Olympic sports writing: 2004-2015

Selected features and interviews, plus coverage from several Olympics:

Features

Sochi 2014

London 2012 (all Bleacher Report unless noted)

Vancouver 2010: Nordic sports and biathlon (all USA TODAY)

Beijing 2008: Everything, especially soccer (all USA TODAY)

Torino 2006 (USA TODAY)

Athlete interviews (all USA TODAY)

Monday Myriad: The good news is on the mat

So the Ryder Cup happened. And U.S. fighters posted a 3-5 record on the UFC card in England, with Matt Wiman’s shocking submission win against submission expert Paul Sass being the biggest bright spot.

And perhaps your favorite football teams lost on the gridiron, the pitch and the oval. (Yes, the Australian rules football Grand Final was apparently a classic.)

Here’s the good news for U.S. fans: Out of seven weight classes in the women’s wrestling World Championships, four took medals:

– Gold: Elena Pirozhkova, Adeline Gray

– Silver: Helen Maroulis

– Bronze: Alyssa Lampe

Other news from the weekend:

Swimming: Mixed-gender relays get mixed reaction.

Short-track speedskating: Five of the 10 skaters who qualified for the USA’s squad for the World Cup season are among the group that wants coach Jae Su Chun removed. (The Chicago Tribune has the complaint documents, plus Chun’s response.)

Triathlon: Olympians Sarah Groff and Gwen Jorgensen were in the top 10 of a World Triathlon Series event in Japan.

Figure skating: A couple of promising results for U.S. skaters in smaller events before the Grand Prix season opens.

Cricket: Alas, England only had one day to celebrate the Ryder Cup before a crushing defeat and elimination from the World Twenty20. Sri Lanka and West Indies have made the semifinals.

Rio 2016: Is there any way to make golf work in the Olympics?

Golf’s inclusion in the 2016 Olympics is one of the most puzzling IOC decisions in recent years. For one thing, that decision forced Rio to build a golf course, which has turned out to be a major problem.

The other problem is that the golf calendar is already super-saturated. Four majors, WGC events, Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup and the tour playoffs — that’s a lot to handle. (Granted, tennis has the same problem but is starting to get a foothold in the Games.)

So if you must have golf in the Games, why not make it interesting? My longtime work buddy Scott Michaux has a modest proposal: Have national teams play. It would still be a stroke-play format with individual gold/silver/bronze, but you’d also take scores and add them up, NCAA-style, to give team medals.

A similar proposal at CBSSports: Same thing, only in match play.