American soccer stars Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan have both been nominated for the FIFA player of the year after dominating performances that led to America’s third straight Olympic gold medal.
The two women are aiming to be the first American to take the award since Mia Hamm won back in 2002. Wambach and Morgan combined for 50 international goals this year and led the world’s best team to an undefeated 13-0-2 record this season.
Also on the list is Brazil’s Marta, who has been nominated every year since 2005 and won the award five consecutive times. America’s former coach Pia Sundhage, who now leads the national team in her native Sweden, was nominated for coach of the year.
“What a tremendous honor for all of us,” Wambach said. “And even more so to be recognized with Alex, someone who compliments me in almost every way on the field.”
Noticeably absent from the nominees is Canada’s Christine Sinclair, who scored an Olympic record six goals, including three in an devastating extra-time semi-final loss to the U.S., but was suspended by FIFA for comments made to and about the referees after the game.
“It’s a travesty,” Canadian coach John Herdman told the National Post. “A player who can score a hat trick in a semi-final and lead her country to the first medal since 1936, the first time Canada’s ever been on a [soccer] podium at one of these events.. and she can’t get in the top three.”
“There’s something wrong somewhere. But… you don’t want to be pointing fingers at people. It is what it is.”
GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — The world, some fret, is falling apart. Politicians spar viciously on social media. Leaders lie. Former heroes fall like dominoes amid endless scandals. Cruelty has come to feel commonplace.
But never fear: We have curling.
The sport with the frenzied sweeping and clacking rocks has rules that literally require players to treat opponents with kindness. Referees aren’t needed, because curlers police themselves. And the winners generally buy the losers a beer.
At the Pyeongchang Olympics, curlers and their fans agree: In an era of vitriol and venom, curling may be the perfect antidote to our troubled times.
“Nobody gets hit — other than the rock,” laughed Evelyne Martens of Calgary, Canada, as she watched a recent Canada vs. Norway curling match. “And there’s nothing about Trump here!”
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PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — The memories are impossible to ignore. Justin Olsen sees him in the start house. Elana Meyers Taylor hears him on her track walks. Mentions of his name bring some members of the team to tears, and others still can’t fully open up about how difficult moving on has been.
NBCOlymipcs.com: 2018 U.S. Olympic bobsled team
It’s been nine months since Steven Holcomb died.
USA Bobsled is not over it, not by any stretch of the imagination.
Holcomb was the best bobsledder in U.S. history, and he was supposed to be at these PyeongChang Olympics for what likely would have been the final races of his career. Instead, the Americans will head to the start house at the Alpensia Sliding Center on Sunday for the first bobsled races of these games and face the nearly impossible task of doing as well as he would have done.
This season has been one struggle after another for the Americans. Nerves have been frayed all year. Results have been far from what the U.S. wanted or envisioned. Getting a third men’s sled to PyeongChang was a challenge until the final possible moment, something that certainly would not have been the case if Holcomb was still driving.
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