Swimmer Fran Crippen remembered; more Olympic notes
After the World Championships in Rome last summer when he won a bronze medal in the 10-kilometer open water swim event,
"I might have stopped without it," he told SI in Rome. "It was like a second life."
Crippen's death last weekend during a race in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates raises questions about safety standards for the event, especially since temperatures were said to be above 90 degrees in the U.A.E. that day. According to some reports, Crippen had even told his coaches before the race that he did not feel well. Yet Crippen's death only reinforced the memories of how he embraced life. He seemed like an athlete happily playing with house money in a second existence, grateful for the twist that had taken him from the chlorine to the saltwater.
Crippen, 26, had dreamed of making the Olympics from age 8 and had come from a family of swimmers, including oldest sister
Anyone in the swim world who knew him seemed to like Crippen.
"We lost a great person and swimmer today in the tragic loss,"
Women's ski jumping is not the only new event or classification up for consideration on the 2014 Olympic sports program. Others up for inclusion are slopestyle snowboard and alpine freestyle events, ski half-pipe, a mixed biathlon relay and team events in luge and figure skating. Women jumpers have been the most vocal in their attempt to join the Olympics, and there is some resentment among IOC members that the women tried to circumvent IOC protocol by filing a lawsuit to get themselves added for the Vancouver Games. The move may ultimately prove more harmful than helpful as the IOC considers its fate. Still, expect the event to be added in time for Sochi, so long as things go smoothly at worlds this season.
Rarely have two gymnasts so clearly distanced themselves from the field in winning all-around titles.
The U.S. men absolutely must upgrade their pommel horse routines or reset their roster to have a chance for a team medal in London. The team made huge strides, going from 13th place at the 2006 worlds to third at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, but the fourth-place showing in Rotterdam could have been better, if not for the fumbles they had on the pommel horse.
The men are on par with every squad in the world on a couple of disciplines, such as high bar and vault, an event that has often been weak in the past. But the days when the U.S. could win multiple medals on pommels at an Olympics (see
You're never too old, even in a young person's sport such as gymnastics. Ask Germany's
Jansen will turn 42 in December, but was back at worlds, because, he says, "there is nothing I enjoy more than training and convincing my body it can do the impossible."
Neither gymnast reached any individual finals in Rotterdam (Chusovitina recorded a high score of 13.566 on beam; Jansen recorded a high of 13.366 on parallel bars), but their remarkable ability to still compete is a direct slight at
The Australian women must have had Georgia on their minds. The team included
New Zealand gymnast
Don't be surprised by a resurgence in the Romanian women's program over the next couple of years.
Though not as petite as many of her rivals on the uneven bars, Britain's
And who says only the gymnastics powers win major world medals. Not only did Britain's Tweddle take home bars gold, but Australia's