‘Fierce Five’ join Shawn Johnson on Dancing with the Stars

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“Dancing with the Stars” has long been a haven for Olympic gold medalists like Kristi Yamaguchi, Shawn Johnson, and Apolo Anton Ohno, who have all won the Mirror Ball trophy during the show’s run.

But during this, the All-Star return season, Johnson has upped the ante on her Olympic competitors.

Monday night the Beijing balance beam champ brought out London’s ‘Fierce Five’ of Aly Raisman, Jordyn Wieber, Kyla Ross, McKayla Maroney, and all-around champ Gabby Douglas to assist her routine, acting as everything from dancers, to tumblers and set pieces, as Johnson and her partner, Derek Hough, glided across the floor.

Johnson, the season eight champ, tweeted out a picture of the five stretching after the show, and added “You have no idea how much it means to me to be able to share this moment with them.”

And while we’d love to watch the results show to see how it worked out for Johnson and the group, who all told own eight golds, four silvers, and a bronze, we feel obligated to watch NBC’s “The Voice” Tuesday instead.

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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