Mike Rodgers

Rodgers, Bartoletta take 100m titles at U.S. Championships

Leave a comment

World and Olympic relay medalists Mike Rodgers and Tianna Bartoletta captured individual 100m titles at the U.S. Championships in Sacramento, Calif., on Friday night.

Rodgers, part of the silver medal 4x100m relay team at the 2013 World Championships, clocked 10.09 seconds into a 1.7 m/s headwind. Ryan Bailey, who was fifth at the London Olympics, took second in 10.23.

Rodgers now looks forward to facing top U.S. sprinters Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay at the next Diamond League meet in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday. Gatlin has run 9.86 this year. The American record holder Gay’s presence in Lausanne will be his return race from a yearlong doping suspension.

Bartoletta, fourth in the 2012 Olympic 100m running as Tianna Madison, prevailed in 11.15 seconds into a 2.1 m/s headwind in Friday’s final. Defending U.S. champion English Gardner stumbled out of the blocks and finished fourth.

“I really believe that track and field is a metaphor for life, and last year I got hurt,” Bartoletta, who dabbled in bobsledding after the London Olympics but didn’t make it to Sochi, told Lewis Johnson on NBCSN. “Just like a lot of people, there are setbacks, but you find out what you’re made of and what the people around you are made of, and you just keep pushing. I feel like that’s what made me a success so far this year and throughout the whole trajectory of my career.”

The fastest woman Friday withdrew from the final. Tori Bowie ran a personal best 10.91 in the semifinals (with a 2.0 m/s tailwind) and appeared to suffer a left leg injury.

The U.S. Championships continue Saturday with finals including the men’s and women’s 400m and women’s 100m hurdles.

[WATCH LIVEU.S. Championships, Saturday at 4 p.m. ET]

In other Friday events, Olympic silver medalist Trey Hardee won the decathlon with 8,599 points, the highest total in the world this year.

Hardee, set back by injuries last year, had not completed a decathlon since the London Games until posting 8,518 points in Gotzis, Austria, four weeks ago.

He won the 2009 and 2011 World Championships before Ashton Eaton took over as the world’s greatest athlete. Eaton is focusing on the 400m hurdles this year and expected to return to decathlons in 2015.

“I haven’t lost a step, I’m still in it,” said Hardee, 30. “I’m going to love it [the decathlon] ’til I die.”

Olympic champion Jenn Suhr won the U.S. pole vault title for the eighth time, matching 2000 Olympic champion Stacy Dragila‘s record number of titles in the event.

Will Claye beat Christian Taylor in the triple jump, reversing their one-two finish from the London Olympics. Claye leaped a personal best 17.75m on his final jump, having already topped Taylor’s 17.37m. Claye, in a backwards hat, climbed into the stands immediately after his final jump and began hugging and kissing spectators.

Bernard Lagat recorded his seventh U.S. 5000m title, passing Andrew Bumbalough with 100m to go and crossing in 13:31.41. Molly Huddle captured her second 5000m title in 15:01.56.

Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross matched the fastest 400m time in the world this year, 50.03, to reach Saturday’s final. Richards-Ross, plagued by toe problems last year, chopped 1.16 seconds off her previous best time of 2014.

“To be back, close to my old self, I feel so blessed,” said Richards-Ross, who won the Olympic title in 49.55.

World champion LaShawn Merritt scratched out of the 400m semifinals, leaving Gil Roberts as the fastest qualifier for Saturday’s final.

World champion Brianna Rollins, 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson and three-time Olympian Lolo Jones were among 16 qualifiers into the 100m hurdles semifinals Saturday.

The 2011 World champion Jenny Simpson and 2013 Worlds finalist Mary Cain, 18, advanced to Sunday’s 1500m final.

Olympic and World silver medalist Michael Tinsley shockingly failed to advance out of the first round of the 400m hurdles.

USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships broadcast schedule

1960 Winter Olympic host considers name change over derogatory term

Squaw Valley
AP
Leave a comment

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — California’s popular Squaw Valley Ski Resort is considering changing its name to remove the word “squaw” — a derogatory term for Native American women — amid a national reckoning over racial injustice and inequality.

The word “squaw,” derived from the Algonquin language, may have once simply meant “woman,” but over generations, the word morphed into a misogynist and racist term to disparage indigenous women, said Vanessa Esquivido, a professor of American Indian Studies at California State University, Chico.

“That word is an epithet and a slur. It’s been a slur for a very long time,” she said.

When settlers arrived in the 1850s in the area where the Sierra Nevada mountain resort is now located, they first saw only Native American women working in a meadow. The land near Lake Tahoe was believed to have been given the name Squaw Valley by those early settlers.

But now the term is considered derogatory and even the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word as an offensive term for a Native American woman.

The possible renaming of Squaw Valley Ski Resort is one of many efforts across the nation to address colonialism and indigenous oppression, including the removal of statues of Christopher Columbus, a symbol to many of European colonization and the death of native people.

On Monday, the National Football League’s Washington Redskins announced the team is dropping the “Redskins” name and Indian head logo.

Regional California tribes have asked for the name of Squaw Valley Ski Resort — which received international name recognition when it hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics — to be changed numerous times over the years, with little success.

But the idea is gaining momentum.

Squaw Valley President & CEO Ron Cohen said the resort is currently taking inventory of all the places where the name appears on and off the property, how much it would cost to change and what to prioritize if the change moves ahead.

Removing “squaw” from the resort name would be a lengthy and expensive process, Cohen said, as the name appears on hundreds of signs and is imprinted on everything from uniforms to vehicles.

Cohen, who took over as head of the resort two years ago, said the operators are also meeting with shareholders, including business and homeowners within the resort, as well as the local Washoe tribal leadership to get their input.

Cohen said he could not give a timeline on when a decision could be made.

Washoe Tribe Chairman Serrell Smokey said the name Squaw Valley is a constant reminder of efforts to disparage native people.

He’s in favor of the name change and suggested “Olympic Valley” as a replacement.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Usain Bolt says one man can bring him out of retirement

‘In Deep with Ryan Lochte’ highlights Peacock launch sports offerings

Leave a comment

“In Deep with Ryan Lochte,” a documentary on the swimmer’s Rio Olympic scandal and return from suspensions, premieres on Peacock on Wednesday, when NBC Universal’s new streaming service launches.

From NBC Universal PR: “[Lochte] was at the center of a scandal that has since overshadowed a decorated swimming career that includes 12 Olympic medals. Now a 35-year-old husband and father of two young children, Lochte is hoping for one more chance to make Team USA and prove he’s not the same man he was four years ago.”

Lochte’s life since his Rio gas-station incident: a 10-month suspension, engagement and marriage to Kayla Reid, the birth of son Caiden and daughter Liv, the dedication of his swims at the 2020 Olympics to Nicholas Dworet, a swimmer killed in the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, a 14-month ban after he posted a social media image of an illegal IV transfusion of a legal substance, a six-week alcohol addiction rehab stint and a 2019 U.S. title in the 200m individual medley (the meet lacked top Olympic hopefuls).

In the film, Lochte revisits what happened in Rio, when he embellished the actual story: that he, and three other U.S. swimmers, were confronted by a security guard after Lochte ripped down a sign outside of a bathroom after late-night drinking. The swimmers’ competition was over.

“I messed up before that night even started,” Lochte said in the film. “I shouldn’t have even thought about going out and getting drunk. I should have represented my country the way we were taught. It just kind of spiraled down from there.

“It was all my fault, and I have to live with that for the rest of my life.”

The security guard, who pointed a gun at Lochte but not against his forehead, and a Rio police chief were interviewed on camera for the film.

Lochte said he plans to tell his children everything that happened.

“I don’t want to lie to them ever,” he said.

After the Olympics, Lochte said he saw a headline that said he was “the worst person in the world.” Most of all, he regretted that younger swimmers who previously looked up to him said he was no longer their role model.

“This is the most pressure I’ve had in my entire life,” Lochte said. “Yes, I made a mistake in Rio, and I need to earn the respect from my fellow swimmers, from Team USA, from everyone in the world. I gotta earn the respect. If I don’t make the Olympic team, they won’t see the change that I’ve made.”

Lochte, trying to become the oldest U.S. Olympic male swimmer in history, ranks fifth among Americans since the start of 2019 in the 200m IM. The top two at next summer’s Olympic Trials make the Tokyo Games.

“It’s pretty obvious now, I’m 100 percent family,” Lochte, who shed 30 added pounds from his time away from swimming, said at last August’s U.S. Championships. “That party-boy image that I used to have, I know it kind of messed me up, and it stuck with me, but that’s not me. I could care less about that lifestyle. My celebrations are picking up my son and my daughter and playing with them.”

Peacock’s launch also includes another sports offering, “Lost Speedways,” a series on the great racing cathedrals of the past created and hosted by Dale Earnhardt Jr.

NBC Sports’ full Premier League match and studio coverage on Wednesday will be presented free on Peacock. That includes four matches, led by Liverpool at Arsenal at 3:15 p.m. ET. More information is here.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Cullen Jones’ mission amplifies as he retires from swimming