Matthew Ponsford

Matthew Ponsford

Freelance features, news, and sport journalist who has written for Financial Times, Guardian, Independent, and others. Currently associate producer at CNN International.

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Meet the ballet doctor fighting to save the 'foot soldiers' of dance

Ballet dancers fight through pain to perfect their art, and are often seriously injured. Discover how ex-karate champion Patrick Rump is bringing revolutionary new techniques to the ballet stage.

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America's black cowboys fight for their place in history

Jason Griffin straps his right arm in bandages, preparing himself to grip the reins of a wildly bucking bronco. Tall, broad-shouldered, with a rough beard, he steps into his cowboy boots, fits a Stetson hat and heads out to meet his mount in the rodeo arena.

Griffin is a four-time world champion bareback bucking horse rider -- competing in a sport that began in the 19th century heyday of the Wild West.

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Belinda Bencic ready to embrace greatness -

It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis"..

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11-year-old Lucy Li becomes the youngest qualifier in U.S. Women's Open history

She's got nerves of steel, golf talent beyond her tender years, and a precocious flair for eye-catching fashion: 11-year-old Lucy Li, the youngest qualifier in U.S. Women's Open history, looked entirely at home as she teed-off at Pinehurst No. 2.

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Bored by chart-topping DJs? Here are the real stars of electronic music

Discover the 15 young DJs and producers who deserve to be huge.

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Lost $150m da Vinci masterpiece, or fake?

It could be the find of the century, or something much more suspicious. Scientists are turning to techniques pioneered by homicide detectives to piece together the final evidence.

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Doubts dog Susie Wolff: Will F1 ever have a female champ? - CNN ...

For any team boss deciding whether to give a shot to a female driver, the evidence is clear. In the 50 years since a woman first stepped behind the wheel of an F1 car, the sum total of their achievements is half a championship point.
Surely, say F1's top men, there's a reason why a woman can't race with the boys.

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Fabio Cannavaro: The street urchin who became a World Cup 'legend'

"When you win the World Cup, you start to become a legend -- for the people around the world, you are different."
For Fabio Cannavaro, this legendary status was hard earned.

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World Cup winner Patrick Vieira rediscovers his roots -

National heroes don't always belong to one country. Just ask France's World Cup-winning star Patrick Vieira.
"I don't make any difference between France and Senegal -- I feel I am both countries," the football star tells CNN's Human to Hero series.

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Nigeria's school of self-belief: Makeup is the key to confidence at House of Tara

Class is in session at schools across Nigeria, where students are learning to shape eyebrows, smooth foundation, apply eye-shadow, and -- perhaps -- defy economic gloom to grasp a glamorous future.

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A new recipe for saving rhinos: Mix one 8-year-old, 2 dogs, and lots of chocolate

Even two-tonne, spike-horned, armor-skinned rhinos need a helping hand sometimes. Fortunately, they can rely on one committed defender: eight-year-old Alyssa Carter.

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Hidetoshi Nakata: Japan's misunderstood son returns from exile ...

By the age of just 29, Hidetoshi Nakata was recognized by many as the greatest footballer Japan had ever produced. So why the glum look?
"To be honest with you, it was not my dream," Nakata admits, now, to CNN's Human to Hero series, as he reflects on the emotions he was feeling at his third World Cup, in Germany in 2006.

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Interactive: Watch 28 moves from the world's greatest underground dance stars

Look close enough at any city across the world and you'll find original dance styles thriving far away from the media limelight.

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The private life of a star DJ? Your questions answered

If you've ever wondered what sound makes a superstar DJ cry, or questioned what comfort food they couldn't live without, your waiting days are over.

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Astonishing portraits you won't believe aren't photos

The images you are about to see may shock or confound you. When portraiture looks this realistic, it can be hard to accept that what you see is just paint on a canvas, or ink scratches on a page.