- Tanner Walters at Fourth-Place Medal12 hrs ago
Well, that was quick.
In the week since the blanket ban on Russia’s track and field team was upheld, the Russian Track and Field Federation organized and held its own Olympics in northeast Moscow for 137 athletes.
The “Stars 2016” tournament included 68 banned Olympians, featuring considerably fewer stars than will be present at the upcoming Rio Games. The event was described by many as more akin to a high school meet.
Many of the athletes used it as a chance to send a message, wearing bibs that read “I jump clean,” or other variations like “I run clean” and “I throw clean,” .
Descriptions were varied in assessing the mood of the day. Many Russian officials denied that it was hastily organized in political protest, stressing that it gave athletes a chance to showcase their training and earn prize money.
Russian athletes who won events at the local tournament were awarded 100,000 rubles, equivalent to about $1,500. An Olympic gold is worth 40 times that in government payouts.
- Jackie Bamberger at Fourth-Place Medal13 hrs ago
On the heels of an explosive report from the World Anti-Doping Agency and retests from the 2012 and 2008 Olympics, the International Weightlifting Federation has banned all Russian weightlifters from the upcoming games in Rio de Janeiro.
In a press release Friday, the IWF said “the integrity of the weightlifting sport has been seriously damaged on multiple times and levels by the Russians.”
Two of Russia’s eight nominated weightlifters were already barred from Rio because they had previously failed doping tests, and the IWF said Friday that seven athletes from the 2012 and 2008 Olympics have failed recent retests from those games.
- Alex Baker at Fourth-Place Medal14 hrs ago
Just days after his controversial quip that Australian athletes might have felt more at home in their Olympic accommodations if a kangaroo had been placed outside, Rio de Janeiro’s mayor has placed the blame for the problems in the athletes’ village on the city’s Olympics organizing committee.
“The athletes’ village was ready. Then the organizing committee took charge for three months, and there were extremely serious management problems. During those three months, people intruded into the apartments and a lot of things were stolen,” said Rio mayor Eduardo Paes in an interview with a Sao Paulo newspaper picked up by AFP.
“The doors were left half-open. The organizing committee was careless, objectively speaking,” Paes said.
- Kevin Kaduk at Fourth-Place Medal17 hrs ago
Russian representation may be thin in Rio next month thanks to the country’s doping scandal, but those back in Moscow will be able to see the Russian flag on another big delegation.
Ralph Lauren and the United States Olympic Committee unveiled the outfits American athletes will wear in next week’s Opening Ceremony on Friday morning and it didn’t take long for some to notice they might be better suited for athletes representing another country.
As sports fashion maven Paul Lukas and others pointed out on Twitter, the pattern of the striped t-shirt follows the order of the white, blue and red bars of the Russian flag. When paired with a buttoned-up navy blazer, only three bars are visible and it looks like the Russian flag.
See for yourself:
- Eric Freeman at Fourth-Place Medal1 day ago
Turner Sports reporter Craig Sager has been a presence on more TV networks than usual this year as he continues to fight leukemia. In addition to his return to TNT for his usual NBA coverage, Sager covered his first-ever NBA Finals game on a one-day loan to ABC in June and appeared at the ESPYs this month to accept the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance. He was also set to continue his relationship with NBC at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics next month, continuing a run as sideline reporter for men’s and women’s basketball that began at the Sydney games in 2000.
[Follow Dunks Don’t Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]
NBC announced Thursday that Sager will no longer serve that role due to a setback in his recovery. Here is the full text of their short news release:
- Adam Stites at Fourth-Place Medal1 day ago
Olympians don’t have the same diets as the average person, but at least one athlete is getting tired of his ridiculous calorie intake.
Brazil’s Fernando Saraiva Reis, 26, is headed to his second Olympics as a weightlifter and eating enough food to keep on his weight is a full-time job.
“So much food, so much food,” Saraiva Reis said. “Food for me is not a matter of enjoyment. I don’t enjoy it at all because I have to eat so much to put weight on and maintain it.”
“For me food is a bit like gasoline. I have an engine that I have to keep filling and filling,” he added.
He weighs in at about 320 pounds, so keeping that gas tank full requires a lot of fuel. Sometimes he eats as many as seven meals in a day, beginning with “eight to 10 eggs for breakfast.” At one point in his weightlifting career, Saraiva Reis says he would wake up at 3 a.m. every morning just to eat a big bowl of pasta.
- Adam Stites at Fourth-Place Medal1 day ago
Tony Azevedo is a week away from his competing in his fifth Olympics, the most ever for an American water polo player, and he’s using his global platform to fight against SeaWorld.
In an ad campaign with PETA, Azevedo is asking SeaWorld to free its orcas and retire the whales to sanctuaries.
— PETA (@peta) July 28, 2016
SeaWorld has been in PETA’s crosshairs for a long time, with the 2013 documentary “Blackfish” stirring plenty of outrage about the theme park’s treatment of orcas.
- Emily McLanahan at Fourth-Place Medal1 day ago
Recognize this face?
Apparently two people in Atlanta did not. That’s only swimmer Katie Ledecky, two-time Olympian who holds the world record in the 400-meter, 800-meter and 1500-meter freestyles, the first woman to simultaneously hold these records since Janet Evans in 1988.
Cue the oblivious girls who asked Ledecky to take their photo.
According to fellow USA teammate Maya DiRado, two girls wanted to capture a moment together and asked Ledecky to assist them – obviously not recognizing who she was because she wasn’t asked to join in on the photo fun.
— Maya DiRado (@MayaDiRado) July 28, 2016
Way to go, girls.
- Alex Baker at Fourth-Place Medal1 day ago
The Rio Olympics are just over a week away and the protests we’ve seen on the ground in Brazil show no signs of abating any time soon, with angry protesters on Wednesday night having gone as far as to halt the Olympic torch procession, snatch the torch away and extinguish it.
A video posted online from the confrontation, which took place in Angra dos Reis near Rio de Janeiro, shows a crowd of protesters grabbing the torch away from the Olympic procession before snuffing it out. The scene then rapidly descends into chaos with Brazilian military police moving in to disperse the crowd with tear gas and rubber bullets. The crowd quickly joined in on the melee, pelting the police with rocks, bricks and other projectiles.
Loud bangs and explosions can also be witnessed on the video as the crowd scatters and the processional retreats to the relative safety of a support vehicle.
- Eric Freeman at Fourth-Place Medal2 days 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.