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.

Pages

1:26am

Mon October 15, 2012
Sports

Head Injuries Rattle Even Devout Football Parents

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 6:16 am

The Angleton Wildcats pose for picture day. The team of 7- and 8-year-olds is from the south Texas town of Angleton.
Tom Goldman NPR

It's Monday after another football weekend in America. From the Friday night drama on high school fields to the multibillion-dollar juggernaut NFL, the game seems as popular as ever.

But in fact, amid the cheering, there's concern — a growing anxiety about head injuries in the sport, from the NFL all the way down to the pee-wee leagues. Some say kids shouldn't be playing until their teenage years. High-profile NFL players have gone on record saying they don't want their children playing at all because of the concussion risk.

Read more

3:38pm

Fri August 10, 2012
The Torch

Gaming The Games: The Rules That Got Bent In London

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 6:06 pm

Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa celebrates his gold medal in the men's 100m breaststroke. He later admitted that he took extra dolphin kicks during his swim, a violation of the rules.
Adam Pretty Getty Images

The London Summer Olympics are winding down, and by most accounts, the games have been a success. There were plenty of "thrill of victory, agony of defeat" moments; big, enthusiastic crowds — although there were too many blocks of empty seats; and for those who like a helping of scandal served up at their Olympics, there was that, too.

It wasn't the usual scourge of doping. Instead, the London Olympics had incidents of bending the rules and ethics of sport.

Read more

10:49am

Wed August 8, 2012
The Torch

Allyson Felix Wins Gold In Women's 200 Meters

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 8:29 am

American sprinter Allyson Felix leads the field on her way to winning the women's 200 meters gold medal in London's Olympic Stadium.
Quinn Rooney Getty Images

Allyson Felix has won the women's 200 meter race in London's Olympic Stadium, running a time of 21.88. Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce took the silver medal at 22.09, as she wasn't able to track Felix down in the closing stretch.

The four center lanes were stacked with speed, with Jamaica's Fraser-Pryce and defending gold medalist Veronica Campbell-Brown in lanes 4 and 5, respectively. Just outside of them were Americans Sanya Richards-Ross and Felix, in lanes 6 and 7. And on the outside, in lane 9, was Carmelita Jeter.

Read more

11:02am

Mon August 6, 2012
The Torch

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.

Read more

2:44am

Mon August 6, 2012
NPR Story

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

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 11:02 am

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.

Read more

5:34am

Sun August 5, 2012
Sports

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.

Read more

4:53am

Mon July 30, 2012
Sports

In Olympic Swimming, Records Smashed, Hopes Dashed

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 3:16 pm

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

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.

Read more

11:13pm

Thu July 26, 2012
The Torch

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

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 9:44 am

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

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.

Read more

10:26am

Thu July 26, 2012
The Torch

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.

Read more

6:39am

Thu July 26, 2012
The Torch

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

It didn't take long for politics to enter the fray of Olympic sports. On Day One of preliminary competition, members of the North Korean women's soccer team staged a short protest after a mix-up with their national flag.

Read more

2:30am

Mon July 16, 2012
Sports

After Damning Report, Will NCAA Sanction PSU Football?

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 3:45 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.

Read more

3:13am

Wed June 27, 2012
Sports

College Presidents Approve Switch To Football Playoff System

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 5:08 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.

Read more

3:47pm

Fri June 22, 2012
Sports

40 Years On, Title IX Still Shapes Female Athletes

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 4:30 pm

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

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'

Read more

2:54am

Fri June 22, 2012
Sports

LeBron James Leads Heat To NBA Title

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 5:17 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.

5:00am

Wed June 13, 2012
Sports

Oklahoma City Rolls Past Miami In Game 1

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

3:23pm

Sat May 12, 2012
History

How Teddy Saved Football

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 4:05 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.

2:00am

Wed April 4, 2012
Sports

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.

Read more

6:05am

Tue April 3, 2012
The Two-Way

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.

Read more

4:23am

Sun April 1, 2012
Sports

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.

Read more

6:00am

Sun March 18, 2012
Sports

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.

Read more

Pages