Chellsie Memmel retires from gymnastics

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Olympic silver medalist Chellsie Memmel is set to retire from gymnastics after finishing the Kelloggs Tour of Champions this weekend in Brooklyn.

“Sad to be done competing but excited for the next phase of my life!” Memmel posted on Twitter. “I want to thank my family, friends, teammates, coaches and fans for their love and support, which means the world to me.”

The 2005 all-around world champ and six-time world medalist made the first of her record 10 national teams at age 12 and overcame injuries time and time again, including toughing it out through busted shoulder during the 2006 world championships and a broken bone in her ankle during the 2008 Beijing Games.

Memmel, who U.S. coach Martha Karolyi called “one of the most talented gymnasts” she’s ever met, tried to make one final comeback for the for the London Olympics, but couldn’t recover from shoulder surgery in time to perform well at the Secret U.S. Classic in May and failed to qualify for nationals in June.

The 24-year-old is eager to start her life after competitive gymnastics, but won’t be far from the gym. She’s in the process of becoming a gymnastics judge, possibly a coach, and is prepping a wedding for next August.

Syria-born Olympian takes advocacy role at U.N. refugee agency

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GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. refugee agency has chosen as a goodwill ambassador a Syrian teenage girl who helped save a boat carrying fellow refugees and later became an Olympic swimmer.

Yusra Mardini was appointed as UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador on Thursday, joining other notables like actress Cate Blanchett and author Khaled Hosseini in the unpaid advocacy role.

UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi said Mardini “represents the hopes, the fears and the incredible potential of the more than 10 million young refugees around the globe.”

Mardini and her sister Sarah jumped overboard and swam for hours alongside their overloaded boat to reach Greece from Turkey in 2015.

She swam on the first Refugee Olympic team in Rio last year and has discussed refugees’ challenges with leaders like Pope Francis and President Barack Obama.

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Rafael Nadal recreates famous 1992 Olympic cauldron lighting

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Rafael Nadal, owner of two Olympic gold medals, recently parroted arguably the most famous moment in Spanish Olympic history.

Nadal and Marc Lopez, the 2016 Olympic doubles champions, took up bows and arrows and joined archer Antonio Rebollo on Monday at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Stadium. It brought back memories of Rebollo’s unforgettable cauldron lighting from the only Olympics held in Spain.

Nadal is in Barcelona for an ATP Tour event as he prepares to vie for a 10th French Open title next month.

Rebollo, now 61 years old, was one of 200 hundred archers considered to light the cauldron in 1992. He learned that he was chosen for the role over four other finalists two hours ahead of time, according to an NBC Olympics profile in 1996.

The cauldron would be 195 feet away. Fearing Rebollo would miss the target, organizers instructed him to fire his arrow beyond the stadium walls. As the arrow soared, a technician lit the natural gas flame with a remote control.

The illusion worked. The true story wasn’t revealed for another 20 years.

“There were no fears,” Rebollo, a Barcelona native who contracted polio at age 8, told NBC two decades ago. “I was practically a robot. I focused on my positioning and reaching the target. That was all. … My feelings were taken from the people who described to me how they saw it. What they felt, their emotions, their cries. This is what made me realize what the moment actually meant.”

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