Time 100 includes most Olympians in annual list’s history

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The Time 100 Most Influential list includes eight Olympians, the most ever in the annual list’s 19-year history. At least one Olympian made each edition dating to the first year in 2004.

Beijing Olympic gold medalists Nathan Chen and Eileen Gu were joined by soccer players Alex MorganMegan Rapinoe and Becky Sauerbrunn, tennis players Rafael Nadal and Peng Shuai and basketball player Candace Parker.

Time 100 listees are based on factors including relevance, impact, innovation, leadership, ambition and success.

Chen and Gu were spotlight athletes in February, each earning gold at the Beijing Games. Chen became the first U.S. singles figure skater to take gold since 2010, four years after struggling as a favorite. Figure skaters Adam Rippon (2018) and Yuna Kim (2010) previously made the Time 100.

“That perseverance never wavered, even after his first Olympics didn’t go as he’d hoped,” two-time Olympic medalist Michelle Kwan wrote for Time. “He trained for another four years and showed the world just how fierce a competitor he is.”

Gu earned two golds and a bronze in freestyle skiing as the host nation’s biggest star. She competed while scrutinized for her decision to switch representation in 2019 from the U.S. to China, her mother’s birth nation.

“It’s hard for athletes — particularly Olympic athletes — to transcend their sport. Eileen Gu is an exception to that rule,” fellow Olympic freeskier Gus Kenworthy wrote for Time. “I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anybody more disciplined, driven, or determined than Eileen. And hard work pays off.”

Morgan, Rapinoe and Sauerbrunn have been longtime leaders for the U.S. women’s soccer team, winning Olympic and World Cup titles. Last week, after a yearslong battle, a historic victory was scored with the announcement of equal pay for the U.S. men’s and women’s national teams.

Nadal made the list for a second time — 13 years after his previous appearance — after winning a men’s record-breaking 21st major singles title at the Australian Open.

Peng, an Olympic tennis player in 2008, 2012 and 2016, made the list in the “Icons” category. Last November, she accused a former high-ranking Chinese government official of sexual assault in a Weibo post that was soon deleted.

Parker, a 36-year-old mom, won her second WNBA title last season and first with her hometown team, the Chicago Sky.

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Olympians and Paralympians on Time 100 lists, counting only athletes who had competed in the Games before being listed:

2022 — Nathan Chen, Eileen Gu, Alex Morgan, Rafael Nadal, Candace Parker, Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn, Peng Shuai
2021 — Simone Biles, Allyson Felix, Suni Lee, Naomi Osaka
2020 — Allyson Felix, Maya Moore, Megan Rapinoe, Dwyane Wade
2019 — LeBron James, Alex MorganMo Salah, Caster Semenya
2018 — Kevin DurantRoger FedererChloe KimAdam Rippon
2017 — Simone Biles, LeBron James, Neymar
2016 — Usain BoltCaitlyn JennerKatie LedeckySania MirzaRonda Rousey
2015 — Abby Wambach
2014 — Cristiano Ronaldo, Serena Williams
2013 — LeBron James, Li Na, Lindsey Vonn
2012 — Novak DjokovicLionel MessiOscar Pistorius
2011 — Lionel Messi
2010 — Yuna KimSerena Williams
2009 — Rafael Nadal
2008 — Andre Agassi, Lance Armstrong, Oscar Pistorius
2007 — Roger FedererChien Ming-Wang
2006 — Joey CheekSteve Nash
2005 — LeBron James
2004 — Lance Armstrong, Paula Radcliffe, Yao Ming
2000 (20th Century) — Muhammad Ali

U.S. Ski & Snowboard names its first female CEO, Sophie Goldschmidt

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Sophie Goldschmidt was named U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s incoming president and CEO this week, making her the first woman to lead the national governing body that has existed under various names since 1905.

She replaces two-time Olympian Tiger Shaw, who held the position since March 2014. Shaw will transition to U.S. Ski & Snowboard Foundation Board trustee.

Though she counts herself as an avid skier, Goldschmidt is the first non-athlete to serve in the role in at least 25 years. Bill Marolt, Shaw’s longtime successor, is also an Olympic alpine skier.

Goldschmidt has a breadth of leadership and marketing experience at a handful of sports and entertainment properties including Adidas, WTA, NBA and England Rugby, though this is her first time with a U.S. Olympic organization.

Most recently, she served as CEO of the World Surf League from July 2017-February 2020. Goldschmidt will relocate from Los Angeles to the Park City, Utah, area where U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s headquarters and world-class Center of Excellence training facility are located.

When she starts on Oct. 18, Goldschmidt will have less than four months to get up to speed in time for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics to start on Feb. 4.

“I am thrilled to be the next leader of U.S. Ski & Snowboard,” Goldschmidt said in a statement. “My priority is to build on the organization’s strong foundations. To take the levels of performance to new heights, to grow the number of participants and fans we engage with, in addition to creatively unlocking new value and investment. I see significant opportunities to further develop the profiles of the sports and of the athletes, who are inspirational role models.”

U.S. Ski & Snowboard oversees athletes – from grassroots to the elite level – for just over half of the Olympic Winter Games program.

In PyeongChang four years ago, 50 of the 102 events fell under the six skiing and snowboarding sport disciplines; in Beijing, that number has increased to 55 of 109.

The NGB has developed a recent tradition of excellence, accounting for 60.2% of the U.S.’ medals at the past three Games, which Goldschmidt will look to continue in Beijing and beyond.

Kikkan Randall, a five-time Olympian and 2018 gold medalist in cross-country skiing, was co-chair of the search committee that appointed Goldschmidt.

“I am particularly excited about Sophie’s experience working directly with world-class athletes across a myriad of sports; she really understands how to put athletes at the forefront,” Randall said.

Goldschmidt will be the 10th woman to currently head a U.S. Olympic or Paralympic sport, and the only one on the winter side.

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Canada sweeps snowboard big air titles to close world championships

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Mark McMorris is a seven-time X Games Aspen snowboard champion with a record 20 Winter X Games medals overall, but he won his first world championship on Tuesday.

McMorris was part of a Canadian sweep of the men’s and women’s big air titles on the final day of the world freestyle skiing and snowboarding championships in Aspen, Colorado. Laurie Blouin took the women’s gold.

In big air, an athlete’s top two scores, throwing different tricks, among three runs are added together for a final score.

McMorris, the two-time Olympic slopestyle bronze medalist, landed two different 1620s for 92.75 and 86.50 points, respectively. His outscored countryman Max Parrot, who came back from a cancer diagnosis to win the 2020 X Games big air, by one point. Norwegian Marcus Kleveland took bronze, four days after winning the world title in slopestyle.

Judd Henkes, the lone American in the final, took seventh.

Canadian Sebastien Toutant, who won big air’s Olympic debut in 2018, failed to qualify for the final

Last year, McMorris broke Shaun White’s record for most Winter X Games medals across all sites, including Europe. This past January, he missed X Games Aspen for the first time since his debut in 2011 at age 17, forced out due to a positive coronavirus test.

He returned to Aspen for the world championships, failing to make the slopestyle final but sticking around to compete in big air at worlds for the first time since 2013.

Blouin, the 2018 Olympic slopestyle silver medalist, landed two different double cork 1080s for 88 and 89.75 points, respectively. She edged slopestyle world champion Zoi Sadowski-Synnott of New Zealand by one point.

Japanese Miyabi Onitsuka took bronze. Missing the podium: Austrian Olympic champion Anna Gasser (fourth) and American Jamie Anderson, who owns both Olympic slopestyle titles and finished seventh on Tuesday.

Big air marked the last day of world championships in skiing and snowboarding events across all disciplines. The remaining winter sports world championships are in figure skating (next week), curling (April and May) and ice hockey (May and June).

Top U.S. snowboarders and freeskiers will stay in Aspen for the U.S. Grand Prix, the first 2022 Olympic qualifying event, later this week. A full TV and live stream schedule is here.

Earlier, ski big air produced two unheralded world champions.

Oliwer Magnusson became the first Swede to win a world freeskiing title, landing two different double cork 1800s for 94.25 and 91 points, respectively.

He edged 18-year-old Canadian Edouard Therriault by .25 of a point. Swiss Kim Gubser took bronze, .75 of a point ahead of American Mac Forehand. None of the men’s medalists made the podium at any previous X Games or world championships.

Swiss Andri Ragettli, the social media video sensation who won the X Games big air in January and slopestyle world title on Saturday, placed sixth.

Anastasia Tatalina and Lana Pruskova gave Russia a historic one-two in the women’s event. A Russian never before placed in the top five of a world championships freeski final. But Tatalina, 20, landed two different double cork 1260s for 93 and 91.5 points, respectively, to distance her countrywoman by 19 points.

Chinese Eileen Gu, who swept the halfpipe and slopestyle titles last week and at January’s X Games, took bronze, just as she did at X Games. No Americans made the final.

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