AP

U.S. athletes who can clinch Olympic berths this weekend

Leave a comment

More than a dozen Americans will qualify for the Olympic team this weekend.

Here’s a sport-by-sport rundown:

Skiing/Snowboarding
Will qualify for Pyeongchang with a win at the Dew Tour in Breckenridge, Colo. (and might still qualify with a lesser result) on Friday and Saturday:

Ben Ferguson (snowboard halfpipe)
Chloe Kim 
(snowboard halfpipe)
Chris Corning (snowboard slopestyle)
Red Gerard (snowboard slopestyle)
Jamie Anderson (snowboard slopestyle)
Julia Marino 
(snowboard slopestyle)
David Wise (ski halfpipe)
Torin Yater-Wallace (ski halfpipe)
Maddie Bowman (ski halfpipe)
Devin Logan (ski halfpipe)
Maggie Voisin (ski slopestyle)

Additionally, snowboard cross world champion Lindsey Jacobellis will clinch an Olympic berth Saturday if two other U.S. women don’t go one-two in a World Cup event in Austria. If any U.S. male snowboard cross rider wins Saturday, he will qualify for the Olympic team.

The first Alpine skier could qualify for the Olympics via World Cup men’s super-G and giant slalom races in Italy on Friday, Sunday and Monday with a podium finish and some help. Watch out for Sochi GS gold medalist Ted Ligety there.

In cross-country skiing, top-eight finishes in Saturday’s World Cup races could qualify more Americans for the Olympic team. Four-time world medalist Jessie Diggins is the only cross-country skier to meet Olympic qualifying criteria so far.

MORE: Dew Tour preview/Olympic qualifying standings

Short Track Speed Skating
Five men and three women will qualify for the U.S. Olympic team, scattered across Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Olympic Trials in Kearns, Utah.

The favorites include Olympic medalists J.R. Celski and Katherine Reutter-Adamek, Sochi Olympian Jessica Kooreman and would-be Olympic rookies John-Henry Krueger and Maame Biney.

MORE: Olympic short track trials preview/TV schedule

Curling
Trials for the new Olympic event of mixed doubles curling end Sunday with two more athletes *possibly* being named to the Olympic team.

The overall U.S. Olympic team will not increase in size if curlers already qualified for the Olympics in the traditional men’s and women’s events prevail in Blaine, Minn.

The favorites are already 2018 Olympic team members– siblings Matt Hamilton and Becca Hamilton, the reigning national champions, and 2016 World bronze medalists Tabitha Peterson and Joe Polo.

MORE: Curling mixed doubles trials preview/TV schedule

Luge
The U.S. Olympic luge team of three men, three women and two doubles teams will be announced Saturday night after the Friday/Saturday World Cup races in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Sochi bronze medalist Erin Hamlin has already made the team, while Sochi Olympian Summer Britcher mathematically met criteria to join her but hasn’t been named to the team yet.

The other favorites include World Cup winner Emily Sweeney and Sochi Olympians Chris MazdzerTucker West and Matt Mortensen and Jayson Terdiman.

Biathlon
At least two more biathletes will join world medalists Lowell Bailey and Susan Dunklee on the Olympic team following World Cup races in France this weekend.

The clubhouse leaders are Sochi Olympian Sean Doherty and would-be Olympic rookie Clare Egan.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Full Olympic hockey schedule

U.S. Olympic, USA Gymnastics leaders set for another Senate hearing

AP
Leave a comment

Recently replaced U.S. Olympic Committee acting CEO Susanne Lyons, USA Gymnastics President and CEO Kerry Perry and Michigan State interim president John Engler are scheduled witnesses for a Senate subcommittee hearing next Tuesday on reforms following the Larry Nassar sexual-abuse crimes.

The hearing is titled, “Strengthening and Empowering U.S. Amateur Athletes: Moving Forward with Solutions” and will stream live at https://www.commerce.senate.gov/ on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. ET.

“The hearing will focus on changes made by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Gymnastics (USAG), and Michigan State University (MSU) to protect Olympic and amateur athletes from abuse,” according to the subcommittee’s website. “It will examine recent reforms to provide safe environments for athletes and how these reforms are being implemented.”

The subcommittee held hearings April 18 and June 5 with testimonies from gymnasts and other athletes who were abused, former Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon and former senior vice president of USA Gymnastics Rhonda Faehn. Former USA Gymnastics CEO Steve Penny also attended the June 5 hearing but refused to answer questions.

Lyons and Perry were questioned at a House subcommittee hearing May 23.

The USOC last Thursday named Sarah Hirshland its new CEO, replacing Lyons, who had been in the role on an interim basis since Scott Blackmun resigned in February. Blackmun, who had been CEO since January 2010, left citing prostate cancer and the USOC’s need to immediately address the USA Gymnastics sexual-abuse scandal.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: USOC names first permanent female CEO

Annemiek van Vleuten wins La Course with epic comeback (video)

AP
Leave a comment

Annemiek van Vleuten, the cyclist who returned from a horrific Rio Olympic road race crash to become world champion, repeated as La Course winner with an epic last-kilometer comeback on Tuesday.

Van Vleuten sprinted from several seconds behind countrywoman Anna van der Breggen to win the one-day race, including four categorized climbs, contested on part of the Tour de France stage 10 course later that day.

“With 300 meters to go, I still thought I got second, and then I saw her dying,” Van Vleuten said, adding later, according to Cyclingnews.com, “With 500 meters to go my team director in the car gave up and stopped cheering for me.”

In Rio, van Vleuten suffered three small spine fractures and a concussion when her brakes appeared to lock, and she flipped over into a ditch during the road race. Van Vleuten was alone in the lead at the time with about seven miles to go of the 87-mile course.

She was eventually hospitalized in intensive care.

Van der Breggen went on to win the Olympic title, while van Vleuten returned quick enough to race at the October 2016 World Championships.

Van Vleuten, 35, won her first world title 13 months after the Rio Games, taking the time trial crown ahead of van der Breggen by 12 seconds. She also won the 10-stage Giro Rosa that concluded on Sunday.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

TOUR DE FRANCE: StandingsTV Schedule | Riders to Watch