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Category: Olympics

Boxer Patricia Manuel pulls out of Olympic trials with injury

Patricia Manuel

Long Beach boxer Patricia Manuel's dream of fighting in the first women's Olympic boxing tournament ended Tuesday in an Eastern Washington hotel room when she pulled out of the U.S. trials after one fight because of a shoulder injury.

Manuel, among the favorites in the lightweight (132 pounds) division, was limited to one tournament in the last 11 months because of a painful compressed joint in her right shoulder. After months of therapy she thought the injury was behind her, but it flared up again three weeks ago. And in Monday's opening-round bout in Airway Heights, Wash., she was unable to throw an effective right hand against with Florida's Tiara Brown and lost an 18-13 decision.

The 26-year-old former national Golden Gloves champion iced the shoulder late Monday but after she awoke Tuesday in greater pain, she and trainer Robert Luna elected to withdraw from the double-elimination tournament rather than risk further injury.

"I'm sorry my story ends like this," Manuel wrote in a text message.


Photos: U.S. women's Olympic boxing trials

Women taking Olympic boxing dreams into the ring

2012 Olympics Road to London: Mikaela Mayer focuses on gold

-- Kevin Baxter in Airway Heights, Wash.

Photo: Patricia Manuel lays on the hotel bed with an ice pack on her shoulder as trainer Robert Luna checks his messages after losing Manuel lost her bout at the U.S. Olympic trials in Washington on Monday. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

They're going the distance to bring back the mile


There can’t be a better day than the 50th anniversary of the first sub-four-minute indoor mile to note the formation of a group dedicated to restoring the mile as a competitive event in this increasingly metric world.

On Feb. 10, 1962 Jim Beatty added to the lore of the mile by running it in 3 minutes 58.9 seconds at the Sports Arena, beating the existing indoor record by 2.5 seconds. But over time, meters replaced yards and the mile became a somewhat neglected event. The Olympic distance is 1,500 meters.

“There is just something about the mile that makes it special and different than other events,” said Ryan Lamppa,"  a founder of the running industry group Running USA and founder of Bring Back the Mile, a group dedicated to reviving that distance at all levels.

“No running distance, or field event for that matter, has the history, the appeal, the magic of the mile. Think about the continued impact of Roger Bannister’s first sub-four-minute mile, which still resonates today throughout the world.

“Also, the 1,600 meters at the high school level makes no sense in the context of the sport because beyond U.S. high school the event doesn’t exist.”

Lamppa said he has enlisted an impressive array of supporters, including former milers Jim Ryun, Marty Liquori and Ruth Wysocki, and he has started a website, The site contains a form that can be sent to state high school federations supporting the return of the mile, and it has a video of Beatty’s record run.

Beatty, who ran for the Los Angeles Track Club, is alive and well at 77 and living in Charlotte, N.C. According to a story in the Charlotte Observer, he drives a car whose license plate reads “1st3:58.9.”

-- Helene Elliott

Photo: Lakers center Andrew Bynum runs on a track in August. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times.

IOC President Jacques Rogge part of USC's conference on Olympics

Rogge.200Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, gold medalist Allyson Felix and announcers Jim Nantz and Jim Lampley are among the panelists who will participate in the "USC Conference on Sports: The Olympics," which will be held Feb 14-16.

The conference, part of the university's Sports & Social Change speaker series, is presented by the USC Annenberg Institute of Sports, Society and Media.

All panels are free and open to the public. Some, however, require RSVPs, according to the school.

Here is a link to the schedule and other information.


Gisele Bundchen blasts Patriots receivers

With Super Bowl over, attention turns to the other Manning

Mario Manningham or David Tyree: Who had the better catch?

--Gary Klein

Photo: Jacques Rogge. Credit: Herbert Knosowski / AP


Will this make crow-sledding a Winter Olympics event?


A new video is sweeping the Internet today, faster than a story with Tim Tebow in the headline.

The video, which you can see above, captures a scene on a rooftop where a crow is sitting with the lid of a jar; then the crow decides to have some fun, riding the lid down the snow-covered roof.

Big deal, you might say. It was a fluke. The crow had no idea what it was doing. But the bird picks up the lid, flies to the top of the roof and does it again. And again.

The Winter Olympics must cash in on this immediately. Call the Jamaican bobsled team and see if they want to do a cross-promotional video.

Call Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards and see if he wants to change his name to "The Crow."

Get this crow to a half-pipe. One-on-one against Shaun White.

Call Sam the Eagle, the official mascot of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and see if he can track down this crow for an interview.

After all, birds of (kind of) a feather flock together.


Clayton Kershaw asks Dodgers for $10 million

Dodgers sign OF Andre Ethier for $10.95 million

Angels agree to terms with SS Erick Aybar for 2012 season

-- Houston Mitchell


Skater Johnny Weir on marrying boyfriend: 'No more livin' in sin!'

Johnny Weir, the three-time U.S. skating champion who once avoided questions about his sexuality, rang in 2012 by marrying Atlanta lawyer Viktor Voronov in New York on New Year's Eve.

Weir had been providing hints leading up to the nuptials on Twitter, referring to Voronov as the "newest member" of his family on Christmas Day and tweeting: "Its cold, dark and very early, but something wonderful is afoot" on Dec. 30.

Finally, on New Year's Eve, Weir revealed, "I'm married!" and later added a few details: "Wedding in summer! But all the official stuff is done now! No more livin' in sin!"

On Tuesday, Weir sent out another tweet while honeymooning in Punta Cana: "Thank you to everyone for your well wishes to me and@vitya_zvesda! It means a lot to have your blessings! Mama loves you!"

After previously stating he wanted people to see him “for who I am, not what I am," Weir came out last January in his autobiography, “Welcome to My World.”

He hasn't skated competitively since finishing sixth at the Vancouver Olympics but has not ruled out attempting to take part in the 2014 Sochi Games in Russia.


David Beckham is staying in Los Angeles, PSG president says

NHL's Winter Classic: Its uniqueness fails to come across on TV

Peyton Manning will need to make adjustments upon return to Colts

— Chuck Schilken

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Johnny Weir at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

L.A.'s greatest sports moments No. 3: 1984 Olympics opening


We asked you to send in your picks for the greatest sports moments in L.A. history, and 1,181 ballots later we are unveiling the top 20 vote-getters. Each weekday we will unveil a new moment until we reach No. 1.

No. 3: The 1984 Summer Olympics opening ceremony (17 first-place votes, 3,586 points)

The 1984 Summer Olympics were kicked off by what many still consider the greatest opening ceremony in Olympics history. Where else will you ever see 84 pianists playing "Rhapsody in Blue," a guy flying with a jet pack, Rafer Johnson lighting the Olympic torch, President Reagan, Sam the Eagle and a standing ovation for Romania, the only Communist-bloc country to attend the Games?

In response to the American-led boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, 14 countries including the Soviet Union, Cuba and East Germany boycotted the Games. For differing reasons, Iran and Libya also boycotted. When the competitors representing Romania marched into the Coliseum during the parade of countries, the capacity Coliseum crowd all rose to give them a lengthy standing ovation.

The David L. Wolper-produced opening ceremony mesmerized those inside the Coliseum as well as those at home, with ABC's Jim McKay and Peter Jennings handling the commentary.

But perhaps the most inspiring performance came courtesy of composer-conductor John Williams, already famous for his Hollywood scores ("Jaws," "Star Wars" and others). His "Olympic Fanfare and Theme" -- particularly its signature fanfare of trumpets at the start -- produced goose bumps and became synonymous with the Olympics. It later brought Williams one of his many Grammy Awards. Williams himself conducted the orchestra during the opening ceremony.


No. 4: John Wooden goes out a winner

No. 5: Angels win the World Series

No. 6: The 1967 USC-UCLA game

No. 7: Anthony Davis defeats Notre Dame

No. 8: Lakers finally defeat Celtics

No. 9: Fernandomania

No. 10: Magic scores 42 in Game 6 of 1980 NBA Finals

No. 11: Lakers win first title in L.A.

No. 12: Dodgers first game in L.A.

No. 13: Marcus Allen's Super Bowl run

No. 14: Lakers win 33 in a row

No. 15: Robert Horry's game-winner

No. 16: Honoring Roy Campanella

No. 17: Miracle on Manchester

No. 18: Lakers three-peat

No. 19: Rick Monday saves the flag

No. 20: Kobe to Shaq alley-oop

--Houston Mitchell

Lindsey Vonn, husband to divorce

Olympic gold-medal-winning skier Lindsey Vonn and her husband, Thomas Vonn, have announced they will be divorcing
Olympic gold-medal-winning skier Lindsey Vonn and her husband, Thomas Vonn, have announced they will be divorcing after four years of marriage.

Lindsey Vonn said she will keep her married name. She was known as Lindsey Kildow before her 2007 marriage.

"This is an extremely difficult time in my personal life and I hope the media and my fans can respect my need for privacy on this matter," she said in a statement.

In addition to being her husband, Thomas Vonn coordinated his wife's interviews and served as a quasi-coach. He said he is ending all input concerning her career.

Lindsey Vonn won a gold medal in the downhill and a bronze in the super-G at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

She also has won three overall World Cup titles and has 42 World Cup race victories, fourth place on the career list. She is also one of only five female skiers to win a race in all five Alpine disciplines.


UCLA to close the book on Neuheisel era, after one last chapter

-- Houston Mitchell

Photo: Lindsey and Thomas Vonn in 2010. Credit: Allessandro Della Bella / Associated Press



You can thank the Olympics for your desktop printer

OLYMPIC URBAN LEGEND: The Olympics led to a watch company becoming one of the largest printer manufacturers in the world.

FabforumThe development of new technologies has had a dramatic effect on the world of sports over the years. Take the development of video technology for television broadcasts of sports games. The ability to watch a play again instantly has come to affect pretty much every major U.S. sport. While some pro leagues have been slow to accept it, the use of instant replay to decide close plays is now a part of most U.S. sports and is only becoming more important as the years go by. While that is an example of a technology that was developed independent of sports being adapted to the world of sports, there are other technological advancements that were examples of athletes having a need that someone developed a technology to address.

For instance, a surgeon inventing a procedure where he removes a tendon from one part of a pitcher's body and uses it to replace a damaged one in a pitcher's elbow (the so-called "Tommy John Surgery") would have sounded like science fiction in the early days of baseball, but the procedure has saved countless careers that otherwise would have been lost. Current pitchers as varied as John Axford, A.J. Burnett, Shawn Marcum, Stephen Strasburg, Brian Wilson and C.J. Wilson all would likely not be major leaguers now if it were not for the procedure.

The connection between the sports need and the development of Tommy John Surgery is a bit obvious. Much less obvious, though, is the fact that the world of sports also led to the creation of the modern-day desktop printer.

Read on to learn how sports turned a watch company into one of the leading manufacturers of desktop printers in the world.

Continue reading »

Russia finished; U.S. still leads at world gymnastics championships


With two qualifying subdivisions left at the 2011 world gymnastics championships, the U.S. holds a slim lead over Russia. The U.S. has 234.253 points while Russia has 231.062. Defending Olympic champion China is third.

Among the teams left to finish the team qualifying with a chance to move ahead of the top three is Japan.

The top eight after team finals on Tuesday automatically qualify for the 2012 London Olympics. The other four spots for the 12-team final will be decided next year at a test event in London.

“I am very proud of this very young team and how they pulled it together after Alicia Sacramone's injury,” said Martha Karolyi, U.S. women's national team coordinator, from Tokyo.  “They were very brave and fought for the United States and for Alicia.”

Sacramone ruptured an Achilles' tendon during training in Japan and flew home to Massachusetts for surgery. Sacramone, the defending world vault champion, was the sole member of the 2008 U.S. silver-medal team in Tokyo.

Russia's Victoria Komova leads the all-around qualifying with 60.157 points. Defending U.S. all-around champion Jordyn Wieber has 60.032 points while American Aly Raismann is fourth with 58.432 points.

Also, 15-year-old McKayla Maroney of Laguna Hills is the leader on the vault with a score of 15.083, ahead of 36-year-old Oksana Chusovitina of Germany, who has a qualifying score of 14.833. Chusovitina was the vault silver medalist at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

The controversial Chinese gymnast He Kexin, whose age eligibility was questioned during the Beijing Olympics after evidence was found showing conflicting birth dates, failed to qualify for the uneven bars event finals. She had won gold on uneven bars in Beijing, edging out Nastia Liukin of the U.S.

-- Diane Pucin

Photo: American Jordyn Wieber performs the floor exercise during qualifying at the world gymnastics championships on Saturday in Tokyo. Credit: Koji Sasahara / Associated Press

U.S. women first so far in world gymnastics qualifying

Mckayla-maroney_325 Despite last-minute injuries to 2008 Olympian Alicia Sacramone and uneven bars specialist Anni Li leaving the U.S. short-handed going into qualifying competition at the 2011 world gymnastics championships in Tokyo, the U.S. is in first place with more than three-quarters of the first round of qualifications finished.

Only the Russians and, possibly, the Japanese are among the teams remaining to finish qualifying with a legitimate chance to overtake the U.S. This portion of the championships is when each nation puts up six gymnasts on the five apparatus and counts the four best scores, although the U.S. only put up five because of the two injuries.

In the team finals, each team will use three gymnasts on each apparatus and all three scores will count.

So far the U.S. has 234.253 points, nearly four points ahead of reigning Olympic champion China. Romania is third. Despite the team's youth -- the U.S. has three members who are first-year senior-level gymnasts on the team and in their first world competition -- they didn't have any major bobbles or falls.

Sacramone, who was also defending world champion on vault, was flown back to the United States to have surgery on her Achilles' tendon, which she tore during a tumbling pass when training earlier in the week.

Before she left, Sacramone, 23, the only 2008 Olympian on the U.S. team, pulled 15-year-old McKayla Maroney from Laguna Hills aside to give her a pep talk.

"She told me to win the vault gold medal for the U.S. now," Maroney said from Tokyo. "She told me I could do it."

Indeed, Maroney so far stands first in the vault and seems likely to be one of the eight competitors on the vault when event finals take place next week.

Americans led three of the four event finals so far, including defending U.S. all-around champion Jordyn Wieber, who is first in the all-around.

Li, a former star at UCLA, said from Tokyo that the abdominal injury she suffered was healing well and that she felt she could be available for team finals. Li's start value on uneven bars is nearly a point better than anyone else on the U.S. squad and could be a boost for the U.S. in the team finals.

The top eight teams qualify for the 2012 London Olympics. Teams that don't qualify for London from the world championships will get a second chance to earn a spot at a test event in London next year.

-- Diane Pucin

Photo: McKayla Maroney performs a flip on the uneven bars during qualifying at the world championships in Tokyo on Saturday. Credit: Koji Sasahara / Associated Press

2020 Olympics: Six cities enter bids for Summer Games


Six cities -- Rome; Madrid; Tokyo; Istanbul; Doha, Qatar; and Baku, Azerbaijan -- submitted bids to the International Olympic Committee by Friday's deadline to host the 2020 Summer Games.

Rome and Tokyo have hosted the Olympics before. Each of the other contenders have previously submitted bids.

Madrid is bidding for a third consecutive time. Tokyo, Doha and Baku are making their second consecutive attempts. Istanbul submitted its fifth overall bid.

The IOC will select the host city by secret ballot on Sept. 7, 2013.


Lysacek still riding whirlwind of golden fame

Women ski jumpers take foggy leap of faith toward Olympics

-- Melissa Rohlin

Photo: Muhammad Ali lights the Olympic Torch at the Summer Games in Atlanta in 2001. Credit: Curtis Compton / AFP.


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