Sochi recap: Skeleton, women’s

Noelle Pikus-Pace finally got her Olympic medal while Britain’s Lizzy Yarnold ran away and hid from the field. Date: 14-Feb Sport: Skeleton Event: Women’s, runs 3 and 4 Medalists: Lizzy Yarnold (Britain), Noelle Pikus-Pace (USA), Elena Nikitina (Russia) SportsMyriad projections: Noelle Pikus-Pace (USA), Lizzy Yarnold (Britain), Shelley Rudman (Britain) How U.S. fared: The perseverance of Pikus-Pace paid off with silver. The 2005 World Cup champion missed the 2006 Olympics after a runaway bobsled shattered her leg in October 2005. She came back to win the 2007 world title but was fourth in the 2010 Games. She retired but decided to come back for another run. She reached … Continue reading Sochi recap: Skeleton, women’s

Sochi recap: Skeleton, women’s first two runs

The expected battle between Britain’s Lizzy Yarnold and the USA’s Noelle Pikus-Pace is going the way of the British at the halfway point. Date: 13-Feb Sport: Skeleton Event: Women’s, first two runs (of four) How U.S. fared: Noelle Pikus-Pace is 0.44 seconds behind the leader, finishing second in each heat. The minor surprise is Katie Uhlaender, who has a world championship on her resume but not much World Cup success this year. She’s fourth, 0.69 seconds back, and right in the thick of the mix for the podium. What happened: Russia’s sliders are third, fifth, and sixth, and Australia filed a protest, claiming Russia … Continue reading Sochi recap: Skeleton, women’s first two runs

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: Skeleton

Updated Jan. 14 and Feb. 4 Yes, it’s the sliding sport in which athletes do what American football players should not — lead with their heads. The men’s World Cup circuit has had a distinct elite group. Only six men’s sliders finished on the podium in 2012-13 World Cup races — the Dukurs brothers, Alexander Kröckel, Alexander Tretiakov, and Christopher Grotheer. The latter only popped up once. But now the USA’s Matt Antoine is pushing into that tier. The women’s competition is a bit more wide-open — 10 sliders had podium finishes in 2012-13. The Olympics often lend themselves to … Continue reading 2014 medal projections: Skeleton

Big winter weekend for USA

No, I’m not talking about the fact that every tree and power line in the Mid-Atlantic is covered with ice right now. I’m talking about skiing, sliding and skating, where a lot of things went right for U.S. athletes two months and change before Sochi: – Figure skating: Meryl White and Charlie Davis are hardly a surprise in ice dancing, though they have tough rivals for gold in Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. But the record they set in winning the Grand Prix Final was a grand statement. (NBC) Ashley Wagner also made it to the podium — perhaps all isn’t lost … Continue reading Big winter weekend for USA

Monday Myriad: Feb. 4

Yes, this will be more of an evening thing from now on. The week’s headlines: – Jose Aldo defended his UFC featherweight title as Frankie Edgar suffered yet another close decision loss. The rest of the UFC 156 card scrambled the title chases in ways I’m still working out. Rashad Evans was supposed to fight for the middleweight title, but he lost a dreary light heavyweight fight to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. In the heavyweight division, Alistair Overeem was supposed to fight for the title, but Antonio Silva knocked him out. And now lightweight contender Anthony Pettis says he wants to … Continue reading Monday Myriad: Feb. 4

Winter weekend: World Championships vs. X Games

Quick peek at the calendar shows us a couple of items to consider for 2014 medal projections: 12-27: Handball, Men’s World Championships 14-27: Tennis, Australian Open 18-27: Snowboarding, World Championships 19-Feb. 10: Soccer, African Cup of Nations 20-27: Figure skating, U.S. Championships 24: Bellator: Askren vs. Amoussou (welterweight title) 24-27: Winter X Games Aspen 25-Feb. 2 Bobsled/skeleton, World Championships A few details: SNOWBOARDING (worlds and X) Reminder of the ever-expanding Olympic snowboarding program: halfpipe, snowboardcross, parallel giant slalom, slopestyle (new) and … parallel slalom (also new)? The World Championships, underway in Stoneham, Quebec, have all those events, plus big air. The only … Continue reading Winter weekend: World Championships vs. X Games