Olympic sports writing: 2004-2015

Selected features and interviews, plus coverage from several Olympics: Features Dec. 1, 2015: US college sports are a factory for Olympic medalists – but for how much longer? (The Guardian) Nov. 7, 2015: Speed skating: can the US team shine after the failure of Sochi? (The Guardian) Aug. 30, 2015: Why Serena Williams, not Ronda Rousey, is the world’s most dominant female athlete (The Guardian) Aug. 12, 2015: Golf doesn’t need the Olympics, and the Olympics don’t need golf (The Guardian) Dec. 15, 2014: Break up the Olympics! (SportsMyriad) Oct. 12, 2010: Women’s Ski Jumping Tests the Grudges of Olympic Leaders (Huffington … Continue reading Olympic sports writing: 2004-2015

Monday Myriad, March 24: Overseas networking

As we bid farewell to winter sports for the year, some athletes are wrapping club seasons all over the place. People who read this blog probably know all about soccer and maybe basketball. But how about volleyball? Dozens of U.S. athletes are overseas — many of them making money that soccer players are not. An NYT story on overseas volleyball introduced me to a neat site helping athletes share information and support. Athletes Abroad is a nice simple WordPress site that lets athletes connect and share stories, with other athletes and with fans. And yes, they’ve already spoken with the … Continue reading Monday Myriad, March 24: Overseas networking

Sochi recap: Biathlon, men’s relay

A thrilling final leg in the last biathlon event of these Olympics saw Russia pull away for gold in front of a raucous home crowd, while Ole Einar Bjoerndalen could only watch as Emil Hegle Svendsen’s wayward shooting cost him a final medal for the collection. Date: 22-Feb Sport: Biathlon Event: Men’s 4×7.5k relay Medalists: Russia, Germany, Austria SportsMyriad projections: Russia, Norway, France How U.S. fared: Bad news at the start — Tim Burke, the American with the best World Cup track record — was ill and did not compete. Lowell Bailey went out fast, then took his time on the first shooting stage … Continue reading Sochi recap: Biathlon, men’s relay

Sochi recap: Biathlon, women’s relay

Wild day in Olympic biathlon, with Germany and France out of contention in the first leg while Canada and the USA were in the top five with one leg to go. And then an inspiring winner — Ukraine, torn apart by unrest at home, came together for a strong win. Date: 21-Feb Sport: Biathlon Event: Women’s relay Medalists: Ukraine, Russia, Norway SportsMyriad projections: Norway, Germany, Russia   How U.S. fared: Susan Dunklee is the story of the Games for the USA out at the Nordic venues. She was once again absolutely fearless, taking off ahead of the contenders. She needed two extra shots in the prone … Continue reading Sochi recap: Biathlon, women’s relay

Sochi recap: Biathlon, mixed relay

Norway’s Ole Einar Bjoerndalen is officially the Olympic record-holder for most medals in winter. He shot cleanly and put Norway well out in front of a new event, biathlon’s mixed relay, to claim his 13th medal. Relay format: Shooters carry spare bullets in addition to the usual clips of five. They can use three spares per shooting stage, but it takes time to load them individually. Miss more than three, and they’re off to the penalty loop for each target that’s still standing. Date: 19-Feb Sport: Biathlon Event: Mixed relay Medalists: Norway, Czech Republic, Italy SportsMyriad projections: Norway, Russia, Czech … Continue reading Sochi recap: Biathlon, mixed relay

Sochi recap: Biathlon, men’s mass start

Good things come to those who wait, and the fog lifted just enough for this Olympic highlight — Emil Hegle Svendsen holding off rival Martin Fourcade, aiming for his third gold of the Games, by a foot. If that. Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, bidding to be the first athlete to win 13 Winter Olympic medals, charged into contention after missing two early shots but shot himself right out of it with four big misses at the final stop. Date: 18-Feb Sport: Biathlon Event: Men’s mass start (15k) Medalists: Emil Hegle Svendsen (Norway), Martin Fourcade (France), Ondrej Moravec (Czech Republic) SportsMyriad projections: Martin Fourcade (France), … Continue reading Sochi recap: Biathlon, men’s mass start

Sochi recap: Biathlon, women’s mass start

These Olympics belong to Darya Domracheva and Belarus. Norway has been full of disappointment in the Russian mountains but picked up a surprising medal here, while American Susan Dunklee continued to chase U.S. history. Date: 17-Feb Sport: Biathlon Event: Women’s mass start (12.5k) Medalists: Darya Domracheva (Belarus), Gabriela Soukalova (Czech Republic), Tiril Eckhoff (Norway) SportsMyriad projections: Darya Domracheva (Belarus), Tora Berger (Norway), Vita Semerenko (Ukraine) How U.S. fared: Susan Dunklee, having a breakout performance in the Games, qualified among the elite 30 who could fit at the start and on the range. She made it through the first shoot cleanly with the lead pack and … Continue reading Sochi recap: Biathlon, women’s mass start