Why it matters: Shifts in technology and media are changing the way we play, watch and understand sports. Business models are adapting and social change is forcing those in charge of teams and leagues to reconsider decades-old practices.

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6 hours ago - World

U.S. announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

An Olympic-themed sculpture in Beijing on Dec. 1. Photo: Hou Yu/China News Service via Getty Images

The U.S. announced Monday that it will not send officials to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in protest of human rights abuses committed by the Chinese Communist Party.

Why it matters: The diplomatic boycott — which won't prevent American athletes from competing — marks a major escalation between the U.S. and China amid already heightened tensions over the CCP's treatment of Muslim minorities, military threats to Taiwan and economic tariffs.

11 hours ago - Sports

Rare cricket feat: New Zealand's Ajaz Patel takes 10 wickets vs. India

Ajaz Patel. Photo: Michael Steele/Getty Images

Ajaz Patel, a bowler for New Zealand's cricket team, took all 10 wickets in an innings this weekend against India in Mumbai.

Why it matters: Patel is just the third bowler in Test cricket's 150-year history to accomplish this feat — which could be translated to "recording all 10 outs," in baseball parlance.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
11 hours ago - Sports

College football's final four

Illustration: Axios Visuals

Alabama, Michigan, Georgia and Cincinnati will compete in the College Football Playoff, which is exactly how it should be. Not much drama this year.

Why it matters: No. 1 Alabama is the top seed for the fifth time in the CFP's eight-year history.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
11 hours ago - Sports

Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin is unstoppable

Photo: John McCreary/NHLI via Getty Images

Alex Ovechkin, in his 17th NHL season, is playing perhaps the best hockey of his career. Let that sink in.

By the numbers: With 20 goals and 19 assists through 25 games, the 36-year-old is on pace to set career highs in both categories: 66 goals and 62 assists.

John Frank, author of Denver
12 hours ago - Axios Denver

Denver Broncos season teeters after loss to Kansas City Chiefs

Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is hit by Frank Clark of the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Well, it could have been worse.

State of play: The division-leading Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Denver Broncos 22–9 in football primetime Sunday without much trouble.

What to know: The Broncos kept the score close for much of the game, but quarterback Teddy Bridgewater threw two interceptions, the second of which sealed the loss.

Why it matters: This could have been the game that transformed the Broncos' mediocre season and vaulted them toward a tie in the AFC West Division.

  • Yes, but: The Broncos (6-6) performed much like the team we know.

Bears no match for Cardinals

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy during the loss. Photo: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In the last two weeks, the Bears had the chance to compare themselves against the best and worst teams in the NFC. After a blowout loss to the NFC-leading Cardinals yesterday at Soldier Field, it's clear the Bears are closer to the worst.

  • Chicago turned the ball over four times and let Kyler Murray and the Cardinals work with a short field the entire game in a 33-22 loss.

Buckeyes headed back to the Rose Bowl

Ohio State takes the field at the 2019 Rose Bowl. Photo: Robert Beck/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

The Ohio State Buckeyes will take their talents to southern California to compete in the Rose Bowl.

  • The team is missing out on the College Football Playoff following its loss to Michigan, but still earned a coveted spot in the Big Ten's top bowl game.
13 hours ago - Axios Twin Cities

Border battle: Which city has the best athletes?

Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photos: Brian Rothmuller, Al Bello, Ron Vesely and Fernando Medina/Getty Images

In the rivalry between Minneapolis and St. Paul, the saintly city has a leg up when it comes to producing athletes.

Thought bubble: St. Paul has long been able to thump its chest and point to Paul Molitor, Dave Winfield, Jack Morris, Matt Birk and Joe Mauer.

  • And in the past year, it's strengthened its standing as gymnast Suni Lee won an Olympic gold medal and Jalen Suggs took Gonzaga to the NCAA title game before being drafted 5th overall by the Orlando Magic.
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