World champ Lysacek sitting pretty ahead of Vancouver Games
The world champion figure skater from Naperville, Ill., won the Skate America competition in Lake Placid last weekend, building on his season-opening silver in Beijing. Lysacek likes his season to have a progression from conservative performances to stronger ones. In Lake Placid, he landed seven triple jumps, including two triple axels, stepping out of only his triple Salchow. He did not attempt a quad.
But she is so far ahead of the rest of the world -- she beat silver medalist
The news was better for U.S. World Cup champ
Dutch distance star
The Dutch received a horrible blow on Friday when
At the season's final pre-Olympic World Cup competition for short-track skating in Marquette, Mich., last weekend, the U.S. team qualified five men and five women for the Games, a good result given the injuries and illnesses that have plagued the squad this season. The team will compete in both relays and enter the maximum number of three skaters in each individual race except the women's 500, in which it will have two.
The women's relay was notable for two reasons. First, the U.S. women failed to reach the final when Reutter lost her footing and slid into the boards during the semis. In the finals, China built an enormous lead, but nearly lost it at the end, when Wang left her arms on her back in the final lap and then stood straight up and looked over her shoulder in what was either an act of laziness or hot-dogging. She ultimately edged Korea's
It shouldn't be long after the 2010 Vancouver Games when the IOC awards TV rights in the United States for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi and the 2016 Olympics in Rio, rights that the IOC is almost certain to sell as a package. NBC has been the host network for every summer broadcast since 1988 and each winter telecast since 2002. But the group from ABC/ESPN dipped a toe into the Olympic waters last week by securing the South American rights to the 2010 and 2012 Games.
Iberoamericana Television Organization (ITO) had broadcast each of the Summer Games since 1992, when Barcelona hosted the Games. ESPN Star Sports had already won partial rights for those two Games in Asia. Though the Games in Sochi won't draw significant interest from the U.S. market, the IOC hopes that Rio's favorable time zone (two hours from the East Coast during summertime), a travel-log aura comparable to Beijing's, a less competitive summer sports season and the possibility of a stronger economy that could lure advertisers would make the Games attractive to a network.
ABC has not shown the Olympics since the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary, where
NBC is still expected to bid for the package, though the recent news that Comcast may assume a controlling stake in NBC Universal adds uncertainty to that prospect. CBS and Fox may also bid, though neither has indicated strong interest.
A British Columbia Court of Appeal last week rejected a final attempt by women's ski jumpers to compete at the Vancouver Games. Any other decision would have been fraught with complications, given that the Games are only three months away. Would the IOC increase its avowed maximum number of athletes it would allow at the Games? Would there have enough beds at the Olympic village? Would the number of male ski jumpers need to be reduced? Would this open the door for another court in another country to dictate future event programs at the 11th hour to the IOC and to an organizing committee?
Count on women's jumping being on the Olympic program soon, perhaps in 2014. The United States may be the big loser in the omission of women's jumping for 2010.