As far as hosting goes, the Olympic tradition has been on unsteady ground as of late. The International Olympic Committee is chewing its nails over the slow construction progress in Rio, which will be hosting the Summer Olympics less than two years from now.

At the same time, reluctance to host the Winter Olympics is at an all-time high. Norway, which had been one of the leading contenders to host the 2022 Winter Games, withdrew its bid citing concerns about cost and poor economic returns on such a massive event.

That leaves the IOC under pressure to impress with the 2024 Summer Olympics. It had been rumored already that the United States was a frontrunner because the committee wants a reliable host to help the world forget about Rio's shortcomings.

According to an editorial in the Bloomberg Review, Washington D.C. should throw its hat into the ring.

Although the final decision won't be made until 2017, the District of Columbia is already prepping itself. The city's official bid committee is being led by Washington Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, and a working list of selling points has already been crafted.

For the IOC, the committee will stress world-class security an infrastructure, a global population, world-famous sights and attractions, and its status as the geopolitical center of the world.

For the city itself, the sales pitch is tougher, but it is viable nonetheless. D.C. -- and through that, the United States -- could showcase itself as a world power, particularly at a time when that reputation might be flagging. By hosting a successful Olympics -- and doing it well -- America would earn praise from around the globe and potentially expand its political clout.

And despite growing concerns about the high costs of hosting an Olympics, recent cases prove that it's possible to turn a profit. In 2012, for example, London was able to efficiently host the games by completing its various construction projects under budget. In the long term, the city was able to boost its economy, particularly in terms of job creation and increased tourism.

Washington's committee contends that such an outcome is possible for D.C., and that the community would also be positively served by rallying around the Olympic Games.

Right now, the pack among U.S. host hopefuls is dense -- Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco have all declared -- so Washington D.C. is far from a shoo-in. But if it can sell itself as the answer to many of the IOC's current headaches, the District could become a frontrunner.

With one dream dashed, David Wilson has wasted little time in moving on to another ambition.

The 23-year-old former New York Giants running back, who was forced to walk away from the sport due to a serious neck injury, has got his sights set on the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Throughout high school and college Wilson was a bonafide triple jump star. As a prep he won the triple jump national championship with a Nike Indoor Meet record of 51 feet, 5.75 inches. At Virginia Tech Wilson finished sixth at the 2011 NCAA championships with a jump of 53 feet, 1.74 inches. That would have placed Wilson in the top 12 finishers at the 2012 Olympics.

Wilson, who left Virginia Tech after his junior year and was selected by the Giants in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft, will return to Blacksburg, Va., to finish his degree and start training for a long jump career. And he confirmed to reporters that he's got his sights set high.

“It’s like playing football," Wilson said, via the New York Post. "You don’t grow up wanting to play in the Canadian League. Everyone wants to play in the NFL. That’s the mindset I have. I want to compete in the best meets. I’m excited to get back into it.”

Wilson said he never thought about competing in the Olympics during his football career, but after being forced to retire he turned his focus elsewhere.

“When I was involved in football, that’s all I was thinking about was football,” Wilson told For The Win. “That’s not bad in my situation, because the person I am, I know I can make track. I’m strong enough to know that there’s more to life than that. Some people might have taken it more heavy if they took the same approach I had as just focusing on one thing.”

Interestingly, Wilson isn't the only former NFL running back who is looking to make the 2016 U.S. Olympic team. Former Ohio State star Maurice Clarett has picked up rugby and has drawn some positive early reviews.

There's a long list of NFL players who qualified for the Olympics, most recently 49ers defensive end Lawrence Okoye (discuss) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Jeff Demps (4×100 meter relay).

For all the talk of medal counts and national pride, the Olympics are supposed to be about making memories and that often has nothing to do with the competition. Here were some notable story lines that will carry on long after the torch is extinguished in Sochi:

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The appeal of the Olympics extends beyond humans, apparently.

In a video posted to YouTube during the Winter Olympics, an adorable cat named Musya can't get enough of a round of luge in Sochi. Musya repeatedly tries to catch the lugers as they come down the ice, to no avail.

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If you think about it, for an animal with a short-attention span it doesn't get much better than watching luge on television. The broadcasts consists of a speeding object darting through frame after frame. No wonder Musya is so drawn to this sport.

Perhaps Musya would enjoy the company of George, the golden retriever puppy who loves watching tennis.

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After those golden moments and the cheers become only echoes in their memories, life continues for Olympic champions Peggy Fleming, Eric Heiden, Apolo Anton Ohno and others:

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American speedskating star Shani Davis may be leaving Sochi without any gold, silver or bronze medals, but that's not to say he's departing empty-handed.

The 31-year-old, a four-time Olympian who won a gold and a silver in both Turin and Vancouver, was part of the U.S. team that lost to Canada in the quarterfinals of the men's team pursuit Friday. When he showed up to speak with reporters, Davis was wearing a medal, but this one was made of chocolate. It was given to him by an admirer as he walked into the media area.

"I got a medal today," Davis joked. "It’s awesome."


Although the U.S. salvaged a silver in the men's 5,000-meter relay team event, American men and women came away with a total of zero individual speedskating medals in Sochi, the first time that had happened since 1984. The speedskaters had won at least two medals at each of the previous seven Olympics.

“This is something that’s going to stick with me for a long time," Davis said. "I’m a pretty resilient guy, been through a lot of stuff. This is going to be a tough one to finally get over."

And while the chocolate medal is a cute consolation, it's not even the best edible prize we've seen recently. No, the gold medal of edibles goes to this bacon creation given to snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg.

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Even though Filip Flisar didn't win a medal in Sochi, he'll still came away a winner.

That's because the the 26-year-old Slovenian ski racer has perhaps the best facial hair of any competitor in Russia. Flisar has been sporting this handlebar mustache for some time, but it was his Olympic debut this week that brought worldwide attention to his fantastic follicles.


Flisar ate snow in his freestyle ski cross event, but by that time his mustache had already inspired lots of great tweets.




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Twenty years ago the figure skating world was rocked by an attack on one of its most prominent stars, Nancy Kerrigan.

The incident happened at the U.S. national championships, which serve as the Olympic trials, and there was only one camera crew whose cameras were rolling in Detroit's Cobo Arena when Kerrigan was clubbed in the leg by Shane Stant.

The footage belonged to the Chicago-based sports and entertainment company Intersport, which happened to have cameras trailing Kerrigan as part of a special it was filming.

Charlie Besser, who founded Intersport in 1985, immediately told producers to embed an "Intersport" logo into the footage. He then shopped the clip to national news outlets, eventually settling on ABC News because that's who had originally contracted Intersport to film Kerrigan, the eventual Olympic silver medalist that year in Norway.

An excellent feature in Crain's Chicago Business reveals just how much Intersport has profited on the clip in the two decades since the attack. Whenever anyone wants to use the footage they've got to acquire the licensing rights from Intersport. That includes documentaries, news features and any other type of story.

Fees are typically around $10,000 or $15,000 per use (roughly $250 per second), and Besser told Crain's that he has gotten more than a dozen requests in the lead-up to the Sochi Olympics.

"When Tonya Harding gets married, we get calls. When Nancy Kerrigan gets married, we get calls. When somebody has a baby or gets divorced in that group, we get calls," Besser said. "It's kind of crazy, but it just keeps going."

Intersport uploaded the below footage of the attack to YouTube last month.

The revenue from the Kerrigan attack footage has netted Intersport a seven-figure sum, but that's a fraction of the company's total revenue. The company makes $100 million a year from various sponsorships, and three years ago the NCAA paid it $17 million for the rights to use the phrase "March Madness," which Besser had trademarked.

Olympic figure skaters can spin at a rate as high as 308 revolutions per minutes. How is this possible? The short answer is physics. The more interesting explanation is provided by the smart folks at AsapSCIENCE:

Here's one way to spice up curling: Have Sir David Attenborough narrate it.

The award-winning British naturalist and broadcaster, the man behind the famous Life series, lent his voice to a women's curling match. And, as you might imagine, the results are hilarious.

As many of us are accustomed to hearing Attenborough describe the intricacies of nature, it is wonderful to hear him apply his unmistakable tone to the widely misunderstood Olympic sport.

In the clip below from the BBC, Attenborough describes how the "alpha female gently but flamboyantly launches the oversized walnut down the frozen river."

See for yourself:

And in case you're unfamiliar with Attenborough, here he is doing his day job:

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