Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Sports

Time for fame, footnotes

The headlines leading up to the start of the Olympics in Sochi, Russia, have been dominated by terrorism, security, gay rights, Russian oppression, the extermination of stray dogs, dangerous water and unusual toilet setups, among many other things.

With today's opening ceremony, the hope is the focus shifts more to the athletes and what they have at stake on the ice, slopes and slides in the 22nd Winter Games. Here are some competitors, milestones and trivia to keep an eye on:

• Three athletes have the chance to become the greatest Winter Olympian in terms of medals won. The record is 12, collected by Norwegian cross-country skiing legend Bjorn Daehlie from 1992-98. Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen is one behind Daehlie. German speed skater Claudia Pechstein has nine medals. Norwegian cross-country skier Marit Bjoergen has seven, and if she repeats her 2010 performance of five medals, she will match Daehlie.

• The United States has 230 athletes in Sochi, the largest delegation for any nation in Winter Games history. Americans are competing in all 15 disciplines in seven sports.

• Alpine skier Bode Miller, with five career medals, needs three to match retired short-track speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno as the most decorated U.S. Winter Olympian.

• Long-track speed skater Shani Davis (1,000 meters) and snowboarder Shaun White (halfpipe) can become the first American men to win three gold medals in the same event at consecutive Winter Games.

• The youngest member of the U.S. team is 15-year-old freestyle skier Maggie Voisin. The oldest is 45-year-old curler Ann Swishelm.

• Three Americans listed Florida hometowns with the U.S. Olympic Committee: long-track speed skater Eddie Alvarez (Miami) and short-track speed skaters Brittany Bowe and Joe Mantia (both Ocala).

• South Korea's Kim Yu-Na has a good chance to join Norway's Sonja Henie (1928-36) and East Germany's Katarina Witt (1984-88) as the only women to win consecutive figure skating gold medals.

• There are 12 new events: biathlon mixed relay, freestyle skiing halfpipe and slopestyle for men and women (four events), figure skating team, luge mixed relay, women's ski jumping normal hill, and snowboarding slopestyle and parallel special slalom for men and women (four). This makes 98 events in Sochi, compared with 86 in 2010 in Vancouver.

• 88 nations are competing, the most at a Winter Games. The International Olympic Committee is calling the number 87 and not counting India, whose national committee has been suspended for corruption. Indian athletes will compete under the Olympic flag as independent athletes. "It is a sad and embarrassing situation that Indian sport has been put in," luger Shiva Keshavan said.

• Seven nations are competing in the Winter Olympics for the first time: Dominica, Malta, Paraguay, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga and Zimbabwe.

• Renowned British violinist Vanessa-Mae is competing in Alpine skiing for Thailand, where she was born.

• Dutch speed skater Sven Kramer is determined to put one of the biggest blunders of the 2010 Games behind him. Kramer missed out on a third gold medal when his coach directed him to the wrong lane during a changeover in the 10,000 meters. "I want to make it into something beautiful," Kramer said. "I am not just (here) for the Olympic spirit. I already have had that."

• The IOC, as part of a $10 million fund to monitor competition integrity, has asked the Nevada Gaming Control Board to be on alert. Dramatic changes in odds can often be a sign of match-fixing. Olympic wagering isn't permitted in Vegas, but the sports books do keep an eye on illegal and offshore activity.

• NBA Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov also is the president of the Russian Biathlon Union.

Information from olympicstats.com and nbcsports.com was used in this report.

Comments
Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Victor Hedman, a relentless part of the Lightning's push to the Eastern Conference final, was honored Wednesday night with the Norris Trophy, given to the NHL's top defenseman."To the Lightning organization, Mr. Jeff Vinik, Steve Yzerman and the coac...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

UPDATE, 6:43: Cash said the key to how the pieced the lineup together was the opportunity to give Cron (who is struggling) and Duffy (who is doing well) back to back days off. … Looking ahead to the weekend, the Rays will use RHP Ryne Stanek as...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Phil Mickelson apologizes four days after hitting moving ball at U.S. Open

Phil Mickelson apologizes four days after hitting moving ball at U.S. Open

NEW YORK — Phil Mickelson has apologized four days after intentionally violating golf rules by hitting a moving ball on the green at the U.S. Open, saying his frustration got the best of him. The apology came Wednesday in a statement released by his ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bay’s highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bay’s highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox Sr. was watching the NFL draft 24 years ago when the phone rang. Buffalo coach Marv Levy was on the other line."Marv said they were taking me," said Knox Sr., a standout receiver at FSU.Soon after, Knox Sr. saw his name scroll across ESPN'...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Tough questions are mere child’s play for Kevin Knox

Tough questions are mere child’s play for Kevin Knox

Growing up, Kevin Knox II watched videos or listened to motivational tapes during car rides to and from school so he could learn how to expand upon answers in interviews.That was all by design.His father, Kevin Knox Sr., knew about the spotlight as a...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning announce home opener: Oct. 6 vs. Panthers

Lightning announce home opener: Oct. 6 vs. Panthers

The Tampa Bay Lightning will announce their full 2018-19 schedule on Thursday, but the league announced each home opener Wednesday, with Tampa Bay playing host to the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena on Saturday, Oct. 6.The Lightning will know their ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Florida State will host Florida Gators to open this basketball season

Florida State will host Florida Gators to open this basketball season

For the first time in almost two decades, Florida and Florida State will open the men's basketball season against each other.The Seminoles will host UF on Nov. 6, both programs announced Wednesday morning. FSU has won four in a row in the series."Any...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Kevin Kiermaier returns to the Rays

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Kevin Kiermaier returns to the Rays

Times sports columnist Tom Jones joins Rick Stroud to discuss Kevin Kiermaier's return to the Rays, whether Victor Hedman should win the Norris Trophy for the NHL's best defenseman, Bucs expectations for this season and Barry Trotz's next c...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Tampa Bay Times’ all-Hillsborough County girls basketball team

Tampa Bay Times’ all-Hillsborough County girls basketball team

Player of the Year: Kaliah Henderson, Jr., RobinsonFirst teamG Brylee Bartram, Jr., Seffner ChristianG Jacquelyn LeVay, Sr., AlonsoF/G Tarriyonna Gary, So., Carrollwood DayF Tiasia McMillan, So., Carrollwood DayC Kendal Cheesman, Fr., PlantSecond tea...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Tampa Bay Times’ all-Pinellas County girls basketball team

Tampa Bay Times’ all-Pinellas County girls basketball team

Player of the Year: November Morton, Sr., CountrysideFirst teamG Paris Williams, Sr., LakewoodG Summer Quigley, Jr., East LakeF Toi Smith, Sr., LakewoodF/G Carrie Lee, Sr., ClearwaterC Macey Zeh-Arndt, So., LakewoodSecond teamG Misha O'Neal, Sr., Cou...
Updated: 11 hours ago