A torque can be applied when a force acts away from an axis of rotation. For example, if the sled were to crash into the reporter's stomach he would not experience a torque around his center and wouldn't spin into a flip. If you've ever used a wrench you know that the farther a force is applied from an axis of rotation the more the torque around that axis. That shot to the shins is far enough from his center of mass to get him spinning pretty vigorously.
Newton's Second Law in angular form (τ = Iα) relates the torque (τ) applied to an object to its resulting angular acceleration (α). In the case of rotation, the resistance to motion (or rotational inertia I) isn't simply due to the mass, but also depends on the mass distribution. As any diver or gymnast knows, if the reporter could have pulled into a tuck position he would have lowered his rotational inertia, thus increasing his angular acceleration—and he might have been able to pull off a "double!"