Might slopestyle’s first Olympics have been its last?
Ski and snowboard slopestyle have “the potential” to be dropped from the Olympics if they don’t lessen “unacceptably high” injury rates, said an International Olympic Committee official who monitors Olympian injuries.
“Right now the injury rate as it was in Sochi was too high to be a sport that we have in the Olympics,” said Lars Engebretsen, head of scientific activities at the IOC’s medical and scientific department, according to The Associated Press.
Engebretsen said ski and snowboard slopestyle injury rates were “much higher than any other sport in Sochi.”
Shaun White pulled out of snowboard slopestyle one day before the competition, citing injury risk. Another medal threat, Norway’s Torstein Horgmo, broke a collarbone in a training crash in Sochi and withdrew. Canadian favorite Mark McMorris suffered a broken rib at the Winter X Games on Jan. 25 and won bronze in Sochi behind American Sage Kotsenburg.
“I can say what I feel: That sport should change, otherwise we shouldn’t have it. But the IOC may not follow that,” Engebretsen told the AP in Monaco, calling slopestyle “problematic.” “Something has to be done with that sport.”
Another new Olympic sport, ski halfpipe, had seen more major injuries among its elite competitors in the months and years leading into the Olympics, but Engebretsen focused on slopestyle.
“Slopestyle is exciting,” Engebretsen told the AP. “But it’s just become, right now anyway, too exciting.”
USOC has ‘serious concerns’ about USA Curling
USA Track and Field begins a campaign this week to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Olympic team.
Members of the Mexico City Games team, one of the greatest track and field teams in history, will be honored at high-profile events the remainder of the year.
The campaign, “1968-2018: Celebrating Athletic Achievement and Courage,” culminates with a “Night of Legends” reunion in December at the USATF Annual Meeting in Columbus, Ohio, also attended by current U.S. stars.
The 1968 Olympic team is most remembered for Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who took gold and bronze in the 200m and were sent home after raising their black-gloved fists in a human rights salute during the national anthem.
The team also included gold medalists Bob Beamon (long jump), Dick Fosbury (high jump), Al Oerter (discus), Wyomia Tyus and Jim Hines (100m), Lee Evans (400m), Madeline Manning Mims (800m), Willie Davenport (110m hurdles), Bob Seagren (pole vault), Randy Matson (shot put), Bill Toomey (decathlon) and the men’s and women’s 4x100m and men’s 4x400m.
“The legacy of the greatest track & field team to ever be assembled is still felt 50 years later,” USATF CEO Max Siegel said in a press release. “These Olympians persevered through athletic challenges and social injustices, maintaining their composure and dignity when others may have fallen. It is USATF’s honor to pay homage to their achievements and bring the team together for an epic celebration at our Annual Meeting.”
U.S. track and field athletes will compete at two meets on NBC Sports and NBC Sports Gold this weekend — the Drake Relays and Penn Relays.
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WATCH: NBC Olympics documentary on 1968 Olympics
A paralyzed man walked the London Marathon route wearing an exoskeleton suit, finishing around 11 p.m. Monday, nearly 36 hours after he started, according to British media.
Simon Kindleysides was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in April 2013 and was paralyzed from the waist down, he said on the BBC before the race.
“I want to be a role model to my children so they can say their daddy’s been the first paralyzed man to walk the London Marathon ever,” said Kindleysides, a 34-year-old father of three, according to the report.
Kindleysides predicted he would finish in 37 hours, completing the first half of the 26.2-mile race on Sunday, then sleeping a few hours and walking the final 13.1 miles on Monday. Kindleysides said after finishing that he spent 26.5 of those 36 hours walking the marathon.
“Painful, emotional to walk that far in 26.5 hours,” he said. “It feels amazing. So glad I’ve done it. I’m here proving a point, anything is possible.”
Kindleysides said he handcycled from London to Paris for charity two years ago.
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