– Vitor Belfort beat Michael Bisping to end the Englishman’s chances of fighting for the middleweight title for a while. See the MMA wrap.
– Top draft picks: Andrew Farrell (MLS) and Zakiya Bywaters (NWSL)
– Few major upsets in the Australian Open so far, with the top four women and top five men in the quarterfinals.
– Lance Armstrong chatted with Oprah. A cynical nation said “Whatever” but watched anyway.
– Lindsey Vonn got her first win in a while but then lost ground in the World Cup standings.
– Arielle Gold won gold in the snowboarding World Championship halfpipe, though the event is being upstaged by the upcoming X Games.
– Heather Richardson had two firsts and two seconds in speedskating World Cup action. Shani Davis had a gold and silver.
– U.S. sliders also got some medals: Bronze in a unique skeleton/bobsled relay (Lolo Jones was involved in that one), a second straight podium finish for Noelle Pikus-Pace, and a third-place finish for Jazmine Fenlator-Aja Evans.
– And we had a first-time U.S. medalist in Taylor Fletcher, third in a Nordic combined World Cup.
Check the Team USA roundup for more Olympic sports. Meanwhile, we had a little story that’s causing sports journalists to think pretty carefully about their jobs …
So if you’re an athlete who mentions a spouse, I may need to see a marriage certificate. If you mention a boyfriend or girlfriend, I’ll probably need to avoid putting that in my story altogether. I have no idea how I’d verify such a thing. The two of you could kiss in front of me and still be lying. (I’m planning to write something more about this muddled topic later.)
The handball World Championships continue with little to no English-language coverage, so I’ll sum up: – Germany upset France in the last round-robin game to win Group A, with Brazil and Tunisia also qualifying. Argentina’s out.
– France then barely beat Iceland to reach the quarterfinals.
– Denmark dominated Group B and won its round of 16 game against Tunisia.
– With Iceland eliminated in the round of 16, the small nation of choice should be Slovenia, which won a couple of tight games to win Group C.
– Croatia took Group D ahead of host Spain.
– Australia’s margins of defeat: 23, 30, 40, 24, 25.
– Quarterfinalists so far: Denmark, France, Germany, Russia (barely beating Brazil).