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#pounditFriday, September 18, 2020

Olympics

Andrew Bogut may retire early due to Olympics postponement

Andrew Bogut

Andrew Bogut had the end of his basketball career all planned out before the coronavirus pandemic ruined those plans.

Bogut had planned to retire after playing for Australia at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, but is no longer sure what to do after the games were pushed back to 2021.

“I haven’t done any basketball since the season ended and it feels good waking up, getting out of bed and not feeling like I’m walking on glass,” Bogut told Australian program “Offsiders,” via Dennis Passa of the Associated Press. “It’s (my career) all been thrown into a washing machine essentially … but there’s a decision to be made probably by mid-May.”

Bogut said he enjoyed being able to spend time with his young children and put them to bed himself, but added that the chance to play for what he considered potentially the best Australian Olympic basketball team ever was tantalizing.

“We’ve been tantalizingly close and the squad we’re going to have is arguably going to be the best squad in the history of the Boomers, on paper at least,” Bogut said. “To be part of that, selfishly, is something I really want to do, but the body is what it comes down to.

“I can get up for a basketball game any day of the week, but it’s hard to get up for five, six days of training a week and lifting weights.”

Bogut has been a big success playing at home in Australia after a long NBA career, and he could probably still play in the United States based on the comments of his former coach. The 35-year-old is clearly starting to feel the impacts of age, though. It would be a shame if the delayed Olympics prematurely ended his basketball career.

CEO: No guarantee Olympics will take place in 2021

The Summer Olympics have already been postponed once to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but one key organizer wouldn’t rule out the chances of further delays.

Tokyo organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said Friday that there was no way to say with certainty whether the rescheduled games would take place as currently scheduled.

“I don’t think anyone would be able to say if it is going to be possible to get it under control by next July or not,” Muto said, via Stephen Wade of the Associated Press. “We’re certainly are not in a position to give you a clear answer.”

It’s understandable that no guarantees are being offered here. Much depends on how the pandemic progresses and whether nations want to send athletes, which is what forced the postponement in the first place. Summer of 2021 should be more conducive to the Olympics, but we don’t know for sure yet.

Simone Biles not ready to commit to Olympics after postponement to 2021

Simone Biles

Simone Biles was ready to add to her vast collection of hardware at the Tokyo Olympics this summer, but now that the Games have been postponed until next year, her participation is no longer a sure thing.

In an interview on Wednesday, the gymnastics legend indicated that she was not ready to commit to competing in 2021.

“Well, nothing is really set in stone yet,” said Biles, per ESPN. “We’re trying to figure out the right training [regimen] just so mentally and physically we can try and stay on top of our game. We’re just playing it by ear and really just listening to my body.

“A year is a lot for elite athletes,” she added. “It feels more than a year on your body, trust me. Especially gymnastics, the impact we take. It’s your whole entire body, it’s not just your legs or your feet or your arms, we have to make sure your whole body is in check … I feel like there is kind of pressure. This year I was just doing it for me, no expectations. Now it’s all eyes again on you, wondering, ‘Can she do it, now she’s a year older?’ You’re like, ‘Oh, shoot.'”

Biles, the most decorated female gymnast ever, also called the postponement a “letdown.” She returned to competition in 2018 after taking home five medals (four of them gold) at the 2016 Rio Olympics as a member of the “Final Five.” Biles pulled off this ridiculous move on the national stage last year as well.

While her talent is unparalleled, Biles will be 24 years old when the Tokyo Games take place, which is virtually ancient in the world of gymnastics. After all, Biles’ teammate in Rio, Aly Raisman, was widely teased for her age when she was only 22 at the time.

Gregg Popovich, Jerry Colangelo commit to Team USA through Olympic postponement

Gregg Popovich

It is unclear if USA Basketball head coach Gregg Popovich is going to coach the team beyond the Tokyo Olympics, but he is going to ride out the coronavirus epidemic for as long as necessary.

USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said Tuesday that both he and Popovich will remain with the team in 2021, which is when the Tokyo Olympics are expected to take place. The Summer Games have been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“The commitments everyone made for 2020 are still there, we’re all in and we’re committed,” Colangelo said, via ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. “It’s important to deal with the unknowns and this virus. This too shall pass and we’ll be back for everyone’s well being.”

Team USA training was scheduled to begin July 4 with the Olympics starting July 24, but the Tokyo Games were postponed this week. A new date for the Olympics has not been announced, and it’s possible there could be some scheduling conflicts depending upon if and when the NBA resumes its 2019-20 season. Colangelo admitted that could be a potential issue.

“We will follow the leader. We have to wait to see how everything is laid out and we’ll make the adjustment,” Colangelo said. “Our players are NBA players first, let’s face that. … Changing the window for the NBA is easier said than done. There’s a lot of logistics and contracts to deal with. Same for the Olympics. You have to assume it will be around the same dates.”

Popovich has not yet committed to coaching in the NBA beyond this season, but it makes sense that both he and Colangelo are sticking with Team USA as long as necessary. The coronavirus outbreak has impacted the entire sports calendar. No one could have seen it coming.

Dick Pound: Tokyo Olympics to be postponed due to coronavirus, will likely be held in 2021

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are the latest major sporting event to be impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, as the Games will not be held in July as originally scheduled, according to Dick Pound.

Veteran International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound told USA Today’s Christine Brennan on Monday that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are going to be postponed. While an exact date has not been set, it will likely be some time in 2021.

“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound said. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know. It will come in stages. We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”

In a letter released on Sunday, the IOC acknowledged that it has been preparing for the potential postponement of the Tokyo Games. The committee said a decision would be reached over the next month, but countries have already said they will not send their athletes to Tokyo in time for the originally scheduled July start.

Previous Olympic Games have been canceled during times of war, but the Olympics have never been postponed.

Japan’s number of coronavirus cases is lower than numerous other countries, but people traveling in from all around the world and living in close quarters is a very bad way to contain the spread of a virus. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding sports with the coronavirus outbreak, and it doesn’t sound like we are going to see any of them resume in the immediate future.

Canada will not send athletes to Tokyo Olympics unless they are postponed

Canada Olympics

Canada has made a bold statement about the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.

The Olympics are set to take place later this summer in July and August, but there have been ongoing concerns about the viability of the event due to the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier on Sunday, the International Olympic Committee said they were considering postponing things.

That is what Canada wants.

The Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee issued a statement on Sunday night saying they would refuse to send athletes to the event unless it is postponed until 2021. Here is the statement:

Now that Canada has spoken, expect other countries to follow and put further pressure on Japan and the IOC to make the change.

Olympics could be postponed due to coronavirus pandemic

The International Olympic Committee is finally admitting what seemed obvious: there is a serious chance that the 2020 Summer Olympics will be postponed.

In a letter released Sunday, the IOC admitted that it has begun preparing for scenarios that include postponement of the Tokyo Games. Cancellation is not on the table, and a decision is expected within four weeks.

“The IOC will, in full coordination and partnership with the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Japanese authorities and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, start detailed discussions to complete its assessment of the rapid development of the worldwide health situation and its impact on the Olympic Games, including the scenario of postponement,” the letter reads.

Japan’s number of coronavirus cases is lower than numerous other countries, but various people traveling in from all around the world and living in close quarters is a very bad way to contain the spread of a virus. The other issue is gaming out the timing. The Opening Ceremony is scheduled for July 24, which is a full four months away, and organizers will have to make some guesses as to where the pandemic will stand at that point.

There’s a lot of uncertainty over U.S. sports right now. The Olympic situation is even less clear, and this won’t be an easy decision.

Usain Bolt and girlfriend Kasi Bennett expecting a baby

Usain Bolt silencer

Usain Bolt will not be competing at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, but the eight-time gold medalist is going to have plenty to keep him busy in the coming months.

Bolt and his longtime girlfriend Kasi Bennett announced on Instagram Thursday that they are expecting their first child together.

“I just want to say a KING or QUEEN is about to be HERE,” Bolt wrote.

Bolt, 33, has been dating Bennett for several years. Rumors flew after Bolt won three of his gold medals at the Rio Olympics in 2016 that he may have cheated on Bennett, and some photos that were posted all over social media did him no favors. However, the couple has remained together and is now starting a family.

Bolt has retired from competitive sprinting, but he showed us last year that he still has blazing speed. He’ll need that to keep up with his new addition.

Lolo Jones discusses her virginity, jokes going public was a ‘mistake’

It has been nearly eight years since Lolo Jones publicly discussed that she is saving herself for marriage, and the Olympic track and field star can’t help but wonder now if she should have never come clean.

Jones was a guest on the latest episode of comedian Kevin Hart’s “Cold as Balls” show, and the topic of her virginity came up. The 37-year-old rolled her eyes and said opening up about being a virgin was a mistake, joking that it “killed” her dating life.

“That was a mistake. That killed all my dates after that,” Jones said. “Before at least I had a chance. Before I’d tiptoe and be like, ‘OK, when’s a good time to tell him? Do I wait until he sees my personality a little bit, or do I just drop the bomb?'”

Hart then asked Jones if celibacy has helped her remained focused with her career.

“I have a higher level of intensity because I don’t have any pressure release,” Jones joked. “Everybody knows me as a stressed out person.”

Jones added, however, that she has been running at a “disadvantage” because having sex increases a woman’s testosterone level.

You can hear Jones discussing the subject at about the 2:30 mark of the video below:

Jones is a lot like Tim Tebow. Both are tremendous athletes who competed or compete at a high level, but there’s no question openly discussing their virginity made them more famous.

What’s great about Jones is that she has a fantastic sense of humor, which is probably why she has been able to openly discuss such a sensitive subject. She’s even made light of it in somewhat serious situations where she sustained an injury. Jones truly is one of a kind.

Watch: Simone Biles’ triple-double is even better in extreme slow motion

Simone Biles

The triple-double that Simone Biles nailed at the U.S. Gymnastics National Championships in Kansas City, Missouri on Sunday was incredible, but comprehending the complexity of the move in real time was difficult. Even watching it in slow motion still didn’t completely allow viewers to carefully dissect what she had done.

Thankfully Timothy Burke broke the film down into extreme slow motion that allows viewers to fully analyze and appreciate the triple-double. Here you can see the three twists and two flips executed by Biles during her floor routine:

That was unbelievable.

You know you’re doing something special when it has to be slowed down to that speed for the naked eye to be able to see all that went on.

Biles, who won four gold medals at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, has now captured six all-around titles at the US Gymnastics Championships.