Steve Holcomb

Steve Holcomb stays perfect with 2-man bobsled win

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Make it five for five for Steve Holcomb.

The Olympic champion U.S. driver has started the World Cup season by winning the first five races, taking a two-man event in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Holcomb and push athlete Steve Langton dominated in a two-run time of 1 minute, 50.62 seconds, and by a comfortable margin of .63 of a second. Second through eighth place was separated by .61.

“[It was] snowing, we had to put down a really good first time, and I think we had a great trip, great push that put us in a good lead [.53 of a second],” said Holcomb, who wore his customary blue Superman shirt under his uniform. “It gave me the opportunity to kind of relax a little bit the second run. I made a few mistakes but kept us in the lead.

“It’s been a good day. It’s been a good year so far. Just have got to keep the momentum going.”

Could Langton tell if Holcomb made any mistakes?

“It’s Holcomb,” he said. “He doesn’t really make mistakes.”

Americans Nick Cunningham and Dallas Robinson took third, .01 of a second behind Swiss Beat Hefti.

“It hurts,” Cunningham said of the slim margin. “But just being in contention with some of the best in the world was unbelievable.”

The final U.S. sled, with Cory Butner and Chuck Berkeley, was fourth.

Holcomb also won the first three two-man events last season and won one more medal (bronze) over the final six two-man World Cup races in Europe.

He hasn’t won a two- or four-man World Cup race in Europe in nearly four years.

Holcomb continued his success at Lake Placid, where he swept the two- and four-man World Championships in 2012.

The Lake Placid World Cup continues with another two-man race Saturday morning. Universal Sports will have coverage.

Lake Placid Two-Man Race 1
1. Steve Holcomb/Steve Langton (USA) 1:50.62
2. Beat Hefti/Alex Baumann (SUI) 1:51.25
3. Nick Cunningham/Dallas Robinson (USA) 1:51.26
4. Cory Butner/Chuck Berkeley (USA) 1:51.43

Sochi will have enough snow for Olympics, Russian weatherman says

U.S. Olympic 3×3 basketball qualifying teams named with former NBA player, WNBA stars

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Former NBA player Robbie Hummel and WNBA stars lead U.S. Olympic qualifying teams in the new Olympic event of 3×3 basketball.

The four-man and four-woman teams will compete in a global qualifier in India in March, each favored to grab one of three available Olympic berths per gender for the U.S.

Hummel, who unretired to become world champion in 3×3, is joined on the U.S. Olympic men’s qualifying team by Team Princeton teammates Canyon Barry and Kareem Maddox, plus Dominique Jones, who has played with Team Harlem. Team Princeton is guided by an investment firm CEO who once beat Michael Jordan one-on-one.

Last year, Hummel, Maddox and Barry (one of Rick Barry‘s sons) were part of a team that won the world title.

The U.S. women’s 3×3 qualifying roster is made up of WNBA stars Napheesa Collier, Stefanie DolsonAllisha Gray and Kelsey Plum. The U.S.’ top-ranked 3×3 player, as of last month, is Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu, who can’t play internationally this spring as she is in the thick of the NCAA season.

Olympic teams will not necessarily be made up of players from the qualifying tournament.

If the U.S. qualifies for Tokyo, it will then choose its roster(s) in a similar fashion to its traditional basketball teams — via selection committee. It’s unlikely active NBA players will be eligible.

Like with the qualifying tournament, two of the four Olympic players must be ranked in the top 10 among Americans in FIBA 3×3 rankings (as of a May 22 cutoff).

In 3×3, games last 10 minutes, or until one team reaches 21 points. Games are played on a half-court with a 12-second shot clock, and offense immediately turns to defense after a team scores.

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First U.S. sailors qualify for Olympics; gold medalist misses on tiebreak

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The first five members of the U.S. Olympic sailing team were finalized this past weekend. The last American sailor to win an Olympic title missed on a tiebreaker.

Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea (49er FX), Anna Weis and Riley Gibbs (Nacra 17) and Charlie Buckingham (Laser) qualified after world championships competition concluded in Australia. The U.S. Olympic roster across all sports is now at 43 qualified athletes.

The closest race for a U.S. Olympic spot came in 49er FX. Roble and Shea edged Paris Henken and 2008 Olympic champion Anna Tobias on a tiebreak. Roble and Shea, both first-time Olympic qualifiers, won Saturday’s medal race and earned an overall bronze medal.

That put the two U.S. duos in a tie in Olympic qualifying — combining placements from the 2019 and 2020 Championships, according to TeamUSA.org. The tiebreak went to Roble and Shea for having the better finish at this year’s worlds.

Tobias, a 37-year-old who won the individual 2008 Olympic Laser Radial as Anna Tunnicliffe, came out of retirement in a bid for a third Olympics. She left competitive sailing in 2014, took up CrossFit competitions and returned to crew for Henken more than two years ago.

“We are very sad and upset,” was posted on Tobias’ Instagram, “but we wish them [Roble and Shea] the best of luck.”

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