One of the most intriguing battles for U.S. Olympic spots will come in bobsled, where six women’s push athletes are on the national team battling for three likely spots in Sochi.
The Olympics are more than two months away. The biggest competitions between now and then are World Cup events. Therefore, the push athletes chosen for World Cup events are an early (but certainly not definite) indicator of the Olympic Team pecking order.
Here are U.S. Bobsled’s women’s pairings for the first World Cup in Calgary:
Elana Meyers-Aja Evans
Jamie Greubel-Katie Eberling
Jazmine Fenlator-Lolo Jones
These are the same pairings as the final World Cup event last season at the Sochi Olympic track.
Meyers is a 2010 Olympic bronze medalist and the reigning world silver medalist. Greubel and Fenlator each won silver medals on the World Cup circuit last year.
Evans and Eberling were the top two U.S. push athletes last season. Jones, in her first year bobsledding in 2012-13, was not used in the two-woman competition at the World Championships in February. 2010 Olympian Emily Azevedo was instead, but Jones then replaced Azevedo for that final World Cup.
Azevedo, three-time Olympic sprinter Lauryn Williams and Kristi Koplin are the other three push athletes on the national team. They are not set to compete this week but could replace Evans, Eberling or Jones as early as next week’s World Cup stop in Park City, Utah.
The U.S. Olympic Team is expected to be named in mid-to-late January.
Universal Sports will provide coverage from Calgary.
Another retired Olympic sprinter would likely consider bobsledding if asked
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The world’s best known Olympic historian says it will take something more destructive than the Zika virus to cancel the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
David Wallechinsky tells The Associated Press that “the only time the Games have been cancelled is in war — World War I and World War II. Other than that, nothing has done it.”
Wallechinsky says “it’s pretty late to move the Games, so I’m sure they’ll go forward” and open Aug. 5.
Brazil is the epicenter of the rapidly spreading mosquito-borne Zika epidemic, which is also generating rumors that South America’s first Games may be called off.
Brazil’s sports minister says that canceling the Games “is not in discussion,” and Rio organizers and the IOC have repeatedly shot down the notion it’s even being considered.
“Race,” a film about 1936 Olympic legend Jesse Owens‘ triumphs in the face of Nazi Germany, hits theaters Feb. 19.
In the above clip, Owens competes in long jump qualifying after receiving a tip from fellow jumper German Luz Long to avoid fouling on his last attempt to advance to the final.
Owens would then beat Long in the final, though the pair forged a friendship.
In other clips, Owens, played by Stephan James, speaks with his Ohio State coach, Larry Snyder, played by Jason Sudeikis. Watch that here.
Also, Owens discusses taking part in the Olympics amid racial prejudice in the U.S. Watch that here.
MORE: James discusses playing Owens in ‘Race’ | VIDEO: ‘Race’ trailer