Alex Baker

  • 'Sorry about Ryan Lochte' is most popular message on Rio airport marker board

    Alex Baker at Fourth-Place Medal 7 days ago

    Medal count | Olympic schedule | Olympic news

    Yes, we know, we’re sick of him too.

    But in the latest chapter of the gift that keeps on giving that is the Ryan Lochte story, a marker board was set up at Rio’s main airport for travelers to pass the time while waiting for their flights.

    Many of the literally thousands of athletes, trainers, journalists and others associated with the Olympics who are streaming out of the country have stopped at the board to write brief parting messages to the city of Rio before catching their flights.

    One of the most common messages travelers are leaving on the board?

    “Sorry about Ryan Lochte.”

    Marker board at Rio airport w/msgs from people leaving after #Olympics. “Sorry about Lochte”

    Yeah, us too!

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  • American runner receives special Olympic medal for sportsmanship

    Alex Baker at Fourth-Place Medal 7 days ago

    Medal count | Olympic schedule | Olympic news

    They may not have won any medals on the track in Rio, but on Saturday, American middle-distance runner Abbey D’Agostino and her former opponent Nikki Hamblin were both awarded special Olympic medals for sportsmanship.

    The two women collided in a heat of the women’s 5,000-meter on Tuesday. With five laps remaining in the race, Hamblin clipped the heel of the runner in front of her and tripped, causing D’Agostino to fall over her. Despite injuring her knee in the fall, D’Agostino managed to help Hamblin to her feet and made sure she was all right before both continued the race.

    Although she didn’t know it at the time, D’Agostino had suffered a torn ACL, sprained MCL and torn meniscus in the fall. Limping heavily as she continued on in the race, she eventually fell to the track again. This time it was Hamblin who stopped to make sure her opponent was okay.

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  • Here's how to make Olympic men's basketball more competitive

    Alex Baker at Fourth-Place Medal 7 days ago

    Medal count | Olympic schedule | Olympic news

    On Sunday Team USA steamrolled its way to a third consecutive Olympic gold medal in men’s basketball in a domineering 96-66 win over Serbia that was ultimately more inevitable than spectacular. And while no one would suggest for a moment that the men’s team’s gold medal triumph was anything less than deserved, there was something underwhelming about it all this time around.

    The significance of a gold medal is obviously nothing that should be questioned. But with the U.S. having dominated Serbia in every conceivable way, and generally having dominated men’s Olympic basketball in general since the 1989 ruling that allowed NBA players to take part in the Games, one question some may be asking is, “How can we make Olympic basketball fun again?”

    The answer might be a simple one.

  • Neymar hands in the armband after captaining Brazil to Olympic gold

    Alex Baker at Fourth-Place Medal 7 days ago

    Medal count | Olympic results | Olympic news

    Brazilian soccer’s conquering hero Neymar has announced that he will step down as captain of the national team after leading it to gold medal glory in the Rio Olympics.

    The Barcelona forward lived up to his billing as the team’s star player and on-pitch leader, scoring Brazil’s one goal and netting the winning penalty kick that saw Brazil edge Germanyin a packed gold medal match at Rio’s iconic Maracana Stadium.

    Neymar was appointed the Selecao’s captain by former coach Dunga, following Brazil’s disastrous campaign at the 2014 World Cup it hosted two years ago.

    But speaking to Brazilian media after Saturday’s gold medal match, the 24-year-old suggested he had reached the pinnacle in terms of being the team’s on-field leader.

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  • Matt Centrowitz becomes first American man to take gold in 1500 since 1908

    Alex Baker at Fourth-Place Medal 8 days ago

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    The last time an American man took the gold medal in the 1500-meter, Teddy Roosevelt was in the White House, Henry Ford was gearing up to produce the first Model T and the Chicago Cubs were about to win the World Series.  That American, Mel Sheppard, won the race with a time of 4:05.

    On Sunday in Rio de Janeiro, Matthew Centrowitz Jr. became the first American runner to take gold in the 1500 since Sheppard, winning the race with a time of 3:50.

    Centrowitz got out to an early lead and led the field for the first two laps, before having to see off a late surge from Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop and eventual silver medalist, Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria in the final lap of the race.

    Nick Willis of New Zealand took bronze.

    The son of two-time Olympian, Matt Centrowitz Sr., the younger Centrowitz qualified for this summer’s Games by running the fastest 1500 in the history of the U.S. Olympic Trials. His winning time however, 3:50 flat, was the slowest winning time in decades.


  • U.S. wrestler wins bronze after opponent walks off the mat

    Alex Baker at Fourth-Place Medal 8 days ago

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    After falling in the semifinals of the men’s freestyle 86kg wrestling, Team USA wrestler J’den Cox went on to find himself with a bronze medal around his neck after his opponent in the bronze medal match — Reineris Salas Perez of Cuba — left the mat with six seconds remaining and refused to return.

    Cox had reached the semifinals with a combined score of 12-2 from his first two matches before a loss to Turkey’s Selim Yasar put him in the bronze medal match.

    The 21-year-old American was leading 1-0 towards the end of the bout when he was put on the shot clock for passivity, meaning he would have to score a point in the next 30 seconds or face a one-point penalty. He engaged Salas but did not earn a point. That gave one to Salas, knotting the match at 1-1, with Salas pulling ahead on criteria. But the Americans challenged the decision, claiming Cox had earned a score. The appeal ruled in his favor, resulting in Cox being credited a two-point score. Instead of 1-1, the American now led 3-0.

    As a result, Salas was subsequently disqualified and Cox, a two-time NCAA champions, had his arm raised in victory.

  • LA Lakers DJ gets the beach volleyball party started in Rio

    Alex Baker at Fourth-Place Medal 13 days ago

    Lucky stars of Rio: Biles stumbles in pursuit of another gold | ‘Shot diva’ achieves a first with gold medal | U.S. eclipses 1,000 gold medals

    Anyone who’s watched the beach volleyball competition on Copacabana Beach at the Rio Olympics has probably taken note of the pulsating soundtrack that’s been getting the crowd pumped as the likes of Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross hit the sand to compete.

    Music has long been a big part of what makes beach volleyball such a crowd-pleaser and at the Rio Olympics, the man behind the turntables is someone who knows what it takes to get the party rocking at a major sporting event.

    That’s because he’s DJ Roueche , the official DJ for the Los Angeles Lakers.

    Last night a DJ saved my life!!

  • Mystery solved: Why is there a motorbike on the cycling track?

    Alex Baker at Fourth-Place Medal 13 days ago

    Yes, you’re seeing that correctly. There’s a motorcycle on the cycling track.

    Welcome to the unusual world of the cycling event known as the keirin.

    First introduced to the Games in 2000, the keirin is a cycling race that’s widely considered one or the weirdest event in the Olympics. The main question most viewers unfamiliar with the event have is ‘why is there a motorcycle on the track?’

    It’s a reasonable question.

    First let’s clarify that within the context of the keirin, the motorcycle the cyclists follow on the track is known as the “derny.” The derny, which used to be gas-powered but is mostly electric these days, is a specially designed motorbike that features a traditional bicycle’s pedals and chain drivetrain.

    The derny is capable of very precise acceleration and deceleration. This is important since during the keirin, it’s used for bringing the riders up to speed. You can think of the derny as a being sort of like the cycling equivalent of a pace car in an auto race. Also, as you may have noticed, the derny rider sits upright to provide  a windbreak for the riders behind him.

    Still following? Good.

  • Top five moments of Day 10 of the Olympics

    Alex Baker at Fourth-Place Medal 13 days ago

    The Rio Olympics entered their second and final full week on Sunday. It’s been a Games in which we’ve seen controversy, drama, excitement, and glory. Day 10 of the Games was certainly no exception. It’s been an exciting 24 hours of competition, in which we’ve seen heroes rise, villains fall, champions upset, underdogs triumph, and even a bit of romance.

    Here now are your top five moments from Day 10 of the Rio Games.

    Bahamian runner dives for gold

    It’s unprecedented that a runner win an Olympic  gold medal for diving, but on Monday Shaunae Miller did just that. The Bahamian was out front in the women’s 400-meter dash and was nearing the finish line, but was in danger of being overtaken by American Allyson Felix who was surging up on her left. With the finish line fast approaching and Felix hot on her heels, the 22-year-old took the only measure available to her to preserve her lead, leaving her feet and diving across the line. The move was a controversial one, but it was within the rules. Shaunae took gold, Felix won silver.

    Thiago Braz da Silva wins first men’s gold for Brazil

  • Egyptian judoka refuses to shake Israeli opponent's hand

    Alex Baker at Fourth-Place Medal 16 days ago

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    In a gesture that flies in the face of everything the Olympic spirit is meant to represent, Egyptian judo fighter Islam El Shehaby refused to bow or shake the hand of his opponent, Israeli judoka Or Sasson.

    Oh, and El Shehaby had just lost by the way.

    Sasson handily defeated El Shehaby with two throws, resulting in an automatic win, with a minute and a half remaining on the clock. After going down the second time, El Shehaby remained lying on the mat for a moment before slowly returning to his feet, walking across the mat and standing opposite Sasson.

    At this point it’s customary for judo fighters to bow or shake hands with one another.

    But while Sasson made the customary bow to his opponent and crossed the mat to the motionless El Shehaby, extending his hand, the Egyptian refused to return the sportsmanlike gesture, backed away and went to make his exit before the ref called him back

    El Shehaby returned to the edge of the mat and made the slightest of head nods before again striding off to a chorus of boos from the crowd.

    Sasson, much to his credit, kept his dignity and exited with his head held high and a win in the books.