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

Sochi recap: Cross-country skiing, women’s 30k

We saw two races today — a three-way race between three Norwegians, then a race among everyone else. Norway had some frustration in these Olympics, but not today. Marit Bjoergen won her third gold medal of these Games. She’s tied for the women’s Winter Olympic career records with six golds and 10 medals. Date: 22-Feb Sport: Cross-country skiing Event: Women’s 30k freestyle mass start Medalists: Marit Bjoergen (Norway), Theresa Johaug (Norway), Kristin Stoermer Steira (Norway) SportsMyriad projections: Justyna Kowalczyk (Poland), Therese Johaug (Norway), Marit Bjoergen (Norway) How U.S. fared: Not the USA’s best event, but a couple of skiers were seeded … Continue reading Sochi recap: Cross-country skiing, women’s 30k

Sochi recap: Cross-country skiing, women’s team sprint

Norway slayed some demons in the Olympic venue, destroying the field to win the team sprint. Date: 19-Feb Sport: Cross-country skiing Event: Women’s team sprint (classical) Medalists: Norway, Finland, Sweden SportsMyriad projections: Sweden, Finland, Norway How U.S. fared: Sophie Caldwell and Kikkan Randall — one surprise and one shock of the individual freestyle sprint — hung tough with Norway and Sweden in their semifinal to qualify for the 10-team final. Caldwell stuck within 1.53 seconds of the lead in her first lap and came across in fourth, but Randall — better in freestyle — couldn’t keep up with the classic stars … Continue reading Sochi recap: Cross-country skiing, women’s team sprint

Sochi recap: Cross-country skiing, men’s relay

The now-familiar story: Great success for Sweden, horrible disappointment for Norway’s superstars. Russia got a crowd-pleasing silver, and France got a bronze no one expected. Date: 16-Feb Sport: Cross-country skiing Event: Men’s 4x10k relay (two classical legs, two freestyle) Medalists: Sweden, Russia, France SportsMyriad projections: Norway, Sweden, Russia How U.S. fared: Andy Newell was having a solid first leg, but something happened off-camera that dropped him all the way to 15th. He finished in some distress, tapping to Erik Bjornsen down 1:17.8. Bjornsen passed Poland and Belarus to move up to 13th, 2:15.0 off the lead. In freestyle, Noah Hoffman hauled the USA into the top … Continue reading Sochi recap: Cross-country skiing, men’s relay

Sochi recap: Cross-country skiing, women’s relay

Sweden won a thrilling three-team finish, while the perplexing Olympics continued for Norway and the USA. Date: 15-Feb Sport: Cross-country skiing Event: Women’s 4x5k relay (two classic legs, two freestyle legs) Medalists: Sweden, Finland, Germany SportsMyriad projections: Norway, Sweden, Finland How U.S. fared: Kikkan Randall is a better freestyle skier than a classic skier, but she had the first classic leg today. She was in the mix through one lap but faded terribly in the second, handing off 39.7 seconds behind in 12th place. Sadie Bjornsen moved up to ninth but lost time, 1:04.9 back. Liz Stephen lost another 30 … Continue reading Sochi recap: Cross-country skiing, women’s relay

Sochi recap: Cross-country skiing, men’s 15k

It’s Dario Cologna’s week. The Swiss skier picked up his second gold medal on another warm, slushy day in which the best-finishing Norwegian, Chris Andre Jespersen, wore tight shorts. Date: 14-Feb Sport: Cross-country skiing Event: Men’s 15k classical Medalists: Dario Cologna (Switzerland), Johan Olsson (Sweden), Daniel Richardsson (Sweden) SportsMyriad projections: Alexey Poltoranin (Kazakhstan), Maxim Vylegzhanin (Russia), Petter Northug (Norway) How U.S. fared: Not a good event for the Americans. Noah Hoffman led the way in 31st, 2:33 back. Then Erik Bjornsen (38th, 3:15), Brian Gregg (47th, 4:12) and Kris Freeman (52nd, 4:25). What happened: We all had Finland’s Iivo Niskanen … Continue reading Sochi recap: Cross-country skiing, men’s 15k

Sochi recap: Cross-country, women’s 10k classical

You don’t usually see an Olympic cross-country race in short sleeves and tank tops, but that’s what we had here. And in the end, it was a Polish great with a broken foot — Justyna Kowalczyk — surviving the heat to take gold, while 15k skiathlon winner Marit Bjoergen faded and was unable to add to her collection of eight Olympic medals. Date: 13-Feb Sport: Cross-country Event: Women’s 10k classical Medalists: Justyna Kowalczyk (Poland), Charlotte Kalla (Sweden), Therese Johaug (Norway) SportsMyriad projections: Marit Bjoergen (Norway), Justyna Kowalczyk (Poland), Heidi Weng (Norway) How U.S. fared: Sprint finalist Sophie Caldwell didn’t seem to be wearing anything under … Continue reading Sochi recap: Cross-country, women’s 10k classical