Karch Kiraly, one of the most decorated volleyball players in history – both indoor and beach – has been chosen to take over the U.S. women’s team and will spend the next four years preparing to avenge back-to-back gold medal game losses to Brazil, which will have home court in 2016.
“We hope to continue that wonderful momentum that went right on through a really tremendous Olympic Games,” Kiraly said earlier this week. “A tremendous tournament that ended on a bit of a down note losing in the gold medal match, but a great accomplishment. Two silver medals in a row now for the USA women, a hallmark of consistency. And I hope to continue that.”
If you’ve never heard of Kiraly here’s a quick bio: he won three NCAA national championships at UCLA between 1979 and ’82, losing only five matches in his college career. He then won indoor Olympic gold in 1984 and again as a captain in 1988, then decided to try his hand at beach, won the first men’s beach gold in 1996, and ended his career in 2007 with 148 world tour victories – still the most all time. He was also named the world’s best indoor player twice and AVP beach player of the year six times.
All that to say: he’s pretty good at what he does and we’re lucky to have him on our side. Here’s hoping he can finally figure out a way to help the U.S. women get past Brazil and turn silver to gold in Rio.
The 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the final competition to determine the Pyeongchang Olympic team, will be in San Jose, California, at the SAP Center, concluding Jan. 7.
It appears to be the earliest the U.S. Figure Skating Championships will end in an Olympic year in at least 50 years.
The competition will be broadcast live on NBC and streamed live on Icenetwork.com.
San Jose previously hosted the U.S. Championships in 1996 and 2012, but it has never hosted in an Olympic year.
Sochi Olympian Polina Edmunds is from San Jose and figures to receive a boost of crowd support. Edmunds, 18, begins classes at nearby Santa Clara University next month.
The January 2017 U.S. Championships will be in Kansas City. The international figure skating season starts next month, with Skate America kicking off the Grand Prix season in October.
Recent Nationals host cities in Olympic years were Boston in 2014 and Spokane, Washington, in 2010.
MORE: Ashley Wagner, Gracie Gold headline Skate America
Olympic coaches don’t receive gold medals. Fiji Olympic men’s rugby coach Ben Ryan may have gotten something better anyway.
Ryan’s reward for guiding Fiji to its first Olympic medal in any sport — gold in rugby sevens’ Olympic debut — included three acres of land in Fiji and a new name, Ratu Peni Raiyani Latianara, according to Fijian reports.
Ryan, a London native, is stepping down as coach of the Fijian team. The 44-year-old coached the team for three years after leading the England national sevens team for six years.
MORE: Fiji wins nation’s first Olympic medal