How Ski Ballet Ended Up At The Olympics In The 80s And 90s (Cool Weird Awesome 1186)

Today in 1988 the Winter Olympics began in Calgary, Alberta. There were plenty of eyes that year on the demonstration sport known as ski ballet. 

By |2024-02-13T08:51:13-05:00February 13, 2024|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , , , |

The 1924 Olympic Men’s Cross Country Race Was Literally A Hot Mess (Cool Weird Awesome 1046)

Today in 1924, another one of these early Olympic events that went way off the rails: a very difficult and very strange mens’ cross country race. 

By |2023-07-12T10:20:05-04:00July 12, 2023|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Dick Roth Won Olympic Gold While He Had Appendicitis (Cool Weird Awesome 1045)

It's National Swimming Pool Day, so here’s a story of a guy who had to get into the pool: Dick Roth, who won an Olympic gold medal while trying to fend off appendicitis.

By |2023-07-11T11:10:29-04:00July 11, 2023|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

Margaret Abbott Won Olympic Gold Even Though She Didn’t Know She Was In The Olympics (Cool Weird Awesome 858)

Today in 1900, Margaret Abbott became the first American woman to win an Olympic title, even though she didn’t know she was in the Olympics.

Billy Mills Pulled Off One Of The Greatest Upsets In Olympic History (Cool Weird Awesome 800)

Today in 1938, the birthday of Billy Mills, a Marine veteran, activist and runner who won an Olympic gold medal in what’s been called the biggest upset in the history of the Games.

Basketball Great Lisa Leslie Scored 101 Points In A High School Game (Cool Weird Awesome 711)

Today in 1990, a high school basketball player scored 101 points in just 16 minutes. That was Lisa Leslie, who would become one of the biggest names in the WNBA.

Bruce Kennedy Qualified For The Olympics Three Times, And Missed Out Three Times (Cool Weird Awesome 710)

For the next two weeks, Winter Olympians will be going for the gold. That's what javelin thrower Bruce Kennedy tried to do in 1972, 1976 and 1980, but that's not quite how things played out.

By |2022-02-04T06:51:18-05:00February 4, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , |

The Undertaker Who Developed Automatic Phone Dialing (Cool Weird Awesome 648)

Today in 1892 a phone system that made automated calls - no switchboard operator - began operating in Laporte, Indiana. The first automatic dial network happened, as the story goes, because of a business dispute between two undertakers. Plus: today in 1882, the birthday of John Baxter Taylor, Jr, the first Black American to win an Olympic gold medal.

High Jumper Dick Fosbury’s Biggest Win Was Also A Flop (Cool Weird Awesome 638)

Today in 1968, a high jumper from Oregon, Dick Fosbury, changed his sport forever by winning gold with an unusual jumping motion now known as the Fosbury Flop. Plus: today in 2018, passengers on a bus in Paris refused to make room for a rider using a wheelchair. So the bus driver made room. 

When Countries Stayed Out Of The Olympics, They Held Their Own Olympic-Style Games (Cool Weird Awesome 589)

The Olympic Games are supposed to bring the countries of the world together, but that isn't always what happens. Several times the Games have been canceled, and at other times, boycotts have led some countries to hold their own alternative competitions. Plus: we mark the birthday of the great Black scientist and inventor Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson.

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