February is here, which means many things for the sports I follow.
A little bit of this and that for the first Medal Stand of February.
The Medal Stand: Fun February ahead
The biggest (and best) news for this self-proclaimed Olympic buff is that Friday marks six months until the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The four-year wait between Games seems to get longer every time, but reaching this point in the countdown and reading more news every week about athletes qualifying for Rio is making it bearable.
Despite the predictions of East Coast groundhogs, it’s looking like there is still much winter left in Idaho. As such, the list of recreational and competitive opportunities in the area remains long.
Sun Valley’s USASA Big Mountain Series begins today and continues through Sunday at Dollar Mountain. Boarder cross takes place today and Friday, slopestyle is Saturday and halfpipe is Sunday. The resort’s Ski Education Foundation also hosts the Laura Flood Memorial Intermountain Cup from Friday to Sunday at Bald Mountain, consisting of a slalom and two giant slaloms. Sun Valley’s annual Nordic Festival continues through Sunday.
Snake River Ranch, outside of Jackson Hole Resort’s Teton Village, hosts a skijoring competition Friday and Saturday. The Jackson Hole Shrine Club has organized the annual event.
An IFSA Junior Freeskiing Intermountain Cup takes place from Friday to Sunday at Grand Targhee Resort. As of Wednesday, the event was sold out upon reaching its cap of 65 competitors.
The Rexburg Cupid Cup Nordic ski races are scheduled for February 13 at the Teton Lakes Nordic ski trails. There will be three distances: 10k for adults (skate and classic divisions), 5k for juniors and 1-2k for kids. No entry fee is required, but the event is a fundraiser for the Rexburg Youth XC Club and donations are accepted. Additional information is available at rexburgski .blogsplot.com.
As always, if you have an Olympic sports story idea or an upcoming local event to pass along, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 542-6772.
Team USA updates
Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, was in Los Angeles earlier this week to meet with Los Angeles 2024 bid organizers. He also visited venues, including UCLA and USC’s campuses, which have been proposed to host various events should Los Angeles win the vote to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. Budapest, Rome and Paris are also bidding for 2024. The IOC will vote for the host city in 2017.
Defending Olympic pole vault champion Jenn Suhr set an indoor world record on Saturday by clearing 16 feet, six inches at the Brockport Golden Eagle Multi and Invitational in Brockport, N.Y. She will next compete at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on February 14 in Boston.
Two-time Olympic distance runner Matt Tegenkamp announced his retirement on Monday. A national champion in the 5k, 10k and 20k, he finished 11th in last year’s Boston Marathon. Four-time Olympian Bernard Lagat, who turns 42 this year, announced Tuesday that the 2016 track season will be his last. Tegenkamp’s and Lagat’s retirements come a little more than two weeks after two-time Olympian Ryan Hall, the fastest U.S. male marathon runner, announced his retirement at age 33.