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: Nordic combined, team event

Three Nordic combined powers raced together for the bulk of a 20-kilometer relay, with Norway’s Joergen Graabak continuing his breakout Games by holding out for gold. The USA wasn’t able to mount a challenge, rallying to finish sixth. Date: 20-Feb Sport: Nordic combined Event: Team (four jumps determine start intervals for 4x5k cross-country relay) Medalists: Norway, Germany, Austria SportsMyriad projections: Germany, Norway, France How U.S. fared: The USA took silver in this event in 2010, with its Golden Generation at its peak, and followed up with a third-place run at last year’s World Championships. But the team was not great on … Continue reading Sochi recap: Nordic combined, team event

Sochi recap: Nordic combined, large hill

Is this Nordic combined or short-track? The second Nordic combined event of the Olympics came down to a pack finish, a wreck and some surprising medalists. Date: 18-Feb Sport: Nordic combined Event: Large hill – one jump that determines start times for the 10k cross-country race Medalists: Joergen Graabak (Norway), Magnus Moan (Norway), Fabian Riessle (Germany) SportsMyriad projections: Eric Frenzel (Germany), Wilhelm Dinifl (Austria), Jason Lamy-Chappuis (France) How U.S. fared: Defending champion Bill Demong hasn’t been in winning form over the past couple of years, and he needed a good jump to be a contender. He didn’t get it, going … Continue reading Sochi recap: Nordic combined, large hill

Sochi recap: Nordic combined, normal hill

Soft snow, hard race. Eric Frenzel had the best jump and seemed to be toying with the field through much of the cross-country race, finally turning on the turbo for the last 200 meters for the win. Date: 12-Feb Sport: Nordic combined Event: Men’s normal hill (one jump from normal hill, 10k cross-country race) Medalists: Eric Frenzel (Germany), Akito Watabe (Japan), Magnus Krog (Norway) SportsMyriad projections: Jason Lamy Chappuis (France), Eric Frenzel (Germany), Mikko Kokslien (Norway) How U.S. fared: Bill Demong and Todd Lodwick were part of a big medal breakthrough in 2010. They’re back but a bit older and … Continue reading Sochi recap: Nordic combined, normal hill

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

2014 medal projections: Nordic combined

Updated Jan. 14 In 2010, USA TODAY dispatched me to Whistler Olympic Park nearly every day. The biggest story I was supposed to follow: The USA looked likely to get its first medal in Nordic combined, the sport in which athletes test themselves on the ski jump and the cross-country course. They did indeed get that first medal. Then their first team medal. Then their first gold. And it’s a fun event to watch. The cross-country race start order is determined by the ski jump results. The farther back you are in the ski jump, the longer you have to … Continue reading 2014 medal projections: Nordic combined

Olympic sports roundup: Aug. 27

What did you miss while you were making Facebook photos superimposing Ted Lange’s face on a hurricane tracking map? Read on. – Basketball: The U.S. Under-17 women didn’t have much trouble with anyone at the World Championships. The 3-on-3 tournament was a little tougher. Literally. After beating France in the final 17-16, Chiney Ogwumike had this to say: In the end, it’s better to be physical than to play like girls. Ouch. – Snowboarding: Already time for 2014 qualifying! And Kelly Clark is dominating the halfpipe. – Rugby: The U.S. men qualified for the 2013 Sevens Rugby World Cup with a few dominating wins, … Continue reading Olympic sports roundup: Aug. 27