In Brief | Nation & World Sports | 01-08-14
Injured Vonn skipping Sochi Olympics
Lindsey Vonn will miss the Sochi Olympics because of a right knee injury, leaving the Winter Games without one of its biggest stars.
The 29-year-old from Vail, Colo., announced her decision Tuesday, exactly one month before the opening ceremony in Russia.
Her personal publicist, Lewis Kay, said in a statement that Vonn “will have surgery shortly.”
In a posting on Facebook, Vonn said she is “devastated” to miss the Olympics, “but the reality has sunk in that my knee is just too unstable to compete at this level.”
She took home two medals from the 2010 Vancouver Games, including becoming the first American woman to win an Olympic gold in the downhill. Vonn is also a four-time overall World Cup champion, the most recognized name in Alpine skiing — and, as it happens, the girlfriend of Tiger Woods.
Add it all up, and she would have been the focus of plenty of media coverage in Sochi.
But Vonn tore two ligaments in her right knee during a high-speed crash at the world championships last February, sidelining her for about 10 months. She re-tore her surgically repaired ACL in a training crash in November, a key setback. Then, after returning to competition in early December by finishing 40th, 11th and fifth in a set of World Cup races at Lake Louise, Alberta, Vonn sprained her MCL during a race at Val d’Isere, France, last month.
“I did everything I possibly could to somehow get strong enough to overcome having no ACL,” Vonn said Tuesday via Facebook.
“I’m having surgery soon so that I can be ready for the World Championships at home in Vail next February,” she wrote. “On a positive note, this means there will be an additional spot so that one of my teammates can go for gold. Thank you all so much for all of the love and support. I will be cheering for all of the Olympians and especially team USA!”
Former Olympian Kerrigan to be analyst
NEW YORK — Nancy Kerrigan will serve as an analyst for NBC during the Sochi Olympics, 20 years after she was the story of the 1994 Games.
The network said Tuesday that the two-time figure skating medalist will contribute to figure skating coverage, along with the “Today” show and “Access Hollywood.” She will not be doing color commentary on the competitions.
NBC is also planning a long-form feature on the attack on Kerrigan before the Lillehammer Olympics and her rivalry with Tonya Harding.
Stewart wins second basketball player of year
Breanna Stewart is moving up on the USA Basketball victory list.
The UConn sophomore earned her second USA Basketball female athlete of the year honor Tuesday, becoming just the seventh player to win the award twice.
“It’s a great honor,” said Stewart, who also received the award in 2011. “I love competing with USA Basketball and have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to do that for the last several years.”
She joined Diana Taurasi, Dawn Staley, Lisa Leslie, Cheryl Miller, Katrina McClain and Teresa Edwards as the only players to win the award more than once.
Stewart guided the FIBA U19 World Championship team to a gold medal this past summer. She’s already won five gold medals while playing for USA Basketball.
The 6-foot-5 sensation helped UConn win the national championship as a freshman and has guided the top-ranked Huskies to a 15-0 mark so far. She’s averaging 18.1 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.8 blocks this season for Connecticut.
Stewart earned MVP honors for the World Championship and also was the Final Four Most Outstanding Player last April.
Holyfield reprimanded for comments on gays
LONDON — Former world heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield has been reprimanded by the bosses of a British reality TV show for saying being gay “ain’t normal.”
Holyfield compared being homosexual to being born with a deformed leg, saying “you go to a doctor and get it fixed back right.” He also said it was “a choice” to be gay.
The 50-year-old made the comments during a conversation with a fellow contestant on Celebrity Big Brother in an episode that was aired Sunday in Britain.
Program officials told Holyfield these “aren’t the views that are held by a large section of society, and expressing these views will be extremely offensive to many people.”
Holyfield was warned to “consider very carefully the effects expressing such views may have.”
By wire sources