There's no UFC event this weekend, and no Strikeforce or Bellator fights, either. So what are mixed martial arts fans supposed to do with ourselves? Well, it's a prime opportunity for us to settle in front of a TV and scout for future stars.
It dawned on me this week that one of the Olympians I covered in Vancouver last year had just begun his bobsled career months before 9/11, and then was an alternate on his first Olympic team in Salt Lake City just months after 9/11. So I gave Steve Mesler, a 2010 gold medalist in four-man bobsled who retired after Vancouver, a call to ask how 9/11 changed things in his corner of the sports world. He recalled president Bush coming to talk to the team before opening ceremonies in Salt Lake City and telling the athletes how important it would be for Americans that they go out and perform their best. He recalled the athletes each being given a copper bracelet bearing the name of a dead New York firefighter or police officer. And he recalled walking toward the Olympic stadium during opening ceremonies and seeing snipers on buildings around the stadium silhouetted like shadow puppets against the evening sky.
The head of the Vancouver Olympics organizing committee warned that an athlete could get "badly injured or worse" almost a full year before Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili was killed during a practice run at the 2010 Winter Games.
The USOC announced its athletes of the year on Tuesday morning, not surprisingly tapping stars from the Vancouver Olympics as honorees. Figure skater Evan Lysacek was named Sportsman of the Year, outlasting snowboarder Shaun White, history-making speed skater Apolo Ohno and rejuvenated alpine whiz Bode Miller. Lysacek won a nail-biting men's title in Vancouver against Russia's Evgeny Plushenko in a battle of contrasting styles.
These are some of the outstanding male athletes, listed in alphabetical order, in Olympic sports for the year 2010. Last week, we looked at some of the top female athletes.
It took far more sweat than expected, but the U.S. women's soccer team, perennially a threat to win world and Olympic titles, finally secured the 16th and final position for the 2011 World Cup in Germany. With a 1-0 victory over Italy in Bridgeview, Ill. last weekend, the U.S. team won the two-game series against the Italians by a 2-0 aggregate score. The U.S. also defeated Italy, 1-0, in Padova on Nov. 20. Alex Morgan connected in the first game; Amy Rodriguez scored the lone U.S. goal on Saturday; and Nicole Barnhart was flawless in the U.S. net throughout both games. The World Cup will take place from June 26 to July 17, when the U.S. women will face North Korea, Colombia and Sweden in the qualification round.
In February, former figure skater Elvis Stojko discussed how the luge accident may affect athletes at the winter games.
A tough economy compels a champion Iditarod musher to donate to the prize money for the very race in which he's competing.
Cash is of little to no use for mushers along the isolated frontier trail that marks the self-titled "Last Great Race on Earth." However, even the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race has proven it's not immune to a struggling economy.
71 mushers and dog teams start their race across more then a thousand miles as the 2010 Iditarod begins in Alaska.
MOORESVILLE, North Carolina -- Winning the 1986 Daytona 500 may have been Geoff Bodine's shining moment, but the United States Olympic Four-Man Bobsled Team provided his golden moment last Saturday night in Vancouver. It was the culmination of a dream as the Bo-Dyn Bobsled -- known as "Night Train" and piloted by Steve Holcomb, won the first four-man gold medal for the U.S. in 62 years.
WHISTLER, British Columbia -- You could see the signs, building in the subtle but unmistakable way that a low-pressure system gathers and roils before bringing the end of a drought -- in this case, 62 years without Olympic gold in the four-man bobsled. It ended Saturday, in spectacular fashion, to the clanging of cowbells omnipresent at such races, as Steven Holcomb drove team Night Train -- as USA 1 is known -- to the gold medal.
Lindsey Vonn's Olympics come to an end. Alex Thomas wraps up Friday's competition.
Earlier this week, the NFL and NFLPA reiterated their interest in testing players for HGH. They did so in the wake of a recent positive HGH test by a British rugby player, the first known positive HGH blood test result. My reaction is that it's about time, and I know a lot of active players share my sentiment.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- "Ten days ago if you had said the United States would be 4-0 and the top seed and guaranteed to play in a medal game, well, to paraphrase coach Ron Wilson, you would be facing drug charges," says SI's Michael Farber. "But this team has grown up before a nation's eyes."
WHISTLER, British Columbia -- Bill Schuffenhauer, a pusher for the USA 3 bobsled, which starts four-man competition Friday, was detained and questioned by Canadian police Wednesday night.
USA men's hockey advances to the semifinals. CNN's Alex Thomas wraps up Wednesday's Olympic competition.
WHISTLER, British Columbia -- If there were to be a bobsled episode of The Twilight Zone, the final two runs of the women's bobsled at the Whistler Sliding Centre Wednesday night would do well as inspiration: Canada, which had zero prior medals in women's bobsled, took gold and silver; the Germans, who had nabbed three of the six medals awarded at the two prior Games that had women's bobsled, went missing from the podium; the USA 2 sled ended up not only as the top American sled, but the third best in the world; and one of the world's best technical drivers crashed herself out of contention.
Douglas F. Gansler: Maryland's attorney general said Wednesday that the state may legally recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. The 45-page opinion from Gansler was addressed to state Sen. Richard Madaleno Jr.
A U.S. two-woman bobsled sits in second place heading into Wednesday's final two runs, but it isn't the American sled everyone predicted. Everyone except perhaps driver Erin Pac and her brakewoman Elana Meyers, that is.
I don't have room to get into individual letters here, but a surprising number of you wrote regarding my column on the Capitals being jobbed in a controversial "no-goal" ruling at Montreal in which the Canadiens ended Washington's 14-game win streak.
Will the death of 21-year-old Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili during a training run for the XXI Olympic Winter Games lead to a civil action?
WHISTLER, British Columbia -- It's not the way top U.S. driver Steve Holcomb wanted to move up, but the crash of Canada's top two-man bobsled Saturday left Holcomb's team in fourth place and in sight of breaking a U.S. two-man bobsled medal drought that dates to 1952.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- SI's Michael Farber calls today Hockey Day in Heaven, and with good reason: "The top six teams in the world are meeting in their most natural and appealing configurations, reprising the three Olympic finals that have included NHL players," says Farber. "There will be Canada against the United States and Sweden versus Finland in a pair of borders wars, all preceded by the geopolitical (and hockey) antipathy between Russia and the Czech Republic. Prague Spring, anyone?" Canada's Hockey Place becomes the epicenter of puckhead revelry today with a dream tripleheader on the ice. Of course, there are actual medals to be had in other venues, including the men's super-combined at Whistler Creekside (Bode alert!), women's 1,500-meter speedskating and the conclusion of men's two-man bobsled. It's also the debut of freestyle ski cross, the wild four-at-a-time plunge down the hill at Cypress.
It would have been one of the most memorable moments in the history of the Olympic Games.
The 21-year-old Georgian luger who propelled to his death after sliding off the track during an Olympic practice run in Vancouver was laid to rest in his hometown Saturday.
WHISTLER, British Columbia -- According to delegation head Andy Hunt, Great Britain came into these 2010 Olympics with one concrete goal: to improve on their results from the 2006 Turin Games, from which they returned with a single silver in women's skeleton. And so, in one fell swoop -- or one face-first slide, really -- that goal was achieved Friday night at the Whistler Sliding Centre when Amy Williams completed the last of four runs to take the gold.
WHISTLER, British Columbia -- The controversial track at the Whistler Sliding Centre -- where Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili died in a crash last Friday -- was again stirring debate after seven bobsleds crashed on the first day of two-man training. But despite the requests of some athletes and coaches, course officials say they have no plans to adjust the ice on the track.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Terrible day for the United States Olympic team yesterday: It won only four medals.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Out of roughly 5,500 athletes in Vancouver, Evgeni Plushenko may be the most nerveless competitor. Tonight, the defending champion attempts to become the first man to win back-to-back Olympic golds in men's figure skating since Dick Button of the U.S. in 1948 and '52. "It gets more difficult each Olympics," Plushenko told reporters on Tuesday night, after placing first in the short program. "It's not because I'm getting older. It's that you have to prove yourself all over again. Gold, silver, bronze, fourth place ... I will take any result." That result will be the headline of the night -- and if it's anything but gold, the headline will be even bigger. Other medals will be awarded in men's and women's biathlon, women's halfpipe and women's speedskating.
SI.com's writers will preview each event from the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Here's David Epstein's look ahead to bobsled.
Bode Miller and Seth Wescott collect medals for the U.S. CNN's Alex Thomas reports.
Zach Lund returns to the Olympics after being banned four years ago. CNN's Mark McKay reports.
Luge is a dangerous sport in which accidents happen. That was the refrain from athlete after athlete when asked how they felt about the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, who was killed when he flew off the Olympic track during training in Whistler on Friday.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Finally, we ski. The men's downhill event, where helmeted racers tear down the side of a mountain in search of Alpine immortality, is scheduled to begin at Whistler Creekside today at 1:30 p.m. (The caveat, as always, is weather permitting.) Medals will also be awarded in men's and women's cross country, women's luge, and men's speedskating.
A Georgian luger was killed during Olympic practice. CNN's Mark McKay reports.
Luge is a dangerous sport in which accidents happen. That was the refrain from luger after luger when asked about the death of Georgia's Nodar Kumaritashvili, who was traveling at 88 mph when he flew off the last turn of the Olympic track in Whistler during a training run on Friday and was killed.
An investigation blames the fatal high-speed crash on his error at a turn - not on a track problem
WHISTLER, British Columbia -- Through protests and tragedies, the Games have always gone on, and it was no different Saturday evening at the luge course in Whistler. The first two runs of the men's competition went on as scheduled, one day after 21-year-old Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili was killed during a training run when he lost control of his sled and hurtled out of the course.
VANCOUVER, B.C. -- The Games go on, of course. Olympic competition begins in full today, albeit with a somber tone after the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, the first Olympic athlete killed during training or competition since the 1964 Innsbruck Games. It's a day with medal hopes for the U.S. in the men's downhill, women's moguls and short-track speedskating.
"This is indeed a sad day," says a top official in announcing an investigation into the practice-run crash
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The International Olympic Committee's need to push the envelope is sewn into its motto Citius, Altius, Fortius - or swifter, higher, stronger - as if to be swift enough, fast enough or strong enough were a weakness or, at the least, a lame marketing idea. So over the past decade, in an effort to remain edgy, relevant and riveting, the IOC has ratcheted up the drama by going to the extreme, enlisting the hotdog hounds of freestyle skiing and seducing daredevil snowboarders to the Games.
Rep. Patrick Kennedy: The Rhode Island Democrat announced that he is not running for re-election. Kennedy released a video to his constituents on Thursday. "Having spent two decades in politics, my life is taking a new direction, and I will not be a candidate for re-election this year," he said. "Going forward, I will continue many of the fights we've waged together, particularly on behalf of those suffering from depression, addiction, autism and post-traumatic stress disorder. I'm so grateful to the people of Rhode Island. When I made missteps or suffered setbacks, you responded not with contempt but with compassion." The 42-year-old representative is in his eighth term in office. When he retires, it will mark the first time in nearly five decades that a Kennedy will not be serving in Congress. Patrick is the youngest of three children of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. Patrick Kennedy eulogized his father last August, and remembered Ted Kennedy's self-deprecating sense of humor:
SI.com's writers will preview each event from the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Here's Brian Cazeneuve's look ahead to skeleton.
SI.com's writers will preview each event from the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Here's Brian Cazeneuve's look ahead to luge.
Three years ago, Steven Holcomb was going blind. Today, he's going to Vancouver, Canada, for a shot at Olympic glory.
Brock Kreitzburg isn't Tiger Woods. He isn't worth a billion dollars, and he has no multi-million dollar sponsorship deals to lose. Home Depot was his sole sponsor, and he lost that in March when the company cut its Olympic sponsorship program. Kreitzburg is in Germany now, traveling as part of the U.S. bobsled team, hoping to make his second Olympics as a bobsled pusher.
Illustrious has been the career of 40-year-old U.S. bobsled veteran Todd Hays, one of the sport's great drivers. But after crashing his four-man sled during a training run in Winterberg, Germany last Wednesday, Hays emerged with dizzy spells, a condition Hays hoped indicated nothing more than a mild concussion. But after undergoing an MRI upon returning to the U.S. team's training center in Lake Placid, doctors have advised Hays to retire.
The tennis star and wife Sharlely Kerssenberg are expecting less than two months after marrying
The German tennis legend marries Sharlely "Lilly" Kerssenberg in Switzerland Friday
Face off with a giant croc! Ride the world's fastest coaster! And seven more of the season's greatest adventures.
I love it when resorts really listen to us.
I know you've all heard of the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen and gondolas in Venice, but what about spelunking the sewers of Paris or quaffing homebrews with German monks? In this second part of a two-part column, I'll fill you in on more of Europe's quirky sights and experiences.
You up for a challenge?
Don't even try to steer," the instructor tells us with a straight face. "On your first few runs, you'll only make things worse." I'm sitting with about 30 other people in the track operations build...
IT'S EIGHT O'CLOCK IN THE morning, an hour when most high school kids are just beginning to think about first-period class. Steve Reynolds is already in his first ''class'' of the day: He's skiing ...
THE RACE IS ON! YOUR JOB IS TO decide who -- or what -- moves fastest. Check out the list of choices below. Decide which one is the fastest and put the number 1 in the yellow box to the left of it....
ON A RECENT FLIGHT to Denver from Grand Junction, Colorado, a business executive asked Terry Liskevych, coach of the U.S. women's Olympic volleyball team, why the United States doesn't win more med...