Tag Archive | "olympics"

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Phelps’ comeback to continue next week in Charlotte

Posted on 07 May 2014 by WNST Staff

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — (AP) Next up for Michael Phelps’ comeback: Two events that produced Olympic gold.

Phelps has entered the 100-meter butterfly and the 200 freestyle at the Charlotte Grand Prix meet in North Carolina next week, his coach, Bob Bowman, told The Associated Press on Monday night.

With both events on May 16, Bowman can stick to the plan of building up Phelps’ endurance while staying away, at least for now, from the grueling, multi-day programs that were once the norm for Phelps. There will be morning preliminaries and evening finals, though the coach said he’s not yet certain Phelps will actually compete in both races.

Phelps returned to competitive swimming at a meet in Arizona less than two weeks ago, his first since retiring after the 2012 London Games as the most decorated athlete in Olympic history.

He is the three-time defending Olympic champion in the 100 fly, so it’s obvious that race would be part of any plans to compete at the Rio Games. He won the 200 free at the 2008 Beijing Games — during his record eight-gold performance — but dropped the event in London.

Phelps also competed in two events at the Mesa Grand Prix, finishing second to longtime rival Ryan Lochte in the 100 fly and matching the fourth-fastest time in the world this year. The other event, the 50 freestyle, wasn’t nearly as serious. That race has never been part of Phelps’ program at a major meet, and he even used his preliminary heat to work on his butterfly stroke. Not surprisingly, he finished 42nd overall against swimmers who were using the much faster freestyle.

Still, it was a good starting point for what the Phelps’ camp is describing as a low-key comeback.

“We were encouraged by his performances in Mesa and look forward to trying a 200 in Charlotte,” Bowman said in a text message.

Phelps has also put his name in for the final Grand Prix meet of the season in Santa Clara, California, next month, though he is taking the comeback one step at a time and not committing to any long-term goals.

Still, it’s clear he wouldn’t be putting in the work if the 2016 Olympics were not his primary focus. Phelps has already competed in four Summer Games, winning 18 golds and 22 medals overall.

The Grand Prix schedule provides tuneups for the U.S. national championships in August, where spots will be earned for the Pan Pacific Championships later that month and next year’s world championships in Kazan, Russia — an important steppingstone for the Olympics.

After the Charlotte meet, Phelps will head to Colorado for high-altitude training beginning May 27.

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Phelps says he’ll never swim 400IM again

Posted on 25 April 2014 by WNST Staff

By BETH HARRIS Associated Press

MESA, Ariz. — Michael Phelps’ comeback meet was cut short Friday when he failed to advance to the 50-meter freestyle final.

The 18-time Olympic gold medalist used the morning preliminaries at the Arena Grand Prix to fine-tune his butterfly stroke instead of doing freestyle like everyone else. He finished seventh in a time of 24.06 seconds, missing out on the eight-man evening final.

Phelps didn’t even make any of the three consolation finals because he was 42nd overall; only the top 32 qualify for those, so his first competition since retiring after the 2012 London Olympics ended early.

“I don’t think there will be enough scratches,” coach Bob Bowman joked about the possibility of Phelps getting into any of the finals.

Phelps ended up in the sprint because none of the day’s other events — 400 individual medley, 200 freestyle and 200 backstroke — are ones that he plans to compete in during this comeback. He dominated the 400 IM during the height of career, but he vows he won’t swim the grueling event anymore.

“I’m putting that out there: I am never swimming the 400 IM again,” he said.

Bowman jabbed him, saying, “Kind of like, ‘I will never swim again.’”

At that, the longtime friends laughed.

Phelps had insisted he was done with swimming after London and frequently pointed out he had no intention of swimming past the age of 30. He turns 29 next month, and would be 31 by the time of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Phelps tread lightly when pressed about his intentions toward a possible fifth Olympics. He was 15 at his first games in Sydney in 2000, when he was the youngest member of the entire U.S. team. He didn’t medal, but went on to haul in 22 medals over his next four games, including a record eight gold in 2008.

He repeatedly emphasized he’s having fun this time around and feels more relaxed than ever.

“I felt like a kid and that was the coolest part about it,” he said. “It’s a good starting point, being able to get some races back under my belt.”

Phelps’ goal Friday was to take just three breaths in the one-lap race; easy enough for a sprinter but not for a swimmer who specialized in distances ranging from 200 to 400 meters during his career.

“It’s weird for me not to breathe,” he said. “I’m used to breathing every single stroke.”

He gulped air every second or third stroke, and halfway through he took two consecutive breaths.

“As soon as I did that, I was like, ‘Man, I wonder if I can hold my breath the whole way,” he said. “I was like, ‘No, I don’t think so, so I snuck one more at 15.”

Afterward, Bowman told him, “You don’t really know how to swim a 50.”

Phelps replied, “I guess that’s a good thing.”

He finished second to Ryan Lochte in the 100 butterfly on Thursday, tying the fourth-fastest time in the world this year.

Next up for Phelps is high-altitude training in Colorado next month. He’s entered in Grand Prix meets in North Carolina and California, although his presence hasn’t been confirmed yet.

 

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Bovada gives Ovechkin 8/1 odds to MVP of Olympics

Posted on 17 February 2014 by WNST Staff

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV).

 

2014 Olympic Ice Hockey – Men’s Gold Medal    

Canada                                                 7/4

USA                                                       11/4

Russia                                                   16/5

Sweden                                                5/1

Finland                                                  11/1

Czech Republic                                 25/1

Switzerland                                          25/1

Slovakia                                               100/1

Norway                                                 500/1

Latvia                                                    500/1

Austria                                                  500/1

Slovenia                                               500/1

 

2014 Olympic Ice Hockey – Men’s Olympic MVP

Sidney Crosby (CAN)                            11/2

Phil Kessel (USA)                                  11/2

Pavel Datsyuk (RUS)                             13/2

Drew Doughty (CAN)                             15/2

Alex Ovechkin (RUS)                             8/1

Henrik Lundqvist (SWE)                         10/1

Carey Price (CAN)                                 10/1

Jonathan Quick (USA)                           10/1

Erik Karlsson (SWE)                              12/1

Semyon Varlamov (RUS)                       12/1

T.J. Oshie (USA)                                   15/1

Tuukka Rask (FIN)                                 15/1

James van Riemsdyk (USA)                   15/1

John Tavares (CAN)                               20/1

Jonas Hiller (SUI)                                   25/1

Ondrej Pavelec (CZE)                            40/1

Olli Jokinen (FIN)                                   50/1

Tomas Plekanec (CZE)                          50/1

 

2014 Olympic Ice Hockey – Men’s Top Goalscorer          

Michael Grabner (AUT)                           5/4

Phil Kessel (USA)                                  7/4

Drew Doughty (CAN)                             13/2

Jeff Carter (CAN)                                   8/1

Alex Ovechkin (RUS)                             9/1

Evgeni Malkin (RUS)                              11/1

Iilya Kovalchuk (RUS)                            11/1

Erik Karlsson (SWE)                              12/1

Sidney Crosby (CAN)                            20/1

Joe Pavelski (USA)                               30/1

Ryan Getzlaf (CAN)                               30/1

2013-14 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship – Odds to Win (Teams in red have longer odds , teams in blue have shorter odds, and teams in black stayed the same)         

      Odds on 1/7/14             Current Odds

Florida                          20/1                              6/1

Syracuse                      10/1                              6/1

Kansas                         15/2                              15/2

Michigan State              6/1                                17/2

Arizona                         11/2                              9/1

Duke                            12/1                              9/1

Louisville                      10/1                              12/1

Kentucky                      7/1                                14/1

Wichita State                 28/1                              14/1

Michigan                       50/1                              22/1

Creighton                      66/1                              25/1

Iowa                             40/1                              25/1

Virginia                         100/1                            25/1

Wisconsin                     16/1                              25/1

Villanova                       40/1                              28/1

Oklahoma State            10/1                              33/1

San Diego State            50/1                              33/1

Cincinnati                      100/1                            40/1

Iowa State                     50/1                              40/1

Ohio State                    12/1                              40/1

St. Louis                       100/1                            40/1

Connecticut                   50/1                              50/1

North Carolina               25/1                              50/1

Texas                           200/1                            50/1

Pittsburgh                     40/1                              66/1

UCLA                            40/1                              66/1

VCU                             66/1                              75/1

Gonzaga                       66/1                              100/1

Memphis                       50/1                              100/1

SMU                             Off the Board                100/1

Arizona State                300/1                            150/1

Kansas State                150/1                            150/1

New Mexico                  150/1                            150/1

Oklahoma                     150/1                            150/1

Oregon                         50/1                              150/1

Tennessee                    150/1                            150/1

UMass                          100/1                            150/1

California                      500/1                            200/1

George Washington       200/1                            200/1

LSU                              150/1                            200/1

Xavier                           200/1                            200/1

Baylor                           75/1                              250/1

Florida State                 150/1                            250/1

Georgetown                  100/1                            250/1

Harvard                         200/1                            250/1

Indiana                          150/1                            250/1

Minnesota                     200/1                            250/1

Missouri                        66/1                              250/1

Ole Miss                       250/1                            300/1

Stanford                       300/1                            300/1

Arkansas                      500/1                            500/1

Clemson                       300/1                            500/1

Colorado                      50/1                              500/1

Alabama                       500/1                            Off the Board   

Boise State                  250/1                            Off the Board   

Boston College             1000/1                          Off the Board

Butler                            200/1                            Off the Board   

BYU                             500/1                            Off the Board   

Colorado State              1000/1                          Off the Board

Davidson                      2000/1                          Off the Board

Dayton                         250/1                            Off the Board   

Fordham                       1000/1                          Off the Board

George Mason              500/1                            Off the Board
Georgia                        1000/1                          Off the Board

Georgia Tech                1000/1                          Off the Board

Illinois                           150/1                            Off the Board   

La Salle                        1000/1                          Off the Board

Marquette                     250/1                            Off the Board   

Maryland                       500/1                            Off the Board   

Miami Florida                500/1                            Off the Board   

Northwestern                 1000/1                          Off the Board

Notre Dame                  250/1                            Off the Board   

NC State                       300/1                            Off the Board   

Purdue                          500/1                            Off the Board   

Rhode Island                 1000/1                          Off the Board

Richmond                     1000/1                          Off the Board

South Carolina              1000/1                          Off the Board

St. Bonaventure            1000/1                          Off the Board

St. Joe’s                       1000/1                          Off the Board

St. John’s                     300/1                            Off the Board   

St. Mary’s                     300/1                            Off the Board   

Temple                         1000/1                          Off the Board

Texas A&M                   300/1                            Off the Board   

UNLV                            500/1                            Off the Board   

USC                             500/1                            Off the Board   

Vanderbilt                     500/1                            Off the Board   

Virginia Tech                 500/1                            Off the Board   

Wake Forest                 300/1                            Off the Board

Washington                   500/1                            Off the Board   

Washington State          1000/1                          Off the Board

West Virginia                 500/1                            Off the Board

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Local Olympian Britcher finishes 15th in luge competition

Posted on 11 February 2014 by WNST Staff

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Finally, Olympic gold for Germany’s Natalie Geisenberger.

Finally, Olympic anything for Erin Hamlin and the United States.

Leaving no doubt that she absolutely rules her sport, Geisenberger won the women’s luge gold medal at the Sochi Games on Tuesday — posting the second-largest victory margin in Olympic history. Her final time was 3 minutes, 19.768 seconds, 1.139 seconds better than German teammate Tatjana Huefner, the 2010 gold medalist.

And Hamlin finished third, grabbing the first medal for any American singles luge athlete at the Olympics, 50 years after luge first appeared at the games. So in the sport’s golden anniversary as part of the Olympics, Hamlin came up with bronze, a feat that will surely go down as perhaps the greatest moment in USA Luge history.

U.S. individual sliders had been fourth on three occasions at the Olympics, but never any better. So every four years, the same question gets asked — when will an American break through?

Hamlin, a native of Remsen, N.Y., finally put an end to that.

Hamlin finished 0.236 seconds behind Huefner in the race for silver, but held off Canada’s Alex Gough by 0.433 seconds for the final spot on the flower stand. It was the fifth Olympic medal for USA Luge, the first four — two silvers and two bronzes — coming in doubles races.

When Hamlin crossed the line, that medal finally clinched, she threw her arms skyward, then covered her face briefly with her hands. U.S. coach Mark Grimmette — a doubles medalist for the Americans — raced over to offer congratulations, and men’s slider Chris Mazdzer reached down from the bleachers to hand Hamlin the U.S. flag.

“It’s amazing,” Hamlin said. “It’s surreal, really.”

Then the roars kept coming, for the Germans.

Maybe it was fitting that Geisenberger, Huefner and Hamlin were the three who found their way to the top. Every single time since 2007, in the year’s final race — either the world championships or the Olympics — one of those three women were crowned champion. And this marked the first time in Olympic women’s luge history that three world champions stood side by side on the medal podium.

But there’s no doubt which one stands tallest these days, both literally and figuratively.

Geisenberger turned 26 last week, already was a world champion and World Cup champion, and now has the Olympic title after taking the bronze in Vancouver four years ago. Much likeFelix Loch, the men’s two-time Olympic champion and fellow protege of all-time great Georg Hackl, her run of dominance might just be getting started.

How dominant was Geisenberger at the Sochi Olympics? Consider: The victory margins posted by the last four Olympic women’s winners, combined, was 0.949 seconds. Geisenberger’s lead after three runs this time was 1.049 seconds. And she didn’t take her foot off the gas for the final run, either.

In other words, there was never a doubt.

Kate Hansen of La Canada, Calif., was 10th for the U.S., and Summer Britcher of Glen Rock, Pa., placed 15th. They were both making their Olympic debuts.

Geisenberger dominated the World Cup circuit this year with seven wins in eight starts, came to Sochi brimming with confidence, then simply made no mistakes. Geisenberger’s lead was just over three-quarters of a second after Monday’s first two heats, and she had confessed in the days leading up to the race that she was concerned about how she would handle sleeping with the lead.

Given what she did to open things up Tuesday, it’s a safe guess she snoozed rather soundly.

All she did in the opening run of the third heat was set a track record, a trip that took 49.765 seconds and took away any chance — there wasn’t much to begin with — that she would be getting caught.

Gold was Germany’s again, the fifth straight time that’s happened and the 10th time in 14 Olympics overall. It also was the ninth time that German women, either unified or separated in the days the country was divided into east and west, won gold and silver.

For them, Olympic hardware is a constant.

And for the U.S., it’s no longer out of reach.

“I’m sure everyone at home is going crazy,” Hamlin said, “and I can’t wait to get home to see them.”

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Local Olympian Britcher in 15th place headed to luge finals

Posted on 10 February 2014 by WNST Staff

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – (AP) – History. It’s what German lugers always seem to be making. And it’s what Erin Hamlin is chasing.

Germany’s Natalie Geisenberger closed in on what appears to be an inevitable Olympic gold medal Monday night, finishing the first two runs of the women’s luge competition in 1 minute, 39.814 seconds. That’s 0.766 seconds better than her countrywoman Tatjana Huefner, who took the title at the Vancouver Games.

Germans first and second? That’s no surprise.

Instead, the surprise is who’s on their heels in third.

Hamlin — vying to be the first American to win a singles luge medal at the Olympics — was second after the first heat, then slipped to third at the midway point after losing about a tenth of a second to Huefner in her second trip down the Sanki Sliding Center track.

Still, a medal is very much within reach for the 2009 world champion from Remsen, N.Y.

“I’ll take it,” Hamlin said. “Definitely.”

Huefner’s time was 1:40.580. Hamlin’s was 1:40.632, giving her a cushion of 0.216 seconds over fourth-place Natalja Khoreva of Russia.

Barring a crash or major mistake from Geisenberger, no one will be catching her for the top spot — her lead at the midway point is the second-largest in women’s Olympic luge history.

“The first run was perfect,” Geisenberger said. “The second one was a little bit worse, but good enough. I’m absolutely satisfied with both runs.”

The final two runs are Tuesday night.

Hamlin was 12th at the Turin Games and 16th four years ago in Vancouver, where the start position was moved down the track after a men’s slider died in a training accident hours before those Olympics began. Hamlin never figured out the new start and her chances there ended essentially before the racing even got started.

Not this time. Training times suggested she would be in the mix, and two solid runs Tuesday might give her what she’s spent half a lifetime chasing.

“I like my consistency,” Hamlin said.

Also for the U.S., Kate Hansen of La Canada, Calif., is 10th, and Summer Britcher of Glen Rock, Pa., is 15th.

Geisenberger is a protege of the German great Georg Hackl, much like Felix Loch, who won his second straight Olympic gold on Sunday night in the men’s competition. She was the second woman down the ramp in the opening heat, and if anyone needed a reminder she’s the world’s best, she opened a one-run lead of 0.465 seconds.

It meant most of her competitors were beaten before getting on the ice. Italy’s Sandra Gasparini made one small slip and finished 1.141 seconds behind Geisenberger in that first heat. She shrugged and playfully punched her helmet when the run was over, as if to say, “What else can I do?”

So the race is essentially for second, and an American actually has a shot. Three times in Olympic singles luge history, a U.S. man or woman has finished in fourth. The U.S. has four Olympic luge medals, all in doubles, two silver and two bronze.

By comparison, Germany — if combining the days when the nation was split into East and West — has 52 Olympic singles luge medals, 71 overall at the games. That’s about a couple dozen more than all other nations combined, and it’s a tally that is almost certainly going to rise when Geisenberger finishes her fourth run to complete her long-awaited coronation as the sport’s undisputed best.

“It’s a good lead,” Geisenberger said, “and I don’t have to be nervous.”

Geisenberger said she’s curious to know what it’ll be like to try to sleep knowing she leads at the Olympics. Hamlin had her usual large group of family and well-wishers cheering her every move Monday night, and she seems relaxed — much as she was on the way to the 2009 world title in Lake Placid, N.Y.

“I don’t think, ‘Oh, I want to make history’ as much as I want to get a medal,” Hamlin said. “I did once before and I didn’t even think about it then, so maybe that’s the way to go. I’m just trying to set everything up, have fun, and be happy with my runs. That’s the bottom line.”

 

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Local Olympic hopeful Britcher begins Olympic luge competition Monday

Posted on 10 February 2014 by WNST Staff

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Natalie Geisenberger can be beaten. It just doesn’t happen very often.

The German will look to add Olympic gold to her list of luge accomplishments — which include bronze in Vancouver — when the women’s competition at the Sochi Games gets underway Monday night with the first two runs of a four-heat competition.

Medals will be decided in the final two runs on Tuesday. All four count toward a slider’s total time.

Geisenberger was beaten only once in the World Cup season, by teammate Tatjana Huefner, the defending Olympic champion who almost seems like an afterthought entering these games. And while that might not be wise, it makes some sense given Geisenberger’s dominance during the past two years.

Here’s five things to watch as the women’s luge competition begins at Sanki Sliding Center:

UPSET CHANCES? No one is likely to catch Geisenberger or Huefner, unless they crash or make a big mistake. But if disaster strikes the favorites, Canada’s Alex Gough might see the door to becoming an Olympic champion swing wide open. Gough might be the most consistent, most talented non-German in the women’s luge right now.

AMERICAN HOPES: Erin Hamlin of Remsen, N.Y., is a former world champion, and Kate Hansen of La Canada, Calif., won the last World Cup race on the circuit this season. Sure, no American has ever won a luge singles medal at the Olympics. And while it might be slightly surprising if Hamlin or Hansen break through against this stacked field, it would hardly be a complete stunner.

THE KEY: The three uphill portions leave very little room for error on the Sanki Sliding Center track. The course is long, but that just means there’s more room for mistakes. If the men’s competition showed anything, it’s that sliders have to be pretty clean at the start of the track, then settle in before the first five or six curves are completed. After that, good luck making up time.

INTIMIDATION FACTOR: Geisenberger will be the second woman on the track in the first run. If she puts up a great time, the other hopefuls in the field might feel beaten before the race even starts.

BEST NAME: In the Winter Games best name contest, a podium place has to go to American luger Summer Britcher, from Glen Rock, Pa.

 

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#WNSTSweet16 Greatest Local Olympic Sport Athletes

Posted on 04 February 2014 by Luke Jones

As we shift our attention from Super Bowl XLVIII and another football season to Sochi, Russia and the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics, it’s time to take a look at our latest #WNSTSweet16 list that recognizes the greatest local Olympic sport athletes to represent the area.

Some names may have garnered little more than 15 minutes of fame with their athletic glory while a few have become heroes who will never be forgotten in the local community as well as in the entire country. Athletes who were either born in the state of Maryland or resided here for a significant period of time during their triumphs were considered for the list.

As WNST.net’s Glenn Clark previously pointed out, winning a medal and even participating in the Olympics weren’t requirements, but the list of Marylanders to triumph in either the Winter or Summer Games is extensive, meaning Olympic triumph carried heavier influence in paring down the candidates. Other guidelines that were considered were career longevity as well as a preference to recognize individual success before team competitions.

Here’s the list of the WNST Sweet 16 Greatest Local Olympic Sport Athletes:

16. Pam Shriver, tennis

The McDonogh grad may never have won a Grand Slam singles title, but her remarkable doubles career included 21 championships in Grand Slam tournaments and an Olympic gold medal playing with Zinna Garrison in Seoul, South Korea in 1988. The pair topped Jana Novotná and Helena Suková in the doubles final to take the gold.

Because this list doesn’t require Olympic triumph or participation, the argument could be made to move Shriver much higher on the list, but tennis wasn’t reintroduced as an Olympic medal sport until 1988 — after a 64-year hiatus– when her best years were winding down. Shriver did not appear in another edition of the Summer Games, but her triumph in Seoul coupled with even her late-career success made her a worthy inclusion. 

pam

Continue to next page for No. 15

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Caps John Carlson Makes a Strong Team USA Olympic Hockey Team

Posted on 01 January 2014 by Ed Frankovic

Following today’s NHL Winter Classic in the “Big House” in Ann Arbor, USA Hockey announced their 25 man roster for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi in February and as predicted in this blog back in November, the Washington Capitals John Carlson made the team on defense.

Carlson, in a conference call with the media tonight, called it a “dream come true” and said that playing on this big stage would be an even greater feat than scoring the overtime game winning goal for USA in the 2010 World Juniors Gold Medal.

Washington’s #74 received a ringing endorsement from team captain Alex Ovechkin when the Gr8 said that Carlson was the team’s best defensemen and 100% deserved to be on the team. Carlson has had an outstanding season and when Mike Green was injured earlier in the year, he stepped up as the team’s #1 d-man on the power play to go along with his role of being on the #1 pairing for killing penalties. Simply put, his ability to play in all situations combined with his excellent skating and hard shot made him a perfect fit for this year’s Team USA Olympic squad.

As for the rest of the team, GM David Poile’s club that will be coached by Penguins bench boss Dan Bylsma is as follows:

Goalies (3):

Ryan Miller (Buffalo), Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles),and Jimmy Howard (Detroit)

Defensemen (8):

Carlson, Ryan Suter (Minnesota), Ryan McDonagh (Rangers), Brooks Orpik (Pittsburgh), Paul Martin (Pittsburgh), Kevin Shattenkirk (St. Louis), Kevin Faulk (Carolina), and Cam Fowler (Anaheim)

Forwards (14):

Patrick Kane (Chicago), Zach Parise (Minnesota), Joe Pavelski (San Jose), Ryan Callahan (Rangers), Derek Stepan (Rangers), James van Riemsdyk (Toronto), Phil Kessel (Toronto), Blake Wheeler (Winnipeg), David Backes (St. Louis), T.J. Oshie (St. Louis), Ryan Kesler (Vancouver), Max Pacioretty (Montreal), Paul Stastny (Colorado), and Dustin Brown (Los Angeles)

This is a very good team but the challenge, as Poile mentioned back in August, is to be able to handle the big ice surface in Sochi. Team USA has not fared well outside of North America in the Olympics so the pressure is on this club to produce. The strength of this squad, in my opinion, is the goaltending and up front. Miller, despite playing behind a weak Sabres club, has been performing at a very high level and if Quick doesn’t get healthy and play well quickly, it will be the Michigan State alum in net once again for the Americans. Up front, Kane is as good a scorer as any in the world. The defense is the question mark but this crew of eight is filled with players who can play at both ends of the rink.

The time zone change, Sochi is nine hours ahead of the east coast, will be a factor for many of the NHL players but that impacts nearly every squad. On paper, Canada and Sweden look to be the best while Russia is hoping home ice helps their cause. I see Russia’s defense and goaltending as ultimately being their downfall. There are still six weeks to go until the games start, but my prediction right now is:

Gold – Sweden

Silver – Canada

Bronze – USA

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Ravens shut out, but Baltimore’s Phelps, Long claim ESPY Awards

Posted on 18 July 2013 by WNST Staff

The biggest stars from the worlds of sports and entertainment gathered in downtown Los Angeles at the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on Wednesday night to celebrate the best sports stories of the year at The 2013 ESPYS Presented by Capital One, hosted by Jon Hamm.

The Miami Heat were the winners of the night as they were honored as the year’s Best Team for the second consecutive year. LeBron James won for Best Championship Performance, Best NBA Player and Best Male Athlete. This marks the second consecutive year that LeBron James won all three of those awards.

Best Game went to Game 6 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs, where Ray Allen forced overtime with a game tying 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left in regulation. The Heat would outlast the Spurs in overtime on their way to the NBA Championship.

The year that included a number of young standout athletes culminated with Colin Kaepernick taking home the ESPY for Best Breakthrough Athlete. Best NHL Player went toSidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins who scored 15 goals and tallied 41 assists during the season.

It came as no surprise that Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers won for Best MLB Player. Michael Phelps collected the award for Best Record-Breaking Performance for setting the all-time record for most Olympic medals with 22. (He also won this award in 2009.)

The Arthur Ashe Courage Award, which recognizes individuals whose contributions transcend sports, was awarded to Robin Roberts. She became known to many across the country as one of the first female sports anchors on ESPN in the 1990s and today she greets viewers as the beloved co-anchor of the country’s leading morning show Good Morning America. Roberts blazed a trail for women in broadcasting, but it is her personal story that has served as an inspiration to countless people as she has overcome (faced?)  life-threatening illness twice. The award, which LeBron James presented to Roberts, honored the strength and courage that Roberts has displayed throughout her career and during her fight against cancer and MDS, a rare blood disorder.

Another special moment in the show was the presentation of the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance, in honor of the late Jim Valvano and The V Foundation for Cancer Research.Ben Affleck presented the award to the father-and-son team of Dick and Rick Hoyt, who have participated in over 1,000 endurance events including 31 Boston Marathons. Rick Hoyt, 51, was born with cerebral palsy and is unable to use his hands and legs. His father, 73, pushes him in a custom-made running chair during events including 5K and 10K races, marathons and triathlons.

Other 2013 ESPY winners included Serena Williams (Best Female Athlete and Best Female Tennis Player), Rick Pitino (Best Coach/Manager) and Candace Parker (Best WNBA Player).Floyd Mayweather (Best Fighter) Missy Franklin won Best Female Olympian for winning four Gold Medals at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Usain Bolt won Best International Athlete and Thierry Henry won the ESPY for best MLS Player.

With three wins this year, LeBron James has collected a total of nineESPY Awards over the course of his career.  This marks Serena Williams’ eighth ESPY Award.  Floyd Mayweatherwon Best Fighter for the second consecutive year and fifth time in his career.

This year’s guest presenters included Michelle Obama (First Lady), Ben Affleck (Two time Academy Award Winner), Kevin Bacon (R.I.P.D.), Malin Ackerman (The Trophy Wife), Paula Patton (2 Guns), Tate Donovan (Hostages), Bill Hader (Turbo), Kerri Walsh Jennings, Tony Gonzalez, Adrian Peterson, LeBron James, Jason Sudeikis (We Are The Millers), Lake Bell(Million Dollar Arm), Michael Phelps, Ray Lewis, Gabby Douglas, Colin Kaepernick, Alex Morgan, Victor Cruz, Steve Nash, Selena Gomez (Stars Dance), Katherine Webb, Chrissy Teigen (TV Host), Sean “Diddy” Combs (Grammy Award Winner).

Below is a complete list of 2013 winners.

SPECIAL AWARDS

ARTHUR ASHE COURAGE AWARD: Robin Roberts

JIMMY V AWARD FOR PERSEVERANCE: Dick and Rick Hoyt

 

BEST IN SPORT

BEST FEMALE ATHLETE: Serena Williams

BEST MALE ATHLETE: LeBron James

BEST FEMALE OLYMPIAN: Missy Franklin

BEST MALE OLYMPIAN: Michael Phelps

BEST MOMENT: Jack Hoffman TD at Nebraska spring game

BEST TEAM: Miami Heat

BEST COMEBACK: Adrian Peterson

BEST COACH/MANAGER: Rick Pitino

BEST GAME: Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs, Game 6 NBA Finals

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP PERFORMANCE: LeBron James, NBA Finals

BEST PLAY:

BEST UPSET: 15-Seed Florida Gulf Coast over 2-Seed Georgetown

BEST BREAKTHROUGH ATHLETE: Colin Kaepernick

BEST RECORD-BREAKING PERFORMANCE: Michael Phelps 22 Olympic medals

BEST MALE COLLEGE ATHLETE: Johnny Manziel

BEST FEMALE COLLEGE ATHLETE: Brittney Griner

BEST MALE ATHLETE WITH A DISABILITY: Jeremy Campbell

BEST FEMALE ATHLETE WITH A DISABILITY: Jessica Long

 

INDIVIDUAL SPORTS

BEST MLB PLAYER: Miguel Cabrera

BEST NBA PLAYER: LeBron James

BEST WNBA PLAYER: Candace Parker

BEST NFL PLAYER: Adrian Peterson

BEST NHL PLAYER: Sidney Crosby

BEST MLS PLAYER: Thierry Henry

BEST MALE ACTION SPORT ATHLETE: Nyjah Huston

BEST FEMALE ACTION SPORT ATHLETE: Stephanie Gilmore

BEST BOWLER: Pete Weber

BEST DRIVER: Ryan Hunter-Reay

BEST FIGHTER: Floyd Mayweather

BEST MALE GOLFER: Tiger Woods

BEST FEMALE GOLFER: Stacey Lewis

BEST INTERNATIONAL ATHLETE: Usain Bolt

BEST JOCKEY: Joel Rosario

BEST MALE TENNIS PLAYER: Novak Djokovic

BEST FEMALE TENNIS PLAYER: Serena Williams

 

SPONSORED AWARD

CAPITAL ONE CUP: North Carolina Women’s Athletics and UCLA Men’s Athletics

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Capitals’ facility to host Olympic hockey orientation

Posted on 29 June 2013 by WNST Staff

ARLINGTON, Va. – Kettler Capitals Iceplex, the official practice facility of the Washington Capitals, will host the 2013 United States Olympic Men’s National Team Orientation Camp from Aug. 25-29, Capitals vice president and general manager George McPhee, Kettler Capitals Iceplex and USA Hockey announced today.

The camp is designed to assist in the preparation of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team that will compete at the XXII Olympic Winter Games to be held from Feb. 7-23, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.

“We are thrilled that Kettler Capitals Iceplex has been chosen by USA Hockey to host their 2013 U.S. Men’s National Team Orientation Camp,” said McPhee. “This selection is a testament to the growing popularity of hockey in the Washington area and we feel there is no better place to hold the U.S. Olympic camp than the Nation’s capital.”

Details surrounding the five-day orientation camp will be released by the Capitals and USA Hockey at a later date.

“This is a great recognition of how far we have come as a hockey community in the last decade,” said Capitals assistant general manager Don Fishman. “The Capitals have enjoyed tremendous support from our great fans and our youth hockey programs have continued to grow with record numbers. We are excited to have the opportunity to host the U.S. National team at our practice facility in Arlington.”

The Washington Capitals ushered in a new era for the franchise in 2006 with the opening of Kettler Capitals Iceplex, a community ice rink in Arlington, Va., that serves as the Capitals’ training facility and home to the team’s administrative offices. The 137,000-square-foot facility includes two NHL-size ice rinks with seating for approximately 1,200, office space, two pro shops, a snack bar, media facilities and additional space for special events. The 20,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art training center for the Capitals features a large weight and fitness room, extensive athletic-training and medical facilities, spacious locker-room and lounge areas, a theater-style classroom and a high-tech video room.

Kettler Capitals Iceplex hosted Capitals training camp for the sixth year in 2012. It has also played host to five Capitals summer development camps and the unveiling of the team’s new logos and jerseys in 2007.

The facility is the first indoor ice rink inside the Capitol Beltway in Virginia and just the second facility of its kind anywhere inside the Beltway (Ft. Dupont Ice Rink in D.C. is the other). The two ice sheets offer an estimated 12,000 hours of ice time per year for use by youth, high school and college hockey teams, figure skating, synchronized skating, recreational skating, learn-to-skate programs and hockey and broomball. The Washington Little Capitals, a top tier 1 program, play at the facility as well as the recently developed Capitals Academy Travel teams and Rooftop Hockey House League.

In June, USA Hockey named the Kettler Capitals as one of four USA Hockey Model Association programs.

With the designation, the four organizations have committed to follow the American Development Model (ADM) in full at the 8-and-under, 10-and-under and 12-and-under age groups. The ADM is based on age-appropriate training to fully benefit children in their hockey and overall athletic development.

 

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