How much gold is in a gold medal? Ask Kikkan Randall. Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall came from behind to win a surprise cross-country gold medal in Wednesday night’s team sprint freestyle, ending one of the United States’ longest-running Olympic droughts with a dramatic upset. The American skiers overtook a pair of more heralded teams to finish the final in a time of 15 min, 56.47 sec, edging Sweden for the gold by 0.19 seconds and coming in nearly three seconds ahead of Norway, who added a bronze to their overflowing cross-country medal haul in Pyeongchang. “I just felt unstoppable,” Diggins said. “I am in the best shape of my life right now for sure. That feeling of crossing the line and having Kikkan tackle me was the coolest thing ever.” Diggins and Randall became the first ever American women to win any medal in cross-country skiing, much less a gold. They join Bill Koch, a silver medalist in the 30km event at the 1976 Winter Games in Innsbruck, as the only US skiers to make an Olympic podium in a sport dominated by athletes from Scandinavia. Each gold medal is made up of 92.5 percent silver and 1.34 percent gold, with the remainder copper. The International Olympic Committee stipulates that each gold medal must have six grams of gold (as well as 92.5 percent silver). Mining Matters!
Hilcorp CEO Hildebrand steps down and Lalicker moves up. Jeffery Hildebrand, founder of the Houston oil company Hilcorp Energy, recently stepped down as chief executive of the company he started nearly 30 years ago, but he will remain in the executive chairman position. Hildebrand, a prominent Houston billionaire, handed the day-to-day CEO reins over to Greg Lalicker, who previously served as chief operating officer. Lalicker joined the Hilcorp leadership team 12 years ago. Hilcorp isn’t yet commenting on the changes except to confirm the transition. Hildebrand, who Forbes says is worth nearly $4 billion, rarely speaks publicly about his company, which is one of the nation’s largest privately-owned oil and gas producers. Hilcorp gained notice last year when it bought ConocoPhillips’ holdings in New Mexico’s San Juan Basin for nearly $3 billion. The move was consistent with Hilcorp’s business of taking mature fields and squeezing out oil and gas that other companies may leave behind. Hilcorp, which has oil and gas operations from Texas to Alaska, recently expanded into the new Hilcorp Tower building in downtown Houston.
From today’s Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:
OBAMA INTERIOR OFFICIAL BROKE LAW TO ENRICH FAMILY MEMBER, INSPECTOR GENERAL FINDS: An Interior Department official in the Obama administration violated the law to benefit a family member affiliated with a global animal welfare group, the department’s inspector general said Tuesday.
- What the investigation showed: The results of the investigation showed that Richard Ruggiero, international conservation chief with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, violated federal ethics laws by participating in a federal cooperative agreement that financially benefited a family member.
- Hidden relationship: Neither Ruggiero nor his family member “disclosed their relationship in writing” to the Fish and Wildlife Service. Ruggiero also shared confidential, “nonpublic” information about the agreement with his family member.
- The agreement was with the nonprofit organization International Fund for Animal Welfare, of which Ruggiero’s family member was a member.
Billionaire founder of Hilcorp hands off CEO job
Houston Cornicle, Jordan Blum, February 20, 2018
US skiers Jessie Diggins, Kikkan Randall stun field for historic cross-country gold
The Guardian, Bryan Armen Graham, February 21, 2018