American Jordan Stolz becomes youngest man to win World Cup speed skating race

0 Comments

American Jordan Stolz became the youngest man to win an individual World Cup speed skating race in history, according to Speedskatingstats.com, in a statement blowout victory to open the season.

Stolz, 18, won the 1500m in Stavanger, Norway, in 1 minute, 44.891 seconds, a track record. He distanced runner-up Connor Howe of Canada by 1.76 seconds and said minutes later that he was a little bit flabbergasted.

Stolz broke German Peter Adeberg‘s record from 1986 as the youngest man to win an individual World Cup race. The only younger woman to win was two-time Olympic 500m champion Lee Sang-Hwa of South Korea, according to Speedskatingstats.com.

“It was crazy,” Stolz told Dutch broadcaster NOS. “I didn’t know how anything was going to be. I had no expectations going into the race.”

Stolz’s victory margin was greater than what separated second-place Howe from the 16th-place skater, Dutchman Thomas Krol, who took Olympic 1000m gold and 1500m silver in February.

Last season, Stolz broke the junior world records in the 500m and 1000m and became the third-youngest U.S. Olympic male speed skater in history. He finished 13th in the 500m and 14th in the 1000m at the Olympics. He did not race the 1500m at Olympic Trials.

The Stavanger World Cup holds a men’s 500m on Saturday and a men’s 1000m on Sunday, among other races live on Peacock. Stolz said he will also race the 5000m later on Saturday if he’s placed in the early half of the 500m schedule for lower-ranked skaters.

Few skaters range from the 500m, the shortest sprint, through the 5000m, the second-longest men’s distance. Stolz was asked what distances he plans to race at March’s world championships and responded with a smile.

“All of them,” he said, though he then clarified he might not do the 10,000m.

That still conjures Eric Heiden, who famously swept all five gold medals at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics — the 500m, 1000m, 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m.

“I always think about him,” Stolz, a Wisconsin native like Heiden, told NOS on Friday. “What he did was pretty much near impossible, so I wouldn’t compare it at all.”

Stolz was inspired to speed skate by watching Apolo Ohno in short track at the 2010 Vancouver Games. Stolz’s dad then shoveled off space to skate on the pond behind the family house north of Milwaukee.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Olympic flame to travel by sea for Paris 2024, welcomed by armada

Paris 2024 Olympic Torch Relay Marseille
Paris 2024
0 Comments

The Olympic flame will travel from Athens to Marseille by ship in spring 2024 to begin the France portion of the torch relay that ends in Paris on July 26, 2024.

The torch relay always begins in the ancient Olympic site of Olympia, Greece, where the sun’s rays light the flame. It will be passed by torch until it reaches Athens.

It will then cross the Mediterranean Sea aboard the Belem, a three-masted ship, “reminiscent of a true Homeric epic,” according to Paris 2024. It will arrive at the Old Port of Marseille, welcomed by an armada of boats.

Marseille is a former Greek colony and the oldest city in France. It will host sailing and some soccer matches during the Paris Olympics.

The full 2024 Olympic torch relay route will be unveiled in May.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Paris 2024 Olympic Torch Relay Marseille
Paris 2024

Mikaela Shiffrin heads to world championships with medal records in sight

0 Comments

Before Mikaela Shiffrin can hold the World Cup wins record, she can become the most decorated Alpine skier in modern world championships history.

Shiffrin takes a respite from World Cup pursuits for the biennial world championships in France. She is expected to race at least four times, beginning with Monday’s combined.

Shiffrin has a tour-leading 11 World Cup victories in 23 starts this season, her best since her record 17-win 2018-19 campaign, but world championships do not count toward the World Cup.

Shiffrin remains one career victory behind Swede Ingemar Stenmark‘s record 86 World Cup wins until at least her next World Cup start in March.

Shiffrin has been more successful at worlds than at the Olympics and even on the World Cup. She has 11 medals in 13 world championships races dating to her 2013 debut, including making the podium in each of her last 10 events.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

She enters worlds one shy of the modern, post-World War II individual records for total medals (Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt won 12) and gold medals (Austrian Toni Sailer, Frenchwoman Marielle Goitschel and Swede Anja Pärson won seven).

Worlds take place exactly one year after Shiffrin missed the medals in all of her Olympic races, but that’s not motivating her.

“If I learned anything last year, it’s that these big events, they can go amazing, and they can go terrible, and you’re going to survive no matter what,” she said after her most recent World Cup last Sunday. “So I kind of don’t care.”

Shiffrin ranks No. 1 in the world this season in the giant slalom (Feb. 16 at worlds) and slalom (Feb. 18).

This year’s combined is one run of super-G coupled with one run of slalom (rather than one downhill and one slalom), which also plays to her strengths. She won that event, with that format, at the last worlds in 2021. The combined isn’t contested on the World Cup, so it’s harder to project favorites.

Shiffrin is also a medal contender in the super-G (Feb. 8), despite starting just two of five World Cup super-Gs this season (winning one of them).

She is not planning to race the downhill (Feb. 11), which she often skips on the World Cup and has never contested at a worlds. Nor is she expected for the individual parallel (Feb. 15), a discipline she hasn’t raced in three years in part due to the strain it puts on her back with the format being several runs for the medalists.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!