Vonn and boyfriend Subban go together like snow and ice

Leave a comment

ARE, Sweden (AP) — Of all the people flying in to attend Lindsey Vonn’s final race — her dad and two siblings, U.S. Ski Team top brass and even Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark — one very significant other will be missing.

P.K. Subban, Vonn’s boyfriend and a defenseman for the NHL’s Nashville Predators, has a game to play in Tennessee on Sunday hours after Vonn bids skiing goodbye in the downhill at the world championships in Sweden.

“I would’ve liked to be there for that and celebrate with her,” Subban told The Associated Press. “I’ve got to do the best I can to support her from afar.”

Earlier this season, when Vonn was out recovering from another in a long line of knee injuries, Subban kept Vonn’s spirits up when she couldn’t even bear to watch a ski race.

“It’s a great thing that I have such an upbeat boyfriend,” Vonn said. “He runs around in a pajama suit making me laugh and that takes my mind off of things. He’s just always positive and happy and maybe a little too energetic at times. But it definitely helped me mentally to be in Nashville and be around him and not focus so much on skiing but just getting healthy and working as hard as I can.”

After divorcing from retired skier Thomas Vonn, Vonn dated Tiger Woods and then NFL coach Kenan Smith .

She and Subban went public with their relationship in June when they walked the red carpet together at the CMT Music Awards in Nashville. Then on July 4th, Subban tweeted a photo of him and Vonnwearing the same U.S.-flag themed women’s bathing suit, asking “who wore it better?”

One of the biggest personalities in hockey, Subban — or “the Subbanator” as he is nicknamed — hosted a TV special after the NHL’s All-Star Skills competition last month, featuring him telling jokes in an opening monologue, talking with some guests and some taped segments.

He also started a digital series called “The P.K. Project” to give viewers a look at his personal life. On the first episode, he had Vonn on a video call while visiting his family — revealing that he’s not the only one in the relationship who goes by initials, with his mom referring to “that lovely L.V.”

Subban “has no idea about ski racing,” said Vonn, the women’s record holder with 82 World Cup wins, trailing only the overall record of 86 held by Stenmark.

“I’ve kind of tried to watch some video with him and he has absolutely no clue. He’s like, ‘I’ll be honest, I don’t care about skiing, I just care about you.’ And that’s kind of cute but it’s kind of annoying at the same time. But I don’t know much about hockey. All I know is forecheck. I don’t even know what that means, really.”

While it may seem strange that Vonn, who grew up in the hockey hotbed of Minnesota, knows so little about her boyfriend’s sport, she says it’s a result of the Minnesota North Stars’ move to Dallas in 1993.

“I grew up pretty much my whole childhood not having a hockey team,” Vonn said. “So just because I’m from Minnesota doesn’t mean I should know hockey.”

So which team does Vonn, who was living in Colorado when she started dating Subban, support? The Colorado Avalanche or Subban’s Predators?

“It’s Colorado. Well, I mean that’s the hard part,” she said. “When I moved to Colorado I watched the Avalanche win the Stanley Cup and I’ve been to a lot of Avalanche games but I can’t really say anything other than Nashville.”

Can Subban ski? “I think he can snowboard but that’s it,” Vonn said, adding that she has no plans to take him out on the slopes and endanger his career. “Oh no. He’s got a job to do. I’m not taking any risks on that one.”

Does Vonn skate? “Oh yeah. I’m from Minnesota.”

One other thing that Vonn and Subban have in common is Olympic gold medals.

Vonn talks to Subban on a video call during a news conference.

Vonn won the downhill at the 2010 Vancouver Games and Subban, who is from Toronto, was on Canada’s team that won the hockey tournament at the 2014 Sochi Games.

And they both compete in the cold.

“I wear my jacket in the stadium,” Vonn said. “He could have played tennis, or an indoor sport that was actually warm, that would have been helpful.”

The day after Vonn retires, she will fly to Nashville to see Subban — and begin her new life as a professional hockey fan.

“I’ll be there like every time now. It will be fun,” she said. “They got two new players the other day, everything looks great for them: Try to get the division title and go for the Stanley Cup. So I’ll be there cheering them on.”

___

Walker reported from Nashville, Tenn.

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

US Olympic cyclist Catlin found dead in her home at age 23

Getty Images
Leave a comment

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) Olympic track cyclist Kelly Catlin, who helped the U.S. women’s pursuit team win the silver medal at the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016, died Friday at her home in California. She was 23.

USA Cycling chief executive Rob DeMartini said in a statement Sunday that “the entire cycling community is mourning this immense loss. We are offering continuous support to Kelly’s teammates, coaches and staff. We also encourage all those who knew Kelly to support each other through the grieving.”

Catlin’s father, Mark Catlin, told VeloNews that his daughter killed herself.

Catlin was born and raised near Minneapolis, Minnesota, and rose to prominence on the track as a member of the U.S. national team. She also raced on the road for the Rally UHC Pro Cycling Team, and she was pursuing a graduate degree in computational mathematics at Stanford.

Don’t expect to puff away at next year’s Tokyo Olympics

AP Images
Leave a comment

TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo is still a smoker’s heaven.

Despite tougher laws enacted last year, smokers can light up in some restaurants and bars. Tobacco advertising is allowed on television, cigarette packages don’t contain graphic health warnings, and tobacco is cheap compared to other major cities.

However, don’t expect to puff away at next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

Organizers on Thursday announced a stringent ban on all tobacco products and vaping devices. Smoking will be banned at all indoor and outdoor Olympic and Paralympic venues, plus within all perimeter areas of the Tokyo Games.

Organizers say the prohibition is tougher than regulations for the last two Summer Olympics in London and Rio de Janeiro.

“Tokyo 2020 aims to leave a legacy of improved health for the country at large,” organizers said in a statement.

Japan’s national legislature last year approved a ban on smoking inside public facilities, but the measure was seen as weak and excluded many bars and restaurants.

Tokyo’s city government separately enacted tougher rules last year to protect from second-hand smoke. All provisions kick in during the run-up to the Olympics.

Smoking is still allowed in small eateries and bars. They make up half of Japanese establishments, where it’s common to see a customer eating with chopsticks in one hand and a cigarette in the other.

“Countering passive smoking has long been a concern,” Keiko Nakayama, a Tokyo city government health official, said in a statement to The Associated Press. “We would like to push for approving more anti-smoking measures so people stay healthy longer.”

The city’s smoking policy will be reviewed in five years. But more regulation will always face tough opposition despite the fact that smoking has declined in recent years.

The Japanese government has a large stake in tobacco. It owns a third of the stock and is the top investor in major cigarette company Japan Tobacco Inc. The industry was a government monopoly until 1985, and is a huge source of tax revenue.

Smoking is cheap in Japan compared to other developed countries. A pack of Marlboro cigarettes costs about $5. In London and New York it’s about $14, and in Sydney it’s $20.

According to World Health Organization data for 2015, 32.7 percent of Japanese males smoke, compared to 24.4 in the United States. The highest figures were East Timor (78.0) and Indonesia (74.9), and the lowest two were in Africa: Ethiopia (7.6) and Ghana (7.1).