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: Ski jumping, men’s team

Japan’s Noriaki Kasai continued his dream Olympics at age 41, and Germany beat Austria by an average of about 8 inches per jump. Date: 17-Feb Sport: Ski jumping Event: Men’s team Medalists: Germany, Austria, Japan SportsMyriad projections: Austria, Germany, Slovenia How U.S. fared: The drawn-on mustaches were cool, especially on baby-faced lead jumper Peter Frenette, age 21. They were in last place in the field of 12 after Frenette (113 meters from a lower gate) and Nick Fairall (120.5 meters) took their jumps. Anders Johnson (119 meters) was 10th in his group. Then Nick Alexander unleashed a flight of 126.5 … Continue reading Sochi recap: Ski jumping, men’s team

Sochi recap: Ski jumping, men’s large hill

The Olympic ski jumping venue was built with all sorts of wind-breaking measures in place, but there’s only so much we humans can do about the elements. So leave it to the veteran of veterans — seven-time Olympian Noriaki Kasai — to figure everything out and take the first individual Olympic medal of his career (he had a team silver in 1994) while normal hill winner Kamil Stoch won his second gold of the Games. Date: 15-Feb Sport: Ski jumping Event: Men’s large hill Medalists: Kamil Stoch (Poland), Noriaki Kasai (Japan), Peter Prevc (Slovenia) SportsMyriad projections: Gregor Schlierenzauer (Austria), Kamil … Continue reading Sochi recap: Ski jumping, men’s large hill

Sochi recap: Ski jumping, men’s large hill qualifying

This round only cuts the field from 61 to 50, and the top 10 get a bye, anyway. The top 10 can take practice jumps, but the pressure’s on everyone else to take the remaining 40 spots. Date: 14-Feb Sport: Ski jumping Event: Men’s large hill qualifying How U.S. fared: Survive and advance is the name of the game, and Nick Alexander (30th, 120 meters), Nick Fairall (31st, 120 meters) and Anders Johnson (36th, 112 meters) did just that. Peter Frenette (43rd, 111 meters) did not. What happened: Nothing of consequence, but it’s always cool to watch. Full results Continue reading Sochi recap: Ski jumping, men’s large hill qualifying

Sochi recap: Ski jumping, women’s

Thirty women made history and ignored the advice of patronizing men, demonstrating that they can compete in women’s ski jumping without crumbling into pieces or destroying civilization as we know it. Date: 11-Feb Sport: Ski jumping Event: Women’s normal hill (next time, can they also do team and large hill?) Medalists: Carina Vogt (Germany), Daniela Iraschko-Stolz (Austria), Coline Mattel (France) SportsMyriad projections: Sara Takanashi (Japan), Sarah Hendrickson (USA), Irina Avvakumova (Russia) How U.S. fared: In some respects, it was their day. The USA led the way in the push to get this sport in the Olympics, sacrificing livelihoods and years of frustration to do so. They were also … Continue reading Sochi recap: Ski jumping, women’s

Sochi recap: Ski jumping, men’s normal hill qualifying

Not much suspense in this one. The top 10 in the world get a bye, though they can jump for practice. Date: 8- Feb Sport: Ski jumping Event: Men’s normal hill, qualifying round How U.S. fared: Anders Johnson got through with ease, finishing 26th (reminder: the top 10 in the world didn’t jump for results). Peter Frenette was 35th. Nicholas Alexander took the very last spot, placing 40th. Nicholas Fairall was 50th and won’t advance. What happened: The biggest jumps of the day went to two pre-qualified favorites: Austria’s Gregor Schlierenzauer and Germany’s Severin Freund, each at 104 meters. Full results Continue reading Sochi recap: Ski jumping, men’s normal hill qualifying

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