Welcome to The Sports Examiner SPEED READ, a 100 mph (44.7 m/s) review of what happened over the last 96 hours in Olympic sport:
Wednesday: It’s worth taking time out to appreciate the greatness of American skiing ace Mikaela Shiffrin. She’s not only the finest women’s skier in the world, but at just 23, is in a position to set standards that could last for decades!
Friday: Sports and politics aren’t supposed to mix, but they do and are mixing badly. But even with continuous issues with countries refusing to allow athletes to compete from nations it doesn’t like – the latest is India’s refusal to allow Pakistani shooters to compete in the ISSF World Cup – the IOC’s backbone appears to be stiffening. This is a good development, and the International Paralympic Committee should get credit too.
THE BIG PICTURE
Tuesday: USA Gymnastics hired another chief executive, this time from the NBA, with a strong background in gymnastics – as a competitor – and already has experience working with a U.S. National Governing Body. Li Li Leung comes to USAG from a global sponsorships position with the NBA: excellent credentials to get the federation moving forward.
Thursday: The Paris 2024 organizers announced that they will ask the IOC to approve four added sports for its Games: Skateboarding, Sport Climbing, Surfing and Breakdancing. There are good reasons to add these sports, and to turn away sports like Baseball/Softball, Karate and others.
Friday: The International Boxing Association (AIBA) passed several noteworthy rule changes in its Executive Board meeting in Turkey, especially the introduction of a procedure to challenge bad judging decisions right after a bout is completed. But the federation is also still whining about its suspension by the IOC, by asking why the qualification procedure for Tokyo 2020 is not yet complete.
Monday: A record-tying 14th win in this World Cup season for American superstar Mikaela Shiffrin, in the City Event in Stockholm (SWE).
Wednesday: Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen upset new 1,500 m world-record setter SamuelTefera (ETH) in the 1,500 m in the Dusseldorf World Indoor Tour meet. Marie-Josee Ta Lou (CIV) laimed a world-leading time of 7.02 in the women’s 60 m, beating prior world leader Ewa Swoboda (POL).
Thursday: Preview of the USATF National Indoor Championships start Friday, and are back in New York – Staten Island this time – for the first time since 2002. The fields include five 2019 world indoor leaders and 10 defending champions, including double defender (1,500/3,000 m) Shelby Houlihan.
● Alpine Skiing: World Cup resumes in Bansko (men) and Crans-Montana (women)
● Badminton: Spanish Masters in Barcelona
● Basketball: Final qualifying matches in the Americas sector
● Bobsled & Skeleton: Final World Cup of the season in Calgary
● Fencing: First Sabre Grand Prix of the season, in Cairo
● Freestyle: World Cups in Aerials (Minsk), Ski Cross (Sunny Valley), Moguls (Tazawako)
● Gymnastics: First Artistic World Cup in Melbourne
● Judo: Grand Slam in Dusseldorf
● Luge: Final World Cup of the season in Sochi
● Nordic Skiing: World Championships are underway in Seefeld
● Shooting: First ISSF World Cup of the season, in New Delhi
● Snowboard: Parallel World Cup season titles on the line in Secret Garden
● Speed Skating: World Sprint Championships in Heerenveen
Highlights of the coming week, with previews in the coming days on TheSportsExaminer.com:
● Cycling: UCI World Track Championships in Pruszkow, Poland
● Football: U.S. women in the She Believes Cup vs. Japan and England
● Nordic Skiing: World Championships in Cross Country, Nordic Combined and Ski Jumping
We’ll have coverage of a busy week, with 26 events on the international calendar!