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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Articles tagged: 2016 Summer Olympics

Everyone is getting robbed in Rio yet they’re trying to poke holes in Ryan Lochte’s story

Ryan Lochte

Whether or not Ryan Lochte has told the complete truth about what happened to him and three other American swimmers on Sunday morning in Rio remains to be seen. Maybe we’ll get to the bottom of the story, maybe not.

I do not doubt that Lochte was robbed in Rio, though, and I am left wondering why officials in the Brazilian city are so fixated on trying to prove he was lying.

They publicly questioned Lochte’s story, tried to poke holes in it, and they ordered the swimmer and teammate Jimmy Feigen to remain in Rio pending further questioning. Luckily Lochte had already left for the U.S. and got out, but Feigen still needs to deal with authorities. Meanwhile, the two other swimmers who were part of the alleged robbery, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, were pulled off their airplane Wednesday and detained. That’s just taking things way too far.

Let’s all look at the reasons why one Brazilian judge has ordered all of this commotion, along with the LBS counterpoints for every argument.

Rio Judge: Notes a discrepancy between when Lochte said they left a party (4:00 am) and when they arrived at the Olympic village (minutes before 7:00 am).

LBS Counterpoint: What if the guys left at 4am, got robbed, their ride ditched them, and then it took a while to regroup and find another ride back? Nothing adds time to one’s night more than getting robbed and ditched at least 30 minutes away from where you’re staying. Or what if they were drunk and not really paying attention to the time they actually left, and they were an hour off? Isn’t that plausible?

Rio Judge: Analyzing their behavior and body language on the security footage at the Olympic village, they did not look like they had been robbed.


Swimmers Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger pulled off airplane in Brazil

Gunnar Bentz Jack Conger

Two of the four U.S. swimmers involved in an alleged robbery in Brazil were pulled off their airplanes at the airport in Rio de Janeiro Wednesday night, according to a report.

NBC News’ Peter Alexander first reported that Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger were pulled off their planes at the airport in Rio:

The USOC confirmed the news.

As Alexander notes, Lochte is already back in the U.S., while Jimmy Feigen, another swimmer who claims he was robbed, is still in Brazil.

News emerged Sunday that Lochte was held at gunpoint in Rio while on his way to a party he was invited to by a Brazilian swimmer. Lochte’s mother confirmed the story, while other officials denied it.

Rio police poked holes in the story and noted that Lochte and the other swimmers were drunk. A Brazilian judge reviewing the case had ordered the passports of Lochte and Feigen to be seized.

Usain Bolt messes with Andre De Grasse in 200m semifinal

Usain Bolt won his 200m semifinal at the Rio Olympics on Wednesday, doing so by a thin margin. Bolt posted a time of 19.78 to finish first, while Andre De Grasse was second at 19.80.

The time was the fastest of De Grasse’s career. Perhaps this was orchestrated purposefully by Bolt, who slowed down and smiled at De Grasse as if to encourage his competitor:

Usain Bolt Andre de Grasse

There’s no greater carrot on a stick baiting racers than having Bolt slow down right in front of you, giving you that glimmer of hope.

As for Bolt, he remains every bit the showman we all knew he was. What were they talking about anyway?

Randall Cunningham’s daughter Vashti in high jump at Olympics

Vashti Cunningham

Sports fans will notice a familiar name competing in the high jump at the Rio Olympics on Thursday: Vashti Cunningham.

Vashti is the daughter of former NFL QB Randall Cunningham, and she’s every bit as athletic as her father, if not more so.

Vashti is quite a talent at the high jump. She won the high jump at the USA Track and Field Indoor Championships in Portland in March, and she also won the IAAF world indoor championship in Portland a week later.

Cunningham has cleared a height of 1.99 meters (6 feet, 6.75 inches) to set the national high school and world junior record. Yes, Vashti Cunningham was a high school senior at Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas until a few months ago.

Vashti Cunningham announced in March that she was turning pro, which means she cannot compete in college. But she now can collect endorsement checks from Nike, with whom she signed.

She’ll be a contender for the gold medal in Rio.

Some photos of Vashti Cunningham in action on Page 2

Why Ashton Eaton is wearing green bib during decathlon

Ashton Eaton green bib

Ashton Eaton is looking to win his second straight gold medal in the decathlon at the Olympics, and he’s looking strong so far in his efforts.

The Oregon Ducks product leads the field in the decathlon through four events in Rio. Some viewers have noticed that Eaton is also wearing a bib or racing number that is a different color from his competitors. Eaton’s bib is green, and there is a good reason for that.

USA Track and Field explains that the green bib is similar to a yellow jersey at the Tour de France and worn by the current points leader.

Eaton was second in the 100m, first in the long jump, 10th in the shot put, and 18th in the high jump. The 400m remains for Wednesday.

The five events taking place on Thursday will be 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin throw and 1500m.

Here’s what the standard bib looks like:

German Hahner twins criticized for holding hands at finish line

Hahner twins hold hands

German distance runners Anna and Lisa Hahner are being criticized by officials from their home country after they crossed the finish line at the end of their marathon race on Sunday while holding hands.

Anna and Lisa, who are twins, finished 81st and 82nd in the women’s marathon at the Summer Olympics in Rio. Anna was credited with a time of 2:45:32 and Lisa a second slower. Photos of their hand-holding finish went viral.

Their happy finish also has led to criticism.

“Victory and medals are not the only goal,” Thomas Kurschilgen, sports director of the German Athletics Federation, said in an email to The New York Times on Tuesday. “Still, every athlete in the Olympic competitions should be motivated to demonstrate his or her best performance and aim for the best possible result.

“Their main aim was to generate media attention,” he said. “That is what we criticize.”

The Hahner twins commented about the race in a post on their Facebook page Monday. They said that despite finishing 81st and 82nd, they had trained hard for the race and were proud of their accomplishment.

The two did not run the whole race side-by-side, but they ended up next to each other at the finish line. They weren’t the only twins in the race; North Korean twins finished 10th and 11th with identical times, while Estonian triplets also competed in the race.

Sometimes people get so caught up in competitions they forget to have fun. But when photos like the Hahner twins holding hands at the finish line or opponents hugging like this go viral, it’s a reminder that there’s another side to sports.

H/T J.J. Brown

Alex Morgan distances herself from Hope Solo coward comments


Hope Solo caused quite a stir with her recent comments about Sweden playing like “cowards,” and one of her teammates has disavowed the remarks.

Alex Morgan spoke to Nicole Auerbach of USA Today and said that the criticism of such defensive play styles comes from fans, and that she doesn’t see it the same way Solo does.

“I saw her comments but I feel like those are opinions I don’t share,” Morgan said.

“When you see two attacking teams and a lot of counter-attacking and transition, that’s an exciting game for the fans,” Morgan added. “When you see someone kind of park the bus and sit in and value defense a lot more and have such a difference in possessions and shots between the two teams, I think for fans that’s not always the most exciting game to watch. I think it draws criticism from fans and obviously it draws frustration from the opponents.

“You find both in the men’s and women’s game when a team doesn’t attack but values defense more than offense, I think you see a game that’s more like a chess match and a game with the opponent starting to get frustrated — which you saw with us, which you saw with Brazil as well.”

Morgan has no issue with the tactics Sweden employed.

“They played their cards right,” she said. “They did the exact same thing with Brazil. They’re in the final, so you can’t really doubt their strategy now.”

It’s an opinion that Solo did not share, at least in the heat of the moment. Morgan is right, though. Sweden’s only responsibility is to win the game, not play into the hands of their opponents. The fact that they’re in the final is all the evidence you need to know who got it right.