Bird's Nest

Beijing Olympic Stadium to host aerials skiing competition

Leave a comment

The Bird’s Nest, home of the memorable 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremony, will hold freestyle skiing events in December.

The 2008 Beijing Olympic Stadium will host World Cup aerials skiing competitions Dec. 20-21, according to the International Ski Federation (FIS).

FIS said it plans to for the Beijing stop to be an annual one through the 2018 Winter Olympics. China is becoming an aerials powerhouse. The high-flying, twisting, flipping sport lends itself to athletes with gymnastics backgrounds.

China had four of the top seven women’s aerials finishers at the 2010 Olympics, including silver and bronze medalists Li Nina and Guo Xinxin.

It had three of the top seven men’s finishers, including bronze medalist Liu Zhongqing.

Chinese also swept the 2013 World Championships and World Cup overall standings for men (Qi Guangpu and Jia Zongyang) and women (Xu Mengtao).

Beijing bids for 2022 Olympics

U.S., Great Britain to hold track and field dual meet

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The U.S. and Great Britain go head-to-head in a track and field meet on July 21 at the London Olympic Stadium.

“The Meet” will include nine running, jumping, hurdles and relay events and last two hours. Specific events and athletes will be announced early next year.

The U.S. topped the overall medal standings at every Olympics and world outdoor championships since 2004.

Great Britain is one of three countries to earn at least five medals at every Olympics and worlds since 2007, joining the U.S. and Kenya.

British athletes made six podiums at the just-completed worlds at the London Olympic Stadium, including in all four relays. The other two medals came from Mo Farah, who is moving to road racing and marathons after this season.

“The Meet” is similar to swimming’s “Duel in the Pool,” a biennial head-to-head competition between the U.S. and rival Australia from 2003 through 2007 and between the U.S. and Europe between 2009 and 2015.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

VIDEO: Ten memorable races from worlds

Maria Sharapova gets U.S. Open wild card

Getty Images
3 Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Maria Sharapova was granted a wild-card invitation for the U.S. Open’s main draw on Tuesday and will take part in a Grand Slam event for the first time in more than 1 ½ years.

Sharapova is among eight women given entry into the 128-player field by the U.S. Tennis Association — and by far the most noteworthy.

The former No. 1-ranked player and owner of five major titles, including the 2006 U.S. Open, has not entered a major tournament since the Australian Open in January 2016, when she tested positive for the newly banned drug meldonium.

That led to a 15-month doping ban, which expired in April. She returned to the tour, but her ranking — currently 148th — was too low to allow entry into major tournaments, and the French Open denied her a wild card. Sharapova planned to try to qualify for Wimbledon, but the 30-year-old Russian wound up skipping the grass-court portion of the season because of an injured left thigh.

Sharapova has been participating in tournaments via wild-card invitations, beginning in April on red clay at Stuttgart, Germany. She’s only played nine matches this season.

Sharapova was 19 when she won her U.S. Open trophy. Two years before, at 17, Sharapova won her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon. She has since completed a career Grand Slam and become one of the most recognizable — and marketable — athletes in the world.

The U.S. Open starts in Flushing Meadows on Aug. 28.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Past two men’s champions out of U.S. Open