Curling’s great leap: winning over Carl Lewis
Carl Lewis is challenging Vernon Davis to a curling match.
Lewis sprinted onto the curling scene Sunday at the Vancouver
Games, though he insists he’s been a fan of the rock-throwing ice
sport for years now. The nine-time gold medalist sprinter gave the
American men a pep talk before their match with Britain, just as
Pro Bowl tight end Davis of the San Francisco 49ers did a day
“I got ’em fired up and told them they look very youthful
compared to the Brits, so put them out to pasture,” said Lewis, a
first-time curling spectator.
The 48-year-old Lewis, who captured four Olympic gold medals at
the 1984 Los Angeles Games, is also attending his first Winter
Lewis said he always tries to learn about a new sport. At the
Beijing Games, it was badminton and table tennis.
“I think a lot of athletes don’t know what’s going on (in these
obscure sports) and make fun of it,” said Lewis, who recently
started a Web site to encourage fitness and healthy lifestyles for
families. “But people love great competition and the Olympics are
so easy to get caught up in.
“At the end of the day, it’s not like any other team sport. You
make a mistake and you’re done for the rest of your life. In
baseball, you make a mistake and you have Game 7. You’ve got to be
perfect and perform.”
Lewis better get out on the ice if he’s going to beat Davis, who
is ahead in this matchup considering he’s already curled a couple
“I’d love to play,” he said. “I’ll take on Vernon.”
NAGASU’S MOM: The mother of U.S. figure skater Mirai Nagasu is
being treated for thyroid cancer.
Ikuko Nagasu is undergoing chemotherapy and, as her 16-year-old
daughter says, taking “lots of pills.” She was diagnosed last
fall and has had two operations.
Ikuko Nagasu will begin radiation treatment after the Olympics
and has been told the prognosis is very good, said Mirai Nagasu’s
publicist, Lynn Plage.
The skater from Arcadia, Calif., posted a message on Facebook
about her mother. Mirai Nagasu is campaigning for her mother to win
the O.C. Tanner Inspiration Award, given to someone in the
background who helped an athlete become an Olympian.
Nagasu writes that her mom would work long days in a restaurant
until 11 p.m., but have her daughter at skating practice at 5 a.m.
“She kept this grueling schedule to support my dreams. Sleep
deprived and worked to the bone, she has inspired me to never give
up,” Nagasu said. “Watching her sacrifice for me inspires me to
push forward. How could I see my mom wearing clothes with holes in
them so I could afford lessons, and not be grateful?”
SKICROSS, JAMAICAN STYLE: Errol Kerr knows the image most people
have of Jamaica when the Caribbean nation enters the Winter
“They think it’s a joke,” he said.
But Kerr’s appearance in the skicross is no joke, mon.
He qualified ninth among the 33 riders who made their way down
Cypress Mountain on Sunday, the culmination of two years of hard
work after making the switch from Alpine racing.
To date, the island nation’s biggest contribution to the Winter
Games was the comical appearance by the Jamaican bobsled team in
the 1988 Calgary Games. The team’s exploits were made into a
Kerr was born in New York City and trains in California. He is
competing for Jamaica to honor his father, Errol Kerr Sr.
Kerr said he received more than 2,000 messages on his Facebook
page Sunday morning, most from Jamaicans hoping he’d be like Usain
Bolt down the hill. Kerr, however, didn’t make it past the
But that doesn’t diminish his love for skicross. He thinks it’s
the coolest sport going.
“Are you kidding?” he said. “You’re putting four guys on a
course at one time. Eight poles and twelve edges racing down a
course with huge jumps up to a hundred feet in the air.”
MR. AMBASSADOR: Figure skater Evgeni Plushenko was appointed an
ambassador for the 2014 Sochi Games.
He accepted the honor in Vancouver Sunday from Dmitry
Chernyshenko, president and CEO of the Sochi 2014 Organizing
Committee. Plushenko did not rule out the possibility of skating in
“I would like to compete. I would like to skate in 2014 in
Sochi,” he said. “I’m going to try. I’m really going to
Plushenko won the silver medal in Vancouver, runner-up to
American Evan Lysacek. He also won a gold medal in Turin in 2006
and a silver in Salt Lake City in 2002.
Among the other ambassadors for Sochi are hockey players Sergei
Fedorov and Alex Ovechkin.
AP Sports Writers Janie McCauley, Barry Wilner, Will Graves and
Anne M. Peterson contributed to this report.