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U.S. Olympic soccer player Megan Rapinoe reveals she is gay

A combination of superior athletic ability, a unique hairstyle and a great sense of humor has made Megan Rapinoe one of the more popular and well-known players on the U.S. Olympic women’s soccer team. Rapinoe created one of the signature moments of the Women’s World Cup last year when she grabbed the field microphone after scoring a goal and sang Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA.” Recently, she also became an inspiration to a homosexual community that has not exactly been well-received in the sports world.

In the July issue of Out Magazine, Rapinoe revealed she is gay.

“I feel like sports in general are still homophobic, in the sense that not a lot of people are out,” Rapinoe said according to Out.com. “I feel everyone is really craving (for) people to come out. People want — they need — to see that there are people like me playing soccer for the good ol’ U.S. of A.

Rapinoe explained that she has not been hiding the fact that she is gay, but said no one has ever directly asked her. She said she has been dating a female Australian soccer player for three years, but just as people don’t walk around revealing that they are straight she hasn’t felt the need to come out and inform people that she is gay.

“I think they were trying to be respectful and that it’s my job to say, ‘I’m gay,’” she said. “Which I am. For the record: I am gay.”

While more and more athletes have been coming out in support of the gay community (here is a list of NFL players who did so), it is obviously still a problem. Based on the number of people who play professional sports in America, it is safe to assume that there are gay athletes in many locker rooms. They have chosen to keep that information private for a reason. If popular players like Rapinoe can continue to embrace their sexual identities, it will help others who struggle with theirs on a daily basis.

Photo credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

Anthony Davis reportedly still in contention for making Team USA despite ankle

Despite “severely” spraining his ankle last week, an injury that was thought to keep him out for the Olympics, Hornets’ No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Davis reportedly still plans to participate at Team USA’s training camp in hopes of securing one of the final 12 spots for the team that heads to London.

According to Yahoo! Sports, Davis’ ankle injury isn’t as serious as once thought, but he is still expected to miss seven to 10 days. He’ll report to USA Basketball’s training camp in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

The final roster is set to be announced as part of a selection show on NBA TV on Saturday, meaning that the 15 finalists have just a couple days to prove they can play basketball, or something. However, nine players reportedly are already assured of making the cut. Those nine are reportedly LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love and Tyson Chandler. As it very well should be.

By simple math, that means the remaining six players — Blake Griffin, Andre Iguodala, Rudy Gay, James Harden, Eric Gordon and Davis — will be duking it out for the final three spots.

Even though Davis is expected not to participate in any practices before Saturday’s selection show, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski will reportedly remain patient with Davis. And after Lamar Odom dropped out of contention earlier this week, in addition to the rash of injuries, Team USA might have no other choice, given how thin they are in front court depth.

Note: This post also appeared on Yardbarker’s Medal Detector blog

Michael Johnson: Slave descendants have ‘superior athletic gene’

Retired Olympic sprinter Michael Johnson believes there is a scientific reason that explains why so many of the top sprinters in the world are black. The four-time gold medalist, now a commentator for BBC, believes slave descendants have genes that make them superior athletes.

“All my life I believed I became an athlete through my own determination, but it’s impossible to think that being descended from slaves hasn’t left an imprint through the generations,” Johnson said on a documentary called “Michael Johnson: Survival Of The Fastest,” according to the Daily Mail.

“Difficult as it was to hear, slavery has benefited descendants like me – I believe there is a superior athletic gene in us.”

According to the Daily Mail, some scientists support that notion. Their report states that only the fittest and strongest African people were picked to board the slave ships. Once aboard the ships, conditions were so terrible that only the strongest/healthiest/fittest people of an already select group survived. Additionally, the Daily Mail says some scientists believe that some slave owners selectively bred to create even stronger and more athletic people, which set the groundwork for dominant athletes decades later.

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Photographer ripped for unusual photos of U.S. Olympic athletes

The image you see above of gymnast Nastia Liukin is the type of photo that we are accustomed to seeing in the months leading up to the Olympic Games. The athletes typically strike various poses against simple backgrounds. Oftentimes, the athlete will be standing in front of their country’s flag. It is the Olympics, after all.

On particular photographer, Joe Klamar, decided to switch things up a bit at the USOC media summit back in May. Now, he’s being ripped for it. Klamar took photos of various U.S. athletes in front of unusual backgrounds with strange color shadings. The images themselves are difficult to describe, so here are a few examples:

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Anthony Davis reportedly suffers ‘severely sprained ankle,’ out for the Olympics

If Team USA’s players continue to drop as the London Olympics draw nearer — particularly the big men — Mike Krzyzewski may have to put very little thought into picking the final roster. Just a few days after Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade officially announced they will not be making the trip to London, center Anthony Davis has reportedly also been crossed off the list.

According to Yahoo! Sports, Davis “suffered a severely sprained ankle in a Hornets workout and is almost assuredly unable to play for Team USA.” Davis may have already been considered a long shot to make the team because of his lack of experience at the professional level, but with a number of injuries already having piled up his chances were looking better every day.

With Bosh, Dwight Howard, and LaMarcus Aldridge already out with injuries, Team USA’s front court is starting to become a legitimate concern. Tyson Chandler is the only actual center remaining among the roster finalists, and unless someone like DeMarcus Cousins is a late add-on Coach K will be relying on guys like Kevin Love to fill in at that position.

Despite Derrick Rose being out, Team USA is still loaded with talent at the guard and small forward position. However, they could run into trouble against a team like Spain who has a good front court with Marc and Pau Gasol. Now that the opening ceremonies are less than a month away, Team USA can hardly afford to sustain anymore injuries to their big men.

Photo credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

Lolo Jones thinks push-ups will give her an edge in photo finishes

Lolo Jones frequently jokes about being dissatisfied with the size of her chest, and Friday was no different.

Jones mentioned on Twitter that she was shopping for bras and someone played a cruel joke by placing a larger bra among the smaller ones, which she was looking through.

When asked by a Twitter follower why she’s focused on her chest, Jones came back with a humorous response:

Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh finished in a dead heat (picture here) for the final Olympic qualifying spot in the 100 meters last weekend and may do a run-off to break the tie. Photo finishes are determined by the placement of the sternum, so that’s why she made the joke.

For someone who is a world-class athlete and who seems to have everything going for her, Lolo Jones sure has the self-deprecating humor act down. If nothing else, maybe that can help her score a date with Tim Tebow.

Photo Credit: Scott Olmos-US PRESSWIRE

Dwyane Wade to undergo knee surgery, miss London Olympics

The Opening Ceremonies of the London Olympics are only a month away, and Team USA has lost yet another star. Dwyane Wade informed head coach Mike Krzyzewski and USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo on Thursday that he is officially out for the Olympic Games, as he will instead undergo surgery on his ailing right knee.

“I’ve decided to listen to my doctors and get the procedure I need on my knee,” Wade explained. “USA Basketball said I had to do what was best for me. They want me to be obviously as healthy as possible so I can continue to play this game at a high level. They were very supportive and told me if I ever want to come around the team, I’m welcome and that I’m part of the family.”

Back in May, Wade surprised some people when he said he had still not decided if he was going to participate in the Olympics. He mentioned health as a potential issue, so perhaps he foresaw that the knee could become an issue when the NBA season came to a close. He added that he will miss the “camaraderie” Team USA’s gold medal squad built in Beijing but that his top priority is being healthy at the start of the NBA season to help Miami defend their NBA title.

Despite missing nine playoff games, Chris Bosh said earlier this week that he is “all in — for now” and will consult doctors before making a decision about Team USA. Having already lost Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard to injuries, there are now 17 players vying for 12 spots on the Olympic roster. The team will still have plenty of talent with guys like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, and Russell Westbrook leading the way, but a number of injuries have resulted in the London team having a different look than the one that dominated Beijing.