Female Olympic champions from London 2012
A detail from Wendy Fox's fantastic website looking at female Olympic champions from London 2012.

Olympic links: 14 November, 2014

Female Olympic champions from London 2012
A detail from Wendy Fox’s fantastic website looking at female Olympic champions from London 2012.

Authors denoted in brackets. OW – Ollie Williams

2024 Summer Olympics

Local governments in the Washington area have unanimously backed its planned 2024 bid. This opinion piece, meanwhile, presents the case for no Boston 2024 Olympics. (OW)


Video – an Irish marathon runner takes on Chile’s “volcano race”. (1min 23secs. OW)

Jessica Ennis-Hill says she wants her name removed from a stand at Sheffield United’s ground if convicted rapist Ched Evans rejoins the team. (OW)


By yours truly for CNN: how rule changes have opened up four-man bobsleigh to female pilots, giving Olympic silver medallist Elana Meyers Taylor and husband Nic the chance to compete together. However, Meyers Taylor now needs to find $10,000 to have a chance of reaching the four-man World Cup. (OW)

“I had four days’ training, doing three runs each day,” admitted Meyers Taylor, laughing. “And it really was a different experience. People say a two-man sled is like driving a racecar, and a four-man is like driving a truck. And it feels that way.”

The Taylors had been together in a sled before. They once held an informal race against U.S. team-mates Holcomb and Katie Eberling, dubbed the “co-coed championships,” which improbably ended in a tie.

But what surprised Taylor was the way his wife let no pressure show as she fought — with minimal training — for a place on the U.S. four-man squad.

“The closest thing I can relate it to is an NFL quarterback,” said Taylor. “You’d have a Tom Brady, you’d have a Peyton Manning and you’d have an Elana Meyers.

“Pre-race, each driver has their signature style. A lot of the guys get really worked up, like entering a football game, but Elana’s laughing the whole time, which is awesome. It just takes a little getting used to. There are guys yelling and grunting and screaming, and Elana’s just sitting around and laughing, ready to go.”


Britain’s national federation confirms it has “agreed in principle” to re-enter the World Series of Boxing. (OW)

Joe Maphosa, from Middlesbrough, has been signed to the GB development squad and is beginning to dream of Rio. (OW)


Australia’s Cadel Evans, set to retire in a few months’ time, is subjected to the Guardian’s Small Talk series. (OW)


Malaysians demand an explanation from Lee Chong Wei for his failed drugs test: (OW)

The most valuable contribution that Chong Wei has done, is to make Malaysians feel like true Malaysians, even if it is just for those few hours whenever he plays.

And because of this, he, and everyone involved, owes me and all Malaysians an explanation to what really took place that made him fail the doping test.

But demanding an explanation, it doesn’t mean that I am not supporting him. It does not mean that I am only with him when he is a champion, and forsake him when he is down.

I want an explanation because I want to continue supporting him and to show him that his contributions to the nation is very much appreciated.

The World Anti-Doping Agency has issued a clarification: its appeal over ice hockey player Nicklas Backstrom’s failed drugs test is not related to the IOC or his Olympic silver medal. Instead, Wada says the appeal relates only to an unspecified decision from the IIHF, ice hockey’s world governing body. (OW)


British Fencing has info on this weekend’s epee World Cups. Meanwhile, fencing’s Commonwealth Championships are taking place in Largs, Scotland, where the hosts have three gold medals so far. Thanks to Jennifer for the tip. (OW)


As things stand, Rio 2016 qualification is looking tricky for Tiger Woods. (OW)

Hockey (field)

Great Britain’s men lost back-to-back games against Spain this week, 1-0 and 4-1. (OW)

Rio 2016

Here’s the International Paralympic Committee’s review of Rio’s preparations so far. The IPC sounds broadly happy. (OW)


GB’s Alex Gregory explains how a recent training trip to Rio has motivated him to make sure he reaches the 2016 Olympics. (OW)

Rugby sevens

Fiji coach Ben Ryan looks ahead to next month’s Dubai Sevens, a stop on the World Series and one of the sport’s showpiece events. (OW)


Vanessa-Mae, banned for four years for rigging Olympic qualification races prior to Sochi 2014, says the accusations are ‘nonsense’ as she prepares to involve the Court of Arbitration for Sport. (OW)

Here’s a succinct discipline-by-discipline season preview from British Ski and Snowboard. (OW)

Olympic slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin is planning to make her super-G debut in December. (OW)

Sochi 2014 slalom silver medallist Marcel Hirscher appears to have ruled out competing at Pyeongchang 2018. (OW)


GB’s Aimee Fuller says she’s using this coming season to “build a solid foundation” for the following years. (OW)


Eight young British swimmers have been selected to take part in an acclimatisation trip to Japan next month, with Tokyo 2020 in mind: (OW)

The British contingent will include Youth Olympic and European Junior medallists such as Luke Greenbank and Georgia Cotes.

“We’re trying to accelerate the development of athletes we expect to be in their prime by 2020,” said Tim Jones, British Swimming Head of Performance Pathway who will lead the groups to Suzuka for the boys and Shizuoka for the girls.

“The intention is to expose swimmers, coaches and staff to a very different environment. The culture within is something you have to be comfortable with and that is part of the point and purpose of what we’re now setting out to do.

“The quality of youth swimming in Japan is beyond anything in comparison with the rest of the world, except perhaps the USA. They work harder and for longer hours than we do from a younger age – because of their education system – so there will be things we can learn.”

A nice touch from teenage US star Katie Ledecky: (OW)

In the first meet of her senior year, Ledecky wore a cap belonging to a swimmer from another school who was seriously injured in a car crash.

Ledecky’s cap had the name “Johannessen” on it. It belongs to Patrick “PJ” Johannessen, a Gonzaga senior swimmer who was seriously injured in a two-car crash that killed one student on Nov. 1. The gesture came after Ledecky emailed her high school coach and texted with her fellow team captains before Tuesday’s meet.

“We had a group message going to try to figure out what we could do,” Ledecky said, according to reachforthewall.com. “We have all our meets with these guys. … We feel like we’re one team.

“Once this happened we knew we had to do something to show our support. I have a brother who went to Gonzaga, and a number of kids in the Stone Ridge senior class know Gonzaga and some of the kids who were involved.”

Other news

Some nice data visualization here: all the female Olympic champions from London 2012. (OW, via Sarah Connolly on Twitter.)

With the imminent release of Foxcatcher, OlympStats looks at movies with an Olympic edge. There are more than you might think. (OW)