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June 30, 2009 Permalink

Bungee jumping, Wimbledon, and the "tomatina" tomato fight

This week Big Shots heads to London for the start of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships, bungee jumps off a power station in South Africa, and wonders how to get the stains out after the "tomatina" tomato fight in Colombia. There's also Turkish oil wrestling in Germany and steer wrestling (without oil) in Reno. And there's more to enjoy this week as we look forward to an upcoming post on track & field all over the world. ( 28 photos total)

Pakistani youths cool off in a canal during a heat wave in Lahore June 28. (Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images)
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June 29, 2009 Permalink

South Africa hosts the Confederations Cup

A tune-up for the organizers of next year's soccer World Cup, the Confederations Cup brought a major international tournament to South Africa. With packed stadiums for these contests, impressive stadium construction for 2010, and soccer being played by locals seemingly wherever possible, it's safe to say South Africa is a soccer-mad country. And the action on the pitch lived up to expectations with some of the best sides in the world in attendance, including Brazil, Italy, and Spain. After a pathetic start, the Americans surprised observers by not only advancing out of the group phase, but going on to shock world No. 1 Spain to gain the final and taking a 2-0 halftime lead on eventual champion Brazil before falling 3-2. ( 34 photos total)

A South African fan waits for the start of a Confederations Cup match between South Africa and Spain at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein June 20. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
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June 25, 2009 Permalink

The 2009 College World Series

Apparently there IS crying in baseball, as well as joy, frustration, and triumph. The Tigers of Louisiana State University captured their sixth national title in the men's 2009 College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska June 24. They outlasted an 8-team field and beat the Texas Longhorns in a three-game series. ( 17 photos total)

LSU players, including Leon Landry (in flight), pile up after defeating Texas 11-4 in the deciding game of the NCAA College World Series baseball finals in Omaha June 24. (AP Photo/Ted Kirk)
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June 23, 2009 Permalink

The 109th U.S. Open golf championship

The 109th U.S. Open on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y. may be remembered more for the rain than for the play. In the end, Lucas Glover outlasted the clouds and the field to win his first major title, despite the late charges of more well-known players such as Phil Mickelson and David Duval. ( 24 photos total)

Course workers stop trying to squeegee the third green as a heavy downpour falls during the third round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship at Bethpage State Park's Black Course in Farmingdale, N.Y. June 20. Play was suspended because of inclement weather. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
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June 23, 2009 Permalink

Chocolate wrestling, surfing dogs, and Lance Armstrong

A busy week in the international sports world saw Pakistan win the Twenty20 World Cup cricket tournament in England, while both South and North Korea qualified for the 2010 World Cup, the first time both squads will play in the same cup. In the US, Lance Armstrong won a bike race, some dogs went surfing, and wrestling icon Tony Atlas made a comeback. Later this week, Big Shots looks at the rainy US Open golf tournament. And if you're wondering where all the images from the Confederations Cup soccer tournament in South Africa are, I'm saving them for a special post once the winner is crowned. ( 29 photos total)

A racegoer poses with a hat made out of her plaited hair during Ladies Day, the third day of Royal Ascot, in Berkshire, UK June 18. Top hats and tails remain compulsory in parts of the course while a daily procession of horse-drawn carriages brings the Queen to the course. (ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
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June 17, 2009 Permalink

The 2009 NBA Playoffs

Although the anticipated Kobe vs. LeBron Finals matchup didn't materialize, fans were still treated to an exciting NBA playoffs. From the epic and historic Celtics - Bulls first round series, to a live hawk flying around inside an arena delaying a game, to a nasty dunk destroying a shot clock, the playoffs were loaded with talent and close games. In the end, it was the Los Angeles Lakers who prevailed for their 15th title. ( 33 photos total)

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant holds up the Bill Russell MVP Award (right) and the Larry O'Brien Trophy as he signals his four career championship victories after defeating the Orlando Magic to win the NBA Finals in Orlando June 14. (REUTERS/Jeff Haynes)
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June 16, 2009 Permalink

Michael Phelps, the Red Sox, the Dauphine Libere and more

Among the many stops on our constant world tour, Big Shots travels this week to Soweto, South Africa for the FIFA Confederations Cup soccer tournament. We stay in the Southern Hemisphere to check out the world's largest surfboard in Serra, Brazil. Then it's on to France for the 24 hours of Le Mans and the mountain passes of the Dauphine Libere cycling race in Briancon. And it doesn't end there. Later this week, Big Shots looks at the NBA basketball playoffs. ( 30 photos total)

Getting their game face on, quite literally, are (left to right) a South African soccer fan at the opening ceremony of the FIFA Confederations Cup in Johannesburg June 14, a Columbian soccer fan during a World Cup 2010 qualifying game against Peru in Medellin June 10, and David Williams of the Sea Eagles before a rugby match between the Penrith Panthers and the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles June 13 in Sydney. (ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images) (AP Photo/Luis Benavides) (Matt King/Getty Images)
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June 15, 2009 Permalink

The 2009 Stanley Cup Finals: The Pittsburgh Penguins triumph over the Detroit Red Wings

A diving save in the final seconds by goalie Marc-Andre Fleury gave the Pittsburgh Penguins their first Stanley Cup since 1992 and prevented the Detroit Red Wings from repeating as champions. They became the first road team to win a game seven in a championship series in any major American sport since baseball's 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates. They also overcame the loss for most of the game of their 21-year-old captain Sidney Crosby, who went out early with a knee injury. In winning the Stanley cup, the Penguins turned the tables on the Red Wings in a rematch of the 2008 finals. ( 27 photos total)

The Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby hoists the Stanley Cup after the Penguins beat the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 to win Game 7 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals in Detroit June 12. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press/Frank Gunn)
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June 9, 2009 Permalink

The Belmont Stakes, the Prefontaine Classic, Twenty20 cricket, and more

This week Big Shots travels to France as Perpignan wins their first Top 14 rugby union championship since 1955. Not quite the Curse of the Bambino, but a long wait nonetheless. We also visit Britain for cricket and motorcycle sidecar racing, thankfully not in the same venue. Then we splash down in Lake Karapiro in Cambridge, New Zealand for some women's double scull pairs rowing. Coming up soon Big Shots looks at the NHL hockey finals and the NBA basketball playoffs. ( 29 photos total)

The Westwood High School girls lacrosse team celebrates their victory over Wellesley in a South Section final match in Wellesley, Mass. June 4. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)
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June 8, 2009 Permalink

2009 French Open: Federer finally triumphs at Roland Garros

Though it rained during the men's final, those were tears and not raindrops streaming down the face of Switzerland's Roger Federer after he finally won the French Open tennis tournament June 7 at Stade de Roland Garros in Paris. It was his first championship at the clay-courted venue, and his 14th Grand Slam overall. The tournament featured the surprise early exit of defending champion Raphael Nadal and an all-Russian women's final. ( 25 photos total)

Roger Federer celebrates winning his men's final against Robin Soderling June 7. (REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel)
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June 4, 2009 Permalink

Dragon boat racing

Dragon boat races are a beautiful combination of athletics and festival. Legends on the origin of the sport vary, but the most persistant holds that Qu Yuan, a Chu kingdom politician in China's Warring States period, had opposed his king and was banished. Crafting much-loved poetry during his exile, he finally committed suicide in 278 BC by drowning himself in the Miluo River. Admirers were said to have thrown food into the river and to have paddled out in boats to keep the fish from eating his body. Dragon boat races are now held in many countries, including these from various cities in China and Taiwan. ( 19 photos total)

Rowers paddle in Hong Kong's annual Dragon Boat Festival, also known as Tuen Ng, one of many across the territory May 28. (MIKE CLARKE/AFP/Getty Images)
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June 3, 2009 Permalink

Big Shots for June 3, 2009

Big Shots begins and ends this week's installment with views of Barcelona's convincing victory in the Champions League final in Rome. Barca utilized an incredible collection of talent to deny Manchester United a second strait European title. We also travel to Nicaragua for sandboarding on an active volcano, watch Mr. Afghanistan flex his pecs in Kabul, and take in a children's soccer match in a refugee camp in Palestine. Later this week Big Shots looks at Dragon Boat racing in several Asian capitals. ( 29 photos total)

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola is thrown in the air in celebration at the end of the UEFA Champions League final soccer match between Manchester United and Barcelona in Rome May 27. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
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June 1, 2009 Permalink

The 2009 Giro d'Italia

Along with the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana, the Giro d'Italia is one of three prestigious "grand tours", annual stage races that cover thousands of miles over three weeks. The 100th anniversary of the Giro provided all the excitement, scenery, and drama that fans hoped for. Team Rabobank's Denis Menchov became the third Russian to win the Giro, beating last year's Italian champion Danilo Di Luca of the LPR team by only 41 seconds total over the course of the three-week race. Menchov survived a fall on rain-slicked cobblestones during the final day time trial, putting his narrow victory margin in peril. But he rose quickly and finished with another bike provided by his alert mechanic at the scene. ( 29 photos total)

Russian Denis Menchov of the Rabobank team celebrates after winning the 92nd Giro d'Italia May 31 at the end of the last stage in Rome. FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
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