Women Jumpers Skiing up Olympic Hill
Outside the Lines (Sunday, 9 a.m., ESPN)
Ski jumping, an Olympic sport for men since the first Games in 1924, is the only sport other than Nordic Combine at the 2010 Vancouver Games that doesn’t include women. While the International Ski Federation says more than 150 women from 17 countries compete at an elite level, women jumpers, led by American Lindsey Van, have unsuccessfully fought for inclusion at the Olympics for the past decade. David Amber reports.
“I definitely think it’s sexist because they’re leaving out a group of great athletes that can perform at a very high level. I think they’re leaving us out because they don’t know how to deal with us quite yet.” — Lindsey Van, Gold medalist at the first Women’s Ski Jumping World Championships last March
“To become an Olympic sport, a sport must be widely practiced around the world and have a big appeal. This is not the case for women’s ski jumping. There is no discrimination whatsoever.” — Jacques Rogge, IOC President
Outside the Lines (Sunday, 9 a.m., ESPN)
Mark McGwire, with his mild-mannered personality is trying to rebound from his steroids admission and re-enter baseball as the St. Louis Cardinals’ hitting coach. Jose Canseco is looking to draw attention to himself and net a payday from several ventures (a reality show, boxing, etc.). While they have little in common, the two will be forever linked by home runs and steroids as the Oakland A’s “Bash Brothers.”
Pedro Gomez reports.
“I was created the villain from inception, from Day 1. Mark McGwire, the All-American boy, and the Latin villain.” — Jose Canseco
“I mean Mac, he was a good teammate, always a quiet and shy, reserved guy. And he was a good teammate. Jose was a little bit more boisterous, bragged a lot. Little bit more arrogant.” – Dave Stewart, “Bash Brothers” teammate
“I wasn’t surprised at all. Because one thing about Jose, Dave Stewart said it once before, he was a bad teammate, and things like that. He did a lot of things wrong but he wasn’t a liar.” – Dave Henderson, “Bash Brothers” teammate
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Talks of Struggles, Critics & Business in 1-on-1 Interview
NASCAR Countdown (Saturday, noon, ESPN)
He was victorious in six races in 2004, but in the last five years Dale Earnhardt Jr. has won just three races, and none since 2008. For a man who many NASCAR fans hoped would pick up the mantle of his legendary father, Junior has a long way to go to match Earnhardt Sr.’s 76 career wins. Marty Smith goes one-on-one with Dale Earnhardt Jr. to find out how he has dealt with last year’s struggles, his many outside business ventures and his critics.
“There is a long list of stats and trophies that I have and memories that I have that would argue against that. I’ve got a legitimate talent to drive race cars and have what it takes to win races and have what it takes to run up front. We were exposed for being a poor race team last year. I don’t think anything more than that.” — Dale Earnhardt Jr., on his detractors
Sasha Doran: From Russia with Arm
SportsCenter (Sunday, 10 a.m., 11 p.m., ESPN)
Junior quarterback Sasha Doran didn’t know what a football was seven years ago, but this season threw for 19 touchdowns and led Wayzata High to the Minnesota state tournament. Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, he ran away from a broken home, lived alone in a subway station, and was sent to an orphanage, all before the age of 7. Chris Connelly tells the story of Sasha Doran’s journey to America, including his memorable first trip back to Russia two months ago.
Tar Heels’ Breland Battles to Return from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
North Carolina-Virginia Women’s Basketball game (Monday, 7 p.m., ESPN2)
Jessica Breland, who could shoot and rebound with anyone, was going to be the next great Tar Heels star. Her only issue was her conditioning. Coach Sylvia Hatchell couldn’t keep Breland on the court for more than a few minutes before the All-American would have trouble breathing. A life-threatening diagnosis – Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a cancer that attacks the lymph nodes – put Jessica’s career on hold. Jeremy Schaap reports on Breland’s battle to return to the court.
Jimmie Johnson: Athlete of the Year
SportsCenter at Daytona Special (Saturday, 4 p.m. ESPN2)
SportsCenter (Sunday, 10 a.m. ESPN)
Jimmie Johnson, named AP Athlete of the Year in 2009, takes his gym time seriously. In 2007, after winning the second of his four consecutive Sprint Cup championships, Johnson was introduced to fitness trainer John Sitaras, who has greatly improved Johnson’s strength and stamina with intensive workouts and a strict adherence to healthy living. Marty Smith went to the gym for a look at a typical Jimmie Johnson workout.