Mikhail Prokhorov

Mikhail Prokhorov sets expectations for Russia biathlon at Sochi Olympics

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Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov doubles as the president of Russia’s biathlon union. The billionaire was in Sochi for a biathlon meeting Wednesday, when he outlined his hopes for the Olympics.

“We’re hoping that our biathletes should win two or three gold medals,” Prokhorov said, according to R-Sport. “That minimal result would suit us.”

How realistic is that?

Russia’s gold-medal tallies in biathlon at the Olympics are as follows:

1994 — 3 (out of six events)
1998 — 1 (six events)
2002 — 1 (eight events)
2006 — 2 (10 events)
2010 — 2 (10 events)

One more biathlon event will be added for the 2014 Olympics, a mixed-gender relay.

Russia didn’t win any golds at February’s World Championships in the Czech Republic, only one silver and one bronze. In the 2012-13 World Cup season, it had one overall leader — its men’s relay. Its mixed relay ranked second, and Anton Shipulin was third in the sprint and pursuit standings.

Perhaps the best indicator of Olympic success, though, was the World Cup stop held at the Sochi Olympic course in March. There, the men’s relay won its only gold, while Russian biathletes picked up two more silver medals in six total events.

The Olympic medal predictor Infostrada tapped Russia to win one silver and two bronze medals in biathlon.

Any way you slice it, Russia must improve upon its results from last season to meet Prokhorov’s hope.

Prokhorov, in charge of Russia biathlon since 2008, has said he will step down if Russia wins fewer than two golds in biathlon in Sochi.

“A result that wouldn’t do for me is fewer than two gold medals,” he told R-Sport in February. “If there will be fewer than that, then I’m resigning. It means I’ll have failed.”

Keep in mind the Nets went 24-58 and 22-44 in their first two seasons under Prokhorov.

Russian weatherman predicts problems for Sochi Paralympics

Ashton Eaton named male IAAF Athlete of the Year

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American decathlete Ashton Eaton was named the 2015 male Athlete of the Year by the International Association of Athletics Federations, the world governing body for track and field. Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba, the reigning world champion in the 1500m, was named the female IAAF Athlete of the Year.

Eaton is the first decathlete and just the eighth American man to win the title. Tyson Gay in 2007 was the last American man to be named.

The honor came due to Eaton’s world-record-setting performance at the world championships held in Beijing this past August. There he beat the previous record, his own from the 2012 Olympic Trials, by nine points. He also set a world record for running the fastest 400m portion of the decathlon in 45.00 seconds.

In the IAAF press release, Eaton said, “Athletes spend the most vigorous years of human life, arguably called the ‘best years’, working to hone their abilities. So, when an athlete competes, what people are witnessing is the manifestation of what a human being is capable of when they choose to direct all of their time and effort towards something.

“I’m grateful and thankful to the IAAF for excellent competitions, the canvases that allow us to display our work.”

He also acknowledged sprinter Usain Bolt and triple jumper Christian Taylor, who were also up for the title: “While I’m honored that I am considered the ‘artist’ of the year, I did not beat Usain and Christian; my work simply differed in design. They are some of the most talented and beautiful performers of all time. I’m flattered to be among them.”

Dibaba has been unbeaten in the 1500m over five races in 2015. Along with winning gold and setting a world record in the 1500 at the Beijing World Championships, Diababa won a bronze medal in the 5000m event.

She gratefully accepted the award, saying, “After being a finalist and narrowly missing out on this award one year ago, I am very proud to be recognized by the fans and experts of our sport.

“I had a great season and truly enjoyed competing around the world, from Monaco where I managed to establish a world record, to Beijing where I finally captured my first world outdoor title.”

Dibaba was recently featured in a family-themed promotional video for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

MORE: Seb Coe splits from Nike as IAAF president


Olympians celebrate Thanksgiving

Meryl Davis
Team USA/ Twitter
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Nov. 26 – or Thanksgiving to the rest of us – is oftentimes a typical training day for many Olympians and Olympic hopefuls. Here’s a look at how some of them spent the day training, competing, celebrating, and being thankful.

Workout football and food😁👍!!! Happy thanksgiving everyone!!!

A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on

Happy Thanksgiving from our cold cuts Turkey to yours! #family #happyhappyheart

A photo posted by @cammileadams on

Happy Thanksgiving from the SwimMAC Parade crew!

A photo posted by Tyler Clary (@tylerclary) on


MORE: NBC’s Thanksgiving Rio promo