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A History Of Head Injuries In Sports

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Kevin Durant Wins Gold In Men’s Individual Basketball

RIO DE JANEIRO—Beating out Serbian Nikola Jokic by .87 points in order to claim the all-around title, U.S. forward Kevin Durant won Olympic gold Friday in men’s individual basketball, becoming the first man to win consecutive golds in the competition since Gary Payton at the 1996 and 2000 Games.

Michael Phelps Spots Estranged Father Poseidon In Stands

RIO DE JANEIRO—Immediately recognizing the booming, thunderous voice he hadn’t heard since he was 5 years old as he warmed up ahead of his first heat in the 200-meter individual medley, U.S. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps reportedly spotted his long-estranged father, Poseidon, God of the Sea, cheering for him Thursday in the stands of the Olympic Aquatics Stadium.
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A History Of Head Injuries In Sports

The NFL is joining other sanctioning bodies in researching methods of preventing head injuries after studies revealed players have been suffering more frequent and more severe concussions in recent years. Onion Sports lists some sporting milestones in head safety:

1925: The facemask is added to leather football helmets as a response to the Decatur Staleys' unstoppable "punch in the face" defensive technique

1963: The NFL begins research on impact-resistant composite materials in an effort to devise a helmet that Mike Ditka will not eat

1967: After a rash of head injuries, the NHL increases required helmet thickness from 3/8 of an inch to 3/9 of an inch

1968: John Olerud born wearing batting helmet

1975: In a setback for safety in sports, Evel Knievel successfully campaigns in favor of injuries in general

1992: The NFL breathes a sigh of relief as it is discovered that Dennis Byrd of the New York Jets is paralyzed not by a preventable head injury but by a completely unpreventable spinal injury

1996: Baseball cringes as signs of head trauma become obvious in one of its star players when Atlanta Braves outfielder David Justice divorces Halle Berry

2001: Plagued by terrible ratings and low attendance, the XFL tries to figure out how to give more players concussions

2005: Following the tragic death of Dale Earnhardt, NASCAR mandates the use of full-face helmets after studies show they offer more advertising space

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