Nancy Kerrigan finds new passion in figure skating

Nancy Kerrigan
Sabit Kovacevic
0 Comments

NEW YORK — Nancy Kerrigan‘s laced up ice skates and performed on rinks more often this year than in any in her husband’s recent memory.

And she’s going to stay busy.

Kerrigan, 46, will be the main choreographer for an event for the first time at the Skate Niagara Ice Show in Saint Catherines, Ontario, on Feb. 26, husband and agent Jerry Solomon said Tuesday.

“It’s been nice for her to start to ease into doing something else, because she’s not going to skate forever, but she does feel, and this is probably a big reason why she still is skating, she does feel a big responsibility to continue to give back to the sport and to be visible because the sport hasn’t been as strong in the United States over the last several years, as it certainly was when she was competing,” Solomon said.

Kerrigan performed Tuesday at the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park tree lighting ceremony, under chilly rain in Manhattan along with U.S. Olympic champions Brian BoitanoMeryl Davis and Charlie White and two-time U.S. Olympian Johnny Weir.

That came after a three-week, 15-city Halloween on Ice tour across the Northeast and Midwest. It’s put on by Solomon’s StarGames production company.

“I love doing skating shows where there’s some sort of story involved,” said Kerrigan, who joined Twitter in May and has performed as a vampire with fangs during the Halloween tour. “I’ve done shows for the last bunch of years, different shows here or there, maybe one or two or five, depends, but I haven’t done a tour. Just sort of one-off things. Why? Because I’m a mom, and I have three kids.

“We’ve talked about Halloween [on Ice] again next year, we’ve talked about doing that, but there aren’t many tours out there anymore.”

The year has been busier for Kerrigan, mostly because the off-and-on annual Halloween on Ice production turned into a larger tour.

“Fifteen [shows] might be one or two too many,” Solomon said. “I think everybody was pretty beat up by the time the tour was over.”

But the two-time Olympic medalist is enthused about choreography.

“Which she’s never really done before,” Solomon said. “She worked very closely with [four-time Canadian World champion] Kurt Browning on Halloween on Ice [choreography]. She was involved in a little bit of some of the choreography here [at Bryant Park].”

Solomon didn’t rule out Kerrigan crossing over into helping current competitive skaters with their programs.

“Maybe, but I think that her feeling is that in order to do that, she has to be really up on the rules, and I don’t know that she’s going to have that level of desire,” he said. “She, I think, likes more so the creative side of what it is that we do when we produce these shows.”

MORE: David Letterman, Nancy Kerrigan and the Olympics

Kenenisa Bekele still eyes Eliud Kipchoge’s marathon world record, but a duel must wait

Kenenisa Bekele
Getty
0 Comments

LONDON — Kenenisa Bekele made headlines last week by declaring “of course I am the best” long distance runner ever. But the Ethiopian was fifth-best at Sunday’s London Marathon, finishing 74 seconds behind Kenya’s Amos Kipruto.

Bekele, 40, clocked 2:05:53, the fastest-ever marathon by a runner 40 years or older. He was with the lead pack until being dropped in the 21st mile.

But Bekele estimated he could have run 90 to 120 seconds faster had he not missed parts of six weeks of training with hip and joint injuries.

“I expect better even if the preparation is short,” he said. “I know my talent and I know my capacity, but really I couldn’t achieve what I expect.”

Bekele is the second-fastest marathoner in history behind Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, who broke his own world record by clocking 2:01:09 at the Berlin Marathon last week.

“I am happy when I see Eliud Kipchoge run that time,” Bekele said. “It motivates all athletes who really expect to do the same thing.”

LONDON MARATHON: Results

Bekele’s best time was within two seconds of Kipchoge’s previous world record (2:01:39). He described breaking Kipchoge’s new mark as the “main goal” for the rest of his career.

“Yes, I hope, one day it will happen, of course,” Bekele said. “With good preparation, I don’t know when, but we will see one more time.”

Nobody has won more London Marathons than Kipchoge, a four-time champion who set the course record (2:02:37) in 2019. But the two-time Olympic marathon champion did not run this year in London, as elite marathoners typically choose to enter one race each spring and fall.

Bekele does not know which race he will enter in the spring. But it will not be against Kipchoge.

“I need to show something first,” Bekele said. “I need to run a fast time. I have to check myself. This is not enough.”

Kipchoge will try to become the first runner to win three Olympic marathon titles at the Paris Games. Bekele, who will be 42 in 2024, has not committed to trying to qualify for the Ethiopian team.

“There’s a long time to go before Paris,” Bekele said. “At this moment I am not decided. I have to show something.”

So who is the greatest long distance runner ever?

Bekele can make a strong case on the track:

Bekele
Four Olympic medals (three gold)
Six World Championship medals (five gold)
Former 5000m and 10,000m world-record holder

Kipchoge
Two Olympic medals
Two World Championship medals (one gold)

But Kipchoge can make a strong case on the pavement:

Bekele
Second-fastest marathoner in history
Two World Marathon Major victories

Kipchoge
Four of the five best marathon times in history
Two-time Olympic marathon champion
12 World Marathon Major victories

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Yalemzerf Yehualaw, Amos Kipruto win London Marathon

Yalemzerf Yehualaw
Getty
0 Comments

Ethiopian Yalemzerf Yehualaw became the youngest female runner to win the London Marathon, while Kenyan Amos Kipruto earned the biggest victory of his career in the men’s race.

Yehualaw, 23, clocked 2:17:26, prevailing by 41 seconds over 2021 London champ Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya.

Yehualaw tripped and fell over a speed bump around the 20-mile mark. She quickly rejoined the lead pack, then pulled away from Jepkosgei by running the 24th mile in a reported 4:43, which converts to 2:03:30 marathon pace; the women’s world record is 2:14:04.

Yehualaw and Jepkosgei were pre-race favorites after world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya withdrew Monday with a right hamstring injury.

On April 24, Yehualaw ran the fastest women’s debut marathon in history, a 2:17:23 to win in Hamburg, Germany.

She has joined the elite tier of female marathoners, a group led by Kenyan Peres Jepchirchir, the reigning Olympic, New York City and Boston champion. Another Ethiopian staked a claim last week when Tigist Assefa won Berlin in 2:15:37, shattering Yehualaw’s national record.

Joan Benoit Samuelson, the first Olympic women’s marathon champion in 1984, finished Sunday’s race in 3:20:20 at age 65.

LONDON MARATHON: Results

Kipruto, 30, won the men’s race in 2:04:39. He broke free from the leading group in the 25th mile and crossed the finish line 33 seconds ahead of Ethiopian Leul Gebresilase, who said he had hamstring problems.

Kipruto, one of the pre-race favorites, had never won a major marathon but did finish second behind world record holder Eliud Kipchoge in Tokyo (2022) and Berlin (2018) and third at the world championships (2019) and Tokyo (2018).

Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest marathoner in history, was fifth after being dropped in the 21st mile. His 2:05:53 was the fastest-ever marathon by a runner 40 years or older. Bekele ran his personal best at the 2019 Berlin Marathon — 2:01:41 — and has not run within four minutes of that time since.

The major marathon season continues next Sunday with the Chicago Marathon, headlined by a women’s field that includes Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich and American Emily Sisson.

London returns next year to its traditional April place after being pushed to October the last three years due to the pandemic.

MORE: Bekele looks ahead to Kipchoge chase after London Marathon

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!