Lindy Remigino
Manhattan Athletics

Lindy Remigino, 1952 Olympic 100m champion, dies at 87

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Lindy Remigino, who went from fifth at the NCAA Championships to winning the Olympic 100m in about a month in 1952, died at age 87 on Wednesday, according to Manhattan College, his alma mater.

Remigino, then 21, earned gold at the Helsinki Games in the closest Olympic sprint final in history (video here), according to Olympic historians.

The first four finishers were given times of 10.4 seconds, and a photo was needed to determine the medalists.

“I wasn’t nervous,” Remigino said later, according to Manhattan College. “I was used to running in front of a lot of people at Madison Square Garden. I got off to a good start, and I had the lead by the 55-meter mark. I said to myself, ‘I’m going to win this thing,’ but I leaned too early. I leaned 25 meters from the finish and thought I blew it.”

Remigino (wearing bib 981 in the above photo) was awarded gold ahead of Jamaican Herb McKenley and Brit McDonald Bailey.

“Herb and I were very close,” Remigino said, according to Manhattan College.  “I said to him, ‘Herb, I think you won this thing,’ but then they brought out the photo and showed us that I had won.”

Remigino’s automatic timing result was 10.79 seconds, .01 ahead of McKenley and just .12 faster than the last-place finisher in the six-man race. The 1996 Olympic women’s final saw Gail Devers and Merlene Ottey go one-two in the same time of 10.94 seconds, but the rest of that field was more separated than the 1952 men’s 100m.

Remigino later was part of the U.S. 4x100m team that also took gold in Helsinki.

Remigino had finished fifth in the 100 yards at the NCAA Championships the previous month and failed to qualify for the AAU Championships final. He surprisingly made the U.S. Olympic team by finishing second at trials behind Art Bragg.

Remigino, named after Charles Lindbergh, went on to coach Hartford Public High School in Connecticut to 31 state team titles with 157 individual state champions. He was inducted into at least 10 halls of fame, including the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2017.

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Lindy Remigino
The photo finish of the 1952 Olympic men’s 100m.

Nathan Chen prepared to capture third national title

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Nathan Chen called into his media teleconference from the rink last week, still on his winter break between his freshman semesters at Yale University.

The signal wasn’t great inside, he said, and it momentarily spared him from answering a direct question about his GPA his first semester as a college student.

Back on the call, the reigning world champion admitted, “I’m not gonna say the exact number, but there are some A’s and B’s sprinkled in.

“Really no complaints. I got pretty good grades. I’m pretty happy with that.”

His skating report card from the fall reads equally as impressively. Chen won the title at Skate America to open the season, followed by a come-from-behind win at Grand Prix France. To cap it all off, he won a second-consecutive Grand Prix Final title.

All this while the 2018 Olympic team event bronze medalist is across the country from his longtime coach Rafael Arutunian and trying out telecoaching for the first time.

Back in California between semesters, Chen said Raf has asked him to stay full-time.

“Since the past two weeks that I’ve been here, literally every day he’s been like, ‘you gotta come back! You gotta come back! There’s so much that you can learn at the rink. I respect what your decision is at Yale but it’s been so great having you here.’ He really wishes that I could stay here full time but at the same time, I already started this path and I don’t really want to pull out just yet.”

As for his second semester in college, Chen is signed up for about 10 courses and will have about two weeks at the beginning of term to add and drop courses. He’ll be in classes – he’s not exactly sure which, though – for a week before attempting to notch his third-straight U.S. national title.

“I selected a bunch of courses, probably selected like 10 different courses. I’ll go in and the first week I will see which courses I like, which courses I don’t like.”

Competing during the spring semester might be harder. February’s Four Continents Championships, this year to be held in Anaheim, Calif., aren’t during a scheduled academic break. Conveniently, world championships are scheduled during Yale’s spring break.

“I’m not sure yet [if he’ll compete there if named to the team],” he said. “That’s still TBD. I would love to since it’s in California, and it’s a great event. We’ll see.”

But for now, competing well in Detroit is the next step.

“I have to skate as well as I can and regardless of the external things,” he said when asked if coming in as the reigning world champion or as the favorite affects him. “Just focus on all the things that I can do right now in training to make sure that I do the best I can in competition.”

The men’s short program is Jan. 26 followed by the free skate on Jan. 27.

MORE: Adam Rippon’s new year’s resolutions

As a reminder, you can watch the U.S. Championships live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. Go to NBCsports.com/gold/figure-skating to sign up for access to every ISU Grand Prix and championship event, as well as domestic U.S. Figure Skating events throughout the season. NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before.

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Mikaela Shiffrin wins Kronplatz giant slalom for her 10th win of the season

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Mikaela Shiffrin won the women’s giant slalom at the World Cup stop in Kronplatz, Italy, on Tuesday, marking her 10th victory of the 2018-19 season and 53rd World Cup win of her career. Shiffrin, the 2018 Olympic giant slalom gold medalist, led France’s Tessa Worley by 1.39 seconds after the first run. Although Worley outpaced Shiffrin in the second run, Shiffrin’s massive first-run margin allowed her to win the two-run event by 1.21 seconds. Italy’s Marta Bassino placed third. Full results are here. 

Shiffrin entered Kronplatz ranked third in the World Cup giant slalom standings, but moves into first place with the win. The 23-year-old also leads the overall World Cup leader board, as well as the slalom and super-G discipline standings. Shiffrin has won seven World Cup globes in her career (two overall, five slalom).

Shiffrin has already broken multiple records this season, including becoming the youngest skier to win 50 World Cup races, and there are still more records within striking distance. Shiffrin could break the record for most World Cup wins in a single seasons; the current record (14) was set by Switzerland’s Vreni Schneider in 1988-89.

The next stop for the women’s World Cup is this weekend in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, with two downhills scheduled for Friday and Saturday, and a super-G slated for Sunday. Shiffrin plans to skip the downhills, but enter the super-G. Lindsey Vonn, who missed the start of the season with a knee injury, is expected to make her return to competition in Friday’s downhill.