At age 37, Ethiopian distance running legend Haile Gebrselassie (Geb to the running world), who won two Olympic and four world titles. Geb's 27 world records—set between 1994 and 2009 and ranging from the 2K to the marathon—changed distance running into a sport that requires a breakneck pace and a dead sprint finish for any athlete hoping to sniff a record. On Sunday, after knee tendinitis forced him to withdraw near mile 16 of his first New York City Marathon (won in 2:08:14 by another Ethiopian, Gebre Gebremariam), the man known as the Emperor (above) unexpectedly announced his retirement. "I never think about retiring, but for the first time, this is the day," he said. "Let me stop and do other work after this," he added, likely referring to his businesses in Ethiopia, which employ more than 600 people, and the schools he founded.
When she fell off her mount at an equestrian tournament in upstate New York, Georgina Bloomberg, the 27-year-old daughter of New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. Last Friday the billionaire heiress and aspiring 2012 Olympic rider was competing in the Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament when her saddle came loose during a jump, throwing her from her horse, Radio City. Bloomberg was temporarily knocked unconscious in the incident and later diagnosed with a concussion and fractured spine. For Bloomberg, who runs a charity that provides underprivileged riders with recycled gear, the mishap wasn't her first. She has broken her collarbone and back in past spills.
Into the U.S. House of Representatives in the Nov. 2 midterm elections, New Jersey Republican Jon Runyan, who played 14 seasons at tackle for the NFL's Oilers, Titans, Eagles and Chargers. A conservative who campaigned against big government and federal stimulus spending, Runyan carried 50% of the state's Third District, edging out incumbent Democrat John Adler. Runyan's football background, said one of his advisers, Chris Russell, was a "two-edged sword." "His [fame] helped; on the flip side, he had to overcome the jock label." Several candidates with sports ties proved less successful: Former NBA centers Chris Dudley and Shawn Bradley lost in Oregon gubernatorial and Utah legislative races, respectively; and Linda McMahon, the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, fell to Richard Blumenthal in the Connecticut senate race.
Due to a history of concussions, New England Revolution forward Taylor Twellman (above), who was one of MLS's top two scorers four times between 2002 and '07, including '05, when he won MVP honors. A five-time All-Star who took the Revolution to four finals (all losses), the 30-year-old had a penchant for flying headers—which carried consequences. He suffered his seventh and final concussion during such a play in August '08, when L.A. Galaxy goalie Steve Cronin unintentionally punched him in the head. Twellman missed all but 10 games over the next 2½ seasons with related head and neck issues, logging just enough time to notch career goals 100 and 101 (making him the fastest, in 174 games, to hit the century mark in MLS). On Nov. 3, Twellman finally called it quits, saying that the tipping point came when he attended Game 5 of the 2010 NBA Finals and forgot where he was.
At age 86 of congestive heart failure, Clyde King, who spent six decades in major league baseball, most prominently as an adviser to late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. In his first big league appearance, as a Dodgers reliever, King served up a grand slam to Giants slugger Mel Ott; he then calmed down to go 32--25 over seven seasons with Brooklyn and then Cincinnati. He later bounced between gigs, including manager of the Giants and the Braves, before landing for good with the Yankees. He led that team for 62 games to end the 1982 season, then settled upstairs, where as G.M. he recruited Rickey Henderson and Phil Niekro. King's most famous move may have been playing Steinbrenner's hatchet man in the abrupt dismissal of manager Yogi Berra early in '85, but otherwise he was revered for his diplomacy, counting Tony La Russa and Dusty Baker among his protégés.