Kevin Bickner soars through the air during the men's ski jumping competition at the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex in Lake Placid, N.Y., Saturday, Dec. 25, 2021. Bickner won the U.S. trials last month, helping him earn a trip to the Olympics for the second time. The 25-year-old Bickner, who learned how to jump in suburban Chicago at the Norge Ski Club, finished 18th on the normal hill and 20th on the large hill at the Pyeongchang Games.

AP Photo/Hans Pennink

How does an Illinoisan become one of America’s best ski jumpers?

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games are two weeks and a day away, and there are several olympians from Illinois who will be competing in the games, including ski jumper Kevin Bickner from Wauconda, Illinois.  He joined The 21st to talk about preparing for the games, how he got his start, and more.

AIDS quilt panel on display at Spurlock Museum in Urbana.

Reginald Hardwick/IPM News

The 21st Show - January 20, 2022

Quilt exhibit showcases men who lived with AIDS

Now until July, the Spurlock Museum in Urbana is exhibiting of local AIDS quilt panels made during the midst of the AIDS pandemic. University of Illinois journalism students teamed up with Illinois Public Media to create short videos about the panels and the men the memorialize.

A player finished a Rubik's Magic Cube at the international game fair 'SPIEL' in Essen, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. Around 1100 exhibitors from around 50 nations attend the annual four-day game fair.

AP Photo/Martin Meissner

The 21st Show - January 19, 2022

Growing Up Gen X

Generation X sometimes known as the "Forgotten Generation," but the Illinois State Musuem is planning to give Gen X their day in the sun with an exhibit that opens this fall. The 21st was joined by the museum's curator of history to talk about growing up in the '70s, '80s and '90s, designing the exhibit, and more.

A child arrives with her parent to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 to 11-years-old at London Middle School in Wheeling, Ill., Nov. 17, 2021. As of Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, just over 17% of children in the U.S. ages 5 to 11 were fully vaccinated, more than two months after shots for them became available.

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File

The 21st Show - January 19, 2022

Answering your COVID questions

Though the coronavirus, like many other infectious diseases, will never be truly gone, it could one day be considered endemic like rhinovirus or other upper respiratory infections. Where do we go from here? We invited back two virologists to update us on what scientists now know and help answer more of your COVID-19 questions.

Kathleen Springer and Jeff Pigati, researchers with the United States Geological Survey, who are analyzing footprints that indicate humans inhabited North America much earlier than scientists thought.

Kathleen Springer

The 21st Show - January 18, 2022

When did humans actually arrive in the Americas?

For decades, archeologists have debated when humans first set foot in North America. Now, ancient footprints discovered in New Mexico are offering some clues to when people first inhabited the continent we call home, which could alter the widely accepted timeline for when humans first lived in North America by thousands of years. This segment originally aired September 30, 2021.

Department of Children and Family Services Building in Springfield.

Capitol News Illinois file photo

The 21st Show - January 18, 2022

Troubles at DCFS

Lawmakers and social workers are asking what could have been done to prevent the deaths of DCFS workers in recent years, but the safety of the children in DCFS custody has also been questioned. For years, the agency has lacked an appropriate number of beds to house children, with reports of the kids even sleeping on the floor of offices. 

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., delivers his

AP Photo/File

The 21st Show - January 17, 2022

What was it like to work with Dr. King?

Back in 1963, Don Rose was an organizer for Midwest states at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. He’s made plenty of other marks in Chicago politics, but today we wanted to talk with him mostly about 1966, when Martin Luther King brought his civil rights work to Chicago, and Rose worked as his press secretary.

Alex Sierra, Trustee for the Southern District on the Peoria Park District Board of Trustees

Alexander & Kimberlee: Motivating Mass Movements / Facebook

The 21st Show - January 17, 2022

Interview: Alex Sierra

On February 4, 1968, at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a sermon called the “Drum Major Instinct.” “Everybody can be great,” he said, “because everybody can serve.” As we continued to look back at his life and legacy on this Martin Luther King Day, The 21st was joined by the 22-year-old Trustee serving on the Peoria Park District Board.

Carol Moseley Braun was the first Black woman to serve in the US Senate. She also served as the ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa under President Clinton.

Photo courtesy of PBS

The 21st Show - January 17, 2022

Interview: Carol Moseley Braun

Today on The 21st, we dedicated the entire hour to Dr. King’s legacy, beginning someone who says King paved the way for her own groundbreaking role as the first Black woman elected to the United States Senate. Former Illinois US Senator Carol Moseley Braun joined us to talk about how King inspired her, voting rights, and more. 

Dr. Manjul Shukla transfers Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, at a mobile vaccination clinic in Worcester, Mass.

AP Photo/Steven Senne

The 21st Show - January 13, 2022

How are healthcare workers holding up?

The omicron surge is continuing to put a strain on hospitals and healthcare workers. We were joined by three frontline healthcare workers to discuss morale and experiences among healthcare workers during the pandemic. 

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