Dachhiri Sherpa

Nepal cross-country skier expects to finish last at Sochi Olympics

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Aptly named Nepal cross-country skier Dachhiri Sherpa has no illusions about his third Olympics.

“I think there is a very big chance I will finish last,” he told Agence France-Presse. “But the placing is not important if I can teach young people in Nepal about the Olympic spirit. This spirit is in my heart.”

Sherpa, 44, is going to his third Winter Olympics. He was 94th out of 96 finishers and 92nd out of 95, respectively, in the 15km at the 2006 and 2010 Olympics, according to sports-reference.com.

“I have taken four months off work [as a bricklayer] and skied every single day since December to train for this event,” Sherpa told AFP, “but I’m not perfect.”

He lives and trains in France, according to the Himalayan Times, and has been a construction worker and ran marathons in the Himalayas, according to reports from past Olympics.

“I will go to Everest next year,” he told the Telegraph at the 2006 Olympics.

Sherpa is the third Nepalese Winter Olympian, according to sports-reference. Jay Khadka skied cross-country in 2002, and a man named Tejbir Bura won an Olympic gold medal in Mixed Alpinism at the first Winter Games in Chamonix, France, in 1924. Bura’s story is told here.

These will be Sherpa’s final Games.

“I need to find the next young talent,” he said, according to AFP. “The problem is that most people in Nepal can’t watch international TV, so very few people will see the race. Plus, there is no place to ski in Nepal.”

U.S. curler gets epic Olympic sendoff from school kids

Swimmer Reece Whitley named Sports Illustrated’s Sportskid of the Year 2015

Reece Whitley
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Swimmer Reece Whitley, who earned two silver medals at the World Junior Championships earlier this summer, was named Sports Illustrated Kids’ Sportskid of the Year for 2015.

Whitley, a breaststroker, stands 6’8” at age 15 and is a sophomore at William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia. His 100m breaststroke time is 17th in the country, and his 200m time is 10th. He is the youngest swimmer to be ranked that high in both events.

“Making an impact on a young swimmer at a meet is probably more important than the times that you swim,” Whitley told SI Kids. “All these records are meant to be broken, but if you change a kid’s life or if you put a smile on a kid’s face because you took a picture with them, that never dies.”

“Getting to know Reece a little bit, he’s incredible,” 18-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps commented. “The guy is very talented, he’s super relaxed, super outgoing. He’s seeing results, he’s having fun, he’s enjoying himself. He’s a stud.”

Phelps has been known to call out “studs” in the past who do well in Olympic years. After the 2011 World Championships, Phelps told Jimmy Fallon that Missy Franklin was a stud, too. Then, at the 2012 Olympics, Franklin picked up four gold medals and a bronze.

Whitley beat out other four finalists for the title: taekwondo athlete Natalie Hershberger, 11; speedskater Cooper McLeod, 14; rock climber Ashima Shiraishi, 14; and cross country/ track and field athlete Harper Russell, 15.

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Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan remembers slain Colorado officer, a childhood friend

Nancy Kerrigan
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Former figure skating champion Nancy Kerrigan remembers the Colorado police officer who was killed in a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic as loyal, caring and a true friend.

She told media outlets that Garrett Swasey was “one of my best friends” as they grew up together practicing figure skating in Melrose, Massachusetts. Before he became a police officer, Swasey was a junior national couples ice dancing champion.

An emotional Kerrigan says she wasn’t surprised he took a career path where he helped others first. She says he always had fun and did everything with a smile.

Swasey’s father has told the Boston Globe that his son moved to Colorado in the 1980s to pursue competitive figure skating and became an officer six years ago.

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