In its first major tournament without official status as an event on the upcoming Olympic calendar, the U.S. softball team roared through the competition to win the world championship on Friday in Caracas, Venezuela, beating Japan, 7-0, in the gold-medal game. The U.S. team won all 10 of its contests, outscoring opponents 95-6 during the tournament and avenging a loss at the Beijing Olympics to the Japanese, who won the Olympic gold medal by beating them, 3-1, in the final game in 2008. Softball and baseball were dropped from the Olympic program beginning in 2012. Rugby and golf were added for the 2016 Games in Rio, though softball, baseball and other sports will have chances to get back in during subsequent years as the International Olympic Committee tries to update its program. The lack of parity at the top of the sport was one of the reasons cited by IOC members as a need to remove softball from the Games. The U.S. team has now won seven straight world titles since 1986 without surrendering a run in any of the final games. Japan has three straight silver medals, also dropping 1-0 and 3-0 decisions in 2002 and 2006.
• With the World Cup heading toward its final games, South African officials are already looking ahead at what could be a potential bid for the country to host the 2020 Olympics. The country's president,
• Remember it isn't about winning and losing, but rather how you play the game. Just don't play it badly. After a poor showing at the World Cup, the Nigerian soccer team is in danger of missing out on the 2012 Olympics. First the country's president,
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• Who needs snow? The U.S. Nordic combined team held an unseasonal championship, the July 4th Ski Jumping Extravaganza, in Steamboat Springs, Colo., last weekend, pitting the nation's top Olympians from the 2010 Vancouver Games in a combination of summer jumping off a plastic hill and roller skiing along the city streets. Olympic medalist and two-time world champ