Jun 23, 2013, 12:14 PM EST
Call it a double. June 23 is Olympic Day and the 41st anniversary of the passage of Title IX. Here, to commemorate, are nine female Olympians who made an impact in their sport.
- One of the greatest female athletes of all time, Jackie Joyner-Kersee left a lasting impression on the sport of track and field with her six Olympic medals in heptathlon and long jump. Between 1988 and 1996, Joyner-Kersee collected three golds, one silver, and two bronze medals at four straight Olympic Games. Her heptathlon score from the 1988 Seoul Games still stands as the women’s world record.
- On the track, Florence Griffith Joyner’s speed won her five Olympic medals, but it was the sprinter’s style that captured the attention of the American public. Flo-Jo, who won three golds and two silvers at the 1984 and 1988 Games, still holds world records in the 100m and 200m.
- In her fourth and final Olympic appearance at the 1994 Lillehammer Games, speed skater Bonnie Blair became the first American woman with five gold medals, capitalizing on the two-year gap between Olympics due to the change in the Winter Games cycle. Blair, who collected three Olympic titles in the 500m, is still the only American to win the same individual event at three consecutive Olympic Winter Games.
- The Williams sisters’ dominance in the sport of tennis is felt on every level of competition, including the Olympics, where they have had unmatched success. Venus and Serena have each won a singles title at the Games — Serena most recently in London — but they are unstoppable as a doubles team, going 15-0 at three Olympics on their way to three gold medals.
- The U.S. has almost always been a basketball powerhouse at the Games, and Lisa Leslie was one of the sport’s stalwarts from 1996-2008, when the women’s team won four straight golds. She closed out her Olympic career with 488 points, the most of any American — male or female — at the Games.
- Beach volleyball duo Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor pocketed three Olympic gold medals from 2004 to 2012. Their relentless pursuit of perfection led to a 21-0 record at the Games, with only one dropped set ever in Olympic competition.
- The most decorated American gymnast of all time, Shannon Miller grabbed two silver and three bronze medals at the 1992 Barcelona Games, but it was her contributions to the team at the 1996 Atlanta Games that are most memorable. Her balance beam performance, for which she won an individual gold, also helped the U.S. win its first women’s individual all-around title at the Olympics.
- Quite possibly the most well-known women’s soccer player ever, Mia Hamm (pictured above) was also one of the best. She scored 158 international goals over 275 games, which stood as an all-time record until Abby Wambach surpassed her last week. She made her final Olympic appearance at the 2004 Athens Games, where she won her second gold and third overall medal.
- Defenseman Angela Ruggiero saw the women’s ice hockey tournament through its first four Olympics, winning a medal at each Games, including a gold in Nagano, where the event made its debut. Though she retired in 2011, she remains involved in the Games by serving as a member of the International Olympic Committee.
Dec 5, 2013, 1:46 PM EST
Curling officials want a mixed-gender event in the 2018 Olympics. “Mixed doubles is part of our sport that has taken off around the world,” World Curling Federation president Kate Caithness said, according to The Associated Press. Mixed doubles curling includes teams of one man and one woman, as opposed to the traditional four-person teams in the…
Dec 5, 2013, 1:00 PM EST
Ryan Lochte is swimming again, a little over one month after tearing an MCL and spraining an ACL when he said a fan ran into him. He plans to be “back in full swing” after Christmas, according to NBC Charlotte. A November report said he would resume training in February. “I feel like a little kid…
Dec 5, 2013, 12:43 PM EST
Lindsey Vonn will ski competitively for the first time in 10 months on Friday, less than three weeks after partially tearing her ACL in a training crash. The Olympic downhill champion said Thursday she’s “confident and excited” about racing in a World Cup downhill in Lake Louise, Alberta, according to The Associated Press. Vonn took her first…
Dec 5, 2013, 12:03 PM EST
Ron Burgundy is a connoisseur of the Winter Olympics. The Anchorman proved that on the “Dan Patrick Show” on Thursday, four days after commentating the Canadian Olympic Curling Trials. In the video above, Burgundy re-enacted Al Michaels‘ famous finishing lines from the “Miracle on Ice” game at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics. For comparison’s sake, here’s Michaels’ call…
Dec 5, 2013, 11:29 AM EST
The first Olympic women’s ski jumping competition figures to be won by either Sara Takanashi or Sarah Hendrickson on Feb. 11. Japan’s Takanashi, 17, is the reigning World Cup champion. The American Hendrickson, 19, is the reigning world champion. Hendrickson is not a sure bet to compete in Sochi due to her knee injury, but when healthy they seem…
Dec 5, 2013, 10:24 AM EST
Tam Chua Puh, a 43-year-old pastry chef, turned in one of the more remarkable distance-running performances of the year when he was the first Singaporean to finish the Singapore Marathon on Sunday. Turns out, it was too good to be true. On Wednesday, Tam said he ran barely six kilometers of the 42-kilometer (26.2-mile) route,…
Dec 5, 2013, 9:58 AM EST
The Sochi Olympic torch relay, among other exploits, has included sled dogs and reindeer (and, it is expected, a dolphin). Add a camel to the list. A two-humped camel will carry an Olympic torch in the city of Chelyabinsk, the site above which a meteor exploded on Feb. 15. The Olympic torch relay is scheduled…
Dec 5, 2013, 9:23 AM EST
David Rudisha believes he can expand from the 800m, but not in the distance he’s talked about before. The Kenyan, both Olympic champion and world record holder in the two-lap race, is considering racing the 1500m before he retires. “I used to run 400m and through encouragement from my coach and friends, I committed myself to…
Dec 5, 2013, 8:17 AM EST
Lindsey Vonn is working her way back for Sochi, but it’s still unknown if Tiger Woods will be there in February. Woods was asked if he’s “making plans to be in Sochi” on Wednesday. “I think that’s just day to day,” Woods said at the Northwestern Mutual Challenge in Sherwood Oaks, Calif. “We just don’t know how her…
Dec 5, 2013, 7:20 AM EST
Mao Asada and Yuzuru Hanyu thrilled their home crowd Thursday in Fukuoka, Japan, the two Japanese skaters jumping out to healthy leads following their respective short programs at the Grand Prix Final. Hanyu, 18, delivered a world-record performance in his short, registering a score of 99.84 to build a healthy 12-point lead over Patrick Chan,…
Dec 4, 2013, 2:46 PM EST
Lindsey Vonn is one step closer to skiing competitively for the first time in 10 months. The Olympic downhill champion took an official downhill training run in near-zero-degree temperatures in Lake Louise, Alberta, on Wednesday afternoon, site of World Cup races this weekend. She completed the course in 1 minute, 59.53 seconds, the 22nd fastest of…
Dec 4, 2013, 12:57 PM EST
Burton revealed its patchwork designs for the U.S. Olympic Snowboard Team on Tuesday. “We’re really proud that the 2014 uniform builds on Burton’s legacy of creating fun, unconventional designs that stray from the formal, traditional look of most uniforms,” said Greg Dacyshyn, Chief Creative Officer at Burton Snowboards, in a press release. “The vintage quilt and…
Dec 4, 2013, 12:26 PM EST
The biggest international event from now until the Olympics is missing three active Olympic champions, but it will still provide a strong look at Sochi medal prospects. The Grand Prix Final takes the top six from each discipline over six qualifying events, which began with Skate America in October. If the Olympics are the most…
Dec 4, 2013, 10:33 AM EST
NBC Olympics added Ato Boldon, Mary Carillo and Cris Collinsworth as correspondents for its Sochi 2014 coverage, joining Maria Sharapova. Boldon, a four-time Olympic medalist sprinter for Trinidad and Tobago, will make his Winter Olympic broadcast debut. Boldon, 39, covered track and field for NBC Olympics at the 2008 and 2012 Games. Carillo, working her 12th Olympics, will be the host and…
Dec 4, 2013, 9:45 AM EST
A likely U.S. bid for the 2024 Olympics might be rivaled north of the border, but a leading Canadian Olympic official believes a North American city would have a better chance in 2028. “The way IOC does it, the games go to Europe, the Americas and then somewhere else,” Paul Henderson, former International Olympic Committee…
Dec 3, 2013, 9:21 PM EST
The U.S. Bobsled team made one change to its three women’s bobsled pairings for the second World Cup of the season in Park City, Utah, this weekend. The top two sleds from last week’s opener in Calgary, Alberta, remain the same – Elana Meyers and Aja Evans and Jamie Greubel and Katie Eberling. The third sled will again by driven by Jazmine Fenlator,…
Dec 3, 2013, 6:50 PM EST
Lindsey Vonn‘s status for this weekend’s races will be determined Thursday. The Olympic downhill champion is expected to take an official downhill training run Wednesday in Lake Louise, Alberta, two days before the first official World Cup race there. A decision on her participation in downhills Friday and Saturday and a super-G on Sunday will…
Dec 3, 2013, 6:38 PM EST
The U.S. Olympic Committee won’t narrow down its list of candidate cities for a 2024 Olympic bid until after the Sochi Games. A USOC group scheduled visits to potential bid cities including Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and San Francisco, Around the Rings reported in November. City visits will continue into December and January, USOC CEO Scott…
Dec 3, 2013, 3:16 PM EST
NBC Olympics swimming analyst Rowdy Gaines earned plenty of attention for his wild Iron Bowl finish reaction on Saturday night, but he might get a little heat from his fellow Auburn alums now. First, Gaines’ recollection of that crazy Tigers victory. His wife, Judy, was filming Gaines watching Alabama kicker Adam Griffith line up to attempt a hail-mary, 57-yard, time-expiring,…
Dec 3, 2013, 1:58 PM EST
Showers of praise keep raining on U.S. skier Mikaela Shiffrin, but perhaps comparisons to Lindsey Vonn are not the way to go. “When they say I’m the next Lindsey Vonn, they are shooing her out the door, and I don’t think that’s fair,” Shiffrin told TODAY.com. “Imagine being her, reading that someone is the next Lindsey Vonn…
- Ryan Lochte returns to pool, talks about fan incident 0
- Lindsey Vonn will race in Lake Louise downhill Friday 0
- Tiger Woods unsure if he will go to Sochi Olympics 2
- Japan’s Hanyu breaks high-score record, defending champ Asada leads at Grand Prix Final 0
- Lindsey Vonn’s knee feels ‘stable’ after downhill training run 0
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