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Ryan Newman showing 'great improvement' following Daytona 500 crash

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wellesenterprises/iStock(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.) — NASCAR driver Ryan Newman is continuing to improve after he was seriously injured during a fiery crash in the Daytona 500.

Newman’s racing team, Roush Fenway, posted a photo Wednesday of him smiling in the hospital with his two daughters.

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He is showing “great improvement” following the crash on Monday and is “fully alert and walking around” the hospital, according to a statement from Roush Fenway.

Newman has also been in good spirits as he recovers, his team said.

“True to his jovial nature, he has also been joking around with staff, friends and family while spending time playing with his two daughters,” the statement read.

Newman was leading the race when he skidded out, slammed into a wall and flipped over. He was then struck by at least one car from behind, which caused his car to fly into the air, slide on its roof and catch fire while still upside down.

Denny Hamlin, who won the race for a second year in a row, spoke Wednesday about the safety measures NASCAR has implemented in the last decade.

“Before competition, you got to have a car that’s safe. You gotta have all your equipment that’s safe,” he told reporters during a news conference. “The sport’s been very fortunate to not have anything freak or weird happen for many, many years, but a lot of that is because of the development and the constant strives to make things better and safer.”

Hamlin continued, “I thank my lucky stars every day that I came in the sport when I did.”

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Aly Raisman pens letter about PTSD following 'productive, but exhausting' therapy session

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Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), opened up about her “productive, but exhausting” therapy session on Tuesday.

Raisman, 25, explained that her latest therapy appointment left her feeling “completely drained, as if I just finished an intense training session. My body aches.”

Despite the grueling session, Raisman offered hope to her followers who understand her battles all too well.

“At first I felt alone like no one would understand but then I remembered so many of you who have kindly supported me and also have been brave enough to share your own stories with me. I hope you know you gave me comfort and hope,” she explained.
 
“The road to recovery isn’t easy,” she went on. “Some days I feel like I am moving forward and then the next day it feels like 3 steps back. Sometimes when I feel like I am beginning to heal from one part of my trauma, another memory pops up.”

The two-time Olympian said when that happens she feels “so sick that it is hard to have an appetite and its hard to sleep.”

Raisman said she opened up about such a personal issue to help others “who felt the same way.”

“I hope you know you’re not alone & no matter how hard the PTSD gets we won’t feel like this forever,” she said.

She closed her message with a thank you to her fans: “I hope you feel my support. I stand with you.”

Her message resonated with many individuals who thanked her for her honesty and encouragement.

Raisman previously revealed her PTSD resulted from being sexually abused by former Team USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 2/18/20

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iStock(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Tuesday’s sports events:

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Philadelphia 5, Columbus 1
Pittsburgh 5, Toronto 2
Detroit 4, Montreal 3
Winnipeg 6, Los Angeles 3
St. Louis 3, New Jersey 0
Carolina 4, Nashville 1
Ottawa 7, Buffalo 4

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Baylor 65, Oklahoma 54
Dayton 66, VCU 61
Maryland 76, Northwestern 67
Florida St. 82, Pittsburgh 67
Illinois 62, Penn St. 56
Kentucky 79, LSU 76
Creighton 73, Marquette 65
West Virginia 65, Oklahoma St. 47

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Dwyane Wade calls daughter their family's leader, shares details of ESPN documentary

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Karwai Tang/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Retired NBA great Dwyane Wade is offering a rare glimpse into his life on and off the basketball court in a new personal documentary, D. Wade: Life Unexpected, including how his family is supporting his 12-year-old daughter Zaya’s gender identity.

“Myself and my family, we love the fact that she doesn’t have to hide who she is,” Wade told ABC News’ Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts on Tuesday. “She is our leader.”

Wade said that Zaya, who was originally named Zion and born a boy, has “known it for nine years, since she was 3 years old,” he said.

“Zaya started doing more research. She was the one that sat down with us as a family and said, ‘Hey I don’t think I’m gay.’ And she went down the list and said this is how I identify myself — I identify myself as a young lady. I think I’m a straight trans, because I like boys,'” he explained. “It was a process for us to sit down with our daughter and find out who she is and what she likes and not put something on her — we decided to listen to her and she’s leading us on this journey.”

Wade opens up about his dynamic basketball career and his deeply personal journey in a new documentary film from ESPN, exploring his role as a husband and father and how he and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, decided to reveal this part of their family.

“I struggled on how much I wanted to talk about it in the doc, I actually did talk about it a lot, but I knew if I put it in the doc at all it would be a big conversation,” Wade said about the sensitivity navigating the discussions about their trans child. “This is no game to us. We’re about protecting her heart and about protecting her joy and we have to support them.”

He went on, “As parents its our job to sit back and figure out and find the most information that we can. We’ve researched as many things as we can to try to help not only our family, but other people in this journey and along the way because one thing we do know as a family we’ve been through so many things that other families go through and they say ‘thank you guys for speaking out on it, thank you for being a face and a voice because we can’t.'”

The three-time NBA champion and Olympic star added that “the biggest thing is to have an open mind” and “have conversations with your kid.”

“I knew early on that I had to check myself — that I had to ask myself questions,” he explained. “As I got older and as I watched my daughter grow I had to look at myself in the mirror and say ‘who are you? What are you going to do if your child comes home and says dad, I’m not a boy — what are you gonna do?’ And that was my moment of real.”

He continued, “My daughter was my first interaction when it comes to having to deal with this conversation. Hopefully I’m dealing with it the right way — inside our home we see the smile on my daughter’s face, we see the confidence that she’s able to walk around and be herself and that’s when you know you’re doing right.”

D. Wade: Life Unexpected, a new feature documentary from ESPN Films and Imagine Documentaries, will debut on Sunday, Feb. 23, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.

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Daytona 500 driver Ryan Newman in serious condition following fiery crash

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Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.) — NASCAR driver Ryan Newman is in serious but non-life-threatening condition following a fiery crash at the end of Monday night’s Daytona 500, officials say.

“Ryan Newman is bring treated at Halifax Medical Center,” said a statement by Newman’s racing team, Roush Fenway Racing. “He is in serious condition, but doctors have indicated his injuries are not life threatening.”

Newman was leading the race into the final lap when he skidded out while trying to avoid his pursuers. His car slammed into a wall and flipped over, then was struck by at least one car from behind, causing the vehicle to fly through the air.

Corey LaJoie was driving the car that unavoidably slammed into the back of Newman’s. LaJoie recalled the “scary crash” in a brief interview Tuesday with ABC News on Good Morning America.

“It was wild,” he said. “I didn’t even know who I hit.”

After landing, the car slid on its roof as sparks flew, then it briefly burst into flames as it came to rest upside-down on its roof.

Newman was inside the car as crews raced to extinguish the flames and free him from the vehicle. He was extracted from the car and taken to the hospital. 

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Denny Hamlin won the race for the second year in a row. Hamlin began celebrating his win after crossing the finish line, but became more somber when he saw the crash.

“It’s a weird balance of excitement and happiness for yourself — but obviously, someone’s health and their family is bigger than any win, in any sport. So we’re just hoping for the best,” Hamlin told ESPN in an interview after the race.

NASCAR drivers and racing fans sent words of support for Newman and his family. Jeffrey Earnhardt, who lost his grandfather Dale Earnhardt in a crash during the 2001 Daytona 500, tweeted that he was praying that Newman was OK.

“Never good to see a wreck like that,” he said.

The race began Sunday but was postponed midway through because of rain.

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