Andy Soule, a U.S. Army veteran, lost both his legs to a bomb in Afghanistan in 2005. Four years ago, he won America's first medal — Olympic or Paralympic — in the biathlon event.
Credit David Gilkey / NPR
Dan Cnossen led a Navy SEAL team before losing his legs to a bomb in Afghanistan in 2009. After his injury, he began running on prosthetic blades, then tried skiing — and is now on his way to Sochi.
Credit David Gilkey / NPR
Navy SEALs' training for extreme circumstances give them an advantage in biathlon. For example, Dan Cnossen can ski his fastest right up to the target range and then quickly calm down enough to shoot with precision.
Biathlon may be the toughest endurance sport in the Olympics. After grueling circuits of Nordic skiing, athletes have to calm their breathing, steady their tired legs and shoot tiny targets with a rifle.
Andy Soule does it all with only his arms.
"It's a steep learning curve, learning to sit-ski," says Soule, a member of the U.S. Paralympic team. He's strapped into a seat attached to two fixed cross-country skis. He speeds along the course by hauling himself with ski poles.
There's a lot of talk about virtual currencies lately — how they work, economic implications and whether they're safe. But now a Native American tribe is using a bitcoin-like currency to help strengthen its sovereignty.
In South Dakota, the Oglala Lakota Nation has become the first Native American tribe to launch its own form of virtual currency. Payu Harris, its creator, calls it mazacoin.
Retired baseball pitcher Tommy John, left, and Dr. Frank Jobe at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in July 2013. <a href="http://baseballhall.org/news/press-releases/baseball-hall-fame-recognize-feature-film-%2742%27-alongside-dr-frank-jobe-during">Jobe was honored</a> for the pioneering surgery he first performed on John's elbow in 1974.
His name is attached to a surgery that has saved many major league pitchers' careers.
But Tommy John knows that's an honor he came by thanks in large part to good luck.
"Fortunately for me, I was at the right place at the right time," he told All Things Considered host Melissa Block on Friday. "I happened to have one of the greatest surgeons of all time being the surgeon for the Los Angeles Dodgers."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., faces reporters at the Capitol after bipartisan Senate opposition blocked swift confirmation for President Barack Obama's choice to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights division on March 5.
The Senate majority leader is under steady attack from Republicans for calling the Koch brothers, billionaire funders of conservative causes, "un-American." His Senate colleagues across the aisle criticize his stewardship in unusually sharp terms.
Recognizing a rich vein, New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie took on the Nevada Democrat Thursday during his address to the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Secretary of State John Kerry talks Thursday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during a meeting to discuss the Ukraine crisis in Rome. Diplomacy is among the several approaches the U.S. is taking to resolve the crisis.