At high schools and universities across the Inland Northwest, student athletes have been forced to practice indoors due to dense wildfire smoke.

The (Not So) Secret World Of Northwest Curling

Mar 3, 2015
Peter Miller / Flickr

Curling: it's that sport with the stones and the brooms. You might have seen it played at the Olympics. Canadians play it. For many Americans, that's the extent of our curling knowledge. So this video might help bring everyone up to speed:

So that's curling. It's a little bit hockey, a little bit bowling, a little bit shuffleboard.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

More swimmers in the Northwest are trading the comfort of the pool for a workout in open water.

The English call these people "wild swimmers." It seems an appropriate description when you consider the chilly temperature of most Northwest lakes, rivers and bays. And yet, the popularity of open water swimming is rising.

'I get bored in a pool'

"I usually swim from about May until end of November in open water,” said Mike Tanner, a 43-year-old tech worker from Kirkland, Washington. “Then I go back to the pool and wait for May again."

When Hollywood needs a big dude — a really big dude — they can call on all sorts of former athletes. Few come with the heart and humor of Terry Crews.

An 11th-round draft pick of the Rams, Crews gave up his NFL dream in 1997 to pursue a different dream in Hollywood. He thought he'd turn his love of art into a job behind the scenes in special effects. Instead, he has stolen scenes on camera — from action movies like The Expendables to TV comedies like the Golden Globe-winning Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Athletes headed to the Winter Games from Oregon, Idaho and Washington run the gamut from Olympic rookies to medal-draped veterans.

It's every Olympic athlete's worst nightmare: After years of preparation, training and fundraising, an accident mere weeks before the Olympic Games derails everything.

The Northwest contribution to the U.S. Olympic team goes beyond athletes. A bunch of top coaches, ski tuners, wax technicians and physical therapists from here are Sochi-bound too.

Springfield Basketball Star Scores National Honor

Mar 22, 2013

A senior at Oregon’s Springfield High has been named the Gatorade National Girls Basketball Player of the Year. From Oregon Public Broadcasting, Rob Manning reports.

Basketball Team Prompts Gonzaga's Growth Spurt

Mar 22, 2013

Gonzaga University’s name is seemingly everywhere this month – including the covers of magazines and newspapers, and mentions on NPR. Paige Browning explains that, while the basketball program gets more name recognition, the school is on a growth spurt.

Zags Closer To Number One Ranking After Title Win

Mar 4, 2013

After a strong win on Saturday, the Gonzaga men’s basketball team is the West Coast Conference Champion. But, the excitement goes beyond that in Spokane. Paige Browning reports.

Photo by Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

The sport of skijoring sounds like an awesomely bad idea someone cooked up on a long winter's night. Picture this: You navigate an obstacle course, on skis, while being pulled by a galloping horse. Yet equestrian skijoring has taken off as a sport in the snowy climes of Switzerland, Canada, and now, parts of the Northwest. This weekend, teams will go ski-to-ski and hoof-to-hoof at a competition in Sandpoint, Idaho. Jessica Robinson visited one skijoring practice to ask: Why?

The University of Oregon is looking for a new head football coach. Chip Kelly announced Wednesday he’s leaving for the NFL to lead the Philadelphia Eagles. UO Athletic Director Rob Mullens says player recruiting is underway so this is a less than ideal time for Kelly to leave. Mullens describes what they’ll be looking for in a new coach.

Photo by Bobak Ha'Eri / Wikimedia Commons

A Pac-12 spokesman Monday said the athletic conference does not have a timeline for completing a review of the WSU football program. Over the weekend, university president Elson Floyd asked for outside help to investigate claims by a player of abusive behavior by the coaching staff. Meanwhile, a sports ethics expert is praising the player for speaking out. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

Washington-born and raised goalkeeper Hope Solo saved the day, quite literally, according to her teammates in the Olympic women’s soccer final Thursday. Team USA held on for a 2-1 victory over Japan to win the gold medal. When the final horn sounded, U.S. goalie Solo was mobbed by her fellow players. Solo says she knew the game was on the line when she made a dramatic lunging save in the waning minutes of the game.

Photo by Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Athletes going to the London Olympics commonly have stories of overcoming adversity. But few can top African-born distance runner Lopez Lomong. The one time "Lost Boy" of Sudan relocated to the Portland area last year. He's running for Team USA, but hopes to leverage Olympic success into greater aid and attention for his former homeland. Correspondent Tom Banse introduces us.

Photo by Anna King / Northwest News Network

Each year on a long, steep stretch of looping highway in southeast Washington, hundreds of skateboarders test their grit. A helmet, a leather body suit and wicked skill are all that stand between glory and a face full of asphalt. It’s called the Maryhill Festival of Speed near Goldendale. Correspondent Anna King caught up with one young couple that travels the world for downhill skateboarding.

Photo by Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Two more runners and two javelin throwers from the Northwest claimed spots in the London Olympics on the final scheduled day of competition at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.

Runners, jumpers and throwers from the Northwest performed well in these Olympic Trials. In fact, more than 20 percent of the athletes on the U.S. Olympic track and field team have ties to our region. Correspondent Tom Banse looked for reasons behind the disproportionately high local representation.

A pole vaulter with roots in Seattle and Spokane hopes the second time will be the charm at the Olympics. Brad Walker secured a return trip to the Summer Games with a first place finish at the U.S. Track and Field Trials in Eugene Thursday night. Back in 2008, the former University of Washington Husky set a new American record, qualified for the Olympic team, but then didn’t clear a single height at the Beijing Olympics. Walker says he wants “redemption” very badly this summer.

It was a good night for local Summer Olympics hopefuls Thursday in Eugene. A very good night, in fact. A half dozen athletes with ties to the Northwest earned spots in the London Games. Correspondent Tom Banse reports from the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team Trials.

The capacity crowd at Eugene’s historic Hayward Field saved its biggest roar for last… for the dramatic finish in the men’s 5000 meters.

Eugene has a long history as the adopted home of Olympic track and field hopefuls. But it’s very rare for a serious contender to actually be born and raised in the city. On Sunday a true local girl will be competing at Hayward, and she has a legitimate shot at making the team in perhaps the most unusual of the track events. KLCC’s Jes Burns reports.

The U.S. Olympic Team Trials for track and field resume Thursday afternoon in Eugene after a two day rest break. Thursday night, more athletes with Northwest ties step to the starting line than on any other day of the event. Correspondent Tom Banse has this preview.

At the Olympic trials Monday, several Oregon runners - including Galen Rupp of Portland - advanced to the finals in the men’s 5,000 meter race. As KLCC’s Angela Kellner reports, a former lost boy of Sudan and two Kenyan brothers also have the chance to represent the U.S. in London.

Photo by Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

A fourth or fifth place finish tends to bring excruciating disappointment at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Top three qualify for the Summer Olympics, normally. But fourth and fifth place was good enough Monday night for two Olympic hopefuls from the Northwest. Correspondent Tom Banse has the explanation from the track and field team trials in Eugene.

In the men’s 800 meter race Monday, Boise-native Nick Symmonds, now of Springfield, Oregon, clocked the fastest time by an American at Hayward Field. As KLCC’s Angela Kellner reports, it earned him a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team.

The 2012 U.S. Olympic Team qualifying action continues Monday at Hayward Field in Eugene with the possibility of another all-Oregon podium sweep. Three Eugene-based runners are in the final of the men’s 800 meters. Earlier this weekend, three Portland runners swept the men’s 10,000 meters race at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for track and field. Still, the talk of Tracktown remains the world record breaking performance in the decathlon by Oregon native Ashton Eaton. Bryan Clay was the 2008 Olympic decathlon champion, but in these Trials he trailed far behind Eaton.

Photo by Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Oregon native Ashton Eaton installed himself as a gold medal favorite at the 2012 Summer Olympics with a dominating victory at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials this weekend. Eaton set a new world record in the decathlon as he qualified for Team USA. Correspondent Tom Banse reports from the Olympic Trials in Eugene.

Photo by Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

A dark horse in the sprints. A mother who’s competed at three prior Olympics. And a former NCAA pole vault champion from the University of Oregon. Those are your three newest U.S. Olympians with Northwest ties. Correspondent Tom Banse has their stories from the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for track and field in Eugene.

Oregon native Ryan Bailey showed early potential on the track. But few would’ve predicted a trip to the Summer Olympics for this formerly troubled football and track athlete from Salem. Yet that’s the unlikely turnabout Bailey can tell you now that’s he sprinted his way onto Team USA. Correspondent Tom Banse reports from the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in track and field in Eugene.

Photo by Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Forty-eight years have passed since an American has won an Olympic medal in the men's 10,000 meter run. The USA’s best hope for the upcoming London Games is Portland distance runner Galen Rupp.

You can watch Rupp attempt to qualify for the Olympics next Friday night. Rupp is coached by a running legend from the 1980s, Oregon marathoner Alberto Salazar. Correspondent Tom Banse reports Salazar is trying to help the younger runner avoid mistakes he made.

This week has been a rollercoaster of media attention for Casey Martin. The Oregon men’s golf coach was a surprise qualifier for the U.S. Open at the Olympic Golf Course in San Francisco next week. KLCC’s Rachael McDonald reports from a press conference Friday at the University of Oregon.