The Long Game: Sports Stories of Courage and Conviction

The Long Game: Sports Stories of Courage and Conviction

On The Long Game, we highlight stories of courage and conviction on and off the field. From athletes who are breaking barriers for women and girls to a Syrian refugee swimmer who overcame the odds to compete at the Paralympics, The Long Game examines the power of sport to change the world for the better. The Long Game is hosted by Olympic medalist and change agent Ibtihaj Muhammad as she guides the series around the globe to meet athletes who are fighting for change. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Episodes

February 8, 2022 30 min

It’s no coincidence that factories and toxic waste facilities have been built near poor communities and communities of color. It’s part of the larger systems of racism that exist all over the world. But for a long time, the people most affected by environmental threats have been largely absent from the broader conversation. But there’s one environmental activist trying to change all that. Taking his cues from Captain Planet, his fa...

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In 2012, Annet Negesa qualified to represent Uganda in the 800-meter run at the London Olympics. But just weeks before the Games, she got a call from her agent. A test had shown high levels of naturally-occurring testosterone in her blood. She would not be allowed to compete. In an attempt to restore her eligibility, Annet underwent a serious, irreversible surgery that derailed her career and left her with serious medical side effe...
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For as long as she can remember, Iona Rothfeld has loved playing soccer. But in Chile, soccer is considered a “boys” sport. When she was 13 years old, Iona was named to the Chilean Women’s National Soccer Team. She thought she had finally found a place where women’s soccer was respected. Instead, she was issued hand-me-down jerseys and told to shower in locker rooms that didn’t have hot water. But in 2016, at the age of 23, Iona fo...

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Ibrahim Al Hussein grew up watching the Olympics on TV. He was a swimmer. And he dreamed of someday being one of the athletes up on the podium. But Ibrahim became one of the 5.6 million people who have left Syria since the start of the Civil War after losing his leg in a bomb blast. He still hasn’t been able to return to his home country, but in 2016, he became one of two paralympians to compete in Rio as part of the Refugee Olympi...
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Mohamed Salah is one of the best forwards in the English Premier League. He is a Muslim, playing in a league that has a reputation for racism and Islamophobia. But that hasn’t stopped Liverpool fans from rallying around their star. Salah doesn’t give a lot of interviews about his faith. You won’t see him leading a lot of protests or marches. But he does put his faith on display -- very publicly and very consistently. And since he’s...
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When it comes to dealing with adversity, Scout Bassett has had more than her fair share. Born in Nanjing, China, she was abandoned after losing her leg in a fire when she was around 18 months old. At age seven she was adopted by a family in the United States and had to adjust to a new language and new culture. Despite her disability, Bassett was always passionate about sports, and eventually learned to run using a prosthetic leg. B...
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Honey Thaljieh grew up in a war zone. One day, on the streets of Bethlehem, she passed by a group of boys playing football. By chance, they passed her the ball. Soon, Honey discovered that she was a gifted athlete. But more than that, football became Honey’s path to freedom and dignity. It took her to Europe and the U.S., where she saw young people, far from the tragic backdrop of war, playing on manicured grass fields smooth enoug...

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The 1995 Rugby World Cup marked the end of apartheid and South Africa’s return to the international sports stage. The home team -- the Springboks -- weren’t expected to go far. Instead, they won it all. And if that sounds to you like the kind of thing Hollywood would make a movie about, you’re right. It’s the story at the center of Invictus, the 2009 film directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. The mo...

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Whenever an athlete steps onto a field, court, or fencing strip, they bring with them all that they are: their background, their lived experiences and their religion. But for some athletes, their faith is a bit more visible than it is for others. As a college basketball player, Batouly Camara made three Final Four appearances with the University of Connecticut. She’s the daughter of immigrants, a children’s book author, and she’s t...

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There’s an upside to hosting a mega-sized sporting event. Governments plan new roads and train stations and airports. Corporate sponsors and foreign investors pile on. And when you build it, people come. Different people, new people, who may not have visited before. Often, these mega-sized sporting events also bring with them a spotlight on whatever problems plague the host nation. For the 2022 Qatar World Cup, that spotlight has l...

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The rivalry between the cricket teams of India and Pakistan is a little like if a billion people tuned into a Red Sox - Yankees game. Add in nationalistic fervor on both sides, and things can get tense. When Pakistan beat India in 1978, the Pakistani captain declared it a victory for all Muslims against Hindus. But until recently, Pakistan had never beaten India in a World Cup match. That changed when the Pakistani team made an une...

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Growing up in Afghanistan, Friba Rezayee didn’t always do as she was told. She didn’t enjoy the games the girls were supposed to play. So she played outside with the boys, even though it wasn’t allowed. As a teenager, Friba was introduced to the sport of judo, and she immediately knew that this would be how she would fight for her freedom. Friba qualified for the Olympics in 2004 and became the first woman to compete for Afghanista...

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November 4, 2021 2 min
On The Long Game, we highlight stories of courage and conviction on and off the field. From athletes who are breaking barriers for women and girls to a Syrian refugee swimmer who overcame the odds to compete at the Paralympics, The Long Game examines the power of sport to change the world for the better. The Long Game is hosted by Olympic medalist and change agent Ibtihaj Muhammad as she guides the series around the globe to meet a...
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