Mexico’s history at the Olympics

Hubertus von Hohenlohe
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Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Mexican victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Mexico’s greatest Olympic achievement occurred 106 years later, when its capital hosted the 1968 Summer Games.

Mexico City’s Olympics are best remembered for Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos‘ black-glove salute on the medal stand after winning gold and bronze, respectively, in the 200m. It was also Mexico’s most successful Olympics in overall medals — nine. Golds were won by boxers Ricardo Delgado and Antonio Roldan and swimmer Felipe Munoz.

Mexico’s most decorated Olympian is Joaquin Capilla, who won four medals over the 1948-56 Olympics in diving, traditionally one of Mexico’s best Olympic sports.

More recent Mexican Olympic notables include race walker Bernardo Segura, who won 20km bronze in 1996 and crossed the finish line first in 2000. However, he was disqualified in Sydney for the common infraction of “lifting,” or not having at least one foot on the ground, three times in the race. Segura had reportedly received congratulations, including speaking on the phone with Mexico’s president, before officials broke the news to him.

Sprinter Ana Guevara was in a lane next to Australian hero Cathy Freeman in the 2000 Olympic 400m final and finished fifth. Guevara won the 2003 World Championship and then silver in the 400m at the Athens Olympics.

Mexico had its most successful Olympics other than 1968 in London in 2012, winning seven medals. The soccer team’s first-ever gold, over Brazil, was the most celebrated.

Mexico earned rare Winter Olympic buzz in Sochi for the presence of its lone athlete, Alpine skier Prince Hubertus von Hohenlohe, who became the second oldest Winter Olympian of all time at 55. They marked his record-tying sixth Winter Olympics.

Former world No. 1 golfer Lorena Ochoa, who retired in 2010 at age 28, has said she is not tempted to come back for golf’s return to the Olympics in 2016. If she reconsidered, her path to Rio de Janeiro would not be that difficult. Ochoa would have to be ranked No. 470 to make the Olympic golf field if it was chosen based off the world rankings on Cinco de Mayo.

A possible Mexico bid for the 2024 Olympics now appears unlikely.

Ireland’s history at the Olympics

12-year-old skateboarders earn medals at world championships

Chloe Covell
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At the world skateboarding championships, 12-year-olds Chloe Covell from Australia and Onodera Ginwoo from Japan earned silver and bronze medals, respectively, in Sunday’s street finals.

In the women’s event, Covell took silver behind Brazilian 15-year-old Rayssa Leal, who was a silver medalist herself at the Tokyo Games.

Frenchman Aurélien Giraud, a 25-year-old who was sixth in skateboarding’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, won the men’s final in the United Arab Emirates. Ginwoo was third behind Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro.

The top Americans were Olympic men’s bronze medalist Jagger Eaton in sixth and 15-year-old Paige Heyn in seventh in the women’s event.

Nyjah Huston, a six-time world champion who placed seventh in Tokyo, missed worlds after August surgery for an ACL tear.

Up to three men and three women per nation can qualify per event (street and park) for the 2024 Paris Games. World rankings come June 2024 determine which Americans qualify.

In Tokyo, four of the 12 skateboarding medalists were ages 12 or 13.

Japan’s Kokona Hiraki, then 12, won silver in women’s park to become the youngest Olympic medalist since 1936, according to Olympedia.org. Japan’s Momiji Nishiya, then 13, won women’s street and became the youngest gold medalist in an individual event since 1936.

Worlds conclude this week with the men’s and women’s park events. The finals are Saturday.

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Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

Francesco Friedrich
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A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It marked Great Britain’s first world championships men’s bobsled medal since 1966.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

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