FIS okays new ski events, Bode Miller will not play in U.S. Open
FIS approved new ski events, including world cup circuit for women's ski jumping
Bode Miller failed to qualify for a wildcard spot in the U.S. Open, losing in Hawaii
Olympic wrestler Rulon Gardner was inducted into National Wrestling Hall of Fame
Bernard Lagat added a notch to his resume on Friday night when he established a new national record for the 5,000 meters at the prestigious Bislett Games in Oslo, Norway. Lagat finished third in 12 minutes, 54.12 seconds, breaking the mark of 12:56.27 set by Dathan Ritzenhein last season. Ethiopia's Imane Merga won the race in 12:53.81, followed by his countryman, Tariku Bekele, in 12:53.97.
Lagat's resume is filled with successes in both his native Kenya and the U.S., where he earned his citizenship in 2004. He won bronze and silver medals running the 1,500 meters for Kenya at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics. As a U.S. team member, he won gold in both the 1,500 and 5,000 at the 2007 world championships in Osaka and then captured bronze and silver medals in those events at the 2009 worlds in Berlin. In February, Lagat broke the U.S. indoor record for 5,000 meters, running 13:11.50 in Boston.
New ski events will gain exposure at various levels over the next few years. The FIS, which is the international governing body for skiing, gave a boost to the Olympic prospects of women's ski jumping by approving a new top-tier world cup circuit for the jumpers during the 2011-12 season. The women jumpers have had a lower-tier Continental Cup circuit since 2005.
The FIS also submitted ski halfpipe to the IOC for Olympic consideration as early as the Sochi Games. Both ski halfpipe and women's ski jumping will be included in the inaugural Youth Olympics in Innsbruck in 2012.
The FIS also added snowboarding slopestyle and team snowboardcross to the World Snowboard Championships.
His ski racing is impeccable, but what about Bode Miller's tennis game? The triple medalist from the Vancouver Games lost out on his long-shot bid to earn a wildcard berth into the U.S. Open last week, when he lost in straight sets to Erik Nelson-Kortland at a sectional qualifying event in Hawaii.
Miller has been a lifelong tennis fan and still serves as a part-time instructor at the camp his mother founded in Easton, N.H., in 1962. He was once New Hampshire's state singles champion.
The Vail and Beaver Creek resorts have won the rights to stage the 2015 World Alpine Championships. The Vail area has staged world cup events for several years and previously held the worlds in 1989 and 1999.
The Birds of Prey World Cup at Beaver Creek is traditionally one of the tough, early-season challenges on the world cup circuit before it heads to Europe for most of the season. The championships, which are traditionally held in odd-numbered years, are slated for Garmisch, Germany, in 2011 and Schladming, Austria, in 2013.
The head of Paraguay's Olympic committee said he feels lucky to be alive following an apparent failed assassination attempt last week in Asuncion. According to Ramon Zubizarreta, an unknown gunman leapt off a motorcycle and fired six shots at him, several of which struck Zubizarreta's truck. Amazingly, no injuries were reported in the attack. Zubizarreta said he had no idea who was behind the plot.
Popular Olympic champ Rulon Gardner was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Okla., over the weekend. Gardner is best remembered for Olympic triumph against three-time champ Alexander Karelin of Russia at the 2000 Sydney Games. He then went on to win a world title the following year and a bronze at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, where he tearfully left his shoes on the mat, signifying his retirement.
Joining Gardner were 1964 Olympian Dave Auble, two-time Olympian Russ Camilleri and Lincoln McIlravy, a bronze medalist at the Sydney Games.
Fran Crippen and Chloe Sutton won national titles last weekend in the 10-kilometer Open Water National Championships in Long Beach, Calif. It was Crippen's first national title and Sutton's third. Chip Peterson and Christine Jennings finished second in the races to earn berths at the Open Water World Championships in Roberval, Quebec, next month. Sutton has become a natural at the event even though she had never been in the ocean past her knees when she won her first national open-water title in 2006.
It was a solid return to competition for Alistair Brownlee. Due to a stress fracture in his femur, the British triathlete hadn't competed since winning the world title on the Gold Coast in September. Brownlee, 22, overtook Australia's Courtney Atkinson over the last 500 meters to win the ITU event in Madrid on Sunday.
Brownlee dominated the event last season, winning all five events he entered, but skipped the first two this year because of his injury. The scholar athlete abandoned his medical studies at Cambridge four years ago, but is now at Leeds studying finance.