California athletes to watch at the Olympics this week

Even if you didn’t follow closely the Winter Olympics you may have heard of Kaillie Humphries, once an Olympic star for Canada winning a...


Even if you didn’t follow closely the Winter Olympicsyou may have heard of Kaillie Humphries, once an Olympic star for Canadawinning a bobsleigh gold medal for the United States on Monday after a controversial split from his former team.

Or maybe you watched a clip of snowboarder Chloe Kim landing an untouchable score in the halfpipe. Or, my favorite, Nathan Chen delivering a mesmerizing free skate performance this earned him his first gold medal.

They are some of the biggest stars of the Beijing Games, and also (as you may have already suspected) athletes with strong California connections. Kim is from Torrance, Humphries lives in Carlsbad and Chen trains in Irvine.

The Golden State is well known for dominating the Summer Olympics, but it turns out that we also have a lock on many winter sports. In fact, California is the only US state to have hosted both the Winter and Summer Games.

And of the approximately 220 athletes the United States has sent to China this year, 34 were born in or consider their hometown to be California, according to the composition of the team. That’s a larger contingent than any other state — Colorado is next with 29 athletes — and more than you’d expect based on California’s population size alone.

Seven of the 17 athletes competing in alpine skiing this year are from the Golden State, mostly from the Lake Tahoe area (where there are plenty of places to hit the slopes and where the 1960 Winter Olympics were held). Figure skating has also become strongly Californian (and, not coincidentally, asian american), and the same for snowboarding.

Early Tuesday morning, the United States had won 17 medals, which five California athletes could at least claim. But the Games don’t end until this weekend, so there are still plenty of events where Californians can shine.

Here’s a look at some of the upcoming competitions. All hours, of course, are peaceful:

Upcoming Events Featuring Californians

  • Ice Hockey: Since the introduction of women’s ice hockey at the Olympics in 1998, the United States and Canada have been the only teams to win gold. And that’s not changing this year.

    Teams USA and Canada will square off for the first medal at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Hilary Knight, a Palo Alto native and world championship record holder for most goals, plays as a striker for the United States.

  • Figure skating: If you want to watch live, the women’s free skating competition will be broadcast at 2 a.m. on Thursday. (Don’t worry, there will be replays too.)

    Competing will be Alysa Liu, a Clovis native who in 2019, at 13 years old, became the country’s youngest figure skating champion. The list also includes Mariah Bellwho trains in Irvine, and Karen Chena Fremont native returning for her second Olympics.

  • Freeskiing: The women’s freeski halfpipe final is Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

    The competition will be Brita Sigourney, who is from Monterey and attended UC Davis. She won bronze at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

    Interestingly, his toughest opponent will most likely be San Francisco native Eileen Gu, currently competing for China, The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

    For more:

  • Why Eileen Gu, raised in San Francisco skiing for China?

  • Nathan Chen won a gold medal skating to a medley by Elton John. Then the singer congratulated him, Illustrated sports reports.

  • The Beijing Olympics were the final games for Californian snowboarder Shaun White.

  • School mask requirements: Despite the relaxation of other Covid restrictions, California school children will have to wear masks for at least Two more weeks.

  • Mega-drought: Northern Mexico and the western United States, including California, are experiencing their driest period in 1,200 years, according to a new study.

  • Panda Diplomacy: A bill in Congress seeks to rethink the longstanding arrangement that has China lend giant pandas to US zoos.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

  • Number of Covid deaths: Covid-19 deaths in Fresno County have peaked in the past 10 months, The Fresno Bee Reports.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

  • UC Berkeley: A recent court order could force UC Berkeley to cut 3,050 undergraduate seats and waive $57 million in tuition, Berkeleyside Reports.

  • Bitcoin Battle: A wealthy San Francisco couple’s divorce lasted eight years. Their biggest dispute involved millions of dollars in Bitcoin missing.


For $1.1 million in California.


Lavender and orange blossom cookies.


Today’s travel tip comes from Michael Harabin, who recommends Franklin Canyon Park near downtown Los Angeles:

“You talk about an oasis in the middle of a city. Franklin Canyon and trekking around the hills and reservoir is like finding water in the desert. When I first moved to Los Angeles from New York, I settled in San Fernando to be close to my job. On a day off, I went for a hike off Coldwater and found myself walking along the shore of the fictional Lake Myers from “The Andy Griffith Show.” Franklin Canyon Reservoir has co-starred in numerous TV shows and commercials.

I loved this show and the opening with Andy and Opie walking (barefoot) along the lake, fishing poles (not canes) on their shoulders and the iconic theme song whistling. It meant something to me. I grew up in a small rural town in New Jersey. I saw in the characters of the series people that I had known since my youth. I recognized the places that comforted me.

I went for a walk as a newbie in Los Angeles and then all of a sudden there I was, in Mayberry. On the shores of Lake Myers. I was beside myself. It was 1988. It was the first time I felt LA was the right place for me. While I wasn’t there physically growing up, I was there with the shows I grew up watching.

I always refer to the place as “My Beloved Franklin Canyon”. I try to visit at least once a week for a quick hike and to walk along the shore of the reservoir.”

Tell us about your favorite places to visit in California. Send your suggestions to CAtoday@nytimes.com. We will share more in future editions of the newsletter.


You may remember that at the end of last year we shared engagement pictures that a couple picked up at the Berkeley Bowl, a beloved East Bay grocery store.

The market, known for its wide selection of products, is particularly popular with local students. When I was at UC Berkeley, I heard of a cute encounter in citrus aisle.

Well, the recent engagement story has prompted other couples to reveal that they, too, had major photoshoots at the Berkeley Bowl – and the results are just as lovely. See them here.

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