Shani Davis: Looks like U.S. speed skating going medal-less

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Following another tough afternoon for the U.S. speedskaters in Sochi, Shani Davis noted that the controversy surrounding their new Under Armour Mach 39 suits – which were switched out ahead of today’s men’s 1500m in favor of previously-used Under Armour suits – has had an impact.

“I feel like the damage of the suit was already done,” he said to reporters after the U.S. was shut out of the medals again in today’s event.

“Just going through it mentally and using energy in ways we haven’t used energy before, and worrying about things we didn’t have to worry about in Olympic trials…It took its toll.”

“I spent energy in ways that I wouldn’t have had to have done normally, and I can only do the best I can. The damage was already done.”

Brian Hansen led the Americans with a seventh-place, and Davis finished 11th after winning the silver in this distance at Torino in 2006 and Vancouver four years ago. Joey Mantia was 22nd and Jonathan Kuck was 37th.

MORE: Why U.S. kept going to T.J. Oshie in shootout vs. Russia

Now Davis is wondering if he and his team will come away with any medals at all in Sochi.

“We have no medals, man, we have none,” he said. “And the way things are looking, we might not get any, and it’s sad because we’ve had a lot of potential, a lot of talent, a lot of things going for us and looking good going forward.

“But it’s terrible, terrible, man. Big, big disappointment.”

Davis also expressed disappointment in his own efforts, saying he had to “go back to the drawing board” and figure out where exactly he’s gone wrong.

But while he wouldn’t blame U.S. Speedskating, he did criticize the decision to use the Mach 39 suits before they’d been properly tested.

“I think the best thing would have been to have made sure that these suits were what the people said they were so that we can actually know going into the races, instead of finding out on one of the biggest races of our lives,” he said.

Lindsey Vonn and her dog to host Amazing Race-like series

Lindsey Vonn
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Lindsey Vonn and one of her three dogs, Lucy, will host “The Pack,” an “Amazing Race”-like series where dogs and their humans compete in challenges across continents.

The Amazon Prime show filmed earlier this year and will premiere later in 2020. Production included a team of veterinarians and dog experts to ensure “a positive experience for everyone.”

Twelve teams vie for a prize of $500,000, plus $250,000 for the animal charity of their choice.

Vonn, the 2010 Olympic downhill champion and female record holder with 82 World Cup wins, retired after the February 2019 World Championships, four shy of the overall victories record held by Swede Ingemar Stenmark.

She traveled the last few years of her career with Lucy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that she got in Italy in January 2016. Lucy required German, Italian and American passports to accompany Vonn on the ski circuit.

Vonn previously adopted rescue dogs Leo, a brindle boxer to help her through recovery from knee surgery that kept her out of the 2014 Olympics, and Bear.

Vonn’s previous broadcast credits included a 2010 appearance as a secretary on “Law & Order,” two judge spots on “Project Runway” and an episode of “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” in 2016.

MORE: Lindsey Vonn’s mom is tough as nails

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London Marathon mass event canceled; Kipchoge, Bekele still to race

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The London Marathon will not hold a mass participation race of 40,000-plus runners, but will have an elites-only event featuring the fastest marathoners in history on a different course.

Organizers announced that the World Marathon Major, previously rescheduled for Oct. 4 from April 26, will be restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Elite runners, including world-record holders Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei and Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest man in history, will instead race but not on the usual route around London landmarks.

They will run on an enclosed looped in St. James’s Park in a “secure biosphere” without spectator access. Elite wheelchair racers, including past champions David Weir and Manuela Schar, will also compete.

Before canceling, London Marathon organizers planned to use Bluetooth and wideband ranging to monitor every participant’s distance from each other, though they did not specify if the event would have still included more than 40,000 runners.

If a participant spent more than 15 minutes within a specified distance of anyone else, and if somebody had informed organizers they contracted the virus within two weeks after the race, he or she would have been contacted.

“Despite all our efforts, the fantastic support from all of our partners and the progress that has been made on planning for the return of smaller mass participation events that are not on the roads, it has not been possible to go ahead with a mass socially distanced walk or run,” event director Hugh Brasher said in press release.

Four of the other five annual World Marathon Majors this year were canceled — Berlin, Boston, Chicago and New York City. The earliest major, Tokyo, was held March 1 with elite runners only.

Kipchoge, the Olympic marathon champion from Kenya, and Bekele, a three-time Olympic track champion from Ethiopia, were previously announced as headliners for London in the winter, before the pandemic.

Kipchoge lowered the world record to 2:01:39 at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. Bekele clocked 2:01:41 in Berlin last September. They are the only men to ever break 2:02 in a marathon. Kipchoge also clocked 1:59:40 at a non-record-eligible event in Vienna on Oct. 12 instead of racing a fall marathon.

Kipchoge has won 11 of 12 marathons since moving to road racing after failing to make Kenya’s 2012 Olympic track team.

Bekele, the more accomplished track athlete with Olympic golds and world records at 5000m and 10,000m, has been a roller-coaster road runner.

Bekele owns two of the seven fastest marathons in history, recorded three years apart in Berlin. In between, he failed to finish two marathons and, in his last London start in 2018, clocked a pedestrian 2:08:53 for sixth place.

That was more than four minutes behind Kipchoge, who is undefeated in four London starts and has beaten by Bekele by at least 100 seconds in all four of their head-to-head marathons.

The Kenyan Kosgei took 81 seconds off Paula Radcliffe‘s 16-year-old women’s marathon world record on Oct. 13, clocking 2:14:04 to win the Chicago Marathon.

The 2021 London Marathon will also be held in October to give a better chance of holding a mass race than in April.

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MORE: U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials results