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#pounditSaturday, July 2, 2022

Articles tagged: sportsmanship

Look: Wrestler Mijain Lopez had moving gesture after beating rival

<Mijain Lopez Riza Kayaalp/center>

Wrestler Mijain Lopez had a moving gesture for his rival Riza Kayaalp after winning a match between them at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo on Sunday.

Lopez, a three-time gold medal winner in the Olympics for the highest weight division in Greco-Roman wrestling, was facing Kayaalp in the semifinals of the Greco-Roman wrestling 130kg weight class.

They engaged in a tough match that Lopez won 2-0 to advance to the final.

After the match, Lopez kissed Kayaalp on the top of his head.

That is a nod to the level of respect between them.

Lopez and Kayaalp have now met seven times, with Lopez leading 5-2. He has won all three of their matches at the Olympics, propelling him to gold in 2012 and 2016. Kayaalp has beaten Lopez twice at the World Championships, where he has won gold four times.

This level of love and respect for one’s sport, competition and opponent is what the Olympics are all about. We saw something similar in a UFC fight in June.

Watch: Joel Embiid leaves court without shaking hands with Celtics

Joel Embiid 76ers

Joel Embiid was in no mood for gamesmanship after his Philadelphia 76ers were eliminated by the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.

The Sixers fell to the Celtics in Game 5 of their second-round series by the final of 114-112, ending their first playoff run in six years. As Philly’s last ditch full-court pass was intercepted and the game went final, the All-Star center Embiid walked right off the court without shaking hands with the Celtics.

Embiid enjoyed a strong series and finished the game with 27 points and 12 rebounds. But he missed some crucial shots in the fourth quarter, including this short-range look that would have tied the game in the final 15 seconds.

The Sixers actually entered the series as the odds-on favorites to come out of the East but lasted just five games against a banged-up Celtics team. As for Embiid, he is not the first superstar to come under fire for such a move either.

LeBron James gives Kevin Durant big hug after losing Finals

Kevin Durant LeBron James hug

LeBron James has had a few moments of questionable sportsmanship after losses during his career, but his behavior after Game 5 on Monday certainly would not count.

Almost immediately after losing Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday night, which gave the series to Golden State, LeBron James approached Kevin Durant to give his opponent a hug and some congratulations:

James and Durant are friendly (they even recorded a rap song together), and James knows how tough it is to win that first championship. He knows Durant earned it with superb play and wanted to recognize the former MVP’s efforts.

In addition to James, cameras showed JR Smith, Tristan Thompson and Iman Shumpert going up to hug Durant and congratulate him after the Finals ended. There was a lot of love and respect shown for KD.

Softball catcher levels opponents with dirty elbows (Video)

A high school softball player from Texas is going viral for the dirty moves she committed during a state championship game last weekend.

Hargrave (Huffman, Texas) High School’s softball team defeated Needville 6-4 in the Texas state 4A championship game on Saturday. Needville junior catcher Megan Crosby was in a foul mood when Hargrave started scoring runs, and she showed her displeasure by blocking the plate and leveling runners with elbows despite there being no play at home.

Softball catcher elbows

In the first play on the video, Crosby nails Hargrave senior right fielder Demi Janak. In the second she hammers sophomore shortstop Kylie George, who scored the go-ahead run as part of a 5-run fifth inning.

The umpires missed the incidents probably because the focus was away from home when the plays happened, allowing Crosby to escape without penalty. But now she is receiving her comeuppance from incensed fans.

“It’s crazy it’s gone viral,” Hargrave athletic director Mike McEachern told Yahoo Sports. “It’s an unfortunate situation. The kid made a bad choice; things happen. It’s unfortunate.”

In an interview with Click2Houston, McEachern said he thought the elbows fired up his team.

“I think it fired them up to score some more runs, win the game and come out as champions,” McEachern said.

He also said that thankfully nobody was hurt, so they have moved on. It probably helps a lot that they won the game, too.

Crosby, the perpetrator, reportedly is a Sam Houston State commit, so it remains to be seen whether anything will be done about that.

Talk about some horrible sportsmanship. I’m not sure what’s worse – this video, or the last one we shared from a girls fastpitch softball game.

Maybe a suspension to start next season would be in order.

High school football hug photo goes viral

KWWL – Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

A photo of a hug between opposing players at the end of a high school football game in Iowa went viral this week because of the wonderful moment of sportsmanship it captured.

Wapsie Valley beat Grundy Center 21-17 last Friday night, but the loss wasn’t what was on the minds of the Grundy Center players after the game. Instead, they were thinking of Wapsie Valley sophomore quarterback Andrew Buzynski, who collapsed after suffering a head injury at the end of the game, a few plays after scoring the winning touchdown. Buzynski was taken to the hospital after collapsing.

The man who took the photo of Grundy Center’s Jordan Graham and Jordan Stoner embracing Wapsie Valley’s Jake Kuhlmann is Justin Scott, a photographer in Iowa. Scott posted the picture on his photography business’ Facebook page and his story of the photo went viral. It’s received nearly 3,000 likes and over 1,600 shares since being posted on Monday night.

After the photo began receiving national attention, the players from the photo were interviewed by local news outlets. Graham’s thoughts are sure to make you smile.

“There’s more to football than just winning and losing and when you see somebody that went down like Andrew did, you just feel human and feel empathy for their school and their community,” Graham told KWWL in Iowa.

“For a while we just sat there and embraced. After a while I just let him know that us as the Spartans would be pulling for their community and praying for Andrew.”

If that story made you feel good, you’ll enjoy many of the other excellent heartwarming stories we’ve shared at LBS.

Novak Djokovic concedes point to Radek Stepanek after challenge instead of replaying (Video)

Novak Djokovic had an impressive show of sportsmanship during his second-round match against Radek Stepanek at Wimbledon on Wednesday.

Djokovic had the advantage and was serving to go up 6-5 in the fourth set of their match. Stepanek hit a shot that clipped the baseline, and Djokovic returned it into the net. Stepanek’s shot was called out, so he requested a challenge.

The challenge showed that the ball touched the line and was therefore in, so the chair umpire wanted the two to replay the point. Stepanek thought he should get credit for the point since Djokovic’s return went into the net, but the umpire’s judgment would dictate a full replay since Djokovic’s return could theoretically have been influenced by the out call.
Novak Djokovic Radek Stepanek
Instead of replaying the point, Djokovic conceded it to Stepanek. Nole went on to win the set 7-6 in a tiebreak to capture the match.

He and Stepanek are good friends off the court and even practiced with each other a week earlier. Stepanek sent this tweet hours after losing:

Their friendship probably was a big reason why Djokovic decided to concede the point. At least he was rewarded for his good sportsmanship.

Video via Business Insider
H/T Deadspin

MMA fighter Mike Pantangco taps out to avoid injuring opponent (Video)

Have you ever seen anything like this? MMA fighter Mike Pantangco was winning his fight with Jeremy Raser at a Prison City Fight League event in Michigan in March when he decided to tap out, explaining that he did that because he didn’t want to hurt his opponent.

Mike Pantangco taps out

Here’s how Pantangco explained his actions:

“I just feel that there’s no point fighting him because he didn’t train against me and I didn’t train for him and I just feel like we’re amateur fighters. We don’t get money. We don’t get paid and I know that the only thing I’m going to finish him to go in the hospital or get hurt. I just feel terrible so I’m just going to give him the win.”

Though the highlight video at the top makes it look like it was a completely one-sided affair, as Bloody Elbow points out, a look at the full fight video shows that while Pantangco was winning the fight, he wasn’t completely dominating. Raser was still able to defend himself and got a takedown to start the fight. And it’s not like Pantangco’s weak punches were doing much damage, anyway.

Though it comes off as a great act of sportsmanship, Pantangco’s actions now look to me like some cockiness; what makes him think he was going to put the other guy in the hospital?

Gregg Popovich hugs LeBron James and Dwyane Wade after loss (Video)

Gregg Popovich Dwyane Wade hugGregg Popovich is one of the grumpiest coaches in the NBA. The guy gives reporters a difficult time, hardly shows positive emotion, and he definitely is never happy.

But that all changed after Game 7 of the NBA Finals on Thursday.

Even though his San Antonio Spurs fell to the Miami Heat 95-88, Pop had a big smile on his face and was as gracious as one could possibly imagine. He embraced Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and Heat stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade despite losing, and he stayed on the court in a pure show of class. It was one of the best displays of sportsmanship we have seen.

How can you not appreciate that? Like Spoelstra said after the game, the Spurs are a class organization, and Pop was first class Thursday night.

US volleyball players irked by Brazil’s gold medal celebration

Celebrations and proper sportsmanship have been an issue throughout the London Olympics.

The US women’s soccer team was called out by New Zealand for its celebratory methods, and the squad drew criticism after its win over Japan. Now it’s the US complaining about the celebration methods of another country.

The US women’s volleyball team blew a lead and lost the gold medal game to Brazil on Saturday. The favored Americans thumped Brazil 25-11 in the first set, but lost the next three sets 25-17, 25-20, and 25-17.

The Brazilian players were overcome with joy and some fell to the ground after winning. They jumped around in circles, cried, and exchanged the customary handshakes and kisses with the US players. But it didn’t take long for things to get out of hand.

After the team held hands in a circle of prayer, the players lined up and did several somersaults (pictured above), even rolling into the US players who were walking off Earl’s Court.

Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports reports that the celebratory songs and clapping continued in the waiting area. The Brazilian players then danced their way back onto the court to receive their medals, though to be fair, they were playing to their legions of fans in attendance. But once they, the US, and Japanese players were all lined up for their medals, the Brazilians continued to dance.

In the image below, you can see the US and Japanese players standing straight while the Brazilian players (in yellow) gyrated in the middle:


High school runner Meghan Vogel helps carry injured opponent across finish line (Video)

There was some outstanding sportsmanship displayed at the Ohio state track meet last Saturday.

Meghan Vogel, a junior at West Liberty-Salem High School in Ohio, won the state’s Division III 1,600 meter race, but she gained more attention for a race in which she finished last.

Vogel was running the 3,200 meter race and about 50 meters from the finish line when she saw Arden McMath, a sophomore from Arlington High School, collapse. Instead of passing her, Vogel stopped to carry her competitor across the finish line.

Race rules say Vogel should have been automatically disqualified for helping another runner, but the Springfield News-Sun says meet management took no action. They gave McMath 14th place and a finishing time of 12:29.90, and Vogel 15th in 12:30.24. Vogel made sure McMath crossed the finish line first because she had been ahead of her.

“Helping her across the finish line was a lot more satisfying than winning the state championship,” Vogel told the News-Sun.

“What a selfless act,” said Arlington coach Paul Hunter. “She could have just gone around Arden. But she chose to help. I’ve never seen that at a state meet. That’s real sportsmanship.”

We’ve seen other outstanding acts of sportsmanship in track and cross country before, and this ranks right up there. It’s great to have a heartwarming story like this to balance out all the negative ones we see in high school athletics.

Well done Meghan, well done.

H/T Richard Deitsch