TSX REPORT: Big TV audience for Biles at U.S. Nationals; USA Gymnastics planning training center; Neugebauer scores 8,961 at NCAAs!

Simone Biles at the 2016 Olympic Games (by Agencia Brasil Fotografias via Wikipedia Commons)

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1. Big TV audience for Biles & Co. at U.S. Nationals
2. World leads for Neugebauer and Long at NCAA Champs
3. USA Gymnastics training center hoped to be ready pre-LA28
4. FIFA asked to pressure Saudi Arabia on labor over 2034 World Cup
5. Skating icon Heiden on Stolz: “once-in-a-generation talent”

● A strong viewing audience for the women’s finals at the USA Gymnastics nationals in Ft. Worth last weekend, drawing 2.285 million on NBC – second-most for a sports program on the day – to see Simone Biles claim a record ninth national title.

● At the NCAA Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon, German Leo Neugebauer (Texas) won the decathlon with a fabulous collegiate record 8,961 points, becoming the no. 6 performer in history. In the women’s prelims, McKenzie Long of Ole Miss improved on her world lead in the 200 m to 21.95!

● USA Gymnastics chief executive Li Li Leung told reporters prior to the start of last week’s national championships that the federation has made its way back from the Larry Nassar scandal and is now fixed on creating a new, national training center. Multiple locations are interested, and the hope is that it will open prior to the 2028 Olympic Games!

● Just as with the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, activist human rights organizations are insisting that FIFA use the awards of the 2030 World Cup to Morocco, Portugal and Spain, and the 2034 World Cup to Saudi Arabia as a lever to improve working conditions in each country. It’s already pretty shrill.

● In a meeting of speed skating greats, 1980 Olympic legend Eric Heiden presented the US Speedskating athlete of the year award to new star Jordon Stolz. Of the youngster, Heiden said he’s already a big fan, can have success at longer distances and is a “once-in-a-generation talent”

Panorama: Paris 2024 (2: football tickets discounted for prelim matches; government asked for more Paralympic funding) = Russia (Minister says country not leaving the Olympic Movement) = Athletics (2: Kipruto’s team asserts innocence; more AIU doping suspensions) = Basketball (U.S. 3×3 women’s team confirmed for Paris) = Cycling (3: Glasgow ‘23 Worlds emissions less than 2022 World Athletics Champs in Eugene; Evenepoel leads Roglic in Criterium du Dauphine after stage 5 crash; Kopecky leads women’s Tour of Britain) = Equestrian (FEI reports CHF 57.4 million in 2023 revenues) = Sailing (World Sailing to split Worlds in 2026 and 2027) = Shooting (Olympic and Worlds medalists star at ISSF World Cup ) ●

Big TV audience for Biles & Co. at U.S. Nationals

Have no doubt: Simone Biles is not only the greatest women’s gymnast in history, but also its biggest TV star.

The USA Gymnastics national championships in Ft. Worth, Texas had a big audience on Sunday night, as Biles, Suni Lee, Skye Blakely, Jade Carey and others performed with an eye toward qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Trials in Minneapolis at the end of the month:

2 June: 724,000 on NBC for men’s finals (3:00 p.m. replay)
2 June: 2,285,000 on NBC for women’s finals (7:00 p.m. live)

However, it is also true that the magic is on network television and not on the finance-centric CNBC, which had much lower audiences for other sessions:

1 June: 126,000 on CNBC for men’s qualifying (12:00 p.m. replay)
1 June: 232,000 on CNBC for women’s qualifying (2:30 p.m. replay)
1 June: 208,000 on CNBC for men’s finals (8:00 p.m. live)

Note that a replay of the men’s finals on NBC drew 724,000 vs. a live audience of just 208,000 on CNBC.

As for the prized age 18-34 demographic, the women’s nationals had a very respectable 128,000 on Sunday and the men’s replay had 83,000. The CNBC shows averaged between 6,000-10,000 viewers in the 18-34 age group.

The 2.285 million audience for the women’s nationals finals was the no. 2 sports show of the show and the top sports show in its time slot. In its first hour of 7-8 p.m., gymnastics was third behind CBS’ “60 Minutes” (5.016 million) and ABC’s “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (3.491 million). In the 8-9 p.m. slot, only “60 Minutes” did better (4.176 million).

Actually, the 2024 audience for the national was down a little from 2023, when Biles made her return to the scene, which averaged 2.66 million on NBC.

Nevertheless, this is good news for gymnastics and for NBC, which is looking to build up through the Olympic Trials coverage in swimming, track and gymnastics from 15-30 June and into a huge audience for the Olympic Games from Paris in July and August.

The U.S. women’s national soccer team’s two friendlies against South Korea got some attention on TNT:

1 June: 106,000 on TNT for USA-Korean women pre-game (4 p.m.) 
1 June: 346,000 on TNT for USA-Korea women (5 p.m.) 

4 June: 161,000 on TNT for USA-Korea women II pre-game (7:30 p.m.)
4 June: 462,000 on TNT for USA-Korea women II (8:00 p.m.)
4 June: 198,000 on TNT for USA-Korea women II post-game (10:00 p.m.)

Pretty interesting to see the 198,000 post-game audience on Tuesday, following up on the dazzling debut by 16-year-old Lily Yohannes.

The 1 June (Saturday) game vs. Korea had 33,000 viewers in the 18-34 demographic.

World leads for Neugebauer and Long at NCAA Champs

Friday was women’s semifinals day at the NCAA Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon, and Mississippi’s McKenzie Long ran a world-leading 21.95 in the 200 m, but Germany’s Leo Neugebauer was making history in the final day of the decathlon.

Texas’ Neugebauer was ready to crush his 2023 collegiate record of 8,836, and on Wednesday, he won the long jump, shot put and high jump and scored a collegiate-record 4,685 first-day total. On Thursday, he was on fire again, running 14.36 for fifth in the 110 m hurdles, then winning the discus and pole vault. After a fourth in the javelin, he was at 8,309 with the 1,500 m left.

He ran steadily at the back of the pack in the 1,500 m and finished in 4:44.61, ending with another collegiate record, of 8,961, now no. 6 all-time, with the no. 6 score in history. He’s got to be a medal favorite for Paris. Mississippi State’s Peyton Bair was second with 8,131 points.

Long got her world leader in the 200 m semis, but there was another star attraction on the track in the women’s 10,000 m.

That would be four-time NCAA champ Parker Valby of Florida, trying for a 5-10 double and the collegiate record holder. The pace was slow, but Valby ran steadily, breaking away from everyone except Alabama’s Hilda Olemomoi (KEN) with four laps to go and then breaking free with 1,200 m left, winning in a meet record of 31:46.09, with a 62.7 last lap. She’ll be back to try to defend her 5,000 m title on Saturday. Olemomoi got a lifetime best of 31:51.89 in second.

There were five field-event finals on Thursday:

● The hammer was held early and Iceland’s Elisabet Rut Runarsdottir (Texas State) moved up from seventh in 2023 to the title, winning at 70.47 m (231-2) over Rice’s Tara Simpson-Sullivan (GBR), at 69.96 m (229-5), who was fifth last year.

● Rutgers junior Chloe Timburg ended up winning the pole vault at 4.65 m (15-3), after Charlotte’s Riley Felts missed once at 4.60 m (15-1), 4.65 m and 4.70 m (15-5). Timburg then went to 4.71 m (15-5 1/2) for her final height, a lifetime best and a meet record; she’s now no. 6 on the 2024 world list. NCAA Indoor champ Hana Moll of Washington was third at 4.50 m (14-9).

● Defending champ Ackelia Smith (JAM-Texas) got control of the long jump in the third round with her first legal jump of 6.79 m (22-3 1/2). Only Florida’s Claire Bryant was close, at 6.74 m (22-1 1/2) in the fifth round, for second.

● Collegiate record holder Jaida Ross of Oregon, throwing on her home ring, won the shot easily, at 19.57 m (64-2 1/2) on her final throw. All six of her throws would have won, with Gabby Morris of Colorado State second at 18.66 m (61-2 3.4).

● Nebraska’s defending champ Rhema Otabor (BAH) bombed the field in the fifth round, reaching 64.19 m (210-7) and setting the collegiate record and moving no. 5 in the world for 2024! Texas A&M junior Lianna Davidson (AUS) got a lifetime best of 60.70 m (199-2) for second.

In the semis, Oregon star Jadyn Mays stormed to an 11.04 win in the first heat of the 100 m (wind: +1.5 m/s), but LSU’s Brianna Lyston zoomed to a 10.99 win (+0.7) in heat two. But Mississippi’s Long dominated heat three with a lifetime best of 10.91 (0.0) and moved up to equal-sixth in the world for 2024 with Lyston.

Mays got a lifetime best in the 200 m first heat and moved to seventh in the world at 22.27 (+1.1), but JaMeesia Ford (South Carolina) ran hard on the turn and zipped to a 22.14 win (+1.2), just 0.03 off her seasonal best. Long – the world leader at 22.03 – looked sensational and got a new world lead at 21.95 (+0.3)! Wow.

The women’s 400 m was expected to be all about Arkansas and Amber Anning (GBR) won heat one in 50.67, then Nickisha Pryce (JAM) and Rosey Effiong were 1-2 in heat two in 49.87 and 50.42! In heat three, frosh Kaylyn Brown completed the Hog sweep, running away in 49.82! Those were the top four times of the day; amazing.

Penn State’s Hayley Kitching (AUS) was a surprise winner in the first heat of the 800 m in 2:01.47, then defending champ and collegiate leader Michaela Rose of LSU ran away with heat two in 1:59.90. Stanford’s Juliette Whitaker held on to take heat three in 2:00.09, barely ahead of Lithuania’s Gabija Galvydyte (Oklahoma State: 2:00.11).

Providence’s Shannon Flockhart (GBR) sprinted down the straight to win the first women’s 1,500 m heat in 4:05.99, a lifetime best and now no. 4 in collegiate history! Defending champ Maia Ramsden (NZL-Harvard) separated on the final straight to win heat two in just 1/100th slower, in 4:06.00.

Alabama frosh Doris Lemngole (KEN) ran away with the first heat of the Steeple, winning by almost 10 seconds in 9:38.69. The second heat was a three-way dash to the line, won by Notre Dame’s Olivia Markezich, 9:50.08 to 9:50.11 over Lithuania’s Greta Karinauskaite (Cal Baptist).

World no. 6 Maribel Caicedo (ECU-Washington State) was a clear winner in the 100 m hurdles first heat in 12.53 (+0.8), then the wind came up for Florida’s Grace Stark in heat two, a big winner at 12.52 with a 3.4 m/s wind-aid. Michigan’s Aasia Laurencin came on in the final half of the race winning heat three in 12.77 (+1.1).

Arkansas’ Rachel Glenn dominated heat one of the 400 m hurdles, winning by more than two seconds in 53.80, fastest in the nation this season and no. 5 on the 2024 world list! The prior collegiate leader, USC’s Jasmine Jones won heat two easily, in 54.20. Defending champ Savannah Sutherland (CAN-Michigan) had the best finish in heat three and won in a lifetime best of 54.04, now no. 7 in the world for 2024.

Ole Miss won the first heat in the 4×100 m with the fastest time in the nation this year in 42.22; only the U.S. has run faster this season worldwide! Arkansas was clear winner in heat at 42.45 thanks to Kaylyn Brown’s fab third leg, and LSU won the third heat in 42.63.

South Carolina’s Ford anchored the Gamecocks with a 49.72 leg to win the first 4×400 m semi in 3:27.10, then Houston’s Michaela Mouton (50.74) flew down the final straight to win semi two in 3:27.55. Collegiate-record-holding Arkansas dominated the third heat as expected, winning by more than two seconds in 3:25.51.

The men’s finals (and the heptathlon) come on Friday.

USA Gymnastics training center hoped to be ready pre-LA28

The long and twisting road for USA Gymnastics on the road back from the Larry Nassar abuse scandal has reached a good point, according to USA Gymnastics chief executive Li Li Leung, who delivered detailed “state of the sport” remarks just before the start of the artistic national championships in Ft. Worth last week:

● “This year we also have a record -breaking five coaches who are being recognized by the Positive Coaching Alliance as Coach of the Year national winners. So we’ve transformed the culture of the sport, we’ve rebranded the organization, unveiled a mascot, instituted a therapy dog program, expanded mental health and sports medicine programs, brought on seven new partners in less than two years and have also welcomed full arenas of energetic and newly engaged fans.”

● “In fact, we’ve grown so much that we’ve also entered into a new phase of partnerships. With so many new partners coming on board over the last couple years, the most recent being Nike, Core Hydration, Samsonite, Skippy, and of course Comcast. We’re actually pulling back a bit from recruiting new partners and are now going to focus on execution of those partnerships.”

● “When you look at the level of competition we’ve had and at the level of excitement for fans and partner engagement on the concourse and in social media and at retail, this thing as it is, it’s really been a renaissance period for us and the days of partnerships just being about signage and badging exercises are long gone.

“Here in Fort Worth we’re going to see, and at [Olympic] Trials, we’re going to see a lot of activations and a lot of meaningful engagement between brands, fans and athletes. So we are so grateful to our corporate partners, including our endemic partners, for caring about the sport, for caring about the athletes, for caring about our fans, and for recognizing that together we can do more.“

Leung also spoke at length about a major project to create a national training center for the federation:

“The first initiative is something that I initially spoke about last year, and that is our proposed training wellness center. And I should note that wellness is specifically part of the project name because that is an important and integral aspect of the center.

“So last year began a process of soliciting and gaining interest in community in terms of cities for our center. And the vision is that this facility will be the heart and hub of gymnastics in America. The training will in the center be a place where not only the athletes train, but also a place for gymnasts of all levels. and the entirety of our community will be welcomed and celebrated.

“So all seven disciplines of our sport will be served at this center. It will be a place for training, for competition, for education, for camps, and so much more. When we did the initial survey of interest, responses from over a dozen metro areas were received. And we have since brought an expert in real estate development and site selection who’s going to help us guide through the next phases of that project.

“So an RFI – Request For Information – has gone out and responses are currently coming in for that. Our goals narrow things down to about five finalist cities by the summer time and then select our site by the end of this year or early in the new year.

“Selection is going to be based on a number of different factors which will have a weighted system. And some of the main criteria are core-facility specifications, proximity to medical resources, and proximity to a major airport, overall quality of life, cost of living, and there’s a whole host of many other considerations. So this training wellness center is a massive undertaking, and the fact that we’re in a place where we can envision that kind of growth really just shows how far we’ve come over the last several years.”

She was not ready to give a grand-opening date, explaining, “it completely depends on what the proposals are that come in, I mean, ideally we’d like it up and running before LA 2028. You know, I envision that we’ll get proposals that would put a shovel in the ground, or retrofit existing facilities.

“If it’s retrofitting existing facilities, that will be a lot easier as opposed to shovel-in-the-ground. Again, ideally, it’s before L.A., but it will depend on what the proposals are coming in.”

Leung also noted that a significant promotional element for the federation is its new mascot, a stylized cat named “Flip,” which has been well received:

“So two weeks ago, for those of you who were there, you would have seen Flip come to life at the Core Hydration Classic. And in gymnastics, mascot aren’t as common as major league sports team so I actually wasn’t really quite sure how the debut would take place but I could not believe the reaction to Flip.

“And frankly even Flip couldn’t believe the reaction to him. So, kids went crazy for Flip and whenever there was a roar from the crowd if gymnastics wasn’t going on it was because of what Flip was doing, and the people who actually bring Flip to life are former professional mascots. And they actually said to me afterwards that they have never had as positive a reaction to a debut of a mascot as they had with Flip.”

Leung was asked about whether members of the gymnastics teams will participate in the Paris opening on the Seine River and beyond the security questions, she noted that for those participating, “you will literally be on your feet for close to nine hours that day in the heat.” But it will be up to each athlete to decide for themselves.

FIFA asked to pressure Saudi Arabia on labor over 2034 World Cup

Paralleling the build-up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, international labor organizations are lining up to accuse Saudi Arabia of worker mistreatment and demand that FIFA use its award of 2034 World Cup to change labor practices there. On Wednesday:

“[T]he Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) is filing two formal complaints with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) against Saudi Arabia for severe human rights abuses and wage theft involving at least 21,000 construction workers by various but mainly two now-bankrupt Saudi construction companies alone.

“The complaint emphasises the exploitative living and working conditions among the country’s vast migrant workforce: conditions that BWI notes are akin to forced labour. As Saudi Arabia positions itself to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup, this complaint demands immediate attention from FIFA and the international community. FIFA is expected to receive the single bid for the 2034 World Cup host in July.”

The BWI statement further highlighted FIFA’s own regulations on respecting human rights:

“Article 7 of FIFA’s Human Rights Policy states that ‘FIFA will constructively engage with relevant authorities and other stakeholders and make every effort to uphold its international human rights responsibilities.’

“FIFA must ensure that Saudi Arabia addresses grave labour rights abuses and aligns its labour laws and practices with international standards before any further consideration of its World Cup bid.”

FIFA made significant efforts with the Qatar government to reform the legal structure of its “kafala” sponsorship system, but concerns remain about whether the changes have been significant.

Amnesty International, which followed the build-up to the 2022 Qatar World Cup closely, issued a report on Saudi Arabia and the 2034 World Cup, with its head of Labor Rights and Sports, Steve Cockburn (GBR) saying:

“With only a single bid to host each tournament [for 2030 and 2034], and major human rights concerns surrounding both, there are huge questions about FIFA’s willingness to stand by the pledges and reforms it has made in recent years, including exercising its right to reject any bid which does not meet its stated human rights requirements.

“The human rights issues associated with the joint 2030 World Cup bid are significant and must be addressed but the risks associated with the 2034 FIFA World Cup bid by Saudi Arabia – including those faced by workers, fans and journalists – are of an entirely different magnitude and severity.”

The Amnesty report called out both bids:

“The 2030 joint bid from Morocco, Portugal and Spain – with three matches being played in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay – carries human rights risks primarily related to labour rights, discrimination, freedom of expression and assembly, policing, privacy and housing.”

● “Saudi Arabia has an appalling human rights record and its bid carries a broad range of very serious risks. The Kingdom has spent billions in recent years on an image rehabilitation campaign, heavily reliant on investment in sports including football to distract from its abysmal track record of abuses. A draft penal code looks set to further entrench many human rights violations in law.”

FIFA is expected to formally award the 2030 and 2034 World Cups in the fall.

Skating icon Heiden on Stolz: “once-in-a-generation talent”

American skating star Jordan Stolz, now 20, has won back-to-back World Championships golds in the 500-1,000–1,500 m distances and the World Allround Championship earlier this year. Who better to ask about him than the immortal Eric Heiden, whose stunning performance at the 1980 Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid still seems surreal, sweeping all five golds in the 500-1,000-1,500-5,000-10,000 m speed skating events.

Heiden, now 65 and a long-time orthopedic surgeon, presented Stolz with the Eric Heiden Award as the 2023 US Speedskating athlete of the year, at a federation awards ceremony last month in Utah. And he had a lot of nice things to say:

● “For speed skating he’s sort of a once-in-a-generation talent and I don’t think he yet really knows what his limits are. He’s certainly done well in the shorter distances and the middle distances but last year he started spending a little bit more time in the 5,000 m and 10,000 m and I think he was pleasantly surprised with his results. He’s got a lot of potential there also.”

● “He’s very technically sound as a skater and has a good feel for the ice. He also has mental fortitude and the ability to really push himself when he’s out there skating, sometimes beyond what he’s comfortable with.”

● “He is the world’s best speed skater right now and he’s had felt that pressure now for two years so when it comes to the Olympics it may be ramped up a little bit, that pressure, but he is already accustomed to dealing with it.

“I’m not so concerned about that. I think he’s going to do just fine. He’s been to the Olympics once before [2022] so that experience is important just to be in the Olympic Village and around a bunch of different athletes and now when he goes back, he’s going to be very focused on what he has to do and he’s not going to get distracted by the Olympic experience.”

Perhaps the ultimate compliment from Heiden was this:

“I do stay in touch with his coach [Bob Corby] a little bit just to find out what he’s doing because I love watching the guy skate. He’s sort of rejuvenated my interest in speed skating to see a guy do things that I used to be able to do.

“Our accomplishments are pretty similar at this age [Heiden was 21 in 1980]. The thing I am always amazed with newer athletes or athletes in this era is their ability to focus on their sport despite all the social media. He is very focused on what he’s doing, he’s got a great family around him, and he’s got a good coach that keeps his feet on the ground and allows him to focus on what he needs to do to get better.”

Heiden also competed in two Winter Games, finishing seventh and 19th in the 1,500 m and 5,000 m in Innsbruck (AUT) in 1976 before his record-shattering performance in Lake Placid. Stolz appears ready to make quite a splash in his second Games, in 2026.


● Olympic Games 2024: Paris ● FrancsJeux.com reported on the latest Paris 2024 “Ticketing Thursdays” sales packages, with a major push towards selling tickets to the preliminary football matches, always one of the hardest sells at any Olympic Games.

With “around a million tickets to sell,” an offer of four tickets at €15 each is now available for most matches for both the men’s and women’s tournaments, but not the semifinals or finals. About 30,000 other tickets have been made available in other sports, including canoeing, equestrian, modern pentathlon, rowing, rugby sevens, swimming and water polo.

The Paris 2024 organizing committee has asked the French government for an additional €30 million (about $32.68 million U.S.) in financial support for the Paralympic Games.

According to the satirical weekly Le Canard chaine (“The Chained Duck”), ticket sales for the Paralympic Games have been lagging – about a third of the total available – so the request is being made now. The national government agreed to €100 million in the original budget and added €70 million in December 2022.

● Russia ● Continuing a consistent theme, the new Russian Sports Minister Mikhail Degtyarev told the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Thursday:

“We are not leaving the Olympic Movement, we are still there.

“On the one hand everybody wants us pack it in, but we are not going to do that. This issue is subject to external influence and our athletes suffer from discrimination.

“We are rooting for our athletes everywhere. Our athletes are preparing for the BRICS Games [in June in Kazan]. I am sure that they will find success to our great cheers.”

● Athletics ● Kenyan distance star Rhonex Kipruto is unmoved by the decision of a disciplinary tribunal that imposed a six-year sanction on him for abnormal readings in his Athlete Biological Passport and will continue to challenge the finding.

In a news release, his Prague (CZE)-based management team challenged his uneven ABP readings by pointing to the impact of travel, timing, use of alcohol and other factors, and insist that “Rhonex’s honest and vast efforts (and of his legal and scientific teams) collide with what seems to be an impenetrable wall created by current anti-doping rules and regulations.”

His agent, Davor Savija (SRB), commented:

“My advice to Rhonex has been consistent throughout this process – follow the lead of legal and scientific teams. In relation to potential appeal at [the Court of Arbitration for Sport], my advice to Rhonex is to wait for pending genetic testing to come in and to have legal and scientific teams evaluate the case further, in light of these new testing results and said Decision. …

“My wish is that this press release reaches various scientists and legal minds, with hope Rhonex gets additional support as he searches for the truth in relation to how his body functions and how this functioning is captured by the ABP.”

The drumbeat of sanctions from the Athletics Integrity Unit continued on Thursday with two more provisional suspensions.

French distance runner Mehdi Frere, a 2:05:43 men’s marathoner from 2023, was suspended for whereabouts failures, and Sultan Haydar (TUR) “for Evading, Refusing or Failing to submit to Sample Collection.” Haydar has run 2:21:47 in the women’s marathon in 2023, the Turkish national record.

● Basketball ● USA Basketball confirmed its women’s 3×3 Olympic team for Paris with Cameron Brink, Cierra Burdick, Rhyne Howard and Hailey Van Lith selected.

Brink (WNBA: L.A. Sparks), Burdick and Van Lith (TCU) were members of the winning squad for the 2023 FIBA 3×3 women’s World Cup (also with Linnae Harper), with Brink named Most Valuable Player. Burdick was a member of the U.S. 5×5 gold-medal team at the 2023 Pan American Games. Howard (WNBA: Atlanta Dream) was the WNBA Rookie of the Year in 2022.

● Cycling ● The Glasgow organizers of the UCI’s first mega-championships in 2023 published a sustainability report, highlighting various initiatives aimed at social and environmental goals.

There is no scorecard available showing if the results are good or bad, but a comparison can be made to the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, for which data was compiled by Nielsen for World Athletics:

World Athletics Championships 2022
(Eugene, Oregon, USA):
● Held 15-24 July 2022
● 1,705 athletes from 179 countries
● CO2 emissions estimated at 97,095 tons
● 77.8% from air travel to the event

UCI World Championships 2023
(Glasgow, Scotland, GBR):
● Held 3-13 August 2023
● About 2,600 athletes + 8,000 mass event riders
● CO2 emissions estimated at 61,051 tons
● 99.3% from air travel to the event

Based on these measures, the cycling event was more efficient with diversion of waste and reduction of energy use, but the overwhelming amount of emissions from travel demonstrates that true “net-zero” events are far away as long as athletes, support staff and spectators come from far and wide to attend an event in person.

The 76th Criterium du Dauphine stage race in France is on this week and will finish on Sunday; it’s often seen as a tune-up for the Tour de France.

Belgian star Remco Evenepoel, the 2022 Vuelta a Espana winner and the 2023 World Time Trial winner, took the race lead after winning the stage four time trial on Wednesday, moving from 33rd to first, with a 33-second edge on Slovenian star Primoz Roglic, the 2022 winner of this race.

Thursday’s stage five had to be stopped after a major crash about 20 km from the finish on a wet, downhill section of the 167 km course to Saint-Priest, and it was decided that the stage would not count in the standings. Both Evenepoel and Roglic were involved, with the Belgian apparently in good shape, but Roglic landed on a shoulder and was not sure if would continue.

American Matteo Jorgenson stands third, 1:04 back, with three stages left, all of which have significant climbs and uphill finishes.

The four-stage women’s Tour of Britain opened on Thursday with a win by Belgian star Lotte Kopecky, her fourth Women’s World Tour victory in 2024, following a sprint of nine riders to the line at the end of the hilly, 142.4 km route to Llandudno.

The other stages are fairly flat, with sprints expected at the end of each. Two-time winner Lizzie Deignan (GBR) sits fourth (+0:12) after the first stage.

● Equestrian ● The Federation Equestre Internationale Board met in Lausanne on 4-5 June and approved the “Equine Welfare Strategy Action Plan” and allocated CHF 1.0 million (about $1.2 million U.S.) for implementation, focused on the health of horses.

The FEI reported good financial results for 2023, with revenues of CHF 57.382 million and expenses of CHF 54.963 million. The surplus of CHF 1.07 million leaves the FEI’s reserves at more than CHF 24 million (CHF 1 = $1.22).

● Sailing ● World Sailing announced that it will split its world championship events, with Valencia (ESP) hosting the single-crewed events in 2026 (Formula Kite, IQfoil, Laser, Laser Radial) and Gdynia (POL) will be the site for the two-person crew events in 2027 (470, 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17), both as qualifiers for Los Angeles 2028.

World Sailing chief executive David Graham (GBR) explained:

“A split championship format reflects the direction from our wider stakeholder group; the benefits of which are being seen already in that the level of interest was much higher as it reduces the financial and logistical resources required from the hosts.”

Six editions of World Championships for all of the Olympic classes have been held from 2003-23, with The Hague (NED) hosting last August,

● Shooting ● The stars were out at the pistol range at the ISSF World Cup in Munich (GER), with the 2010 World Champion, Serbia’s Zorana Arunovic, 37, taking the women’s 10 m Air Pistol final, scoring 244.4 to 240.1 for China’s Tokyo bronze winner, Ranxin Jiang.

In the women’s 25 m Pistol, France’s Camile Jedrzejewski, 22, won a tight final from Germany’s 2023 World Champion Doreen Vennekamp. They tied at 40 and went to a shoot-off, with Jedrzejewski hitting 10s on all five shots to three for Vennekamp.

India’s Sarabjol Singh piled up a good lead in the men’s 10 m Air Pistol final, then held on to edge China’s 17-year-old Shuaihang Bu, 242.7 to 242.5. And two-time Olympic bronze winner Yuehong Li took the men’s 25 m Rapid-Fire Pistol title, 32-28, over Rio 2016 Olympic champ Christian Reitz (GER).

Competition concludes Friday with the 50 m Rifle/3 Positions finals.

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