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)

2012 medal projection update: Sailing

Did you know that the world sailing federation shares its initials with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force?

The unarmed version of the ISAF has a good list of qualified sailors, and you can look back at the World Championships, held late last year in Perth, that qualified most of those sailors after the original picks were made. They also have rankings. And sailing also has separate world championships for each class. (When we say “Worlds” in these picks, we mean the big “Worlds” in Perth. We’ll mention the class championships separately; e.g., “49er Worlds.” We’re putting more stock in the big “Worlds” because they were the primary Olympic qualifier, so there were really no excuses.)

Into the ocean we go …

Continue reading 2012 medal projection update: Sailing

Volvo Ocean Race: Best of nautical reality TV

If you haven’t followed much around-the-world sailing since Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon was in the Whitbread race, you might want to check it out now. The race is now the Volvo Ocean Race, and the current edition has already covered two legs — Alicante (Spain) to Cape Town, Cape Town to Abu Dhabi — with six months to go.

They’ve also taken a few steps to avoid dealing with pirates, a hazard you don’t find in many other races.

Modern technology has made the race easy — and compelling — to follow. Boats have embedded reporters, and you can follow progress through the magic of GPS.

They’re also using YouTube to great effect, offering recaps and other features to capture the drama of boats in peril and trading the lead back and forth over a series of days. Around the 33-minute mark, you get to see the amusing ritual of hazing first-time Equator crossers. It involves people dressed at King Neptune and giving each other bad haircuts.

If you prefer to watch such things on TV, check Fox Sports Net, which starts coverage this month.

2012 sailing: Take me away to where I want to be …

A couple of things to know about sailing:

1. The World Championships are held once every four years, and we don’t have one until December in Perth, Australia.

2. The Tornado (two-sailor, mixed) and Yngling (three-woman) classes are out. Enter the Elliot (three-woman) match-racing class.

3. One boat per nation per event. A lot of berths will be earned at Worlds.

Continue reading 2012 sailing: Take me away to where I want to be …