TSX REPORT: IOC commission “very happy” with Paris 2024; Burns’ 10 keys for Olympic sponsor success; big U.S. wins by Stolz, Jorgenson, Shiffrin!

The men's World Allround Champion, American Jordan Stolz (Photo: International Skating Union)

The Sports Examiner: Chronicling the key competitive, economic and political forces shaping elite sport and the Olympic Movement.★

To get The Sports Examiner by e-mail: sign up here!

Hey! Now 36 generous donors have covered 64.3% of our winter technical and support costs. We still need help with the rest! Please consider a donation to help keep TSX going. Thank you.


1. IOC Coordination Commission “very happy” on Paris ‘24 progress
2. Burns: 10 elements of success for Olympic sponsors
3. French government promises civil service bonuses
4. L.A. delegation signs cooperation agreement, tours Paris facilities
5. Biles to headline post-Games “Gold Over America” tour

The head of the International Olympic Committee’s Coordination Commission for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games pronounced the event in good hands and on track following its seventh and final meeting last Friday.

● Olympic marketing and sponsorship veteran Terrence Burns has once again distilled decades of wisdom into a concise package, with 10 keys to Olympic sponsorship success, for companies currently involved and those who should be.

● Under pressure from French unions, the French Minister for Transformation and Public Administration promised public workers Games-time bonuses of €500-1,500, with added support for child care for those affected. The government has also successfully tested an artificial-intelligence-aided surveillance project designed to highlight unusual events that could become problems.

● A seven-member delegation from Los Angeles, led by Mayor Karen Bass, concluded a visit to Paris, during which they met with Mayor Anne Hidalgo, visited some of the Olympic venues and signed a three-year cooperation agreement with Saint-Ouen-sur-Seine.

● Gymnastics icon Simone Biles is preparing for the U.S. Olympic Trials and for the Paris Games, but has already organized a 30-city, post-Games tour – as in 2021 – named “Gold Over America.” The first show will be in Oceanside, California on 17 September.

World Championships: Sailing (second 49er FX Worlds gold for Aanholt and Duetz) = Speed Skating (spectacular Allround wins for Stolz and Beune) ●

Panorama: Alpine Skiing (Shiffrin returns with 96th World Cup win in Are slalom) = Athletics (2: Pinnock grabs world LJ lead at NCAAs; Ando’s upset win in Nagoya marathon) = Badminton (China wins three at French Open) = Beach Volleyball (first-time Elite 16 wins for Boermans-De Groot and Solberg-Seixas) = Biathlon (France’s Perrot, Braisaz-Bouchet, Jeanmonnot win at Soldier Hollow) = Cross Country Skiing (Karlson and Klaebo take Oslo 50 km titles) = Cycling (3: Jorgenson and McNulty got 1-3 for U.S. at Paris-Nice; Vingegaard triumphs at Tirreno-Adriatico; Wiebes wins women’s Ronde van Drenthe again!) = Fencing (Borel and Kun take Budapest Epee Grand Prix wins) = Football (U.S. wins CONCACAF W Gold Cup, 1-0, over Brazil) = Freestyle Skiing (2: Kingsbury sweeps Moguls in Almaty; Qi and Scott take seasonal Aerials titles) = Judo (Brazil wins three, Japan two in Linz Grand Prix) = Modern Pentathlon (Elgendy makes home fans happy in Cairo World Cup) = Nordic Combined (Riiber sweeps two more at Oslo World Cup) = Skateboard (Neysuke and Akama take Dubai Street qualifier wins) = Ski Jumping (Kraft takes 11th win this season in Oslo World Cup) = Snowboard (2: Grondin and Bankes take SnowCross World Cups; Lee and Ledecka win Parallel Slaloms in Winterberg) = Sport Climbing (Gillett and Hoyer win U.S. team Boulder trials) = Swimming (Dressel getting faster, Smith still fast at Tyr Pro Swim Westmont) = Triathlon (2: Dubai World Tri race canceled; Pearson impresses in Americas Championship) ●

IOC Coordination Commission “very happy” on Paris ‘24 progress

“I can tell you that I feel quite satisfied; we’ve worked together, very happy with what we have achieved. The Paris 2024 Games are where they need to be.”

That’s International Olympic Committee Coordination Commission Chair Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant (BEL), speaking to reporters on Friday at a news conference after the seventh and final, three-day meeting of the Coordination Commission for Paris 2024.

Beckers-Vieujant was complimentary toward the Paris organizers, but also noted there is a lot of work ahead (as interpreted online from the original French):

“Nothing is vague, everything is precise, concrete, accurate, and all the teams working with [President] Tony [Estanguet] and [chief executive] Etienne [Thobois] are fully mobilized. …

“People can feel that the Games are just around the corner. … We have confirmed that the blueprint for this Olympic Games is great, but it is high time to move up a gear.”

He explained that 15 test events are still to come, along with the training for 45,000 volunteers: “it’s a huge workload.”

Estanguet said “the plan is being unfolded, without any major stumbling blocks … a climate of trust, confidence, serenity, enthusiasm in the run-up to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, so the indicators are promising.

“But as Pierre-Olivier said, we know that the last stretch is decisive in order to turn this potential into a genuine, full-fledged success. We will remain focused, mobilized, ambitious because we still have a long way to go.”

As for the historic opening on the Seine River, Estanguet confirmed that the ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m. Paris time: “We want to make the most of the natural light,” as sunset will be at 9:36 p.m.

As for some low opinion polls about the Games inside France, Beckers-Vieujant observed:

“In opinion surveys, we can see that usually we have less support in the months right before the Games, but in London [2012] – this is the closest edition that we can think of when we think of Paris 2024 – but it’s important to know that when the Games were over in London, most of the population was finally more enthusiastic, and very optimistic and they were actually saying, most people were ready to organize the Games again.

“This is pretty much the same thing … We’re not surprised.”

Estanguet noted that, as another expression of the popularity of the Games, 8.8 million tickets have been sold and the number of applications for volunteer positions was well beyond expectations.

Beckers-Vieujant was asked if Russian and Belarusian athletes are being banned from Paris:

“Today, this is not the case. So the athletes who have a Russian or a Belarus passport that will be participating in the Games are not banned from participating in the opening ceremony.

“No firm decision has been made regarding this topic. So the Executive Board will have to review this at the next meeting [19-21 March].”

The IOC stated in a release that “nearly 55 per cent of the athlete quota places now allocated – to 5,779 athletes” as of 5 March.

Burns: 10 elements of success for Olympic sponsors

He did it again. Terrence Burns, who led Delta’s Olympic sponsorship program for the 1996 Atlanta Games and has continued as an Olympic marketing leader ever since, posted a concise roadmap to success for Olympic sponsors and those who should be on his LinkedIn page last Friday:

Paris 2024 is ready – it will be glorious. And LA28 awaits right around the corner.

LA28 represents the decade’s best sponsorship opportunity in North America. The 2026 FIFA World Cup is also a brilliant global brand and product.

However, regarding differentiation, LA28’s brand proposition is much deeper and more connected to American consumers.

– The Olympics are not about tribalism; they’re about unity.
– The Olympics are not about superstars; they’re about kids with dreams.
– The Olympics are not just about sports but also universal human values that are still relevant today in their third millennium.

So, LA28 sponsors or prospective sponsors, here you go:

1. Ensure Olympic sponsorship is linked to your overall business strategy; don’t do it if it can’t be.

2. Olympic sponsorship must be led from the C-Suite yet activated company-wide, even internally.

3. Set a maximum of 4 measurable goals; if they can’t be measured, they’re not goals.

4. “Service brand” sponsors – Your employees are your brand ambassadors, and Olympic sponsorship is a powerful tool for motivating them.

5. Consumers know the Olympic values; use them in your activations.

6. Tell your consumers i) why you are a sponsor, ii) what value you bring to the Games, and iii) link your firm’s values to the Olympic values.

7. Start early and stay consistent.

8. Differentiate your sponsorship; other sponsors are competing for the same mind share – don’t be Olympic wallpaper.

9. Flood the zone; defeat “me too” and ambush competitors before they get started.

10. Have fun and be part of history.

The LA28, USOPP/USOPC, and IOC teams will be your best partners.

This follows his 18 February Twitter post on the sponsor “expectations gap” between what the Olympic Games uniquely offers vis-a-vis a sponsorship of the NFL or other commercial sports league.

Surely, there is a book, lecture series or documentary in this, as Burns has seen the deterioration of the understanding of how the structure of the Olympic Games and Olympic Movement sets it apart from professional sports which operate on an annual basis.

French government promises civil service bonuses

Reacting to a strike threat from the CGT union, the French Minister for Transformation and Public Administration, Stanislas Guerini, said Saturday that there would be bonus payments for civil service workers during the Olympic and Paralympic Games period.

In a radio interview, Guerini said that added pay will be available “for all agents who will be on the ground” during the period of the Games, “of 500, 1,000 and 1,500 euros,” but without explaining the conditions (€1 = $1.09 U.S.). He added that vouchers would be available for child care, of €200 per child and €350 for child for single-parent families:

“We are going to set up nursery places, reserve 1,000 places in holiday centers to be able to further help families who send children to camp.”

France’s CGT union (General Confederation of Labor) called Friday for a strike to demand bonuses for workers during the Games period, starting in July. The French Interior Ministry announced in late January that bonuses of €1,000 up to €1,900 would be paid to police during the Games period, depending on their assignments.

Guerini told FranceInfo, “the position of the CGT is not that of all public service unions, not one has announced to me their intention to strike during the Olympics.

“The whole country wants to avoid strikes during the Olympic Games. The Games have to be a success for the whole nation.”

Meanwhile, the City of Paris is testing video surveillance enhanced with artificial intelligence programming under a law passed last year allowing limited usage for the Games on a test basis. According to Reuters:

“The law allows for eight different ‘events’ to be flagged by AI surveillance software during the Games that include: crowd surges; abnormally heavy crowds; abandoned objects; presence or use of weapons; a person on the ground; a fire breaking out; contravention of rules on traffic direction.”

Four companies are working together on systems to allow automated reviews of video surveillance to identify potential threats. A test was successfully made of a Depeche Mode concert last week.

L.A. delegation signs cooperation agreement, tours Paris facilities

A seven-member City of Los Angeles delegation included Mayor Karen Bass and three City Council members has returned from a four-day visit to Paris, specifically themed to the 2024 Olympic Games with a view forward to the 2028 Games in Los Angeles.

They met with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and business leaders to discuss new commercial opportunities in housing, transportation and infrastructure. A Business France office – the government’s business promotion arm – was opened in Los Angeles in January.

As homelessness continues to be a major issue in Los Angeles, the delegation toured a shelter for women and La Fabrique de la Solidarité, an outreach and support program for seniors, and a training and coordination agency for homeless action. The Paris plan for dealing with its homeless population during the 2024 Games was reviewed. Said Bass:

“As we’re here in Paris, our Inside Safe team has been working on the ground to get Angelenos into the housing they deserve, and from Paris, we are learning how Parisians are confronting homelessness.”

Bass signed a three-year cooperation agreement with the Mayor of Saint-Ouen-sur-Seine, Karim Bouamrane, “to cooperate in the fields of youth, sustainability, sports, and culture, with the aim of developing joint projects that promote the exchange of know-how and best practices, as well as the promotion of common values.”

A visit was made to the Olympic and Paralympic Village in Saint-Denis, and part of the delegation was briefed on the Paris plans for a City of Paris media center at the Carreau du Temple, especially for media not accredited for the Olympic or Paralympic Games and who are interested in the city more than the sporting events.

Biles to headline post-Games “Gold Over America” tour

Simone Biles has the Olympic Games in Paris in her sights this summer, but she and some friends will be busy between September and the start of November in the Gold Over America Tour.

The shows will start in Oceanside, California on 17 September and head to Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Jose before heading east for the remainder of a 30-event schedule. The tour will go through Utah, Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, Florida, Missouri, Texas, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and finish in Detroit, Michigan on 3 November.

Biles, of course, is the star, the 30-time World Championships medal winner, and the early promotion identifies U.S. women’s team member – and six-time Worlds medal winner – Shilese Jones, 2023 World Championships men’s All-Around bronze medalist Fred Richard and French star Melanie de Jesus dos Santos, the four-time European Championships gold medalist.

More will be added, and the promotion promises “a pop concert-style spectacle showcasing athletic brilliance, championship journeys and of course, the Gold Squad dancers.”

This tour was previously organized after the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021, with each program running about 110 minutes, including intermission.

The program represents a change from prior arrangements before Tokyo, when USA Gymnastics was mounting post-Olympic tours. But in the aftermath of the Larry Nassar scandal, any cooperation with the federation was not going to happen


● Sailing ● The 49er and 49er FX class World Championships were held off Lanzarote (ESP), with the French team of Erwan Fischer and Clement Pequin making history with their first-ever win in the men’s 49er class.

They won four races and placed in the top three in 10 others to finish with 58 net points, well ahead of three-time defending champs Bart Lambrieux and Floris van de Werken (NED: 96) and last year’s bronze winners, Diego Botin and Florian Trittel Paul (ESP: 106).

France’s last medal in the 49er class came in 2018, a silver for Matthieu Frei and Noe Delpech. Andrew Mollerus and Ian MacDiarmid of the U.S. finished eighth (139).

The women 49erFX title for 2024 went to Odile van Aanholt and Annette Duetz (NED), who won in 2022 and finished second last year. They sailed to five wins and had five more top-three finishes on the way to 63 points and the win.

It’s the third world title for van Aanholt, who also won with Elise de Ruijter in 2021, and worlds gold no. four for Duetz, who also won twice with Annemiek Bekkering in 2018 and 2019.

Sweden’s defending champs, Vilma Bobeck and Rebecca Netzler, finished second at 80, with four wins and four more top-three finishes for their third straight Worlds with a medal. Jana Germani and Giorgia Bertuzzi (ITA: 104) were first-time Worlds medalists in third.

The top American boat was 11th, with Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea, the 2020 bronze medal winners (134).

● Speed Skating ● The amazing Jordan Stolz, the American teen who won back-to-back triple titles at the World Single Distance Championships in 2023 and 2024, took on a new challenge at the ISU Allround Championships in Inzell (GER).

Stolz won the 500-1,000-1,500 m individual titles, but now would be asked to stretch out to 5,000 and 10,000 m to try for the Allround title, first contested in 1893. And he got off to a good start.

On Saturday he blitzed the field as expected in the 500 m, winning in a track record of 34.10, ahead of Japan’s Shomu Sasaki (35.43). In the 5,000 m – way out of his comfort zone – he finished a creditable seventh in 6:14.76, a lifetime best and enough to give him a 3.42-second lead going into Sunday’s races.

Italian star Davide Ghiotto, the 2023-24 10,000 m World Champion, took the 5,000 m at 6:06.28, another track record, with two-time 5,000 m World Champion Patrick Roest (NED: 6:06.55) second.

The 1,000 m on Sunday was another showcase for Stolz, winning in a track record of 1:41.78, ahead of Roest (1:43.37) and increasing his lead going into the 10,000 m. Ghiotto won that race in another track record – 12:40.61 – over Roest (12:51.81), while Stolz was sixth with a lifetime best of 13:04.76. Despite being more than 24 seconds behind the winner, Stolz took the Allround gold at 144.740 points to 145.761 for three-time champ Roest (20.42 seconds behind) and 147.258 for Norway’s Hallgeir Engebraten.

This was a major accomplishment for Stolz, 19, the first American to win this title since Shani Davis did it in 2005 and 2006. The only other Americans to win an Allround were Eric Heiden (1977-78-79), Eric Flaim (1888) and and Chad Hedrick (2004). Very, very impressive.

In the women’s Allround, Japanese star Miho Takagi won the 500 m at 37.56, ahead of Mei Han (CHN: 38.01) and Dutch skaters Joy Beune (3:55.72) and Marijke Groenewoud (3:57.94) were 1-2 in the 3,000 m, giving Groenewould the overnight lead over Beune by 78.296 to 78.456.

On Sunday, Beune won the 1,500 m in 1:52.65, a track record, ahead of Han (1:52.97), and then swept the 5,000 m in 6:52.62 over Norway’s Ragne Wiklund (6:53.51), to give her the title, 157.268 to 157.720 over Groenewoud, with teammate Antoinette de Jong-Rijpma third overall (158.219). American Greta Myers was 10th (118.518).

Although Beune’s first, it’s the third straight title for the Dutch, after Ireen Wust’s seventh win in 2020, and Irene Schouten in 2022.

The World Sprint Championships were held on Thursday and Friday, with China’s Zhongyan Ning taking the men’s title at 136.680 seconds, with Jenning De Boo (NED: 1:37.050) second and Canadian Laurent Debreuil (137.515) in third. Ning, second to Stolz in the Single Distance Worlds 1,000 m this year, won both of the 1,000 m races and was fifth and second in the 500 m races to secure the win. Debreuil won the first 500 m and De Boo won the second.

Zach Stoppelmoor was the only American, in 16th at 139.030.

Japan’s Takagi, the Beijing 2022 1,000 m winner, won her second Sprint title – also in 2020 – 147.545, beating Femke Kok (NED: 148.100; her second Sprint Champs silver) and defending champion Jutta Leerdam (NED: 148.265).

Takagi won the first 1,000 m was second in the others, and finished 2-4 in the 500 m races. Emerging U.S. star Kimi Goetz was fourth at 149.855 and Beijing 2022 500 m gold winner Erin Jackson was seventh, finishing fourth and third in the 500s and ninth and 11th in the 1,000s.


● Alpine Skiing ● The women’s World Cup was in Are (SWE) for a Giant Slalom and Slalom, with Italian star – and Beijing 2022 runner-up – Federica Brignone continuing her late-season surge with her fifth win of the season in the Giant Slalom in 2:11.02.

That was 0.33 better than Sara Hector (SWE) and 0.40 up on seasonal leader Lara Gut-Behrami (SUI: 2:11.42). Americans Paula Moltzan and A.J. Hurt were 10-11 in 2:13.11 and 2:13.44, respectively.

On Sunday, U.S. star Mikaela Shiffrin returned in a big way, destroying a good field and winning both runs on the way to a 1:42.95 to 1:44.19 victory over Zrinka Ljutic (CRO) and Swiss Michelle Gisin (1:44.29). Moltzan was 10th in 1:45.02.

It’s Shiffrin’s 96th career World Cup gold, extending her own record, with 59 in the Slalom, by far the most races any skier has won in a single discipline. She said afterwards:

“There has been so much uncertainty coming into this race – the biggest goal I had was just to ski good skiing in the final races of the season. Just to have the chance to do that again before the season is over, it felt so important so I can prove that I have the right pace and the right mentality to close out the season.

“We weren’t sure it would work and now we look back at this, my whole team – everybody is like ‘oh my gosh, you’ve got to be kidding me.’ I’m in a dream right now.”

● Athletics ● The big mark from the NCAA Indoor Championships at The Track at New Balance in Boston, Massachusetts, was the world-leading long jump for Jamaica’s Worlds silver medalist Wayne Pinnock at 8.40 m (27-6 3/4), competing for Arkansas.

In fact, the Razorbacks won the men’s team title once again – for the 21st time – and finished second in the women’s race to Texas Tech, which won its first NCAA indoor track & field team championship.

Terrence Jones (BAH), the men’s world leader at 200 m, won that event for Texas Tech at 20.23, the no. 3 performance of the year, to go along with his 60 m win at 6.54. Christopher Morales Williams (CAN) of Georgia, won the men’s 400 m at 44.67, the no. 7 performance in history.

Harvard’s Kenneth Ikeji (GBR), already no. 3 on the world list for 2024, won the weight at 24.32 m (79-9 1/2). NCAA decathlon champ Leo Neugebauer (Texas/GER) won the heptathlon with 6,347 points, now no. 5 in the world this year.

LSU’s Brianna Lyston (JAM) won the women’s 60 m and moved to no. 5 on the world list at 7.03, ahead of Kalia Jackson of Georgia (7.08). South Carolina frosh JaMeesia Ford, already no. 2 in the world at 200 m for 2024, improved to 22.34 to win easily.

Amber Anning (GBR), already no. 4 on the world indoor list at 400 m, won that event for Arkansas in 50.79. Stanford soph Juliette Whittaker set a championships record in the 800 m, winning in 1:59.53 (no.8 for 2024) over Michaela Rose (LSU: 1:59.81).

Florida junior Parker Valby, the 2023 NCAA 5,000 m winner, doubled in the 3,000 m (8:41.50 meet record) and in the 5,000 m, with a collegiate indoor mark of 14:52.79, no. 7 on the 2024 world indoor list.

Jasmine Jones of USC, the USATF runner-up, won the 60 m hurdles and moved to no. 5 in the world for 2024 at 7.77. Arkansas soph Rachel Glenn pulled a major upset in the high jump, winning with a lifetime best of 2.00 m (6-6 3/4), to defeat two-time defending champ Lamara Distin (Texas A&M/JAM: 1.97 m/6-5 1/2).

Texas Tech senior Ruta Lasmane (LAT) won the triple jump and moved to no. 5 on the world list at 14.47 m (47-5 3/4).

Japan’s Yuka Ando scored a surprise win at the 44th Nagoya Women’s Marathon on Sunday, finally taking the victory in a race in which she had been second in 2017 and 2020.

Eight were in the lead pack through the halfway mark, with seven together through 25 km, but only three at 30 km: Sheila Chepkirui (KEN), 2022 World Champion Gotytom Gebreslase (ETH) and 2023 Asian Games champion Eunice Chumba (BRN).

Chepkirui was dropped by 35 km and Gebreslase and Chumba continued at the front in 1:56:21, with Japan’s Ando at 1:56:42 and Rika Kaseda fourth (1:56:50). Then Gebreslase dropped and at 40 km, Ando had caught Chumba (2:13:53), with Ayuko Suzuki well back in third (2:14:09) and Kaseda at 2:14:17.

Ando had the best finish and won in 2:21:18 to 2:21:25 for Chumba, with Suzuki – second in 2023 – finishing third in 2:21:33 and Suzuki fourth in 2:22:11.

● Badminton ● China rolled up three wins in an impressive performance at the French Open in Paris (FRA). Second-seeded Yu Qi Shu won the men’s Singles over Kunlavut Vitidsarn (THA), 22-20, 21-19 and top-seeded Qing Chen Chen and Yi Fan Jia survived a challenge from Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida (JPN), 21-12, 19-21, 24-22!

In the Mixed Doubles, Yan Zhe Feng and Dong Ping Huang (CHN) swept aside Seung-jae Seo and Yu-jung Chae (KOR), 21-16, 21-16.

Korea did get a won from top-seeded Se Young An (KOR) in the women’s Singles, defeating Akane Yamaguchi (JPN), 18-21, 21-13, 21-10.

India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty won the men’s Doubles, 21-11, 21-17, over Jhe-Huei Lee and Po-Hsuan Yang (TPE).

● Beach Volleyball ● The Beach Pro Tour’s Elite 16 schedule for 2024 opened in Doha (QAT) with a couple of breakthrough performances that may signal bigger things ahead.

In the men’s draw, the Dutch pair of Stefan Boermans and Yorick De Groot had won a couple of Beach Pro Tour medals last season, but seeded sixth, showed they are capable of much more with a convincing win over 2023 Worlds silver medalists David Ahman and Jonatan Hellvig of Sweden, 21-11, 21-10. Olympic champs Anders Mol and Christian Sorum could not solve the Dutchmen in their semifinal, but won the bronze by 21-18, 21-19 over Nils Ehlers and Clemens Wickler (GER).

Brazil’s Carol Solberg and Barbara Seixas won three Challenge-level tournaments last year, but finally got their first Elite 16 victory with a 21-18, 21-18 win over 2019 World Champions Melissa Human-Paredes and Brandie Wilkerson (CAN).

Americans Sara Hughes and Kelly Cheng, the 2023 World Champions, took the bronze, 21-15, 21-18 over Latvia’s Tina Graudina and Anastasija Samoilova.

● Biathlon ● The IBU World Cup moved to Soldier Hollow, Utah for the eighth of nine stops in the 2023-24 season, with France winning both events on Saturday. The women’s win by Beijing Olympic Mass Start winner Justine Braisaz-Bouchet was no surprise in the 7.5 km Sprint (20:42.7/1 penalty), with Ingrid Tandrevold (NOR: 20:56.1/0) second and France’s Lou Jeanmonnot (21:01.9/0) third.

Jeanmonnot dueled to the finish with Italy’s triple Worlds medal winner Lisa Vittozzi in Sunday’s 10 km Pursuit, winning by just 0.4 seconds in 26:51.7 (1) to 26:52.1 (2). France’s Julia Simon was third in 27:52.7 (2). It was Jeanmonnot’s third win of the season, but first since 3 December 2023!

The surprise came in the first career World Cup win for France’s Eric Perrot in the men’s 10 km Sprint, in 22:19.8 (0), followed by teammate Emilien Jacquelin (22:23.7/2) and Johan-Olav Botn (NOR: 22:31.1/0). Campbell Wright of the U.S. was an encouraging sixth (22:39.8/1).

The men’s 12.5 km Pursuit on Sunday was a 1-2 for the Boe brothers, with Johannes Thingnes Boe winning at 30:02.0 (1) ahead of older brother Tarjei Boe (30:08.4/2), with Jacquelin getting the bronze (30:09.1/3). Wright was 14th for the U.S., in 31:43.1 (4).

In the men’s 4×7.5 km relay, Norway was the runaway winner in 1:13:12.3 (5), ahead of Italy (1:13:38.8/8) and Germany (1:13:19.6/8). The U.S. was fourth in 1:14:42.3 (9), with Vincent Bonacci, Sean Doherty, Wright and Jake Brown.

Norway took the women’s 4×6 km in 1:04:15.5 (5), well ahead of Germany (1:04:32.7/7) and Sweden (1:04.57.5/10).

● Cross Country Skiing ● The iconic 50 km Classical Mass Start races at the Holmenkollen in Oslo (NOR) were the focus this week, with Swedish distance star Frida Karlsson getting her third win of the season in 2:20:20.3, ahead of teammate Ebba Andersson (2:21:39.6) and Katharina Hennig (GER: 2:21:45.5). American Jessie Diggins, the seasonal leader, finished 11th in 2:24:28.7 and has a 2,437 to 2,278 lead over Swede Linn Svahn heading into the last four races of the season.

Sunday’s men’s 50 km Classical was the third straight win for Norwegian star Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo, in 2:06:50.4, sprinting to the line ahead of teammates Martin Nyenget (2:06:50.8) and Paal Golberg (2:06:51.5). The top six finished within five seconds!

It was Klaebo’s 12th win of the season and he closed to within 2.345 to 2,143 of seasonal leader Harald Amundsen (NOR), with four races left.

● Cycling ● A sensational Sunday for U.S. cycling at the 82nd edition of Paris-Nice, with Matteo Jorgenson claiming a historic win and Brandon McNulty finishing third for the first American medals in the event since 2013!

The American surge started in Friday’s sixth stage, a hilly, 198.2 km ride to La Colle-sur-Loop, with huge downhill sections, won by Mattias Skjelmose (DEN) in 4:36:51, with McNulty and Jorgenson given the same time in second and third. Those finished moved McNulty and Jorgenson to 1-2 in the overall standings.

Saturday’s 104 km route from Nice to La Madone d’Utelle finished with a major uphill climb, and Russian Alexander Vlasov won the stage in 2:44:03, with Jorgenson fifth and McNulty eighth. Going into Sunday’s finale, McNulty remained in front, but by just four seconds on Jorgenson.

Neither won the punishing, six-climb, 109.3 km final stage, but Belgian star Remco Evenepoel attacked with about 40 km to go on the Cote d’Peille and only Jorgenson and Vlasov could stay close. Vlasov fell back., but Evenepoel and Jorgenson finished 1-2, with the same time of 2:50:03.McNulty was fifth, but 1:39 behind, so Jorgenson got the race win in 27:50:23, with Evenepoel moving up from fourth to second (+0:30) and McNulty getting third (+1:47).

It’s the biggest win so far for Jorgenson, 24, who won the Tour of Oman last year and is the first American winner of this race since Floyd Landis in 2006, with Bobby Julich winning in 2005. The last U.S. medalist was Andrew Talansky in 2013 in second.

McNulty, 25, won a Giro d’Italia stage in 2023, but this was a major achievement and the first time ever that two Americans won medals in this race.

Also finishing Sunday was the 59th Tirreno-Adriatico in San Benedetto del Tronto (ITA), with a 154 km stage won by Italy’s Jonathan Milan, who led after stage four. But then came Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard (DEN), who won Friday’s mountain stage by 1:12 and Saturday’s uphill finish to the Monte Petrano in Cagli by 0:26, to power into the lead.

Vingegaard finished the seven stages in 26:22:23 for a 1:24 win over Juan Ayuso (ESP) and 1:52 up on Jai Hundley (AUS). It’s the Dane’s first win in this race, after finishing second overall in 2022.

Dutch star Lorena Wiebes powered out of a group of seven in the final 200 m and won her fourth consecutive Ronde van Drenthe title over the 158.1 km route from Beilen to Drijber (NED).

Fellow Dutch rider Puck Pieterse attacked with about 30 km left, drawing seven with her, with the race coming down to the final meters. Italy’s Elisa Balsamo tried a final surge, but Wiebes was also be get clear and finished two seconds up at 4:09:09, with Balsamo second and Pieterse third (+0:04).

Balsamo’s silver was her second in three years in this race, also in 2022.

● Fencing ● France’s 2018 World Champion Yannick Borel claimed the men’s gold at the FIE Epee Grand Prix in Budapest (HUN). Now 35, he defeated Hungary’s 2019 World Champion, Gergely Siklosi in the final by 15-11. It’s Borel’s sixth career Grand Prix gold and ninth medal overall.

Hungary went 1-2 in the women’s Epee final as Anna Kun took a 15-11 win over 21-year-old Eszter Mihari. Kun, ranked third worldwide, won her first career Grand Prix gold, after two silvers in this tournament in 2022 and 2023.

● Football ● The final of the inaugural CONCACAF W Gold Cup crowned the U.S. women as champion after a taut, 1-0 victory over previously undefeated Brazil, before a big crowd of 31,528 at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego, California.

The game started with Brazil on offense, threatening repeatedly, with U.S. keeper Alyssa Naeher wearing a worried look as midfielder Duda Sampaio’s curving free kick in the 10th went just wide of the American goal, and forward Gabi Portilho’s shot from the right side of the box in the 22nd was just high.

But as the game wore on, the U.S. got better possessions, and almost scored on a header by star midfielder Lindsey Horan off a corner from midfielder Rose Lavelle that was saved by Brazilian keeper Luciana. Another opportunity came at 45+1, as defender Emily Fox sent an arcing ball from the right side all the way to the far goal post, where both Horan and striker Alex Morgan were positioned, and Horan headed the ball back across the goal and into the net for a 1-0 lead.

Brazil had 53% of possession in the half and a 6-3 edge on shots, but was trailing. The game was physical, with 12 fouls in the half, eight from the U.S.

The U.S. stayed on offense in the second half, with Luciana having to come out of the box to head away a possible free run by Morgan off a Horan lead pass over the Brazilian defenders in the 52nd.

Morgan, the celebrated striker, was especially aggressive on defense, receiving a yellow card in the 55th and nearly got a second in the 59th; she was subbed out for Sophia Smith in the 60th. Lynn Williams scored in the 79th off a feed from Smith, but the goal was called off for offsides.

Brazil kept attacking and Julia Bianchi drew a free kick from on top of the box in the 90th, but Debinha, subbed in as a striker, sent a curling shot that went outside the net. The game ended with Brazil at 56% of possession and 11-7 on shots; the U.S. committed 15 fouls to eight for Brazil and the robust defense was the key to the victory.

● Freestyle Skiing ● The all-time leader for FIS World Cup wins in Moguls and Dual Moguls swept the weekend at the FIS World Cup in Almaty (KAZ): Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury.

He won Friday’s Moguls final at 84.89 to 83.48 for Japan’s 2017 World Champion Ikuma Horishima and 80.81 for four-time Worlds medalist Matt Graham (AUS), then took Saturday’s Dual Moguls title, beating home favorite Pavel Kolmakov (KAZ) in the final. American Landon Wendler, 23, won his first career World Cup medal in third.

Kingsbury’s two wins extend his wins record to 92, with nine this season.

Beijing Olympic Moguls champ Jakara Anthony came in having won six of seven Moguls events this season and five straight in Dual Moguls, and took top honors in both once again. She scored 82.74 Friday’s Moguls, over Americans Alli Macuga (76.17), Hannah Soar (73.84) and Beijing 2022 Moguls runner-up Jaelin Kauf (71.94). On Saturday, Anthony won the Dual Moguls final over Kauf for the fourth World Cup in a row, with Olivia Giaccio of the U.S. taking the bronze.

Sunday brought the sixth and final Aerials event of the season, with men’s Olympic champ Guangpu Qi winning for the third time in six events at 119.91, ahead of teammate Guochen Wang (115.93) and 2021 Worlds runner-up Chris Lillis of the U.S. (114.16).

Qi won the seasonal title with 440 points, to 300 for Pirmin Werner (SUI) and 298 for Lillis.

Canada’s Beijing 2022 team bronze winner Marion Thenault won the first event of the season in Ruka (FIN) in December and she won the finale in Almaty at 94.11 points, ahead of three-time Worlds medalist Danielle Scott (AUS: 87.25) and China’s 2023 World Champion, Fanyu Kong (82.21).

Scott won the seasonal title with 420 points, to 378 for American Winter Vinecki and 311 for Thenault.

● Gymnastics ● The third of four FIG Apparatus World Cup events was in Baku (AZE), with Ukraine taking two wins in the men’s competitions, by Ilia Kovtun and Nazar Chepurnyi. Kovtun, the 2023 Worlds All-Around runner-up, won on Parallel Bars at 14.900, on criteria over China’s Tokyo Olympic champion, Jingyuan Zou (also 14.900).

Worlds bronze medalist Chepurnyi won a tight battle on Vault at 14.900 over Wai Hung Shek (HKG) and Britain’s Harry Hepworth, both at 14.866. American Stephen Nedoroscik, 2021 Worlds Pommel Horse winner, tied for gold with Tokyo Olympic runner-up Chih-kai Lee (TPE) as both scored 15.400.

Tokyo Olympic runner-up Hao You took the Rings at 14.900, with Zou second (14.866). Belarus got a win from Yahor Sharamkou on Floor (14.933), and Lithuania’s Robert Tvorogal won on Horizontal Bar (14.333) on criteria from Arthur Mariano (BRA) and Angel Barajas (COL).

Algerian star Kaylia Nemour, 17, the 2023 Worlds silver winner on Uneven Bars, won for the second World Cup in a row at 15.433, more than a point clear of the field. American Katelyn Jong, also 17, took the bronze at 13.733.

Bulgaria’s Valentina Georgieva won on Vault (13.799), Qingying Zhang (CHN: 14.233) took the honors in Beam and Charlize Moerz (AUT: 13.566) won on Floor.

At the USA Gymnastics Winter Classic for Trampoline and Tumbling in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Elijah Vogel won the men’s senior-level Trampoline final at 56.890, ahead of Trevor Harder (54.240) and two-time national synchro champ Cody Gesuelli (53.740).

Two-time national individual champion Sarah Webster took the women’s title at 55.060, from Ava DeHaines (53.140) and Ava Hernando (52.990).

● Judo ● A big field of 529 judoka from 78 countries piled in to the Upper Austria Grand Prix in Linz (AUT), with 28 nations winning medals, led by Brazil.

The Brazilians took three golds to lead all nations, in the men’s 100 kg with Leonardo Goncalves, in the women’s 52 kg via 2023 Pan American Games champ Larissa Pimenta and at +78 kg by Beatriz Souza, the 2022 Worlds silver winner.

Japan scored two wins, from Keita Hadano in the men’s 66 kg, and by Mitsuki Kondo in the women’s 48 kg class.

Rio and Tokyo Olympic +100 kg gold winner Lukas Krpalek (CZE) took the men’s +100 kg class, with Tokyo runner-up Guram Tushishvili (GEO) finishing third. The U.S. scored a bronze medal in the men’s 73 kg by emerging star Jack Yonezuka, 20, the 2023 World Junior silver winner.

● Modern Pentathlon ● Happy fans at the UIPM World Cup I in Cairo (EGY), as home stars Ahmed Elgendy and Moutaz Mohamed went 1-2 in the men’s final, scoring 1,513 and 1,511 points, respectively. Elgendy won the riding and was second in swimming, and started with Poland’s Kamil Kasperczak in the Laser Run, with Mohamed nine seconds back.

Elgendy, the Tokyo 2020 silver medalist, was fifth-fastest in the final event, and Mohamed made up all but two seconds as the fourth-fastest, but had to settle for second. Kasperczak was only ninth-best in the Laser Run and was third overall (1,503).

Hungary’s Michelle Gulyas, already a six-time Worlds medal winner at age 23, won the women’s competition with 1,423 points to 1,415 for Korea’s 2022 Asian Games silver winner Sun-woo Kim, with 2023 Worlds bronze winner Kerenza Bryson (GBR: 1,409) third.

Gulyas won the fencing and was fourth in swimming and had 14-second head start in the Laser Run over Kim. The Hungarian was only 11th in the Laser Run, but Kim was ninth and finished eight seconds behind at the finish.

Mexico’s Duilio Carrillo and Mariana Arceo won the Mixed Relay at 1,350, finishing second in fencing and riding and fourth in the Laser Run, over Kazakhstan and Korea.

● Nordic Combined ● Already the seasonal FIS World Cup champ for the fifth time, home favorite Jarl Magnus Riiber thrilled fans in Oslo (NOR) with a huge win on Saturday, off the 134 m hill and 10 km race, finishing in 23:51.0 to 25.19.6 for 2023 champ Johannes Lamparter (AUT) and teammate Stefan Rettenegger (25:24.5).

On Sunday, Rieber completed the weekend sweep, winning in 23:49.8, with Lamparter at 25:00.4 and Estonia’s Kristjian Ilves third (26:13.8).

The women’s World Cup in Oslo was off the 106 m hill with a 5 km race, won by Norway’s Ida Marie Hagen (14:47.6) in front of teammates Mari Leinan Lund (14:50.2) and Gyda Westvold Hansen (15:25.5).

The season will finish next week in Trondheim (NOR).

● Skateboard ● Japan’s 2023 Worlds silver medalist, Kairi Neysuke, scored an impressive win at the Dubai Street qualifier in the UAE that finished Sunday. He had the no. 2 run of the day at 85.21 and the second-highest trick score to finish at 263.74, barely ahead of Portugal’s two-time Worlds medalist, Gustavo Ribeiro (263.70), who had the highest routine score at 89.70. Reigning World Champion Sora Shirai (JPN) was third at 261.19.

The women’s winner was Japan’s 15-year-old Liz Akama, at 270.84 for her second career World Tour gold, ahead of 2022 Worlds silver medalist, 14-year-old Chloe Covell (AUS: 267.29) and 14-year-old Coco Yoshizawa (JPN: 253.79). Covell had the highest run score of the finals at 93.49 in the second round.

● Ski Jumping ● The annual Raw Air tournament in Norway is on, starting in Oslo on the 134 m hill and continuing through the week. In the men’s FIS World Cup final on Saturday, it was three-time World Champion and seasonal leader Stefan Kraft (AUT: 255.0) winning for the 11th time this season. Kristoffer Sundal (NOR: 246.2) and Jan Hoerl (AUT: 242.5) went 2-3.

On Sunday, the 2018 Olympic Normal Hill silver winner, home favorite Johann Forfang got his second win of the season at 261.0, ahead of Japanese star Ryoyu Kobayashi (260.0) and Kraft (254.9). With six events left, Kraft now leads Kobayashi, 1,738 to 1,462.

The first women’s event was a one-round competition and the second win of the season for home favorite Silje Opseth (NOR: 109.3), over Katharina Schmid (GER: 109.0) and Eirin Kvandal (NOR: 105.0).

Sunday’s two-rounder saw Kvandal take the victory at 242.2, with 18-year-old Nika Prevc (SLO: 240.0) in second and Austria’s Eva Pinkelnig third (231.4). Teen Prevc continues to lead the seasonal standings with 1,225 points to 1,036 for Pinkelnig, with five events to go.

● Snowboard ● Beijing Olympic runner-up Eliot Grondin (CAN) got his fifth win in eight events in the FIS World Cup SnowCross final in Cortina d’Ampezzo (ITA), beating Beijing Olympian Jake Vedder of the U.S. and 2018 Olympic silver winner Jarryd Hughes (AUS) in the final.

The 2021 World Champion, Charlotte Bankes (GBR) won the women’s final, beating Sochi Olympic champ Eva Adamczykova (CZE) and 2018 Olympic gold medalist Michela Moioli (ITA) to the line. It’s the third win for Bankes in the last four races.

At the FIS World Cup in Parallel Slalom in Winterberg (GER), it was 2018 Olympic Parallel Giant Slalom runner-up Sang-ho Lee (KOR) who got his second win of the season, ahead of three-time World Champion Andreas Prommegger (AUT, 43!) and Italy’s Maurizio Bormolini in third.

This was the last race of the season and the Parallel men’s title went to Beijing Olympic Parallel Giant Slalom winner Benjamin Karl (AUT: 626 points), ahead of Prommegger (560) and Bromolini (548).

The women’s winner in Winterberg was Czech star Ester Ledecka – the two-time Olympic Parallel Giant Slalom gold medalist – winning for the third time this season, this time over Sabine Schoeffmann (AUT) and Lucia Dalmasso (ITA). Germany’s Ramona Theresia Hofmeister, the two-time Worlds medalist, won the season title at 786, with Tsubaki Miki (JPN: 639) and Schoeffmann (638) trailing.

● Sport Climbing ● At the USA Climbing National Team Trials in Gaithersburg, Maryland, 12th-ranked Helen Gillett won the Bouldering title at 4T16 ~ 4Z10, ahead of Analise van Hoang (3T8 ~ 3Z6) and Nekaia Sanders (3T10 ~ 3Z8).

In Lead, 16th-ranked Anastasia Sanders won with two points and 36 golds, over Olivia Ma (2/36) and Adriene Akiko Clark (2/36). Sophia Curcio won the Speed final, 7.338 to 8.162, against Kaitlyn Bone.

The men’s Bouldering winner was no. 2-ranked Hugo Hoyer (4T4 ~ 4Z4), who was more efficient than third-ranked Dillon Countryman (4T12 ~ 4Z6). Benjamin Hanna finished third (2T2 ~ 3Z3).

Declan Osgood took the men’s Lead division at 1.5 points and 40, with Hoyer at 1.5 and 40 for second. Noah Bratschi won the Speed final over Richard Li, 5.290 to 5.417.

● Swimming ● Some interesting results from the Tyr Pro Swim Series meet in Westmont, Illinois, including clear progress being made by five-time Tokyo gold medalist Caeleb Dressel of the U.S.

Dressel had his best meet since withdrawing from the 2022 World Aquatics Championships, winning the 50 m Free – even though his blocks failed at the start – in 21.84, was barely out-touched by Worlds bronze winner Jack Alexy in the 100 m Free, 48.37-48.57, and won the 100 m Butterfly in 51.27, no. 6 on the 2024 world list.

There’s a long way to go for Dressel to reach his championship form, but he is trending in the right direction.

Backstroke star Ryan Murphy took both the 100 m (53.23) and 200 m (1:58.34) events, while Iceland’s Anton McKee won the 100 m Breast in 1:00.48 and 200 m Breast in 2:10.03.

Tokyo Olympic champ Chase Kalisz won the men’s 400 m Medley in 4:13.52, then tied with Hugo Gonzalez (ESP) in the 200 m Medley at 1:57.76. Kalisz also finished second in the 200 m Fly to Luca Orlando (1:56.25 to 1:56.67).

Two-time backstroke World Champion Regan Smith had a fabulous meet, winning the 100 m Back in 57.64 and the 200 m Back in 2:03.99, then added the 200 m Fly in 2:04.80 and had a rip-roaring battle with Torri Huske, the 2022 World 100 m Fly gold medalist in that event, finishing second, 56.13 to 56.36 (a lifetime best!).

Huske was busy, taking the 100 m Fly – that 56.13 time would have won the 2024 Worlds – and winning the 50 m Free from Rio 2016 100 m Free co-champ Simone Manuel, 24.31-24.49, and then the 200 m Medley in a lifetime best of 2:08.83.

Manuel also impressed, winning the 200 m Free on Thursday (1:57.80) in a tight finish with Maria Costa (BRA: 1:57.81) and beat Huske in the 100 m Free final, 53.35 to 53.49.

Breaststroke world-record holder Lilly King won the 100 m Breast final in 1:06.68, and the 200 m Breast in 2:25.97. Clare Weinstein won the 800 m Free on Wednesday and then took the 400 m Free in 4:04.54.

● Triathlon ● Severe rain and expected thunderstorms cancelled the season-opening World Triathlon Championship Series at Abu Dhabi (UAE). The ITU noted “We do not, at any stage, wish to put our athletes in danger and the forecast adverse weather would have jeopardised the safety of the event. The safety of our athletes is of paramount importance and this decision has not been taken lightly.”

The series will resume at Yokohama (JPN) on 13-14 May.

At the Americas Triathlon Championships in Miami, Florida, the U.S. swept the men’s Olympic-distance race, with Morgan Pearson winning in 1:43:39, over Darr Smith (1:43:54) and John Reed (1:44:11). Pearson won with the fastest 10 km in the field at 31:29.

Ecuador’s Elizabeth Bravo won the women’s race in 1:57:37, also with the fastest run, in 35:38. Mexico went 2-3-4-5, led by Luisa Baca Vargas (1:57:51) and Sofia Rodriguez (1:58:01).

You can receive our exclusive TSX Report by e-mail by clicking here. You can also refer a friend by clicking here, and can donate here to keep this site going.

For our new, 920-event International Sports Calendar for 2024 and beyond, by date and by sport, click here!