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2018 Olympic Hockey Groups Set

September 6, 2016 Leave a comment

12 countries met in three locations last week to determine the final three spots in the 2018 Olympic Hockey tournament. Latvia, Norway, and Belarus hosted the final qualification events, but at the end of the day Norway was the only host to survive. The Norwegians scored a late goal over France to finish its qualification round 3-0 with wins over the French, Kazakhstan, and Italy. Elsewhere, Germany’s Tom Kuhnhackl scored a late goal against Latvia to get Germany back to the Olympics. Finally, Slovenia is making its second straight Olympic tournament appearance after beating host Belarus in a shootout in the final game.

With that, the final groups are set:

A B C
Canada United States Sweden
Czech Republic Russia Finland
Switzerland Slovakia Norway
South Korea Slovenia Germany

The top four teams will get an automatic berth into the quarterfinals, whereas the remaining eight teams will have to play to get into the quarters.

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These People Won Their Country’s Only Medal At the 2016 Rio Olympics

August 24, 2016 Leave a comment

With 121 medals won, the United States won nearly a third of all medals in the 2016 games. They also led with 46 golds. But way at the other end of the table are the countries that only won one medal. Here’s a brief look at the newest national heroes in those countries.

Countries Whose Only Medal Was Gold

Fiji – Men’s Rugby

Rugby is far and away the top sport in Fiji, a tiny island nation with a population of just over 800,000 (or in other terms, just slightly more than the population of South Dakota). But Fiji is a rugby powerhouse. They’ve won two Rugby Sevens World Cups and now the gold medal in the 2016 Olympics. Not only was this Fiji’s first ever medal in rugby, it was its first medal of any kind in the history of the Olympics. Read more…

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10 Americans To Watch In 2018

August 23, 2016 Leave a comment

With the summer olympics over, the next olympics on tap take place in February 2018 in Peyongchang, South Korea. At the 2014 games in Sochi, the US won 28 medals, 9 of them gold, to finish 2nd and 4th in the medal table respectively. Ice dancers Charlie White and Meryl Davis and bobsledders Steve Holcomb and Steve Langton were the only Americans to medal more than once.

It was a bit of a changing of the guard Olympics, with roughly 20% of the American contingent being aged 30 or older. However, there are plenty of people to watch for 2018.

1. Mikaela Shiffrin, Alpine Skiing

Shiffrin, who will be just 22 in 2018, grabbed gold in the slalom and just missed the podium in the giant slalom. Shiffrin is the youngest slalom gold medalist and has won three consecutive world cup titles in the discipline.

2. Gracie Gold, Figure Skating

Gold was fourth in 2014, and was fourth in the 2015 and 2016 world championships. Her short program score in 2016 was the highest ever by an American. She’s yet to consistently put two routines together back to back at a major event, but if she can do so she could nab a medal in 2018.

3. Tucker West, Luge

West was the youngest slider to ever make the United States luge team in 2014, and in December 2014 he became the first American to win a world cup race since 1997. HE finished 7th in the 2015-16 overall world cup standings and won gold at the U-23 World Championships.

4. Jessica Diggins, Cross Country Skiing

Diggins won a silver at the 2015 World Championships and finished 8th in the overall rankings in the 2015-16 season. With the dominance of the nordic countries over the last few Olympics, Diggins is probably a longshot for a medal, but she has a chance to be just the second medalist ever from the United States.

5. Maddie Bowman, Freestyle Skiing

The 2014 gold medalist, Bowman has backed up her dominance with X Games gold in 2015 and 2016. Although anything can happen when you get judged sports and the Olympics together, Bowman seems like the best bet out of all the Americans to win gold in 2018.

6. Susan Dunklee, Biathlon

Dunklee had two top 15 finishes in Sochi, and ranked 14th in the 2015-16 World Cup standings. She also finished 2nd in a sprint event earlier this season. The United States has never won a biathlon medal, but if Dunklee can put together a good race, she could be the first.

7. John Shuster, Curling

Putting a curler on here is risky because the US trials format makes it tough to predict which team will actually make it to the Olympics, but if it’s John Shuster for the third consecutive Olympics, the US should have a shot to medal for the first time since a bronze in 2006. Shuster struggled in his previous two Olympic trips, but was 5th in the 2015 World Championships and 3rd in the 2016 Worlds.

8. Heather Richardson-Bergsma, Speedskating

The current world record holder at 1500 meters, Richardson-Bergsma also won 3 silver medals at the world championships this year, as well as a gold in 2015. With the terrible showing at the 2014 Olympics in which the United States won zero medals, Richardson-Bergsma looks like the best bet to win at least one medal in South Korea.

9. Lindsey Jacobellis, Snowboardcross

Jacobellis is unfortunately known for her fall at the end of the 2006 Olympics, but is unquestionably the best Snowboardcross racer of all time. She has 10 X Games gold medals, including the last three, and four world championship golds, including the most recent. She’ll be 33 at Peyongchang, and it will likely be her swan song. Here’s betting she caps off her stellar career with the one prize that is missing.

10. Kiley McKinnon, Freestyle Skiing

McKinnon is one of the best aerial skiiers in the world, having won silver at the 2015 World Championships and the 2015 World Cup championship. McKinnon, a Connecticut native, could become just the second female medalist in aerials from the United States.

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10 Americans To Watch In 2020

August 22, 2016 Leave a comment

With the 2016 games all wrapped up, it is time to look ahead to the 2020 games in Tokyo, which will host the summer games for the second time (first: 1964). While it is always tough to predict who will put on a show four years from now (after all, I thought Missy Franklin was on a crash course to become the best female swimmer ever) it was no problem coming up with 10 Americans who will be worth watching in four years. The only issue was limiting it to 10.

1. Katie Ledecky, Swimming

Ledecky took the torch from Missy Franklin as the face of US women’s swimming, and with Michael Phelps likely retiring, she will be the face of US swimming in Tokyo. She already has tied the record for most freestyle gold medals by a female swimmer (and would have two more if the Olympics contested the 1500 free). Ledecky looks like a lock for the 800 in Tokyo, and will have a great shot at the 400 and 200 as well. The only thing stopping her is boredom from routinely blowing the best swimmers in the world out of the water. Read more…

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Former USOC Boss Moves To The College Hockey World

January 3, 2012 Leave a comment

Former USOC boss Jim Scherr is expected to be named the first ever commissioner of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, according to a Colorado Springs Gazette report. I posted my reactions to the hockey side of it earlier today, and here is what I said about his Olympic credentials:

The South Dakota native was a national champion wrestler at Nebraska and finished 5th at 198 pounds in the Seoul games. Scherr became the USOC head after the fallout of the Salt Lake City bribery scandal, and oversaw the most successful period in Olympic history, as the US broke a record for medals won in an Olympics without a boycott in 2008 with 110. They also won 25 medals in Torino in 2006, the most medals they had won in a European winter Olympics. They then shattered their “road” Olympics medal high winning 37 in Vancouver. The 9 golds each in 2006 and 2010 are a US record for a Games not on US soil.

It wasn’t all sunny for Scherr (pun alert!) during his tenure, but if he does as well as he did with the USOC the NCHC should be in good hands.

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My Return

January 17, 2011 1 comment

If you’re a regular reader, you have noticed I have been AWOL these past few months. But now that we have just a year and a half or so to go before the 2012 London Games I am going to get back into it. I have some good things planned, and I am hoping to get this bad boy moved to a bigger network by the games.

In any event, 2011 might be a little slow, but hopefully there will be a steady build before really kicking off the pre-London party starting in 2012. It should be a fun couple years of following Olympic sports, and I’m excited to have you along for the ride.

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Links!

Alicia Sacramone is making a comeback (Universal Sports)

About blogs and the media (Sparty and Friends)

The Marion Jones saga is finally over (FPM)

Allen Johnson has retired (LA Times)

non-sports but cool: a whale jumped out of the sea and broke a boat (newslite)

other runners aren’t big fans of Caster Semenya (The Guardian)

Categories: Uncategorized