Archive for August, 2009

The 2010 Torch Relay Route

August 26, 2009 Leave a comment

The torch is  getting ready to light the flame on February 12th, 2010 as we begin another two weeks of bliss. The torch started in Greece, where all others do, and from there flew to Canada where it began the longest torch relay ever to take place in just one country.

Starting on October 30th in Victoria, British Columbia, the torch will travel over 35,000 kilometers. The closest it will come to me is when it passes through Winkler, Manitoba on January 7th 2010. It will fly to almost the northernmost point of Canada, as far west as just a few miles away from Alaska, and as far East as St. Johns. The route will cover big cities such as Montreal, Toronto and Calgary, but it will also hit Yellowknife, Whitehorse, and Iqaluit. At one point the torch will be roughly 7,000 km away from its intended destination and still be in the same country. It should be a great ride.

Categories: Winter

Track And Field Wrapup

August 24, 2009 Leave a comment

I would have loved to have posted regularly throughout the Track and Field World Championships, but sadly I was without internet access for much of it. So a quick wrapup should suffice, right? For more, you can go here.

The United States won both the most gold medals (10) and overall medals (22) at the Worlds. Allyson Felix was amazing in the 200 meters, Sonya Richards finally broke through with a gold in the 400, and LaShawn Merritt won the gold in the mens 400, completing an impressive Olympics-worlds double.

Obviously Usain Bolt stole the show in the 100 meter dash, but let’s not overlook Tyson Gay, who now is the second fastest person ever after running an American record 9.71. If Bolt ever has an off day, which admittedly doesn’t look like it will happen anytime soon, Gay will be right there to win.

According to Alan Abrahamson, Shannon Rowbury won the first American medal in the 1500 in 10 years, and  Nick Symmonds was our first mens 800 finalist since 1997. Getting more and more Americans into the finals of these events will mean getting American medalists in these events, which should help offset the loss of medals in the sprints to Jamaican runners.

And hey, there’s always the 4X400 relay if we need a gold.

Categories: Summer

Rugby, Golf Up For 2016 Vote

August 13, 2009 1 comment

Baseball, softball and two others were rejected for the 2016 vote, and instead next month the IOC will vote on whether to accept rugby and golf as olympic sports. Helping golf’s case was Tiger Woods and other notable golfers saying they would play in the Olympics if golf was accepted on the program. Golf would propose a 72 hole stroke play competition for both men and women. The top 15 players in the world would automatically qualify, with competitions set up for other qualifiers.

Rugby would be featured as rugby sevens, a quicker and faster paced game than the standard game, which has 15 players to a side. In this scenario the Rugby governing board would axe the Rugby Sevens World Cup to ensure that the Olympic games are the most prestigious tournament on the program. The vote, taking place in October, requires a majority to get rugby or golf into the Olympic program.

Baseball failed its bid, even though it had offered a shortened 5 day, 8 team tournament designed to bring top Major League Baseball stars over for the tournament. Famous softball pitcher Jennie Finch said she was “severely disheartened and disappointed by the IOC’s vote not to put softball back in the Olympics for 2016” via her Twitter.

Categories: Summer Tags: , , , ,

FIBA Asia Championships In Full Swing

August 9, 2009 3 comments

The tournament started Thursday in China, but if you’ve missed any action so far fear not; the competition doesn’t conclude until next Sunday. The current group leaders are Korea in Group E and China and Jordan tied in Group F. Even without Yao Ming, China has played well, especially Yi Jiianlian, who has averaged 15 pts and 7.7 rebounds per game. Former Dallas Maverick Wang Zhizhi is also asserting himself well, averaging 14.3 pts and 9.7 rebounds. However, it should be noted that some of the opponents are not up to snuff. China has beaten India 121-49, Kazakhstan 74-56, and Qatar 92-61. They’re hardly playing Spain, Argentina and Australia.

Teams qualified for the Asia Championships in the following manner:

China – automatic qualification by being the host.

Jordan – automatic by being 2008 FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup

The top 5 finishers in the 2008 Stakovic Cup earned an additional qualifying spot for their sub-zone. Here is the zonal breakdown:

WABA: Iran, Jordan, Leabanon

Gulf: Bahrain (withdrew), Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates

Middle: India, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan

East: China, India, Japan

Southeast: Indonesia, Phillippines

*Note: Taiwan was given a wild card berth when Bahrain dropped out.

From the quarterfinals on, the play will be a straight playoff format. The two teams that make the finals plus the 3rd place winner automatically qualify for the 2010 FIBA World Championships in Turkey.

Categories: Summer Tags:

Jacobellis, Vonn Nominees For Sportswoman Of The Year

August 6, 2009 Leave a comment

The two Lindseys were nominated for the 2009 Women’s Sports Foundation’s Sportswoman of the Year Award.

Jacobellis won her second Snowboardcross World Cup title in 2009, winning 5 of the 9 competitions. She also won her 5th Winter X Games gold medal last winter. She is the most successful Snowboardcross athlete in history.

Lindsey Vonn became the first American woman to win back to back overall World Cup titles. She also went back to back in the downhill. The Minnesota native has 22 career World Cup wins and like Jacobellis is the most successful American in her sport’s history. Vonn also swept gold in the downhill and Super-G events at the Alpine World Championships, which were held this year in France.

Each woman has to be considered the favorite for their respective gold medal, especially if Jacobellis avoids a fall like she had three years ago.

Categories: Winter Tags: ,

Kwan Won't Be In Vancouver

August 5, 2009 2 comments

It would have been a longshot for Michelle Kwan to win a gold medal in 2010 and fix the only blemish in her figure skating resume as it is, but she announced that she will instead be attending grad school at Tufts University. Kwan has made several trips for the state department recently and hopes that graduate school will advance her career in the field. Four years ago Kwan received a medical bye into the 2006 Torino Games, but had to pull out due to injury anyways. After a four year layoff Kwan probably wouldn’t have won a gold medal, and would have trouble even making the US team given the potential of some of the young skaters. Americans are ranked 8th 9th and 10th in the rankings and it’s tough to imagine Kwan as a top 10 skater right now.

The 29 year old will end her skating career with a silver in Nagano, a bronze in Salt Lake City and five world championships. Kwan also won 9 US titles, one more than Dorothy Hammill and Peggy Flemming combined. Although she will ultimately miss out on Olympic gold, she has plenty of good things in front of her. All the best.

Categories: Winter Tags: ,

Potential 2016 Host: Chicago

August 5, 2009 4 comments

For the critique of Chicago’s chances I enlisted the help of commenter Sportsgal, who is known internet wide and just so happens to be a Chicago resident. Here is her take, presented unedited and unabridged.

As a resident of Chicago with the potential to make some serious dough renting out my apartment to visitors, I welcome the possibility of Chicago winning the bid for the Olympic games in 2016.  But let me take a realistic look at the chances this city has for becoming an Olympic host city:

1.  Location –
PROS Chicago has Lake Michigan, a perfect spot for rowing, triathalon and beach volleyball events.  The lake front also has miles of paved roadway which could be used for the marathon events and help minimize road closures in the city.  The United Center would be perfect for the volleyball and basketball events.  New facilities would need to be created for other events (including a new arena for track and field and swimming), but there is ample space available along the lake on the south side of the city. 
CONS I’m not sure how the bike race would work… Chicago is flat farm country so I can’t see how they’d make the race challenging enough.  But this is a small con, so it doesn’t really count.  The other con is the amount of new construction that would have to be built.  Buildings go up relatively quickly here, but it can take years before the city council approves new construction.  There is a lot of conflict between the Aldermen and the mayor’s office, so it’d be interesting to see how this would work out.
2.  Transportation –
PROS The city has two major airports (Midway and O’Hare), and both have public transportation that can take people directly into the downtown area.  The Chicago Transit Authority has spent millions of dollars on renovations to the elevated trains system, and will be able to support a high level of ridership by the time 2016 rolls around.
CONS Traffic is a fucking joke in this city, and that’s without an extra 200,000 people in town to watch the Olympics.  The bus system would be at a stand still heading to the south side every day for events.  The trains would need more work, a daunting task considering the CTA has had to threaten strikes multiple times to get the state of Illinois to approve their budget.  If they don’t spend a hefty chunk of change on transportation updates, there are going to be some MAJOR issues.
Throw in all the intangibles (the city’s architecture, history, night life, world class restaurants, proximity to other cities, summer weather, bringing the Olympics back to the United States), and Chicago has a good chance of winning the bid.
[Ed. Note]- Personally I think Chicago’s bid stacks up well with the others, and in my mind could even be the favorite. If Chicago doesn’t win the bid, the United States will go more than 14 years without an Olympics (2002 Salt Lake City) and more than 20 years without a Summer Games (1996 Atlanta), call it excessive Patriotism, but that’s much too long.
Categories: Summer