Sports Illustrated Kids July/August 2021

The ultimate, kid-friendly, resource on sports including: profiles of the biggest names in sports, fun sports trivia, games, contests, amazing action photography, instructional tips from the pros, interactive sports cards, and hilarious Buzz Beamer cartoons. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED KIDS is a great way to encourage kids to read and has won highest honors from the Association of Educational Publishers and the Parents' Choice Awards.

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6 Issues

in this issue

3 min
no one should host the olympics

WHAT’S YOUR HOT TAKE? Do you have a question for Kip Shoremore? A complaint? A topic he should write about in a future issue? Send your letters to Kip’s Treehouse-based editor at THE OLYMPICS ARE like a hidden-camera prank: It’s great fun—until it happens to you. The people of Japan are not happy that their country is hosting this summer’s Games. A poll released in May revealed that more than 80% of Japan opposed the Olympics proceeding as planned, with 43% wanting them canceled altogether. Who can blame them? Spending tens of billions of dollars to host people from other countries seems like a confusion of priorities as the country struggles to distribute COVID-19 vaccines. Fans hoping for fewer controversial postpandemic games, however, should know that anti-Olympic demonstrations have already taken place…

1 min
tune-up game

YOU PROBABLY think of him as a goofy character from TV who makes you laugh. But did you know he also once played basketball, and even appeared in a movie called Space Jam? (I’m talking, of course, about Charles Barkley.) Well now that classic flick, in which Michael Jordan teams up with the Looney Tunes gang, is getting the reboot treatment in Space Jam: A New Legacy, starring LeBron James. Trapped in the digital world, the King must save his son and himself by leading Bugs Bunny & Co. against a team of ringers. Hey, if he could beat the Warriors… COURTESY OF WARNER BROS. PICTURES (2); WARNER BROS. PICTURES/EVERETT COLLECTION (96 POSTER); GREG NELSON (WILLIAMSON); SUE OGROCKI/AP/SHUTTERSTOCK (OSTERMAN); CATHERINE STEENKESTE/GETTY IMAGES (O’HARA); ERICK W. RASCO (EVANS)…

1 min

July 1 Minnesota Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz is 41 years old. 6 Zion Williamson turns 21. 24 Vegas Golden Knight Robin Lehner celebrates his 30th birthday. 28 USA Softball pitcher Monica Abbott turns 36. August 1 Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner is 32. 4 Washington Spirit and USWNT defender Kelley O’Hara is 33 years old. 12 Greek tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas turns 23. 21 Bucs receiver Mike Evans is 28 years old. TIM FULLER/USA TODAY SPORTS (SVECHNIKOV); JAMIE SCHWABEROW (LONG); JOHN W. MCDONOUGH (KITTLE, BOURNE); ANTHONY HARVEY/GETTY IMAGES (BRANGELINA); JACKSON LEE/GC IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES (LIVELY); CHRISTOPHER POLK/GETTY IMAGES FOR SONY (SPIDER-MAN); KOHJIRO KINNO (MCGREGOR); KEVIN C. COX/GETTY IMAGES (COAN); CARLOS M. SAAVEDRA (PEPPERS);…

1 min
kayla gomez

BIRTHPLACE: EL PASO BIRTH DATE: SEPT. 5, 2003 SPORT: BOXING Kayla Gomez, a 13-time youth national champion, has something most fighters don’t literally have in their corner: her mom. Kayla, 17, is trained by both her mother, Crystal Aceves, who’s also an amateur boxer, and her grandmother Cindy. “[My mom] has helped me through my worst days, my best days,” Kayla says. “Our relationship was great, but now it’s deeper.” Kayla won her latest title in the 112-pound division at the USA Boxing National Championships in April, improving her record to 55–4, and has her sights set on the 2024 Olympics. Are YOU a SportsKid? If you think you have what it takes to be a SportsKid of the Month, have an adult submit your nomination at…

1 min
oliver’s happy twist

DO YOU REMEMBER the first time one of your favorite players got traded? One four-yearold hockey fan in Calgary will never forget. In April, after the Flames sent goalie David Rittich to the Maple Leafs, a video of Rittich’s No. 1 fan, Oliver, went viral. As dad Brady broke the news to him, the youngster asked Why? five times, concluding, “I wanted Rittich to be for the Flames still,” and burying his face in a couch cushion. Among those who saw Oliver’s adorable disappointment was Rittich himself, who gave his fan a FaceTime call. Oliver lost a goalie but gained a pal—not a bad trade after all.…

1 min
life in the slow lane

WITH HIS TEAM’S winning 15–4 in the ninth inning of a May 17 game, Yermín Mercedes of the White Sox crushed a 429-foot home run off Twins catcher Willians Astudillo (above). That led to controversy: By swinging at a 3–0 pitch with a big lead (especially with a position player pitching), Mercedes violated baseball’s silly unwritten rules. More interesting, though, was the fact that the pitch he hit was traveling just 47 mph. Ironically, it might seem “easier” to hit a home run off a blazing fastball. Just stick your bat out and let the ball bounce off it, right? Not so fast. The two biggest factors in determining how far a ball flies are the angle at which the ball is hit and its exit velocity, or how fast the ball…