An offbeat proposal for NWSL 2015

We can’t be too surprised by this report: Equalizer Soccer – Documents: Canada to withhold players from NWSL before World Cup; Herdman stresses player health. We can get a good laugh over John Herdman’s complaint about players getting too many games on artificial turf when they’ll be playing the Cup on the fake stuff (hopefully better fake stuff than in most NWSL facilities), but the fact is we’re looking at a difficult scheduling question here. The World Cup runs from June 6 to July 5. Women’s national teams are even more insistent than men’s national teams when it comes to getting their … Continue reading An offbeat proposal for NWSL 2015

Where are they now: Women’s ski jumping litigants

In 2009, a handful of women’s ski jumpers took their frustrations to court, attempting to sue their way into the 2010 Olympics. They found some sympathy from the court, but the legal case was always a long shot: (The court) didn’t rule in favor of the plaintiffs because the Olympic program is set by the IOC. With that in mind, Canadian law against discrimination can’t apply because VANOC can’t stage an Olympic ski jumping event without the IOC. In theory, the court could find in favor of the plaintiffs and force VANOC to give up on ski jumping altogether, cancelling … Continue reading Where are they now: Women’s ski jumping litigants

Can we separate athletes from their appearance?

Fiona McCade makes the case that the age of social media has been especially cruel to female athletes: Can it really be true that in the hideously sexist, discrimination-riddled Seventies, it was easier than it is now for a woman to triumph without her looks being an issue? Or was it just because I was so young that I never noticed Martina Navratilova’s FHM underwear shoot? It’s an interesting question without a simple answer. No, Martina never appeared in an underwear ad or swimsuit issue as far as I can recall — and yes, I was alive then. On the other … Continue reading Can we separate athletes from their appearance?

Was Dominica’s Olympic ski team a fraud?

What would you do to participate in the Olympics and get a nice wave of publicity? Would you gain citizenship in a small foreign country? Would you go to the Games knowing that your best performances had barely pushed you over the very low bar to qualify in a couple of events? And would you do all this knowing you’re going to come under such heavy scrutiny that people would end up doubting the injury and illness that kept you from competing? It’s easy to shrug off the Deadspin report on “Dominica’s fake ski team” — Gary di Silvestri and … Continue reading Was Dominica’s Olympic ski team a fraud?

Where the Olympic medals came from and went

The biggest differences between the Sochi medal projections and the Sochi medal count were: USA – Speedskating: Projected 7, got 0. In the other direction, there’s sliding sports: Projected 3, got 7. Norway – Cross-country skiing: Projected 18, got 11. Also biathlon: Projected 12, got 6. Netherlands – Speedskating: Projected 14, got 23. The only other projected or actual medal: They picked one up in short-track. Germany – Sliding sports: Projected 11, got 5. Sweden – Cross-country skiing: Projected 5, got 11. South Korea – Short-track: Projected 9, got 5. And speedskating: Projected 5, got 2. France – Action sports: … Continue reading Where the Olympic medals came from and went

Best/worst, Sochi medal projections vs. reality: Feb. 23

The 50k cross-country race turned into a microcosm of the Olympics — a big pack going around most of the way, then Russia blasting away from everyone at the end. For the last couple of days, we’ve figured no country would get more than 30 medals. With that cross-country sweep, Russia wound up with 33. We’ll wrap up later today or tomorrow with a look at where each country gained or lost. FULL TABLE [gview file=””%5D HIGHLIGHTS Most prescient thing I’ve ever written: On OZY on Saturday, I wrote about Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir: “Why limit them to figure skating? … Continue reading Best/worst, Sochi medal projections vs. reality: Feb. 23

Sochi recap: Cross-country skiing, men’s 50k

Russia put a punctuation mark on its Olympics by sweeping the longest race on the program, with the top four finishing within one second of each other. Date: 23-Feb Sport: Cross-country skiing Event: Men’s 50k freestyle mass start Medalists: Alexander Legkov (Russia), Maxim Vylegzhanin (Russia), Ilia Chernousov (Russia) SportsMyriad projections: Petter Northug (Norway), Maxim Vylegzhanin (Russia), Alexander Legkov (Russia) How U.S. fared: Noah Hoffman was up near the front and spent most of the time from 10k to 20k tucked in second place behind Sweden’s Anders Soedergren and returned there at 42.5k. He finally settled back in the pack at 45k, coming across 12th but still only 6.3 seconds … Continue reading Sochi recap: Cross-country skiing, men’s 50k