TSX REPORT: Richardson, Crouser, Lyles star in Eugene Trials; Ledecky, Smith, Dressel and more in Indy; LA28 getting serious

Artist’s rendering of track & field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at the 2028 Olympic Games (provided by LA28)

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1. No doubts for Richardson, Crouser and Lyles at U.S. T&F Trials
2. Ledecky, Douglass, Dressel, Murphy star at U.S. Swim Trials
3. LA28 reveals first venue changes, sees $156 million bonus
4. USOPC confirms air conditioning in Paris 2024 rooms
5. IOC evaluation confirms Salt Lake City bid quality

● The Olympic Track & Field Trials began in Eugene, Oregon with World Champions Sha’Carri Richardson and Noah Lyles winning the 100 m title and two-time Olympic champ Ryan Crouser overcoming injury to win the men’s shot. More finals are on Monday before a two-day break.

● The Olympic Swimming Trials concluded in Indianapolis with multiple wins for stars Katie Ledecky, Regan Smith, Kate Douglass, Caeleb Dressel, Bobby Finke, Ryan Murphy and Carson Foster. Attendance at the Lucas Oil Stadium was good, with more than 272,000 ticketed spectators through the first eight days. And there was an entertaining marriage proposal to breaststroke star Lilly King on live television!

● In its first concrete comments since the bid on venue locations for the 2028 Olympic Games, the LA28 organizing committee announced a series of changes. The most startling was to have swimming during the second week of the Games, trading places with athletics for the first time since 1968, with the pool to be installed after the opening ceremonies at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. Basketball will also be played in Inglewood at the new Intuit Dome and gymnastics will move to the Crypto.com Arena in downtown Los Angeles. These and other changes are expected to net $156 million in added revenue.

● The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee confirmed that it will bring air conditioning units to the Olympic Village in Paris in order to assure athlete comfort during the Games. Planning is also continuing to award the Beijing 2022 Winter Games gold medals for the figure skating Team Event, but still waiting for completion of Court of Arbitration for Sport decisions.

● The International Olympic Committee’s Future Host Commission for the Winter Games released its evaluation report for the Salt Lake City-Utah 2034 bid. It noted the plethora of venues, experience and local support, but worried – as usual in these reports – about the budget.

Olympic Trials: Diving (Bacon, Schnell, Tyler qualify for two events in Paris each at Trials) ●

Panorama: Olympic Qualifier Series (4: 60,000+ see four sports in Budapest; two wins for U.S., three for Japan and two each for Australia and France) = Archery (Kim and Wang win Recurve titles at Antalya World Cup) = Basketball (U.S. beats Canada, wins FIBA women’s U-18 AmeriCup) = Cycling (Pidcock sweeps Mountain Bike XCC-XCO races at Crans-Montana) = Football (2: Germany, Spain, Portugal all 2-0 and on to Euro 24 eliminations; Argentina, Mexico, U.S. open with Copa America wins) = Gymnastics (2: Varfolomeev leads medal parade at Rhythmic World Cup; Global Impact Gymnastics Alliance planning women’s artistic league) = Swimming (Popovici takes world lead in men’s 200 m Free at Euro Champs) = Volleyball (Italy repeats title in women’s Nations League) ●

Schedule: Please note that Monday’s same-day Olympic Track & Field Trials report will be delayed, as will Tuesday’s TSX post. Coming, but later than usual. ●

No doubts for Richardson, Crouser and Lyles at U.S. T&F Trials

The ultra-high-pressure U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials got started on Friday and, so far, the biggest names have made their way through to the starting line in Paris.

Saturday saw women’s 100 m World Champion Sha’Carri Richardson dominate the field in the way to a world-leading 10.71 victory, with top-end speed that no one could match, and training partner Melissa Jefferson riding a hot streak to a lifetime best of 10.80 in second place.

Olympic and World Champion and world-record holder Ryan Crouser had been battling elbow and pectoral muscle injuries, but had four throws that would have won the competition, reaching 22.84 m (74-11 1/4) in the fourth round for his best. Two-time World Champion Joe Kovacs was a clear second and will be looking for a third Olympic medal as well at 22.43 m (73-7 1/4).

On Sunday, the men’s 100 m was another showcase for World Champion Noah Lyles, who came on – as usual – in the second half of the race to equal his lifetime best of 9.83 and win a tight duel with 200 m star Kenny Bednarek (lifetime best 9.87) and 2022 World Champion Fred Kerley (9.88). Christian Coleman, the 2019 World Champion, was out best but finished fourth in 9.93.

Beyond these well-known stars, the Trials saw strong performances from possible medal winners like Grant Fisher, who won the men’s 10,000 m decisively in 27:49.47 in hot conditions, ahead of Woody Kincaid, who closed late in 27:50.74. And what to make of Health Baldwin, who has improved by almost 600 points in a year, taking the decathlon at 8,625, now no. 6 in the world for 2024?

Also on Sunday were wins from two-time World Champion Sam Kendricks in the men’s vault (5.92 m/19-5), Curtis Thompson with his first-round throw of 83.04 m (272-5) in the javelin, and Kenneth Rooks in the men’s Steeple (8:21.92), winning his second national title in a row.

Women’s 400 m winner Kendall Ellis, who was on the gold-medal 4×400 m team in Tokyo, ran a lifetime best of 49.46 – no. 7 in the world for 2024 – to win the women’s 400 m, ahead of personal bests from Aaliyah Butler (49.71) and Alexis Holmes (49.78).

The women’s hammer final was a stunner, with world leader and 2022 World Champion Brooke Andersen fouling on her first three throws and recording no mark. DeAnna Price, the 2019 World Champion, managed 74.52 m (244-6) for second with unheralded Annette Echikunwoke winning with her first-round throw of 74.68 m (245-0). There’s a reason these are called “trials.”

In the Sunday qualifying was a new sensation, 16-year-old Quincy Wilson of the Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland, who qualified for the final, got a lifetime best and a world U-18 record of 44.59 in the second semifinal. Also, Olympic champ Athing Mu moved through to the final of the women’s 800 m and Worlds silver winner Anna Hall leads the heptathlon after the first four events.

The Trials continue on Monday with the completion of the heptathlon, plus finals in the men’s 400 m and 1,500 m and long jump, and women’s 800 m, 5,000 m and high jump. There are off days on Tuesday and Wednesday and then the drama resumes on Thursday through Sunday.

TSX e-mail subscribers receive same-day updates on the Trials; if you’re not already a subscriber, you can sign up (for free) here.

Ledecky, Douglass, Dressel, Murphy star at U.S. Swim Trials

Successful. That’s what you have to call the 2024 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials held in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, which selected a formidable American team for Paris 2024, led once again by the incomparable Katie Ledecky.

Beyond the quality of the swimmers, in a meet with two world records, four American Records and world-leading performances in five events, the experiment with placing the event in an NFL stadium appears to have been worthwhile.

USA Swimming provided TSX with ticket report data from the first eight days of the Trials, and although the event did not reach the 30,000 capacity mark, the turnout was impressive, with all of the evening session above the 14,700 capacity of the CHI Health Center in Omaha for the 2021 Trials (attendance shown for morning and evening sessions):

● 15 June: 16,009 + 20,689 (indoor swim meet record)
● 16 June: 18,342 + 18,161
● 17 June: 13,940 + 16,571
● 18 June: 14,439 + 15,476
● 19 June: 17,414 + 22,209 (indoor swim meet record)
● 20 June: 15,080 + 17,742
● 21 June: 13,983 + 18,444
● 22 June: 15,119 + 18,808

These are ticket reports and not turnstile counts, and through the first 16 sessions, the total is 272,426 or an average for all sessions of 17,027. For the eight evening sessions, the total was 148,100 or 18,513. The Sunday night final session report – just two finals – was not available yet.

How the profit-and-loss statement comes out is another matter, but this is a remarkable level of sales and well in excess of the first two days of the track & field Olympic Trials in Eugene, which announced attendance of 11,852 and 11,227 ticketed spectators in the 12,650-seat Hayward Field.

Oh, yes, the swimming was superb, with multiple stars winning multiple events.

The amazing Ledecky won the 200-400-800-1,500 m Freestyles, but will give back the 200 m Free assignment, but remain on the 4×200 m Free relay. Regan Smith, who won an individual silver and bronze in Tokyo, regained her world record in the women’s 100 m Backstroke (57.13) and won the 200 m Back and 200 m Butterfly. She also finished third in the 100 m Fly as well.

Gretchen Walsh, a 15-time NCAA champ at Virginia, set a world record on the first day of the Trials in the 100 m Fly at 55.18, won the final in 55.31 and was third in the 100 m Free, securing relay duty in Paris.

Her older sister, Alex Walsh, made the team as well, finishing second in the 200 m Medley to another Virginia star Kate Douglass. Already a two-time World Champion in the 200 m Medley, Douglass also won the 100 m Free (52.56) and the 200 m Breaststroke, with Lilly King finishing second. King, the Rio 2016 champion in the 100 m Breast, won that event and is off to her third Olympic Games.

The men’s racing was dominated by the dramatic return of Caeleb Dressel. The winner of five golds in Tokyo, including the 50 and 100 m Frees and the 100 m Fly, he took a time-out from swimming during the 2022 World Championships and then slowly worked his way back into form.

In the 100 m Free, held on day five, he finished third in the 100 m Free behind brilliant performances by newcomers Chris Guiliano from Notre Dame and Jack Alexy from Cal. By day seven, Dressel powered to a win in the 50 m Free over Guiliano, 21.41 to 231.69. And on day eight, he won the 100 m Fly in 50.19, well ahead of teen Thomas Heilman, who won the 200 m Fly.

Ryan Murphy, the double gold winner in the 100-200 m Backstrokes in Rio, won both in Indianapolis with world-leading times in both. Carson Foster, a two-time Worlds silver winner in the 200 m Medley, won both the 200 and 400 m Medleys, with a world-leading mark in the 400.

Bobby Finke won both the men’s 800 and 1,500 m Freestyles and will defend his Tokyo title in both events. And Matt Fallon smashed the American Record and got a world-leading mark in winning the 200 m Breaststroke.

The U.S. vs. Australia rivalry has been hyped up a bit by the Australians, but in truth, the U.S. has a more powerful squad overall. But the women’s showdowns with Ledecky, Smith and Douglass against especially Ariarne Titmus and Kaylee McKeown are going to be epic.

Beyond the holding of the trials in an NFL stadium, the major extra-curricular story from Indianapolis was the wedding proposal by former Indiana swimmer James Wells, 32, to breaststroke star King, 27, following the women’s 200 m Breaststroke final, where King was second.

The event was well covered by NBC, and by Sunday, the NBC clip on YouTube had received 45,504 views in two different versions, plus 5,020 on the Team USA site, 2,565 on “The Today Show” site and several thousand more on news sites worldwide.

By comparison, the most popular NBC Sports clip from the Trials was 124,550 for Gretchen Walsh’s world record in the women’s 100 m Butterfly on 15 June, followed by 93,823 for Simone Manuel leading the heats in the women’s 100 m Freestyle.

LA28 reveals first venue changes, sees $156 million bonus

The Los Angeles 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games organizing committee had not updated its venue plan since winning the bid to host the Games back in 2017. On Friday, the first set of announcements were made, moving parts or all of 10 sports to new locations, although some had been whispered already:

Aquatics/Swimming: Originally to be held in a temporary pool and with temporary facilities at Dedeaux Field at USC – the campus baseball stadium – the leaked rumors of a move to SoFi Stadium in Inglewood proved to be true. LA28 Chair Casey Wasserman explained this during a Friday session with reporters, noting that “The university is currently remodeling that stadium, has other plans for that area of campus, so we embarked on a search elsewhere for those events.”

Moving the swimming to SoFi – which will not be called that during the Games since the International Olympic Committee does not allow corporate names to be used for companies which are not its sponsors – allows the installation of stands bringing the seating up to 38,000, which would be the largest in Olympic history. The concept was proven this past week at the U.S. Olympic Trials in swimming, held in temporary pool at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Wasserman added that the pools will be built by the time of the opening on 14 July 2028:

“We actually will not build those two pools in a week. We’ll build those pools well in anticipation of opening ceremonies and then we will cover them for opening ceremonies, and so our conversion will be to remove the cover and build a temporary stand on one side so there will be a warm-up pool and the competition pool. But they will be covered and in place during opening ceremonies. Still logistically complicated, but less so than trying to do all that in five days.”

However, this means that (1) the 2028 Olympic Trials will be held somewhere else, and (2) in order to get the facility ready, swimming will be moved to the second week of the Games, which has not been the case since 1968 in Mexico City. Track & field will be moved to the first week, also not since Mexico City, a move which both World Aquatics and World Athletics have approved.

Aquatics/Diving: With the move away from USC for swimming, the questions also arose for diving and artistic swimming. Looking for an existing facility, the Los Angeles Swim Stadium from the 1932 Olympic Games in Exposition Park, steps from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is still in operation as a community swimming facility and was renamed the John C. Argue Swim Stadium in honor of the head of the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games, the man most responsible for bringing the 1984 Games to Los Angeles.

LA28 will refurbish the pool and the diving boards and towers. Add in temporary seating, and the diving can be held there once again, although scheduling will have to be carefully arranged now not to add complexity to the track & field events being held at the Coliseum next door.

Aquatics/Artistic Swimming: Water Polo is already being held in a temporary complex to be erected in Long Beach, so it made sense to move the Artistic Swimming there and bring the two disciplines together.

Archery: This was the event originally scheduled for SoFi Stadium so that it could be installed and removed quickly, restoring the venue for NFL Football use. With swimming there, archery had to move and will be staged in a temporary facility in the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area, an easy fit for this sport, which only requires open space for conversion using temporary facilities.

Basketball: The original plan features the Crypto.com Arena in downtown Los Angeles, with some preliminary games at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Instead, as Wasserman had said himself in a radio interview in the spring, the sport will move to the basketball-first, 18,000-seat Intuit Dome in Inglewood, which will open in August and be the home of the Los Angeles Clippers.

No word on whether a second facility for some preliminary games would still be used.

Canoe/Slalom: This was going to be in an expensive, temporary facility at the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area. Said Wasserman:

“For the sport of Canoe Slalom, there is not any existing venue for the sport in California, or, frankly, the western United States. We carried out a nationwide search and identified the top-tier venue that hosts international competitions for Canoe Slalom, in Oklahoma City. Partnering with this venue delivers considerable savings for LA28, brings in revenue and makes economic sense for both the organizing committee and the City of Los Angeles.”

The Riversport OKC facility is already a favorite of the International Canoe Federation and will host an ICF Canoe Freestyle World Cup, ICF Canoe Slalom and Sprint Super Cups in 2025 and the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships in 2026. An excellent choice.

Cycling/BMX (Freestyle and Racing): BMX competitions were slated for a temporary facility in Long Beach, but were moved as part of the assembly of a new grouping of events at the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area.

BMX competitions are regularly held as temporary events, both for racing and Freestyle events.

Equestrian: This was also to be an expensive install in the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area, but the IOC wanted to place all of the equestrian events – dressage, eventing and jumping – in one place to reduce costs for the horses, operations and for television. Remember that the IOC pays for the host broadcasting of the Games through its wholly-owned subsidiary Olympic Broadcasting Service, headquartered in Madrid. The LA28 statement noted:

“Equestrian and Para Equestrian competitions, previously assigned to the Sepulveda Dam Recreation Area, will be held at an exceptional existing facility in Temecula, CA, that is the only such facility in Southern California large enough to accommodate all required disciplines in one location.”

Opened in 1968 as a racehorse training facility, Galway Downs in the Temecula wine country is a 242-acre site with extensive equestrian facilities, including 400 horse stalls and has a mile racetrack, a five-eights-mile training track, polo field, 14 arenas for training and competition and 15 miles of trails, more than enough to arrange the crucial cross-country element in eventing.

Gymnastics: With basketball heading to Inglewood, the Crypto.com Arena – one of L.A.’s showpieces – was now open and moving gymnastics was an easy option. Women’s Artistic Gymnastics will be one of the Games’ highlights and the facility will also be used for Rhythmic and Trampoline competitions.

Wasserman said that warm-up facilities would be in the adjacent Los Angeles Convention Center.

Shooting: This was another expensive temporary install planned for the Sepulveda Basin, but Wasserman said a decision is now being made between two facilities outside of Los Angeles, with the site to be announced later.

One of the possible sites is the Prado Olympic Shooting Park in Chino – east of Los Angeles – home of the shooting events at the 1984 Olympic Games and one of the few new facilities built by the LAOOC. The last venue to be chosen and then opened for the 1984 Games, it has been in operation continuously since then as a privately-run facility.

Shoot Prado includes the required rifle ranges out to 50 m, the pistol ranges and shotgun ranges for both Trap and Skeet.

Skateboarding: No venue for skateboard was proposed in the 2017 plan as the sport was not part of the Olympic program at that point. It is now slated as a temporary facility as part of the Sepulveda Basin cluster with BMX cycling and archery.

Softball: This is part of one of the added sports on the program, teamed with baseball. While the baseball tournament will be played at Dodger Stadium – Wasserman said so in a radio interview – softball has different needs. Said Wasserman of the USA Softball Hall of Fame complex in Oklahoma City:

“They’ve created the best softball venue in the United States, with seating capacity of more than 14,000 seats, while no softball venue in Southern California has more than 2,000 seats. To avoid building a costly softball venue in L.A. and leverage the best softball venue in the country, we’re very pleased to host softball in Oklahoma City.”

Asked about the experience for athletes in Canoe Slalom and Softball vis-a-vis Los Angeles, Wasserman noted, “All athletes who compete there are guaranteed to experience either opening or closing in Los Angeles and possibly both for some of them.”

There was no mention of the already-well-known – but not publicly announced – move of the Canoe Sprint and Rowing competitions from Lake Perris in Riverside County to the Long Beach Marine Stadium, site of rowing in 1932; the City of Long Beach approved the additional use agreement for the Marine Stadium two weeks ago.

These changes underscored the LA28 commitment to a no-build Games as much as possible. Wasserman emphasized during his chat on Friday:

“These venue changes all improve the field of play for athletes, create the best possible experience for fans and bring operational improvements and efficiency for us at LA28. There will also be other venue assignments announced at a later date that do not require the City’s approval.”

● “Each venue change announced today achieved at least $10 million in cost savings and revenue increases for a cumulative, estimated $156 million in cost and revenue savings to help our committee maintain a balanced budget.”

● “LA28 will host athletics, gymnastics, swimming and basketball at some of the best stadiums in the world, which all exist today, and once again, nothing new to build.”

The references to the L.A. City Council come from the Games Agreement between the City and LA28, which requires City Council approval for the movement of any sport specified in the 2017 venue plan out of the City.

The LA28 letter to the City detailing the changes also included projections on the financial impacts of these moves, adding revenue in some cases, but saving millions in expenses:

+49 million net: The aquatics moves, especially with swimming to SoFi Stadium, will add $106 million in revenue while costing an additional $58 million to stage, moving from one venue to three bigger ones.

+$38 million net: The basketball-gymnastics switch will add $24 million in revenue and save $14 million in expense.

+$32 million net: Moving canoe (Slalom) to Oklahoma City, with $6 million less in revenue, but saving $39 million in expense.

+$26 million net: Moving equestrian to Galway Downs will add $2 million in revenue but save $24 million in expense.

+11 million net: Savings in expense for moving shooting to an existing facility.

The venue merry-go-round has hardly stopped as a half-dozen sports still need to be placed, and new possibilities have opened, such as The Forum in Inglewood, which was slated for gymnastics, but now could host wrestling, needed to be moved from UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion for use as an Olympic Village training site. And so on. But this is a start.

USOPC confirms air conditioning in Paris 2024 rooms

“We will have air conditioning in the rooms in the village. We have great respect for the work that’s been done by the Paris Organizing Committee in particular, and their focus on sustainability. And I know that there have been lots of questions around the consistency of that, coupled with the air conditioning.

“As you can imagine, this is a period of time in which consistency and predictability is critical for Team USA’s performance, and in our conversations with athletes, this was a very high priority and something that the athletes felt was a critical component in their performance capability, and the predictability and consistency of what they’re accustomed to. And so, yes, we will have air conditioners.”

That’s U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee chief executive Sarah Hirshland, speaking to reporters on Friday, explaining that the USOPC will be providing, at its expense, air-conditioning units in Paris.

The new Olympic Village was built with state-of-the-art ventilation and cooling systems for its eventual permanent resident, which did not include air conditioning for environmental and sustainability reasons. However, several National Olympic Committee – Australia has been the most strident – have said they will be bringing in air conditioning to help ensure peak performance by their athletes.

She updated the current (as of Friday) situation qualifying situation, with 364 U.S. athletes confirmed for the Games and another 205 slots for individuals to be qualified to, for a projected team total of 569. She said that 85 had qualified for the Paralympic Games, with another 87 to qualify in the coming weeks (projected total: 172).

Hirshland was also asked how the USOPC will evaluate “success” at the Paris Games, and offered an interesting reply:

“As it relates to what we’ll measure specifically, we will look at a few things. Number one, we’ll look at overall medals. We’ll look at gold medals, and importantly, we’ll look at the number of individuals who win a medal. Which sometimes, in a team competition for example, is actually a very different number, right? It would be one medal on the medal count, but you might have 15 athletes on a team who actually come home as medalists. And we will look at that as a measure, as well, thinking about the number of human beings whose lives are impacted in different ways.

“And the fourth thing that we’ll look at this year, and this is the first time that we’re ever going to track this data, is actually looking at personal bests. So we have a lot of athletes, as you know, and if history is any indication, some portion, a relatively small portion of those athletes will actually win a medal. But many athletes go to these games with the goal of achieving their personal best, and our training regimens and protocols and all of that, are set around allowing athletes to achieve their greatest potential. And so this games we will actually look at personal bests, and track against that greatest potential. It’s something that we’ve worked closely with the athlete community to figure out how to properly define, and we’re excited about it.”

Hirshland also detailed the status of the plans for awarding the figure skating Team Event gold medal to the U.S. team from the Beijing 2022 Winter Games:

“As you all know, the [Court of Arbitration for Sport] decision cleared the way for the athletes of Team USA, who skated so brilliantly in Beijing, to receive their gold medal. Based on the information we have from the IOC, and the ISU – the International Skating Union – the athletes of Team USA remain the rightful gold medal winners, and will be awarded the gold medals for the team event.

“In cooperation with our friends at U.S. Figure Skating, and our counterparts at the [IOC] … we have active conversations about a medal allocation ceremony taking place in Paris, during the 2024 Games. That planning continues while the case is back at CAS under appeal, where further matters including the bronze and silver medal order, continue to be examined. And we’re waiting for communication from them, before we can confirm our plans. We are focused on Paris, and we are planning for Paris, and we’re eager for that celebration.”

IOC evaluation confirms Salt Lake City bid quality

The International Olympic Committee’s Future Host Commission report on the Salt Lake City-Utah bid for the 2034 Olympic Winter Games was released on Friday and across 95 pages, explained that this bid is more than worthy.

These reports are calm, dry and technical. But the introduction was almost upbeat, something rarely seen in such reports; highlights:

● “Like LA28, it is based on a fully privately-funded model. The State of Utah would be the principal financial guarantor through the Games Delivery Guarantee.”

● “Since 2002, Utah Sports Commission has supported over 1,100 events, including 175 elite events such as world cups and championships.”

● “Hosting in 2034 would prolong the lifespan of the outstanding venues from 2002, maintained to high standards by their owners, their operators and the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation.”

● “Development programmes for young people and athletes would be expanded; and the Games would help to meet the needs of a city and region that have experienced huge societal changes. Utah is the youngest state in the USA, with a median age of 31, and has one of the fastest-growing economies. Commitment to sport and to giving back is embedded in the Utahn DNA.”

● “To help achieve these goals, and in line with Olympic Agenda 2020, the Games would be hosted in 100 per cent existing or temporary venues within a compact masterplan, with all competitions reachable within an hour of the Olympic Village and delivered by experienced operators.”

The evaluation covered all of the relevant topics and some more which were not, but recognized the depth of Salt Lake City’s bid project, noting that “Utah is a traditional, climate-reliable destination for international competition and training camps in Olympic winter sports. Athletes from more than 30 different countries train in Utah today.”

As for the Games project:

“10 out of the 13 venues have been used in the Salt Lake City 2002 Games and have been very well-maintained since 2002. Overall, they have already benefited from more than USD 500m capital investment.”

Of the 13 venues proposed, 12 exist now and one would be temporary, for the Big Air events in Freestyle and Snowboard and the Medals Plaza in Block 85 in downtown Salt Lake City. Four of the existing sites – the sliding track and ski jumps at Utah Olympic Park, Utah Olympic Oval and Soldier Hollow Nordic Centre – would require modest upgrades totaling $33 million and in the budget.

The University of Utah would provide the Olympic Village, with planned expansion to offer more than 12,000 beds by 2034.

The bid offers the biathlon and cross-country athletes alternate accommodations closer to Soldier Hollow, but the Commission frowned, reporting “it is not recommended to duplicate the number of beds available to an athlete, to remain in line with Olympic Agenda 2020.”

And there were worries about money:

● In reviewing the budget, the $1.8 billion figure for domestic sponsorships, scaled up for inflation from the experience of the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, was called out: “While the US market is a leading sponsorship market in sports, the target still appears to be ambitious.” And the Ticketing and Hospitality revenue target of $1.19 billion “seems ambitious.

● On the expense side, “Transport budget appears on the low side compared to past editions, which requires particular attention.” There were also worries about the technology budget of $407 being too low.

● The report was also worried about accommodations, noting “The average projected room rates for Games time appear to be on the high side: 2 star (USD 313), 3 star (USD 439), 4 star (USD 762) and 5 star (USD 838) rooms. Final rates will be confirmed in 2031.”

However, “[t]he set of guarantees provided by Salt Lake City-Utah is comprehensive and thorough. It demonstrates strong support by all levels of government and addresses all relevant matters.” The dates proposed are 10-26 February for the Olympic Winter Games and 10-19 March for the Winter Paralympic Games.

The IOC’s own public polling from September 2023 showed 80% support for the project in Salt Lake City, with only 5% against and 15% who were neutral or didn’t know. Elsewhere in Utah, support was again at 80%, with 4% against.

In a statement, Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games chief executive Fraser Bullock reflected:

“The report mirrored our very productive discussions with the Future Host Commission.

“It has been an engaging process and the report is a tribute to the work of many in our state, along with the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, that we have been able to present a project that is in alignment with IOC Agenda 2020 and 2020+5 and has such strong public, corporate, and governmental support.”

There is no doubt that the Salt Lake City-Utah bid will be elected to host the Olympic Winter Games for 2034 in Paris next month and will begin a long journey to deliver on the projections it has made. Because of its outstanding infrastructure and experience, especially from the 2002 Winter Games, it will do so with confidence.


● Diving ● The U.S. team for Paris was selected as the Olympic Trials in Knoxville, Tennessee concluded on Sunday,

Familiar names were at the top of the women’s 3 m Springboard results, with Sarah Bacon – already on the team in the women’s 3 m Synchro – winning at 639.00, just ahead of Tokyo Olympian Alison Gibson (635.10) and Tokyo bronze medal winner Krysta Palmer (629.25).

Bacon was first or second on three of her five final-session dives, but only 11th on her second and 12th on her third. But she rallied to score 69.75 and 72.00 on her final two attempts to get the victory. Gibson also had trouble on her second (8th) and third dive (6th) and then scored 70.50 and 68.00 to get close. Palmer was in the top three on four of her dives, but her third scored only eighth-highest; she had no dives which scored 70 points.

Delaney Schnell, the Tokyo 10 m Synchro silver medalist (with Jessica Parratto) – and on the Paris team with Parratto in the Synchro again – led the women’s 10 m Platform competition through the semis, 325.85 to 307.75 for Daryn Wright, fourth at the 2023 U.S. nationals.

Schnell, who finished fifth in the Tokyo 10 m final, expanded her lead and won with 638.00 points to 596.35 for Wright and 581.70 for Sophia McKee. Schnell won the fourth dive with 81.00 and was second on her third dive (77.55) and eased to the victory and her second Olympic Games.

In the men’s 10 m Platform final, 20-year-old Carson Tyler made his first Olympic team with an impressive 965.45 total, finishing with scores of 81.60, 90.75 and 86.40 on his final three dives to ice the win. He finished more than 70 points up on Tokyo Olympian Brandon Loschiavo (892.30), who finished with 70.20, 86.70 and 88.80. Joshua Hedberg, 17, was third at 856.70.

On Sunday, Tokyo 3 m Synchro silver medalist Andrew Capobianco led the men’s 3 m Springboard after the semifinals by 507.25 to 485.60 for Tyler, the only one close. Capobianco widened his advantage during the final six dives, scoring more than 81 points on his first three dives, then only a 32.40 on his fourth, but rebounded with final dives of 93.60 and 93.10 to finish with 971.80 points.

Tyler was more consistent, but at a lower level, scoring between 71.30 and 78.75 on his first five dives and then 84.30 on his final attempt, but ended up at 945.75 for second, but will compete in Paris in both individual and synchro events. Quentin Henninger finished third at 870.50.

The exact composition of the Paris team still requires word from World Aquatics on whether some of the second-place finishers in the individual Platform events will be able to go.


● Olympic Qualifier Series ● The second and final leg of the Olympic Qualifier Series was in Budapest (HUN), with spots in Paris being contested for in breaking, climbing, skateboarding and BMX Freestyle.

Report indicated some 60,600 spectators attended the four days of competition in Budapest, with 23,300 on the final day and more than 150 qualifiers from the four sports for Paris. The report from Shanghai said about 45,000 fans showed up there, for a total of more than 100,000 combined.

In Breaking, B-Boy Lee from the Netherlands (Lee-Lou Diouf Demierre) won as he did in the first OQS event in Shanghai, this time winning the men’s final over Kazakhstan’s B-Boy Amir (Amir Zakirov), 2-1: 3-6, 8-1 and 5-4. South Korean Hongten (Hong-yui Kim) finished third; American B-Boy Jeffro (Jeffrey Mike Louis) qualified in sixth position.

The women’s final was an all-Japan match between Ayumi (Ayumi Fukushima) and Ami (Ami Yuasa), who were 1-2 in Shanghai. This time, Ami got the win by 2-1: 9-0, 4-5, 6-3. And Japan got a sweep with Riko (Riko Tsuhako) winning the bronze by 2-1 over France’s Syssy (Sya Dembele). American Logistx (Logan Elanna Edra) – fourth in the combined scoring for the two events – also qualified for Paris.

In the cycling BMX Freestyle men’s Park final, France’s 2022 Worlds bronze medalist Anthony Jeanjean repeated his win from Shanghai, scoring 93.40 on his second-round run to win over Marcus Christopher of the U.S. (92.98) and 2023 World Champion Kieran Reilly of Britain (92.05). American Justin Dowell, the 2022 Words runner-up, finished fifth (90.82). Jeanjean, Christopher, Reilly and Dowell all qualified for Paris.

Five-time World Champion Hannah Roberts of the U.S. won the women’s Park final with her first-round run of 93.48, ahead of teammate Perris Benegas, who moved up from seventh to second in the final round, scoring 91.92. Jiaqi Sun (CHN: 91.30) was third; all three qualified for Paris.

In the men’s Skateboard Park final, Tokyo Olympic champ Keegan Palmer (AUS) won the Budapest final, scoring 94.94 on his middle run, just ahead of Americans Tom Schaar (94.46), 2023 Worlds bronze winner Tate Carew (92.65) and 2023 World Champion Gavin Bottger (92.10). Palmer, Carew and Bottger all qualified for Paris.

Fourteen-year-old Arisa Trew completed the Australian sweep in the women’s Skateboard Park final, winning at 93.38 in the second round to finish ahead of Britain’s 2022 World Champion Sky Brown (91.93, now 15) and Japan’s 2023 World Champion Kokona Hiraki (91.83). Ruby Lilley was the top U.S. finisher in eighth (82.00); all four qualified for the Games.

Japan swept the men’s Skateboard Street final, with Tokyo Olympic champ Yuto Horigome scoring 283.01 to edge countrymen Ginwoo Onodera (276.46, 14 years old) and 2023 World Champion Sora Shirai (270.02). American Braden Hoban finished sixth (255.02).

American stars Nyjah Huston – six-time World Champion – and Olympic bronze medalist Jagger Eaton, both also qualified for Paris.

The women’s Street final saw Japan sweep the top four places and five of the top six, as Coco Yoshizawa won with 270.29, over 2023 World Champion Yumeka Oda (268.52), Olympic bronze winner Funa Nakayama (263.62) and Liz Akama (262.50). American Paige Heyn was eighth (221.15).

In the Sport Climbing Boulder & Lead final for men, Sam Azevou from France was the winner at 105.6 points combined, followed by 2023 Worlds Leads bronze winner Doh-yun Lee (KOR: 98.6) and three-time Lead World Champion Adam Ondra (CZE: 92.4). All three qualified for Paris.

American Brooke Raboutou – the 2023 Worlds bronze winner for Boulder – won both Shanghai and Budapest to qualify for Paris; she finished second in Boulder and won in Lead, scoring 159.8 points in total. That was just enough, as Tokyo silver medalist Miho Nonaka (JPN: 156.3) was a close second, with Erin McNeice third (GBR: 137.5).

In Speed, China’s Peng Wu won the final in 4.90, as Amir Maimuratov (KAZ) fell; Indonesian star Veddriq Leonardo took the bronze final in 5.05, from countryman Aspar Aspar (5.61). Leonardo won in Shanghai and qualified; Wu was second in Shanghai and also qualified. American Zach Hammer qualified as the no. 6 scorer overall.

Poland’s Aleksandra Kalucka won the women’s Speed final in 6.50, barely ahead of Yafei Zhou (CHN: 6.52). Indonesia’s Rajiah Sallsabillah took the bronze (6.64). All three qualified for Paris.

● Archery ● Stage three of the World Archery World Cup was in Antalya (TUR), with three-time World Champion Woo-jin Kim taking the title in a tight final against Brazil’s no. 1-ranked Marcus D’Almeida, 6-5, in a shoot-off in which’s Kim’s nine-arrow was closer to the center than D’Almeida’s. India’s Dhiraj Bommadevara took the bronze.

The Koreans won the men’s team title, 5-1, over France and China took the bronze, 5-1, against Japan.

China’s Xiaolei Yang won the women’s title by 6-4 in the final against Waka Sonoda (JPN), and Mexico’s Worlds silver medalist Alejandra Valencia took the bronze. Korea completed a week of the team titles with a 6-0 win against France, while Japan shut out India, 6-0, for third place.

Sonoda and Takaharu Furukawa won the Mixed Team event, defeating Woo-Seok Lee and Hun-Young Jeon of Korea, 5-4 in the final, in a 20-18 shoot-off. India took the bronze, 5-3, over Mexico.

● Basketball ● At the FIBA women’s U-18 AmeriCup played in Bucaramanga, Colombia, Canada and the U.S. both finished 3-0 in group play and met yet again in the final.

In the playoffs, the U.S. swamped the Dominican Republic, 125-27 (yes, that’s the score) in the quarters and Canada defeated Mexico, 66-58. In the semis, the Americans stomped Argentina, 109-32 and Canada sailed past Brazil, 85-46.

In the final, the U.S. got more of an argument, but defeated Canada, 80-69, primarily through a 41-33 second half. For the U.S., forward Kennedy Smith led with 18 points, followed by forward Joyce Edwards with 16, forward Sienna Betts with 15 and guard Kayleigh Heckel with 13.

The U.S. won its 11th straight title in this tournament and 12th of the 14 held. Canada finished second for the fifth straight time. Argentina won its third consecutive bronze and Brazil was fourth for the second time in a row.

● Cycling ● The fifth stage of the 2024 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup for cross country was in Crans-Montana (SUI), with Olympic Cross Country champ Tom Pidcock (GBR) sweeping the men’s races.

He won the men’s Short Track race in 19:31, taking charge in the middle laps and holding off Julian Schelb (GER: 19:33) and Luca Braidot (ITA: 19:37). American Chris Blevins, the 2021 World Champion, was fourth in 19:40.

On Sunday, Pidcock broke the race open on the third and fourth laps and then threw in the fastest lap in the field on the final circuit to finish in 1:26:28, more than a minute up on Swiss Olympic runner-up Mathias Flueckiger (1:27:38). Italy’s Braidot also closed hard on the final lap to get third in 1:28:33, over 10-time World Champion Nico Schurter (SUI: 1:28:36).

The irrepressible Puck Pieterse (NED) won her second straight Short Track race, putting together the fastest lap in the race on the final circuit to win in 19:03, ahead of 2022 Worlds runner-up Alessandra Keller (SUI: 19:07) and Anne Tauber (NED: 19:07). Gwen Gibson was the top American, in fifth (19:36).

The Cross Country Olympic race went to France’s Loana Lecomte, the Tokyo 2020 runner-up, in 1:17:22, well ahead of Keller (1:18:08) and Pieterse (1:18:55). Lecomte was in front of the start and built her lead almost continuously through the first four of the five laps.

● Football ● At the UEFA European Championships in Germany, second-round matches concluded with Germany (2-0), Spain (2-0) and Portugal (2-0) all through to the second round.

In Group C, England leads at 1-0-1 after a 1-1 draw with Denmark on Thursday, and in Group D, both France and the Netherlands are 1-0-1 after the two played to a 0-0 tie on Friday. Group E is a complete mess, with all four teams at 1-1 following Ukraine’s 2-1 win over Slovakia and Belgium’s 2-0 victory against Romania.

Pool play continues through the 26th and the round-of-16 begins on 30 June.

In the 48th Copa America, being played in the U.S., first-round pool play continues, with Argentina (Group A) and Mexico and Venezuela (Group B) winning their opening matches.

In Group C, the U.S. faced Bolivia on Sunday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and got off to a great start, with a third-minute goal from midfield star Christian Pulisic. Off a corner, midfielder Tim Weah sent a casual pass to Pulisic, just inside the top left corner of the box and he sent a perfectly-arced shot to the far right side of the Bolivian goal for a 1-0 lead. It was Pulisic’s 30th goal in 69 appearances for the U.S. (that’s pretty good!).

Pulisic engineered another one in the 44th, sending a pass from the middle of the field – above the box – to striker Folarin Balogun on the left side. He moved to his left and then sent a hard, angled shot to the far corner of the goal for the 2-0 edge. The Americans had 61% possession and a 7-2 edge on shots in the half.

The second half was more of the same. After Bolivia briefly came to life early in the period, the U.S. was attacking again, losing a goal in the 54th on offsides and keeper Guillermo Viscarra had to make saves on rocketed shots from Pulisic in the 60th and sub striker Ricardo Pepi in the 79th, the 81st and the 90th! Matt Turner got the shutout for the U.S., which enjoyed 61% possession and led, 20-6 on shots.

Pool play continues through 2 July. Monday’s highlight will be Brazil’s opener against Costa Rica at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.

● Gymnastics ● The fifth and final FIG Rhythmic World Cup for 2024 was in Milan (ITA), with 2023 World Champion Darja Varfolomeev (GER) winning her third straight World Cup All-Around title, scoring 140.050, finishing ahead of 2022 World Champion Sofia Raffaeli (ITA: 137.050) and Viktoriia Onopriienko (UKR: 133.250). Evita Griskenas of the U.S. was 25th (119.800).

Varfolomeev and Raffaeli continued to battle through the individual finals, with the German winning on Ball (35.650 to 35.350) and Clubs (35.450 to 35.200), but Raffaeli won on Ribbon, 33.950 to 32.900. China’s Zilu Wang was the upset winner on Hoop, scoring 35.100, with Varfolomeev fourth and Raffaeli seventh.

The Global Impact Gymnastics Alliance (GIGA) is planning to trial a women’s gymnastics league, with a first event in 2025. Its investment site explains:

“Despite worldwide popularity and its rank as the #1 Olympic sport among US TV audiences and global female fans, women’s gymnastics has no organized professional system beyond amateur levels, either in the US or elsewhere. Consequently, without any pro leagues or prize money circuits offering attendant on-field earnings, gymnasts must seek revenue outside the sport.”

An Associated Press story noted that with the rise of interest in NCAA women’s gymnastics and women’s professional sports in general, the opportunity for a league is available. The idea is to find a middle path between the FIG international format and the NCAA’s program, which still uses the 10.0-maximum score for individual routines. Events would be clustered in the late spring and early summer, between the NCAA and international championship seasons.

The target isn’t necessarily Olympic-level competitors, but a mix with ex-NCAA stars who want to keep doing gymnastics, but also want to make a living at it.

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), astonishingly, pays no prize money or appearance fees for its World Championships.

● Swimming ● At the European Championships in Belgrade (SRB), Romania’s David Popovici confirmed his dangerous status for medals in Paris with a brilliant, world-leading win in the men’s 200 m.

Already the 100 m Free winner in 46.88, the no. 2 time in the world this year (and no. 3 ever), Popovici stormed to a lifetime best of 1:43.13 to win by more than two seconds over Danas Rapsys of Lithuania (1:45.65). It’s the no. 5 performance in history and just behind Popvici’s lifetime best of 1:42.97 from 2022.

● Volleyball ● The FIVB women’s Nations League final was held in Bangkok (THA), with 2022 champion Italy meeting first-time finalist Japan in the title match on Sunday, and coming away with a second straight title.

Brazil came into the final with 12-0 record, trailed by Italy and Poland at 10-2. And the Brazilians had no trouble with host Thailand, sweeping all three games in their quarterfinals. Japan swept China, 3-0, in their quarter and then fought off Brazil in their semi in five sets: 26-24, 20-25, 25-21, 22-25, 15-12. The two sides had previously fought a 3-2 thriller in group play, but this time Japan emerged the winner.

In the lower bracket, Italy had no trouble with the U.S., sweeping their match by 25-21, 25-21, 25-23 and then met Poland, a five-set winner over defending champ Turkey. In the semi, it was all Italy by 25-18, 25-17, 25-12 and on to the final.

This was the second final for the Italians after winning in 2022 and they methodically ground out 25-17 wins in the first two sets before the Japanese closed to 2-1 by winning the third set, 25-21. But Italy closed out the match with a 25-20 win. Opposite Paola Egonu led all scorers with 27 points and outside hitters Myriam Sylia and Alice Degradi added 15 and 12 points, respectively.

Poland won the third-place match over Brazil, 25-21, 26-28, 25-21, 19-25, 15-9.

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