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
4:02 pm
Sat April 13, 2013

Down To The Putt: Golf Analytics Gain Traction

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 5:09 pm

Numbers crunching has become a big deal in sports. Analytics have been slower to take hold in the tradition-bound game of golf, but it is happening. NPR's Tom Goldman reports on the phenomenon from the tournament most steeped in tradition, the Masters.

The Two-Way
1:44 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Giant-Killing Louisville Women Look To Keep Charmed Run Alive

Head coach Jeff Walz of the Louisville Cardinals talks to his team during a timeout in the game against the Maryland Terrapins in the second round of the NCAA women's basketball tournament.
G. Flume Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 6:34 pm

Tonight, there's a chance for a rare double in NCAA Division I college basketball.

As we reported earlier, if the University of Louisville scores a victory in the women's championship game, it will be only the second school to capture both the men's and women's titles in the same year.

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Sports
4:16 am
Sun April 7, 2013

Old Guard And Fresh Faces Square Off At Women's Final Four

Louisville guard Shoni Schimmel (23) and the Louisville bench react to her 3-point shot against Tennessee in the second half of the regional final in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament in Oklahoma City on Tuesday. Louisville won 86-78.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 11:51 am

A women's Final Four without Baylor, Stanford or Tennessee? That's happened only one other time in the last dozen years. We've become so used to it being a power party, that it's downright disorienting.

Or maybe that's just vertigo from trying to track the movements of the Final Four's breakout star, Louisville guard Shoni Schimmel. She's a big reason why two of those teams — Tennessee and Baylor — aren't in New Orleans for a chance at the title.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Oregon's Arsalan Kazemi: From Iran To NCAA Hoopla

Rebounding machine Arsalan Kazemi is the first Iranian-born player in Divison I men's college hoops.
Julie Jacobson AP

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 2:23 pm

San Jose, Calif., is just a piece of a very big March Madness pie. But in the eight teams that gathered there for second- and third-round games this week, you could see the undeniable trend in big-time college basketball globalization.

Rosters from schools as geographically diverse as Syracuse, New Mexico State and California featured athletes from Senegal, France, Canada, South Africa, Croatia, Sudan.

But it's the University of Oregon with a groundbreaker — from Iran.

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Tue March 19, 2013

World Baseball Classic's All-Caribbean Showdown Is A Winner Either Way

The Dominican Republic celebrates after beating the Netherlands 4-1 in Monday's semifinal game of the World Baseball Classic in San Francisco.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:35 am

NPR's Tom Goldman is covering the World Baseball Classic tournament and sends along this report:

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Sports
11:04 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Lawsuit, Investigation Loom Over Lance Armstrong

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey interviews Lance Armstrong on Jan. 14. Armstrong confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France, reversing more than a decade of denial.
George Burns/ Harpo Studios AP

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 6:41 am

There are more troubles for disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.

A Texas-based promotions company sued the former cycling champion Thursday for more than $12 million, which was paid to Armstrong for several of his record seven Tour de France wins. Armstrong publicly admitted last month that those herculean victories were aided by doping.

The lawsuit is part of a flurry of activity: Armstrong still is in talks with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, and there is now word that he is under federal investigation, a year after another federal criminal inquiry ended abruptly.

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Sports
5:06 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Alabama Wins 2nd Consecutive BCS Championship

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 8:32 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. The good news for Notre Dame fans is that they should be well rested this morning. They had no reason to stay up late last night. Alabama took the fight out of the Irish, 42-14, defeating the previously undefeated team and winning the BCS championship. NPR's Tom Goldman was at the game in Miami.

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Sports
6:58 am
Thu December 20, 2012

'Bowie Over Jordan': A New Look At The Pick That Still Haunts Portland NBA Fans

Sam Bowie of the Portland Trail Blazers shoots over Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of the Los Angeles Lakers during a game circa 1984-1988 at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, Calif. Bowie's NBA career is the subject of a new ESPN documentary airing Thursday.
Rick Stewart Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 10:37 am

In 1984, the Portland Trail Blazers chose Sam Bowie, a 7-foot-1 center from the University of Kentucky, with the second pick in the college draft. The Chicago Bulls then took Michael Jordan.

The words "Bowie over Jordan" are part of pro basketball lore, and are still a source of pain for many fans of the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers. Bowie's tenure in Portland was marred by leg injuries; Jordan became a legend. ESPN recounts it all in a documentary about Bowie on Thursday night.

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Planet Money
11:05 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Lance Armstrong And The Business Of Doping

Christophe Ena AP

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 4:57 pm

The story of Lance Armstrong's alleged doping is, in part, the story of an astonishing business enterprise — an enterprise that drove what the U.S. anti-doping agency called "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program" cycling has ever seen.

The story of that enterprise starts in 1998, when the Festina cycling team was caught at the Tour de France with a car full of banned drugs. According to author Daniel Coyle, this marked a huge shift in the culture of doping in cycling.

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Sports
7:11 am
Mon October 22, 2012

World Cycling Body Upholds U.S. Ruling On Armstrong

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Lance Armstrong became a bicycle racing legend when he won every Tour de France from 1999 to 2005. But after what happened today, there will be no official record of all those victories. Cycling's international governing body announced it will not appeal sanctions by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

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Sports
2:26 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Head Injuries Rattle Even Devout Football Parents

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

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 7:16 am

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.

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The Torch
4:38 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Gaming The Games: The Rules That Got Bent In London

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

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 7:06 pm

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.

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The Torch
11:49 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Allyson Felix Wins Gold In Women's 200 Meters

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

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 9:29 am

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.

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The Torch
12:02 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
3:44 am
Mon August 6, 2012

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

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 12:02 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
6:34 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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Sports
5:53 am
Mon July 30, 2012

In 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 4:16 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
12:13 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 10:44 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
11:26 am
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
7:39 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

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.

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Sports
3:30 am
Mon July 16, 2012

After Damning Report, Will NCAA Sanction PSU Football?

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:45 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
4:47 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 5:30 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
6:00 am
Wed June 13, 2012

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.

History
4:23 pm
Sat May 12, 2012

How Teddy Saved Football

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 5:05 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
3:00 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
7:05 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
5:23 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
7:00 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
3:25 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 3:52 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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Sports
2:00 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Indianapolis Colts Release Manning From Team

Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts are parting company. The team released the star quarterback Wednesday, rather than pay a $28 million bonus required by his contract. Manning missed last season with a neck injury and any teams interested in signing him will look closely at his health.

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