Ray Lumpp

Ray Lumpp, Olympic champion basketball player, World War II veteran, dies at 91

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Ray Lumpp, a 1948 U.S. Olympic basketball champion and World War II veteran, died at age 91 on Friday.

Lumpp had been the oldest living U.S. Olympian in basketball.

Lumpp played guard on the U.S. Olympic team that won gold in London at the first post-World War II Olympics and then in the NBA, with the New York Knicks and Baltimore Bullets.

Lumpp took a reported seven-day boat trip through the Atlantic Ocean to get to the Olympics.

Grace Kelly was on board — her husband, Jack Kelly, was an oarsman,” Lumpp said in 2012, according to NBC Bay Area, in what must be a misquote, because Jack was Grace’s brother. “She was given a lot of attention by the press.”

“London was in no shape to have the Olympics,” Lumpp told TeamUSA.org in 2012. “They were just digging out from rubble — there were rubble piles all over the place.”

Lumpp’s Olympic team dominated much like today’s U.S. teams, going 8-0, including a 65-21 win over France in the gold-medal game.

”It was like 48-10 at halftime, and we were asked by Olympic officials not to embarrass the French team,” Lumpp said in 1992, according to USA Today.

The current U.S. Olympic coach, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, invited Lumpp as a special guest to return to London for the 2012 Olympics.

Lumpp also served as New York Athletic Club president for five decades. His name is engraved on the gym floor there, according to The Associated Press.

Kobe [Bryant] was working out there and said ‘What did you do to get your name on the floor?’” Lumpp told the AP in 2012.

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Sam Girard, Olympic short track champion, surprisingly retires at age 22

Sam Girard
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Sam Girard, who avoided a three-skater pileup to win the PyeongChang Olympic 1000m, retired from short track speed skating at age 22, saying he lost the desire to compete.

“I leave my sport satisfied with what I have accomplished,” Girard said in a press release. “This decision was very well thought through. I am at peace with the choice that I’ve made and am ready to move onto the next step.”

Girard and girlfriend and fellow Olympic skater Kasandra Bradette announced their careers end together in a tearful French-language press conference in Quebec on Friday.

Girard detailed the decision in a letter, the sacrifices made to pursue skating. Notably, moving from his hometown of Ferland-et-Boilleau, population 600, to Montreal in 2012. His hobbies had been of the outdoor variety, but he now had to drive an hour and a half from the training center just to go fishing.

In PyeongChang, Girard led for most of the 1000m final, which meant he avoided chaos behind him on the penultimate lap of the nine-lap race. Hungarian Liu Shaolin Sandor‘s inside pass took out South Koreans Lim Hyo-Jun and Seo Yi-Ra, leaving just Girard and American John-Henry Krueger.

Girard maintained his lead, crossing .214 in front of Krueger to claim the title. He also finished fourth in the 500m and 1500m and earned bronze in the relay.

“My first Olympics, won a gold medal, can’t ask for more,” he said afterward.

Though Girard was already accomplished — earning individual silver medals at the 2016 and 2017 Worlds — he came to PyeongChang as the heir apparent to Charles Hamelin, a roommate on the World Cup circuit whom Girard likened to a big brother. Girard earned another world silver medal this past season.

Hamelin, after taking individual gold in 2010 and 2014, left PyeongChang without an individual medal in what many expected to be his last Olympics. However, he went back on a retirement vow and continued to skate through the 2018-19 season.

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Maia, Alex Shibutani extend break from ice dance competition

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Brother-sister ice dance duo Maia and Alex Shibutani will not compete next season, the Olympic bronze medalists announced via U.S. Figure Skating on Friday.

“We’re healthier and stronger than we were after the Olympics, and we’re continuing to push ourselves,” Maia Shibutani said in a press release.

“We’ve continued to skate a lot, and we feel like we’ve benefited from some time away to create in different environments and focus on experiences that can help us grow,” Alex said.

The “Shib Sibs” won the U.S. title in 2016 and 2017. They won their first world medal in 2011 (bronze) before reaching the world podium again in 2016 and 2017 with silver and bronze, respectively.

They most recently competed at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, where they earned bronze both individually and in the team event.

Maia and Alex Shibutani are now the second ice dance medalists from PyeongChang to announce they’ll sit out at least part of next season. Gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada will tour instead this fall and are not expected to return to competition.

The siblings haven’t stayed away from the ice entirely in their break from the sport, though — they’ve also been touring and performing in shows.

The Shibutanis became the second set of siblings to earn Olympic ice dance medals after France’s Isabelle and Paul Duchesnay in 1992.

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