- Eric Freeman at Fourth-Place Medal12 hrs ago
The Brazilian men’s basketball team will be without one of its most recognizable and popular players when it hosts the Olympic tournament in Rio de Janeiro. As announced by the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, veteran big man Anderson Varejao will miss the Olympics due to a back injury:
Warriors center Anderson Varejao was examined earlier this week by Dr. Robert Watkins at the Marina Spine Center in Marina Del Rey, CA, and was diagnosed with a small lower back disc herniation. He is expected to be ready for the start of training camp, but will be forced to miss the 2016 Summer Olympics due to the injury.
Varejao recently experienced back pain while participating with the Brazilian National Team and returned to California to be examined by Dr. Watkins, a renowned spine specialist.
- Adam Stites at Fourth-Place Medal14 hrs ago
Muhammad Ali is a promising, young boxer hoping to make a name for himself on the grand stage of the Olympics. No, the year isn’t 1960. Great Britain has an Ali of its own prepping to compete in the flyweight division in Rio de Janeiro.
“I get asked about it all the time,” Ali told the Irish Mirror of his famous name. “I won’t say it’s been an advantage, but people do say, ‘Who is this?’”
But unlike “The Greatest,” who won the gold medal in the light heavyweight division in the 1960 Olympics and reigned over the heavyweight division for much of his professional career, the 20-year-old British amateur is just 5 feet, 6 inches tall and 115 pounds.
Here are five things to know about the man with the name of one of the United States’ most iconic athletes:
1. Yes, Ali was named after the legendary American boxer – his father is an avid boxing fan and taxi driver – but that wasn’t the athlete he looked up to and emulated.
- Vincent Peña at Fourth-Place Medal15 hrs ago
What’s the point of heading all the way down to Rio de Janeiro to compete in the Olympics when you can host your own right at home?
That’s apparently the question Russia has been trying to answer since nearly a third of its athletes that qualified for the Olympics were banned in June because of doping – and it has responded in the only way it knows how.
By holding its own Olympics.
The head coach of Russia’s national team, Yuri Borzakovsky, announced Wednesday that Russia will host its own tournament for all the athletes who were banned from competing at the Rio Olympics next month because of doping violations that resulted from a lengthy investigation conducted by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
According to The Atlantic, Borzakovsky told state-run news outlet TASS that the tournament will feature 135 track and field athletes, including past Olympic and world champions.
From TASS, via The Atlantic:
- Ben Rohrbach at Fourth-Place Medal19 hrs ago
The list of Russian athletes banned from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics grew to 105 on Tuesday, and as you might imagine, Vladimir Putin is brimming with indignation and conspiracy theories.
Stopping short of ruling Russia out of the 2016 Summer Olympics entirely after the country orchestrated a comprehensive doping scandal that drove the host country’s winning medal count at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, the International Olympic Committee ruled out another 27 would-be Russian Olympians on Tuesday in track, rowing, canoeing and sailing, according to the Associated Press.
All in all, nearly a third of Russia’s 387-person Olympic roster has been banned from Brazil.
And while many believe the IOC’s decision to spare his country from complete banishment was due in part to Putin’s influence over the global sports federation, that isn’t stopping the Russian president from calling the IOC’s limited bans a “deliberate campaign” against a global athletic superpower.
- Dan Devine at Fourth-Place Medal20 hrs ago
If you’re a video-game enthusiast who also loves the U.S. men’s national basketball team’s unique brand of competition-stomping brilliance, I’ve got some good news for you. The folks at 2K Sports announced Wednesday morning that this year’s edition of their wildly successful basketball video game, “NBA 2K17” — which will feature Indiana Pacers star and Team USA forward Paul George on its cover — will give you the opportunity to play as the 2016 version of Team USA as led by coach Mike Krzyzewski (who, lest we forget, is no stranger to the video-gaming world).
[Follow Dunks Don’t Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]
- Eric Freeman at Fourth-Place Medal1 day ago
Tuesday night’s pre-Olympics basketball exhibition between the United States and China is unlikely to be remembered for its result, a 107-55 thumping that confirmed everything we already know about Team USA’s dominance. They led 52-24 at the half and never looked in serious danger of winning in anything less than a blowout. It wasn’t always a thrilling display, but they dominated every facet of the contest.
[Follow Dunks Don’t Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]
- Michael Grandinetti at Fourth-Place Medal1 day ago
For many Olympians, winning a medal is the ultimate goal.
But for the athletes from one country, winning a medal means much, much more.
For South Korean Olympians, claiming a medal goes far beyond standing on the podium, as the Games provide an opportunity to be exempt from the country’s mandatory military service rule, according to John Duerden of The New York Times. Athletes who win a medal are freed from their military obligations.
At the 2012 Olympics in London, the South Korean men’s soccer team’s bronze medal meant much more than a third place finish. With such high stakes, it’s safe to say the nation will be highly motivated to repeat its success in Rio.
But with so much at stake, how do the players handle the pressure?
From The New York Times:
- Tanner Walters at Fourth-Place Medal1 day ago
When Olympic athletes returned home following the 2014 Sochi Olympics, many brought more than just medals – they brought dogs.
Some of the most memorable and heartwarming stories of the Games came out of those adoptions, as athletes took stray dogs right off the streets to give them new homes.
With all that animal attention at the last Olympics, there’s guaranteed to be plenty of scrutiny put on Rio de Janeiro this year. And that’s nothing new for the Brazilian metropolis.
In 2014, the government was accused of engaging in removal programs to control the stray dog population before the FIFA World Cup. This year, however, one animal rights agency stepped in to help oversee the city’s preparation for the Olympics.
- Alex Baker at Fourth-Place Medal1 day ago
Roger Federer has withdrawn from Switzerland’s team for the Rio Olympics and will be sidelined for the remainder of the season because of a knee injury. The tennis star underwent knee surgery earlier this year and according to a statement on his , requires “more extensive rehabilitation.”
Federer won a silver medal for Switzerland in singles at the London Olympics in 2012 and a gold medal with partner Stan Wawrinka in doubles at Beijing in 2008. However, a gold medal in singles remains the one major vacancy in the seven-time Wimbledon winner’s trophy cabinet.
The 17-time Grand Slam title winner is coming off a semifinal loss to Milos Raonic at this year’s Wimbledon but missed the French Open, in part because of the knee surgery he underwent in February. At 34, this is likely to be Federer’s final chance to compete in the Olympics, meaning he will likely end his career without ever having captured a gold medal in singles.
- Henry Bushnell at Fourth-Place Medal1 day ago
Who says the Olympics aren’t boosting the Brazilian economy?
The latest news coming out of Rio suggests that the games are indeed serving as a catalyst for local business — just not in the way you might expect. And probably not in the way the Brazilian government envisioned, because it’s not legal business.
Apparently drug dealers in Rio de Janeiro are taking advantage of their country’s hosting of the games to drive sales:
Rio cocaine dealers now using the Olympic logo, plus the warning "don't use near children," which is very thoughtful pic.twitter.com/8M0e551eej
— Alex Cuadros (@alexcuadros) July 26, 2016
And what’s more, they’re even doing so responsibly! “USE LONGE DAS CRIANCAS” translates to “USE AWAY FROM CHILDREN.”