Categotry Archives: Sports


Lennox Miller


Categories: Medicine, Sports

lmiller.jpgDr. Lennox “Billy” Miller, an Olympic sprinter and dentist, died on Nov. 8 of cancer. He was 58.
The Kingston native ran track in high school and won an athletic scholarship to the University of Southern California. While studying for his bachelor’s degree in psychology, he worked on the USC grounds crew to cover expenses. Miller also served as the anchor on the school’s sprint relay team. He and his teammates O.J. Simpson, Earl McCullouch and Fred Kuller set a world record in 1967 when they ran the 440-yard relay in 38.6 seconds.
At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Miller represented Jamaica and won the silver medal in the 100-meter dash. Four years later, he took home the bronze medal in the same event at the Munich Olympics.
Miller graduated from the USC School of Dentistry in 1973 and ran a successful practice in Pasadena, Calif., for 30 years. He is survived by his wife Avril, and their two daughters, Inger and Heather. Inger Miller captured a gold medal in the 400-meter relay at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. The Millers were the first father and daughter to win Olympic track and field medals.
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Cara Dunne-Yates


Categories: Extraordinary People, Sports

Cara Dunne-Yates was blinded by cancer, but that didn’t stop her from obtaining an Ivy League education, raising a family or winning several medals as a Paralympic athlete.
Born and raised in Chicago, Yates was less than a year old when she was diagnosed with retinal cancer. Although she lost both her eyes to the disease by the time she was five, Yates still learned to ride a bike and ski on her own. Using a team skiing technique, however, Yates was able to participate in competitions by following the sound her of sighted partner’s skis. In 1988, she won a bronze medal in alpine skiing at the Paralympics in Innsbruck, Austria.
With a guide dog by her side, Yates became president of her class at Harvard University and earned a bachelor’s degree in East Asian studies. After graduation, she worked as a volunteer ski instructor at a school for the disabled in Utah. Yates was training for an upcoming winter event when cancer returned — this time in her cheekbone.
After a year of treatment, she enrolled at UCLA Law School. Yates joined the university’s cycling team and competed as a tandem racer with her sighted partner Scott Evans at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics. There she won a silver medal in the mixed tandem kilometer race and a bronze medal on the 200-meter sprint. She also met Spencer Yates, the sighted partner of another blind cyclist. They wed in 1998.
Yates had just finished competing in the 2000 Paralympics in Sydney, Australia, when she was diagnosed with cancer for a third time. While undergoing chemotherapy, she received the 2002 True Hero of Sports Award from Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society. She served as co-president of the New England Retinoblastoma Family Foundation and recently began writing her memoirs.
Yates died on Oct. 20 of cancer at the age of 34. She is survived by her husband and two young children.


Johnny Warren


Categories: Media, Sports

jwarren.jpgAustralian soccer legend Johnny Warren died on Nov. 6 of lung cancer. He was 61.
Born in the Sydney suburb of Botany, Warren studied economics at the University of New South Wales. From 1966 to 1974, he played for the Socceroos in 42 competitions and was captain in 1974 when the team made its only appearance in the World Cup finals.
After his professional playing career ended, Warren coached St. George and Canberra City in the National Soccer League, and became a popular television commentator on the Special Broadcasting Service network. Opposite sportscaster Les Murray, Warren offered forthright opinions and analysis of the game for nearly two decades. His passion for soccer was appreciable, but the world saw proof of it in 1997 when he cried on national television during the World Cup play-off match between Australia and Iran.
The unofficial ambassador of Australian soccer, Warren helped form the A-League (which will debut next year), and oversaw the launch of the Johnny Warren Soccer Academy, an elite soccer institute designed to help young players develop their skills. In 2002, he chronicled his affiliation with Australian soccer in the bestselling memoir “Sheilas, Wogs and Poofters.” Earlier this year, Warren and Murray were the subject of the book “Mr. and Mrs. Soccer” by Andy Harper.
Warren was the first Australian soccer player made a Member (of the Order of the) British Empire. In addition, he received a Medal of the Order of Australia and the Federation Internationale de Football Association’s Centennial Order of Merit. In 1988, he was inducted into the Australian Sports Hall of Fame.


Sergei Zholtok


Categories: Sports

szholtok.jpgSergei Zholtok, a center for the Nashville Predators, died on Nov. 3 during a championship game in Belarus. He was 31.
Called Zholi by his teammates, Zholtok competed in 588 NHL games since his western debut on the ice in 1992. The skilled Latvian played with Boston, Ottawa, Montreal, Edmonton and Minnesota before he was traded to Nashville in March. He played 11 games with the Predators, but returned to his home country once the NHL lockout was called.
Zholtok played for Riga 2000 in the championship match-up against Dinamo Minsk on Wednesday night. With five minutes left in the game, Zholtok walked back to the locker room and collapsed. He was pronounced dead in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
A member of the Latvian team that won the silver at the 1994 world championships, Zholtok was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat in 2003. Over the course of his NHL career, he scored 111 goals and had 147 assists.
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Roland Simpson


Categories: Sports

Roland “Slim” Simpson, an Australian BASE jumper, died on Oct. 22 of injuries he sustained in a jump earlier this month. He was 34.
Simpson fractured his skull on Oct. 6 when he jumped from the 1,387-foot Jin Mao Tower in the financial district of Shanghai. He and 37 other BASE jumpers from 16 nations were invited by the Shanghai Sports Bureau to jump from the tower, which is China’s tallest skyscraper. Simpson was injured when the parachute lines on his wing suit became twisted. He landed on the roof of an adjacent building.
The president of the Australian BASE Association, Simpson was an experienced skydiver and BASE jumper who completed more than 1,200 jumps. Over the years, he participated in numerous BASE-jumping competitions and was appointed the technical director for the 2003-2004 World BASE Cup.
“In that first second or two when you actually, when you’re actually, when your body’s hanging in the air and you’re starting to drop and you look down and this enormous rock wall starts to race past and you’re accelerating down right next to it, that visual impression that’s this kaleidoscope of rock racing past you, is very difficult to explain. It’s an incredible feeling — really amazing,” Simpson said in an interview with The Sports Factor.
BASE is an acronym for Building, Antenna, Span and Earth, the fixed objects from which BASE jumpers launch themselves.

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