Matthias Hangst/Witters via USA TODAY Sports

400 days until the Sochi Games

Leave a comment

It’s back, that feeling deep in your chest that rises when the Olympics are around the corner. Surely it’s too early. It feels like just yesterday we were listening to the Spice Girls play out the last chords of London. But soft, what light through yonder window breaks: it is Sochi, a mere 400 days away.

We’re not sure we’ve ever seen a more exciting Games than London offered, including world records and career milestones from all-time greats like Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt, a three-peat from the U.S. women’s soccer team, and another victory at the medal table for the good ol’ US-of-A.

But for those who like cold weather sports (I’m especially a fan of the winter biathlon), you can look forward to Lindsey Vonn staking her claim as the world’s best alpine skier, Shaun White going for his own three-peat in the snowboard halfpipe, and  Yevgeny Plushenko aiming to be the first figure skater in nearly a century to medal in four straight Games.

So come back often for more news every day on the (steadily approaching) Sochi Games. February 7, 2014 will be here faster than you think. Also, Rio is only 1310 days away, incase anyone was counting.

Elana Meyers Taylor crashes, brakewoman ejected (video)

Leave a comment

Two-time Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor‘s start to the World Cup bobsled season was both record-breaking and painful.

Meyers Taylor and brakewoman Kehri Jones had the fastest women’s start time ever recorded on the 2010 Olympic track in Whistler, B.C., on Saturday.

But only one of them made it to the finish.

Meyers Taylor crashed the sled during their first run, with the impact causing Jones to eject out the back and slide along the chute before coming to a stop.

Both athletes were able to walk off the track, according to U.S. Bobsled.

Meyers Taylor missed four races last season while receiving treatment for long-term effects from a January 2015 concussion. She returned to win at the last two stops.

MORE: Why Steven Holcomb mulled retirement

Diver Sammy Lee, first Asian-American male gold medalist, dies at 96

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 18:  1948 and 1952 Olympic platform diving gold medalist Dr. Sammy Lee and Olympic diving hopeful Brittany Viola of the United States attend the Team USA Road to London 100 Days Out Celebration in Times Square on April 18, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for USOC)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Dr. Sammy Lee, the first Asian-American man to win an Olympic gold medal and first male diver to repeat as Olympic champion, died of pneumonia at age 96 on Friday, according to the University of Southern California.

Lee was born in Fresno, Calif., of Korean parents.

He unretired from a medical career to compete in his first Olympics in London in 1948, after the Games took a 12-year break due to World War II.

Lee earned platform gold and springboard bronze in 1948 and then retired, unretired and defended his platform title in 1952. Lee and another Asian-American, Victoria Manolo-Draves, who had a Filipino father and English mother, both won diving titles in 1948, with Draves’ springboard gold coming first.

Lee also served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during the Korean War.

He succeeded despite facing racial discrimination. From TeamUSA.org:

When Sammy was growing up, non-whites could use the pool where he practiced one day a week, on Wednesdays only. And then, as he has told it, the pool would be emptied after the non-whites used it, and fresh water was brought in the next day.

When the pool was off-limits, Sammy practiced by jumping into a sand pile.

Lee went on to coach divers, including Greg Louganis, after his competitive career, and continued his medical work. He graduated from USC’s medical school in 1947.

He is a member of the U.S. Olympic and International Swimming Halls of Fame.

*Correction: An earlier version of this post erroneously reported Lee was the first Asian-American Olympic champion. He was the second.