Kaitlyn Farrington of U.S. wins gold in snowboard halfpipe; Bright gets silver, Clark gets bronze

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Kaitlyn Farrington has become the second of three American snowboarders to win gold in Sochi after making the U.S. Olympic Team via a win in the final Olympic qualifying event.

Last month, both Farrington and Sage Kotsenburg punched their tickets to Sochi through victories at Mammoth Mountain, California.

Now, four days after Kotsenburg won in men’s slopestyle, Farrington (pictured, center) has followed suit in the women’s halfpipe.

VIDEO: Farrington wins gold

The Idaho native, who advanced to the final after posting the best semifinal score, improved upon a solid first run to take the lead with a second-run that got her a 91.75.

It would prove just enough to win, as Vancouver 2010 gold medalist Torah Bright of Australia (pictured, right) missed a second consecutive gold by a mere one-quarter of a point (second run of 91.50).

VIDEO: Watch Farrington’s golden run

Kelly Clark (pictured, left), the 2002 gold medalist in Salt Lake City, was the last to try and unseat Farrington. Clark hit the ledge and fell on her first run, but came back with a 90.75 on her second that was enough to get her the bronze. It’s her third career medal in her fourth Olympics.

VIDEO: Clark goes down hard during first run

Clark’s effort knocked teammate and 2006 Torino winner Hannah Teter off the podium. Teter had the overall lead following the first run with a 90.50 but fell on her second run, opening the door for Bright and Clark to come away with medals.

But atop the podium is 24-year-old Farrington, who, like Kotsenburg, is making her Olympic debut in Sochi. Her parents did everything they could to help her along the way, even selling off all of the cows from their family farm to help fund her training.

VIDEO: Torah Bright settles for silver

Now, they can say they raised an Olympic champion.

WOMEN’S SNOWBOARDING – HALFPIPE FINAL
Best of two runs
1. Kaitlyn Farrington (USA), 91.75
2. Torah Bright (AUS), 91.50
3. Kelly Clark (USA), 90.75
4. Hannah Teter (USA), 90.50
5. Rana Okada (JPN), 85.50
6. Xuetong Cai (CHN), 84.25
7. Sophie Rodriguez (FRA), 79.50
8. Shuang Li (CHN), 73.25
9. Jiayu Liu (CHN), 68.25
10. Mirabelle Thovex (FRA), 67.00
11. Queralt Castellet (ESP), 61.75
12. Ursina Haller (SUI), 48.75

Scott Brosius to take USA Baseball managerial job, replacing Joe Girardi

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Just one month before the Premier 12, a tournament giving the U.S. baseball team an opportunity to qualify for the 2020 Olympics, USA Baseball has announced a managerial switch.

USA Baseball executive Scott Brosius, who won three World Series with the New York Yankees from 1998 to 2000 and had a slugging percentage of .529 in four World Series appearances, will take over in place of Joe Girardi. USA Baseball said Girardi has stepped down to focus on opportunities in Major League Baseball.

Brosius was previously named to serve as the team’s bench coach. Several other coaches have been reshuffled, with Willie Randolph moving to bench coach, Ernie Young moving to third base and 2000 gold medalist Anthony Sanders joining the staff to coach at first base. Left unchanged: hitting coach Phil Plantier, pitching coach Bryan Price and bullpen coach Roly de Armas.

The U.S. team will play the Netherlands, host Mexico and the Dominican Republic, starting Nov. 2. The top two teams from the group will advance to the six-team Super Round in Japan.

The top finisher from the Americas region and the top finisher from Asia/Oceania (except Japan, which has an automatic bid as host) will qualify for the Olympic baseball tournament. The U.S. will have two more opportunities to qualify after that.

The U.S. won silver in the first Premier 12 tournament in 2015. As in 2015, the U.S. will not use players on MLB 40-man rosters.

PREMIER 12: Roster

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Taylor Phinney picks creativity over cycling, ending race career to focus on art

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Three-time Olympian and two-time world champion Taylor Phinney announced Wednesday that he is retiring from cycling and will pursue his other passion — art. 

“I want to say thank you to everyone that has cheered me on and sent me good energy over the last twelve years!” Phinney said via Instagram. “I appreciate you all. Alas, in the battle between Art and Sport, ART WON.”

Phinney is the son of two decorated Olympians. Davis Phinney won bronze in the team time trial, which is no longer contested in the Olympics, in 1984. Connie Carpenter-Phinney was an Olympic speedskater who switched sports to win the cycling road race, also in 1984.

Like his father, who won Tour de France stages in 1986 and 1987, Phinney went back and forth between track and road cycling, winning world championship medals in each discipline and racing in both sports in the Olympics. He made his Olympic debut at age 18, taking seventh on the track in the individual pursuit.

His biggest successes on the track followed over the next two years, when he won the 2009 world championship in the individual pursuit and defended his title in 2010. He also took silver in the 1km time trial in 2009 and bronze in the omnium in 2010.

After switching to road racing, he won the prologue in the 2012 Giro d’Italia. He then came close to two Olympic medals, placing fourth in the time trial behind a who’s who of road cycling — Bradley Wiggins, Tony Martin and Chris Froome, two of whom were racing on home soil. In the road race, he placed fourth again, in the same time as bronze medalist Alexander KristoffA few weeks later, Phinney rebounded to take two silver medals in the individual and team time trials at the world championships.

His career was threatened when he suffered a compound fracture on a harrowing descent in the 2014 U.S. Championships, but he recovered to take gold in the team time trial in the 2015 world championships and silver in the same event the next year. He also debuted in the Tour de France in 2017 and offered the occasional behind-the-scenes look at life in the three-week race.

But he hasn’t been as active in the last two years. In 2018, he was eighth in the legendary one-day Paris-Roubaix race. This year, he won the team time trial in the Tour of Colombia but has no other major results.

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Yoooo hey hi hello ! So yes, I’m happy to announce that I am hanging up my professional road cycling cleats at the end of this season… I want to say thank you to everyone that has cheered me on and sent me good energy over the last twelve years! I appreciate you all. . Alas, in the battle between Art and Sport, ART WON. I’m so happy and genuinely excited—almost giddy at the prospect of being able to CREATE full time. My heart is full and I look forward to sharing what the future brings with whoever wants to follow. . As far as cycling goes…I’m more in love with bikes now than I have ever been before. My body is very relieved now that it knows that I will not be punishing it to the fullest extent of my capabilities 😅. My mind is refreshed from a summer of adventure and my heart is opening at a rate that terrifies me in the best of ways! I am so grateful to this sport for the teachings I’ve received, the connections I’ve made, and the stories I can share from the crazy days on the bike. . I want to thank all my friends in the peloton and I wish you all the best of luck. I will let you know what it is like on the other side 🙂

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Phinney’s art, a mix of abstraction and words, shows little influence from his cycling career. He also has launched a site and Instagram feed for his art under the name Manifest Butter.

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