Speed Skating - Winter Olympics Day 11

10,000m winner Jorrit Bergsma boycotts Dutch team pursuit squad

2 Comments

Controversy has finally found the most dominant speedskating team at the Sochi Olympics.

Saying that he feels excluded after being assigned as a substitute for the Dutch in today’s team pursuit finals, Jorrit Bergsma – who set an new Olympic record on the way to 10,000m gold earlier this week – has boycotted the pursuit team.

According to the Associated Press, Bergsma told Netherlands-based TV network NOS that he was counted on “only in emergencies” while teammates Sven Kramer, Koen Verweij, and Jan Blokhuijsen combined to make their way into the finals in dominating fashion.

MORE: South Korea lodges protest of Sotnikova’s win over Kim

Yesterday, the Kramer/Verweij/Blokhuijsen triumvirate won their quarterfinal heat over France by almost nine seconds, and then won their semifinal over Poland by over 11 seconds.

Today, they’ll match up against Korea in the A Final.

As for the impact of Bergsma’s boycott, it’s pretty much next to zero unless Kramer, Verweij or Blokhuijsen go down with an injury before today’s races, which go off at 8:30 a.m. ET.

CLICK HERE AT 8:30 A.M. ET to watch it on NBCOlympics.com.

Damian Lillard added as U.S. Olympic basketball team finalist

Damian Lillard
AP
Leave a comment

Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard was added to the list of 30 finalists to make the 12-man U.S. roster for the Olympics, USA Basketball announced Wednesday.

Lillard, 25 and a two-time All-Star, did not attend an August camp deemed mandatory for Olympic consideration, but called USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo and expressed desire for the Rio Games.

“Both [coach] Mike [Krzyzewski] and I feel like Damian is playing at a very high level and that he should be added to our list of Olympic finalists,” Colangelo said in a press release. “Damian has been a member of the USA National Team since 2014, and he participated in National Team training camps in 2013 and 2014, so he does have equity in USA Basketball, which is always important to me.”

USA Basketball has not said when the final 12-man Olympic team will be named. In 2012, it named its Olympic roster three weeks before the London Games.

The 2012 Olympic roster included three point guards — Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Deron Williams. Paul and Westbrook are finalists for the 2016 team, but Williams is not.

Other potential first-time Olympic point guards competing with Lillard include NBA MVP Stephen Curry, All-Star John Wall and past All-Star Kyrie Irving.

MORE: Tony Parker updates Olympic qualifying, Rio status

Bob Costas to host Rio Olympic primetime coverage

Bob Costas
AP
Leave a comment

Bob Costas will be the Olympic primetime host for a record 11th time in Rio de Janeiro in August.

Costas, the primetime host at every Olympics on NBC since Barcelona 1992, also served as NBC’s late-night host at Seoul 1988.

“The Olympics are a unique television event,” Costas said in an NBC press release. “They involve classic sports coverage, of course, but also many elements of storytelling and travelogue aspects that are not as much a part of the typical sports broadcast. In a way, the Olympics are a three-week mini-series which, if done well, should bring viewers not only memorable athletic performances, but a sense of the host city and country, and an appreciation of what is a truly global gathering.”

NBC Olympics executive producer Jim Bell said “there is no one better than” Costas for the role.

“For a quarter-century, Bob has been NBC’s pilot of primetime at the Olympics, and over that span, the scope of our coverage has constantly evolved, with Rio set to become the most live event in U.S. television history,” Bell said in a press release. “Given his vast experience and uncanny expertise, simply put there is no one better than Bob to tell the stories of the athletes, take our viewers inside the world’s biggest sports event, and introduce them to one of the most spectacular cities on the planet.”

Jim McKay hosted Olympic primetime coverage eight times for ABC.

WATCH: NBC Olympics promo video