475131_ORIG

Bradley Wiggins knighted for New Year

Leave a comment

The next time you see cyclist Bradley Wiggins on the town, “blind drunk,” celebrating his most recent victory, make sure you call him sir. He’s earned it.

Wiggins capped a career-year that included becoming the first British Tour de France winner, and then the most decorated British Olympian, with what he called the “ultimate accolade”: a knighthood.

“I never ever imagined that I would ever become a knight, so it’s an incredible honor,” Wiggins told the BBC. “But there’s a slight element of disbelief and it will take a while to sink in.”

Wiggins, who rung the bell to begin the London Games, won the road cycling time trial gold in London – his seventh career medal – to tie fellow cyclist Sir Chris Hoy for the most by any British Olympian.

“It will add to the myth. I will have to get a bowler hat as well.”

Yachtsman Ben Ainslie, who has won an Olympic medal at every Games since Atlanta in 1996, was also be made a sir, and 16-time paralympic cycling medalist Sarah Storey became a dame.

José Calderón retires from Spain national basketball team

Pau Gasol, Jose Calderon
AP
Leave a comment

Los Angeles Lakers point guard José Calderón retired from Spain’s national team after playing in his fourth Olympics in Rio.

Calderón, 34, earned silver medals in 2008 and 2012 and bronze in 2016 for Spain, which lost to the U.S. in the medal rounds at each of the last three Olympics.

Calderón is one of five Spaniards to play in the last four Olympic tournaments, along with Pau GasolJuan Carlos NavarroRudy Fernandez and Felipe Reyes.

Calderón came off the bench in Rio and played 25 minutes total in five of the team’s eight games. He’s entering his 12th season in the NBA.

Gasol, who will be 40 years old come Tokyo 2020, has not determined when he will end his international career.

VIDEO: Top basketball moments from Rio Olympics

Helen Maroulis gives Baltimore Ravens pre-game locker-room speech (video)

Helen Maroulis
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Helen Maroulis nervously stood to the side of Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh as he introduced the Olympic gold medalist to his players, in full pads and ready to take the field, in their locker room Saturday.

“When you beat a legend, you become a legend,” Harbaugh told the team and Maroulis. “You’re a legend, so our guys want to hear about it.”

Maroulis, who beat three-time Olympic champion Saori Yoshida to become the first U.S. Olympic women’s wrestling champion, then stepped up. Wearing a Ravens jersey — “No. 16 Maroulis” — she addressed the team.

“I was incredibly nervous,” Maroulis said later. “I just speak from the heart.”

Her full speech before the Ravens-Lions preseason game Saturday:

“A lot of people asked if I knew I was going to win before the finals. And, no, I don’t ever know if I’m going to win before a match. And I’ve always said, I’m not called to be a Magic 8-Ball. I’m called to be a wrestler. So my job isn’t to predict the future. My job is to step out there and give everything that I have. Just through studying opponents and studying people’s mindsets and trying to figure out what was going to work for me, I just realized that you have to give everything you have, and you have to sacrifice everything that needs to be sacrificed, but you can’t take anything with you into a match that’s going to guarantee you a win. Like all the hard work, everything, that doesn’t promise you a win. You still have to step out there as if you’re wrestling for your life, or you’re fighting for your life. Did I know I was going to beat her? No. But I always say, Christ is in me. I am enough. I didn’t need to be perfect that day. I didn’t need to be the fastest. I just needed to be enough. And on that day I was enough to win.”

VIDEO: Maroulis lifts Teddy Roosevelt at Nationals game