Sergey Mylnikov
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Last Soviet goalie to win Olympic gold, first to play in NHL, dies at 58

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Sergey Mylnikov, the goalie for the last Soviet Olympic hockey team and the first Russian goalie to play in the NHL, died at age 58, according to Russia’s hockey federation.

Mylnikov played every minute for the Soviets at the 1988 Calgary Games, reportedly in part due to Evgeny Belosheiken‘s knee injury.

He backstopped them to the Olympic title, despite giving up five goals to the U.S. in group play and losing the last game of the medal round to Finland (the Soviets had already clinched gold two days earlier).

It marked the USSR’s third Olympic defeat spanning seven Olympics from 1964 through 1988, ending a 15-game winning streak dating to the Miracle on Ice.

Mylnikov and Belosheiken, who was eight years younger, had traded starts in meaningful games the years prior, after the legendary Vladislav Tretiak retired following the 1984 Olympics.

Mylnikov was then drafted by the Quebec Nordiques before the 1989-90 season, playing in 10 games with a 1-7-2 record and a 4.96 goals-against average for a last-place team.

He reported to preseason camp overweight but refused a demotion to an American Hockey League affiliate, according to the Canadian Press.

“My record stands on its own,” Mylnikov said, according to the report. “I don’t have to prove anything to anyone.”

The fall of the Soviet Union led to a Unified Team competing at the 1992 Winter Games in Albertville and winning gold. Russia competed alone beginning in 1994 and hasn’t won an Olympic hockey title.

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Dan Hicks, Rowdy Gaines call backyard pool swim race

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Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines covered swimming together at the last six Olympics, including every one of Michael Phelps‘ finals, but they’ve never called a “race” quite like this.

“We heard you were looking for something to commentate during the down time….might this short short short course 100 IM help?” tweeted Cathleen Pruden, posting a video of younger sister Mary Pruden, a sophomore swimmer at Columbia University, taking individual medley strokes in what appeared to be an inflatable backyard pool.

“Hang on,” Gaines replied. “This race of the century deserves the right call. @DanHicksNBC and I are working some magic!”

Later, Hicks posted a revised video dubbed with commentary from he and Gaines.

They became the latest commentators to go beyond the booth to post calls on social media while sports are halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

NBC Sports hockey voice Doc Emrick (who has also called Olympic hockey and water polo) did play-by-play of a windshield wiper installation.

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Which athletes are qualified for the U.S. Olympic team?

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Soon after Tokyo Olympic qualifying events began getting postponed, the International Olympic Committee announced that all quota places already allocated to National Olympic Committees and athletes will remain with those NOCs and athletes.

The IOC repeated that position over the last week, after the Tokyo Games were postponed (now to open July 23, 2021). What does that mean for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee?

Well, 76 athletes qualified for the U.S. Olympic team before the Olympic postponement was announced. That full list is here.

Those 76 athletes can be separated into two categories.

  • Athletes who earned Olympic spots BY NAME via International Federation (i.e. International Surfing Association or International Aquatics Federation) selection procedures.
  • Athletes named to the U.S. Olympic team by their national governing body (i.e. USA Swimming or USA Track and Field) and confirmed by the USOPC using NGB selection procedures after the NGB earned a quota spot.

When the IOC says “all quota places already allocated to National Olympic Committees and athletes will remain with those NOCs and athletes,” it means just that. USA Softball still has 15 athlete quota spots from qualifying a full team via international results. Surfer Kolohe Andino still has his Olympic spot from qualifying BY NAME via the International Surfing Association selection procedures route.

USA Softball named its 15-player Olympic roster last fall. Those 15 athletes did not earn Olympic quota spots for themselves. Unlike Andino (and 13 other American qualifiers across all sports), the 15 softball players had to be nominated by USA Softball and confirmed by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

Unless and until the USOPC confirms that any of those other 62 athletes remain qualified, for now the list of U.S. Olympic qualifiers is these 14 who qualified BY NAME:

Karate (1)
Sakura Kokumai

Modern Pentathlon (2)
Samantha Achterberg
Amro Elgeziry

Swimming (3)
Haley Anderson
Ashley Twichell
Jordan Wilimovsky

Sport Climbing (4)
Kyra Condie
Brooke Raboutou
Nathaniel Coleman
Colin Duffy

Surfing (4)
Caroline Marks
Carissa Moore
Kolohe Andino
John John Florence

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MORE: Qualified athletes go into limbo with Tokyo postponement