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#pounditFriday, October 7, 2022

Olympics

Epic photo of Olympic gymnast throwing out first pitch goes viral

Suni Lee throws out a ceremonial first pitch

Olympic gold medalist Suni Lee threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Friday night’s game between the Toronto Blue Jays and Minnesota Twins at Target Field. To say she did so in style would be an understatement.

Lee incorporated a flip as part of her windup and delivery. In terms of difficulty level for a ceremonial first pitch, Lee’s was a definite contender for the top spot. This viral photo helps showcase just how impressive it was:

Here is a video of the pitch:

Lee, a Saint Paul native, stepped up for the United States at the Tokyo Olympics last year after Simone Biles sat out some events for mental health reasons. Lee took home the gold medal in the women’s individual all-around and had an extremely impressive streak. Those who followed her probably were not surprised by her incredible first pitch.

Sha’Carri Richardson’s ex admits to abusing track and field star

Sha'Carri Richardson at a track event

May 9, 2021; Walnut, CA, USA; Sha’Carri Richardson (USA) celebrates after winning women’s 100m heat in 10.74 during the USATF Golden Games at Hilmer Lodge Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Sha’Carri Richardson claimed on social media last week that she was a victim of abuse in a recent relationship, and her ex-girlfriend has admitted the allegations are true.

Richardson, a track and field sprinter and one of the fastest American women in history, said in an Instagram story that she was “abused and stole from” by a “Jamaican athlete that never cared about me from the jump.” While Richardson did not mention a name, Janeek Brown admitted to the abuse in an interview this week.

“I was abusive once that there is physical evidence of, and we moved on,” Brown said. “And even after that I was trying to move on from that and we still got nowhere.”

Brown seemed annoyed and said Richardson was only going public with the allegation for “clout.” She encouraged her ex to go to the police if she feels the need. Brown also said she was “going through something” at the time and trying to find herself.

“So yeah, it’s a transformation; I’m going to find myself now,” she added, via Megan Ambers of Yahoo Sports. “I may look different now.”

It is unclear if Richardson plans to file charges, but it sounds like the 22-year-old would have a strong case now.

Richardson qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Games in the 100m but tested positive for marijuana after her run at the Olympic Trials. Her positive test led to a 1-month suspension, which did not end until after the 100m event at the Olympics, causing her to miss the event. She has since accused the International Olympic Committee of racism.

Olympic skier says he had ‘unbearable’ pain from frozen penis

Cross-country skiers race at the Beijing Olympics

Athletes have dealt with some incredibly cold temperatures during the Beijing Olympics, and the harsh conditions led to an unfortunate injury for one Finnish skier.

Finnish cross-country skier Remi Lindholm told reporters after Saturday’s men’s 50-kilometer mass start race that he suffered a frozen penis during the event. Lindholm said he dealt with the injury once before.

“You can guess which body part was a little bit frozen when I finished … it was one of the worst competitions I’ve been in,” Lindholm said, via Philip O’connor of Reuters. “It was just about battling through.”

The start of the race was delayed by an hour and the distance was shortened to 30 km due to the harsh temperatures and winds. It still lasted over an hour. Lindholm said his thin suit offered little protection, leading to his penis freezing. He said the issue caused extreme pain.

“When the body parts started to warm up after the finish, the pain was unbearable,” Lindholm told the media.

Lindholm said he needed a heat pack after the race to tend to his injury.

We’ve heard of dangerous cold, but Lindholm’s experience really helps illustrate just how extreme the conditions were during some events in China.

H/T LBS friend Blake K.
Photo: Feb 19, 2022; Zhangjiakou, China; Artem Maltsev (ROC) in the men’s cross country skiing 50km freestyle during the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games at Zhangjiakou Cross-Country Centre. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

China blocks media’s access to Olympics websites

Olympic Rings in Beijing

There have been some major issues during the Beijing Olympics over the past several weeks, and it would appear the Chinese government is trying its best to mask some of them.

With the Winter Olympics wrapping up on Sunday, Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times tweeted that he and others who are staying in the Beijing bubble have been denied access to several Olympics-related websites.

Fenno is not the first member of the media to report an issue with accessing certain sites.

Though troubling, that is hardly a surprise. Censorship is nothing new for the Chinese government, and we’ve seen it with other sports as well.

A lot of athletes and members of the media are probably happy that the Olympics are coming to an end.

Photo: Feb 4, 2022; Beijing, CHINA; The Olympic Rings are raised during the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at Beijing National Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

Sha’Carri Richardson plays race card in rant about Kamila Valieva ruling

ShaCarri Richardson running

Sha’Carri Richardson aired out some grievances on Twitter Monday over the International Olympic Committee’s handling of the Kamila Valieva situation.

Valieva, a 15-year-old Russian figure skater, helped Russia win a gold medal in the team figure skating competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. However, after helping her team win, Valieva was revealed to have tested positive in December for banned substances.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that Valieva should be allowed to compete in the individual events despite her December positive tests. However, Russia will not have a medal ceremony, and there will be no medal ceremonies so long as she is involved in the top three in individual events.

The Court of Arbitration for Sports opted not to immediately suspend Valieva for now in large part because of her age. As a 15-year-old, she is considered a minor and not an adult. Therefore, her coaches, doctors and nutritionists are held more responsible for her positive tests.

None of that mattered to Richardson, who flipped out over Twitter Monday, and insisted the difference in treatment between her and Valieva was due to skin color.

Richardson, of course, qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Games in the 100m but tested positive for marijuana after her run at the Olympic Trials. Her positive test led to a 1-month suspension, which did not end until after the 100m event at the Olympics, causing her to miss the event.

Here are the tweets she sent:

Richardson is insisting that Valieva is being allowed to compete because she is white, while Richardson is black. But there are two clear differences in their cases which explain the different decisions.

One, Richardson’s positive test was disclosed immediately, while Valieva’s December positive tests were not made public until after Russia won the team event. If Richardson wants to point the finger, she should begin by asking whether there was some funny business going on with the timing of the release of Valieva’s positive test.

Two, the big explanation is that Valieva is 15, while Richardson was 20. Richardson is an adult, while Valieva is not. It’s not hard to comprehend that adults are held more responsible for what goes into their bodies than 15-year-olds.

Lastly, although she has been cleared to compete for now, Valieva will not have a medal ceremony. Additionally, it has not yet been decided whether Russia will be able to keep its team medal, nor whether Valieva would be able to keep any medals she wins in the individual events.

Photo: May 9, 2021; Walnut, CA, USA; Sha’Carri Richardson (USA) celebrates after winning women’s 100m heat in 10.74 during the USATF Golden Games at Hilmer Lodge Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Simone Biles, Texans’ Jonathan Owens share major relationship news

Simone Biles and Jonathan Owens pose for a selfie

Simone Biles and Houston Texans defensive back Jonathan Owens had a particularly special Valentine’s Day this year.

Biles revealed on Tuesday morning that she and Owens are engaged. The four-time Olympic gold medalists shared some photos from when Owens proposed.

Owens shared the same photos on his Twitter account and captioned them, “Woke up this morning with a fiancee.”

Biles and Owens have been dating since 2020. Biles, the most decorated gymnast of all time, was shown at a Texans game this past season after Owens enjoyed a special moment.

Video of Russian figure skaters falling gets Jim Ross-WWE treatment

Russian figure skaters falling

Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Gallyamov ended up looking like The Undertaker and Mankind for a moment during their Olympic competition this week. At least that is what one content creator on Twitter thought.

The Russian figure skating duo had a misstep during their pairs free skate event on Monday. As Gallyamov lifted Mishina in the air for a move, he lost his footing, sending both of them tumbling to the ice.

Olympics reporter Nick McCarvel said that the two figure skaters were OK after the fall. Mishina and Gallyamov also went on to finish first in the pairs competition, even despite the mishap. Their final score of 145.2 still easily defeated second-place finishers Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara of Japan, who finished with a score of 130.6.

Since the story had a happy ending, Twitter was able to come in with the funny jokes. One particular clip went viral of WWE announcer Jim Ross’ commentary being edited into the footage of the fall. Here is the video, which was originally posted by Timothy Burke, formerly of Deadspin.

With the high degree of difficulty involved in many figure skating moves, some spills are inevitable, as we have seen in past Winter Olympics as well. Fortunately for Mishina and Gallyamov, they were OK (most importantly), they finished in first place regardless, and thus, they got to be the subject of a hilarious viral video.

Russian athlete’s photo of food during Olympic quarantine goes viral

Olympic Rings in Beijing

There have been numerous concerns expressed over the conditions athletes are facing after being forced to quarantine at the Beijing Olympics, and one Russian biathlon competitor says the food left her malnourished and feeling ill.

Valeria Vasnetsova had to quarantine in Beijing after testing positive for COVID-19. Athletes and others who test positive but have no symptoms are forced to quarantine in a specific hotel until they can be cleared. Those who test positive and have symptoms are sent to a hospital. On Thursday, Vasnetsova shared a photo on Instagram that showed a meal she had been served.

Vasnetsova said she was served the same food for breakfast, lunch and dinner five days in a row.

“My stomach hurts, I’m very pale and I have huge black circles around my eyes,” she wrote, via a translation from The Associated Press. “I want all this to end. I cry every day. I’m very tired.”

Vasnetsova said she only ate the pasta at first because the rest was inedible. She later “ate all the fat they serve instead of meat because I was very hungry.”

The post drew a great deal of attention, and Russia team spokesperson Sergei Averyanov shared a photo of an improved meal Vasnetsova. It sounds like the issue has been addressed, at least for one athlete.

Photo Feb 4, 2022; Beijing, CHINA; The Olympic Rings are raised during the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at Beijing National Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

Czech curler goes viral for unique earrings at Olympics

Zuzana Paulova competing at curling

The sport of curling often draws a cult following during the Winter Olympics every four years. Now one Czech curler is giving viewers even more reason to tune in this year.

Czech curler Zuzana Paulova went viral over the weekend for the unique earrings that she wore while competing at the Beijing Games. Paulova’s earrings were themselves designed like little curling stones.

Twitter absolutely loved Paulova’s earrings, and she got a number of compliments on them.

Paulova explained her earrings after the event. She said that she was wearing them to show love to the Czech junior teams who were also competing that day.

In the opening round of their mixed doubles curling competition, Paulova and partner Tomas Paul lost 7-5 to curlers Rachel Homan and John Morris of Canada. They will have another chance to compete against China though and need to finish in the top four of the standings in their group of ten to advance to the semifinals.

Curlers definitely have a great sense of fashion (as we saw during the last Winter Olympics as well), and Paulova certainly won over many with hers.

Look: Shaun White has cool Olympic tribute to celebrity who died last year

Shaun White in snowboard gear

Shaun White is using his fifth Winter Olympics as an opportunity to pay tribute to a famous figure who recently passed away.

The legendary snowboarder showed up to the Beijing Games carrying his board in a custom-made Louis Vuitton case. White did it to honor the late designer Virgil Abloh. He posted a picture of the case on Twitter with the caption, “Virgil was here.”

Abloh, a famous fashion designer for Louis Vuitton, died in November at the age of 41 after a battle with cancer. Vanity Fair adds that White worked with Abloh on designing the snowboard case before Abloh’s death.

White will be competing in the men’s halfpipe event later this week, hoping to add to his career tally of three Olympic gold medals. White also gave a big announcement about his future over the weekend, making his tribute to Abloh here especially meaningful.

Photo: Feb 13, 2018; Pyeongchang, South Korea; Shaun White (USA) reacts after a run in the halfpipe final event during the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games at Phoenix Snow Park. Mandatory Credit: Jack Gruber-USA TODAY Sports