After missing out on winning gold at the London Games last summer due to back surgery, Lakers center Dwight Howard is itching to get back in the Olympics, and only had two words when asked if he plans to play in Rio in 2016: “No doubt.”
Oh wait, no. There’s more:
“I was mad I couldn’t play in the playoffs. I was mad I couldn’t play in the Olympics. I was pissed. I was looking forward to going to London. I was looking forward to making a big run in the playoffs last season, so I wasn’t too happy about the fact that I had to have surgery and miss a lot of basketball.”
Howard was among a host of American NBA standouts who weren’t able to contribute, including Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin, Chris Bosh, and LaMarcus Aldridge. But the team was still strong enough to win its fourteenth gold medal in Olympics history.
Who Howard will be playing under if he makes it to Rio is still up for debate, though, after Duke Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski reiterated the fact that London was his last tournament with the team when speaking on ESPN Radio earlier this week. Coach K said Team USA will likely name a new coach this week, with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich as the heavy favorite. Who do you think should get the job?
The 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the final competition to determine the Pyeongchang Olympic team, will be in San Jose, California, at the SAP Center, concluding Jan. 7.
It appears to be the earliest the U.S. Figure Skating Championships will end in an Olympic year in at least 50 years.
The competition will be broadcast live on NBC and streamed live on Icenetwork.com.
San Jose previously hosted the U.S. Championships in 1996 and 2012, but it has never hosted in an Olympic year.
Sochi Olympian Polina Edmunds is from San Jose and figures to receive a boost of crowd support. Edmunds, 18, begins classes at nearby Santa Clara University next month.
The January 2017 U.S. Championships will be in Kansas City. The international figure skating season starts next month, with Skate America kicking off the Grand Prix season in October.
Recent Nationals host cities in Olympic years were Boston in 2014 and Spokane, Washington, in 2010.
MORE: Ashley Wagner, Gracie Gold headline Skate America
Olympic coaches don’t receive gold medals. Fiji Olympic men’s rugby coach Ben Ryan may have gotten something better anyway.
Ryan’s reward for guiding Fiji to its first Olympic medal in any sport — gold in rugby sevens’ Olympic debut — included three acres of land in Fiji and a new name, Ratu Peni Raiyani Latianara, according to Fijian reports.
Ryan, a London native, is stepping down as coach of the Fijian team. The 44-year-old coached the team for three years after leading the England national sevens team for six years.
MORE: Fiji wins nation’s first Olympic medal