In 2007, Scott Rigsby made history when he became the first double amputee to complete what is considered the most difficult endurance event: The Ironman Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii.

This year, he was part of a darker point of history: He ran the Boston Marathon when at least 13 people lost limbs as a result of the bombings.

But if anyone is uniquely qualified to help those amputees, it's Rigsby.

"I'm like the bookmobile," Rigsby said, likening his knowledge to a book service from his childhood in rural Georgia. "It wasn't easy back then to find new books to read, but we had this great resource available to us called the bookmobile that would literally drive to our home with books to check out. That is the service what I want people to know is available to them. Just let me know."

He says he knows it may take time for victims to be ready to start competing in races again. After all, it took him 19 years.

In 1987, Rigsby was thrown out of the back of a pickup truck on a southern Georgia highway, and then dragged more 300 feet while pinned underneath a trailer. Total time: Nine seconds.

What followed was 26 surgeries in 12-year span. Both of his legs were amputated. "I was ready to give up," Rigsby said.

A prayer from his mother on Christmas Eve in 2005 for "God to open up a door for him to run through" changed his mind, he said. As a double amputee, Rigsby would be the first to admit that the word run was far from his normal vocabulary, let alone an actual physical activity. But two months later he found himself engrossed in an article about Sarah Reinertsen, the first female leg amputee to complete the Kona Ironman and become a world champion for her classification.

Suddenly there was purpose back in his life.

He wanted to do the Ironman: 2.4 miles of ocean swim, 112 miles of bicycling and the 26.2 miles of a marathon.


The Boston Marathon was just one of many that Rigsby had competed in since his Ironman debut. He was not having his best race this year. When the first explosion went off, Rigsby was battling dehydration, kidney issues and some discomfort with the brand new legs. He was one of the first runners held short at the 25.7 mark on Commonwealth Avenue and confused when told the race would not finish.

As his condition worsened, an alert officer was able to make contact with medical to transport him to Tufts Medical for treatment. When Rigsby realized what was happening around him as the bombing victims came through, he knew he needed to help.

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Eskil Ronningsbakken isn't your average daredevil, if there is such a thing.

The 33-year-old Norwegian has performed death-defying feats all over the world. He's walked a tightrope between two air balloons, balanced on a trapeze below a hot air balloon and done a handstand on a pile of chairs that were more than 3,000 feet above ground.

What makes Ronningsbakken unique is that he doesn't see himself as a stuntman. He thinks of what he does as expressions of art.

"A stunt is something you see in movies, often done with mattresses safety lines or nets," Ronningsbakken told the Daily Mail in 2009. "What I do, is draw a picture with vulnerable human beings and their bodies, in the surrounding of mother earth. That's the balance between life and death, and that is where life is."

Ronningsbakken grew up in the Norwegian countryside, where he loved to climb trees and mountains. While his mother was apprehensive at first, Ronningsbakken's father was quite supportive.

"My mother would be screaming at me to come down all the time," Ronningsbakken told the Daily Mail, "but my dad would be saying 'Wait a minute, let me take a picture first!' I know it sounds crazy, but you learn a lot from that kind of play. You learn to respect the height and danger."

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A study released by the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) should give Geno Smith, Manti Te'o and Tyrann Matthieu some hope for their NFL future.

Research conducted by several WPI students found that there's more value in second-round draft picks than in first-rounders. Players selected in the second round, the study finds, had 70 percent of the production of first-round picks at 40 percent of the salary.

Craig Wills, who heads the WPI's Institute of Computer Science, thought of the idea of rating draft picks after the 2012 draft.

“I was driving home thinking about all the pundits that come forward with their grades," Wills told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. "'This team got an A, this team got a C,' and I'm thinking, ‘They don't know. The only way you can evaluate how well a team has done is to look at it historically, after the fact.' So that was the impetus for the idea of how can we look at how well teams have done and look at it relative to how much cost they’ve expended to acquire these players."

For their study, which examined players drafted between 2000 and 2012, researchers used two metrics to measure a player's success. The first was Approximate Value, a statistic developed by Doug Drinen, founder of, which assigns value to a player's performance during a season. Under this measurement, Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris and Russell Wilson were the highest rated players from last year's draft.

The other metric was "Appearance Value," a combination of games played, games started and "recognition" (Pro Bowl selections or other honors). Griffin III, Morris and Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh rated highly in this category.

The researchers found the Pittsburgh Steelers to be the most cost-effective team since 2000. They're followed by the Indianapolis Colts and the Green Bay Packers. The St. Louis Rams and the Cleveland Browns were at the bottom of the league.

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NFL Draft

For many, it might seem like Dion Jordan's rise to the third overall pick of the 2013 NFL draft was destiny. After all, he is an uber-athletic, 6-foot-6 defensive end who blew scouts away at the combine.

But Jordan will be the first to say that his presence on stage in New York was anything but certain.

The day after a game during his senior year of high school, Jordan was at a friend's house when one of the cars at the house ran out of gas. Jordan's friends tried to siphon gas from another car using a vacuum. They took a break and left the vacuum on, which Jordan thought was a bad idea.

When Jordan turned the vacuum off, it let off a spark which turned into a flash fire and engulfed Jordan's arms and legs. He remembers seeing his skin disintegrating on his arms.

Jordan was airlifted to a hospital, where it was determined that he had suffered second- and third-degree burns on 40 percent of his body. Jordan, who had never been to a hospital before, was unsure of what was going to happen to him. For the next three weeks Jordan went through skin grafts and treatment to monitor infection.

Luckily for Jordan, the injury did not rob him of his burgeoning athleticism. In fact, the burns gave Jordan new perspective on his life and his sport.

"I started thinking how fortunate I was," he told the The Arizona Republic two years ago. "I felt blessed. Even after everything that happened, I thought, 'I'm really lucky.'"

Jordan signed with Oregon a few months after his injury, and the rest is history.

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ThePostGame recently caught up with Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith, who had just finished testing out some maps in "Call of Duty, Black Ops II." Smith bested teammate Ray Rice, three games to one.


ThePostGame: Are you a big video game player? Do you have any favorites?
TORREY SMITH: I'm a huge video game player. I think No. 1 for me would be Call of Duty, No. 2 would be FIFA and Madden.

TPG: Who's your stiffest competition in the locker room in terms of Call of Duty?
SMITH: We have a lot of great guys. Bryan Hall is pretty good, Arthur Jones … We have some great competition, probably about 20 guys play.

TPG: I understand the Ravens now use iPad for their playbooks. Does anyone use those iPads as video game consoles? If Coach Harbaugh caught you doing that, what would be the punishment?
SMITH: [laughs] They make sure you can't have video games on there. It’s strictly the playbook.
I think it's a better way, rather than carrying around a big old book. You can go in and go directly to stuff the same as you would with a book.

TPG: Did the old guys on the team have a problem with the iPad?
SMITH: Ray [Lewis] had it. He was the mufasa of the group [laughs], so he did fine with it. If he can handle it at that age, we definitely know how to handle it.

TPG: What does your offseason training regimen look like?
SMITH: This offseason is a little different. [The season went] longer, so I actually had to rest longer. I remember when I first tried to come back, my body just felt horrible. They were like, 'You need to rest more!' Because I'm not used to taking too much time off.

I think taking rest was the best thing for me. And I've been back and flying around. Feeling healthy and fast and strong, so I'm looking forward to starting this workout cycle.

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If you think the Heat are complacent after bulldozing through the second half of the NBA season and entering the playoffs as almost the unanimous choice to win the title, think again.

After a recent practice, reigning MVP LeBron James challenged three-point specialists Mario Chalmers and Ray Allen to a shooting contest. Maybe the idea came to James after the Heat only shot 7-for-23 from beyond the arc against the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of their first-round series. Or maybe it was because James is one of the most competitive athletes on earth.

Either way the contest provided great theater, as well as a reminder that the competitive fire is alive and well in Miami.

Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press described the scene after practice:

"[James] would yell at his shots, pleading with them to "Get up" or "Sit down." When Chalmers or Allen would miss, James would shout "That's what I needed." And when he took his final attempt, the one that clinched the game, James knew he'd won when the ball was still in flight, saying "Game time" just before the shot went down."

The Miami Herald's Joe Goodman captured the end of the contest, which included Allen's and Chalmers' punishment: 20 push-ups.

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There's a few rules that George Hood insists on following while planking:

* He needs to have four points of contact -- both arms and both feet -- at all times;

* There could not ever be any "daylight" from the wrist to elbow. Although he could shift his weight, Hood could not lift his arms from the ground at any point;

* His hands could not touch one another

* His legs had to be straight; and

* His back had to be straight, with no arch or dip.

Sound tough? The 55-year-old former Marine officer perched on a platform for 3 hours, 7 minutes and 15 seconds to break his own planking world record by more than an hour -- and raise $68,000 for charity last weekend.

"It was the longest plank I've ever done in my life," he said.

Hood began planking years ago, leading up to his first Guinness World Record in that event in 2011, because he said it is a standard for the fitness industry. He also also set records in jump roping and spin cycling.

"You kind of gamble on what records are going to be notable," he said. "Everyone has tried the plank."

After 16 1/2 month with his record of one hour, 20 minutes and 5.01 seconds solidly in the books in the planking, he was happy to leave his record as was. But then organizers for the Newport HeartChase asked him to help them honor last year’s organizer, Bob Clements, who passed away from a heart attack he suffered while running. The way to do it? Setting a new planking record.

"I thought to myself well I could make this a real home run if I go out and train and I could dedicate myself to breaking another record (in Clements' memory)," Hood said. "They'll never forget this guy now. They will always associate it with a Guinness World Record set on his behalf and it doesn’t get any better than that."

To train, he worked out up to four hours a day and planked for 12 hours a week leading up to the event. During his workouts, he also incorporated push-ups, more arm strength work and sit-ups. Once on the platform to perform the plank, he relied on his team who cheered him on and encouraged him through the strength test. He also listens to music, and allows a movie-like reel of images go through his mind of his dog, the ocean and other pleasant images.

Last weekend, he pushed himself past the three-hour mark for a new record, only stopping once his leg began to spasm.

It was enough to set a record that Guinness officials told him they believe won’t be broken. The $68,000 the event raised is also a record for the group's efforts for the AHA. Through all of his previous record-setting in the past, Hood says he has raised more than $100,000. All of his Guinness World Records, he said, are done to raise money for a good cause.

"I can't save the world," he said. "But I can do it one life at a time and I'm OK with that."

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It's not just NFL players who have to stay in shape during the offseason. Their coaches are also looking for ways to stay active.

Most NFL coaches, however, probably will not go to as extreme lengths to stay fit as John Harbaugh. Fresh off a victory over his brother's San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl, Harbaugh recently completed a Tough Mudder race in Gerrardstown, W.Va.

If you're unfamiliar with these military-inspired obstacle course events, they are normally 10-to-12 miles and include everything from carrying logs to crawling through mud. Invented by a Harvard Business School student, these races have become extremely popular in the past few years.

The course Harbaugh completed was designed by British Special Forces. The 50-year-old Harbaugh, who is know for his intense workouts, wore a shirt that said "Sack Lunch" on the front and "I will" on the back.

The Baltimore Sun reported that Harbaugh did the event with members of the Ravens front office, including senior vice president of public and community relations Kevin Byrne.

Harbaugh looks winded in the video below, but jumping into piles of mud and crawling under barbed wire will do that to you.

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So, Jim Harbaugh, how are you going to top that?

Related Story: How One Man Planked For Three Hours

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ThePostGame recently caught up with Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who had just finished testing out some maps in "Call of Duty, Black Ops II." Rice was topped by teammate Torrey Smith, three games to one.


ThePostGame: Are you a big video game player? Do you have any favorites?
RAY RICE: My favorite video game is Call of Duty. I have some other favorites, but today is about Call of Duty and that's definitely my No. 1 right now.

TPG: How often do you get to play video games during the season?
RICE: During the season there's always time for video games. Obviously we have to wait until after our work day is done, but I usually get a good three to four days of my video game time.

TPG: Who's your stiffest competition in the locker room in terms of Call of Duty?
RICE: My stiffest competition in the locker room is my main man, Torrey Smith. He’s definitely pretty good.

TPG: I understand the Ravens now use iPads for their playbooks. Does anyone use those iPads as video game consoles? If Coach Harbaugh caught you doing that, what would be the punishment?
RICE: Nah, they banned all video games off the tablets. It’s strictly work with our playbooks.

TPG: What does your offseason training regimen look like?
RICE: It's pretty intense. I obviously lift weights, I do a lot of stretching, a lot of deep tissue massage, take care of the body.

But what I do is I break down and build up. I actually lost 10 pounds after the season, and then I build back up for the season.

TPG: You’ve been the most durable running back in the NFL over the last five seasons. What do you attribute that to?
RICE: It's a testament to what I put in my body and how I take care of it. I had a great leader who just retired this year in Ray Lewis, who taught me how to take care of my body, on and off the field. And I’ve just followed his lead.

There's no shocking surprise a guy can come back and play from a triceps tear and play 17 seasons. There's no surprise there that he takes care of his body. Just taking bits and pieces from him and his regiment really has helped me out over the last couple years.

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If Tim Tebow doesn't get his career back on track soon, he could be out of the NFL before you can say "Tebowmania."

After attempting 271 passes while leading the Denver Broncos to the divisional round of the AFC playoffs after the 2011 season, Tebow only threw eight times last year as a member of the New York Jets.

Although it's unclear why the Jets were so reluctant to let Tebow test out his arm, the quarterback's mechanics are usually blamed. Tebow's throwing motion has plagued him since his days at Florida, and some coaches are convinced that he'll never succeed as a professional unless he alters his form.

This offseason Tebow spent time working with instructor Steve Clarkson, and the quarterback guru tried out an unconventional approach on the unconventional signal caller.

Clarkson, who has also worked with Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Leinart, told Newsday that he thought many of Tebow's problems were related to his footwork. Tebow's feet, Clarkson said, were not on the same page as the rest of his body. So to help Tebow develop a more fluid motion, Clarkson introduced elements of Tai Chi into their sessions.

"There was a lot of Tai Chi that we kind of put into his workouts where we really taught him to make his body work as one unit," Clarkson said. "Most people who watch him will say for the most part that he has his moments when he throws in rhythm, he throws quite well. It's when he had to reset himself, that's when he would tend to get off balance and the ball would come off in an unnatural manner."

Clarkson also said "the things that [Tebow] needs to work on are very coachable and actually very minor," so maybe all it will take for Tebow to solidify his motion is a little Tai Chi.

Tebow isn't the first NFLer to incorporate martial arts into his training. In fact, the San Francisco 49ers used to employ a part-time martial arts trainer. George Chung, a black belt who has sometimes been called the "Bruce Lee of the NFL," reportedly helped several players improve their technique.

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