The IOC got it almost perfect: No Russia, but maybe some Russians …

PALM DESERT, December 6, 2017 – The long-awaited decision of the International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board on Russia’s participation came Tuesday with a split decision.

No Russia, but a process by which some Russian athletes can be invited to compete in the Games as Russians … but not in national uniforms (sort of).

It’s complicated, but the IOC got a lot of things right in making a decision that was (surprisingly?) detailed, disciplined and subtle. There are plenty of things that can still go wrong, but the outcome – and the effort behind it – was impressive.

Not everyone thinks so, however. Our review of the results and the process behind it are in our Lane One commentary; the much-respected Phil Hersh is (much?) less enthusiastic in his Globetrotting column, reprinted with permission. Read them both; see which you agree with!

All that plus the climax of the World Weightlifting Championships and U.S. Olympic qualifying starting this week for Freestyle skiers and Snowboard:

= p. 9/Weightlifting: World records + Sarah Robles wins gold in World Weightlifting Champs!
= p. 15/Swimming: FINA names 13 athletes of the year, including two Americans!
= p. 17/Figure Skating: The Grand Prix Final is in Nagoya, but is it really important this time?
= p. 18/Freestyle & Snowboard: All eyes on Copper Mountain for PyeongChang qualifying!
= p. 22/Ice Hockey: Canadian women beat U.S., 2-0, tie up pre-Olympic series at 3-3.