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This Week in Sports :: May 13-17, 2008

May 15, 2008

They did what? Two of the top female athletes in the world, Justine Henin and Annika Sorenstam, suddenly retired! See what else happened!

Henin and Sorenstam Retire

Despite being at the top of their games, two of the world's best female athletes abruptly called it quits this week. Justine Henin walked away from professional tennis where she was currently ranked number one in the world. She was just 25-years-old, and had already won seven Grand Slam titles and earned more than $20 million in prize money. Henin stated she was tired of tennis and wanted to do something else with her life. LPGA golfer Annika Sorenstam also walked away from competitive golf this week. She is regarded as the greatest female golfer ever. Sorenstam has won 72 LPGA tournaments and was the first woman to play in a men's PGA tour event. Annika will continue to compete until the end of the 2008 season.

Home Court Advantage

So far, the theme of the second round of the 2008 NBA Playoffs has been home court advantage. As of Friday, the home team has won every game, in three of the four playoff series. Only the Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic series did a team win on the road. The Pistons won a game in Orlando before winning the series in five games. The New Orleans Hornets hope that the trend continues as they look to close out the defending champion San Antonio Spurs in Game 7 on Monday night. The Boston Celtics, who were the best team in the NBA this season, has not won a road game the entire playoffs. They are currently leading the Cleveland Cavaliers 3-2 in the series.

Double Amputee Aims For Olympics

It has always been Oscar Pistorius' dream to run in the Olympics and now he'll get his chance. The 21-year-old South African is a double-amputee runner - that's right, he doesn't have legs! Oscar is a world record holder in the 100, 200 and 400 meter events and has spent the past two years trying to be allowed to compete in the Olympic Games against able-bodied runners. The argument against that was Oscar's artificial legs game him an unfair advantage over able-bodied athletes. On Thursday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that Pistorius would be eligible to compete. Pistorius still must reach a qualifying time to run in the individual 400 meters at the Beijing Games.

Notes Around the Sports World

  • Former NBA star, Charles Barkley, was forced to pay a $400,000 gambling debt to a Las Vegas casino. Barkley was facing federal criminal charges if he didn't pay the debt, which reportedly stems from a 2008 Super Bowl bet.
  • Ken Griffey Jr. of the Cincinnati Reds also had some debt issues - he owed $1,500 to teammate Josh Fogg. Griffey made good on his debt and paid Fogg. The catch is, Griffey paid in pennies!
  • It looks like it's going to be a Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins Stanley Cup Final. Both teams are up 3-1 in their Conference Finals series.
  • The New York Knicks have filled their vacant coaching position by hiring Mike D'Antoni of the Phoenix Suns. The Knicks signed D'Antoni to a four-year, $24 million contract on Tuesday.

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