The Olympics are less than two weeks away. Track and field events don’t start until August 15. (You can find the schedule of events here.) I can’t tell you who will win every event, but I will predict that athletes from Ethiopia will likely win a lot of medals in the distance events. Running Times takes a look inside the Ethiopian system. But don’t count out the United States. The Scripps News Service traces the rebirth of U.S. distance running. From the nadir in 2000, the United States struck back to win two medals in the 2004 games. The Times of London interviews Sebastian Coe, who spearheaded the effort to secure the 2012 Olympics in London. Lord Coe reflects back on his epic rivalry with Steve Ovett. Sports Illustrated profiles Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell, two of the favorites in the sprints. The New York Times looks into how Jamaica produces so many great sprinters. Asafa Powell tells the Times of London not to count him out just yet.
One storyline that will dominate these games is the pollution. The Ottawa Citizen takes the International Olympic Committee to task for staging the games in such a polluted place. The Wall Street Journal considers how the image of athletes wearing masks could damage China’s image. The Los Angeles Times looks at just how bad it can get.
Deaths During Triathlons
Since the New Year began, eight athletes have died during triathlons. According to USA Triathlon, all of the deaths in the last two years have happened during the swimming portion of the event. The New York Times seeks to understand why.
Who’s Number One?
First it was New York vs. Los Angeles, now it’s Boulder vs. Eugene. Boulder has Frank Shorter and altitude training. Eugene has Salazar and Nike. The Daily Camera (of Colorado) examines the rivalry between the two running towns.
The New York Times asked a mountain bike guide to field test hydration backpacks. The Los Angeles Times explains why the push-up is the near-perfect strength-building exercise. The Toronto Globe and Mail profiles Kathy Tremblay, a Canadian triathlete, and shows how cross-training can benefit all athletes. The New York Times charts the growth in popularity of half-marathons. The Arizona Daily Sun profiles Jack Daniels, one of the greatest running coaches of all time.