U.S. Olympic soccer roster for Tokyo led by Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan

USA  v Holland  -World Cup Women
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Megan RapinoeCarli Lloyd and Alex Morgan get one more major tournament together with the U.S. national team.

The Tokyo Olympic soccer roster of 18 players — the oldest in U.S. history since women’s soccer debuted at the 1996 Atlanta Games — was announced Wednesday, and it includes the three stalwart forwards.

They’re joined by goalies Adrianna Franch and Alyssa Naeher, defenders Abby DahlkemperTierna Davidson. Crystal Dunn, Kelley O’Hara, Becky Sauerbrunn and Emily Sonnett, midfielders Julie Ertz, Lindsey Horan, Rose LavelleKristie Mewis and Samantha Mewis and fellow forwards Tobin Heath and Christen Press.

Seventeen of the 18 players were on the 2019 World Cup champion team (all but Kristie Mewis).

The average age will be 30.8 years old come kickoff in Japan (against Sweden on July 21). In Rio, the average was 27.8.

Rapinoe, 35, makes the team two years after winning the Golden Ball at the World Cup. The U.S. is trying to become the first nation to follow a World Cup title with Olympic gold, five years after failing to do so, getting eliminated in the quarterfinals in Rio (after which since-departed goalie Hope Solo called opponent Sweden “a bunch of cowards” for defensive play.)

“We have very high standards for the team, which is championship or total failure, so we felt like total failures,” Rapinoe said this spring of 2016. “It definitely left, I wouldn’t say a bad taste. I think it left a fire under people to never let that happen again.”

ON HER TURF: Meet the U.S. Olympic women’s soccer team

Rapinoe will be joined in Tokyo by fiancée Sue Bird, who on Monday became the oldest player named to a U.S. Olympic basketball team at 40.

Lloyd, who turns 39 on July 16, is set to become the oldest U.S. Olympic soccer player in history. Christie Pearce Rampone, who was 37 in 2012, currently holds the record.

Lloyd predicted back in 2015 that the Tokyo Games would ideally be the end point of her national team career.

Since, she started every match at the Rio Olympics as a captain. Then she was primarily a reserve at the 2019 World Cup, calling into question whether she could make it back, especially with five fewer players on the Olympic roster than at the World Cup. And even more so with a one-year Olympic postponement.

Lloyd netted all three U.S. goals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold-medal games.

Morgan, 31, is the fifth player to make a U.S. Olympic soccer team coming back from childbirth.

Defender Joy Fawcett played every minute of the 1995, 1999 and 2003 World Cups and the 1996 and 2000 Olympics as a mom. Carla Overbeck became a mom before making her second Olympic team in 2000, though she did not play in any matches in Australia. Kate Markgraf played in the 2008 Olympics as a mom, and Rampone did so in 2008 and 2012.

The Mewises are the first American sisters to play on an Olympic or World Cup team.

Lloyd and Heath are set to tie Rampone’s U.S. record of competing in four Olympic soccer tournaments. Ertz and Heath are coming back from knee injuries.

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12-year-old skateboarders earn medals at world championships

Chloe Covell

At the world skateboarding championships, 12-year-olds Chloe Covell from Australia and Onodera Ginwoo from Japan earned silver and bronze medals, respectively, in Sunday’s street finals.

In the women’s event, Covell took silver behind Brazilian 15-year-old Rayssa Leal, who was a silver medalist herself at the Tokyo Games.

Frenchman Aurélien Giraud, a 25-year-old who was sixth in skateboarding’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, won the men’s final in the United Arab Emirates. Ginwoo was third behind Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro.

The top Americans were Olympic men’s bronze medalist Jagger Eaton in sixth and 15-year-old Paige Heyn in seventh in the women’s event.

Nyjah Huston, a six-time world champion who placed seventh in Tokyo, missed worlds after August surgery for an ACL tear.

Up to three men and three women per nation can qualify per event (street and park) for the 2024 Paris Games. World rankings come June 2024 determine which Americans qualify.

In Tokyo, four of the 12 skateboarding medalists were ages 12 or 13.

Japan’s Kokona Hiraki, then 12, won silver in women’s park to become the youngest Olympic medalist since 1936, according to Olympedia.org. Japan’s Momiji Nishiya, then 13, won women’s street and became the youngest gold medalist in an individual event since 1936.

Worlds conclude this week with the men’s and women’s park events. The finals are Saturday.

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Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

Francesco Friedrich

A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It marked Great Britain’s first world championships men’s bobsled medal since 1966.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

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