Shaun White

Shaun White talks Sochi problems, crashing I-Pod’s party on ‘Tonight Show’

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Shaun White‘s post-Sochi plans included playing shows with his band and partying with the man who beat him in the Olympic halfpipe.

The two-time Olympic champion visited “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon on Thursday and talked Sochi. White’s third Winter Games weren’t memorable. He pulled out of the first Olympic slopestyle competition and finished fourth in the halfpipe.

But the problems began as soon as he arrived at his rented house.

“The whole left side wasn’t there,” he said (full episode here). “It wasn’t built. … It was just kind of like unfinished.”

Like a doll house, he said.

“The best was the response,” White said, turning on a Russian accent. “Don’t worry. It will snow. You won’t see anything. It’ll be nice.”

It wasn’t much smoother for his snowboard teammates at the Olympic Village. White said he was told a shower floor flooded, and water dripped onto the floor below — bobsledders’ beds.

“They come back, and it’s just like monsoon,” White said.

White discussed more Sochi problems, specifically the halfpipe conditions.

“Basically we had three days to practice, and the pipe was pretty much unrideable for three days because of the, I don’t know, just the snow conditions were really bizarre,” he said. “There’s photos. They had like a fire hose and were trying to like ice it down and do all these things. … I’ve never seen that.”

White reiterated he had an off-night in the halfpipe final but that it didn’t make or break his career. The winner, Swiss Iouri Podladtchikov, is a good friend. White said he planned to see Podladtchikov later Thursday night.

“He doesn’t know I’m going,” White said. “I’m just going to show up. … I’m going to crash his party.”

White will stay in New York this weekend, playing a show at Mercury Lounge on Sunday and then “The Tonight Show” next Thursday.

U.S. snowboarder lands on Wheaties box

What to watch at Drake Relays, Penn Relays

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Olympic gold medalists ramp up their track and field seasons at the Penn Relays and Drake Relays, live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold this weekend.

Athletes are working toward the U.S. Championships in June and the world championships in August.

First, the historic Penn Relays will air on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold on Friday (5:30-6:30 p.m. ET) and Saturday (12:30-3 p.m. ET).

USA vs. The World in men’s and women’s 4x100m, 4x400m and sprint medley relays will air live on Saturday from Franklin Field in Philadelphia. A full schedule is here.

The U.S. teams are led by Olympic relay champions English Gardner and Natasha Hastings. The full roster is here.

Rio Olympic rematches highlight the individual-event fields at the Drake Relays in Des Moines on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold from 3-5 p.m ET on Saturday. A full schedule is here.

Perhaps no field is deeper than the 100m hurdles. World-record holder Keni Harrison takes on Rio silver and bronze medalists Kristi Castlin and Nia Ali, plus 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson.

The 110m hurdles contingent is strong as well. It features the last two Olympic champions, Jamaican Omar McLeod and American Aries Merritt, plus 2013 World champion David Oliver.

Grenada’s Kirani James and American LaShawn Merritt, who earned silver and bronze in Rio, go head-to-head again in the 400m at Drake.

The men’s 1500m is headlined by Rio Olympic 800m bronze medalist Clayton Murphy and London Olympic 1500m silver medalist Leo Manzano.

Rio bronze medalist Jenny Simpson races individually for the first time this year in the women’s 1500m.

That field also includes New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin, who gained fame of her own in Rio. Hamblin and American Abbey D’Agostino fell in an Olympic 5000m heat and helped each other make it to the finish line. Both were praised for their sportsmanship.

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IOC president unsure whether esports should be considered sport

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Esports are gaining momentum in the international sports movement, but they are not close to becoming an Olympic sport.

“We are not yet 100 percent clear whether esports is really sport, with regard to physical activity and what it needs to be considered sport,” IOC president Thomas Bach said Tuesday, according to insidethegames. “We do not see an organization or a structure that will give us confidence, or guarantee, that in this area the Olympic rules and values of sport are respected and in place, and that the implementation of these rules are monitored and secured.”

The first clear step (of many) to become an Olympic sport is for the IOC to recognize the sport’s international governing body.

Esports will be added as a medal sport to the Asian Games in 2022, and has been praised by LA 2024 Olympic bid chairman Casey Wasserman, but it is not yet IOC recognized.

“We are watching it, we see the differences, we see the lack of organisation,” Bach said, according to the report. “But we also see the high engagement of youth in esports. Therefore, we have to carefully consider how this could be consolidated.”

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