Stephanie Rice Twitter, Sports stars love their routines. Some, like tennis champion Rafael Nadal, take it to extremes.The Spaniard obsessively lines up his water bottles before matches, touches the front and back of his shorts, touches each ear and his nose.
Nadal will bring his rituals to the Olympics next month, but he faces a real rival in terms of pre-event preparations.
Take a close look at Stephanie Rice when the Australian swimmer defends her gold medals at London 2012.
“I’m very superstitious, especially before a race. I go through exactly the same routine prior to standing on the block,” she told CNN’s Human to Hero series.
“I do eight arm swings, four goggle presses, four cap touches. It looks really weird but it’s so comfortable to me it comes second nature now.”
Rice won the 200 and 400-meter individual medley titles at Beijing 2008 as a 20-year-old, setting world records in both events, and also had success in the 4x200m freestyle.
She was quite literally the golden girl of Australian swimming — the 400 IM medal was her country’s 400th at a Summer Olympics.
However, her return to the Olympic stage this year was by no means guaranteed. Having won silver medals at the 2009 world championships, Rice was forced out of competition the following year due to shoulder problems.
Hockey Coach Arrested, Martin Tremblay, a minor league youth hockey coach, has been arrested for purposely tripping a a 13-year old opponent of his team.According to reports, the incident took place on Saturday, June 23 after a youth hockey game between two teams from Vancouver and Richmond, at at Thunderbird Arena on the University of British Columbia campus
After the game, the teams lined up to shake hands with the coaches following on the back of the line, as it is traditionally done.
As Tremblay, the coach for the UBC Hornets, the team that won the game, approached the two players from the opposing team, the Richmond Steel, he kicked his leg out and tripped them up.
Both players fell, with one of the boys sustaining a serious wrist injury as he fell and hit the ice, a local Vancouver news outlet reports.
The incident has caused mass outrage towards the coach who can be seen on a YouTube video that shows the full incident, including the coach apparently giving the middle finger towards to tripped-up child.
According to Canadian Press, Sergeant Paulena Gidda of the UBC RCMP detachment said the incident was witnessed by parents, spectators and other players and police were called. (International Business Times)
Hockey Hall Of Fame, The Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee announced Tuesday that first-time eligible candidates Mats Sundin and Joe Sakic would be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Nov. 12 in Toronto, along with holdovers Pavel Bure and Adam Oates.
Sakic and Sundin both retired from the NHL following the 2008-09 season and as per the Hall’s rules were eligible following the required three year waiting period. Bure – who retired in 2003 – has been eligible for induction since 2006 and Oates –who retired in 2004 – has been eligible since 2007.
While Sakic was a shoo-in in his first year, another first-timer didn’t earn the honor this year. Brendan Shanahan will now have to wait another season along with Jeremy Roenick, Curtis Joseph, Eric Lindros, Dave Andreychuk, Phil Housley and plenty of others.
But the four inductees were excited to be honored with the game’s all-time greats.
“I fell in love with playing hockey. That’s all I wanted to do, whether it was on the ice or street hockey, it didn’t really matter,” Sakic told NHL.com.
Drafted 15th overall in 1987, Sakic won everything he could have in his 20-year NHL career, including two Stanley Cups in 1996 and 2001, the Hart Trophy, the Conn Smythe Trophy and an Olympic gold medal with Canada in 2002, where he was tournament MVP. He played his entire career with the Quebec/Colorado franchise and finished with 1,641 points on 625 goals and 1,016 helpers.
Sundin was a former teammate of Sakic’s during his days in Quebec but played his best during his Toronto Maple Leafs years. Though he never won a Stanley Cup with the Leafs, he was the face of the franchise and the team’s captain for 11 seasons and he also holds the honor of being the first European-born player to be drafted first overall in the NHL Entry Draft.
Much like Sundin, Bure failed to win a Cup during his 12 seasons in the NHL. He only played in 702 games because of chronic knee problems but scored 779 points, averaging 36.7 goals per season. He broke into the league with Vancouver in 1992 after defecting from Russia and went on to win the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s best rookie, finishing with 34 goals and 60 points. He still holds several Vancouver records including most goals in a game, most goals in a season and most shorthanded goals. (Crave Online)
Allyson Felix And Jeneba Tarmoh, Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh will focus elsewhere before making a decision on how to decide their Olympic fate.The training partners finished in a third-place tie in the women’s 100 meters Saturday with an Olympic spot up for grabs. USATF didn’t have a procedure in place to determine the third and final spot on the Olympic team for the London Games until Sunday.
Now, the options are this: They can either decide who goes to London in the 100 by a flip of the coin or a through a runoff.
Felix said in a statement Monday night that she would not make a decision on how to proceed until after running the 200 Saturday.
“I appreciate everyone’s support in dealing with this unprecedented situation,” Felix said. “I am not going to discuss the 100M situation any further at this point as I need to turn my focus to the 200M. I’m looking forward to continuing my fight for a spot on the Olympic team.”
Bobby Kersee, who coaches both sprinters, also said Tarmoh won’t make a decision until after the 200.
“All we can do right now is understand what they’re proposing,” Kersee said. “We told them we’re going to focus on the 200 meters and we’ll deal with their proposal after the finish.”
Tarmoh was originally declared the third-place finisher in the race and the official scoring said she had edged training partner Felix by 0.0001 seconds. But the results were reviewed, and after a lengthy delay, the dead heat was announced. (ESPN)
Who Malone Prefers Over Michael Jordan, If Karl Malone were starting his own squad from the 1992 Dream Team, his first pick wouldn’t be MJ.Ask any former Chicago Bulls teammate of Scottie Pippen, right down to the man whose NBA career he nearly destroyed before it started in Toni Kukoc, and they’ll tell you that he was unequivocally their favorite teammate. Pippen’s mix of all-around brilliance on both sides of the ball, coupled with his calm and steady on-court and practice court demeanor, make him the ideal leader. As a Bulls fan growing up outside Chicago at the time of Scottie’s run with the team, I’ve for years remarked that I would end games angrier with the play of Michael Jordan than Pippen by probably a 20-to-1 margin. Though his missteps were legendary, he otherwise seemed to do everything right.
To take him, on a hypothetical team in what would be the Greatest Draft Ever, over Michael Jordan? Weirdly, if compassionately, that’s what former Utah Jazz forward and fellow Hall of Famer Karl Malone says he would do (if not afforded the opportunity to select former Jazz teammate John Stockton, ‘natch).
In an interview with “The Dan Patrick Show” on Wednesday, hyping up the fabulous “Dream Team” documentary that premiered that night, Malone had a pretty cool (if, to these scoutin’ eyes, a little off) insight into why he’d go with No. 33 ahead of No. 23:
“I would have to start my team with Scottie Pippen,” he said. “This is why I would take Scottie: Do you remember the time that Michael retired? I watched Scottie Pippen when the Chicago Bulls weren’t really good and Scottie led that team in every statistical category, and I just remembered that. Plus, he’s a guy who could care less about scoring. He wants to stop the best player on the other team. That would have been pretty cool, to see Scottie guarding Michael.”
670-yard Hole At Us Open, Louis Oosthuizen’s drive drifted deep into the right rough. He laid up short of the green and stood in awe while measuring up his third shot.Only 240 yards remained.
“If anybody is on the green in two this week, that’s something special,” Oosthuizen said of the longest hole in U.S. Open history, the remodeled par-5, 670-yard 16th at The Olympic Club.If length weren’t enough, the sharp dogleg left feels like a constant U-turn and the fairway narrows right at 300 yards.
The flag is often blind until the third shot, and ones that miss long or left will bounce even farther away because of the grass mowed razor-thin beyond the tiny green.
“The reason we did that is we really felt that would make it a true three-shotter,” said USGA executive director Mike Davis, who oversees the course layout. “The wonderful thing about that hole is that from the back, if you miss any one of your shots, it’s awful hard to catch up.”
Players already are finding out firsthand in practice rounds.
Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, could never remember pulling out a 5 wood for his third shot before, hacking out of so much rough – “the thickest on the entire course,” he said – on the previous swing he had no choice.
Staring up at the elevated green, he couldn’t imagine even the field’s longest hitters – Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson among them – going for the flag in two, even under the best of circumstances.
“It’s too risky,” Oosthuizen said. “The neck there on that fairway or the green is what, 6-7 yards wide? You’re going to overrun it.”
Michael Thompson, the 2007 U.S. Amateur runner-up at Olympic Club, drove into the graded rough Monday. He laid up to 180 yards in front of the green and still had to hit a 5 iron.
“When do we ever hit a 5 iron on our third shot on a par 5, ever?” Thompson said, laughing. “I think what makes it difficult is it’s guarded in front with a bunker. For a long shot coming in, it’d be hard to hold the green.”
Lucas Glover, the 2009 U.S. Open champion at Bethpage Black, played the 16th in his first practice round about the best anyone could hope to this week. He drove into the fairway, hammered a 3 wood short, floated the ball onto the green with a sand wedge and two putted for par.