My Top Stories of 2013 (1-4)

Part three of my Top 13 of 2013 continues today with 1-4. For a look back at the introduction to the list and stories 10-13, click here. For stories 5-9, click here.

4. The art of kicking a field goal. Or should we call it a science? While I technically did the work for the piece in 2012, the story didn’t appear in Popular Mechanics until 2013, so I’ll include it in this list. By talking with researchers and NFL (and former Husker) kicker Alex Henery I was able to put together all the information you could ever need behind the science of kicking a field goal.

3. I love it when design and technology merge in sports to create something entirely new. While in London, I was able to explore some of these “new” items from adidas. Not only did I explore the new data-tracking soccer ball—this for a Sports Illustrated print story—but also the prototype for a new soccer kit, including cleats, that breaks the mold of lightweight uniforms. This story appeared online for Sports Illustrated.

2. I’ve covered stories in worse places than Hawaii. But while in Kona I was able to tackle two different stories for Sports Illustrated, covering both the actual 2013 Ironman event with a behind-the-scenes look on race day and then an intriguing tech-focused story on how Oakley uses science to define optical technology in their performance eyewear.

1. While I love merging tech and design into sports, I may even love more merging tech, design and stadiums into sports all in one story/event. The America’s Cup coverage of 2013 allowed me to do just that. While in San Francisco ahead of the race, I explored the tech of the massive boats and the future broadcast, looking at both the Italian and Oracle TEAM USA headquarters, talking with sailors and designers for both teams that appeared in print and online articles for Popular Mechanics. I also spent some time on the San Fran shore, talking with sailors and event organizers about the sport’s first-ever natural stadium sailing for a Sports Illustrated article. The combination of story types and the enjoyment of watching the races later added up to my best story of 2013.

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