Publish date:

LEADING OFF

Author:

PHOTO

PHOTOGRAPH BY JIM MCISAAC/GETTY IMAGES

Season's Beatings "Peace on earth and goodwill to men" is not a battle cry on the court, slopes, rink or canvas; the holiday message of sports remains, "Just win, baby." That can result in a few lumps and bruises, as when Wizards coach Randy Wittman ate a ball that got past his leaping point guard, John Wall (1); French skier Tessa Worley crashed out of a slalom in Courchevel, France (2); Predators center Matt Hendricks (number 26) took one on the chin from Lightning rightwinger B.J. Crombeen (3); and heavyweight Eric Newell absorbed a head shot from Mark Rideout (4).

PHOTO

PHOTOGRAPH BY ALEXIS BOICHARD/AGENCE ZOOM/GETTY IMAGES

[See caption above]

PHOTO

PHOTOGRAPH BY SCOTT AUDETTE/NHLI/GETTY IMAGES

[See caption above]

PHOTO

PHOTOGRAPH BY GAVIN BAKER/ICON SMI

[See caption above]

PHOTO

PHOTOGRAPH BY YURI KOCHETKOV/EPA (PUTIN)

Holding Fire On its way to Sochi for the 2014 Winter Games, which begin on Feb. 7, the Olympic torch has traveled to some unusual places, in Russia and high above it. Its most prosaic stop was Moscow, in the hands of President Vladimir Putin (above). The torch also rode a sledge in Irkutsk (1); touched another torch under the surface of Lake Baikal (2); hovered over the lake with the aid of a water-powered jetboard (3); went for a dip in the Amur River in Blagoveshchensk (4); and took a space walk by the International Space Station with Russian astronaut Oleg Kotov (5).

THREE PHOTOS

PHOTOGRAPH BY ORGANIZING COMMITTEE SOCHI 2014/REUTERS

[See caption above]

PHOTO

PHOTOGRAPH BY IVAN BELOZYOROV/ITAR-TASS/ZUMAPRESS.COM

[See caption above]

PHOTO

PHOTOGRAPH BY NASA TV/REUTERS

[See caption above]

PHOTO

PHOTOGRAPH BY NEIL LEIFER/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

Kringles All the Way Over the years sports figures both naughty and nice have traded in their uniforms for Santa's fur-trimmed suit to pass out Christmas presents, if not bags full of cash. Call their team the Nicks. Among them were boxing promoter Don King, with heavyweights Evander Holyfield (left) and Lennox Lewis (1); former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda (2); onetime Giants centerfielder Willie Mays, saying hey to Sandy, canine star of Annie (3); Rangers forward Mark Messier (4); Celtics legend Larry Bird (5); Yankees ace David Wells (6); former Cowboys coach Barry Switzer and Bills running back Thurman Thomas (7); and the Yankee Clipper, Joe DiMaggio, with his son, Joseph III (8).

PHOTO

PHOTOGRAPH BY JON SOOHOO

[See caption above]

PHOTO

PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID PICKOFF/AP

[See caption above]

PHOTO

PHOTOGRAPH BY BRUCE BENNETT STUDIOS/GETTY IMAGES

[See caption above]

PHOTO

PHOTOGRAPH BY MARC HAUSER PHOTOGRAPHY LTD/GETTY IMAGES

[See caption above]

PHOTO

PHOTOGRAPH BY MICHAEL O'NEILL FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

[See caption above]

PHOTO

PHOTOGRAPH BY TY RUSSELL/AP

[See caption above]

PHOTO

PHOTOGRAPH BY SPORTS STUDIO PHOTOS/GETTY IMAGES

[See caption above]