Getty Images North America

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

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5:00 am
Fri June 29, 2012

Peter Sellars: The Collaborative Life

Peter Sellars in a conference room at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Mo.
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." 

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2012 Olympics
9:59 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Two Area Athletes Bound For The Olympics

Shot putter Christian Cantwell
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.

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Up to Date
11:01 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Racing Through The Night

The sister ships Olympic and Titanic

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

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