Jordan Burroughs, Kyle Dake set to resume rivalry at U.S. Olympic Wrestling Trials

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Since 2011, Jordan Burroughs dispatched every single countryman in the 74kg division to make Team USA nine years running, winning four world titles and an Olympic gold medal.

Burroughs’ greatest test yet may come on Saturday, when he tries to make a third consecutive Olympic team and his 10th national team in a row overall.

That’s because Kyle Dake, an NCAA wrestling legend a decade ago, is his likely opponent in the Olympic Trials finals in Fort Worth, Texas. Burroughs is 7-1 in his career against Dake, but they haven’t faced off since 2017. Since then, Dake won his first two world titles (in a different weight class).

“[Dake] is Larry Bird to Magic Johnson,” said Burroughs, who previously compared his early pro career rivalry with Russian Denis Tsargush to the 1980s NBA icons. “He is the individual that presents and poses the biggest challenge for me.”

The Burroughs-Dake rivalry dates to 2013. Burroughs, coming off an Olympic title, and Dake, who had just become the first man to win NCAA titles in four different weight classes, met in the 74kg finals in the world championships trials that year.

Burroughs swept Dake. He did so again in 2015. In 2016, Dake moved up one weight division for the Olympic Trials, in part to avoid Burroughs, who had a bye into the Olympic Trials finals. Dake lost in the 86kg Trials finals to J’den Cox, who took bronze in Rio and, like Dake, won his first world titles in 2018 and 2019.

WATCH: Jordan Burroughs documentary on Peacock | Olympic Trials TV schedule

In 2017, Dake returned to 74kg and handed Burroughs his first loss on U.S. soil in eight years, taking the opening match of a three-match series in the world championships trials finals.

Burroughs came back to win the next two matches, then, as in 2013 and 2015, followed his defeat of Dake to win the world title months later. Dake, after being runner-up at Olympic or world championships trials four times in five years, considered retiring.

“That was a long time ago. I’ve become a much different wrestler,” Dake said.

He hammered that point in a 25-minute back-and-forth with Burroughs on Flowrestling last April.

“I want you to leave your shoes on the mat after I beat you,” Dake said, referring to the symbolic sign of retirement in the sport.

“You have tremendous results,” Burroughs said, “against everyone but me.”

They went at it again in a Twitter exchange in December.

“There was a lot of pent-up emotion going into the Olympic Team Trials, and things were said, water under the bridge in my book,” said Dake, who planned to challenge Burroughs at 74kg in 2019 before an MCL tear and surgery kept him out of competition for eight months. “I try not to take anything too personally because this is what we do, this is our business. We’re trying to play those mind games. We’re trying to play the battle within the battle.”

For Dake, a 30-year-old father of two, beating Burroughs and reaching his first Olympics would be two major breakthroughs. In 2018, he debuted at worlds at the non-Olympic 79kg weight class. He became the first U.S. man to win an Olympic or world title without surrendering a point in at least 30 years. He repeated as world champion in 2019, again at 79kg.

Burroughs, a 32-year-old father of three, carries memories of what happened at the last Olympics in Rio. He had the worst day of his life on Aug. 19, 2016, losing twice and failing to earn a medal for the only time in his nine Olympics or world championships.

He broke down in tears repeatedly in the media mixed zone for interview after interview. Burroughs has rewatched most of his 200-plus freestyle matches several times, but he refused replays of the Rio defeats for years after.

“The only thing that can make up for [Rio] is win another gold in 2020,” Burroughs said in 2018.

His biggest obstacle may not come in Tokyo, but in Fort Worth, Texas, on Saturday.

“I saw a quote by Larry Bird, and he said, the best part about winning the championship was knowing that Magic Johnson was in the other locker room crying,” Burroughs said years ago. “I’m a nice guy off the mat. When I step on the mat, it’s kill or be killed. And someone’s got to die, and I’m not dying.”

ON HER TURF: Where are the heavyweights? Wrestling weight classes exclude larger women

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Ukraine Olympic champion auctions gold medals to support his country

Yuriy Cheban
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Sprint canoeist Yuriy Cheban, Ukraine’s most decorated male Olympian, is auctioning his two gold medals and one bronze medal to support his country’s defense and recovery efforts amid the war with Russia.

“It was one of the best moments of my life that can be compared only with the birth of my child,” Cheban posted specifically about his repeat 200m gold at his last Olympics in Rio in 2016. “This Olympic finish left a great memory forever in the world history and in the hearts of Ukraine.

“Time to move on, I would like these medals to benefit Ukrainians once again.”

Cheban, a 36-year-old who coached Ukraine canoeists at the Tokyo Games, took 500m bronze in 2008 before his 200m golds in 2012 and 2016, all in individual races.

He and boxer Vasiliy Lomachenko are the only men to win two Olympic gold medals for Ukraine, which began competing independently in 1994. Cheban is the only man to win three total Olympic medals for Ukraine, according to Olympedia.org.

Swimmer Yana Klochkova won the most medals for Ukraine — four golds and five total.

All proceeds from the sales will go to Ukraine’s Olympic Circle charity, according to SCP Auctions.

Olympic Circle was created by sportsmen to help Mykolaiv, a city in southern Ukraine, fight Russian occupants, according to SCP.

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Alpine skiing TV, live stream schedule for 2022-23 World Cup season

Mikaela Shiffrin, Marco Odermatt
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NBC Sports and Peacock combine to air live coverage of the 2022-23 Alpine skiing season, including races on the World Cup, which starts this weekend.

Coverage begins with the traditional season-opening giant slaloms in Soelden, Austria, this Saturday and Sunday, streaming live on Peacock.

The first of four stops in the U.S. — the most in 26 years — is Thanksgiving weekend with a women’s giant slalom and slalom in Killington, Vermont. The men’s tour visits Beaver Creek, Colorado the following week, as well as Palisades Tahoe, California, and Aspen, Colorado after worlds in Courchevel and Meribel, France.

NBC Sports platforms will broadcast all four U.S. stops in the Alpine World Cup season, plus four more World Cups in other ski and snowboard disciplines. All Alpine World Cups in Austria will stream live on Peacock.

Mikaela Shiffrin, who last year won her fourth World Cup overall title, is the headliner. Shiffrin, who has 74 career World Cup race victories, will try to close the gap on the only Alpine skiers with more: Lindsey Vonn (82) and Ingemar Stenmark (86). Shiffrin won an average of five times per season the last three years and is hopeful of racing more often this season.

On the men’s side, 25-year-old Swiss Marco Odermatt returns after becoming the youngest man to win the overall, the biggest annual prize in ski racing, since Marcel Hirscher won the second of his record eight in a row in 2013.

2022-23 Alpine Skiing World Cup Broadcast Schedule
Schedule will be added to as the season progresses. All NBC Sports TV coverage also streams live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

Date Coverage Network/Platform Time (ET)
Sat., Oct. 22 Women’s GS (Run 1) – Soelden (PPD) Peacock 4 a.m.
Women’s GS (Run 2) – Soelden (PPD) Peacock 7:05 a.m.
Sun., Oct. 23 Men’s GS (Run 1) — Soelden Peacock 4 a.m.
Men’s GS (Run 2) – Soelden Peacock 7 a.m.
Sat., Nov. 12 Women’s Parallel (Qualifying) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 6 a.m.
Women’s Parallel (Finals) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 12 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 13 Men’s Parallel (Qualifying) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 4 a.m.
Men’s Parallel (Finals) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 10 a.m.
Sat., Nov. 19 Women’s SL (Run 1) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 4 a.m.
Women’s SL (Run 2) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 7 a.m.
Sun., Nov. 20 Women’s SL (Run 1) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 4:15 a.m.
Women’s SL (Run 2) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 7:15 a.m.
Fri., Nov. 25 Men’s DH — Lake Louise (PPD) Skiandsnowboard.live 2:30 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 26 Women’s GS (Run 2) — Killington NBC, Peacock 12:30 p.m.
Men’s DH — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2:30 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 27 Women’s SL (Run 2) — Killington NBC, Peacock 12:30 p.m.
Men’s SG — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2:15 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 2 Women’s DH — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 3 Women’s DH — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2:30 p.m.
Men’s DH — Beaver Creek CNBC, Peacock 4 p.m.*
Men’s DH — Beaver Creek NBC, Peacock 5 p.m.*
Sun., Dec. 4 Women’s SG — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 1 p.m.
Men’s SG — Beaver Creek NBC, Peacock 5 p.m.*

*Delayed broadcast.

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