Guardian writing: Rio Olympics

Two women’s soccer analyses, two gymnastics live blogs, one examination of how rare Michael Phelps’ accomplishments this year are, and one look at the next generation of U.S. Olympians. Aug. 9: U.S. women win gold in gymnastics team final (live coverage) Aug. 10: U.S. women’s soccer team has improved, really (group stage analysis) Aug. 11: Biles, Raisman medal in all-around (live coverage) Aug. 12: Why Phelps is still great at an age when most swimmers have faded Aug. 13: USA’s women lost. Blaming it on “cowards” misses the point Aug. 20: USA have a wealth of young talent for 2020 I also … Continue reading Guardian writing: Rio Olympics

Doping: It’s complicated

“Ban the Russians!” Like “Equal Play, Equal Pay” or “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” it’s a catchy slogan, but it merits further investigation. Plenty of columnists have ripped the IOC for allowing any Russian athletes into the 2016 Olympics, arguing that the organizers should’ve issued a blanket ban in the wake of the McLaren report, which unveiled a shadowy state-sanctioned doping and concealment program not seen since the bad old days of East Germany. The ruling forced each sport’s federation to decide on Russian participation. All track and field athletes, all weightlifters and a handful of others were tossed out. But others were … Continue reading Doping: It’s complicated

Rio 2016 Olympics: Prediction analysis, schedule notes and rants

The USA will win 88 medals this summer. Or maybe 136. Hey, the Olympics were totally predictable, they wouldn’t be any fun, right? Prediction analysis No, I didn’t do event-by-event predictions this year. I hope to revive them at some point in the future, but I need to do it in a way that is (A) unique and (B) not a total back-breaker. This time around, I figured I would see what others are picking. In the interest of not burying the lead, here’s the summary … Let’s explain what these sources are: 1. Gracenote. Formerly Infostrada, this is the gold standard … Continue reading Rio 2016 Olympics: Prediction analysis, schedule notes and rants

Olympic coverage at Bleacher Report

I’ve returned to Bleacher Report to help out with Rio coverage, with three pieces so far … Preview slideshow of the top events to watch at the track and field trials. When will the next generation of men’s 100m sprinters arrive? Top storylines to follow from now to the start of the Games. I was also happy to see the last thing I wrote for B/R in 2012 is still valid: 10 Bridesmaids from London Who Will Medal in Rio. A quick check shows nine of the 10 are indeed in contention. Continue reading Olympic coverage at Bleacher Report

2016 Tour de France meta-preview: Get off my lawn!

The first few days of the Tour are really about funny previews, the scenery and the dark art of peloton survival: The latter is important, because massive sprinter Peter Sagan thinks all these noobs are ruining things (VeloNews): Now in the group everybody is riding like they don’t care about their life — it’s unbelievable! … Before there was respect. When someone did something stupid, everybody throws their [water] bottle on him or beats him with [tire] pumps. But VeloNews has already prepped us for these quotes with a handy cliche translator: There’s no respect in the peloton — I’m not as young … Continue reading 2016 Tour de France meta-preview: Get off my lawn!