Gwen Jorgensen still winning during triathlon offseason

Gwen Jorgensen
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Gwen Jorgensen hasn’t slowed too much since completing the most dominant season in World Triathlon Series history.

Jorgensen, crowned World champion on Aug. 30, married Oct. 4, one day after sharing a bike ride with her fiance, a former professional cyclist. It started snowing 15km into the ride, which lasted much longer than the wedding at Rivers Eatery in Cable, Wis., population 825. They didn’t ask for a cake, but received one in three tiers for the reception anyway, and danced to Irish rockers Molly and the Danger Band.

Jorgensen then returned to her Minnesota home and won her division in local cyclocross and gravel bike races later that month.

She completed a 50km gravel race — The Filthy 50 — in 2 hours, 48 minutes, 11 seconds, on Oct. 12. Search the results, and you’ll find her under a different name — Gwen Lemieux — and 23 spots below her husband, Pat Lemieux, who crossed in 2:33:47.

Jorgensen spent much of last week in New York, in search of another victory. She found it at the Dash to the Finish Line 5K in Manhattan on Saturday, ending at the same Central Park line as the New York City Marathon would a day later.

Jorgensen covered 3.1 miles in 16:03, beating a field that included a 2008 British Olympic 1500m runner.

She’s next expected to race a triathlon in the Bahamas on Sunday. She’ll return to her winter training base, in Australia, for camp beginning Jan. 4.

Jorgensen’s goal last season was simply to improve her swim and bike. She is a former All-America cross-country and track runner at the University of Wisconsin.

She ended up winning five straight World Triathlon Series events this year, capped by the Grand Final in Edmonton on Aug. 30. No man or woman had ever before won four straight events in the series’ history, which dates to 2009.

Next season, Jorgensen will focus on Rio Olympic qualification. She made her first Olympic team in 2012, two years after leaving an Ernst & Young accounting job to take up triathlon. She finished 38th in London, her hopes punctured by a flat tire before she could hit her specialty, the 10km run.

Jorgensen knows the pressure and media attention will increase as the Olympics near. No U.S. man or woman has won an Olympic triathlon gold medal since the sport debuted at Sydney 2000.

She sought advice on dealing with that from one of the greatest triathletes of all time, Australian Emma Snowsill. Snowsill is the only woman to win three World Championships, plus she took Olympic gold in 2008.

They chatted over drinks following Jorgensen’s World Series victory in Hamburg on July 12, days after Snowsill announced her retirement.

Also in Hamburg, Jorgensen met another budding triathlete, 2004 U.S. Olympic 1500m runner Alan Webb. Webb and Jorgensen were both once coached in running by Jerry Schumacher.

“It’s really interesting to hear his perspective,” Jorgensen said of Webb, who at 31 also harbors hopes of making the 2016 Olympics. “He’s trying to pick my brain on how to get into the sport. It’s exciting to see that enthusiasm.”

Jorgensen, 28, said a question she is often asked is if she would ever do an Ironman triathlon — swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run 26.2 miles. The Olympic triathlon is a .93-mile swim, 25-mile bike and 6.2-mile run.

“I never really think about Ironman,” Jorgensen said. “It’s not something that I envision myself doing. I’m not going to say I’m never going to do it, because you never say never, but I also see myself possibly getting into marathon running.”

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Aksel Lund Svindal, Olympic Alpine champ, has testicular cancer, ‘prognosis good’

Aksel Lund Svindal
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Aksel Lund Svindal, a retired Olympic Alpine skiing champion from Norway, said he underwent surgery for testicular cancer and the prognosis “looked very good.”

“Tests, scans and surgery all happened very quickly,” Svindal, 39, wrote on social media. “And already after the first week I knew the prognoses looked very good. All thanks to that first decision to go see a doctor as soon as I suspected something was off.”

Svindal retired in 2019 after winning the Olympic super-G in 2010 and downhill in 2018. He also won five world titles among the downhill, combined and giant slalom and two World Cup overall titles.

Svindal said he felt a change in his body that prompted him to see a doctor.

“The last few weeks have been different,” he wrote. “But I’m able to say weeks and not months because of great medical help, a little luck and a good decision.

“I wasn’t sure what it was, or if it was anything at all. … [I] was quickly transferred to the hospital where they confirmed what the doctor suspected. Testicle cancer.”

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup schedule, results

FIBA Women's World Cup
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The U.S. goes for its fourth consecutive title at the FIBA World Cup in Sydney — and eighth global gold in a row overall when including the Olympics.

A’ja Wilson, a two-time WNBA MVP, and Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP, headline a U.S. roster that, for the first time since 2000, includes neither Sue Bird (retired) nor Diana Taurasi (injured).

The new-look team includes nobody over the age of 30 for the first time since 1994, before the U.S. began its dynasty at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Americans have won 52 consecutive games between worlds and the Olympics dating to the 2006 Worlds bronze-medal game.

The field also includes host Australia, the U.S.’ former primary rival, and Olympic silver medalist Japan.

Nigeria, which played the U.S. the closest of any foe in Tokyo (losing by nine points), isn’t present after its federation withdrew the team over governance issues. Spain, ranked second in the world, failed to qualify.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Round
Wed., Sept. 21 8:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 82, Bosnia and Herzegovina 58 Group A
9:30 p.m. USA 87, Belgium 72 Group A
11 p.m. Canada 67, Serbia 60 Group B
Thurs., Sept. 22 12 a.m. Japan 89, Mali 56 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 107, South Korea 44 Group A
6:30 a.m. France 70, Australia 57 Group B
8:30 p.m. USA 106, Puerto Rico 42 Group A
10 p.m. Serbia 69, Japan 64 Group B
11 p.m. Belgium 84, South Korea 61 Group A
Fri., Sept. 23 12:30 a.m. China 98, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51 Group A
4 a.m. Canada 59, France 45 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 118, Mali 58 Group B
Sat., Sept. 24 12:30 a.m. USA 77, China 63 Group A
4 a.m. South Korea 99, Bosnia and Herzegovina 66 Group A
6:30 a.m. Belgium 68, Puerto Rico 65 Group A
Sun., Sept. 25 12:30 a.m. France vs. Mali Group B
4 a.m. Australia vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Canada vs. Japan Group B
9:30 p.m. Belgium vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
11:30 p.m. Mali vs. Serbia Group B
Mon., Sept. 26 12 a.m. USA vs. South Korea Group A
2 a.m. France vs. Japan Group B
3:30 a.m. China vs. Puerto Rico Group A
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Canada Group B
9:30 p.m. Puerto Rico vs. South Korea Group A
11:30 p.m. Belgium vs. China Group A
Tues., Sept. 27 12 a.m. USA vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
2 a.m. Canada vs. Mali Group B
3:30 a.m. France vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Japan Group B
Wed., Sept. 28 10 p.m. Quarterfinal
Thurs., Sept. 29 12:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
4 a.m. Quarterfinal
6:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
Fri., Sept. 30 3 .m. Semifinal
5:30 a.m. Semifinal
11 p.m. Third-Place Game
Sat., Oct. 1 2 a.m. Final