Lolo Jones

Lolo Jones wants to try another Winter Olympic sport

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Lolo Jones made headlines talking about her protein shake-powered weight gain Monday, but one U.S. coach told her she could have been better in another Winter Olympic sport without packing on pounds.

That would be skeleton, which is bobsled’s sister sport. In bobsled, extra weight and power are necessary to push a 400-pound sled. In skeleton, athletes race individually, on their belly, face first down the same ice track as bobsled.

“I hate to say this, but after the (2014 Sochi) Winter Olympics, I’d like to try skeleton,” Jones said at the U.S. Olympic media summit, according to The Associated Press. “Not anything serious. Just want to go down and see.”

Jones tweeted Sunday she weighed 158.5 pounds, close to her goal weight of 160. A two-time track and field Olympian, she ran the 100-meter hurdles in the 135-pound range.

In skeleton, an athlete and her sled can weigh no more than a combined 203 pounds. The maximum women’s skeleton sled weight is 77 pounds. In that scenario, Jones’ competitive weight would be about 130 pounds, near her track weight. But skeleton weights vary as some athletes prefer heavier sleds.

The top U.S. women sliders are Katie Uhlaender and Noelle Pikus-Pace, who weigh 135 pounds and 160 pounds, according to the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation website.

The 2013 world skeleton champion, Great Britain’s Shelley Rudman, told the Independent she’s put on one stone (14 pounds) since February.

Jones is expected to return to track and field and give the Rio 2016 Olympics a run, but who knows, maybe skeleton is in the cards for Pyeongchang 2018. Jones would be 35 years old.

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Teddy Riner, dominant judoka, to skip 2018, 2019 Worlds

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French judoka Teddy Riner, arguably the world’s most dominant athlete, will reportedly skip the next two world championships before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

French coach Franck Chambily said Riner will compete a light international schedule the next two years ahead of what would be his fourth Olympics, according to Agence France-Presse.

Riner, a 29-year-old, 6-foot-8-inch native of Guadeloupe, is undefeated since 2010 with a reported 144-match winning streak. That includes Olympic titles in 2012 and 2016 and world titles in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Before the streak, Riner also earned world titles in 2007, 2009 and 2010, plus an Olympic bronze at age 19 in 2008.

He could compete through the 2024 Paris Games.

“When I am invincible, I will stop,” Riner said in 2013, according to The Associated Press.

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Maggie Nichols wins NCAA all-around title with perfect 10

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Even after a perfect 10 in the last rotation, Maggie Nichols didn’t know that she had won the NCAA all-around title. Her coach at Oklahoma, K.J. Kindler, had to tell her.

The reaction?

“Excitement,” Nichols said Friday night on ESPNU. “I just wanted to go out there and feel out the equipment, staying calm and doing my routines that I have been doing in training.”

Nichols, a 2015 World team champion who retired from elite gymnastics after missing the 2016 Olympic team (set back by a torn meniscus that year), became the first Sooner to win the NCAA all-around in 30 years.

The sophomore tallied 39.8125 points and topped Olympic alternate MyKayla Skinner of Utah by .0875 for the title in St. Louis. It came one year after Nichols was 29th in the all-around with a balance beam fall.

Oklahoma and Utah will be joined in Saturday night’s Super Six team finals by UCLA, LSU, Florida and Nebraska. The Sooners eye their third straight national title.

Nichols capped her night with one of two perfect scores between the two semifinal sessions, matching 2012 Olympic alternate Elizabeth Price‘s 10 on uneven bars. It gave Nichols a second career gym slam, a perfect score on every apparatus for the season.

On Jan. 9, Nichols came forward as “Athlete A,” who first reported to USA Gymnastics that she was sexually abused by Larry Nassar in summer 2015.

“She has had a really unique year probably like no one else, and her strength showed through,” Kindler said Friday, according to the University of Oklahoma. “It was tough, and to come out on this side this year is really special.”

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