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What a beautiful, beautiful game.

That time a young Syrian refugee and his family got to sit the stands to watch a soccer game for the first time:

That time a young Syrian refugee and his family got to sit the stands to watch a soccer game for the first time:

In September 2015, the Santos football team in Brazil hosted a visit from 100 Syrian refugees, including 9-year-old Malek (link in Portuguese, but the pics are pretty darling all on their own tbh).

Santos FC

And that time when a young Brazilian soccer fan won us over with his homemade jersey, too...

And that time when a young Brazilian soccer fan won us over with his homemade jersey, too...

Twelve-year-old Jonathan Denner couldn't afford to buy a jersey, so he made his own in order to show his support for the Cruzeiro team and went viral (link in Portuguese).

mg.superesportes.com.br

...And got invited to visit the team's training center.

...And got invited to visit the team's training center.

Denner got to meet some of his favorite players, and of course, he also received an official jersey from the team (link in Portuguese).

Twitter: @Cruzeiro

That time in the 2016 South American Football Championship when James Marcelin scored Haiti's first goal against Brazil, making him a national hero — especially poignant since he had been a survivor of the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake.

That time in the 2016 South American Football Championship when James Marcelin scored Haiti's first goal against Brazil, making him a national hero — especially poignant since he had been a survivor of the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake.

Even though Haiti ended up losing the game 7 to 1, Marcelin's goal became an incredible source of inspiration (link in Portuguese), especially for the kids in his home country.

Hector Retamal / AFP / Getty Images

That time this young Portuguese fan showed sportsmanship toward a French fan after the 2016 Euro Cup.

View Video ›

Portugal had defeated France 1-0, but omg, this little buddy was the real MVP.

Facebook: video.php

That time when a fan of the Aimoré Sports Club in Brazil wrote in to ask for a jersey, and added that he didn't mind if it was stained or torn:

View Video ›

The team's uniform manager was moved by the letter and set up a meeting with who he thought would be a little boy — but instead, the letter writer turned out to simply be a 33-year-old super fan.

Facebook: video.php

That time at the 2014 World Cup, when Serey Dié, a midfielder for the Ivory Coast national team, was moved to tears by his country's national anthem.

That time at the 2014 World Cup, when Serey Dié, a midfielder for the Ivory Coast national team, was moved to tears by his country's national anthem.

Later in an interview, Dié explained that he never thought he'd play for his country — and had also been thinking of his father, who died ten years beforehand.

Adrian Dennis / AFP / Getty Images

That time this fan showed us the true meaning of dedication:

That time this fan showed us the true meaning of dedication:

The 47-year-old Brazilian retiree Jairton da Rocha, though unable to walk, has become a familiar face at his favorite team's games throughout the year (link in Portuguese).

globoesporte.globo.com

That time this fan gave his extra ticket to a man collecting cans outside the stadium, and invited him inside to watch a match for the first time:

View Video ›

Honestly, soccer fandom >>>

Facebook: video.php

And finally, that time this fan decided to "put his heart to the test" after heart surgery by going to a game:

And finally, that time this fan decided to "put his heart to the test" after heart surgery by going to a game:

He'd literally had heart surgery EIGHT days (link in Portuguese) before the game. What a champ!

Facebook: Palmeiras

This post was translated from Portuguese.

Both #8 and #24 will be retired.

It seems like just the other day that Kobe played in his final game and had a performance so incredible, it felt like a scripted movie.

Now, over a year and a half later, Kobe is having his jersey retired on December 18th, which will make basketball fans feel old.

Now, over a year and a half later, Kobe is having his jersey retired on December 18th, which will make basketball fans feel old.

Harry How / Getty Images

Ahead of the Monday night ceremony, BuzzFeed caught up with six former NBA players who either played or coached against Kobe, to have them describe what he was like as a competitor.

Ahead of the Monday night ceremony, BuzzFeed caught up with six former NBA players who either played or coached against Kobe, to have them describe what he was like as a competitor.

Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

Shaquille O’Neal, who played with, and against Kobe:

Shaquille O’Neal, who played with, and against Kobe:

“What really made him special was his determination. I remember having a conversation with Kobe when he said, ‘I want to be as big as Michael Jordan, bigger than Michael,’ and me, I’m looking at this 18-year-old kid, like, ‘Okay, buddy, slow down.’ But as the years went on, you saw his game progress, his work ethic progress, you saw him start to act like a leader and like a champion, and I think it helped us get three [championships] in a row.”

Matt Campbell / AFP / Getty Images

Grant Hill, who played against Kobe:

Grant Hill, who played against Kobe:

“Kobe was a tough player to guard whether it was one-on-one or in a game setting. As a player, he was relentless, focused, and he never got rattled. He didn’t have many weaknesses — he was the ultimate challenge.”

Christian Petersen / Getty Images

Greg Anthony, who played against Kobe:

Greg Anthony, who played against Kobe:

“In every facet of his game, he was the closest player we have seen to Michael Jordan — in terms of how competitive, how mentally tough, and how driven he was as a player. Then, you factor in his overall skill set — Kobe Bryant was off the charts.”

Otto Greule Jr / Getty Images

Kevin McHale, a Hall of Fame player, who coached against Kobe Bryant.

Kevin McHale, a Hall of Fame player, who coached against Kobe Bryant.

“Watching Kobe was a lot like watching Michael [Jordan]. A lot of his mannerisms… [he was] the closest thing to Michael that I’ve seen in our league.”

Scott Halleran / Getty Images

Steve Smith, who played against Kobe Bryant.

Steve Smith, who played against Kobe Bryant.

“Kobe was the most fundamentally sound player that I’ve seen play. You then add his fundamentals to his elite athleticism, skill set, passion, and IQ.”

Lucy Nicholson / AFP / Getty Images

Isiah Thomas, a Hall of Fame player, who coached against Kobe Bryant.

Isiah Thomas, a Hall of Fame player, who coached against Kobe Bryant.

“Kobe Bryant was a mirror of Michael Jordan.”

Al Bello / Getty Images

NBA TV will showcase the ceremony Monday, December 18, at 10:30 PM ET/7:30 PM PT.

NBA TV will showcase the ceremony Monday, December 18, at 10:30 PM ET/7:30 PM PT.

Harry How / Getty Images

21 Times LeBron James Was Just So Incredibly Likable

by Christopher Hudspeth

Just because he’s not on your team doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate his greatness.

No matter where your NBA loyalties lie, there are countless reasons to love LeBron James.

No matter where your NBA loyalties lie, there are countless reasons to love LeBron James.

Andy Lyons / Getty Images

First and foremost, he's a man of the people, whether he's taking a selfie with some young fans...

First and foremost, he's a man of the people, whether he's taking a selfie with some young fans...

NBA

...or congratulating a Special Olympian and giving him his sneakers at a game.

...or congratulating a Special Olympian and giving him his sneakers at a game.

NBA

He was even genuinely excited to celebrate with a fan who hit a $75,000 half-court shot.

He was even genuinely excited to celebrate with a fan who hit a $75,000 half-court shot.

NBA

LeBron goes hard when it comes to Halloween costumes. Throughout the years he's dressed up as everyone from Pennywise, to Prince, and Danny Zuko.

LeBron goes hard when it comes to Halloween costumes. Throughout the years he's dressed up as everyone from Pennywise, to Prince, and Danny Zuko.

@KingJames / Via instagram.com

Once he dressed up as a Blaze Pizza employee, and tried to casually blend in while serving customers.

Once he dressed up as a Blaze Pizza employee, and tried to casually blend in while serving customers.

ABC News / Via youtube.com

He proudly shares loving posts like this one to his wife on Instagram.

He proudly shares loving posts like this one to his wife on Instagram.

@KingJames / Via instagram.com

Not to mention, LeBron is one of the world's most charitable athletes. His foundation pledged $41 million to send every kid who finishes his program to college.

Not to mention, LeBron is one of the world's most charitable athletes. His foundation pledged $41 million to send every kid who finishes his program to college.

Fox Sports / Via foxsports.com

His highly-criticized event, The Decision, actually raised $2.5 million for the Boys and Girls Club.

His highly-criticized event, The Decision, actually raised $2.5 million for the Boys and Girls Club.

AP

And he designed a shoe for kids with disabilities, then helped deliver some of them himself.

And he designed a shoe for kids with disabilities, then helped deliver some of them himself.

Nike Basketball / Via youtube.com

LeBron turns into a passionate fan like the rest of us when watching his sons play.

LeBron turns into a passionate fan like the rest of us when watching his sons play.

@KingJames / Via instagram.com

He's also a big fan of wine, and the king of #VinoChronicles.

He's also a big fan of wine, and the king of #VinoChronicles.

@KingJames / Via instagram.com

He's not above expressing himself with a good, old-fashioned meme on social media.

He's not above expressing himself with a good, old-fashioned meme on social media.

@KingJames / Via instagram.com

He's got great taste in television.

He's got great taste in television.

@KingJames / Via instagram.com

And he's used his platform to speak on social and political issues.

And he's used his platform to speak on social and political issues.

Al Bello / Getty Images

Though, sometimes he just uses his platform in a relatable manner, sharing his outfit of the day, just like anybody else who is feeling their look.

Though, sometimes he just uses his platform in a relatable manner, sharing his outfit of the day, just like anybody else who is feeling their look.

@KingJames / Via instagram.com

And of course, one of his most lovable traits that can't go without mention: his skilled, enthusiastic dancing. He dances before games...

And of course, one of his most lovable traits that can't go without mention: his skilled, enthusiastic dancing. He dances before games...

NBA

...during games...

...during games...

NBA

...and sometimes even directly after games.

...and sometimes even directly after games.

NBC

On top of ALL that, watching him play basketball is a real treat, and fans of the sport shouldn't take it for granted.

On top of ALL that, watching him play basketball is a real treat, and fans of the sport shouldn't take it for granted.

Because let's be real, disliking LeBron James is the basketball equivalent of not liking puppies.

Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

Yeah…we pee in pools.

Martin Bureau / AFP / Getty Images

1. First and foremost, peeing in the pool.

2. That obviously means you're technically peeing with — and on — your friends.

3. Also, (if you're capable of it) peeing while you're swimming and leaving a little stream behind you.

4. And peeing in a tech suit...it just never ends well.

Streeter Lecka / Getty Images

5. Hocking loogies into the gutters.

6. Walking on gross pool decks barefoot...

7. ...or even worse, LOCKER ROOMS. Like...we're crazy.

8. Adjusting your boobs/bulge in your suit in the full view of the pool.

9. Two words: DECK. CHANGING.

10. Accidentally swallowing pool water and not even thinking twice about what's actually in it.

11. Smacking someone during warm up and not even slowing down, just continuing swimming.

Nickelodeon / Via instagram.com

12. Grabbing someone in the lane next to you while you're swimming in practice...swimming *IS* a contact sport.

13. Pulling on the lane line.

14. Checking out other swimmers at meets.

15. Walking around non-swimmers and REEKING of chlorine.

16. And having that dry, crunchy, straw-like hair from the chemicals in the water.

17. Swimming with foggy goggles — except you don't know EXACTLY what gross crud is causing them to fog up.

Nickelodeon / Via instagram.com

18. Having nervous pees (or poos, LOL) before a race (you're nervous AND trying to stay super hydrated.)

19. Permanently having goggle marks around your eyes.

20. Having hairy legs all season...

21. ...and then enjoying your shaved legs a little too much when it came to championship season.

22. Constantly being nearly naked around all your best friends.

23. And finally, stuffing your face after every practice and meet because DUH, you're a swimmer and your stomach is a bottomless pit.

Yeah, we pee in the pool.

When you first jump in to the water during morning practice:

Instagram: @swim

When you feel badass because your coach doesn't catch you doing this:

Instagram: @swim

And this describes lane lines perfectly:

Instagram: @swim

When people say swimming is easy, and you know they've never tried to warm up with 17 other people in their lane:

Instagram: @swim

And this way-too-accurate picture:

Instagram: @swim

When your stomach is basically a bottomless pit after you get out of the water:

Instagram: @swim

When you finally devise a good way to get out of practice:

Instagram: @swim

When you get away with the ultimate crime in the pool:

Instagram: @swim

When you think the coach is finished explaining the set, and this happens:

Instagram: @swim

Or just as bad, this:

Instagram: @swim

When you really think about it, and you realize how crazy you are:

Instagram: @swim

When you become an aquatic creature during warm-down:

Instagram: @swim

When you try hard to listen but it just doesn't stick:

Instagram: @swim

When this happens during a distance free set:

Instagram: @swim

When you *NEED* that one suit:

Instagram: @swim

When the other shoe drops when the coach is explaining a set:

Instagram: @swim

When your alarm clock looks like this:

Instagram: @swim

When you dive in and this travesty happens:

Instagram: @swim

And finally, when it feels like your entire arm is going to fall off:

Instagram: @swim

Everson Griffen’s son was born on Thanksgiving morning.

This Thanksgiving was an especially good one for NFL player Everson Griffen, who was crushing it on the field in the Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions game just hours after his third child was born.

This Thanksgiving was an especially good one for NFL player Everson Griffen, who was crushing it on the field in the Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions game just hours after his third child was born.

Icon Sportswire / Getty Images

And while Griffen was out on the field, right after he sacked the Lions' Matthew Stafford, he lifted up his shirt to reveal a message that read, "I just had a baby boy. What should we name him?"

And while Griffen was out on the field, right after he sacked the Lions' Matthew Stafford, he lifted up his shirt to reveal a message that read, "I just had a baby boy. What should we name him?"

Icon Sportswire / Getty Images

"I don't know. I was thinking about doing something, and I just thought of that. You know, 'This will be funny,'" he said, according to ESPN. "I'm going to check [social media], but I called my wife first and foremost to make sure the baby is doing good and everything is good. She's good, the baby's good, so we're all excited."

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle and former Army ranger Alejandro Villanueva made headlines Sunday when he stood alone on the field with his hand over his heart during the national anthem.

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle and former Army ranger Alejandro Villanueva made headlines Sunday when he stood alone on the field with his hand over his heart during the national anthem.

Nam Y. Huh / AP

Leading up to the game, coach Mike Tomlin said that the Steelers would not be on the field for the anthem after President Trump criticized NFL players who have knelt during the pre-game ceremony.

The protests began in 2016 with Colin Kaepernick, then of the San Francisco 49ers, and spread to dozens of other players on different teams. In response to Trump's comments, numerous players knelt, locked arms, or remained seated during the national anthem at games over the weekend.

Immediately after Villanueva was spotted alone Sunday, his jersey became the top seller on NFLshop.com, conservatives hailed him as a "hero," and supporters took to Twitter to thank him.

But a day later, Villanueva expressed embarrassment about the situation, saying that it was actually an accident that he ended up standing by himself during the national anthem.

But a day later, Villanueva expressed embarrassment about the situation, saying that it was actually an accident that he ended up standing by himself during the national anthem.

Joe Robbins / Getty Images

During a news conference Monday, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said that at a meeting the night before the game against the Chicago Bears, some players suggested the team should kneel or sit during the anthem, while others wanted to stand.

In an effort to remain unified, the players decided they would all remain in the tunnel leading to the field, Roethlisberger said.

However, Villanueva said that in the moments before the game he ended up separated from his teammates as a group of Bears fans and people carrying a flag exited the field through the same tunnel.

However, Villanueva said that in the moments before the game he ended up separated from his teammates as a group of Bears fans and people carrying a flag exited the field through the same tunnel.

Nam Y. Huh / AP

When Villanueva realized he was alone, he considered walking back to his teammates.

"At that moment, you know, it was the decision of, do you walk out of the national anthem and join your teammates?" he said. "I know that would look extremely bad. Or as a team, do you start moving halfway through the national anthem?"

"We butchered our plan to sort of have a response for the national anthem and respect everyone’s opinion," he added.

Roethlisberger also expressed regret Monday, saying he wished "we would have continued down" to Villanueva.

Responding to the ensuing controversy Monday, Villanueva said that "this national anthem ordeal has been out of control," adding that "I feel embarrassed to a degree."

Responding to the ensuing controversy Monday, Villanueva said that "this national anthem ordeal has been out of control," adding that "I feel embarrassed to a degree."

Pittsburgh Steelers / Via steelers.com

Villanueva said that both his team and other players in the NFL are "extremely patriotic" and that the team wasn't trying to make a political statement.

"I've made Coach [Mike] Tomlin look bad, and that is my fault and that is my fault only, I've made my teammates look bad and that is my fault and my fault only, and I made the Steelers look bad and that is my fault and my fault only," he said.

"So unwilling I've made a mistake," the player continued. "Unfortunately, I threw them under the bus, unintentionally."

When asked about Trump's comments, Villanueva responded that "I'll stick to football" and said he had no comment. He also said that he wasn't going to tell anyone how they should respond to the national anthem.

"People who are taking a knee are not saying anything negative about the military, they’re not saying anything negative about the flag," he said. "They’re just trying to protest the fact that there’s some injustices in America. And for people to stand up for the national anthem it doesn’t mean that they don’t believe in these racial injustices, they’re just trying to do the right thing."

LINK: Trump Says NFL Owners Should Fire Any "Son Of A Bitch" Who Refuses To Stand For The National Anthem

LINK: People Are Applauding This Man Who Was The Only Player From His Team To Come Out For The National Anthem


Aaron Hernandez Had A Severe Case Of CTE, According To A New Lawsuit

by Mary Ann Georgantopoulos

Hernandez in court in 2013.

Jared Wickerham / Getty Images

Aaron Hernandez, the former NFL player who killed himself in prison after being convicted of murder, suffered from stage 3 chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease known as CTE that is associated with athletes who receive repeated blows to the head, his family's lawyer said Thursday.

Attorney Jorge Baez said researchers determined Hernandez had “the most severe case they had ever seen in someone of Aaron’s age."

Hernandez was 27 when he hanged himself in a Massachusetts prison cell in April. The former New England Patriots player was serving a life sentence for the 2013 killing of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, the boyfriend of his fiancé's sister.

Hernandez's fiancé, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, filed a lawsuit in Massachusetts federal court against the Patriots and the NFL on Thursday, claiming the football organizations knew about the risks of CTE.

"Aaron had stage 3 CTE usually seen in players with a median age of death of 67 years," the lawsuit reads.

"By the time Aaron entered the NFL, in 2010, Defendants were fully aware of the damage that could be inflicted from repetitive impact injury and failed to disclose, treat, or protect him from the dangers of such damage," the lawsuit reads.

The lawsuit alleges Hernandez "succumbed to the symptoms of CTE" when he killed himself, depriving the couple's daughter of companionship with Hernandez.

A spokesperson for the NFL said they have not seen a copy of the lawsuit and cannot comment.

Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez with her daughter in April.

Keith Bedford / AP

Hernandez is one of the youngest former NFL players to have been found to have CTE — a degenerative brain disease that can only be diagnosed after a person's death.

In July, researchers at Boston University released results of a study, which showed that they found CTE in the brains of 110 of the 111 former NFL players they studied.

Baez, the attorney, said Hernandez's brain was examined by Dr. Anne McKee, a professor of pathology and neurology at Boston University.

During Thursday's press conference, Baez said that the former football player's family had noticed some behavior changes in him, but he said it would have been impossible for the player's fiancé to attribute the changes to brain disease versus "someone who is simply agitated."

"She doesn't have training in brain injuries," Baez said of Jenkins-Hernandez. "It's not something she would have have been able to pick up on."

The New England Patriots did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

LINK: Former NFL Player Aaron Hernandez Hangs Himself In Prison

A total body workout in 30 minutes.

I'm also a huge fan of LeBron James, not just because he's incredible on the basketball court, but because he strives for greatness off of it, and is seemingly always in the gym.

I'm also a huge fan of LeBron James, not just because he's incredible on the basketball court, but because he strives for greatness off of it, and is seemingly always in the gym.

LeBron has managed to remain healthy through 14 NBA seasons, and at age 32, he doesn't appear to be slowing down any.

Instagram: @kingjames via @KingJames

So when I spotted the best basketball player on the planet (don’t @ me) frequently working out on an unfamiliar machine, I was intrigued.

So when I spotted the best basketball player on the planet (don’t @ me) frequently working out on an unfamiliar machine, I was intrigued.

I figured, if LeBron loved the machine enough to call it his girlfriend, it must be legit.

instagram.com via @KingJames

I did some in-depth research (aka I googled “What's the deal with that machine LeBron uses?") and discovered that it's a Versaclimber.

I did some in-depth research (aka I googled “What's the deal with that machine LeBron uses?") and discovered that it's a Versaclimber.

The Versaclimber is a vertical cardio machine that mimics a climbing motion, while working the major muscle groups. Most appealing is that it has no impact on the knees and ankles. I also found that there's a place called Rise Nation that was designed by celeb trainer Jason Walsh, and it offers 30-minute full-body workouts on the Versaclimber. Sometimes LeBron actually takes classes there as part of his training, and it's not just him...

instagram.com via @risenation

I discovered that a lot of celebrities utilize Rise Nation's workouts when getting in tip-top condition. Lady Gaga did it to prepare for her Super Bowl performance, Alison Brie did it to get ready for GLOW, John Krasinski used it, as did Jennifer Aniston — the list goes on and on.

I discovered that a lot of celebrities utilize Rise Nation's workouts when getting in tip-top condition. Lady Gaga did it to prepare for her Super Bowl performance, Alison Brie did it to get ready for GLOW, John Krasinski used it, as did Jennifer Aniston — the list goes on and on.

Rise Nation / Via rise-nation.com

I'm intrigued by a good old-fashioned celebrity endorsement, so I decided I wanted to try out Rise Nation for a week to see what it was all about.

I'm intrigued by a good old-fashioned celebrity endorsement, so I decided I wanted to try out Rise Nation for a week to see what it was all about.

Christopher Hudspeth

Rise Nation offers three different classes of increased difficulty: Level 1: Intro, Level 2: The Climb, and Level 3: Extreme.

Rise Nation offers three different classes of increased difficulty:

Level 1: Intro, Level 2: The Climb, and Level 3: Extreme.

The plan was to begin with a Level 1 class, then take the Level 2 class three times, all in preparation for the grand finale — a Level 3 class. In the days leading up to the class, I prepared by doing 30 minutes on a stair-stepper, to ensure that I didn't embarrass myself the first time I met LeBron's girlfriend.

Rise Nation / Via rise-nation.com

Here's how the week went:

BuzzFeedBlue / Via youtube.com

Workout #1: Level 1 — Intro

Workout #1: Level 1 — Intro

At the start of the workout, I was so distracted by the cool, colorful lights and Kings of Leon tunes blaring through the speakers that I wasn’t focused on how difficult the workout was. By the time I realized I was sweaty and out of breath, I figured a significant chunk of time must’ve passed. NOPE. It was, like, four minutes in, and I was gasping for air.

Eventually I caught my second wind and began to get the hang of the Versaclimber. Chandler, the instructor, guided the class through various movements at different paces, all while giving helpful words of encouragement along the way. The music that played throughout the workout was on point, never failing to keep me pumped up. I wanted to keep track of how many total steps I’d taken during each class, but I was just so thrilled to survive the first workout that I forgot to. Level 1 was super challenging, but not so overwhelmingly strenuous that you'd want to give up entirely.

Buzzfeed

Workout #2: Level 2 — The Climb

Workout #2: Level 2 — The Climb

The jump in intensity from Level 1 to Level 2 was evident in the faster pace maintained for lengthier stretches. Once again, the music was legitimately better than anything I've heard at a club in recent years. The instructor, Courtney, had such incredible energy that you'd have to be dead inside to not feel hyped up and motivated. She instructed from her Versaclimber, she danced, and she hollered inspirational things, all to a straight fire playlist.

Afterward I felt the general soreness you feel after a good leg workout, which let me know I pushing myself to a higher level of cardio than my body was used to.

Buzzfeed

Workout #3: Level 2 — The Climb

Workout #3: Level 2 — The Climb

I was extra motivated for this workout because shortly before it, LeBron James posted on Instagram that he’d just completed a class at Rise Nation. Sadly, I missed LeBron by an hour or so, but I made note of his step count so I could see how mine compared.

Buzzfeed

Note how LeBron says "One down!" indicating that he's planning on doing more working out after this.

Note how LeBron says "One down!" indicating that he's planning on doing more working out after this.

After the first two Rise Nation workouts, I sat around and didn't do additional exercise for the rest of the day. However, seeing that LeBron was doing multiple workouts made me want to, so I told myself I'd go to the gym again later on. Unfortunately my sore legs were like, "LOL bitch you ain't LeBron," so I was limited to light weightlifting.

Instagram: @kingjames via @KingJames

Workout #4: Level 2 — The Climb

Workout #4: Level 2 — The Climb

This was the last workout before moving up to Level 3, so I wanted to push myself in preparation of the final class. Adam instructed this class, and he delivered a super-fun, challenging half hour, and of course he had all of the magnificent music as well.

It was interesting taking the Level 2 class three separate times with three different instructors and getting awesome, unique experiences in each one. Some featured more quick and explosive stretches, while others had more slow and concentrated motions. Some involved more core, while others involved more arms. Nonetheless, they ALL provided an efficient serving of cardio.

Now, it was on to the final class — Level 3: Extreme.

Buzzfeed

Workout #5: Level 3 — Extreme

Workout #5: Level 3 — Extreme

Shortly before it began, I learned that Level 3 was 40 minutes — 10 longer than the other classes. When you wake up and there are 10 minutes left before your alarm is going to ring it ain't shit, but 10 minutes on a Versaclimber when you’re already exhausted can feel like an eternity.

Luckily, Loui, the class instructor, was so energized and enthusiastic that he provided a mental boost along the way. There's no doubt that the classes before had fully prepared me for Level 3, but the different movements, the ever-changing pace, and the desire to push oneself ensures that these workouts don’t get stale.

Buzzfeed

Shockingly, I didn't quite turn into LeBron James, who can take multiple classes in a day or supplement Versaclimber workouts with basketball practice and whatnot, but after a week I could fully appreciate Rise Nation's workouts for a number of reasons.

Shockingly, I didn't quite turn into LeBron James, who can take multiple classes in a day or supplement Versaclimber workouts with basketball practice and whatnot, but after a week I could fully appreciate Rise Nation's workouts for a number of reasons.

  • If you’re super busy, it’s only 30 minutes.
  • If you hate cardio with a burning passion, it’s only 30 minutes.
  • If you’re injury-prone, it’s easy on the body. (I have really bad knees, but I didn’t experience any pain during or after these workouts.)
  • If you’re competitive, you can use each workout to try to beat your previous step counts (or even eyeball other people’s machines and try to outdo theirs).
  • The Rise Nation workouts also motivated me to eat more nutritious foods before class, so I'd feel well enough to perform during them, AND after class, so I wouldn't waste all of the hard work on empty calories.

Instagram: @kingjames via @KingJames

Even though I only took five classes, I feel like I legitimately made progress in my conditioning. And the progress isn't just physical, it's mental.

Even though I only took five classes, I feel like I legitimately made progress in my conditioning. And the progress isn't just physical, it's mental.

My mentality in my personal workouts has changed significantly because now I'm aware of how much further I can push myself. Sure, it's difficult to match Rise Nation's levels of intensity when I'm solo, on a lowly stair stepper, in a crusty gym, without flashing lights or an inspiring instructor, but I can still plug in my earbuds, play some bangers, and go harder, reminding myself of the extremely intense classes I survived when I need confidence or motivation.

BuzzFeedBlue

Can You Pass This Extremely Basic Football Quiz?

by Angelo Spagnolo

American football, that is.

Clive Brunskill / Getty Images

Suspicious betting patterns have raised concerns that three matches in this year’s Wimbledon tournament may have been fixed, according to the Tennis Integrity Unit, the independent body charged with investigating corruption in the sport.

The watchdog group did not specify which matches had aroused concerns, but said that two took place during qualifying rounds, the earliest phase of the tournament, and that the third was during the main part of the competition.

Last year a BuzzFeed News and BBC investigation revealed evidence that the sport’s authorities had turned a blind eye to widespread match-fixing. Since then, the integrity unit has more than doubled its personnel. Tennis is also undergoing an independent review into "integrity in the sport."

The news about Wimbledon was released in the integrity unit’s quarterly briefing report, which mentioned a total of 53 matches, including one at the French Open. The report cautions that “an alert on its own is not evidence of match-fixing,” but may prompt further inquiry.

Still, the three alerts from tennis’s most famous tournament represent a striking development. Most alerts, which are passed along to the sport’s authorities by major betting operators, involve play at lower levels of competition. Alerts about matches in tennis’s top tiers are rare; this is only the second time one has been announced about Wimbledon.

The integrity unit received 83 alerts during the first half of 2017, down from 121 during the same period in 2016.

28 WTF Pictures From Vladimir Putin's Crazy Life

by Gabriel H. Sanchez

Vladimir Putin, president of Russia and former KGB spy, has led quite the life. Since taking office in 1999, his knack for controlling his public image in the media has been centered around his tough-guy persona, something the Kremlin has worked hard to craft through press events and photo ops.

But as these pictures show, not every photo op hits the mark.

Putin dances with a classmate during a party in St. Petersburg in 1970.

Laski Diffusion / Getty Images

Putin wrestles with a classmate at the St. Petersburg Sportschool in 1971.

Getty Images

Putin feeds milk to a baby moose on June 5, 2010, during a visit to the Moose Island National Park in Moscow.

Afp / AFP / Getty Images

Putin pilots a motorized hang glider as he takes part in a scientific experiment aimed at preserving a rare species of cranes on Sept. 5, 2012.

AFP / Getty Images

Putin falls while taking part in a gala hockey match with the teams of the Night League at the Shayba Olympic Arena in Sochi, Russia, on May 10, 2017.

Pool New / Reuters

Putin feeds a horse during a vacation near the town of Kyzyl in Southern Siberia on Aug. 3, 2009.

Afp / AFP / Getty Images

Putin aims an arbalest at a whale — in order to take a piece of its skin for analysis — in Olga Bay on Aug. 25, 2010.

Alexey Druzhinin / AFP / Getty Images

Putin tags a Siberian tiger while visiting the Barabash tiger reserve in Eastern Siberia on Nov. 23, 2010.

Barcroft / Getty Images

Putin plays with his dogs Yume (left) and Buffy (right) at his Novo-Ogaryovo residence on April 10, 2013. Buffy is a Bulgarian shepherd dog presented to Putin by Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, while former Japanese prime minister Yoshihiko Noda offered Yume as a gift to Putin during a G20 summit in Mexico.

AFP / Getty Images

Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel react as an activist from the Ukrainian womens' rights group Femen protests during a visit to an industrial exhibition in Hannover, Germany, on April 8, 2013.

Sasha Mordovets / Getty Images

Putin rides in a submersible in the Baltic Sea near Gotland island on July 15, 2013. The vessel dived to the sea floor to explore a sunken ship in the Gulf of Finland.

Sasha Mordovets / Getty Images

Putin visits the cave of Arctic Pilots Glacier on the remote Franz Josef Land archipelago in Russia on March 29, 2017.

Sputnik Photo Agency / Reuters

Putin shakes hands with a walrus during a visit to an oceanarium on Russky Island on Sept. 1, 2013.

Afp / AFP / Getty Images

Putin and Australia's then-prime minister Tony Abbott meet a pair of koalas before the start of a G20 summit meeting in Brisbane, Australia, on Nov. 15, 2014.

Getty Images

Putin practices with the Russian national judo team during a training session in Sochi on Jan. 8, 2016. Putin is passionate about judo, and has a black belt in it.

Sputnik Photo Agency / Reuters

Putin demonstrates a hold to a young judo wrestler in the Siberian city of Kemerovo on Jan. 24, 2012.

Str / AFP / Getty Images

Putin arm wrestles a woman during mid-summer festivities in Kazan in the Tatarstan region of Russia on June 25, 2000.

Laski Diffusion / Getty Images

Putin tries his hand at pottery while visiting the ethnographic village of Verkhniye Mondrogi in Karelia, Russia, on Aug. 21 2001.

Svf2 / Getty Images

Putin and scientists measure a polar bear on the island of Alexandra Land in the Franz Josef Land archipelago on April 29, 2010.

AFP / Getty Images

Putin and then-US president George W. Bush wear Vietnamese áo dài silk tunics as they take part in an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Nov. 19, 2006.

Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images

Holding a dentist's drill, Putin shares a joke with the governor of Belgorod region, Yevgeny Savchenko, during a visit to a hospital in the village of Golovchino on Nov. 15, 2011.

AFP / Getty Images

Putin takes aim with a replica of a Kalashnikov assault rifle in Moscow on April 26, 2012.

Alexey Druzhinin / AFP / Getty Images

Putin holds a sword during a meeting with the crew of the film Viking on Dec. 30, 2016, in Moscow. Konstantin Ernst, the film's producer and director general of Channel One Russia, looks on.

Sputnik Photo Agency / Reuters

Putin visits the residence of Father Frost, the Russian equivalent of Santa Claus, in the Russian town of Veliky Ustyug on Jan. 7, 2008.

Misha Japaridze / AFP / Getty Images

Putin attempts to avoid fizzing champagne at the Formula One Russian Grand Prix on Oct. 11, 2015, in Sochi.

Sasha Mordovets / Getty Images

Putin works out at the Bocharov Ruchei state residence in Sochi on Aug. 30, 2015.

Mikhail Klimentyev / AFP / Getty Images

Putin attends a Night League ice hockey match on Oct. 7, 2015, in Sochi. He spent his 63rd birthday playing hockey with Night League stars.

Sasha Mordovets / Getty Images

Putin winks to the camera prior to a working session with leaders of the G8 countries and five developing nations on June 8, 2007, in Heiligendamm, Germany.

Andreas Rentz / Getty Images


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