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Great Britain Has High Hopes For Pyeongchang Games

Great Britain believes it can make a name for itself during the snowboarding and skiing competitions at the upcoming Olympic games. Snowsports England  launched an effort to get more citizens on the slopes and so far, its efforts have proven successful. The nation now boasts several top athletes determined to bring medals back home.

Great Britain’s Olympic Preparation

At the center of Great Britain’s hopeful emergence in the sport is 19-year-old Maisie Potter. The Bangor, North Wales native is an all round snowboarder, who already has nearly ten years of experience. She has been named the Overall Women’s British Champion three times. Potter participated in the World Cup circuit for the first time this year and she hopes it has provided her with the proper experience to compete with the best boarders from around the world.

UK snowboarder Jenny Jones rose to fame in 2014 when she won the country’s first medal in the Paralympics in Sochi. She helped inspire up and coming riders from the nation, including Dave Ryding and Aimee Fuller; both are set to participate in Pyeongchang. This is a welcomed sight for Great Britain after its extensive efforts to promote winter sports participation. The Go Ski Go Board initiative was one of the first platforms launched in support of future Olympic athletes in 2013. The rapid growth the country has seen in its athletic roster can be traced directly back to these enterprises.

Olympics Schedule

In other news, a schedule of the events that will take place at the Olympics has been released. Here is a look at the first three days of competition:

Sat, 2/10: Men’s snowboard slopestyle final (8 pm), Women’s qualifying snowboard slopestyle (11:30 pm)

Sun, 2/11: Women’s final snowboard slopestyle (8 pm), Women’s qualifying snowboard halfpipe (11:30 pm)

Mon, 2/12: Women’s snowboard halfpipe final (8 pm), Men’s qualifying snowboard halfpipe (11 pm)

Click here for a complete Winter Olympics schedule of events.

Russian Controversies Surround 2018 Winter Olympics

Discussing a possible banning of the Russian national anthem at the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics is premature, the International Olympic Committee says. An early week report from The New York Times cited a source close to the IOC which indicated the organization was considering a ban of the country’s anthem. The IOC has since clarified its stance, saying it is not pursuing such an extreme penalty at this time.

IOC And Russia At Odds

After lifetime bans were handed out to two Russian skiers caught doping prior to the Sochi games, friction between the country and IOC was anticipated. Tensions escalated after the IOC failed to identify the substance that the athletes tested positive for. The committee then quickly nullified the results of both the 2014 Olympic skiers. One of the skiers took home a gold and silver medal in Sochi.

While a positive drug test breaks one of the IOC’s most sacred regulations, the committee stated that it will do its due diligence before deciding on any further ban against the country. This is not the first time that Russia has come under scrutiny on sports’ biggest stage though. A World Anti-Doping Agency report alleged that doping was prevalent among Russian athletes from 2011 to 2015. The most recent statement coming from the country stated it was continuing to work with the IOC to resolve any remaining issues before the start of the PyeongChang games.

Skier Banned For Doping

Russian cross-country skier, Alexander Legkov was slapped with a lifetime ban after testing positive for a banned substance prior to the 2014 games. Legkov and fellow-skier, Evgeniy Belov were the first two athletes marked as suspicious by the IOC. The organization failed to specify what substance the pair tested positive for, but informed the athletes that they will not be allowed to participate in any Olympic games moving forward. Legkov has since vowed to fight the ruling in an effort to clear his name.

Salt Lake City Considering Winter Olympics Bid

A Salt Lake City committee has been formed to determine whether or not the city should bid on hosting the 2026 or 2030 Winter Olympics. The team of business leaders and elected officials will finalize a decision by the beginning of February. A successful hosting of the 2002 games should help make the city a favorite if it does decide to pursue future games.

America Wants Olympic Games

On Friday, the U.S. Olympic Committee announced it intended to discuss options towards bringing the games back to America. Of course, the 2002 games in Salt Lake City is the most recent event held stateside. With the 2028 summer games headed for Los Angeles, most board members believe a 2030 bid makes the most sense for the Olympics return to Utah. City representatives claim Salt Lake City is even better prepared to host the games now than it was fifteen years ago.

The USOC is rumored to be considering three cities for an Olympic bid: Denver and Reno in addition to Salt Lake City. Representatives of Utah have been telling Olympic officials about their desire to host another meet since 2012. Reports say Salt Lake City believes the cost of hosting the games would be about $2 billion, although they will re-evaluate that figure soon. Innsbruck, Austria confirmed it will not bid for future games earlier this week, eliminating stiff competition for America if the country commits to pursuing the event.

2002 Olympics Recap

At the time, the 2002 winter games were the largest cold-weather Olympics the world had ever seen. There were ten new events added to the games last played in 1998. The competition that took place in Salt Lake City set a broadcasting record with more than two billion viewers tuning in. While Norway took home the most gold medals, it was Germany that led all countries with a total of 36 medals won. The United States finished second with 34 medals – tying the record for most gold medals at a home Winter Olympics with ten. 

 

Olympic Preparation For NBC Host Mike Tirico

The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics are officially 100 days away, so it’s about time for everyone involved to really zero in on their preparation. While people following the Games often speculate about the athletes themselves, there are plenty of individuals working behind the scenes, or in some cases, in front of the screen, that spend months perfecting their craft. This year, NBC is making a big change regarding their primetime on-air talent. Longtime Olympic host Bob Costas will be staying behind in the States to cover the Super Bowl, while former ESPN broadcaster Mike Tirico will be heading to South Korea to take over hosting duties for the official Olympic network.

Primetime Debut

February won’t be Tirico’s first time covering the Olympics, but it will be his first time serving as the primary anchor. He had some responsibility covering the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, but his predecessor, Costas, handled the primetime window. Tirico expressed his desire to cover both the Super Bowl and the Olympics, but it was just too unrealistic. He explained that if he were to fly out of Minneapolis on Sunday night after the game, he would not reach the international broadcast center in South Korea until the middle of the day Tuesday. Tirico’s first primetime broadcast is scheduled for that following Thursday, which would leave little room for error or inclement weather.

How To Prepare For Live TV

Tirico has covered a wide range of sports throughout his distinguished career, but he is not familiar with a lot of the unique sports that are featured at the Winter Games. He has talked about his knowledge of some sports and how he won’t be asked to elaborate on the technical aspects of non-traditional sports like luge. On the other hand, he acknowledged the fact that he will be responsible for really knowing the prominent sports as the primetime anchor. Needless to say, Tirico is ready to get things going and introduce the world to the next international superstars.

One Athlete Tests Positive Prior To 2010 Olympics

Reanalysis of every urine sample from the 2010 Olympics have showed at least one athlete tested positive for doping. The International Olympic Committee announced on Monday that it had completed the testing of all 1,195 samples from the past winter games held in Vancouver.

IOC Test Results

The IOC revealed that a total of three positive tests were recorded – all from the same athlete. The Olympian has yet to be identified, although that could come at a later time. There has been a lot of speculation surrounding Russian athletes. Experts believe foul play may have been a factor in Russia’s improved output in the 2014 Olympics, in its home territory of Sochi. Tests run on the 2010 Olympics samples were extensively performed on all Russian athletes. An IOC panel has been devoted specifically to investigating this matter.

This is not the first positive tests the IOC has had to deal with. In fact, this is a very common issue that has plagued the Olympic games as of late. A dozen athletes were found to be doping before the 2008 games in Beijing and the 2012 edition in London. Overall, the IOC has stripped more than 50 medals from athletes who have tested positive. The IOC has officially closed its re-testing of the 2010 Olympics athletes, ahead of its statute of limitations at the end of the calendar year.

Doping Procedures For 2016 Olympics

While drug testing policies for the Pyeongchang games have yet to be released, it’s easy to look back at the previous Olympics for doping procedures. The 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro featured nearly a month-long testing period. These samples could be taken at any time, including before or after athletic events. Olympians were able to declare medical usage of approved prescription drugs before the samples were submitted. Any athlete who tests positive can be stripped of any winnings or accolades the IOC deems worthy. The only issue in 2016 was Brazil’s lack of an analysis lab. Leading up to the Olympics, all samples were reportedly shipped to a lab in Switzerland for complete analysis.