World's Craziest Sports
As you've seen this week, there are some truly crazy sports out there. And sports fans? Well, they can definitely get a little nuts. But sports also inspire and challenge us, and our best athletes can leave us speechless with their skill, strength, and focus. To round out the week, let's spend some time getting to know some of the game-changing athletes who overcame extraordinary obstacles and opened doors for others.
what you’ll need
- A computer, tablet, or mobile phone and access to the internet
- Pens, crayons, markers, or colored pencils
- Paper plates
- Popsicle sticks or craft sticks
- Glue or tape
- A balloon
Ask About Today
Can you tell me about an athlete who broke a record or did something first in a sport?
Which super heroes or cartoon characters would be good or terrible athletes? Why?
Skip the Ads
Unfortunately, online videos often start with short advertisements. Remind your campers to click the "Skip" button as soon as they can to move ahead to the video.
Meet the athletes who have scored the most points, stolen the most bases, and achieved other notable firsts in their sports. Will their records ever be broken?
Remember: Online videos often start with advertisements. (Annoying, we agree!) Click the "Skip" button as soon as you can to move ahead to the video.
The Fastest Mile
Watch this video to hear from Roger Bannister, the first person to run a mile in under 4 minutes.
The Only Woman on an NBA Team
In this video, learn about the journey of Lusia Harris, the only female basketball player who has been drafted into an NBA team.
Venus and Serena Williams Before They Were Tennis Stars
See how the father of modern-day tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams helped push them to great achievements while growing up in one of the toughest neighborhoods in the US.
Changing the Game for Women in Sports
Game changers challenge what others have done in the past and change our sense of what is possible—off the field as well as on it. In this video, you'll hear from athletes Billie Jean King, Nneka Ogwumike, and Kendall Coyne Schofield as they talk about their fight for equal pay and recognition for women in sports.
For younger explorers
Billie Jean King, Breakthrough Athlete
Billie Jean King is a breakthrough athlete. She is a former top professional tennis player who fought for equality for women in sports. Watch this video as she reads aloud her book called I am Billie Jean King.
Build Your Own Tennis Racket
Many athletes overcome challenges to become great. Even if you don't have the equipment you need for a sport you want to try, you can often find creative ways to get started.
Today, try creating your very own paper plate tennis racket. Check out this video to see how, and color it whatever color you like to make it uniquely yours! You'll need a couple of paper plates, some popsicle sticks or craft sticks to use as handles, glue or tape, markers or crayons to color in your racket, and a balloon to use as a ball.
Pioneering Black Athletes
Prior to 1947, there were no Black baseball players in Major League Baseball—until Jackie Robinson made a breakthrough. Read about the barriers he had to overcome and meet 10 other Black pioneers in sports.
Gymnastics Superstar Simone Biles
Read about the odds Simone Biles overcame to be the first Black woman to win three consecutive world all-around titles at the World Championship in 2013 and the first American woman gymnast to win four gold medals at a single Games during the 2016 Olympics.
For younger explorers
Serena, the Littlest Sister
See how Serena Williams grew up to be a tennis superstar while reading along with the story Serena: The Littlest Sister.
Tennis Practice Time (Kinda)
Use your homemade paper plate tennis racket to play your own game of balloon tennis! Once you've started to master it, see if you can add in some new challenges. Try playing on one foot, or try playing with your non-dominant hand. Don't have a partner? Bounce your balloon on your racket, set up some simple targets to try to knock down, or play against the wall.
Gymnastics Training with Karina
What skills does it take to be a gymnast? Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles not only have strength and balance, they also have incredible flexibility. Follow along with this series of stretching exercises led by kid gymnast Karina to build your flexibility, strength and stamina.
All stretched out and warmed up? Great! Learn how to do some simple gymnastics tumbling moves at home with this tutorial. You'll want to find a carpeted spot or lay down a few blankets or cushions first.
more to explore
More Simone Biles, Please
Interested in learning more about Simone Biles' story? Check out this video from the New York Times.
The First Woman in the Boston Marathon
Meet Kathrine Switzer, who paved the way for women to compete in marathon events as the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. Now in her 70's, she's still running!