Hungary takes U.S. off short track world record book

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For the first time in six years, the U.S. does not own any short track speed skating world records.

Hungary wiped the American men’s 5000m relay mark off the book at the season-opening World Cup in Calgary on Sunday.

Brothers Liu Shaoang and Liu Shaolin SandorCsaba Burjan and former U.S. skater Cole Krueger combined to clock 6:28.625 as the top three nations all went under the U.S.’ world record of 6:29.052 set last November.

The Liu brothers and Burjan were part of the Hungarian team that won the Olympic relay, marking the nation’s first Winter Games gold medal.

Hungary recovered in Sunday’s race from a messy exchange that saw its skater handing off fall to the ice with 21 laps left.

Shaolin crossed the finish line after 45 laps, .232 ahead of South Korea, not realizing it was a world record. Shaolin passed a Dutch skater for the lead on the last lap.

“I was shouting, ‘Yes baby,’ wanting to high-five my coaches, and then I went to hug my brother, and he said, ‘Look at the screen!’” Shaolin said, according to the International Skating Union. “I was like, ‘Oh my god, how did we do that?’”

Krueger’s younger brother, John-Henry Krueger, earned the lone U.S. short track medal in PyeongChang, a 1000m silver, then announced two months later he was switching representation to Hungary, too. John-Henry, who must sit out this season due to transfer rules, was part of the U.S. team that had the previous 5000m relay world record.

“Funny how life works,” was tweeted from John-Henry Krueger’s account. “Today is the only time in my skating career I can say I am happy to lose.”

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Reno-Tahoe drops 2030 Winter Olympic bid

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If the U.S. bids for the 2030 Winter Olympics, it will not be with Reno-Tahoe.

The Nevada/California region ended its pursuit of becoming a U.S. bid city, at least for an Olympics in the near future. The U.S. is expected to bid for 2030, and the U.S. Olympic Committee last year named Reno-Tahoe, Denver and Salt Lake City as cities that expressed interest.

“We have maintained from the start that a Reno-Tahoe bid would have to make sense economically, environmentally and socially,” Brian Krolicki, chairman of the Reno Tahoe Winter Games Coalition, said in a press release. “Given the parameters and conditions presented, we cannot make the numbers pass muster. To continue, at this point, would be untenable and unwise.”

The coalition noted the Los Angeles 2028 Summer Games having exclusive Olympic marketing rights from 2019 through its Closing Ceremony as an obstacle.

The region hosted the 1960 Winter Games in Squaw Valley, Calif. Since, the U.S. has hosted two Winter Olympics — in Lake Placid in 1980 and Salt Lake City in 2002. It hasn’t hosted a Summer or Winter Games since, its longest drought since the 28-year gap between 1932 and 1960.

The International Olympic Committee vote in 2019 to choose the 2026 Winter Olympic host city could impact a potential U.S. 2030 bid. The remaining 2026 bidders are Calgary, Stockholm and an Italian bid with Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Calgary’s bid hinges on a public vote Tuesday. North America has never hosted back-to-back Winter Olympics.

Olympic host cities are traditionally chosen seven years beforehand.

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Shaun White eyes his longest break from snowboard contests

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Shaun White said he has no plans to compete in snowboarding this season, which would mark the first time he goes a full year without entering a contest.

“I normally take every season after the Olympics off to clear my head,” White said in a statement via his team. “This time around I’ll be filling my time with skateboarding.”

White said in July that he would lighten his snowboard schedule as he returns to skateboarding competition. The triple Olympic halfpipe champion is considering a Tokyo 2020 run in the new Summer Olympic sport.

White entered his first skateboard contest in years in September and called his performance “pretty terrible,” but not surprising given it was his first-ever bowl event.

White earned five X Games skateboard medals between 2005 and 2011, but all of those came in vert, which is not on the Olympic program.

“Honestly, I am here to see how things go,” White said at the September event in Marseille, according to Agence France-Presse. “I haven’t made a decision either way [on 2020], I just figured, want to have some fun, skateboard, come to France and then hopefully make a decision come new year if I’m really going to go for it or not.”

As for snowboarding, White has typically eased off in post-Olympic years. In 2010-11 and 2014-15, his only contest was the Winter X Games, according to World Snowboarding, whose results show that White’s longest break from contests was 11 months.

White has said he would like to go for a fifth Winter Games in Beijing in 2022. He would be 35, older than any previous Olympic snowboarding champion. He’s already the oldest halfpipe medalist.

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