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Monday, June 24, 2019

Articles tagged: 2016 Summer Olympics

Rory McIlroy admits he was ‘pleasantly surprised’ by Olympic golf

Rory McIlroy

After being one of those most critical of the concept of Olympic golf, Rory McIlroy is sort of coming around on the concept.

McIlroy admitted that he’d watched a bit of the golf and came away impressed with how it turned out.

“It pleasantly surprised me,” McIlroy said Wednesday, via Jason Sobel of ESPN. “There was more people at the golf events than there was at the athletics. It was good to see, it really was. It seems like it was a great atmosphere down there. I think it was one of the cheaper tickets, as well, and I think that encouraged a lot of people to go.

“To see the crowds and see the turnout, I was glad to be somewhat proven wrong.”

McIlroy had some very negative comments about Olympic golf before he got to see the spectacle. By his own admission, he didn’t think it would be very interesting, but he seems to have come around.

Team Great Britain had matching Olympic luggage, caused problems at baggage claim

team-gb-bags

Filed under great ideas in theory but not quite in practice: matching luggage for Great Britain’s Olympic team. Sure, it’s cool and a nice show of solidarity at first, but then you get to baggage claim and you realize that you have a pretty big problem.

Just ask members of Team GB who arrived back in London and went to claim their bags, only to find that there was no real way to tell anyone’s apart aside from checking every nametag.

See for yourself:

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Jimmy Feigen says Brazil officials tried to extort him for $46,000

Jinmy-Feigen

U.S. Olympic swimmer Jimmy Feigen, one of the four athletes who were involved in the gas station incident in Rio, says Brazilian officials tried to get him to pay a fine of more than $46,000 before he left the country.

In a statement he released late Tuesday night, Feigen gave his account of what happened during the infamous incident and in the days after. After it had been determined that the swimmers lied about being pulled over in a taxi and robbed, Feigen says prosecutors asked him to pay $31,500 to get his passport back so he could return to the United States. When his lawyers refused, the fine was raised to $46,875.

Feigen says he was told by officials that he could either pay the fine or remain in Brazil throughout the full investigation, which prosecutors said could take a month. Eventually, he agreed to pay a lesser amount so he could return home.

“Finally, all parties agreed to a $10,800.00 fine,” Feigen said. “I was able to contact my family in the United States along with my American attorneys and we were able to satisfy the payment of the fine the next day. My passport was returned to me after payment was received, and I was able to return home.”

As for what actually happened at the gas station, Feigen says the four swimmers did not force their way into a bathroom as has been reported. He did, however, admit they urinated behind the building.

“We pulled over to a gas station to use the bathroom but the door was locked,” he explained. “We did not force entry into the bathroom, nor did we ever enter the bathroom. We did, however, make the regrettable decision to urinate in the grass behind the building.”

Feigen also said Ryan Lochte pulled a poster off the wall, which Feigen and teammate Gunnar Bentz ended up paying for.

“On our way back to the cab, Ryan Lochte pulled a poster in a metal frame off a wall,” he said. “I got back into the cab and waited for the others. One of my teammates told me that a man with a gun was standing outside the cab. The man with the gun spoke with the cab driver, who got out of the cab. We then got out of the cab and I paid the driver the fare. As I walked away, the man with the gun pointed it at me and my teammates and ordered us, in Portuguese, to sit. This was the first time I have ever had a gun pointed at me and I was terrified.”

While the four swimmers have not received much sympathy for obvious reasons, it sounds clear they were victims of extortion — both at the gas station and when dealing with Brazilian officials. It’s also clear that Lochte, who recently had an interesting revelation about why he lied, made the situation worse than it had to be.

Five biggest controversies from the 2016 Summer Olympics

Michael Conlan

Even prior to the opening ceremonies at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio, the worldwide event was covered by a dark cloud and cast into controversy due to both the Zika virus and heavily polluted waters.

Several major athletes from across the globe opted to drop out of the Games for one reason or another, but most directly cited Zika as their primary reason.

When the Games did eventually get underway, the Zika concerns slowly faded away. However, the water issues once again bubbled to the surface when the Olympic diving pool turned from a clear blue to a murky green. Still, it wasn’t enough to crack the top five controversies that would ultimately engulf the Games of the XXXI Olympiad.

Here’s a look at the five controversies that stood front-and-center as closing ceremonies began.

5. Boxing scandals abound

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Jim Boeheim calls Kyle Lowry ‘the best team player’ on USA Basketball

Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry is one of the more underappreciated talents in the NBA, but he earned his stripes playing for USA Basketball this summer in the eyes of Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim.

In an interview with Michael Rosenberg of Sports Illustrated after Team USA won the gold medal on Sunday, Boeheim, an assistant on the team, had high praise for the Raptors point guard.

“[Lowry] was the best team player out of everybody,” Boeheim said. “He just really bought in and was a great leader and gave everything he had every time he went out there. That was important for our team.”

The 30-year-old Lowry was used in a bench role in Rio but was one of the few players on the team who moved the ball well and effectively initiated offense for others. While it may have helped that Lowry was the only true point guard on the roster, the two-time All-Star definitely blossomed in his first Olympic Games and proved why he was a worthy selection to the team.

Hopefully, Lowry and backcourt partner DeMar DeRozan use their Olympic experience to help Toronto take the next step in 2016-17 after coming within just two wins of the NBA Finals last postseason. Maybe they picked up a handy decompression technique or two in Rio as well.

H/T theScore

Kevin Durant: Olympics were ‘therapy’ after offseason of criticism

Kevin Durant Warriors

Kevin Durant really needed to get away, and he credits the Olympics with being a big help.

Durant told Michael Lee of the Vertical that the Olympics were therapeutic for him after a summer of criticism stemming from his jump from Oklahoma City to Golden State.

“It was therapy for me after making a big change in my life,” Durant said after the USA’s gold medal victory over Serbia. “It made my life easier… I knew [a backlash] was coming. It was definitely different for me, but to come here in an environment where people accepted me and didn’t care about anything except being my buddy, that’s what I needed.

“I can’t let anybody steal my joy,” Durant added. “Monty Williams used to tell me that every day: don’t let anybody steal my joy. I get joy when I’m out there playing and it went to another level just playing alongside these great players and playing under Coach K and his staff. I focused on that. All that noise around me kind of quieted down.”

Durant has made no secret of the fact that he’s sometimes found it tough to deal with the inevitable criticism. The Olympics allowed him to blend in a little bit more and focus on basketball, which is ultimately what he wants.

Sam Kendricks stops mid pole vault for national anthem

Sam Kendricks attention

You’ll never be able to accuse Sam Kendricks of not being patriotic.

Kendricks pulled off one of the coolest things we saw at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio when he stopped mid pole vault attempt to stand attention in observance of the national anthem.

Though the pole vaulting qualifications took place last Saturday and the finals were last Monday, the clip went viral on Sunday, leading NBC Sports to tweet the video:

Kendricks, who won bronze in the event with a height of 5.85m, is a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve, so he is trained to respect the country, flag and anthem.

Kendricks talked last week about representing the military in Rio.

“Those guys are really proud of me and have given me every chance to continue as a civilian,” Kendricks told USA Today. “I am certainly looking to represent the Americans on two fronts, as a military man and as a U.S. athlete.