Work to doUnlike the US women, who finished fourth at their world curling championships and qualified for the Olympics, the men missed out by placing ninth at theirs under rookie skip Brady Clark and will have to compete for one of two spots at December’s last-chance qualifier in Germany to avoid missing the Games for the first time. Earning berths are Sweden, Canada, and Great Britain (i.e. Scotland), which finished 1-2-3, as well as Norway, Denmark, China, and Switzerland, and host Russia . . . Missy Franklin recently won the Sullivan Award as the country’s top amateur athlete, the first swimmer to do it in an Olympic year since Debbie Meyer in 1968. Though Mark Spitz (1971) and Michael Phelps (2003) both earned the honor, each was outpolled by a fellow Olympian: marathoner Frank Shorter in 1972 and gymnast Shawn Johnson in 2008. Franklin, who won four golds and a bronze in London, has passed up millions of dollars by not accepting endorsements. “This award means a lot to me because of how much I’ve given up to be amateur,” said Franklin, who will attend Cal-Berkeley in the fall.
Quite the site The US, Russia, and Iran, who have linked arms in their quest to keep wrestling on the Olympic program, will have at each other on the mat in a most intriguing setting: Vanderbilt Hall inside New York’s Grand Central Station. The “Rumble on the Rails” May 15 will feature the first appearance of the Iranians in the States since the 2003 World Championships in the Apple. The event will come a fortnight before the IOC’s executive board revisits the issue at its St. Petersburg meeting . . . Off to next autumn’s World Boxing Championships in Kazakhstan is Holyoke native Geremias Torres, who won the light heavyweight crown at the US championships after a four-year hiatus from the sport. Though Lynn welterweight Rashidi Ellis was beaten in the quarterfinals, his sister Rashida, a strong candidate to make the 2016 Olympic team, won the youth lightweight title while Burlington bantamweight Amanda Pavone was eliminated by eventual champion Christina Cruz. Collecting his third superheavyweight title but his first as Cam F. Awesome, his new vegan identity, was Lenroy Thompson, who is coming off a year’s suspension after missing several doping tests . . . USA Gymnastics wasted no time electing last year’s Olympic women’s champions to its Hall of Fame. The Fierce Five of Needham native Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Jordyn Wieber, Kyla Ross, and McKayla Maroney will be joined by the the 2007 squad that was the first to win the title at an overseas World Championships. That team, which was captained by Winchester native Alicia Sacramone and included all-around champion Johnson, Nastia Liukin, Samantha Peszek, Shayla Worley, and Ivana Hong, formed the core of the 2008 Olympic squad that won silver in Beijing. Bridget Sloan, who was a 2007 alternate, made the 2008 team and went on to win the 2009 world all-around title. Last weekend she won the NCAA all-around title and led Florida to its first team title.
John Powers can be reached at email@example.com; material from Olympic committees, sports federations, personal interviews, and wire services was used in this report.