USOC set to honor top U.S. male, female, teams from Sochi Olympics

Meryl Davis, Charlie White
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The U.S. Olympic Committee is holding its first Best of U.S. Awards, fan voting that determines the best American men, women and teams from the Sochi Olympics and Paralympics.

The final day to vote is March 21. The awards show will air nationally on NBCSN on April 7 at 7 p.m. ET.

Voting is being held on the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team Facebook pages through Friday. The USOC has more information on the Best of U.S. Awards in its final Sochi recap here.

Here are the nominees:

Male Olympian
Joss Christensen — First Olympic champion in men’s ski slopestyle
Sage Kotsenburg — First Olympic champion in snowboard slopestyle
Ted Ligety — First U.S. Olympic champion in men’s giant slalom
David Wise — First Olympic champion in ski halfpipe

Female Olympian
Jamie Anderson — First Olympic champion in women’s snowboard slopestyle
Maddie Bowman — First Olympic champion in women’s ski halfpipe
Erin Hamlin — First U.S. Olympic singles luge medalist (bronze)
Mikaela Shiffrin — Youngest Olympic champion in women’s slalom

Team Olympians
Meryl Davis/Charlie White — First U.S. Olympic ice dance champions
Elana Meyers/Lauryn Williams — Olympic bobsled silver medalists
USA-1 — Olympic four-man bobsled bronze medalists

Olympic Moment
Bode Miller becomes oldest Alpine skiing medalist
T.J. Oshie’s shootout performance against Russia
Noelle Pikus-Pace’s skeleton celebration
Men’s ski slopestyle podium sweep
U.S. short track speed skaters’ relay bronze

Male Paralympian
Mark Bathum — Two-time Alpine skiing silver medalist
Declan Farmer — Two goals, one assist in sledge hockey team’s semi win over Canada
Andy Soule — Top five in all five Nordic skiing events entered
Evan Strong — First Paralympic men’s snowboard cross champion

Female Paralympian
Stephanie Jallen — Two-time Alpine skiing bronze medalist
Oksana Masters — Two-time cross-country skiing medalist
Tatyana McFadden — Cross-country skiing silver medalist
Laurie Stephens — Two-time Alpine skiing bronze medalist

Team Paralympians
Nordic Mixed Relay — Sixth place
Sledge Hockey — Paralympic champions
Wheelchair Curling — Fifth place

Paralympic Moment
Stephanie Jallen wins bronze in her first Paralympic skiing race
Sledge hockey’s gold-medal game win over Russia
U.S. sweeps first Paralympic men’s snowboard cross event
Oksana Masters wins first U.S. Paralympic cross-country medal in 20 years
Andy Soule goes perfect in shooting in all three biathlon events

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Germany goes 1-2 at bobsled worlds; Kaillie Humphries breaks medals record

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Kim Kalicki and Lisa Buckwitz gave Germany a one-two in the world bobsled championships two-woman event, while American Kaillie Humphries earned bronze to break the career medals record.

Kalicki, who was fourth at last year’s Olympics and leads this season’s World Cup standings, edged Buckwitz by five hundredths of a second combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Humphries, with push athlete Kaysha Love, was 51 hundredths behind.

Olympic champion Laura Nolte was in third place after two runs but crashed in the third run.

Humphries, 37 and a three-time Olympic champion between two-woman and monobob, earned her eighth world championships medal in the two-woman event. That broke her tie for the record of seven with retired German Sandra Kiriasis. Humphries is also the most decorated woman in world championships monobob, taking gold and silver in the two times it has been contested.

Humphries rolled her ankle after the first day of last week’s monobob, plus took months off training in the offseason while also doing two rounds of IVF.

“I chose to continue the IVF journey through the season which included a Lupron Depot shot the day before this race began,” she posted after her monobob silver last weekend. “My weight and body fluctuating all year with hormones, it was a battle to find my normal while competing again. I’m happy with this result, I came into it wanting a podium and we achieved it as a team.”

Love, who was seventh with Humphries in the Olympic two-woman event, began her transition to become a driver after the Games.

Worlds finish Sunday with the final two runs of the four-man event.

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Snowboarders sue coach, USOPC in assault, harassment case

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Olympic bronze medalist Rosey Fletcher has filed a lawsuit accusing former snowboard coach Peter Foley of sexually assaulting, harassing and intimidating members of his team for years, while the organizations overseeing the team did nothing to stop it.

Fletcher is a plaintiff in one of two lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Thursday. One names Foley, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, the U.S. Ski & Snowboard team and its former CEO, Tiger Shaw, as defendants. Another, filed by a former employee of USSS, names Foley, Shaw and the ski federation as defendants.

One of the lawsuits, which also accuse the defendants of sex trafficking, harassment, and covering up repeated acts of sexual assault and misconduct, allege Foley snuck into bed and sexually assaulted Fletcher, then shortly after she won her bronze medal at the 2006 Olympics, approached her “and said he still remembered ‘how she was breathing,’ referring to the first time he assaulted her.”

The lawsuits describe Foley as fostering a depraved travel squad of snowboarders, in which male coaches shared beds with female athletes, crude jokes about sexual conquests were frequently shared and coaches frequently commented to the female athletes about their weight and body types.

“Male coaches, including Foley, would slap female athletes’ butts when they finished their races, even though the coaches would not similarly slap the butts of male athletes,” the lawsuit said. “Physical assault did not stop with slapping butts. Notably, a female athlete once spilled barbeque sauce on her chest while eating and a male coach approached her and licked it off her chest without warning or her consent.”

The USOPC and USSS knew of Foley’s behavior but did nothing to stop it, the lawsuit said. It depicted Foley as an all-powerful coach who could make and break athletes’ careers on the basis of how they got along off the mountain.

Foley’s attorney, Howard Jacobs, did not immediately return requests for comment from The Associated Press. Jacobs has previously said allegations of sexual misconduct against Foley are false.

In a statement, the USOPC said it had not seen the complaint and couldn’t comment on specific details but that “we take every allegation of abuse very seriously.”

“The USOPC is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of Team USA athletes, and we are taking every step to identify, report, and eliminate abuse in our community,” the statement said.

It wasn’t until the Olympics in Beijing last year that allegations about Foley’s behavior and the culture on the snowboarding team started to emerge.

Allegations posted on Instagram by former team member Callan Chythlook-Sifsof — who, along with former team member Erin O’Malley, is a plaintiff along with Fletcher — led to Foley’s removal from the team, which he was still coaching when the games began.

That posting triggered more allegations in reporting by ESPN and spawned an AP report about how the case was handled between USSS and the U.S. Center for SafeSport, which is ultimately responsible for investigating cases involving sex abuse in Olympic sports. The center has had Foley on temporary suspension since March 18, 2022.

The AP typically does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault unless they have granted permission or spoken publicly, as Fletcher, Chythlook-Sifsof and O’Malley have done through a lawyer.

USSS said it was made aware of the allegations against Foley on Feb 6, 2022, and reported them to the SafeSport center.

“We are aware of the lawsuits that were filed,” USSS said in a statement. “U.S. Ski & Snowboard has not yet been served with the complaint nor has had an opportunity to fully review it. U.S. Ski & Snowboard is and will remain an organization that prioritizes the safety, health and well-being of its athletes and staff.”

The lawsuits seek unspecified damages to be determined in a jury trial.