Anthony Davis would rather win second Olympic gold than first NBA MVP

Anthony Davis
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Anthony Davis would rather win a second Olympic gold medal in 2016 than a first NBA MVP.

“Only because it comes every four years, and you’re not knowing if you’re going to play again [in the Olympics],” Davis said in a Slam magazine video interview. “You can get a chance to win the MVP every year, and I experienced it the first time, and it was, nothing like it [winning the gold medal].”

In 2012, Davis, then 19, became the second youngest American to play basketball in the Olympics (Nancy Lieberman, Montreal 1976), according to sports-reference.com.

He played the fewest minutes on the 12-man U.S. roster in London, 52 across seven games, and averaged 3.7 points per game playing behind Kevin Love and Tyson Chandler. Davis scored zero points in the three elimination-round games.

Davis wasn’t named to the original 2012 U.S. Olympic team but replaced the injured Blake Griffin two weeks before the Games.

Davis is more likely to play heavy minutes should he make the 2016 U.S. Olympic team, being a reigning All-NBA First Team pick while two of the other top NBA big men are Spaniards Pau and Marc Gasol.

Also in the interview, Davis said his favorite Olympic sport to watch is tennis and if he could participate in another Olympic event it would be the long jump.

“Long legs, tall, athletic,” said Davis, who is 6 feet, 10 inches. “So I think I would do pretty good in there.”

Davis among 34 players on U.S. Olympic roster long list at training camp

Kendall Gretsch wins six gold medals at Para Nordic Ski Worlds

Kendall Gretsch
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Kendall Gretsch, who won Paralympic titles at the last Summer and Winter Games, added another six gold medals at the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships in Sweden last week.

Gretsch, 30, earned seven total medals in seven days between biathlon and cross-country skiing.

Gretsch won gold medals in three different sports across the last three Paralympics: biathlon and cross-country skiing in 2018 (two years after taking up the sports), triathlon in 2021 and biathlon in 2022.

She plans to shift her focus back to triathlon after this winter for 2024 Paris Games qualification.

Gretsch, born with spina bifida, was the 2014 USA Triathlon Female Para Triathlete of the Year. Though triathlon was added to the Paralympics for the 2016 Rio Games, her classification was not added until Tokyo.

Also at last week’s worlds, six-time Paralympian Aaron Pike earned his first Paralympic or world championships gold medal in his decade-plus career, winning a 12.5km biathlon event.

Oksana Masters, who won seven medals in seven events at last year’s Paralympics to break the career U.S. Winter Paralympics medals record, missed worlds due to hand surgery.

The U.S. also picked up five medals at last week’s World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Spain — three silvers for five-time Paralympian Laurie Stephens and two bronzes for 17-year-old Saylor O’Brien.

Stephens now has 18 career medals from world championships, plus seven at the Paralympics.

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World champion skier Kyle Smaine dies in avalanche at age 31

Kyle Smaine
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Kyle Smaine, a retired world champion halfpipe skier, died in an avalanche in Japan on Sunday, according to NBC News, citing Smaine’s father. He was 31.

Smaine, a 2015 World champion in ski halfpipe, had been doing ski filming in Japan, sharing videos on his Instagram account over the past week.

The native of South Lake Tahoe, California, finished ninth in ski halfpipe at the 2016 Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado.

In 2018, Smaine won the fifth and final U.S. Olympic qualifying series event in ski halfpipe but did not make the four-man team for PyeongChang. His last sanctioned international competition was in February 2018.

Late Sunday, two-time Olympic champion David Wise won the X Games men’s ski halfpipe and dedicated it to Smaine.

“We all did this for Kyle tonight,” Wise said on the broadcast. “It’s a little bit of an emotional day for us. We lost a friend.”