Posts Tagged ‘sports’

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Escape Pod 730: When We Were Patched


When We Were Patched

by Deji Bryce Olukotun

The last time we ever spoke, my partner Malik asked me whether I believed speed or power made for the best athlete. I was puzzled, of course, feeling that neither could explain why some athletes excelled more than others, even in straightforward competitions like sprinting or the javelin. “There are enough variables to make it unclear,” I observed, “whether speed or power offers a better advantage in competition, or whether some other factor confers the greatest advantage.” It seemed to me an unanswerable question.

“And how about elegance versus quickness of thought?” Malik asked. But he stormed off before I could respond, as if he had confirmed some awful quality about me. By then I should have known not to expect anything from Malik, because he was about to ruin my career.

​You see, I come from an illustrious line of sports officiants, spanning the world’s most dynamic and lucrative competitions, and I think my family would agree that my treatment by the FogoTennis Officiants Association was abominable. I should never have been suspended because of dishonorable behavior on Malik’s part.

​Like many referees, I remember the very instant I was called for the first time to officiate on the professional FogoTennis circuit, widely considered the most exciting and dangerous sport in the world. I had honed my skills by watching my parents officiate before me, and by observing my siblings, cousins, and extended family. You could say that I was an officiant from the day I was born. Not only did I learn from other matches, but I also visualized countless scenarios of FogoTennis so that I could fulfill my duties to the best of my ability, cementing my family’s reputation as impartial, efficient, and affordable judges. But there is a difference between officiating in theory—even when it is woven into your very soul—and officiating in reality, when you can find yourself with an irresponsible refereeing partner.

(Continue Reading…)

EP318: The Prize Beyond Gold


The Prize Beyond Gold

By Ian Creasey

Three days before the race, when Delroy had finished warming down from a
training run, his coach summoned him for a talk. Delroy could tell it was
something big. Michito’s job — assisted by his Enhanced empathy — was to
become exquisitely sensitive to his athlete’s mood, so as to help get the
best out of him. The attunement sometimes became mutual, and Delroy now
discerned a rare eagerness in Michito’s almost-natural face.

“The weather forecast for race day has reached certainty,” said Michito.
“Temperature: perfect. Humidity: perfect. Wind speed: just below the
permissible maximum. Wind direction –”

“Perfect?” said Delroy.

“Behind you all the way.” Michito grinned in delight. “It’s the final star
in the constellation. You’re in great shape, the weather will be ideal,
we’re two thousand metres above sea level” — Michito made a sweeping
gesture, encompassing the many other factors affecting performance — “and
it all adds up to one thing.”

“I’m going to win?” Delroy didn’t understand Michito’s glee: the weather
would be the same for all the runners. (Continue Reading…)