Aaron Cook Media Day

Aaron Cook has a new country to fight for

Leave a comment

After he was unceremoniously left off the British taekwondo team for his hometown London Games, world No. 1 fighter Aaron Cook is making good on his threat to switch national allegiances. He’ll now fight for Isle of Man in upcoming events.

“I was reigning European champion, world No. 1… I am never going to work with [British Taekwondo] again,” Cook told Sky Sports News.

“They have made their minds up with what they have done to me and I’ve made my mind up.”

Cook, who was omitted from the Olympic team in exchange for 59th-ranked Lutalo Muhammad and lost three appeals, explored fighting for the U.S. or France, but decided to remain under the British umbrella in hopes of fighting for Team GB at the Rio Games.

Cook is also excited about new Olympic qualification rules the World Taekwondo Federation is considering.

“All I have got to do is go and win the world championships the European championships and make sure I am top-ranked in the world and I can get there off my own back which we didn’t have in the past.”

“I just wish I could have been on that team. I felt I deserved to be on that team. I’ve got to find some peace and I’ve to go move forward… I can’t wait to be hopefully world champion next year.”

Jim Craig: Minor changes, but no hesitation, in second ‘Miracle’ sale

Jim Craig
AP
Leave a comment

It has been 300 days since Jim Craig first announced he would sell a bundle of his “Miracle on Ice” memorabilia, including his gold medal, for $5.7 million.

They didn’t sell last year. So he took most of the items in the original bundle and is splitting them up in an auction that runs though June 17.

On Tuesday, Craig said he had no thoughts about keeping the most precious items in the 10 months in between sales.

“We wanted to sell an entire collection to a person that would have the financial means to be able to display it, hopefully that everybody would be able to come and enjoy it like they have the last 35 years,” Craig said. “It’s a lot better than being tucked in a closet.”

There are a few items from the original bundle that Craig decided not to auction this time around — a 1980 Sports Illustrated Sportsmen of the Year trophy, two watches that he gave to his kids and an Olympic ring.

VIDEO: Which Miracle item is toughest for Craig to sell?

Christie Rampone not at fitness level to compete for Olympic spot

Christie Rampone
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Christie Rampone, the 40-year-old captain of the 2015 U.S. Women’s World Cup team, has yet to return to full fitness after December knee surgery and pulled out of a U.S. camp ahead of two pre-Olympic friendlies in June.

Her bid for a fifth Olympics, and to become the oldest U.S. Olympic soccer player of all time, is in danger.

The camp begins Friday. The friendlies against rival Japan (which failed to qualify for Rio) are June 2 and June 5.

“I don’t feel 100 percent healthy enough to train and compete at that level,” Rampone said in a press release Tuesday. “I’ve been able to manage myself and contribute to Sky Blue [her club team] this season, which I will continue to do, but I also have an understanding of the level of fitness and health needed to push for an Olympic roster spot, and I know I’m not there right now. It’s not the right choice for myself or the team to put myself in that environment.”

Rampone, a defender, hasn’t played for the U.S. since her December arthroscopic knee surgery. At the 2015 Women’s World Cup, she played a total of 14 minutes.

The U.S. national team is currently without nine players from the 23-player World Cup team, though some are expected back for the Olympics, but only one of the missing other than Rampone is a defender (the retired Lori Chalupny).

The U.S. Olympic women’s soccer team for London was named in May 2012, but the Rio roster of 18 players is expected to be announced by early July.

VIDEO: Hope Solo ‘begrudgingly’ going to Rio Olympics