U.S. Olympic shooting medalist to watch fiance play in Super Bowl

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Two-time U.S. Olympic trapshooter Corey Cogdell (pictured, from 2012) can certainly empathize with her fiance when it comes to performing in front of the world.

That’s because Cogdell, who claimed the women’s trap bronze medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, is engaged to Denver Broncos defensive tackle Mitch Unrein, who along with the rest of the Broncos is currently preparing for the kickoff to Super Bowl XLVIII in just a few hours.

As you’d imagine, Cogdell is a wholehearted supporter of her husband-to-be (the two will be married early this summer). In a recent piece from USA Shooting, the Alaska native says that she lives a lot of Unrein’s own excitement through her own sport.

“I feel like every week, I’m going out there and I’m pulling for him and his team just like I would be for any of my teammates on Team USA,” she said about Unrein and the Broncos in the piece. “This season has just been really exciting and full of a lot of ups and downs through injuries, and the health of our [head coach John Fox]. I’ve seen this team really fight through a lot of adversity.

“To see them where they are now and to see Mitch playing in the Super Bowl, it’s the same type of feeling and energy I had when I found out I had made the Olympic Team.”

Cogdell will be in attendance tonight at MetLife Stadium, where the AFC Champion Broncos will take on the NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks. One assumes she will be on pins and needles throughout the contest, hoping that her fiancee can become a Super Bowl Champion.

source: Getty Images
The Broncos’ Mitch Unrein (96) corrals the Cowboys’ DeMarco Murray in October. Credit: Getty Images.

“It just gives me such a sense of pride to see Mitch run out onto the field and experience that excitement from him,” she adds. “It’s a just such an intense rush of emotions every week with the highs and lows of the game and I’ve probably cried at five games this year as a result of Mitch’s success and the team’s success.

“I just know how much of a life-changing experience the Olympics have been for me and I know how much of a life-changing experience this will be for him.”

U.S. Olympians keeping eye on tonight’s Big Game

Sam Girard, Olympic short track champion, surprisingly retires at age 22

Sam Girard
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Sam Girard, who avoided a three-skater pileup to win the PyeongChang Olympic 1000m, retired from short track speed skating at age 22, saying he lost the desire to compete.

“I leave my sport satisfied with what I have accomplished,” Girard said in a press release. “This decision was very well thought through. I am at peace with the choice that I’ve made and am ready to move onto the next step.”

Girard and girlfriend and fellow Olympic skater Kasandra Bradette announced their careers end together in a tearful French-language press conference in Quebec on Friday.

Girard detailed the decision in a letter, the sacrifices made to pursue skating. Notably, moving from his hometown of Ferland-et-Boilleau, population 600, to Montreal in 2012. His hobbies had been of the outdoor variety, but he now had to drive an hour and a half from the training center just to go fishing.

In PyeongChang, Girard led for most of the 1000m final, which meant he avoided chaos behind him on the penultimate lap of the nine-lap race. Hungarian Liu Shaolin Sandor‘s inside pass took out South Koreans Lim Hyo-Jun and Seo Yi-Ra, leaving just Girard and American John-Henry Krueger.

Girard maintained his lead, crossing .214 in front of Krueger to claim the title. He also finished fourth in the 500m and 1500m and earned bronze in the relay.

“My first Olympics, won a gold medal, can’t ask for more,” he said afterward.

Though Girard was already accomplished — earning individual silver medals at the 2016 and 2017 Worlds — he came to PyeongChang as the heir apparent to Charles Hamelin, a roommate on the World Cup circuit whom Girard likened to a big brother. Girard earned another world silver medal this past season.

Hamelin, after taking individual gold in 2010 and 2014, left PyeongChang without an individual medal in what many expected to be his last Olympics. However, he went back on a retirement vow and continued to skate through the 2018-19 season.

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MORE: J.R. Celski explains decision to retire

Maia, Alex Shibutani extend break from ice dance competition

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Brother-sister ice dance duo Maia and Alex Shibutani will not compete next season, the Olympic bronze medalists announced via U.S. Figure Skating on Friday.

“We’re healthier and stronger than we were after the Olympics, and we’re continuing to push ourselves,” Maia Shibutani said in a press release.

“We’ve continued to skate a lot, and we feel like we’ve benefited from some time away to create in different environments and focus on experiences that can help us grow,” Alex said.

The “Shib Sibs” won the U.S. title in 2016 and 2017. They won their first world medal in 2011 (bronze) before reaching the world podium again in 2016 and 2017 with silver and bronze, respectively.

They most recently competed at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, where they earned bronze both individually and in the team event.

Maia and Alex Shibutani are now the second ice dance medalists from PyeongChang to announce they’ll sit out at least part of next season. Gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada will tour instead this fall and are not expected to return to competition.

The siblings haven’t stayed away from the ice entirely in their break from the sport, though — they’ve also been touring and performing in shows.

The Shibutanis became the second set of siblings to earn Olympic ice dance medals after France’s Isabelle and Paul Duchesnay in 1992.

MORE: How Gracie Gold landed in Philadelphia, thoughts competitive return

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