While Shaun White was doing his best to undermine the ideals of Olympism Monday, top flight athletes Michael Phelps and Allyson Felix were honored by the USOC for their achievements in London. Both were named the best U.S. athletes of the Games for their respective genders.
“Through their commitment to excellence on and off the field, these athletes represent our country with incredible grace and composure,” chief executive Tom Blackmun said in a statement he presumably dusted off from 2008. “Their outstanding achievements are an inspiration to all Americans.”
Phelps won four gold medals in London to bring his career total to 18, twice that of any other athlete in history, and Felix finally broke through to win gold in the 200m after finishing second in the event in back-to-back Olympics, then threw in gold in the 4x100m and 4x400m relays for good measure.
The women’s eight rowing crew, which hasn’t lost in six years and led wire-to-wire in London, was awarded best team, and athletes Raymond Martin and Jessica Long were also recognized for their achievements during the Paralympics. None have since tried to kick anyone while fleeing a hotel. It can be done.
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