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Skier Emil Hegle Svendsen almost cost himself gold medal by pulling a DeSean Jackson

Norwegian cross-country skier Emil Hegle Svendsen took home a gold medal in the 15km biathlon on Tuesday. The race required a photo finish that would not have been necessary if Svendsen waited another second to celebrate.

As he approached the finish line after a race that took longer than 42 minutes, Svendsen raised his arms in triumph. You can certainly understand being overwhelmed with joy after winning a nine-mile race, but the premature celebration nearly cost Svendsen the gold. France’s Martin Fourcase, who was hustling to the finish line, almost passed Svendsen at the last second.

Emil-Hegle-Svendsen-photo-finish

As some of you may know, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson cost his team touchdowns twice by celebrating early. Denver Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan did the same exact thing in the first game of the 2013 NFL season. Fortunately for Svendsen, he had just enough of a lead for it to not cost him. I’m sure he’ll realize how bad it could have been when he watches the replay.

GIF and screenshot via USA Today

Lindsey Vonn inspired by Bode Miller’s success

Lindsey VonnLindsey Vonn is 29 and will be 33 when the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea roll around. Sadly, she was unable to compete in the Games at Sochi because of a knee injury, but despite her age, she has some faith heading into the 2018 Games thanks to Bode Miller.

Miller is 36 and became the oldest alpine skier to win an Olympics medal when he won bronze in the super-G.

“It gives me a little confidence going into Pyeongchang in four years. I’ll be 33. If Bode can do it, I can do it,” Vonn said during an appearance on “Today” per For The Win.

Skiing is no different from most sports in that most athletes are at their peak in their 20s. In order to win an Olympics medal, you have to be one of the top three in the world at that particular event. As athletes age, their bodies lose strength, recover slower from injuries, and their reaction times worsen. All of these issues contribute to most Olympians — especially ones in high-intensity sports like skiing — from being able to compete at the highest of levels as they get older. Not only that, but most skiers have blown out their knees so many times by the time they’re 30, competing is less realistic. If anything will prevent Vonn from competing in the next Olympics, my money would be on another knee injury because those are so common.

Former Canadian skier Brian Stemmle upset about Stanley Cup visiting Canadian Olympic House

Patrich Chan Stanley Cup

The Stanley Cup is awesome. It’s probably the coolest trophy in professional sports, and it has to be the only trophy that has security detail 24/7/365. Having a chance to be around the cup is rare, so of course any time there is a cup visit, there’s going to be excitement. Which is what happened on Monday.

The Stanley Cup, which appears to have been in Sochi for a few days, was in the Canada Olympic House, where many Canadian Olympians seized the opportunity to take pictures with it. But there was one grumpy guy who complained about the cup’s presence.

Here’s what former Canada skier and current TV analyst Brian Stemmle had to say:

If so many athletes had a problem with the Stanley Cup’s presence, they probably wouldn’t have been so excited about checking it out and taking pictures with it:

Lighten up, Stemmle. The Stanley Cup is awesome and can do whatever it wants whenever it wants.

H/T The Canadian Press

Canadian bobsledder Heather Moyse takes a hot bath in a trash can

Heather-Moyse-trash-can

The Sochi Olympics have had plenty of problems when it comes to housing athletes, but you can’t really blame Olympic officials for not having bath tubs. Adults typically take showers. But when Canadian bobsledder Heather Moyse needed a hot bath to relax her muscles over the weekend, she found a way to improvise.

“No bath tubs in the Mountain Village … So just chillin’ in a garbage bin doing a hot Epsom salt ‘bath’!” Moyse wrote on Twitter along with the photo you see above.

Please tell me that was an unused trash bin. A poll from the Toronto Sun revealed that 36% of people would do the same thing Moyse did, compared to 20% who wouldn’t. The other 44% said it would depend on how clean the trash can was.

Did the voters take stuff like Russian officials spying on showers and athletes getting stuck in bathrooms into consideration? That would probably skew the numbers a bit. Maybe Moyse is onto something.

H/T Fourth Place Medal

British skier Rowan Cheshire shares hospital photo after nasty fall

Rowan-Cheshire-injuries

British Olympic skier Rowan Cheshire took a frightening spill during her training session for the women’s halfpipe over the weekend. The 18-year-old sustained a concussion and was briefly knocked unconscious after hitting her face and head off the hard-packed snow.

Cheshire spent Sunday night in the hospital and shared a photo of some of her battle scars on Twitter. It is unclear if she will be able to compete this week.

“After examination by Team GB medical personnel, it is confirmed that (Cheshire) has a concussion and, as a precaution, will stay at a local hospital overnight for further evaluation,” the British Olympic Association said in a statement, according to The Telegraph. “She will be evaluated further during the coming days before a determination is made about her fitness to compete.”

Cheshire appeared to be in slightly better spirits in a later photo with her teammates.

Here’s hoping she has a full and speedy recovery and still has an opportunity to compete for a medal.

Bode Miller cries during interview; reporter Christin Cooper criticized for questions

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Bode Miller salvaged what has been a disappointing trip to Sochi on Sunday by winning a bronze medal in the men’s super-G. The 36-year-old became the oldest alpine skier in Olympic history to win a medal. After the race, he was overcome with emotion when NBC’s Christin Cooper asked several questions about his late brother.

Miller’s brother Chelone was found dead last April after suffering an apparent seizure. He was 29. At the start of his interview with Cooper, Miller mentioned the passing of Chelone. You can see the full video of the interview here.

“This was a little different,” he said. “I think my brother passing away … I really wanted to come back here and race the way he sensed it. This was a little different.”

Miller was clearly fighting back tears after bringing up his brother. Cooper asked a follow-up question about the emotion he was showing. When he did not mention Chelone, she asked another question about him.

[Read more...]

US Speedskating didn’t test uniforms because they feared opponents would steal secrets?

Shani Davis parachute

When reports first surfaced last week that US Speedskating coaches were attributing the team’s struggles at the Winter Olympics in Sochi to flaws in their new suits, one of the biggest questions to arise was why the suits were never tested in competition prior to the Winter Games. It sounds like there is an answer to explain things, one that sounds incredibly ironic now.

According to The Associated Press, the reason the “Mach 39″ suits created by Under Armour — billed as the fastest in the world — were never tested is because there were fears the competition would steal the design secrets.

From the AP article:

Sure, the skaters were involved in the development all through the process: trying on the suit, using it in training, offering suggestions and feedback. But secrecy seemed to be the primary concern, the U.S. fretting that other countries would swipe their technology if the suit came out too soon. The final version was completed about six weeks before the opening ceremony, which meant no one had a chance to compete in it before they arrived in Sochi.

The US has gone back to their old suits, but the results have not been any better so far. If that means the suits aren’t the problem, then what would that say about our skaters? Under Armour would have taken a major reputation hit for what could turn out to be just an athlete problem, though at this point, it sure seems like the suits didn’t help matters.

H/T Fourth-Place Medal
Image via @nick_pants