Tom Goldman

Tom Goldman is NPR's sports correspondent. His reports can be heard throughout NPR's news programming, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and NPR.org.

With a beat covering the entire world of professional sports, both in and outside of the United States, Goldman reporting covers the broad spectrum of athletics from the people to the business of athletics.

During his more than 20 years with NPR, Goldman has covered every major athletic competition including the Super Bowl, the World Series, the NBA Finals, golf and tennis championships, and the Olympic Games.

His pieces are diverse and include both perspective and context. Goldman often explores people's motivations for doing what they do, whether it's solo sailing around the world or pursuing a gold medal. In his reporting, Goldman searches for the stories about the inspirational and relatable amateur and professional athletes.

Goldman contributed to NPR's 2009 Edward R. Murrow award for his coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and to a 2010 Murrow award for contribution to a series on high school football, "Friday Night Lives." Earlier in his career, Goldman's piece about Native American basketball players earned a 2004 Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award from the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University and a 2004 Unity Award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association.

In January 1990, Goldman came to NPR to work as an associate producer for sports with Morning Edition. For the next seven years he reported, edited and produced stories and programs. In June 1997, he became NPR's first full time sports correspondent.

For five years before NPR, Goldman worked as a news reporter and then news director in local public radio. In 1984, he spent a year living on an Israeli kibbutz. Two years prior he took his first professional job in radio in Anchorage, Alaska, at the Alaska Public Radio Network.

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Sports
5:24 am
Wed August 8, 2012

U.S. Gymnast Raisman Wins Gold, Bronze Medals

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 11:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

The Fierce Five have finished their run at the London Summer Olympics. Fierce Five is the nickname given to America's whiz-kid female gymnasts - average age just a bit over 16. They started the Games by winning the most important gold medal, in the team event. They finished yesterday with their team captain finally getting a break that seemed elusive. From London, here's NPR's Tom Goldman.

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The Torch
1:02 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

U.S. Judo Athlete Delpopolo Disqualified Over Failed Drug Test

American judo athlete Nick Delpopolo has been disqualified from the London 2012 Games after failing a drug test, according to the International Olympic Committee. The 23-year-old Delpopolo tested positive for the substance THC, found in marijuana.

Delpopolo finished seventh in the 73 kg — or 160.5 pound — judo event. After the competition, his urine sample showed the presence of THC, a prohibited substance in Olympic sport.

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NPR Story
4:44 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Jamaica's Bolt Retains Title As 'World's Fastest Man'

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 1:02 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Usain Bolt remains the world's fastest man. Last night at the London Summer Games, the Jamaican superstar successfully defended his Olympic 100-meter title. Bolt ran his second-fastest time ever, an Olympic record - 9.63 seconds. He joins American Carl Lewis as the only other man to win consecutive Olympic 100s. NPR's Tom Goldman is in London.

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Sports
7:34 am
Sun August 5, 2012

British Elbow Into An Exclusive Medals Podium

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

There is still a week to go at the Olympics, but it's a good bet that after all the drama ends, Britons will look back on last night as the moment the Games turned in their favor - maybe not in the overall medal count but the host country got a huge psychological lift as Team Great Britain snagged three track and field gold medals on the Games' biggest stage. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

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London 2012: The Summer Olympics
7:05 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Olympic Swimming Records Smashed, Hopes Dashed

American Dana Vollmer celebrates after her gold medal win Sunday in the women's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park.
Matt Slocum AP

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 5:16 pm

The opening weekend of the Summer Olympics was marked by highs and lows, of course, and the swimming pool had its share of both. World records, a stunning loss and a medal for the home team — and that was all in just one afternoon.

Before American Dana Vollmer answers how a 55.98-second 100-meter butterfly — the fastest time ever, and worth a gold medal — feels, consider this: Vollmer was diagnosed as a teenager with two life-threatening heart conditions that prompted her mom to carry a defibrillator to Dana's races.

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The Torch
1:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

'Tremendous Honor': Dancing For The World At Olympics Opener

Sasha Feachem (right) will be performing in an urban street dance during the London Olympics' opening ceremony Friday.
Tom Goldman NPR

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 11:44 am

The London Summer Olympics officially begin today with the opening ceremony. Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle of Slumdog Millionaire has put together the latest Olympic kickoff spectacle. As NPR's Philip Reeves reported yesterday, a preview video has been released.

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The Torch
12:26 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

The Olympics Meet A Mall, And Make A Nightmare

The interior of London's Westfield Stratford City Mall measures some 1.9 million square feet. Many of them were recently walked by NPR's Tom Goldman.
Tom Goldman NPR

Y'know your local mall? The one you drive to whenever, or just as easily drive past? What would happen if you didn't have a choice — if you couldn't avoid going there? Would you walk right through without stopping and shopping? Or, a darker question: What if you could never get out?

Welcome to my Olympic nightmare.

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The Torch
8:39 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Olympic Glitch Riles North Korean Players Before Soccer Match [VIDEO]

Supporters of North Korea's women's soccer team were dismayed to see the start of Wednesday's match delayed, after a video screen displayed the South Korean flag next to photos of the North Korean players.
Graham Stuart AFP/Getty Images

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Sports
4:30 am
Mon July 16, 2012

After Damning Report, Will NCAA Sanction PSU Football?

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 5:45 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renée Montagne. The damning report on Penn State by former FBI director Louis Freeh confirmed, last week, what many said all along - the scandal is the biggest and most damaging in the history of college sports. Of course, child sexual abuse and a cover-up go way beyond the infractions commonly punished by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

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Sports
5:13 am
Wed June 27, 2012

College Presidents Approve Switch To Football Playoff System

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 7:08 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

College football fans are belting out a one word chant this morning: Finally. As in finally, there's a post-season playoff at the sport's highest level. Yesterday, a committee of college presidents approved a four-team, three game plan. When it starts in 2014, it'll end major college football's isolation as the only big time team sport that does not decide its championship with a playoff. NPR's Tom Goldman has more.

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Sports
6:10 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

40 Years On, Title IX Still Shapes Female Athletes

Michelle Marciniak (right) of the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers attempts to elude the defensive pressure of Nykesha Sales of the UConn Huskies during the 1996 NCAA Women's Final Four.
Matthew Stockman Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 6:30 pm

Title IX, which turns 40 on Saturday, has helped reverse years of bias, banning sex discrimination in federally funded schools and colleges.

Its guarantee of equal access to sports was a small part of the original legislation. But it's become the most recognizable part of Title IX. That guarantee has not always played out, and the law has its critics. For four decades, however, it's played a huge part in shaping lives.

'I Can Handle This World'

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Sports
4:43 am
Fri June 22, 2012

LeBron James Leads Heat To NBA Title

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 7:17 am

The Miami Heat are the new NBA champions. Thursday night in Miami, they beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5, 121 to 106. LeBron James had 26 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists.

Sports
6:03 am
Wed June 13, 2012

Oklahoma City Rolls Past Miami In Game 1

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 7:00 am

The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Miami Heat 105-94 on Tuesday night in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

History
5:23 pm
Sat May 12, 2012

How Teddy Saved Football

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 6:05 pm

Football is a violent game, but a century ago it used to be a lethal pastime. NPR's Tom Goldman explains how President Teddy Roosevelt stepped in and forced the establishment of new rules that made the game safer.

Sports
4:49 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Olympic Stars May Overshadow Other Athletes

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 8:10 am

The Summer Olympic Games in London start in 93 days. Of the 10,500 athletes, the attention is on at least two of them: swimmer Michael Phelps and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt.

Sports
4:00 am
Wed April 4, 2012

Baylor Beats Notre Dame 80-61 For NCAA Women's Title

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Wednesday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

The Baylor Lady Bears have their title and a piece of history too. Last night in Denver, Baylor won a women's college basketball championship that many expected. The Lady Bears beat Notre Dame 80-61 to go undefeated and then became the first team in NCAA history to win 40 games in a season. NPR's Tom Goldman reports the player who led Baylor all year was the star once again.

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The Two-Way
8:05 am
Tue April 3, 2012

In Women's Title Game, Baylor Goes For History

Baylor's Brittney Griner (42) blocking a shot by Georgia Tech's' Sasha Goodlett on March 24.
Nati Harnik AP

Kentucky is now in the record books as this year's NCAA Division I men's basketball champion after its 67-59 win over Kansas last night.

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Sports
6:23 am
Sun April 1, 2012

Finally, The Payoff In Women's NCAA Basketball

Notre Dame guard Skylar Diggins goes up during the second round of NCAA women's tournament basketball in a game against California.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

The NCAA Division 1 women's tournament gets criticized for not having enough true March Madness moments, when the Davids rise up and beat the Goliaths in nerve-jangling upsets. Such is the power structure in the women's game, with largely untouchable elite teams.

The payoff comes when all those elite teams gather, as they have in Denver, in such a show of force and talent that a fan tends not to miss the little guys.

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Sports
8:00 am
Sun March 18, 2012

NCAA Madness Marches On

Indiana forward Will Sheehey takes the game-winning shot against Virginia Commonwealth in the second half of an NCAA college basketball tournament third-round game in Portland, Ore., on Saturday. Indiana won 63-61.
Rick Bowmer AP

The madness marches on. Sunday holds eight more games in the NCAA Division 1 men's basketball tournament. On Saturday, thankfully, there were no major rip-up-your-bracket upsets. That is, if your bracket was in still in one piece. But there was plenty of drama. Two of the most exciting games were at the sub-regional in Portland, Ore.

March Madness isn't just screaming crowds and grown men and women chanting things like the University of New Mexico's "Everyone's a Lobo, woof, woof, woof." In fact, sometimes there's drama in hushed silence.

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The Two-Way
4:25 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Peyton Manning Is A Hall Of Fame Tipper Too

Peyton Manning during the news conference Wednesday in Indianapolis when it was announced that he's leaving the NFL's Colts.
Joey Foley Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 8, 2012 4:52 pm

The tears over Peyton Manning's departure from Indianapolis have dried ... and it's business time as the rehabbing quarterback starts doing 'eeny meeny miney mo' with his suitors (ESPN reports 12 of the NFL's 32 teams have contacted Manning's 'people').

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The Two-Way
10:13 am
Wed February 15, 2012

108 Years Since Women Last Boxed In The Olympics, They Prepare A Return

Five-time U.S. national champion Queen Underwood listens to instructions from her coach Basheer Abdullah.
Tom Goldman NPR

Originally published on Wed February 15, 2012 1:31 pm

Olympic history in the making is going on this week in Washington state. Two-dozen of the best female boxers in the country are in wintry Spokane with a goal of traveling to London in the summer.

That's the site of the first ever women's Olympic boxing competition. This week's Olympic trials help determine who goes.

It's been 108 years since women boxed in the Olympics. At the 1904 Summer Games in St. Louis, boxing for women was a "display event," not one of the counting, medal sports.

Now, it counts.

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Sports
4:00 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Like Punk Rockers, Sabre Fencers Are 'Kind Of Crazy'

Mariel Zagunis during a recent training session in Portland, Ore. Zagunis won gold medals in women's sabre fencing at the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics.
Tom Goldman NPR

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 4:18 pm

There are three weapons in fencing: epee, foil and sabre. Mariel Zagunis is the best woman in sabre — she won Olympic gold medals in 2004 and 2008.

To understand the world of Zagunis' weapon of choice, it may be more apt to consult the Sex Pistols rather than a fencing historian. That's because sabre fencers, Zagunis says, are the "punk rockers" of her sport.

"You have to be more aggressive and explosive and kind of crazy," she says. "I think that kind of plays into our personality."

Lesson For A Champion

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The Two-Way
6:13 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Heartbreak And Victory, Kyle Stanley's Week In The PGA

Professional golfer Kyle Stanley will forever remember Super Bowl Sunday 2012. And not because he's an over-the-top New York Giants — or Madonna — fan.

But because he won the unglamorously-named Waste Management Phoenix Open on Sunday. And for Stanley, there was nothing trashy about his final round 65 that secured a one-shot victory and his first on the PGA tour.

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Sports
5:20 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Cash-Strapped L.A. Dodgers Shop For A New Owner

Los Angeles Dodgers players high-five after beating the San Diego Padres 2-0 at Petco Park in San Diego on Sept. 23, 2011.
Denis Poroy Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers are one of professional sports' most storied franchises. But they're up for auction because much-maligned and outgoing owner Frank McCourt was forced to put the team under bankruptcy protection last summer.

Now, preliminary bids for the Dodgers are due on Monday. The team lost its luster during McCourt's ownership, but estimates for the winning bid range from $1.2 to $2 billion, dwarfing the record $845 million paid for the Chicago Cubs a couple of years ago.

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Remembrances
12:11 pm
Sun January 22, 2012

Penn State Football Legend Joe Paterno Dies At 85

Penn State head coach Joe Paterno stands with his team before they take the field during an NCAA college football game against the University of Wisconsin in State College, Pa., on Oct. 13, 2007.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:05 am

Joe Paterno, the man synonymous with Penn State football, died Sunday after developing complications from lung cancer. He was 85.

Paterno was an iconic figure on the sports landscape. He coached at Penn State for 61 years, though his long tenure ended amid a child sexual abuse scandal.

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Around the Nation
4:00 am
Mon December 12, 2011

Sandusky Scandal Casts Pale On Central Pa. High School

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 8:59 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's come back to this country now, where we're expecting a court hearing today in the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal - it comes tomorrow. Among those expected to testify is the man designated by the grand jury as Victim One. His story of alleged abuse prompted a major investigation and brought this case to light.

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Sports
4:00 am
Wed October 26, 2011

NCAA Meeting Puts Players' Rights In Spotlight

Originally published on Thu October 27, 2011 12:27 am

NCAA officials meets Wednesday to continue on a path toward what they call meaningful reform in college sports. High-profile scandals over the past several years prompted the pledge for change. Ramogi Huma will be watching the NCAA closely, as he has for the past 15 years. The former college football player has been a passionate advocate for college athletes' rights. For the most part, he has worked behind the scenes. Now, his work has taken on new relevance.

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