Joanne Reid, niece of Eric Heiden, makes Olympic team

Getty Images
0 Comments

The U.S. Olympic women’s biathlon team is set, and includes the niece of the arguably the greatest U.S. Winter Olympian of all time.

Joanne Reid, whose uncle is five-time 1980 Olympic speed skating champion Eric Heiden, was named to the team along with Emily Dreissigacker and Maddie Phaneuf on Thursday.

All are first-time Olympians.

They join the already qualified Susan DunkleeClare Egan to complete the five-woman team.

Biathlon is the only Winter Olympic sport where the U.S. has yet to earn a medal.

Reid’s mom is Beth Heiden Reid, a 1980 Olympic speed skating bronze medalist (on a bum ankle) and world champion road cyclist.

In 1983, Heiden Reid won an NCAA individual cross-country skiing championship two years after picking up the sport.

Then in 2010, she competed at the U.S. Cross-Country Skiing Championships at age 50, beating her then-17-year-old daughter in a pair of races.

“When I was 13 or 14, my parents and I did a bike tour across California,” Reid, whose middle name is Firesteel, said in 2017. “The last day was 110 miles, and crossed several mountain passes that are in the famous California Death Ride. Two days later, I ran my first half marathon. That’s about what it’s like to grow up with a mother like mine.”

Reid skied for the University of Colorado from 2010-13, winning an NCAA title like her mom, then switched to biathlon in 2015 after watching a broadcast of the sport for the first time with friends of her parents earlier that year.

Her best individual World Cup finish is 29th from last season, when she was one of three U.S. women to earn World Cup points.

Reid underwent two heart procedures that took seven total hours last summer, according to her Instagram.

“I remember every minute of it — because firstly, I was awake through both procedures, and secondly because, you know, they saved my athletic career,” she posted.

Dreissigacker, 29, is the daughter of two Olympic rowers and the younger sister of Sochi Olympic biathlete Hannah Dreissigacker.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: U.S. athletes qualified for PyeongChang Olympics

View this post on Instagram

I made my biathlon debut two years and two months ago, and I am so happy that this biathlon family welcomed me with open arms. With a functioning, full heart, I am honored to receive a berth at the Olympic Games in 2018. To all those that have fueled my sporadic journey to end up here, whether in a small way or a huge way, THANK YOU. Mountain West Dermatology, @bluemooseofboulder @wildzorafoods , special thanks to the wonderful Dr. Lewis Kirkegaard and Ted Hulbert. To the CBC: my supporters and my heroes, keep on keeping on. To Glenn Jobe, and the ASC biathletes- thank you for teaching me, and letting me into the fold. My parents- for a hundred thousand iterations of rifle parts, because for every piece on my rifle that works, there were ten that didn’t, and thirty stopped in the design phase. With the patience of a hundred men in the pursuit and understanding of a new sport, they got me to the right starting lines with a rifle that shot straight. And lastly, but certainly not least, to my cardiologists Aaron Baggish and Conor Barrett and the staff of the Massachusetts General Hospital cardiology unit for getting me through three unsuccessful treadmill stress tests totaling more than three hours, and not one but TWO heart procedures this summer, which clocked in at over 7 hours procedure time. I remember every minute of it – because firstly, I was awake through both procedures, and secondly because, you know, they saved my athletic career. Here’s a picture of my mom on the wall of the rink in Inzell where she was training before winning the world championship all around. @ascbiathlon #coloradobiathlonclub #massgen #brokenheart #mendedheart #teamusa🇺🇸 #pyeongchang2018

A post shared by Joanne Firesteel Reid (@jfiresteel) on

IOC gives more time to pick 2030 Olympic host, studies rotating Winter Games

Getty
0 Comments

The 2030 Winter Olympic host, expected to be Salt Lake City or Sapporo, Japan, is no longer targeted to be decided before next fall, the IOC said in announcing wider discussions into the future of the Winter Games, including the possibility of rotating the Games within a pool of hosts.

The IOC Future Host Commission was granted more time to study factors, including climate change, that could impact which cities and regions host future Winter Olympics and Paralympics. The 2030 Winter Games host is not expected to be decided before or at an IOC session next September or October.

Hosts have traditionally been chosen by IOC members vote seven years before the Games, though recent reforms allow flexibility on the process and timeline. For example, the 2024 and 2028 Games were awarded to Paris and Los Angeles in a historic double award in 2017. The 2032 Summer Games were awarded to Brisbane last year without a traditional bid race.

There are three interested parties for the 2030 Winter Olympics, the IOC said Tuesday without naming them. Previously, Salt Lake City, Sapporo and Vancouver were confirmed as bids. Then in October, the British Columbia government said it would not support a Vancouver bid, a major setback, though organizers did not say that decision ended the bid. All three cities are attractive as past Winter Games hosts with existing venues.

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee officials have said Salt Lake City is a likelier candidate for 2034 than 2030, but could step in for 2030 if asked.

The future host commission outlined proposals for future Winter Olympics, which included rotating hosts within a pool of cities or regions and a requirement that hosts have an average minimum temperature below freezing (32 degrees) for snow competition venues at the time of the Games over a 10-year period.

The IOC Executive Board gave the commission more time to study the proposals and other factors impacting winter sports.

The IOC board also discussed and will continue to explore a potential double awarding of the 2030 and 2034 Winter Olympic hosts.

Also Tuesday, the IOC board said that Afghanistan participation in the 2024 Olympics will depend on making progress in safe access to sports for women and young girls in the country.

On Monday, Human Rights Watch urged the IOC to suspend Afghanistan until women and girls can play sport in the country.

In a press release, the IOC board expressed “serious concern and strongly condemned the latest restrictions imposed by the Afghan authorities on women and young girls in Afghanistan, which prevent them from practicing sport in the country.” It urged Afghanistan authorities to “take immediate action at the highest level to reverse such restrictions and ensure safe access to sport for women and young girls.”

The IOC board also announced that North Korea’s National Olympic Committee will be reinstated when its suspension is up at the end of the year.

In September 2021, the IOC banned the North Korean NOC through the end of 2022, including banning a North Korean delegation from participating in the Beijing Winter Games, after it chose not to participate in the Tokyo Games.

North Korea, formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, was the only one of 206 National Olympic Committees to withdraw from Tokyo. The country made its choice in late March 2021, citing a desire “to protect our athletes from the global health crisis caused by the malicious virus infection.”

The IOC said in September 2021 that it “provided reassurances for the holding of safe Games and offered constructive proposals to find an appropriate and tailor-made solution until the very last minute (including the provision of vaccines), which were systematically rejected by the PRK NOC.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Olympic champion Justine Dufour-Lapointe leaves moguls for another skiing discipline

Justine Dufour-Lapointe
Getty
0 Comments

Justine Dufour-Lapointe, the 2014 Olympic moguls champion, is leaving the event to compete in freeriding, a non-Olympic skiing discipline.

“After three Olympic cycles and 12 years on the World Cup circuit, I felt that I needed to find a new source of motivation and had to push my limits even more so I can reach my full potential as a skier,” the 28-year-old Montreal native said in a social media video, according to a translation from French. “Today, I am starting a new chapter in my career. … I want to perfect myself in another discipline. I want to connect with the mountain differently. Above all, I want to get out of my comfort zone in a way I’ve never done before.”

Dufour-Lapointe said she will compete on the Freeride World Tour, a series of judged competitions described as:

There‘s a start gate at the summit and a finish gate at the bottom. That’s it. Best run down wins. It truly is that simple. Think skiers and snowboarders choosing impossible-looking lines through cornices and cliff-faces and nasty couloirs. Think progressive: big jumps, mach-speed turns and full-on attack. Think entertaining.

Dufour-Lapointe has retired from moguls skiing, according to a Freeride World Tour press release, though she did not explicitly say that in social media posts Tuesday.

At the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, Dufour-Lapointe denied American Hannah Kearney‘s bid to become the first freestyle skier to repeat as Olympic champion. Older sister Chloé took silver in a Canadian one-two.

Dufour-Lapointe also won the world title in 2015, then Olympic silver in 2018 behind Frenchwoman Perrine Laffont.

Chloé announced her retirement in September. A third Dufour-Lapointe Olympic moguls skier, Maxime, retired in 2018.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!