412258_ORIG

Windsurfing back in the Olympics!

Leave a comment

The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) reinstated windsurfing into the Olympics program Saturday, overturning a vote from earlier this year that kicked the sailing discipline out of the Games in exchange for increasingly popular sport of kite boarding.

Meanwhile, the rug was pulled from underneath the kite boarding community, including billionaire mogul Richard Branson, who wrote that the reinstatement of wind surfing is a sad day for his favorite sport.

“Their original decision was the right one and a brave one,” Branson wrote. “Although my own feeling is that there is room for both sports in the Olympics. If they had to drop anything it should have been one of the less exciting sailing races, which really don’t capture the public’s imagination.

‘Kitesurfing is one of the greatest spectator sports around, pitting man against the elements. After a magnificent summer, it leaves the Olympics the poorer for this decision.”

Windsurfing had been knocked out of the Olympics by a 19-to-17 majority during an ISAF council vote during back in May, but Spain, as well as a few other countries, claimed that “language difficulties” and confusion led to them accidentally voting in favor of kite boarding.

British silver medal windsurfer, Nick Dempsey, who dubbed the May vote a “massive mistake,” “short-sighted” and even called kite boarding too dangerous for the Olympics couldn’t be more thrilled. He tweeted “Windsurfing is back!!!!! No kiteboarding in Rio. This is the right decision……”

He that hath the steerage of my course, direct my sail!

Lance Armstrong’s $100 million trial set for November

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 20:  Lance Armstrong (C) heads out with cyclists on December 20, 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand. The disgraced Tour de France rider is in New Zealand to film a commercial, and put out a call on social media for local riders to join him on a ride along the Auckland Waterfront.  (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Lance Armstrong‘s $100 million legal fight with the federal government has been set for a November trial.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper on Thursday set a Nov. 6 trial start in Washington. Armstrong’s legal team had asked to postpone trial until 2018 because of a potential scheduling conflict.

The government wants Armstrong to pay back the $32 million the U.S. Postal Service paid his team for sponsorship, plus triple damages.

Armstrong’s former teammate Floyd Landis initially filed the whistle-blower case in 2010, accusing him of violating the sponsorship contract by taking performance-enhancing drugs. The government joined the case in 2013 after Armstrong admitted cheating and was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and 2000 Olympic bronze medal.

Landis, who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title for cheating, could collect up to 25 percent of damages awarded.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Armstrong intrigued by ultra marathon, obstacle-course races

Lindsey Vonn, Mikaela Shiffrin set for busy weekend

Lindsey Vonn, MIkaela Shiffrin
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin are slated for one of the busiest race weekends of their careers, streaming on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app starting Friday morning.

Vonn and Shiffrin are each expected to race Friday, Saturday and Sunday in World Cup action in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.

The schedule:

Friday — Super Combined
Super-G run: 4:30 a.m. ET
Slalom run: 8:30 a.m. ET

Saturday — Super-G
4:30 a.m. ET

Sunday — Super Combined
Super-G run: 4:30 a.m. ET
Slalom run: 7:30 a.m. ET

Plenty is at stake in the first races since the world championships.

Vonn, who earned downhill bronze at worlds, hopes to move closer to the career World Cup wins record of 86 held by Swede Ingemar Stenmark. She picked up her 77th victory last month, her only win in eight races since coming back in January from knee and upper arm fractures.

Vonn returned quickly, with little training, and said at worlds she was unable to put her hair in a ponytail due to a lack of grip in her right hand from November broken arm surgery. She duct-taped her right glove to her ski pole for her final two races at worlds.

Vonn last won a super-G on Jan. 24, 2016, and last won a combined event on Jan. 27, 2012.

Shiffrin, who took slalom gold and giant slalom silver at worlds, enters the weekend with a hefty 414-point lead on her closest challenger in the standings for the World Cup overall title, the biggest annual prize in ski racing.

It would take a collapse in the final 11 races over the next month for Shiffrin not to become the third U.S. woman to take the crown after Tamara McKinney and Vonn.

It looked as if Shiffrin and defending overall champion Lara Gut would battle for the title, until Gut suffered a torn ACL and meniscus damage in a world championships super combined warm-up two weeks ago, ending her season.

Shiffrin, already a multiple Olympic medal favorite, could be poised for her first World Cup podium in super-G or super combined this weekend. She was a career-best fourth in her most recent super-G at a World Cup stop last month.

The youngest Olympic slalom champion will also benefit from the fact that Friday and Sunday’s combined races feature a super-G and a slalom rather than a downhill and a slalom. Shiffrin is stronger in super-G than downhill.

After Crans-Montana, the World Cup schedule has three more stops — a downhill and super-G at the 2018 Olympic venue in South Korea, followed by a giant slalom and slalom in Squaw Valley, Calif., and the four-race World Cup Finals in Aspen, Colo.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Roger Federer takes in World Champs with Lindsey Vonn