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Synopsis

American Beauty

Host Bryant Gumbel explores the good, the bad and the bizarre in the world of women's bodybuilding. Although it's virtually ignored by mainstream media, and offers significantly smaller financial incentives than those available to their male counterparts, thousands of participants make a living from the sport, with many pushing all boundaries to achieve the perfect physique. In an environment of obsessive workouts, round-the-clock fitness routines and even plastic surgery, performance enhancers often play a crucial and dangerous role in the physical development these women seek. Revealing the growing practice of "muscle worship," which brings male fans in contact with some of the female bodybuilders they admire, Real Sports goes behind the scenes of women's bodybuilding and learns there is a lot more to it than meets the eye.

Female body builder flexing

Heart of a Champion

With his inspiring determination, golfer Erik Compton has beaten the odds  twice. The 30-year-old Coral Gables, Fla. resident, who has earned six pro victories since turning professional in 2001, is the only known pro athlete to undergo two heart transplants and return to competition. Diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy when he was nine, Compton underwent his first heart transplant at age 12. Then, in 2007, only days after he missed the cut at a Nationwide Tour event, a massive heart attack caused his second heart to fail. The former University of Georgia standout underwent another transplant surgery in May 2008 and, remarkably, returned to compete in tour-sanctioned events in five months. Real Sports correspondent Frank Deford profiles this relentless competitor, who just participated in his first major championship tournament at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, and discovers what an extraordinary journey it has been for Compton and his family.

Eric Compton

Risky Business

In January 2008, as allegations of illegal benefits swirled around departed star USC running back Reggie Bush, Real Sports correspondent Bernard Goldberg went to California to get enterprising sports agent Lloyd Lake's version of what took place during Bush's college career. Lake had been a close associate of Bush and his family, and claimed to have the evidence to authenticate the charges that the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner has consistently denied. In light of the severe punishment meted out by the NCAA to the university in June, Real Sports reexamines Lake's claims.

Pete Carroll

The most intriguing addition to the NFL landscape this season might be new Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll. Boasting a substantial NFL resume that includes stints as an assistant with Buffalo, Minnesota and the New York Jets, and head coaching stops with the Jets and New England Patriots, the 58-year-old Carroll will be in the spotlight from day one of training camp. His sudden departure from USC last January after a nine-year run, coupled with the severe sanctions handed down by the NCAA in June for program infractions at Southern Cal, has left a host of questions to be answered. But with his unique style and swagger, the 58-year-old Carroll is accustomed to being on the hot seat. In this Real Sports/Sports Illustrated report, correspondent Andrea Kremer goes one-on-one with the coach who is looking to revitalize a Seahawks team that finished 5-11 last season.

Pete Carroll

160: July 14, 2010