The scene Monday inside the East Room at the White House as President Obama honors the Chicago Cubs // Getty Images

Olympics

The disconnect between Mr. Obama’s actions, and his beautiful words

The 44th president of the United States ends his term this week, succeeded by the 45th, and in a ceremony Monday at the White House honoring Major League Baseball’s 2016 World Series champions, the Chicago Cubs, Barack Obama proved his usual eloquent self in describing sport’s distinct role in American — indeed, global — society.

What’s now up to history to judge when it comes to sport is the demonstrable disconnect between Mr. Obama’s eloquence and his actions. Arguably no president in American history, none all the way back to George Washington, has been as disruptive as Mr. Obama.

Nick Symmonds after taking silver in the men's 800 at the 2013 IAAF world championships in Moscow //

Olympics, Track and field

Like life itself, no one owes you anything

Welcome to 2017. My friend of many years, Gianni Merlo, the Italian president of the international sportswriters association, keeps telling me to write shorter. In that spirit, here are 12 three-sentence nuggets (OK, some of them are long sentences):

 

IAAF president Seb Coe amid this week's federation meetings // Getty Images for IAAF

Track and field

IAAF, and an open vote for reform

MONACO — Transparency. What a concept.

The reform plan put forward by International Assn. of Athletics Federation president Seb Coe, so overdue, is full of common sense. It’s just the thing to start moving track and field, in particular its long-convoluted governance structure, ahead in the 21st century. “Transparency sits at the heart of everything we’ve been talking about,” Coe would say late Saturday.