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The island of Majorca will host its first bullfight in two years on Friday night after Spain's top court overturned a partial ban on the sport. 
www.foxnews.com | 8/9/19

The U.S. Women’s National Team has successfully defended their world title, winning the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the fourth time in program history with a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands in Lyon, France.

The USWNT previously won the World Cup — which is held every four years — in 1991, 1999 and 2015, though Sunday’s final was a much more nervy affair than their 5-2 victory over Japan four years ago. Despite sustained pressure by the U.S., the Dutch defense and goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal kept them off the scoreboard for the entire first half, marking the first time in this tournament that the U.S. failed to score in the first 15 minutes of the match.

But in the 60th minute, the U.S. was granted a penalty kick after replay review found that forward Alex Morgan was hit in the arm by the cleat of center back Stefanie van der Gragt. Captain Megan Rapinoe converted the shot to give the U.S. the lead, with Rose Lavelle following it up with a goal of her own eight minutes later. Rapinoe scored six goals in the tournament and, at the age of 34, became the oldest woman to score a goal in a World Cup final.

Also Read: Telemundo FIFA Women's World Cup Campaign Highlights Challenges Faced by Female Players (Video)

The USWNT’s road to victory faced few speed bumps, beginning with a dominating 13-0 victory over Thailand and followed up with shutouts over Chile, Sweden and Spain. In the quarterfinal, the U.S. faced host team and odds-on favorite France before a sold-out crowd in Paris, but an early goal by Rapinoe allowed the team to cruise to a 2-1 victory despite a late goal by Les Bleus.

Then, the U.S. defeated England 2-1 in the semifinal despite Rapinoe sitting the game out with a minor injury. Early mistakes by both teams led to a 1-1 score early in the game, but the U.S. pulled ahead with a 31st minute goal by Alex Morgan. England seemed to tie the game in the second half with a goal, but it was negated after replay found that the forward was offsides. U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher also became a hero to her teammates after she saved a potential game-tying penalty shot.

For the U.S., this victory comes as the women’s team has renewed its push for equal pay to what the men’s national team earns. The USWNT filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation in March, alleging inequality not just in pay but “at least equal playing, training, and travel conditions; equal promotion of their games; equal support and development for their games; and other terms and conditions of employment.” The two sides are set to meet for mediation in the coming weeks.

Also Read: Women's World Cup: Team USA Win Over England Is Brits' Most-Watched Show of 2019

Rapinoe made headlines in June after video surface of her saying she would not go to “the f–ing White House” if the team won the World Cup. President Trump was swift to respond in a series of tweets.

“I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women’s Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job! We haven’t yet invited Megan or the team, but I am now inviting the TEAM, win or lose. Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team,” the president wrote in part.

“I think that I’m particularly and uniquely and very deeply American,” Rapinoe told ESPN Wednesday. “If we want to talk about the ideals that we stand for, all the songs and the anthem and sort of what we were founded on, I think I’m extremely American.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

USA-France Women's World Cup Quarterfinal Match Draws Over 6 Million Viewers on Fox

Telemundo FIFA Women's World Cup Campaign Highlights Challenges Faced by Female Players (Video)

www.thewrap.com | 7/7/19
A Spanish soccer team heavily composed of migrants has found a novel way to protest against the racist abuse the players have received.
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Spain right-back and aerospace engineer Celia Jimenez Delgado speaks to BBC Sport before facing England on Tuesday.
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Spain right-back and aerospace engineer Celia Jimenez Delgado speaks to BBC Sport before facing England on Tuesday.
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Former Spain striker David Villa is to join Japanese top-flight club Vissel Kobe after leaving Major League Soccer side New York City.
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Former Spain striker David Villa is to join Japanese top-flight club Vissel Kobe after leaving Major League Soccer side New York City.
www.bbc.co.uk | 12/1/18
The decision to move the Copa Libertadores final to Spain is a failure of leadership, organization and governance. But it also is a precedent teams and fans may come to regret.
www.nytimes.com | 11/30/18

A version of this story about “Champions” first appeared in the Foreign Language Issue of TheWrap’s Oscar magazine.

Javier Fesser’s film “Champions,” a huge hit in Spain, finds a hotheaded professional basketball coach sentenced to community service working with a team of mentally disabled players, all of them played by nonprofessional actors.

The film is Spain’s entry in this year’s Oscar foreign-language race, and this interview is one of a series of conversations TheWrap had with directors of the foreign contenders.

Also Read: Oscars Foreign Language Race 2018: Complete List of Submissions

What led you to this story?
JAVIER FESSER: This is my fifth feature film, and the first time I have worked with a screenplay that was not my idea originally. Three years ago, I read the screenplay and fell in love with the characters. Not with the story, with the characters. I felt myself so close to this positive point of view. It was the first time that I felt, “I am the right person to tell this story.”

What was the casting process like?
It was more than a casting. We spent more than four months meeting people, with the amazing help of associations and basketball teams for the disabled. For me, the casting was the way to know deeply their lives, their families, their thoughts.

Usually in casting, you are looking for the perfect actors to play the roles that you already wrote. In this case, it was the opposite. After casting, the original author and I rewrote the entire screenplay using the personalities of the people, their experiences, their real lives. I was forgetting my imagination, and taking everything from them.

Also Read: Oscars Give More Power in Foreign Language Voting to LA Members (Exclusive)

In the movie, the coach has to impose a discipline on his players that they’re not used to. In the shooting, did you have to do the same thing with your actors?
I felt a lot of times like the coach in the story, yeah. When you’re working with actors, you do a take and another take and another take. You can modify and change things. But in this case, in every take there is some brilliant thing that it is not possible to reproduce.

Did you do much rehearsal?
No, no. Because they are not actors. My job was not to teach them how to act, but to create a comfortable environment, an atmosphere that they feel comfortable to be themselves. So rehearsal was for me, not for them.

I had to put my level very, very high. The things that happen in front of the camera are often very touching, very beautiful things, and you have to be at that level to catch them.

To read more of TheWrap’s Foreign Language Issue, click here.

www.thewrap.com | 11/17/18
The coach, who led Real Madrid to as many losses as wins, was blamed for leaving Spain’s World Cup effort in chaos in service of his personal ambitions.
www.nytimes.com | 10/30/18

The world’s top female athletes, leaders in sports media and industry influencers gathered this week not only to talk about their love of the game, but also issues central to the current cultural environment.

The ninth annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit held at the Pelican Hill Resort in Newport Beach, California, and hosted by “SportsCenter” co-anchor Sage Steele featured keynote speakers including Danica Patrick, Candace Parker, Michael Ian Black and the gold medal-winning U.S. national ice hockey team.

With the #MeToo movement having launched shortly after the 2017 Summit and the Kavanaugh hearing still dominating headlines — gender equality, sexual assault, workplace harassment and female empowerment steered the discussion more than ever.

Also Read: ESPN+ Passes 1 Million Paid Subscriber Mark in Less Than 6 Months

Despite tackling serious issues impacting all women, ESPN talent such as Sarah Spain, Julie Foudy, Hannah Storm, Cari Champion and Mina Kimes also added some light-hearted fun into the mix when they took to the stage.

From an intimate performance of Andra Day’s empowerment anthem “Rise Up” and the brave stories of sexual assault survivors, to LeBron James’ manager/best friend Maverick Carter telling everyone to “be selfish” and ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro dropping “Top Gun 2” casting news, here are some of the top thought-provoking and conversation-sparking quotes:

Maverick Carter with Cari Champion

Maverick Carter, CEO of SpringHill Entertainment and “UNINTERRUPTED” with co-creator LeBron James
[On breaking into the entertainment industry]: “It is all about telling the story. We thought that if we stuck with the most authentic version of ourselves and LeBron kept doing his main thing (basketball) then we could build something lasting. If you build something on bulls–t then you’re screwed.

“The key to making any deal is to be very clear on what you want — that is the easy part — but also understanding what the other side actually needs. Everyone has to leave the room feeling good and not like they’ve been taken advantage of. The fact of the matter is people are very selfish, but there’s nothing wrong with that and selfish gets a bad rap.”

[On if LeBron will ever run for president: “Right now, he is focused on being a great basketball player … I don’t see him focusing on it [politics] right now. But who knows what’s in the future. He’ll be 34 in December, so who knows how much longer he’s going to play basketball. You never know what’s next with that guy.”

Also Read: Alex Rodriguez, Maria Menounos Take the Wheel for 'Jeep Wrangler Celebrity Customs' Web Series (Video)

Danica Patrick and Hannah Storm/ Dan Stark for ESPN

Danica Patrick, former IndyCar and NASCAR driver
“I was never conscious of being the fastest girl out there, it was about being the fastest driver. There was no gender attached to it.”

[On retiring from pro racing]: “I came to the realization that what made me happy wasn’t really racing. It was wasn’t like I’d wake up thinking about about it every single day. Would I go to a race track for fun? Heck no! Last year, having my winery launch, my clothing line launch and then my book came out — all these things were happening at the same time.” [One being asked to host the 2018 ESPYs]: “I think I said ‘me?!? You get Justin Timberlake to do that, not me.’ Saying yes was the scariest part. If something is equally as exciting as it is scary then go for it. You will never have growth unless you have pain. One part of the growth was having confidence in myself, so I said yes. We’re not scared of change, what we’re scared of is leaving something behind. You have to shift your mindset and ask, ‘but what if it’s better?'”

Also Read: How Alex Gibney's ESPN Docuseries 'Enhanced' Tackles Moral Dilemmas of Modern Technology

Meghan Duggan, Hilary Knight, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Kendall Coyne Schofield/Robby Klein for ESPN

U.S. national ice hockey team gold medalists Meghan Duggan, Hilary Knight, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Kendall Coyne Schofield
[On threatening to boycott the 2017 world championships]: “Our sport needed major change in many areas … most importantly how they [USA Hockey] treated women in our sport. It was the culmination of many years of mistreatment, we did it to help the next generation coming up through the rinks … we had to dig down and come together to stand up for what we’re fighting for.

“We’re trying to change a culture. We’re trying to change behaviors that have been around for many years. There’s accountability on both sides. For us, it’s continuing to push the envelope, and for them, it’s being receptive to what we’re trying to accomplish together moving forward.”

“Stand up for what is right and what you know. Stick together and create the change.”

Sarah Klein, Jordyn Wieber and Mina Kime/Rob Klein for ESPN

Sarah Klein and Olympic gold medalist Jordyn Wieber, survivors of sexual abuse from Dr. Larry Nassar
[Wieber on being abused from eight years old]: “Most of us don’t know childhood sexual abuse is happening while it is happening. A lot of us would have said then he was a good guy. At first I didn’t want to think about it, I’d block it out. I remember saying ‘he did that treatment to me but I wasn’t sexually abused.’ I didn’t want to go through the shame that I was sexually abused and let it happen.

“Everybody protected him and that makes me so angry — my motivation is to make sure no one goes through this again. That culture has to change. Coaches need to care about kids more and not about winning. The point of sports is not just to win.”

[Klein on testifying against Nassar]: “He was my loved one, my friend, my trusted advisor. I was 38 when the Indy Star article came out, and it took me time to realize … he had told me it was OK, that was all I ever knew. The article was the ‘aha moment’ of all aha moments. One in four women are sexually abused, most of us don’t get the chance to look at our abusers in the eye. I had to walk my eight-year-old self to that podium in court. It was a redefining moment for my identity … I was able to walk away as a woman.”

Jimmy Pitaro, Sage Steele and Rachel Epstein/ Dan Stark for ESPN

Jimmy Pitaro, ESPN president
[On the future growth of ESPN]: “We have to appeal to a younger audience, and if we don’t all of us will be in trouble. And I am speaking to all of us as an industry. We have to first and foremost protect the core audience, but also be creating products and services for the younger generation, and a very important component of that is girls. One of my biggest priorities is the brand, making it more relevant and for the younger generation.”

Also Read: ESPN Lands Knockout 7-Year Rights Deal With Top Rank Boxing

[On workplace equality]: “We have done a good job in terms of diversity but not always a good job at inclusion. I heard it and we’re doing something about it. Women cannot feel like they’re on the team and not in the game.”

“One of the things that I love about ESPN is it’s heart. So much that we do is about heart … telling those stories that get you emotional and gives you goosebumps. Sports is the great unifier. You forget about all the nonsense and the divisiveness that is out there right now.”

[On his wife, actress Jean Louisa Kelly’s career success]: “My wife is doing ‘Top Gun 2.'”
Related stories from TheWrap:

Former ESPN Host Jemele Hill Joins The Atlantic

ESPN+, Kevin Durant's Thirty Five Media Partner on Original Series 'The Boardroom'

ESPN+ Passes 1 Million Paid Subscriber Mark in Less Than 6 Months

www.thewrap.com | 10/4/18

Sport in Spain in the second half of 20th century has been dominated by football. Other popular sport activities include basketball, tennis, cycling, handball, motorcycling, Formula One, water sports, golf, and skiing. Spain has also hosted a number of international events such as the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona and the 1982 FIFA World Cup. With Rafael Nadal's Wimbledon championships in 2008 and 2010, the 2006 World Basketball Championship, the 2009 Basketball Eurocup, the 2008 Tennis Davis Cup, Atletico Madrid UEFA Europa League 2010, FC Barcelona European success in 2006 and 2009, the football team bringing home the Euro 2008 trophy & the 2010 FIFA World Cup trophy and Carlos Sastre's Tour de France triumph more recently, several papers have looked beyond Sastre's win to claim that Spain is enjoying something of a sporting "Golden Age"-similar to the Spanish 17th century domination in painting and literature.


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