2014 medal projections: Jan. 14 update

Time for a few tweaks given the results (and untimely injuries) of late — and when you add it all up, we have a new leader: Alpine skiing: Lindsey Vonn’s absence shakes things up a bit and pretty well insures the USA won’t come near its total of eight medals in 2010. Ted Ligety (third overall) and Mikaela Shiffrin are still favorites, and Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal (second overall; downhill and super-G leader) is still as dominant as ever. Changes: Men’s downhill: Erik Guay (CAN) up to silver, Klaus Kröll (AUT) down to considered, Adrien Theaux (FRA) up to considered Men’s giant slalom: … Continue reading 2014 medal projections: Jan. 14 update

Big winter weekend for USA

No, I’m not talking about the fact that every tree and power line in the Mid-Atlantic is covered with ice right now. I’m talking about skiing, sliding and skating, where a lot of things went right for U.S. athletes two months and change before Sochi: – Figure skating: Meryl White and Charlie Davis are hardly a surprise in ice dancing, though they have tough rivals for gold in Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. But the record they set in winning the Grand Prix Final was a grand statement. (NBC) Ashley Wagner also made it to the podium — perhaps all isn’t lost … Continue reading Big winter weekend for USA

2014 medal projections: Bobsled

Updated Jan. 14 and Feb. 4 No offense to those who give a big push at the start and go through the impeccably choreographed procedure of getting in the sled, but we’ll have to focus on drivers for these rankings. They’re the ones who get ranked, and the brakemen / brakewomen / push athletes will undoubtedly get shuffled before the Games. Sweeps are theoretically possible. In each event, a couple of countries can bring three sleds. Some countries can even bring four drivers for the two men’s events. But you can’t take a bunch of backup push athletes, which is … Continue reading 2014 medal projections: Bobsled

Monday Myriad: Feb. 4

Yes, this will be more of an evening thing from now on. The week’s headlines: – Jose Aldo defended his UFC featherweight title as Frankie Edgar suffered yet another close decision loss. The rest of the UFC 156 card scrambled the title chases in ways I’m still working out. Rashad Evans was supposed to fight for the middleweight title, but he lost a dreary light heavyweight fight to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. In the heavyweight division, Alistair Overeem was supposed to fight for the title, but Antonio Silva knocked him out. And now lightweight contender Anthony Pettis says he wants to … Continue reading Monday Myriad: Feb. 4

Winter weekend: World Championships vs. X Games

Quick peek at the calendar shows us a couple of items to consider for 2014 medal projections: 12-27: Handball, Men’s World Championships 14-27: Tennis, Australian Open 18-27: Snowboarding, World Championships 19-Feb. 10: Soccer, African Cup of Nations 20-27: Figure skating, U.S. Championships 24: Bellator: Askren vs. Amoussou (welterweight title) 24-27: Winter X Games Aspen 25-Feb. 2 Bobsled/skeleton, World Championships A few details: SNOWBOARDING (worlds and X) Reminder of the ever-expanding Olympic snowboarding program: halfpipe, snowboardcross, parallel giant slalom, slopestyle (new) and … parallel slalom (also new)? The World Championships, underway in Stoneham, Quebec, have all those events, plus big air. The only … Continue reading Winter weekend: World Championships vs. X Games

Monday Myriad: Bye-bye, Beckham

Admit it. You never thought David Beckham would be here as long as he was. When I spoke with him in 2008, a year into the “experiment,” he was saying all the right things. Then over the years, he stuck with the Galaxy but had trouble convincing fans of his commitment to the team. But in 2011, the last year of his original contract, he once again won over the fans (and maybe teammates). Winning MLS Cup didn’t hurt. And then he signed a two-year extension. I can imagine fans clamoring for Grant Wahl to write Part 2 of The Beckham … Continue reading Monday Myriad: Bye-bye, Beckham

Monday Myriad: U.S. athletes slide well

Our sleds are better than yours. You may have heard Lolo Jones got second in her World Cup bobsled debut with driver Jazmine Fenlator, but U.S. success went farther than that. Elana Meyers and Tianna Madison, the latter also a track and field Olympian, took third. The men weren’t bad, either. Steven Holcomb/Steve Langton and Cory Butner/Chuck Berkeley finished 1-2 in the World Cup two-man opener. Holcomb was second in the four-man, with Nick Cunningham taking third in just his third World Cup race. The skeleton crew had a few top-fives: John Daly and Kyle Tress 4-5 in the men’s race; slider/weightlifter … Continue reading Monday Myriad: U.S. athletes slide well