Yohan Blake details ‘dreams’ for 2015

Yohan Blake
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If there’s a sprinter with more to prove than Usain Bolt this year, it’s countryman Yohan Blake.

Since the 2012 Olympics, Blake hasn’t looked anything like the man who won 100m and 200m silver behind Bolt in London (and upset Bolt in both distances at the Jamaican Olympic trials).

The last time we saw Blake in competition was July 11, trailing a lackluster 100m field in Glasgow, then tumbling to the track mid-race and being wheeled out of sight in a chair (video here).

“If I didn’t stop myself [in the race], I would be carried over,” Blake said while launching adidas’ “Ultra Boost” shoes in New York on Thursday. “That never happened to me before. I think it’s like karma. I was in training, saying I never get injured before [presumably in a race, since Blake has dealt with injuries suffered outside of competition].”

In Glasgow, Blake initially called the injury a cramp, but it was much worse, more serious even than a torn hamstring that caused him to miss almost all of the 2013 season.

“The muscle came off the bone and had to be reattached,” Blake said.

The 25-year-old who likes to be called “The Beast” — with matching long fingernails — is back training but said he will see a doctor in Munich in the first half of March, hoping to be cleared for full-speed workouts. Blake said he can reach full fitness two weeks after being cleared.

He will return to a sprint scene dominated in 2014 by Justin Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic 100m champion five years removed from a four-year doping ban. Gatlin posted the fastest 100m and 200m times in the world last year — 9.77 and 19.68 seconds — with Bolt largely sidelined due to a foot injury.

“You could say he’s the man,” said Blake, who ran 10.02 and 20.48 in 2014 before the Glasgow tumble.

Blake has said he sets dreams rather than goals. And the immediate dreams are very important, given he has also said he wants to retire before 2020, which would make the Rio 2016 Games his Olympic farewell.

He talks about regaining the World Championship in the 100m in Beijing this summer. Blake is the only man other than Bolt to win an Olympic or World Championships gold medal in the 100m or 200m since 2007. He did so in Daegu, South Korea, in 2011, after Bolt infamously false-started out of the 100m final.

“I’ve been dreaming from September about getting back my title,” Blake said. “Every day they trouble me about the 9.69 [his personal best in the 100m, set two weeks after the London Olympics], that I need to change it. I’m working to change that as well.

“I need to get back my title. And the Olympics, I need to get three golds there.”

Many would say Blake’s best chance at being pushed to a personal-best time would come in a race with Bolt, which hasn’t happened since the 2012 Olympics. Blake has cited “big money” for why they have entered the same meets but raced different distances, though Bolt’s agent has said it’s not about that.

Blake acknowledged it’s unlikely the two Jamaicans will go head to head before the Jamaican national championships in June.

“I don’t think they’re going to allow it,” Blake said, smiling. “But if it comes about, I will love it.”

It may not even happen at the Jamaican championships, as Bolt has byes into Worlds as the defending 100m and 200m champion.

Martina Hingis eyes Rio Olympics

Ukraine Olympic champion auctions gold medals to support his country

Yuriy Cheban
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Sprint canoeist Yuriy Cheban, Ukraine’s most decorated male Olympian, is auctioning his two gold medals and one bronze medal to support his country’s defense and recovery efforts amid the war with Russia.

“It was one of the best moments of my life that can be compared only with the birth of my child,” Cheban posted specifically about his repeat 200m gold at his last Olympics in Rio in 2016. “This Olympic finish left a great memory forever in the world history and in the hearts of Ukraine.

“Time to move on, I would like these medals to benefit Ukrainians once again.”

Cheban, a 36-year-old who coached Ukraine canoeists at the Tokyo Games, took 500m bronze in 2008 before his 200m golds in 2012 and 2016, all in individual races.

He and boxer Vasiliy Lomachenko are the only men to win two Olympic gold medals for Ukraine, which began competing independently in 1994. Cheban is the only man to win three total Olympic medals for Ukraine, according to Olympedia.org.

Swimmer Yana Klochkova won the most medals for Ukraine — four golds and five total.

All proceeds from the sales will go to Ukraine’s Olympic Circle charity, according to SCP Auctions.

Olympic Circle was created by sportsmen to help Mykolaiv, a city in southern Ukraine, fight Russian occupants, according to SCP.

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Alpine skiing TV, live stream schedule for 2022-23 World Cup season

Mikaela Shiffrin, Marco Odermatt
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NBC Sports and Peacock combine to air live coverage of the 2022-23 Alpine skiing season, including races on the World Cup, which starts this weekend.

Coverage begins with the traditional season-opening giant slaloms in Soelden, Austria, this Saturday and Sunday, streaming live on Peacock.

The first of four stops in the U.S. — the most in 26 years — is Thanksgiving weekend with a women’s giant slalom and slalom in Killington, Vermont. The men’s tour visits Beaver Creek, Colorado the following week, as well as Palisades Tahoe, California, and Aspen, Colorado after worlds in Courchevel and Meribel, France.

NBC Sports platforms will broadcast all four U.S. stops in the Alpine World Cup season, plus four more World Cups in other ski and snowboard disciplines. All Alpine World Cups in Austria will stream live on Peacock.

Mikaela Shiffrin, who last year won her fourth World Cup overall title, is the headliner. Shiffrin, who has 74 career World Cup race victories, will try to close the gap on the only Alpine skiers with more: Lindsey Vonn (82) and Ingemar Stenmark (86). Shiffrin won an average of five times per season the last three years and is hopeful of racing more often this season.

On the men’s side, 25-year-old Swiss Marco Odermatt returns after becoming the youngest man to win the overall, the biggest annual prize in ski racing, since Marcel Hirscher won the second of his record eight in a row in 2013.

2022-23 Alpine Skiing World Cup Broadcast Schedule
Schedule will be added to as the season progresses. All NBC Sports TV coverage also streams live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

Date Coverage Network/Platform Time (ET)
Sat., Oct. 22 Women’s GS (Run 1) – Soelden (PPD) Peacock 4 a.m.
Women’s GS (Run 2) – Soelden (PPD) Peacock 7:05 a.m.
Sun., Oct. 23 Men’s GS (Run 1) — Soelden Peacock 4 a.m.
Men’s GS (Run 2) – Soelden Peacock 7 a.m.
Sat., Nov. 12 Women’s Parallel (Qualifying) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 6 a.m.
Women’s Parallel (Finals) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 12 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 13 Men’s Parallel (Qualifying) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 4 a.m.
Men’s Parallel (Finals) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 10 a.m.
Sat., Nov. 19 Women’s SL (Run 1) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 4 a.m.
Women’s SL (Run 2) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 7 a.m.
Sun., Nov. 20 Women’s SL (Run 1) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 4:15 a.m.
Women’s SL (Run 2) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 7:15 a.m.
Fri., Nov. 25 Men’s DH — Lake Louise (PPD) Skiandsnowboard.live 2:30 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 26 Women’s GS (Run 2) — Killington NBC, Peacock 12:30 p.m.
Men’s DH — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2:30 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 27 Women’s SL (Run 2) — Killington NBC, Peacock 12:30 p.m.
Men’s SG — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2:15 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 2 Women’s DH — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 3 Women’s DH — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2:30 p.m.
Men’s DH — Beaver Creek CNBC, Peacock 4 p.m.*
Men’s DH — Beaver Creek NBC, Peacock 5 p.m.*
Sun., Dec. 4 Women’s SG — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 1 p.m.
Men’s SG — Beaver Creek NBC, Peacock 5 p.m.*

*Delayed broadcast.

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