Olympic Weekend Preview: August 31, 2012

By Paul D. Bowker | Aug. 31, 2012, 11:30 a.m. (ET)
The United States Olympic Women's Soccer Team poses with their gold medals in London

The 2012 Paralympic Games are in full swing in London, and continue through Sept. 9. A U.S. Paralympic Team of 227 athletes is among a record of more than 4,000 athletes from 164 countries competing for medals at the Games. To keep up with all of the action, check out U.S. Paralympics throughout the event.

Meanwhile, U.S. Olympians and other elite athletes are competing around the world this weekend. The U.S. Olympic women’s soccer team makes its homecoming in upstate New York, three-time Olympic gold medalist beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh is in action with a different partner in Cincinnati, and Andy Roddick and Serena Williams have scheduled tennis matches in the U.S. Open. Check out the Olympic Weekend Preview for full details.


U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Costa Rica, Sept. 1, Rochester, N.Y.

Gold means sellout.

Playing in the United States for the first time since defeating Japan for the gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games, the U.S. Women’s National Team will face Costa Rica in an international friendly Saturday at Sahlen Stadium in Rochester, N.Y. A capacity 13,000 will on hand to welcome the gold medalists home. Rochester is the hometown of star striker Abby Wambach, but there is bound to be plenty of support for the rest of her teammates, Carli Lloyd, Hope Solo and Alex Morgan, among them.

The U.S. women won their third consecutive Olympic gold in London. They also will play Australia Sept. 16 in Carson, Calif., and Sept. 19 in Commerce City, Colo.

TV: 2:30 p.m. ET Saturday, NBC

Also in soccer:

U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team, FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, Aug. 20-Sept. 8, Japan


2012 AVP Cincinnati Open, Aug. 30-Sept. 2, Cincinnati

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh returns to the sand this weekend in Cincinnati. This time she won’t be with Olympic partner, Misty May-Treanor, though. Walsh joins 2008 Olympian Nicole Branagh for the Cincinnati Open, the first stop on the new AVP Tour.

“Both Nicole and I are happy that we were able to re-arrange our schedules and compete in this inaugural AVP event, and we’re focused on playing well in Cincinnati,” Walsh told Cincinnati.com.

More than 170 athletes are set to compete in the event, including 2012 Olympic silver medalists Jen Kessy and April Ross, as well as both U.S. men’s Olympic teams: Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser, and Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal.

The AVP had long been the cornerstone of beach volleyball outside of the Olympic Games until it declared bankruptcy in 2010. The tour had one stop in 2011, but the Cincinnati Open is the first stop under new owner Donald Sun.

FIVB Swatch Junior World Championships, Aug. 29-Sept. 2, Halifax, Canada

Summer Ross and Sara Hughes won their first three matches of the FIVB Swatch Junior World Championships, and moved into the second round of elimination play in the tournament at Halifax, Canada. Ross and Hughes, seeded No. 3, defeated the No. 14 team from Mexico, 21-17, 23-21, Thursday to win their third consecutive match.

Weston Carico and Parker Kalmbach, seeded No. 19 in the men’s tournament, defeated the third-seeded team from Poland and the fourteenth-seeded team from Australia. Ninth-seeded Alex Jones and Kyle Stevenson of the United States will play the No. 8 team from Germany on Friday after splitting two matches Thursday.

The medal rounds will be held Sunday.

NORCECA Men’s Junior Continental Championship, Aug. 27-Sept. 1, Colorado Springs

The U.S. Men’s Junior National Volleyball Team advanced into Friday’s semifinal round of the NORCECA Men’s Junior Continental Championship after winning its first three matches in pool play. Ben Patch had a match-high 12 kills in a 25-18, 25-18, 25-20 win Wednesday over Mexico.

The tournament is being held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The United States is defending champion. The top three teams clinch spots in the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Men’s Junior World Championship.


U.S. Open, Aug. 27-Sept. 9, Flushing, N.Y.

Two-time Olympian Andy Roddick announced the 2012 U.S. Open will be his final event. Roddick, the last U.S. man to win a Grand Slam, will face Australia’s Bernard Tomic at 7 p.m. Friday.

Meanwhile, London Olympic gold medalist Serena Williams, the fourth-seeded women’s player in the U.S. Open, will face Ekaterina Makarova of Russia in the third round Saturday at the USTA National Tennis Center. Williams is seeking to win her fourth U.S. Open title. Venus Williams, Serena’s sister, lost Thursday to Angelique Kerber of Germany, the same person she lost to in women’s singles at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

TV: 1 p.m.-11 p.m. ET Friday, ESPN2; 12:30-6 p.m. Saturday, CBS; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, CBS; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday, CBS; 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Monday, ESPN2


UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, Aug. 31-Sept. 9, Saalfelden-Leogang, Austria

Olympians Todd Wells, Sam Schultz, Georgia Gould and Lea Davison lead a U.S. team of 42 into chases for the podium at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Austria. The event begins Friday.

Pro XCT points leader Colin Cares, Stephen Ettinger, Mitchell Hoke and Michael Broderick will join Wells and Schultz on the men’s elite cross country team. Monique Pua Mata, Heather Irmiger, Mary McConneloug and Erin Huck will join Gould and Davison on the women’s elite team. The U23 men’s squad includes World Cup standout Howard Grotts, Russell Finsterwald, Kerry Werner and Skyler Trujillo. Lauren Catlin and Deidre York make up the U23 women’s team.

Four-time World Cup winner Aaron Gwin leads the U.S. elite men’s downhill squad. Jill Kintner, ranked No. 11 in the World Cup standings, and overall Pro GRT points leader Jacqueline Harmony lead the women.

Also in cycling:

Grand Prix Ruebliland, Aug. 31-Sept. 2, Switzerland


ITU Powerman Long Distance Duathlon World Championships, Sept. 2, Zofingen, Switzerland

Elite athletes Josh Beck and Eneas Freyre will be among 21 U.S. triathletes competing Sunday in the ITU Powerman Long Distance Duathlon World Championships in Switzerland. The event consists of a 10-kilometer run, 150-k bike race and 30-k run. Beck placed 11th at worlds in 2011. In addition to Beck and Freyre, 19 age-groupers will compete for the United States.


ICF Slalom World Cup, Aug. 31-Sept. 2, Bratislava, Slovakia

Michal Smolen, who finished ninth in the men’s kayak at the World Cup event last week, will be among the U.S. paddlers competing for podium finishes in this weekend’s Slalom World Cup in Bratislava, Slovakia. Other U.S. kayakers include Scott Parsons and Aaron Mann.

Also in canoe/kayak:

ICF Freestyle World Cup, Aug. 28-30, Hartford, Tenn.


Samsung Diamond League, Aug. 28-Sept. 1, Zurich, Switzerland

Many of the Team USA track and field stars from London are striking gold in Switzerland. Among the winners so far: Reese Hoffa in shot put (the London bronze medalist won the Diamond Race Trophy), reigning Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross won the 400-meter event in 50.21 seconds and 2008 gold medalist and 2012 silver medalist Dawn Harper won the 100 hurdles.

USA 20km Championships, Sept. 3, New Haven, Conn.

Matt Tegenkamp, a 2012 Olympian, is the top entrant in the USA 20km Championships to be held Monday in New Haven, Conn. Tegenkamp had a 19th-place finish at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The men’s field also includes USA 25km champion Joseph Chirlee, two-time champion Andrew Carlson and James Carney, who played ninth at the U.S. Olympic Trials - Marathon.

Katie McGregor, a seven-time national champion at different distances, is one of the top contenders in the women’s field. Other top women include Maegan Krifchin, runner-up at the USA Half Marathon Championships, and Alisha Williams, a fifth-place finisher at 10,000 meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Also in track and field:

USA Masters 15km Championships, Sept. 3, Buffalo, N.Y.


ISU Junior Grand Prix, Aug. 29-Sept. 2, Lake Placid, N.Y.

Courtney Hicks, the 2011 U.S. junior champion who underwent surgery in fall 2011 to repair a leg injury, returns to the ISU Junior Grand Prix Series on Friday in the first event of the 2012 season in Lake Placid, N.Y. She is one of 20 U.S. skaters competing in the event. Others include reigning world junior silver medalist Joshua Farris in men’s competition, U.S. junior pairs champion Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier, and 2012 world junior ice dancing bronze medalists Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton.

Farris built a lead of more than 13 points after scoring 72.20 in his short program Thursday. Denney and Frazier were in fourth place after the pairs short program.

The Junior Grand Prix consists of six events leading up to the JGP Final to be held in December in Sochi, Russia, the site of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The top six point-earners in each discipline qualify for the JGP Final.


IBAF 18U/AAA World Championships, Aug. 30-Sept. 8, Seoul, South Korea

The USA Baseball 18U National Team was to begin play Friday in the IBAF 18U/AAA World Championships in Seoul, South Korea. Team USA plays Netherlands on Friday, Korea and Colombia on Saturday, Venezuela on Monday and Australia on Tuesday. The team’s scheduled opener Thursday against Australia was postponed due to wet weather, and rescheduled for Tuesday. The tournament continues through the medal round Sept. 8.


ITTF North American Championships, Aug. 31-Sept. 2, Cary, N.C.

Play begins Friday in the North American Championships for Table Tennis at the Bond Park Community Center in Cary, N.C. Top players from the United States, Canada, Bermuda and Greenland will compete in the tournament. A junior tournament will also be held, which serves as a qualifier for the Junior World Championships.

Teenage Olympians Ariel Hsing and Lily Zhang are the leading Americans attempting to win their first North American titles. Zhang, 16, lost to Canada’s Zhang Mo in the 2010 and 2011 final; Hsing, then just 13 years old, lost to Mo in the 2009 final.


Barefoot Water Ski World Championships, Aug. 27-Sept. 2, Waco, Texas

Eight members of the U.S. Elite Barefoot Water Ski Team, six members of the U.S. junior team and six members of the U.S. senior team are competing for world titles this week at the Barefoot Water Ski World Championships. The event is being held at the Barefoot Ski Ranch in Waco, Texas. More than 130 athletes from 15 countries are competing. Members of the U.S. Elite Team are: Cody Ebbert, Peter Fleck, Cody Heller, Elaine Heller, Ariana Koehler, A.J. Porreca, Keith St. Onge and Paul Stokes.

Also in water skiing:

Junior Can Am Challenge, Sept. 1-2, Jerseyville, Ill.


FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championship for Singles, Aug. 30-Sept. 2, Breda, Netherlands

The United States was in fourth place after the first day of competition in the FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships for Singles in Breda, Netherlands. Diane Kastama, driving KWPN Ruby R Van Stalle de Maurik, led the United States with a score of 57.40 in the dressage test Thursday. The event resumes Saturday with the marathon phase and Sunday with the cones competition.

Also in equestrian:

Adequan/USEF National Open Reining Championships, Aug. 31, Tulsa, Okla.

National Hunter Breeding Championships, Sept. 1, Warrenton, Va.

Story courtesy Red Line Editorial, Inc. Paul D. Bowker is a freelance contributor for TeamUSA.org. Material from various news services and press releases from National Governing Bodies was used to compile  this report. This story was not subject to the approval of any National Governing Bodies.