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, isContinue reading “Olympic sports writing: 2004-2015”

Jordan Burroughs’ second career loss and one-day wrestling

Jordan Burroughs is pushing for the title of best U.S. wrestler of all time. He’s 92-2 in his international career, with two world championships and Olympic gold. (Hence the Twitter handle: @allIseeisgold) The second of those losses might merit an asterisk, as the headline implies: Jordan Burroughs sprains MCL, wins bronze at World Wrestling Championships |Continue reading “Jordan Burroughs’ second career loss and one-day wrestling”

Monday Myriad, July 28: Sprinter’s paradise

We begin this week with a view of a cycling sprint finish from the winner’s perspective. Sounds like that would be “nothing,” but Marianne Vos didn’t take the lead until the last few meters: Last 200m is strangely zen. RT @Bonnie_D_Ford Yowsers MT @velonews On-board footage from Vos final km/La Course. http://t.co/Igw8bPGtm7 … … —Continue reading “Monday Myriad, July 28: Sprinter’s paradise”

Woly Award: Jordan Burroughs rules the mat

Wrestler Jordan Burroughs is the winner of this week’s Woly, the weekly award for U.S. Olympic-sports athletes. I used to give this award for USA TODAY, and it continued for a while after I departed. They stopped, so I’m restarting. Burroughs, the Olympic and world champion, capped a big weekend for his sport with twoContinue reading “Woly Award: Jordan Burroughs rules the mat”

Today in wrestling’s Olympic battle

Hey, Dana White! Bjorn Rebney! What do you big-time MMA promoters think wrestling should do to stay in the Olympics? Wrestling’s leaders have indeed asked, and my former USA TODAY colleague Kelly Whiteside has the story on what they’re considering — everything from dramatic walkouts to new clothes. The story includes this great anecdote:  “TwoContinue reading “Today in wrestling’s Olympic battle”

How modern pentathlon stayed in the Olympics (attn wrestling)

In elementary school, I used to wander into the Coliseum at the University of Georgia to watch wrestling. When UGA cut the varsity wrestling program, I drafted a complaint letter and had my classmates sign it. That letter was reprinted in a local weekly. (In retrospect, that may have been my first published work.) InContinue reading “How modern pentathlon stayed in the Olympics (attn wrestling)”

Wrestling leaders gearing up to fight … what, exactly?

USA Wrestling’s response to the sport’s threatened ouster from the Olympics has been impressive. They’ve done some international networking at the freestyle World Cup in Iran. They’re organizing at the grass roots. They’ve got an organization with a catchy name (CPOW, pronounced “ka-POW!”). They held a media conference call today and struck all the rightContinue reading “Wrestling leaders gearing up to fight … what, exactly?”

Wrestling’s way forward: Grappling in, Greco and whining out

Now that we’ve picked our jaws up off the floor from the IOC vote to squeeze wrestling out of the Olympic rings, let’s see what arguments work and which ones don’t. As you’d expect in the free-for-all, speak-before-reading atmosphere of the Interwebs, commenters on various sites have come up with some stupid responses. But someContinue reading “Wrestling’s way forward: Grappling in, Greco and whining out”

Wrestling’s biggest fight: Getting back in the Games

Modern pentathlon seemed to be the likeliest sport to be eliminated from the Olympic program. Then perhaps taekwondo. Maybe an outside chance of one of the Asian-dominated net sports, badminton and table tennis. Wrestling? If you saw that coming, consider taking your psychic talents to Wall Street or Vegas. “A surprise decision,” says the AP.Continue reading “Wrestling’s biggest fight: Getting back in the Games”

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 fightContinue reading “Monday Myriad: Feb. 4”