OlympicTalk’s writers recount some of their favorite moments from the 2012 London Games.
When Jordan Burroughs sat down at his computer in January of 2011 and decided on the Twitter handle @alliseeisgold, the then 22-year-old from New Jersey had no freestyle international experience and was fresh off a major knee injury that sidelined him for most of the 2009/10 season. He wasn’t even a lock to capture his weight class at the 2011 NCAA championships, let alone to win a spot against veteran wrestlers at the 2011 U.S. World Team Trials.
But by the Opening Ceremony of the London Games – just a year and a half after making his Joe Namath-like prediction – Burroughs had won the 2011 World Championships, the 2011 Pan American Games and swept the U.S. Olympic Trials, all without dropping a single match. Already the face of USA Wrestling, he entered London as the odds on favorite to capture the 74kg weight class crown and record his name among the sports’ elite.
Burroughs cruised through London, winning all but one round en-route to gold. His 1-0, 1-0 victory over Iran’s Sadegh Goudarzi had it’s fair share of excitement, but the result was never in doubt. When the timer hit 0:00 and Burroughs won, it became clear to everyone that the moment they were witnessing was something special, not because the achievement itself involved something super-human on the mat, but because it was the culmination of a promise that, at the time it was made, seemed utterly unattainable.
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s Olympic Committee said Saturday that eight of the country’s athletes have registered positive in doping retests for the 2012 London Games.
The brief statement from the ROC did not give names or what disciplines the athletes were in, but said they came from three different sports.
It said further information would not be released until so-called “B samples” were tested that would confirm or contradict the retests. The International Olympic Committee stores Olympic doping samples for 10 years to reanalyze them when newer methods become available.
The announcement came amid heightened attention to the doping of Russian athletes.
The international track and field federation suspended Russia’s team from global competition, including the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August, after a World Anti-Doping Agency commission report detailed state-sponsored doping. The IAAF is set to decide on June 17 whether to maintain or lift its suspension.
Earlier this week, Russian state television reported that 10 medalists from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, including 2012 high jump champion Anna Chicherova, were among 14 Russians that tested positive in the reanalysis of their doping samples.
U.S. Olympic track and field hopefuls compete in the biggest meet before the Olympic Trials at the Prefontaine Classic on Saturday, live on NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.
The premier annual international meet in the U.S., hosted at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field, takes place five weeks before the U.S. Olympic Trials at the same venue.
The Pre Classic fields on Saturday include U.S. Olympic champions Justin Gatlin (100m), Dawn Harper-Nelson (100m hurdles), Aries Merritt (110m hurdles), LaShawn Merritt (400m) and Sanya Richards-Ross (400m).
International stars such as two-time Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica and Olympic 400m champion Kirani James of Grenada also dot the entry lists.
A full preview with start lists and highlight events to watch is here.
NBCSN will air live coverage Saturday from 3:30-5 p.m. ET. NBC will air live coverage from 5-6 p.m. ET. NBC Sports Live Extra will stream all 2 1/2 hours.
LIVE STREAM: Prefontaine Classic — 3:30-6 p.m. ET