Tiger Woods in the ski mask, all incognito-like in a skeleton-patterned ski mask, in the finish area at Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy // photo Getty Images

Tiger Woods in the ski mask, all incognito-like in a skeleton-patterned ski mask, in the finish area at Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy // photo Getty Images

Olympics

Kobe, Tiger, Lindsey, Rita, First Amendment and more

A quick quiz. How are Kobe Bryant and I alike? For starters, let’s count the ways in which we’re not: he makes $25 million a year, has a cool nickname — Black Mamba — along with a way better jump shot and can dunk. The world has to be different for people who can dunk. I wouldn’t know.

That two-handed dunk Wednesday night, in the second quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss (another loss) to the New Orleans Pelicans, apparently proved too much. Like me — aha! — he has a bad right shoulder. Him: torn rotator cuff. Me: torn labrum. Me: surgery last Thursday (thank you, Dr. Keith Feder). Kobe: got examined Friday, and now will be examined again Monday, probably out for the season if he, too, needs surgery.

USOC board chairman Larry Probst at Friday's news conference in Boston // Getty Images

USOC board chairman Larry Probst at Friday's news conference in Boston // Getty Images

Boston 2024

A wink, a nod, an op-ed, insurance, so many questions

Give the U.S. Olympic Committee credit. For years, as the dismal results from the New York 2012 and Chicago 2016 votes proved, it simply was not effectively in the Olympic bid game.

What it needed was a wink and a nod, a high sign if you will, from the International Olympic Committee, that the IOC not only wanted a city to bid from the USOC, but which city. The USOC got that last week when IOC president Thomas Bach wrote an op-ed in the Boston Globe two days before the USOC picked its city for the 2024 Summer Games. It picked Boston.

The Boston skyline from across Boston harbor // Getty Images

The Boston skyline from across Boston harbor // Getty Images

USOC

USOC, in it to win it, picks Boston for 2024

In deciding Thursday which city it wanted to put forward for the 2024 Summer Games, there were many considerations the U.S. Olympic Committee had to take into account. Ultimately, though, only one truly mattered: the USOC is in it to win it. It picked Boston.

Nearly two years ago, the USOC started with roughly three dozen cities. It winnowed that many to four: Boston, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco. All along, the Boston plan — despite vocal local opposition and uncertainties about basics such as an Olympic stadium — captured the imagination of USOC leadership and staff.

He Zhenliang, the former IOC vice president, in 2008 // Getty Images

He Zhenliang, the former IOC vice president, in 2008 // Getty Images

IOC

The legacy of China’s He Zhenliang

The Olympic movement is all about changing the world. Very few people actually effect such change. Everything you see now that reflects China the important player on the world sports stage — all of that is, in some piece big or small, the work of He Zhenliang, a former International Olympic Committee vice president who died Sunday at age 85.

Mr. He, as it seemed everyone in Olympic circles called him, was a remarkable man. He was not only the bridgehead, as David Miller pointed out Monday in the Olympic newsletter Sport Intern, but then the bridge between China and the world outside. There have been tributes, and appropriately, from around the world. Yet those tributes have missed, or glossed over, the tribulations and complexities that helped shape Mr. He.

USATF board chair Stephanie Hightower at IAAF meetings this past July in Oregon // photo Getty Images

USATF board chair Stephanie Hightower at IAAF meetings this past July in Oregon // photo Getty Images

Track and field

USATF voices: a call for passion, civility and common sense

Eight years. That’s what Jon Drummond got Wednesday for multiple doping violations. Where are the howls now — and where have they been, because everyone had to know something of this magnitude was coming — from the athletes who filled the room just two weeks ago in Anaheim, California, at the annual USA Track & Field athletes advisory committee meeting, where Drummond was improbably still the chair of that very committee? There’s been silence, mostly, and that is just incredible. No, not incredible. Wrong. Where is the outspoken condemnation? For real? Where is it?

Contrast that with the criticism and anger that emerged from some, if not many, at the end of that very same USATF convention. The USATF board voted to put forward federation chairperson Stephanie Hightower for the IAAF council slot at elections next year despite a floor vote for Bob Hersh. This produced raw emotion. Why? Sexism? Racism? Petty personality politics? Some combination of all three? Or something altogether else? The intensity is all the more mystifying given USATF’s fantastic financial performance and the wholesale changes underway at the IAAF level.