Dan O'Brien, Dave Johnson

Dan O’Brien, Dave Johnson reunite for RBC Decathlon

Leave a comment

Dan & Dave are back.

Dan O’Brien and Dave Johnson, who were the focus of a Reebok campaign before the 1992 Olympics (which O’Brien failed to qualify for), will compete against each other for the first time in more than a decade on Sunday.

They’re two special entrants out of 150 in the RBC Decathlon, an annual New York event that crowns Wall Street’s best athletes that raises money to support pediatric cancer treatment and research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

It’s not an Olympic-style decathlon. Here are the events:

400m run
Football throw
Pull-ups
40-yard dash
Dips
500m stationary row
Vertical jump
20-yard shuttle (5-10-5 drill)
175-pound bench press
800m run

O’Brien, who recovered from no-heighting in the 1992 Olympic Trials pole vault to win the 1996 Olympic decathlon, finished 46th at last year’s event. Former St. Louis Rams safety Mark Rubin, who now works at Barclays, won for the second straight year.

Organizers and O’Brien brainstormed asking other Olympic champions to join for 2014, including Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Carl Lewis.

“But it just made sense to bring Dave Johnson on board and kind of reignite the rivalry,” O’Brien said.

Johnson and O’Brien believe they haven’t competed against each other since the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials, where Johnson finished sixth and O’Brien won. They still see each other at least once a year.

Both have coached recently — O’Brien at Arizona State, Johnson at Oregon State — and agree that O’Brien, who also does work for NBC, is the favorite in Sunday’s reunion. Johnson, 51, says O’Brien, 47, is in better shape now.

“[O’Brien] knows that back in the day there’s no way he’d beat me at something like this,” said Johnson, the 1992 Olympic bronze medalist who is now a director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. “This was the kind of stuff I was really good at. He was more of a sprinter and speed guy. There’s a lot of weight-type events.”

Neither is particularly looking forward to the final event, the 800m. The 1500m finale in the Olympic decathlon is always grueling for the world’s best athletes.

“What you’re going to see here is two guys pushing 60 years old competing against guys half our age,” O’Brien said. “I think you’ll see us both jogging in the half mile.”

Justin Gatlin runs fastest 100m of 2014 in Ostrava

Gracie Gold qualifies for nationals, Polina Edmunds shut out

NBC Sports Gold
Leave a comment

2014 Olympian Gracie Gold qualified for the 2020 U.S. Figure Skating Championships by virtue of a third-place finish at the Eastern Sectional Singles Final on Saturday in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

“Bronze: so hot this fall,” Gold posted on Instagram. She last competed at U.S. nationals in 2017, when she finished sixth. She won the national title in 2014 and 2016.

Gold sat second after the short program with 63.55 points, and ultimately finished third overall with 109.90 points in the free skate for 173.45 points. The top four at the event qualify for the national championships in Greensboro, North Carolina in January.

Her free skate included a fall on the opening triple Lutz and an under-rotation on the triple Lutz, double toe loop combination. She also put a hand down on the landing of a double Axel. The rest of the program, though, was clean.

Her performance, set to “She Used to be Mine” by Sara Bareilles, can be found at the 2:05 mark of the on-demand stream of the event for NBC Gold Pass subscribers.

Meanwhile, her Sochi teammate Polina Edmunds was shut out of nationals based on a fifth-place finish at the Pacific Coast Sectional Singles Final (top four qualify). Her performance can be found for NBC Gold Pass subscribers at the 1:50 mark of the on-demand stream for the event. Edmunds last competed at Nationals in 2016, when she earned the silver medal behind Gold.

As a reminder, you can watch the events from the 2019-20 figure skating season live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. Go to NBCsports.com/gold/figure-skating to sign up for access to every ISU Grand Prix and championship event, as well as domestic U.S. Figure Skating events throughout the season. NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Alexandra Trusova qualifies for Grand Prix Final after win at Rostelecom Cup

View this post on Instagram

Bronze: so hot this fall 🥉

A post shared by Gracie Gold (@graciegold95) on

Brittany Bowe extends unbeaten streak to open speed skating World Cup

Leave a comment

Brittany Bowe extended one of the most dominant runs for any U.S. Winter Olympian, earning her first straight World Cup 1000m win to open the season on Sunday.

Bowe, fourth and eighth in the event at her two Olympics, clocked 1:15.35 in Minsk, Belarus, to beat PyeongChang gold medalist Jorien ter Mors by six tenths. Ter Mors missed all of last season after knee surgery.

Bowe won every World Cup 1000m dating to last December, plus her second world title in the event last February, lowering track records at each stop.

She ended last season by breaking the world record by .48 of a second on the fast ice of the 2002 Olympic oval in Kearns, Utah. That time — 1:11.61 — would have been the men’s world record as recently as 1997.

Bowe, a former Florida Atlantic point guard who missed all of 2016-17 with a concussion, is up to 23 career World Cup wins. That’s fifth on the U.S. all-time list behind Bonnie Blair (69), Shani Davis (58), Dan Jansen (46) and Heather Bergsma (34), according to schaatsstatistieken.nl.

The World Cup moves to Poland next week.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Fastest female speed skater in history retires