Some say softball was taken off the Olympic docket because the United States was too dominant in the sport. So, could Japan's shocking upset of the Americans help bring back softball?
Aug 21 4:00 PM ET | By Elizabeth Merrill
Ben Askren was a rock star at Missouri, known for his funky style and big blond fro. But what impact would the young wrestler have in Beijing? We followed him during his Olympic experience.
Aug 20 2:59 PM ET | By Elizabeth Merrill
Nearly one year ago, Hope Solo was alone, shunned from her U.S. soccer teammates after venting about being benched in the World Cup. She has since rejoined her team, with a new coach and a new outlook as the women move forward in Beijing.
Aug 18 10:54 PM ET | By Elizabeth Merrill
This past year has been one of the most difficult for siblings Erinn and Keeth Smart. But Erinn's success in Beijing let them both know that everything would be OK.
Aug 17 10:54 AM ET | By Elizabeth Merrill
They're known as the big three -- U.S. shot-putters Christian Cantwell, Adam Nelson and Reese Hoffa -- but Friday they played small, as Cantwell settled for silver.
Aug 15 3:01 PM ET | By Elizabeth Merrill
Just days after winning a surprising bronze team medal, Jonathan Horton's and Sasha Artemev's inexperience showed against the powerful Chinese in the all-around.
Aug 14 7:48 AM ET | By Elizabeth Merrill
The U.S. softball team is picking up right where it left off in Athens -- dominating the competition on a path to gold. But this time, there is no light at the end of the medal tunnel. Players are savoring every moment knowing the sport will not be in the Olympics in 2012.
Aug 13 7:48 PM ET | By Elizabeth Merrill
The U.S. men's gymnastics team wasn't supposed to make it to the finals without the Hamm brothers, but a handful of clutch performances from this group of unknowns led to an improbable podium spot.
Aug 12 6:07 PM ET | By Elizabeth Merrill
Many of the world's top tennis stars play in the Olympics, but the sport doesn't garner much attention. Could a Nadal-Federer gold-medal match change all that?
Aug 11 12:19 PM ET | By Elizabeth Merrill
When Calvin Thorbourne heard the news of the stabbing attacks at the Beijing Olympics, he couldn't help but think of his own experience at the 1996 Centennial Park bombing in Atlanta.
Aug 11 3:26 AM ET | By Elizabeth Merrill
Those "weak links" who were supposed to potentially derail Michael Phelps' run at history? Yeah, those guys. They just set a world record and made the decision heading into Monday's 4x100 relay final that much more difficult.
Aug 10 4:08 PM ET | By Elizabeth Merrill
Lopez Lomong and his U.S. teammates say he was chosen to be the flag bearer simply because his journey to the Games was an inspiration. That's true, but the honor says a lot more.
Aug 8 6:58 PM ET | By Elizabeth Merrill
A year after Mike Coolbaugh was killed by a line drive while coaching first base in a minor league game, his widow does everything she can to keep his memory, and spirit, alive for the sake of their children, writes ESPN.com's Elizabeth Merrill.
Jul 23 12:25 PM ET | By Elizabeth Merrill
The unique nature of the College World Series -- a 10-day championship in middle America -- attracts a singularly unique group of fans. The residents of Little Dingerville come for the baseball and stay for the friendships -- and the gator.
Jun 22 | By Elizabeth Merrill
Four years ago, Team USA softball coach Mike Candrea's wife died after she suffered an aneurysm in a Wisconsin airport. The team returned to Stevens Point on Tuesday night, and as ESPN.com's Elizabeth Merrill writes, Candrea is moving on with his life.
Jun 19 1:37 PM ET | By Elizabeth Merrill
Fresno State, the first regional 4-seed to make the College World Series, continued its magical run with a rout of Rice on Sunday. Big bats -- and bigger hearts -- are the keys to the Bulldogs' success, writes Liz Merrill.
Jun 15 | By Elizabeth Merrill
Jun 14 | By Elizabeth Merrill
Florida State made a comeback in the eighth inning. But Stanford made a statement in the ninth. The Cardinal scored 11 runs to send the 4-seed Seminoles to the losers' bracket.
Jun 14 | By Elizabeth Merrill
John Challis is pale, weak and sick from liver cancer, but the former athlete recently graduated from high school and is starting a foundation that will arrange sports trips for sick children to meet their favorite athletes.
Jun 16 4:05 PM ET | By Elizabeth Merrill
Fresno State isn't college baseball royalty. But the Bulldogs are anything but afraid. The hardest part of their trip to Omaha -- the flight from Fresno -- is already over, writes Elizabeth Merrill.
Jun 13 | By Elizabeth Merrill
Sure, the Scripps National Spelling Bee used to define Samir Patel's life. But no more. And he's fine with that. Just how fine? ESPN.com's Elizabeth Merrill explains.
May 28 12:17 PM ET | By Elizabeth Merrill
Olympic hopeful Sheila Taormina's life has taken a dramatic turn 12 years since winning gold in the 800-meter free relay in Atlanta and six years since a stalking incident consumed her life, writes ESPN.com's Elizabeth Merrill.
May 17 2:22 PM ET | By Elizabeth Merrill
John Challis wanted to go away to college and lift weights until he was big and strong. Liver cancer changed all that. But as ESPN.com's Elizabeth Merrill writes, Challis remains an inspiration to his friends and teammates at Freedom High in Pennsylvania.
Aug 24 6:19 PM ET | By Elizabeth Merrill
Xavier Omon falls to his knees. Soon, he'll cry. The man on the other end of the phone is a Buffalo Bills executive. Omon has just been drafted. What happens next? Elizabeth Merrill takes you inside the life of an NFL rookie in his first week on the job.
May 9 7:41 PM ET | By Elizabeth Merrill