Saturday, November 18, 2017
Sports

Time for fame, footnotes

RECOMMENDED READING


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

Region football: Clearwater Central Catholic 37, Calvary Christian 10

CLEARWATER — The ice bath ensued for Clearwater Central Catholic coach Chris Harvey after the Marauders’ 37-10 victory over Calvary Christian in Friday’s Class 3A region final. The win placed the Marauders (11-0) in their fifth state tournament since...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Region football: Plant 22, Viera 18

Region football: Plant 22, Viera 18

MELBOURNE — With 1 yard separating Plant from an incredible come-from-behind victory, or a devastating defeat, it all came down to a matter of trust.And for Panthers coach Robert Weiner, there was no one he would put more faith in to get that 1 yard ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Region football: Armwood 22, Hillsborough 0

Region football: Armwood 22, Hillsborough 0

SEFFNER — Hillsborough conquered one nemesis with last week’s win over Class 6A defending state finalist Lake Gibson, the team that knocked the Terriers out of the playoffs in the first round a year ago.But there was an even bigger stumbling block to...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Region football: Ocala Vanguard 35, Mitchell 31

NEW PORT RICHEY — The start wasn’t quite befitting of a playoff game between undefeated teams, but the end of Friday’s war between Ocala Vanguard and Mitchell certainly was.Like last year’s Class 6A regional semifinal, the Mustangs held a three-point...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Region football: Green Cove Springs Clay 52, Zephyrhills 49

Region football: Green Cove Springs Clay 52, Zephyrhills 49

ZEPHYRHILLS — For Zephyrhills, Friday night’s Class 5A region semifinal against Green Cove Springs Clay was doomed by 12 bad minutes. The Bulldogs led by four points at halftime but allowed 28 unanswered points in the third quarter and were not able ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Region football: Lakewood 20, Jesuit 7

Region football: Lakewood 20, Jesuit 7

ST. PETERSBURG — Lakewood came into Friday’s playoff game knowing its defense had to help control field position against Jesuit. The Spartans (9-1) left Friday’s game with a ticket to Immokalee for a region final — and six Tigers (6-5) turnovers en r...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Region football: Tampa Bay Tech 42, Palmetto 26

TAMPA — Another Friday night, another offensive explosion.Tampa Bay Tech’s offense continued its torrid pace and quarterback Michael Penix Jr. accounted for five total touchdowns as the Titans rolled past Palmetto 42-26 in a Class 7A, Region 3 semifi...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Region football: Cambridge Christian 50, Indian Rocks Christian 14

TAMPA — The Cambridge Christian offense was clicking, and quarterback Jaylin Jackson couldn’t seem to be stopped. Still, as the second quarter clock dwindled, Indian Rocks Christian was hanging around.So with just more than a minute left in the half,...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Region football: Naples 24, Largo 0

NAPLES — In a game between two teams that had never met with a lot on the line, the Naples defense came up with one of its best efforts against Largo on Friday night.The Golden Eagles limited the Packers to 117 yards of offense in a 24-0 triumph in t...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Region football: Lakeland 52, Wiregrass Ranch 0

LAKELAND — It has been a historic season for the Wiregrass Ranch Bulls football team, which made consecutive playoff appearances for the first time, won its most games ever and experienced its first playoff victory.If this were a movie, the final sce...
Updated: 8 hours ago