Picked by broadcasters and sportswriters as a second-place finisher in this season's Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings, the Colorado College Tigers impress the media and hockey enthusiasts with their goal-sinking skills and overall hustle. During two back-to-back home games at World Arena, the Tigers battle the Bemidji State University Beavers for bracket positioning and to decide which team gets to ride the zamboni first. The skate-sharpening roster savagely pelts pucks under the tutelage of Head Coach Scott Owens, who has notched 281 wins and seven NCAA tournament appearances into his igloo during a 12-season stint with the Tigers. Fresh from a victory against McGill University, the Tigers will whip past the Beavers in hopes of further glory, roaring as they deftly slap shots into a goal barricaded by a dam and a mountain of freshly caught trout.
In their 85th season, the Harlem Globetrotters have entertained millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a unique brand of athletic precision and showmanship. For their latest 4 Times the Fun North American tour, the Globetrotters will add new 4-point shot spots located 35 feet from the basket, which is 12 feet farther than the official 3-point line but several thousand miles closer than the prime meridian.
The U.S. Women's Open is one of the United States Golf Association's premier majors and a chance to see the world's best female golfers display their driving, chipping, and golf-ball-levitation skills. Spend one of seven days analyzing the rhythmic, controlled shots from expected competitors such as Michelle Wie and the steadily putting Ai Miyazato—both trying to best last year's champion, Paula Creamer. Golf-following youths age 17 and under will be admitted free of charge with every ticketed adult, and the front row of the grandstands is reserved for children to soak in the action without being blocked by tall adults or over-large foam fingers.
At Little Fins Swim School, students of all ages hone their underwater skills through private and group lessons. Classes are separated into six levels, allowing students to master safety basics before learning how to glide effortlessly with butterfly strokes. The pool, which is surrounded by colorful murals of sea creatures, also plays host to birthday parties and the Falfins Swim Team.
Patrolled by mermaids and people walking atop the water in huge, transparent bubbles, the pool inside Donna's Dolphins Swim School seems to be more of a wonderland than an academy. Employees oversee games at birthday parties or outfit guests in a fitted mermaid tail for whimsical dives and gliding choreography. Poolside carousers can even move across the surface of the pool at a walk or trot with the help of W.O.W.—Walk On Water—bubbles.
At the heart of all the fun and games, however, the highly trained staff’s main focus is to ensure that safety always comes before each splash. In swim classes, staffers employ the swim-float-swim approach—a method condoned by the United States Swim School Association—when teaching students in their group and private lessons. The lessons emphasize muscle memory so that children as young as 6 months can absorb techniques such as the starfish float for use in aquatic emergencies. They also assign seasoned mentors to coach special-needs students, making sure every kid gets a chance to embark on aquatic adventures.
Throughout each class, instructors motivate pupils with encouragement and prizes, awarding them a different colored bracelet on a traffic-light system to denote their skill level. Students graduate from red to yellow to green, and finally to blue, which signals that they can demonstrate all four strokes, execute flip turns, and remain safe in potentially dangerous situations by drinking all of the pool water.