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.
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.
Snowboard icon Noah Salasnek, who rose to fame in the early 1990’s, passed away less than two weeks ago after a lengthy bout with cancer. While the news is sad, it is also reason to celebrate his legacy. The 47-year-old’s impact can still be noticed throughout the snowboarding community today.
Early Days Of Snowboarding
The Lake Tahoe native revolutionized the sport during one of its most popular eras. What made Salasnek unique was his unusual blend of freeride and freestyle techniques. He is credited as one of the founders of this approach. His riding style endeared him to fans of the budding sport in the 90’s.
His greatest impact may be the link his style provides between snowboarding and skateboarding. Salasnek is partly responsible for bringing those two worlds together. Today, it’s commonplace to participate in both activities; skating in the summer and boarding in the winter. Many extreme athletes can thank Salasnek for that.
Salasnek Becomes A Star
Of course, Salasnek really made his name in the ‘New Kids on the Twock’ film. The movie was the first of its kind as it introduced these underground riding techniques to a mass audience. Salasnek, along with other riders such as Chris Roach and Shawn Palmer, forever changed the way future snowboarders view the slopes.
After Twock, Salasnek was a wanted man in the industry. He was the center of a high-price sponsorship bidding war between several board brands. Eventually, he signed with Sims Snowboards. The company quickly produced Salasnek’s signature skate-truck board. It was high-profile sponsorships like this that helped create the market for the sports’ biggest names today.
In the end, Salasnek brought snowboarding to the mainstream. His rare blend of riding styles continues to influence the next generation of boarders. Noah Salasnek may be gone, but his legacy in the industry will live on forever.
The United States ski and snowboard teams will now have one name instead of the usual three used in the past. Earlier this week, leaders of the snow sports decided to unite the two squads with the official title of “U.S. Ski & Snowboard.” The new name was designed to eliminate separation of the two sports, while letting all the Olympic athletes know that they are a part of the same team.
The teams’ national governing body, consisting of close to 50,000 members, made the decision to combine the units. America sends nearly 100 athletes to the Olympic games every four years. The process of re-naming the teams took nearly two years for all the members and athletes to come to an agreement.
In addition to the name change, America will now use a single logo. This is an adjustment from the three logos the teams have previously represented. With the new look, comes new social media channels. U.S. Ski and Snowboards plans on re-branding its social media accounts to reflect the recent changes made to the teams. Several different logos have been used throughout America’s 112-year history of competitions.
Another big reason for the changes may be sponsorship dollars. The joining of all three teams will give brands a larger exposure to possible new audiences. For instance, if K2 Snowboards signs on as a sponsor, it will be now be showcased throughout the snowboard and ski community. Each brand that signs on as a sponsor has the chance to completely alter its image and transcend across sports lines.
So far, America has nominated several athletes to represent the country at the upcoming 2018 games in PyeongChang. Premier athletes named to the team include Mikaela Shiffrin, Greg Bretz, Kyle Mack, and Jamie Anderson. Bode Miller was the most notable athlete that was not nominated. The Olympic gold medalist still has a chance to make the team, although it seems very unlikely with the games rapidly approaching.
The 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang will pose many challenges to snowboarders from all across the globe. Competitors will be tested at two different venues: the Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre and the Bokwang Snow Park, starting February 10th. One athlete looking to rebound from a turbulent outing at the 2014 Winter Olympics? America’s own, Shaun White.
White Disappoints At 2014 Games
The two-time Olympic gold medalist wants nothing more than to forget about what happened in Sochi four years ago. White disappointed, merely earning a fourth-place finish at the games. Since then, he has refocused himself on his training regimen. He is confident he can regain the form that helped him become the most recognizable boarder in America.
A lot went wrong for the 30-year-old in Sochi. Whether it was a minor thing, like not eating his usual steak dinner before competition or a big inconvenience, such as poor riding conditions, White could never find his groove. After his sub-par performance at the last games, White even saw a lot of sponsorship opportunities fall by the wayside.
White Focused On Olympics
So, what will “The Flying Tomato” do differently in PyeongChang? First of all, White has brought in a new coach – JJ Thomas, who took home a bronze medal in the 2002 games. He is seeking to improve his physical fitness as well, working with Esther Lee, who previously trained Serena Williams. The new coaches have helped White maximize his time and efficiency as he gears up for the games. White knows he needs to be in peek physical condition when he competes in a few months. Right now, he is slated to participate in the halfpipe competition against Ayumu Hirano, Scotty James, Iouri Podladtchikov, and fellow Americans, Danny Davis and Chase Josey.
In only a few months, the world will find out if the adjustments have paid off for White. Can he channel the drive and focus that made him a gold medalist in 2006 and 2010? White certainly hopes so, and with his new training regimen, he seems poised to dominate the sport once again.