Ryder Cup
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Golf, Super Bowl show precedent for reshuffling calendar

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The 2001 Ryder Cup was scheduled for Sept. 28-30 of that year. In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, that Ryder Cup was postponed to 2002.

But just as the Tokyo Olympics will still be called Tokyo 2020, that Ryder Cup is, in many references, still the 2001 competition. Signage at The Belfry said “1927-2001.”  U.S. captain Curtis Strange refused to reconsider his wild-card picks a year later and noted that the team’s gear still said “2001.”

Most importantly, the trophy was embossed with the year “2001.”

Instead of doubling up on Ryder Cups in back-to-back years, the competition shifted to even-numbered years, and future Ryder Cups bore the names of the year in which they were actually played.

The Presidents Cup, previously played in even-numbered years, shifted to odd years, starting with 2003.

Changes like these are inevitable following the postponement of the 2020 Olympics. Odd-numbered years are full of world championships in many Olympic sports, and holding the Olympics in 2021 raises the question of whether to push back to 2022 or find some other way to reschedule or recognize world champions.

Another major event rescheduled after Sept. 11 was Super Bowl XXXVI, originally scheduled for Jan. 27 in New Orleans. With the NFL schedule interrupted by the attacks, the league opted to push the championship game back a week.

Fortunately for the NFL, the National Auto Dealers Association was willing to switch the dates of its convention in the Superdome in exchange for financial considerations and free ads during the game.

Major League Baseball, which doesn’t rely on booking a neutral site in advance, simply pushed the 2001 World Series into November.

Major League Soccer scrubbed the last week of its regular season and proceeded directly to the playoffs in order to hold the MLS Cup final, then held at a neutral site, on its original date of Oct. 21.

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Eddy Alvarez, Olympic short track medalist, to play for Miami Marlins

Eddy Alvarez
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Eddy Alvarez realized his MLB dream, six years after earning a Winter Olympic medal, and during a global pandemic that affected his club more than any other U.S. professional sports franchise.

Alvarez, a 2014 U.S. Olympic short track speed skating medalist, is being added to the Miami Marlins roster for Tuesday’s restart of their abbreviated season, president of baseball operations Mike Hill said Monday, according to Marlins beat reporters.

The 30-year-old was among a group added after as many as 18 Marlins tested positive for the coronavirus last week, forcing the club to cancel seven games.

Alvarez is believed to be the first U.S. Winter Olympian to become a Major League Baseball player.

He may be the second Olympic medalist in a sport other than baseball to make it to the majors, joining Jim Thorpe. (Michael Jordan tried to do so with the Chicago White Sox, playing Double-A in 1994, but returned to the Chicago Bulls in 1995.)

Alvarez, a Miami native, played baseball in high school and at Salt Lake Community College before focusing on short track in 2012 for a 2014 Olympic run.

He came back from missing the 2010 Olympic team and surgeries on both knees, reportedly leaving him immobile and bedpan dependent for four to six weeks, to make the Sochi Winter Games. Eddy the Jet earned a silver medal in the 5000m relay.

Then Alvarez returned to baseball after three years away. He signed a minor-league contract with the Chicago White Sox in June 2014. He worked his way through the minors between that franchise and the Marlins system.

Alvarez was a Kannapolis Intimidator, a New Orleans Baby Cake and a Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.

Now, he’s a big leaguer.

“It definitely was a chance, picking up a kid who hasn’t played in three years who is starting at the age of 24,” Alvarez said in 2014. “It’s not your typical story, but I play like a 17-year-old kid. I’m running around everywhere. I’m diving around everywhere. I’m full of life. I definitely see my progression moving at a rapid pace.”

MORE: What Olympic baseball, softball return looks like in 2021

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Katie Ledecky balances glass of chocolate milk on her head while swimming

Katie Ledecky
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Katie Ledecky will always remember Aug. 3 as the date she won her first Olympic gold medal, at age 15 in 2012.

Now, she can also associate it with the time she created another kind of buzz on social media.

The five-time Olympic champion posted video of her swimming the length of a pool while balancing a glass of chocolate milk on her head. Barely any, if any, milk spilled into the pool.

Ledecky swam as part of a new got milk? ad campaign.

“Hoooowww nervous were you when you did this?!” fellow Olympic champion and training partner Simone Manuel asked Ledecky on Instagram.

“I have never braced my core so hard,” Ledecky wrote. “It’s a great drill!”

“Try doing it breaststroke,” British Olympic 100m breaststroke champion and world-record holder Adam Peaty wrote.

“Is it wrong of me to think this is even more impressive than a few of your WR’s?!!!” wrote 1992 Olympic champion Summer Sanders.

MORE: The meet where Kathleen Ledecky became Katie Ledecky

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