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Monday, July 26, 2021
Sports fans around the world has waited in anticipation for the quadrennial Summer Olympic Games and in these times, had to wait an extra year. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics kicked off this weekend a year late without fans, but with the competition as fierce as ever. One of the early surprises in the Games was the emergence of a young, American woman who won the first ever female gold medal for the United States in Taekwando. Anastasija Zolotic of Colorado Springs, CO, bolted through the competition, beating the World #2 in the semifinals and World #4 in the final match. The 18 year old Zolotic has surged to the top in winning junior competitions three years ago, and won a championship at the Pam Am Games in 2020. Zolotic is probably a name you didn't know a week ago, but represented the United States well and is the Sportswoman of the Week!
Sunday, July 18, 2021
What a three weeks on the roads and mountains of France, as cycling's greatest event unfolded over an amazing backdrop. A year after being postponed until fall, the Tour de France went back to its original schedule and put some normalcy back to cycling. But the more things change, the more they stay the same. 2020 surprise winner (and prior Sportsman of the Week) left a lot less drama in this years tour, dominating from the first week through the parade on the Champs-Elysees in Paris to win back-to-back tours. Slovenian Tadej Pogacar was a man among boys despite only being 22 years old. A rare talent of unmatched climbing skills with ability to time trial and burst on a sprint stage with steel nerves makes it seem as if he may not lose for several years. Several. He won Stage 5 (time trial), took the Maillot Jaune on Stage 8, then won Stages 17 and 18 in the Pyrenees to make it easy. There was no other rival. He was a champion this year and will be a champion in years to come. Our Sportsman of the Week!
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
What a fortnight in England for the number one seed in a dominant effort to take home one of Tennis's most prestigious trophies. Ashleigh Barty stormed through her seven matches and three seeds to win her second major, but first Championship of the All England Club also known as Wimbledon. Barty stumbled out of the game needing a full three sets to win her opener, then didn't drop a set until the finals. She jumped out to an early lead against 8 seed Karolina Pliskova then didn't look back, taking the first and third sets 6-3. The Australian Ash notched her second Grand Slam tournament adding to her 2019 French Open victory. I'm going on a limb to say it won't be her last, and she is a dominant Longhorndave Sportswoman of the Week!
Monday, July 5, 2021
The NBA Finals are on tap to start this week, and two surprise teams punched their ticket to the finals. One team did so without their biggest star in the final, clinching Eastern Conference Final games. The Milwaukee Bucks lost two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo to a knee injury in Game 4 and needed someone to step up. That someone arrived in the person of Khris Middleton, our Sportsman of the Week. Middleton put the Bucks on his back to lead them past the resurgent Atlanta Hawks (who were buffered by the return of their star Trae Young in Game 6). Over the Games 5 and 6 which punched the Bucks to their first finals since 1974, Middleton 58 points and 17 rebounds in the double digit victories. Playing team ball, he also contributed with 15 assists when the Hawks tried to shut him down. It's unclear whether Antetokounmpo will return to help the Bucks in the Finals, so it may be Middleton's stardom needing to shine if the Bucks are to get their first NBA title since 1971.
Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
An amazing sports weekend ended with an amazing victor for the first major of his golf career. Just a few weeks removed from what will likely be the most disappointing weekend of his career when it's all said and done, Jon Rahm answered any mental anguish with a magnificent performance in the United States Open. Rahm punctuated a magnificent back 9 on his fourth round with two physics defying birdies on 17 and 18 to take a one stroke lead over Louis Oosthuizen who was a few groups back and essentially finished against the course. Oosthuizen finished the last 3 holes at par, but it was a bogey on 17 that doomed him from keeping a tie with Rahm and going to extra holes. Rahm was disqualified from a tournament just a few weeks ago when he tested positive for COVID and with a huge lead, was not able to play on Sunday. The US Open was a financial and career reconciliation in winning the Spaniard's first major tournament in what might be many for the highly ranked 26 year old. He is a rising star in the sport, and the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, June 14, 2021
Winner. Best way to describer our Sportswoman of the Week. Win the singles. Win the doubles. At a Grand Slam. Of course we're talking about Barbora Krejcikova. An improbable unseeded single, and highly seeded double did things that haven't been done in decades. Krejcikova began the weekend by downing another improbable finalist in Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the French Open finals at Roland Garros 6-1, 2-6, 6-4. To cap off her weekend, she then won the doubles on Sunday with fellow Czech Katerina Siniakova beating Iga Swiatek and Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-4, 6-2. Entered Paris and never lost a match. None of this was expected. Krejcikova looked all the part of a Top 10 singles talent while not being ranked in the Top 30. The Czech will be soon. And our Sportswoman of the Week!
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
The NBA Playoffs are kicking as we're down to the Top 4 (okay one 5) seeds in each conference battling for the Championship. Most eyes were on the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers who were fraught with injury during the regular season but seemed poised to make a run because, well, they have LeBron and Davis. Not so far says Devin Booker. The 24 year-old budding superstar put his team on his shoulders to easily close out the Lake Show in Games 5 and 6 after the first two games were split. Booker poured in 77 points, 18 rebounds, and 8 assists during the week to guide his Phoenix Suns to double digit victorys and slay the dragon. The 2-time All Star has led the Suns to its first Playoff Series since 2010 and it looks like they'll be a force for years to come. Booker is the future of the league and the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, May 31, 2021
An epic weekend of sports commenced on Memorial Day weekend, unlike 2020 in which the country was imperiled with COVID shutdowns. Memorial Day always anchors the Indianapolis 500 and this year's race more than lived up to the billing. Historic even. As Brazilian Helio Castroneves won his career record tying fourth Indy and the first in 12 years. And he did it with style. In what many described as the most entertaining (and statistically fast) race in recent memory as there was lots of action and passing rewarding 135K (partial attendance) fans who waited after missing last year. The 46 year-old Castroneves beat out young stars like Alex Palou and Pato O'Ward to show experience over youth. The race featured intriguing pit strategies but at the end, it was tactics and timing and the veteran shined. Helio Castroneves is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, May 24, 2021
What a week in sports. But rarely is there a story of a legend of the sport doing things well beyond one would think his age would allow. Phil Mickelson. Fifty. Never a Sportsman of the Week winner until now. His last major was the 2013 Open Championship (commonly called the British Open) in July 2013 but he was edged out by first time Tour de France winner Chris Froome. Taking the back seat no more. At age 50, Phil Mickelson won the Professional Golf Association (PGA) Championship for his sixth major. His first was 17 years ago (when literally at 33 some thought he may never win one). He's won all four majors, this was his second PGA to go with two green jackets. Mickelson was the only golfer with three rounds at 70 or better the first three days (runner up Brooks Koepka was the only with 3 at 71 or better). Sunday of the PGA Championship weekend seemed more like match plays as lower placed golfers surged but Mickelson and Koepka battled down the stretch with Mickelson holding on for the win. What a weekend and what a golfing legend, and a first time Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!