Connect with us

Sports

The 2022 Olympics Are Over – Here’s What You Need to Know

Published

6 minute read





The 2022 Winter Olympics have now drawn to a close. Sunday night’s closing ceremony dazzled the small crowds of in-person attendees. It was a fitting close to a memorable event, with music, theater, fireworks, and more. The games saw over 300 medals awarded across 109 events in the 15 sports of the Winter Olympics. The International Olympic Committee is already moving forward with plans for future Olympics, but now is a good time to reflect on what just happened.

Norway Makes Winter Olympics History

One of the biggest stories of the Olympics this year was the record-breaking performance of Team Norway. The Norway Team beat the record for most gold medals won at a single Winter Olympics with 16. This marks the second time in a row that Norway took the top spot in the medal table. Their staggering 39 medals won at Pyeongchang’s 2018 Winter Olympics was equally impressive as this year’s haul of 37 medals in total.

Russian Controversy Continues

Norway beat out the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), which took second place in the medal count with 32. Russian athletes have been required to compete under the name ROC since a 2019 state-sponsored doping scandal banned the nation from formally competing under their flag. The ban is expected to expire in time for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

However, certain events of the 2022 Olympics are renewing accusations regarding Russia’s doping practices. The most recent scandal centers on Kamila Valieva, a Russian figure skater who placed fourth in women’s singles. She also took first place in the short program and fifth place in free skating. Her performances helped lead the ROC team to a gold medal.

These achievements have been marred by scandal after the 15-year old skater tested positive for banned medication. A test revealed that she had taken Trimetazidine, a banned heart medication. Additionally, her tests were positive for hypoxen and L-carnitine, two other heart medications that are not banned. The United States Anti-Doping Agency commented that this combination would be intended to increase endurance and oxygen efficiency, providing a competitive edge.

The response from Valieva herself was that she had accidentally taken some of her grandfather’s heart medication, an excuse that many of her competitors aren’t buying. The US team, in particular, is upset that medals haven’t been awarded for the women’s team, even where they placed second. The International Olympic Committee has decided to postpone awarding medals in any event where Valieva was in the top 3 to await the results of an ongoing investigation.

More Major Upsets of the 2022 Olympic Games

Kamila Valieva falling to fourth place in the women’s singles was likely the most significant upset of the games. She had been considered, by most, to have been the frontrunner going in. There were plenty of other unexpected outcomes in other events as well.. 

The USA’s Mikaela Shiffrin skied out of three races despite her reputation as one of the best skiers of all time. This comes after having skied out just two races in the last four years of international competition. Shiffrin also competed in the mixed team parallel event where the US took fourth place.

The men’s hockey quarter-finals saw the US take on Slovakia, where the US carried a 2-1 lead into the final minute of play. Slovakia then tied the game with a last-minute goal and went on to win the tie-breaking shootout, advancing to the semi-finals. There, they lost to Finland, who then beat out the ROC to take the gold. Finland’s first Olympic Hockey gold in history.

China was heavily favored to take the skiing mixed aerials event, performing admirably, but ultimately star skier Jia Zongyang fumbled a landing. This allowed for Chris Lillis to lead Team USA to the gold in the event’s debut Olympic Games.

The US men’s speed skating team went into the event a strong favorite, having recently set a world record in December. However, the team only took bronze following an unexpected defeat in the semi-finals by the ROC, who was then beaten by Norway in the finals.

Samuel Ikpefan Bears Nigerian Flag at Closing Ceremony

The sole competitor representing Nigeria at the 2022 Olympic Games, Samuel Ikpefan, has been the focus of much Nigerian state news. He carried the Nigerian flag during the closing ceremonies, with 2018 bobsleigh competitor Seun Adigun carrying the flag during the opening ceremonies.

Ikpefan is the first Nigerian skier to compete at the Winter Olympics, finishing 73rd out of 88 in the qualifiers and not advancing to the next round. Nigeria news has been celebrating the fact that the nation has been represented in two winter Olympics in a row.


Follow Author

Bruce Dowbiggin

Concussed: The NFL Needs Its Head Read

Published on

Sign up today for Not The Public Broadcaster newsletters. Hot takes/ cool slants on sports and current affairs. Have the latest columns delivered to your mail box. Tell your friends to join, too. Always provocative, always independent.  https://share.hsforms.com/16edbhhC3TTKg6jAaRyP7rActsj5

In 2014 Tipping Point author Malcolm Gladwell commented that, within 25 years, the NFL might become a renegade sport outside the mainstream of culture. “We will go to a middle position where we will disclose the risks and essentially dare people to play …,” Gladwell repeated in the recent film United State of Football  “That’s what the Army does. So we leave the Army for kids who have no other options, for whom the risks are acceptable.

“That’s what football is going to become. It’s going to become the Army. That’s a very, very different situation. That’s a ghettoized sport, not a mainstream American sport.” Many derided Gladwell at the time, but events this past week have leant credence to his theory.

Perhaps it’s the hangover from being lied to about The Science of Covid-19 by the mahatmas of healthcare. But if the NFL medics were hoping the public would give them the benefit of the doubt about their treatment of the gruesome Tua Tagovailoa head injury the past ten days they are sadly mistaken.

For a league that has pounded its chest about its attempts to lessen the danger from head hits, the farce that followed Tagovailoa’s injury the past week is a cruel deception. Whatever the facts eventually reveal (the NFL says it’s investigating) the PR failure of a system designed to protect employees is irreversible.

Former All Pro and now NBC broadcaster Rodney Harrison summed up the players’ reaction to the Tua episode. ““Please take care of yourself. Don’t depend on the NFL. Don’t depend on anybody. If something’s wrong with your head, report it.” – @Rodney_Harrison

Tagovailoa exhibited concussion symptoms after hitting his head late in the first half of Miami’s Week 3 game against Buffalo. He staggered and weaved before being helped off the field and into the dressing room. He was soon cleared by a team physician and an unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant to return in the second half as Miami beat the favoured Bills. Tagovailoa and the team later said his legs were wobbly because of a back injury.

Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said that he was comfortable with his team’s processes regarding Tagovailoa’s health and clearance to return to play so quickly. “He was evaluated and then cleared by several layers of medical professionals, who – I don’t pretend to be one – but those people, the collection of them, cleared him of any head injury whatsoever. He had a back and ankle issue.” The team said it was good with sending  Tagovailoa to play in Cincinnati.  again on Thursday, just four days later.

Bad idea. After the Dophins QB rolled out on a play, 340-pound Bengals defensive tackle Josh Tupou slammed Tagovailoa backward into the turf. In the classic sign of concussion, Tagovailoa’s hands froze in an upright position while his fingers splayed awkwardly as he lay still on the ground. After a long delay he was taken away on a stretcher and sent to a local hospital. He was later released from the hospital and flew home with the Dolphins hours later.

The tsunami of outrage from media, fans and players quickly destroyed the NFL’s cultivated narrative of a proper protocol. So a scapegoat had to found. Accordingly, the neuro-trauma consultant who let Tagovailoa back into the Bills game in Miami was fired by the NFLPA after it was discovered that the doctor has made ‘several mistakes’ in his evaluation.

Sure. You go with that. Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh— for one— was not buying., “I couldn’t believe what I saw,” Harbaugh said about Thursday night’s re-injury. “I couldn’t believe what I saw last Sunday. It was astonishing to see. I’ve been coaching for 40 years — college and the NFL — and I’ve never seen anything like it before.”

Players present day and retired chimed in. Chris Long: “Now IF protocol wasn’t followed & I’m a coach or executive who greenlit him playing 4 days after a head injury… I have no idea how you’re focused on the game… shit is going to get real.” Patriots star DB Adrian Phillips: “Dude should not have been playing tonight.”

Shannon Sharp: “That’s a serious injury . Tua shouldn’t have been out there with Sunday Thursday turn around. Sometimes players need protecting from themselves. Dolphins failed Tua”

Ben Watson: “I know what I saw and Tua was concussed last week. The fact that he was able to return to play is everything that’s wrong with the game so many of us love. A full investigation is forthcoming. Praying for this young man right now. This is awful to witness.”

What even lay people now understand is that one brain injury makes a person more vulnerable to another injury— especially in a short period of time. Meaning the NFL needed to be extra diligent with Tagavailoa. They failed. Now no one can say when— or if— Tagavailoa will return to playing.

While attention is focussed on the NFL’s shortcomings it needs to be pointed out that the NHL continues its own nonsense over brain injuries. Knowing what is known now the league still allows fit, powerful players to punch each other in the head over… no one is sure. If Don Cherry were still the measuring stick he’d say it’s about honour.

NHL commissioner Gary “The Good Doctor” Bettman somehow can say that the link between punching a man in the head and brain trauma is still unproven. He seems unaware that protecting the NHL’s sluggo past may make him popular with his owners, but sponsors and fans are no longer with him.

Jarred Tinordi #24 of the Montreal Canadiens fights with Cody McLeod #55 of the Colorado Avalanche in the NHL game at the Bell Centre on October 18, 2014 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Francois Lacasse/NHLI/Getty Images)

They are eventually going to follow Gladwell’s advice and avoid a lucrative sport that employs only those who have nothing to lose.

Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster (http://www.notthepublicbroadcaster.com). A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft YearsIn NHL History, , his new book with his son Evan, was voted the eighth best professional hockey book of by bookauthority.org . His 2004 book Money Players was voted seventh best, and is available via http://brucedowbigginbooks.ca/book-personalaccount.aspx

 

Continue Reading

International

MLB playoff primer: Things to know as postseason nears

Published on

By David Brandt

Major League Baseball’s postseason has a little more heft this season.

The playoffs are rapidly approaching, with the final regular season games set for Oct. 5. The postseason begins two days later with a field of 12 teams — up from last year’s 10 — and includes a best-of-three format for the opening wild-card round.

An expanded postseason could lead to some spicy early postseason matchups. San Diego’s newly acquired slugger Juan Soto against the defending World Series champion Braves? Ageless star Albert Pujols and the Cardinals against Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber and the Phillies?

Both are possibilities depending on results in the season’s final week.

MLB’s new wild-card format is similar to the one currently used in college baseball for the NCAA Super Regional round: The three games will be scheduled on three consecutive days from Oct. 7-9 at the higher seed’s field. The first team that gets two wins advances.

After that, the playoffs will be business as usual. The division series will be best-of-five, while the league championship series and World Series will be best-of-seven.

Here’s a little more information about baseball’s bulked-up postseason:

WHAT’S NEW IN BASEBALL’S WILD-CARD ROUND?

The best-of-three wild card format is a change from the sudden death one-game format that’s been in place since 2012.

Six teams each from the American League and National League will qualify for the postseason, including the three division winners in each league. The three wild-card teams in each league will be the teams with the best record that didn’t win their division.

The top two teams with the best records in each league will get a bye and don’t have to play in the wild-card round. Those four teams get a few days of rest. Right now, that would be the Astros and Yankees in the American League and the Dodgers and Braves in the National League.

The wild-card round will feature four series: The No. 6 seed will play at the No. 3 seed in both the AL and NL. The No. 5 seed will play at the No. 4 seed.

WHY ARE THE PLAYOFFS STARTING LATE?

October’s postseason festivities will bleed into November before a champion is crowned.

That’s mostly because of the sport’s labor strife that resulted in a work stoppage over the winter. It delayed the beginning of spring training and pushed the regular season back about a week. Baseball players and owners salvaged the usual 162-game season, but to do that, they had to move opening day from March 31 to April 7.

Some of the games originally scheduled for the first week of the season were moved to the end, meaning a season that was originally scheduled to end on Oct. 2 instead ends on Oct. 5.

Hence, a late start to the playoffs.

WHAT HAPPENED TO BASEBALL TIEBREAKER GAMES?

Game No. 163 is one that lives in baseball lore. Bucky Dent’s homer for the Yankees in 1978. Matt Holliday’s game-winning run in the 13th inning for the Rockies in 2007.

Those days are gone.

If there’s a tie for one of the playoff spots, mathematical tiebreakers will be used instead of an extra game. The first will be the head-to-head record between the two teams involved.

If that can’t handle the stalemate, the team with the best intra-divisional record will win the tiebreaker. If that doesn’t work, the process continues with more and more convoluted solutionsuntil a resolution is reached.

It’s unlikely tiebreakers will be needed in the American League, but keep an eye on the National League. The Braves and Mets are locked in a tight race for the NL East, while the Brewers and Phillies are in a battle for the final NL wild-card spot.

WHO ARE THE FAVORITES?

Great question.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been dominant all season with a lineup that includes Mookie Betts, Trea Turner, Will Smith and Freddie Freeman. They could top 110 wins this season during the final week.

Over in the American League, the Houston Astros have already topped 100 wins as well. They’ve got a loaded lineup that includes Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez, along with potential AL Cy Young winner Justin Verlander.

New York’s teams should figure into the mix as well. The Yankees were cruising for much of the season — led by star Aaron Judge’s 61-homer campaign — but have just a 30-31 record since the All-Star break. The Mets have one of the league’s deepest pitching staffs, with two aces on top in Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Continue Reading

october, 2022

thu13oct5:30 pm7:30 pmPregnancy & Loss Support Group - Zoom Session5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Trending

X