Calling all sports fans

Whether you love to swim, run, ski, shoot hoops or play cricket, these talks will make you wish you had a foam finger to hoist in the air.

  1. 14:53
    David Epstein Are athletes really getting faster, better, stronger?

    When you look at sporting achievements over the last decades, it seems like humans have gotten faster, better and stronger in nearly every way. Yet as David Epstein points out in this delightfully counter-intuitive talk, we might want to lay off the self-congratulation. Many factors are at play in shattering athletic records, and the development of our natural talents is just one of them.

  2. 15:35
    Diana Nyad Never, ever give up

    In the pitch-black night, stung by jellyfish, choking on salt water, singing to herself, hallucinating … Diana Nyad just kept on swimming. And that's how she finally achieved her lifetime goal as an athlete: an extreme 100-mile swim from Cuba to Florida — at age 64. Hear her story.

  3. 12:08
    Rajiv Maheswaran The math behind basketball's wildest moves

    Basketball is a fast-moving game of improvisation, contact and, ahem, spatio-temporal pattern recognition. Rajiv Maheswaran and his colleagues are analyzing the movements behind the key plays of the game, to help coaches and players combine intuition with new data. Bonus: What they're learning could help us understand how humans move everywhere.

  4. 16:05
    Billie Jean King This tennis icon paved the way for women in sports

    Tennis legend Billie Jean King isn't just a pioneer of women's tennis — she's a pioneer for women getting paid. In this freewheeling conversation, she talks about identity, the role of sports in social justice and the famous Battle of the Sexes match against Bobby Riggs.

  5. 22:25
    Aimee Mullins Changing my legs - and my mindset

    In this TED archive video from 1998, paralympic sprinter Aimee Mullins talks about her record-setting career as a runner, and about the amazing carbon-fiber prosthetic legs (then a prototype) that helped her cross the finish line.

  6. 15:52
    Christopher McDougall Are we born to run?

    Christopher McDougall explores the mysteries of the human desire to run. How did running help early humans survive — and what urges from our ancient ancestors spur us on today? McDougall tells the story of the marathoner with a heart of gold, the unlikely ultra-runner, and the hidden tribe in Mexico that runs to live.

  7. 16:59
    Harsha Bhogle The rise of cricket, the rise of India

    The tale of a major global cultural phenomenon: Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle describes the spectacular arrival of fast-paced 20-20 cricket as it parallels the rise of modern India. He traces the game from its sleepy English roots to the current world of celebrity owners and million-dollar player contracts.

  8. 10:16
    May El-Khalil Making peace is a marathon

    In Lebanon there is one gunshot a year that isn’t part of a scene of routine violence: The opening sound of the Beirut International Marathon. In a moving talk, marathon founder May El-Khalil explains why she believed a 26.2-mile running event could bring together a country divided for decades by politics and religion, even if for one day a year.

  9. 18:57
    Janine Shepherd A broken body isn't a broken person

    Cross-country skier Janine Shepherd hoped for an Olympic medal — until she was hit by a truck during a training bike ride. She shares a powerful story about the human potential for recovery. Her message: you are not your body, and giving up old dreams can allow new ones to soar.

  10. 17:36
    John Wooden The difference between winning and succeeding

    With profound simplicity, Coach John Wooden redefines success and urges us all to pursue the best in ourselves. In this inspiring talk he shares the advice he gave his players at UCLA, quotes poetry and remembers his father's wisdom.

  11. 9:45
    Lewis Pugh My mind-shifting Everest swim

    After he swam the North Pole, Lewis Pugh vowed never to take another cold-water dip. Then he heard of Lake Imja in the Himalayas, created by recent glacial melting, and Lake Pumori, a body of water at an altitude of 5300 m on Everest — and so began a journey that would teach him a radical new way to approach swimming and think about climate change.

  12. 9:11
    Chris Kluwe How augmented reality will change sports ... and build empathy

    Chris Kluwe wants to look into the future of sports and think about how technology will help not just players and coaches, but fans. Here the former NFL punter envisions a future in which augmented reality will help people experience sports as if they are directly on the field — and maybe even help them see others in a new light, too.

  13. 15:46
    Shimon Schocken What a bike ride can teach you

    Computer science professor Shimon Schocken is also an avid mountain biker. To share the life lessons he learned while riding, he began an outdoor program with Israel's juvenile inmates and was touched by both their intense difficulties and profound successes. Photographs by Raphael Rabinovitz.