Canada eyeing Olympic hoops glory in 2020


If all goes according to plan, Canada may want to borrow the WNBA’s original marketing campaign slogan “We got next.”

The Globe and Mail reports that Canadian Olympic officials are targeting the 2020 Summer Olympics as the year the team can make a serious run at Team USA for gold. If all goes according to plan, the Canadian squad can follow the blueprint of Argentina’s gold-winning team from the 2004 Athens game, which was loaded with homegrown talent that peaked at the right time – and caught the U.S. in a downswing of Olympic development.

Unsurprisingly, and perhaps dubiously, the plan rests on the tall shoulders of Ontario native Andrew Wiggins, whom the Cleveland Cavaliers selected as the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NBA draft. It also involves fellow 2014 draftees Nik Stauskas and Tyler Ennis, as well as Wiggins’ Cleveland teammates Tristan Thompson and Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 overall pick in 2013.

Canada has qualified in basketball for just one of the past six Summer Games, according to The Globe, and could be hard-pressed just to make it to Rio for 2016. But if Wiggins matures as Canadian officials hope, and if the rest of Canada’s basketball talent follows a similar suit, Canada could find itself exactly where it wants to be, and where it hasn’t been in quite a long time – competing for Olympic gold. If Canada does make it back to the gold-medal game, it would its first appearance there since 1936, when the U.S. beat Canada 19-8 – in a game played outdoors in the rain.

Dennis Rodman says Kim Jong Un asked him to train South Korea players for Rio 2016

Olympic flame to travel by sea for Paris 2024, welcomed by armada

Paris 2024 Olympic Torch Relay Marseille
Paris 2024

The Olympic flame will travel from Athens to Marseille by ship in spring 2024 to begin the France portion of the torch relay that ends in Paris on July 26, 2024.

The torch relay always begins in the ancient Olympic site of Olympia, Greece, where the sun’s rays light the flame. It will be passed by torch until it reaches Athens.

It will then cross the Mediterranean Sea aboard the Belem, a three-masted ship, “reminiscent of a true Homeric epic,” according to Paris 2024. It will arrive at the Old Port of Marseille, welcomed by an armada of boats.

Marseille is a former Greek colony and the oldest city in France. It will host sailing and some soccer matches during the Paris Olympics.

The full 2024 Olympic torch relay route will be unveiled in May.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Paris 2024 Olympic Torch Relay Marseille
Paris 2024

Mikaela Shiffrin heads to world championships with medal records in sight


Before Mikaela Shiffrin can hold the World Cup wins record, she can become the most decorated Alpine skier in modern world championships history.

Shiffrin takes a respite from World Cup pursuits for the biennial world championships in France. She is expected to race at least four times, beginning with Monday’s combined.

Shiffrin has a tour-leading 11 World Cup victories in 23 starts this season, her best since her record 17-win 2018-19 campaign, but world championships do not count toward the World Cup.

Shiffrin remains one career victory behind Swede Ingemar Stenmark‘s record 86 World Cup wins until at least her next World Cup start in March.

Shiffrin has been more successful at worlds than at the Olympics and even on the World Cup. She has 11 medals in 13 world championships races dating to her 2013 debut, including making the podium in each of her last 10 events.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

She enters worlds one shy of the modern, post-World War II individual records for total medals (Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt won 12) and gold medals (Austrian Toni Sailer, Frenchwoman Marielle Goitschel and Swede Anja Pärson won seven).

Worlds take place exactly one year after Shiffrin missed the medals in all of her Olympic races, but that’s not motivating her.

“If I learned anything last year, it’s that these big events, they can go amazing, and they can go terrible, and you’re going to survive no matter what,” she said after her most recent World Cup last Sunday. “So I kind of don’t care.”

Shiffrin ranks No. 1 in the world this season in the giant slalom (Feb. 16 at worlds) and slalom (Feb. 18).

This year’s combined is one run of super-G coupled with one run of slalom (rather than one downhill and one slalom), which also plays to her strengths. She won that event, with that format, at the last worlds in 2021. The combined isn’t contested on the World Cup, so it’s harder to project favorites.

Shiffrin is also a medal contender in the super-G (Feb. 8), despite starting just two of five World Cup super-Gs this season (winning one of them).

She is not planning to race the downhill (Feb. 11), which she often skips on the World Cup and has never contested at a worlds. Nor is she expected for the individual parallel (Feb. 15), a discipline she hasn’t raced in three years in part due to the strain it puts on her back with the format being several runs for the medalists.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!