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Sports Then and Now



Lysacek Puts U.S. Back On Top Of Figure Skating World 3

Posted on February 20, 2010 by Dean Hybl

The Today Show Gallery of Olympians

Evan Lysacek became the first American man to win gold in figure skating since 1988.

The scintillating Olympic performance by Evan Lysacek not only brought the American a gold medal, but also helped lift the United States back to prominence in an event it once dominated.

From the time Dick Button claimed the first medal by an American with the first of his consecutive gold medal performances in 1948 through the gold medal winning skate of Brian Boitano in 1988, the United States was regularly contending for and winning Olympic medals in men’s figure skating.

Overall, the U.S. won six gold medals and 12 total medals during that 40 year stretch. In 1956, the U.S. became the first country since Sweden during the first Olympic figure skating championship in 1908 to sweep the victory stand.

Other U.S. stars including David Jenkins (1956 bronze and 1960 gold) and Scott Hamilton (1984 gold) continued the American prominence in the sport.

However, following Boitano’s victory in Calgary and a silver medal by Paul Wylie at the 1992 games in Albertville, the U.S. suddenly fell from prominence in the sport while Russia and Canada seized control. Read the rest of this entry →

Winter Olympics Preview: Lindsey Vonn Leads Strong U.S. Ski Team 6

Posted on January 24, 2010 by Rojo Grande
AUDI FIS World Cup - Womens Super Giant Slalom

Lindsey Vonn could be one of the darlings of the upcoming Winter Olympics.

Get used to this face.

The tarnished images of Tiger Woods, Mark McGwire, and Gilbert Arenas are about to be replaced with the wholesome beauty of Lindsey Vonn.

Television and Internet viewers across the world will soon be inundated with endorsements and ads featuring the refreshing new face of the Winter Games.

While the rest of the sporting world has been obsessed recently with American football, MMA, and an assortment of scandalous revelations, the American winter sports teams have been quietly gaining momentum heading into next month’s Winter Olympics.

To those who are not avid followers of Nordic sports, this may come as a surprise, as the Americans have typically been viewed as being on the outer fringe of the ski world’s elite.

For example, in the 35 previous World Championships since 1925, America had claimed only three podium finishes. Last year, they claimed four golds, a silver and a bronzesecond only to perennial powerhouse Norway in total medals!

And Ms. Vonn has led the charge. The reigning World Cup ski champion has enjoyed an exceptional year in defending her cup in this year’s ongoing series. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rusty Staub: A Man For All Ages
      April 8, 2024 | 1:26 pm
      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

      Read more »

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