The USOC on Friday "reaffirmed its intention to send a full squad" to the Pyeongchang Games in February, according to Rick Maese of the WASHINGTON POST. USOC officials were "taken aback" last week when two high-ranking members of the Trump administration -- U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders -- "appeared to cast some doubt on the United States’ participation in the Olympics, citing possible security concerns and safety issues." USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said, "There was just some miscommunication there rather than anything that was intended to be substantive. So yes, it definitely got our attention, but I think all’s well that ends well, and it was just a little bit of an oversight in terms of language." Blackmun added that he "didn’t hear from a single athlete or sponsor expressing concern" about the U.S.' participation in Pyeongchang or the administration’s comments (WASHINGTON POST, 12/9).
COLD AS ICE: In Boston, Bob Ryan wrote the Winter Games are a "colossal disaster." The Sochi Games "were a farce," as was the reason they were in Sochi "in the first place." Ryan: "Lord knows what level of bribery had to have taken place in order to award the 2014 Winter Games to Sochi, a summer resort." The same logic "applies to the decision" making Beijing the site of the '22 Winter Games. The Games are "bloated and they have gotten too expensive to stage, and most people don’t even want them." Sochi was a "monument to the ego of Vladimir Putin, and nothing else," while Beijing’s "only competition was Almaty, Kazakhstan." The Pyeongchang Games are in "trouble because of low ticket sales, traveler fears about being anywhere near North Korea at this point in time, and the doping mess that will keep Russian participation to a minimum" (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/10).