Our Lives Through Sport

A Look at How the Games Played by Washington Residents Help Define Our Region
Part I   |   Part II   |   Part III   |   Part IV   |   Part V   |   Part VI

Keeper of the flame

Curtis Rawlings has spent nearly a three decades in Washington boxing as a timekeeper. But he's seen dedication to the gym erode in recent years. “These young people,” Rawlings says, ”They listen, but they don't hear.”

Part II: a young boy's dream

Gliding into place

Eight-year-old Jean Paul Dias finds purpose and passion in a seemingly unlikely inner-city sport — speed-skating. He is already so highly skilled that he is competing with children who are nearly twice his age.

Part III: competitive to the extreme

‘Just’ wiffle ball? Not a chance

How seriously does Tony Ragano take the games played at Fort Reno Park in Northwest Washington? Here's how he somberly describes one recent game against a group of college aged kids: “It was a war, man. It was a war."

Part IV: 'A Wonky Sport'

A man, a dream, a most unusual court

Court tennis is a 16th-century style of the sport, set inside the replica of a medieval courtyard with soaring walls and players clad in white, hitting handmade balls off the sides of the structure with strange wooden rackets.

Part V: Raising the Bar

A team’s transformation

For the first eight years of its existence, the Baltimore Washington Eagles Australian Rules Football Club had its sights set on postgame activities. Until it discovered how much more it liked to win the actual games themselves.

Part VI: an enduring tradition

The endless game

In a city of perpetual change, these guys have been playing touch football every Sunday since the Johnson administration. "It's almost like catching lightning in a bottle," says Steve Okun, who started playing 11 years ago.

Part VII: Boxer moms

Blood sisters

Two Montgomery County women -- Barbara Bartolomeo and Marlow Prado-Blankenship -- forge a friendship through boxing, and find themselves admiring traits in the other.

About This Series

The games played by Washington residents help define our region. They shape our history, our values, our lives. This series will examine sports activities in Greater D.C. and how they provide a window into who we are.

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