SI’s writers may have picked LeBron for Sportsman of the Year, but now the fans have spoken, and swimmer Michael Phelps will grace the final cover of 2012 after winning Sports Moment of the Year.
Phelps is only the second cover athlete picked by the fans in the magazine’s 58-year history. He edged out Gabby Douglas for the award when fans picked the finale of his storied career over Gabby’s gold.
Phelps capped his Olympic career with six medals in London, bringing his haul to 22, including 18 gold; twice what any other athlete has won in history.
Other nominees for award were Peyton Manning’s return to the NFL with the Broncos, Usain Bolt’s historic runs in London, and the San Francisco Giants winning another World Series.
Co-Olympic super-G bronze medalist Jan Hudec was granted a request by Alpine Canada to represent the Czech Republic next season after being left off Canada’s national team.
Hudec, 34, wasn’t eligible for Canada’s national team after racing once in 2015-16 due to the latest of his many knee surgeries, according to Alpine Canada.
“It is important to know that we continued to work with Jan after the team selection was announced, and let him know that we were more then willing to find accommodation that would enable him to return to the team,” Alpine Canada said in a press release. “However, at this stage of Jan’s career, he is making a decision that can best meet his desire to fulfill and lead a different way of life, that reaches beyond ski racing.”
The International Ski Federation must still grant Hudec’s request. Hudec was born in the Czech Republic.
At the Sochi Olympics, Hudec shared bronze with Bode Miller in the super-G. He is also the 2007 World Championships downhill silver medalist and a two-time winner of World Cup races.
The 2016-17 Alpine skiing World Cup season is expected to begin in Soelden, Austria, in late October.
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Estonian sisters Leila, Liina and Lily Luik are set to become what is believed to be the first set of triplets to compete in an Olympics, according to Games historians.
The Luiks, identical triplets born Oct. 14, 1985, remain the only Estonian women to meet the Olympic qualifying time for the marathon. And since a nation can send three qualified athletes to the Olympic marathon, all three are in line to go to Rio.
The Estonia athletics federation’s qualifying cutoff is Wednesday. It doesn’t believe any other Estonians will register an Olympic qualifying time by then.
With most marathons taking place on weekends, it appears the Luiks are safe, even though none has run faster than 2:37, and the Olympic medal winners will likely be running in the low-to-mid 2:20s.
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