The first American to qualify for BMX Cycling as an Olympic event, Kyle Bennett, 33, died in a single-vehicle car crash early Sunday morning in his hometown of Conroe, Texas.
“Kyle was a pioneer in Olympic BMX and an inspiration to those of us that knew him,” said USA Cycling CEO Steve Johnson in a statement. “He will be sorely missed.”
Bennett was reportedly rushing to the aid of his fiancée, Lynsie, whose car had been broken into. Bennett wasn’t wearing a seat belt.
Bennett competed in his first national competition at age 9 and turned pro at age 18 after he graduated high school, eventually becoming a three-time champion in the National Bicycle League and winning International Cycling Union world titles in 2002, ’03 and ’07.
Bennett qualified as part of the three-person U.S. men’s BMX team for the 2008 Beijing Games, the year the sport debuted as an Olympic event, but was knocked out in the semis.
Cycling was a family affair for the Bennetts: His grandfather was a motorcycle shop owner who encouraged his grandson to race bikes, and Kyle’s stepfather was a professional rider who helped him train.
Bennett’s smooth riding style earned him the nickname “Butter.” He was a champion for his sport as it gained global prominence and told the Houston Chronicle in 2008 he wanted BMX to become a household name.
“It’s such an easy sport to get involved in. All you need is a bike, long pants, a shirt and a helmet.”
“I think there’s something special about Aspen,” Mikaela Shiffrin told NBC after winning two slalom races in as many days.
After Saturday’s history-making win, when Shiffrin won her first World Cup race in the U.S. and was the first American woman to win a slalom race at the Aspen World Cup stop, the twenty-year-old won again by a large margin. After winning by 3:07 seconds on Saturday, Shiffrin told reporters, “I don’t think [my competitors] are going to let me get away with three seconds ever again.”
But on Sunday her lead over the second place finisher, Frida Hansdotter of Sweden, wasn’t much shorter: 2:65 seconds. And this was with an early mistake that left her off balance for a moment in her final run.
In third place was Sarka Strachova of the Czech Republic.
This weekend also saw a podium finish for American Travis Ganong. Racing the downhill event at Lake Louise yesterday, Ganong finished third behind Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway, who is recovering from an Achilles injury that prevented him from competing the majority of the last season, and Peter Fill of Norway. Ganong cAksel Lund Svindal of Norwayouldn’t quite repeat his success in the Super G event on Sunday, finishing fourth.
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Hamburg will not continue its bid to host the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics, withdrawing from the race after a public referendum was held.
If over 50% of the voters in Hamburg had voted in support of the Olympic bid they would have stayed in race. However, the New York Times reported that of the 650,000 votes that were cast, 51.7% were against the bid.
Olaf Scholz, the mayor of Hamburg, said, “This is a decision that we did not have liked but it is clear.”
A public referendum also ended Munich’s bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Germany has not hosted a Games since 1972.
The cities that remain in contention to host the 2024 Olympics are Los Angeles, Budapest, Paris and Rome. None of these plan to hold public referendums.
The 2024 host city will be selected on September 13th, 2017 at the International Olympic Committee meeting in Lima, Peru.