Schaaf blogs about Olympic track-and-field athletes turned bobsledders & Wednesday links

Bremerton’s Olympic bobsled pilot Bree Schaaf, who had a torn labrum repaired on her hip during the offseason, gets back into the swing of things at this weekend’s team trials at Lake Placid, N.Y. Here’s the story I wrote about Bree’s comeback.

And here’s a story Bree wrote about some Olympic track and field athletes, including hurdler Lolo Jones, who have been recruited by the bobsled team. Bree’s among a handful of U.S winter athletes blogging for teamusa.org.

Bree writes:

“You can’t help but wonder why someone would venture away from a lucrative (and notably WARMER) sport such as track and field, even if just to try bobsled for fun.  Perhaps it’s somewhat akin to when Wham-O upped the game on the Slip ‘n Slide by adding a splashdown pool at the end.  Maybe these ladies were looking for a little more excitement at the end of a sprint? I know first-hand that when you train so singularly for one Olympic moment that it can take a long time to find the inspiration to go another 4 years.  Bobsled may be the perfect shakeup to refocus their talent.” 

Wednesday links

Nike says it will continue to “support” Livestrong, but if it is really upset about Lance Armstrong, then let them take the money the company made off him over the years he was cheating – tens and tens of millions – and give it all to the fight against cancer.

That’s what Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports writes about Nike’s reaction to severing ties with Lance Armstrong. Armstrong also stepped down as chairman of “Livestrong,” the organization that’s done so much good in the fight against cancer. Wetzel wonders  if that was necessary in this commentary. In part, in reads:

“… Armstrong was no threat to anyone anymore. Banned from competition, stripped of his titles, aging, he had plenty of time for foundation work. He can’t win anything again. He can’t beat anyone again. He’s done as an athlete.

This should’ve been time to regroup and reload in a different way. This should’ve been time to stand stronger behind Armstrong because, from here on out, his purpose could be clear and true. This should’ve been a time for Armstrong to gain some maturity and grace and fight harder against the disease that tried to kill him.

The stakes remain way too big to let the fraudulent world of elite cycling destroy his work with Livestrong.”

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Spokane’s Mark Rypien, the former Washington State and NFL quarterback, just turned 50 and he’s giving the PGA Champion’s Tour a shot. Rypien shot a first-round 81 during the tour’s qualifying tournament on Tuesday.

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Bud Withers of the Seattle Times caught up with ex-Idaho/Wyoming/Washington State/Miami/Seahawks/Oregon State/ 49ers/Idaho/Arizona State football coach Dennis Erickson, who is helping his son coach football at South Albany, Ore.

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Raul Ibanez gives former Kansas City third baseman Kevin Seitzer credit for helping him find his batting stroke. It was May of 2001 and Ibanez’s big-league career was going nowhere fast at the time. In this story by SI.com’s Albert Chen, Ibanez also talks about what he learned from Edgar Martinez and Jamie Moyer as a 24-year-old rookie with the Mariners.

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Utah Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin describes Bremerton’s Marvin Williams as a “true pro.”

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