October 28th, 2013
11:49 AM ET

Para-Athlete Makes History at Kona Ironman

In today’s edition of the "Good Stuff," para-athlete Minda Dentler proves that you can achieve the toughest of goals even in the face of adversity.

How? Well, she competed in the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, until she crossed the finish line. It took her 14 hours and 40 minutes.

In this most difficult of endurance races, even the fittest, most practiced athletes routinely fail to finish. Now, imagine finishing it, without the use of your legs. That’s what Dentler did.

Paralyzed from contracting polio as an infant in India, Dentler was adopted by parents who she credits with instilling in her the will to be independent and achieve any goal.

Now she’s the first female para-athlete to officially complete the Ironman World Championship.

“I think the message is just to focus on the now and that's what I did throughout this race,” Dentler says about the accomplishment.

“I just focused on every moment, the next stroke, the next push on the hand cycle, to the next push on the wheelchair. All I cared about was finishing.”

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Obamacare Technology Malfunctions, Stops Enrollment
October 28th, 2013
11:31 AM ET

Obamacare Technology Malfunctions, Stops Enrollment

A malfunction in key technology behind the Obamacare website left users unable to apply for health coverage late Sunday.

Joanne Peters, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services, said a vendor networking issue at Verizon subsidiary Terremark was to blame. Peters said the vendor had "experienced a failure in a networking component," and the attempted fix crashed the system.

Peters said that HHS chief Kathleen Sebelius had discussed the problem with Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam.

Verizon (VZ, Fortune 500) spokesman Jeff Nelson said his company was working on the issue and it would be "fixed as quickly as possible."

The outage was the latest issue to hit the troubled HealthCare.gov. Since a disappointing debut on Oct. 1, some users have been unable to create accounts or sign up for coverage.

“Now, we expect Secretary Sebelius will get a lot of tough questions about this problem and all the others when she testifies before Congress on Wednesday,” CNN’s Athena Jones reports.

“And that's the same day the president heads to Boston to promote Obamacare.”


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Filed under: Health • Videos
October 28th, 2013
10:22 AM ET

Looking Ahead to 2016, Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie Among Favorites

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Sunday it's still way too early to announce whether or not he's running for President in 2016.

"I don't know what I'm going to do in 2016," Jindal told Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday."

Jindal, the head of the Republican Governors Association and a former congressman, said he wants to focus on "winning the war of ideas" before making a definitive decision on his presidential ambitions.

"As Republicans, we have a lot of races we have to win before then," Jindal said.

But, joined by a number of Republican leaders vying for attention on the right, Jindal isn’t the only political heavyweight possibly giving a preview of the possible match in 2016.

"In New jersey, tough-talking GOP favorite Chris Christie at age 51 is just a week away from winning a second term as governor of a state that leans far to the left," CNN's Erin McPike reports.

On that end, Bill Clinton is on a four-day tour of Virginia, trying to help long-time friend and former DNC leader Terry Mcauliffe close the deal in the state's governor’s race.

Meanwhile, “the former Secretary of State and First Lady, who celebrated her sixty-sixth birthday on Saturday, is starting to look a lot like someone picking up the pace for a presidential campaign with a series of speeches,” McPike says.

“Right after giving three speeches in just three days last week, Hillary Clinton announced she’ll speak again on women’s issues Friday night in Philadelphia” McPike says.

“But we can't forget Vice President Biden. He is laying low, not getting the same attention as Clinton. But he has been poking around Iowa a little bit, so it’s pretty clear he’s still got a little skin in the game.”


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Filed under: Political Gut Check
October 28th, 2013
10:22 AM ET

100 Days Until 2014 Winter Games, Is Sochi Ready?

The clock ticks down to the 2014 Winter Olympics at Sochi, but the city looks less than ready for the Games to begin. The stadium for the opening ceremony alone has yet to be completed.

“Russia is not famous for its efficiency so delivering all this on time will be a statement to the world,” reports CNN’s Phil Black.

“It's one reason why President Vladimir Putin is taking such a personal interest.”

Dmitry Grigoriev, manager of the speed skating venue, Adler Arena, says the Kremlin’s regular visits and direct oversight have made a big difference.

"I'm not going to say why or how. But it has, believe me,” Grigoriev says.

But overhauling the city's Soviet era infrastructure remains Sochi's other challenge.

“The skyline is a mess of cranes and partially completed buildings, many of them much needed hotels,” Black reports.

Security is also a major concern at the Games because Russia's Islamic terrorists have promised to disrupt them.

Like Putin, Sochi's Mayor Anatoly Pakhamov insists somehow it will all be ready in three months.

But organizers can barely depend on mother nature to deliver the white stuff in this subtropical region of Russia where snowfall is patchy.

“That's why they're storing vast amounts of last season's snow, just in case.”

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