What You Missed: Why We’re Excited for Olympic Monobob
Monobob makes its Olympic debut, Boy Scouts settlement hits $2.7 billion, and a splashy new whitewater film
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The newest Olympic event could become your favorite.
Monobob—a single-person bobsled race—will make its Olympic debut in February at the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, and the event is already generating international headlines due to its thrilling speeds and competition format.
There are more than a few reasons to love the race: Of the seven events being added this Olympic cycle, it is the only one exclusively for women. (The International Olympic Committee factors gender parity when adding new events.) Competitors reach speeds surpassing 70 miles per hour as they hurtle down an icy bobsled track. And unlike the two- and four-person bobsled events, monobob requires its participants to both push and steer the sled.
The competition should also prove to be compelling. Like Formula One car racing, traditional bobsled teams spend huge sums to build custom sleds that adhere to equipment standards handed down by the IOC. This creates an arms race catering to rich countries that can afford things like wind-tunnel testing. Perhaps that’s why only five countries have won more than one gold medal in bobsled since its Olympic debut in 1924.
In monobob, all competitors must use the same sled built by sporting goods manufacturer iXent, and they are only allowed to make small modifications to it, rendering slim any advantages due to equipment.
Germany has dominated men’s international bobsled competition, winning the World Cup five of the past six years in the four-man competition and four of the past five years in the two-man competition. A look at the final standings of the 2020–2021 women’s Monobob World Series reveals a much more international spread. Athletes from Australia, Brazil, and Nigeria—nations that do not traditionally win international bobsled events—finished in the final top-ten standings.
Americans Elena Myers Taylor and Kaillie Humphries are two of the favorites. Both are veteran Olympians in the two-person women’s bobsled competition. Humphries recently obtained U.S. citizenship after leaving the Canadian bobsled program. In a formal complaint she alleged verbal and emotional abuse against a team coach.
Myers Taylor, meanwhile, already has three Olympic medals in the women’s two-person bobsled. Since the Pyeongchang Olympics in 2018, she and her husband have welcomed a son, Nico, born in 2020. Myers Taylor currently leads the international Monobob World Series.
Boy Scouts Settlement Grows
One of the insurance companies backing the Boy Scouts of America has agreed to pay $800 million to a growing settlement fund for victims of sexual abuse. Century Indemnity Co. will make the contribution in return for being released from any further liability in the more than 82,000 abuse claims against the national youth organization.
The payment brings the total settlement fund to $2.7 billion, making it among the largest sexual-abuse settlements in U.S. history.
The agreement marks the latest chapter in the decades-long story of abuse within the Boy Scouts. In 2012 a judge ordered the release of internal reports documenting accusations of abuse against more than 1,200 scout leaders starting in 1965. Last year the organization filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and agreed to offer compensation to survivors and their families. A judge set a deadline of November, 2020 for individuals to join the growing number of abuse claims, and the final number tallied 82,663.
The organization saw its enrollment drop by 62 percent from 2019 to 2021.
The new Red Bull whitewater film Jötunn, featuring kayakers Aniol Serrasolses and Mikel Sarasolahit, the web a few days ago, and the highlight reel does not disappoint.
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