Hayley Wickenheiser

Canada reveals Olympic Opening Ceremony flag bearer

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Canada named a star hockey player as its Opening Ceremony flag bearer for the Sochi Olympics.

Six-time Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser will lead the delegation on Feb. 7. Wickenheiser, regarded by many as the greatest women’s hockey player ever, has played at all four Olympic hockey tournaments and in softball at the 2000 Olympics.

Canada has won the last three Olympic hockey gold medals after losing to the U.S. in the first Olympic women’s hockey gold-medal game in 1998.

Wickenheiser took the Athletes’ Oath at the 2010 Opening Ceremony.

Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby was thought to be a candidate after being named the men’s hockey team captain. Pens fans should be relieved he isn’t going to Sochi early, as the club has a game the day of Opening Ceremony before the NHL’s Olympic break.

Speed skater Clara Hughes carried the flag for Canada at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Opening Ceremony. Figure skater Joannie Rochette carried it in the Closing Ceremony.

Canada won the most gold medals in 2010 and is again expected to be among the overall and gold medal leaders in Sochi with the U.S., Germany and Norway.

The U.S. and Russia have not named Opening Ceremony flag bearers yet.

Late Georgian luger’s nephew will be trained in luge

Elana Meyers Taylor crashes, brakewoman ejected (video)

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Two-time Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor‘s start to the World Cup bobsled season was both record-breaking and painful.

Meyers Taylor and brakewoman Kehri Jones had the fastest women’s start time ever recorded on the 2010 Olympic track in Whistler, B.C., on Saturday.

But only one of them made it to the finish.

Meyers Taylor crashed the sled during their first run, with the impact causing Jones to eject out the back and slide along the chute before coming to a stop.

Both athletes were able to walk off the track, according to U.S. Bobsled.

Meyers Taylor missed four races last season while receiving treatment for long-term effects from a January 2015 concussion. She returned to win at the last two stops.

MORE: Why Steven Holcomb mulled retirement

Diver Sammy Lee, first Asian-American male gold medalist, dies at 96

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 18:  1948 and 1952 Olympic platform diving gold medalist Dr. Sammy Lee and Olympic diving hopeful Brittany Viola of the United States attend the Team USA Road to London 100 Days Out Celebration in Times Square on April 18, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for USOC)
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Dr. Sammy Lee, the first Asian-American man to win an Olympic gold medal and first male diver to repeat as Olympic champion, died of pneumonia at age 96 on Friday, according to the University of Southern California.

Lee was born in Fresno, Calif., of Korean parents.

He unretired from a medical career to compete in his first Olympics in London in 1948, after the Games took a 12-year break due to World War II.

Lee earned platform gold and springboard bronze in 1948 and then retired, unretired and defended his platform title in 1952. Lee and another Asian-American, Victoria Manolo-Draves, who had a Filipino father and English mother, both won diving titles in 1948, with Draves’ springboard gold coming first.

Lee also served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during the Korean War.

He succeeded despite facing racial discrimination. From TeamUSA.org:

When Sammy was growing up, non-whites could use the pool where he practiced one day a week, on Wednesdays only. And then, as he has told it, the pool would be emptied after the non-whites used it, and fresh water was brought in the next day.

When the pool was off-limits, Sammy practiced by jumping into a sand pile.

Lee went on to coach divers, including Greg Louganis, after his competitive career, and continued his medical work. He graduated from USC’s medical school in 1947.

He is a member of the U.S. Olympic and International Swimming Halls of Fame.

*Correction: An earlier version of this post erroneously reported Lee was the first Asian-American Olympic champion. He was the second.