As Winter Games loom, skier and skater were world's best in an odd 2017

As Winter Games loom, skier and skater were world's best in an odd 2017

The Olympic cycle, like the calendar, has odd years and even years.

The even years, like 2018, include an Olympics, in this case the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The odd years, like the one that just ended, are not devoid of big events in international sports.  And 2017 was full of them, but the overriding feeling was of a year that was just plain odd – and, at times, depressingly sad.

For the second annus horribilis in a row, athletes have saved Olympic sport from itself and its feckless leaders.  Celebrating their excellence is the best way to express hope for a better 2018.

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Holding your breath as Vonn chases history by skiing right on the edge of crazy (and thoughts on other things Olympic, including 2024, Nathan Chen & Evgenia Medvedeva)

Holding your breath as Vonn chases history by skiing right on the edge of crazy (and thoughts on other things Olympic, including 2024, Nathan Chen & Evgenia Medvedeva)

1.  Los Angeles has an excellent 2024 Olympic bid.  So does Paris.  So the idea of having the International Olympic Committee vote in September for both 2024 and 2028 rather than just 2024 makes absolute sense.  If both bids get to the day of reckoning in Peru, neither deserves to lose.

No one knows how the mechanics of an unprecedented IOC two-for-one deal might go.  It carries the slight risk of a huge upset if, as expected, the vote for 2028 would occur after that for 2024, because there is a third 2024 finalist, Budapest.

Sure, it is a) highly unlikely that Budapest could beat either Paris or L.A. head-to-head; and b) if Paris gets 2024, marking the centennial of its last Olympics, it is also unlikely that the IOC would choose to put two straight Summer Games in Europe (that hasn’t happened since 1948-52.)

Paris 2024 – LA 2028 is the best scenario, since it assures the Xenophobe-in-Chief will be out of office when Los Angeles is host – even if there is a chance the U.S. president who follows Trump will be equally deplorable.  (Or more deplorable, if that is possible.)

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