Sage Kotsenburg leans toward 2018 Olympics, but undecided

Sage Kotsenburg
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Sage Kotsenburg, the first Olympic snowboard slopestyle champion, said he is leaning toward trying to defend his title at the 2018 Winter Games, but it might be too early to discuss, according to Snowboarder Magazine.

“If you asked me every week since February, 2014, I’d probably go back and forth, and maybe it’s still a little early to talk about, but in some aspects I would love to go back, and in others, I kinda don’t want that to be a part of my life,” Kotsenburg said, according to the magazine. “But, I’ve been thinking recently that going back weighs a little heavier in favor than not going back. Not that there are a ton of negatives to going there. I mean, you’re going to the Olympics. It’s a pretty awesome experience, but it is kinda crazy in terms of how you get there. Right now though, I would be stoked to go back.”

Kotsenburg, 22, struggled at the Winter X Games since his Sochi breakout. He has finished fifth and 10th in slopestyle and seventh in big air, similar to his X Games results before his surprise Olympic title.

Kotsenburg is coming off suffering a concussion at Fenway Park in a big air event in February.

Big air makes its Olympic debut in 2018. Kotsenburg has said he prefers slopestyle to big air and repeated that in the Snowboarder Magazine interview.

“I would definitely rather do slopestyle,” he said. “I wanna hit some more park jumps in the next year-and-a-half, and if I’m feeling good, I’ll try to go back [to the Olympics] for slopestyle. I definitely have to learn some new tricks for big air, but it would be sick to go back for both. I’m up in the air, but it would be cool to go back for both.”

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Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

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Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Olympedia.org. Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

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Mo Farah likely to retire this year

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British track legend Mo Farah will likely retire by the end of this year.

“I’m not going to go to the Olympics, and I think 2023 will probably be my last year,” the 39-year-old Farah said, according to multiple British media reports.

Farah, who swept the 5000m and 10,000m golds at the Olympics in 2012 and 2016, was announced Tuesday as part of the field for the London Marathon on April 23.

Last May, Farah reportedly said he believed his career on the track was over, but not the roads.

London might not be his last marathon. Farah also said that if, toward the end of this year, he was capable of being picked to run for Britain again, he would “never turn that down,” according to Tuesday’s reports.

It’s not clear if Farah was referencing the world track and field championships, which include a marathon and are in Budapest in August. Or selection for the 2024 British Olympic marathon team.

The fastest British male marathoner last year ran 2:10:46, ranking outside the top 300 in the world. Farah broke 2:10 in all five marathons that he’s finished, but he hasn’t run one since October 2019 (aside from pacing the 2020 London Marathon).

Farah withdrew four days before the last London Marathon on Oct. 2, citing a right hip injury.

Farah switched from the track to the marathon after the 2017 World Championships and won the 2018 Chicago Marathon in a then-European record time of 2:05:11. Belgium’s Bashir Abdi now holds the record at 2:03:36.

Farah’s best London Marathon finish in four starts was third place in 2018.

Farah returned to the track in a failed bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, then shifted back to the roads.

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