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Olympics Tag

North Korea and South Korea held high-level talks for the first time in two years. The outcome led to a major breakthrough: North Korea will send athletes to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics next month located in South Korea. The two countries have also agreed to hold meetings to ease military tensions.

The Brazilian police have said that U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte and three of his teammates were not victims of a robbery and security guards only a pointed a gun at them because they were vandalizing a gas station. Last week, Lochte said a gunman robbed him and three of his teammates after he left a party in Rio. But now different stories have caused authorities to raise eyebrows over the incident.

Anti-Israel Egyptian judo fighter Islam el-Shehaby received backlash on Friday when he didn't shake the hand or bow to his Israeli opponent Or Sasson, who defeated him on Friday. In response, the Egyptian Olympic Committee announced they will open an investigation into his actions. Judo Israeli Egyptian refuses to shake hand El-Shehaby received pressure from Muslims not to fight against the Israeli, but the EOC threatened to strip him of his citizenship if he withdrew. He immediately retired after the loss.

Before the Rio Olympics began, I noted that scientists found dangerous drug-resistant “super bacteria” off beaches in Rio de Janeiro and in a lagoon where rowing and canoe athletes will compete. This is in addition to bodies, sewage, and other detritus floating off the coast of Brazil. But Olymic officials said, "Let the Games begin". Now, Rio's contaminated waters have claimed their first victim.
A Belgian sailor who won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics has become the first person to fall sick after racing on Rio's polluted Guanabara Bay.

Israel has faced discrimination at the 2016 Rio Olympics, but Egyptian judoka Islam El Shehaby refused to boycott his match against Israeli judoja Or Sasson. One of the fears of anti-Israel social media, which demanded a boycott, was that El Shehaby would lose, and thereby not only normalize Israel's participation but humiliate the Muslim world. El Shehaby lost. Egypt Israel Judoka Perhaps fearing the internet reaction, Shehaby refused to shake Sasson's hand afterwards.

Yesterday in Rio, 19-year-old Ginny Thrasher won the USA's first gold medal in the 2016 Olympics; she won the women’s 10-meter air rifle finals to the excitement and pride of every American.  Well, almost every American, the backlash from the left runs the gambit from droll to downright nasty and mean-spirited. Ginny is a college student from Virginia who first shot a rifle while hunting with her grandfather, joined her high school rifle team, and was subsequently inspired by the 2012 Olympic shooting events to go for the gold herself.  Ginny's performance on Saturday morning was nothing short of outstanding and is being called an "upset" in that she out-shot a two-time Olympic gold medal winner. The Washington Post reports:
Thrasher . . . was one of eight competitors to emerge from the 50-woman qualification round Saturday morning.

The Olympics start on Friday, but the Brazilian government fired the private firm that should have provided security for the Olympics. The firm Artel needed to hire 3,400 people, but only hired 500. Question is, why did the Ministry of Justice react now instead of earlier? The company also never had experience dealing with a major sporting event.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided not to fully ban Russia from the 2016 Rio Games even though the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found the doping scandal reached the government. The IOC said:
Given the urgency of the situation, with the Olympic Games Rio 2016 starting in 12 days, and the athletes’ entry process already underway, the IOC EB had to take a preliminary decision with regard to the participation of Russian athletes in Rio de Janeiro. Prof. McLaren states in his report that it “fulfils partially the mandate of the Independent Person”. This is why the IOC supports his request to continue and finalise his work. On the other hand, this situation leads to an urgency for the IOC which does not allow it sufficient time for hearings for affected athletes, officials and organisations.

Russia prides itself in sports, but the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) recommended agencies ban the country due to a massive doping scandal that reaches the government. They found:
1. The Moscow laboratory operated, for the protection of doped Russian athletes, within a State-dictated failsafe system, described in the Report as the Disappearing Positive Methodology.

The 2016 Summer Olympics begin in Rio next month and everything that can go wrong has gone wrong. The police have told tourists they cannot protect them, scientists found a superbug in the water, and no one can find a missing Gitmo prisoner in Brazil. The police put out a "Welcome to Hell" sign outside of Rio's main airport. https://twitter.com/Deadspin/status/750392561836097537

World #4 golfer Rory McIlroy has announced he will not play at the Rio Olympics due to the Zika outbreak. He released this statement:
"After much thought and deliberation, I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration for this summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. "After speaking with those closest to me, I've come to realise that my health and my family's health comes before anything else. "Even though the risk of infection from the Zika virus is considered low, it is a risk nonetheless and a risk I am unwilling to take. "I trust the Irish people will understand my decision. The unwavering support I receive every time I compete in a golf tournament at home or abroad means the world to me. "I will continue to endeavour to make my fans and fans of golf proud with my play on the course and my actions off it."
Scientists have connected Zika to birth defects, including microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Numerous athletes have withdrawn from the Olympics because of Zika while some have expressed doubt they will play, but have not made up their mind yet.

The state of Rio, not the city, continues to topple as the governor declared a "state of public calamity" only 50 days before the 2016 Summer Olympics kick off. The state spent over $2.8 billion alone "on a 10-mile extension to Rio’s subway to link a series of wealthy beachside neighborhoods in time for the Olympics." But now they cannot afford to pay for public expenses. Maybe they shouldn't rely on the government for everything? But I digress. From The Wall Street Journal:
By declaring a state of calamity, interim Gov. Francisco Dornelles authorized his subordinates to adopt “exceptional measures necessary for the rationalization of essential public services” to meet Rio’s commitments for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The move further allows the government to skip the bidding process to hire some contractors and loosens minimum spending requirements on mandatory items like education and health care. An official in Brazil’s Finance Ministry said the decree would also enable Rio to obtain federal resources more quickly.
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