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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.

Ryan Newman Continues Great Improvement pic.twitter.com/xIZRiaRApi

— Roush Fenway (@roushfenway) February 19, 2020

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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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.

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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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Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.) -- NASCAR driver Ryan Newman is "awake and speaking with family and doctors" following a fiery crash at the end of Monday night's Daytona 500, according to his team.

"Ryan and his family have expressed their appreciation for the concern and heartfelt messages from across the country," officials with Newman's racing team, Roush Fenway Racing, said in a statement Tuesday.

Roush Fenway officials said earlier that Newman was "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 on Good Morning America.

"It was wild," he said. "I didn't even know who I hit."

After landing on the ground, Newman's car slid on its roof as sparks flew. Then the vehicle 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.

Denny Hamlin won the race for the second year in a row.

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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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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iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Monday's sports events:

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
Arizona 2, NY Islanders 1
Florida 5, San Jose 3
Calgary 6, Anaheim 4
Vegas 3, Washington 2
Tampa Bay 4, Colorado 3 -- OT

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Kansas 91, Iowa St. 71

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electravk/iStock(TOKYO) -- Tokyo Marathon organizers have closed the March 1 race to all participants other than elite athletes, due to the spread of coronavirus.

"Tokyo Marathon Foundation have been preparing for the Tokyo Marathon 2020 (Sunday, March 1) while implementing preventive safety measures, however, now that case of COVID-19 has been confirmed within Tokyo, we cannot continue to launch the event within the scale we originally anticipated," race organizers announced in a statement Monday.

The foundation has dramatically reduced the number of runners who are eligible to participate to only "marathon elites and the wheelchair elites," will be allowed to compete in what was previously expected to be a 38,000-person event.

Prior to Monday's announcement, the Tokyo Marathon Foundation asked participants from China to defer entry until 2021 due to the country's Hubei province being the epicenter of the virus outbreak, ESPN reports. Now, the foundation is extending the option to defer entry to runners impacted by Monday's announcement. Race participants who defer entry until 2021 will still be required to pay entry fees for that year's event.

As of Monday, China's National Health Commission said it had received 70,548 reports of confirmed cases and 1,770 deaths on the Chinese mainland. Outside of China, there were 683 laboratory-confirmed cases in 25 countries and three reported deaths as of Sunday, according to the WHO, which would bring the global death toll to 1,775.

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SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.) -- President Donald Trump on Sunday addressed NASCAR fans before the start to the 62nd Daytona 500, calling the race "pure American glory."

“Soon, the cars will take to the track for the start," he said. "Tires will screech, rubber will burn, fans will scream and the great American race will begin.”

In his remarks, the president thanked the military, veterans and “tens of thousands of patriots” gathered at Daytona International Speedway in Florida. He also honored Gold Star families at the race and around the country.

"Gold Star families everywhere throughout our land, your fallen warriors will live in our hearts forever," he said.

The president's motorcade took a lap around the famous track before the green flag. The president also acted as the Grand Marshal, telling drivers to start their engines.

Trump is the second president to make an appearance at the Daytona 500; President George W. Bush was the first in 2004.

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iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Sunday's sports events:

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Team LeBron 157, Team Giannis 155

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
Pittsburgh 5, Detroit 1
Boston 3, N.Y. Rangers 1
OT Edmonton 4, Carolina 3
Anaheim 5, Vancouver 1
Nashville 2, St. Louis 1
OT Ottawa 4, Dallas 3
SO New Jersey 4, Columbus 3
Buffalo 5, Toronto 2
Winnipeg 3, Chicago 2

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL
(4)San Diego St. 72, Boise St. 55
(15)Villanova 76, Temple 56
(17)Oregon 80, Utah 62
(21)Iowa 58, Minnesota 55

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iStock(MIAMI) -- A former attorney for the Miami Heat NBA team is suing the basketball organization in federal court, claiming she was fired in retaliation for taking maternity leave.

Vered Yakovee, who was a vice president and associate general counsel for The Heat Group, had been approved to become an adoptive parent in the fall of 2018 and received the news that she was selected to adopt a newborn baby on the evening of July 9, 2019, according to the complaint, filed earlier this month in the Southern District of Florida.

The next morning, Yakovee informed her immediate supervisor, The Heat Group's Executive Vice President and General Counsel Raquel Libman, of her immediate need for parental leave, to which Libman allegedly responded, "now I definitely won't be get to take a vacation," and "what am I going to do with [your Assistant Counsel]?" the lawsuit states.

Yakovee offered "multiple times" to go to the office for a few days for Libman's convenience, "to ensure she had transitioned matters in an organization and effective manner, and to address any other matter of importance," but Libman declined each offer, according to the court documents.

Yakovee then took formal leave beginning on July 11 and returned to work 12 weeks later on Oct. 3, as permitted by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

FMLA, a labor law, states that eligible employees can have up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for childbirth and adoption or to care for a close relative in poor health, which includes care for a new child, whether for birth, adoption or placement into foster care. FMLA requires 30 days' notice to the employer for "foreseeable" leave, "except that if the date of the birth or placement requires leave to begin in less than 30 days," in which the employee "shall provide notice as is practicable."

On the morning of Yakovee's first day back to work, she was "immediately confronted with a lengthy email" from Libman that reportedly accused her of missing deadlines during her leave and misrepresented a project that Yakovee worked on before her leave, according to the lawsuit.

Yakovee says in the suit she was told via email by The Heat Group's president of business operations, Eric Woolworth, that Libman was "upset" about discussions Yakovee had with him about her leave. But, the complaint states, Libman had not talked to Yakovee about that until she got back to work. On Oct. 14 -- a week and a half after she returned to work -- Yakovee was told by Libman's executive assistant that Libman was upset about her maternity leave and that she should "tread lightly," according to the complaint.

From Oct. 3 to her "forced departure" on Dec. 19, Libman treated Yakovee with "disdain and hostility," according to the lawsuit, which also accuses Libman of berating her and making complaints about her FMLA leave both privately and in group meetings and emails.

Yakovee was a valued employee prior to taking parental leave, according to the complaint. In January 2019, Yakovee received her last performance review prior to taking her leave, during which Libman gave her "the highest rating possible" in all categories, the complaint states.

Yakovee received a bonus as a result of that review, and she had received an annual pay increase as well as merit-based bonuses twice a year during each year of her employment since 2015.

Libman handed Yakovee her first critical performance review on Nov. 27 (although reviews are typically given in January), according to the lawsuit. When Yakovee attempted to ask questions about "erroneous and unfounded critiques," Libman said "she could not discuss it without Human Resources present because there was an ongoing 'investigation,' and that Ms. Yakovee did 'not understand' the consequences of her actions," the complaint states.

On Dec. 4, the director of human resources emailed Yakovee to criticize her for not having provided "enough advance notice" for her maternity leave. She was fired on Dec. 19, one day after taking a sick day to take her baby to the doctor, according to the lawsuit. Before that, she had claims in the lawsuit to have never taken a sick day during her tenure with The Heat Group.

The lawsuit is seeking compensatory damages in excess of $75,000 as well as attorney's fees, interests and costs. It also seeks for Yakovee to be reinstatement to a position comparable to her prior position with back pay plus interest, pension rights and all benefits. The Heat Group is listed as the sole defendant.

A representative for the Miami Heat did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment. ABC News could not immediately reach Libman for comment.

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