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Robb Stauber, coach of U.S. Olympic champion hockey team, takes pro job

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Robb Stauber, the head coach of the U.S. Olympic women’s hockey team, and wife Shivaun Stauber, a former college goalie, will be co-head coaches of the newest NWHL team, the Minnesota Whitecaps, next season.

The club tweeted St. Paul Pioneer Press story confirming the hires, quoting Robb Stauber and reporting he also applied to coach the University of Minnesota’s men’s team. He did not get that job.

Asked if Stauber’s new job means he will not coach the U.S. at the 2019 World Championship, a USA Hockey spokesperson said, “We haven’t announced our 2018-19 national team coaching staff yet..”

The NWHL season typically runs from October to late March, ending just before the world championship tournament. The schedule for 2018-19, the league’s fourth season, has not been announced.

The U.S. women’s national team’s schedule is defined by two major international tournaments — worlds and the Four Nations Cup, the latter scheduled for November.

Stauber previously coached the Whitecaps when they were an independent team in 2015-16, while also serving as a U.S. national team assistant coach.

The following fall, Stauber was promoted from assistant to head coach of the U.S. women’s national team, starting a two-season run that included world and Olympic titles.

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Sports execs oppose esports in Olympics, survey shows

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — A global survey of sports industry executives shows 57 percent oppose Olympic status for video gaming.

Audit firm PwC says more than 400 sports industry professionals from 42 countries answered an online questionnaire for its annual survey. The findings were discussed Tuesday at the Olympic Museum, where the IOC hosted an esports conference in July on possible Olympic status for the booming games market.

The PwC survey asked “Is esports an Olympic sport?“: 28 percent said, “no, because esports does not qualify as ‘sport,’” and 29 percent said esports should grow independently of the Olympics.

A further 26.7 percent said esports must first unify under a single governing body, and 10.4 percent said esports should join “as soon as possible.” Almost 6 percent said they did not know or abstained.

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Annemiek van Vleuten, back from horrific Rio Olympic crash, leads Dutch sweep at cycling worlds

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Dutchwoman Annemiek van Vleuten led the first medal sweep by one nation in a world road cycling championships elite time trial, repeating as gold medalist two years after a horrific crash at the Rio Olympics.

Van Vleuten, 35, clocked 34 minutes, 25.36 seconds on the 17-mile course in Innsbruck, Austria.

She bettered Olympic road race champion Anna van der Breggen by 28.99 seconds, matching their one-two finish from 2017 Worlds. Ellen van Dijk, the 2013 World champ, completed the Dutch sweep with bronze, 1:25.19 back.

Van Dijk edged Canadian Leah Kirchmann by 1.62 seconds. The top American was Leah Thomas in fifth. Full results are here.

Worlds continue Wednesday with the men’s time trial on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA and NBC Sports Gold. A full broadcast schedule is here.

In the Rio Olympic road race, van Vleuten suffered three small spine fractures and a concussion when her brakes appeared to lock, and she flipped into a ditch. 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.

Van Vleuten wasn’t out long. She raced at the October 2016 World Championships, placing a career-high fifth in the time trial. She then won La Course in 2017 and 2018 and the Giro Rosa in July, in addition to the 2017 World time trial.

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