If the International Rugby Board has their way, the sport will debut in the Olympic Stadium during the first week of the Rio Games.
IRB CEO Brett Gosper is set to go down to the Rio venues for a site visit after Christmas to convince the 2016 organizers that his sport can fill the short six-day window between the Opening Ceremony and when track and field hits the main stage.
“At the moment it is more than a hope, the Olympic Stadium has been ‘allocated’ to us and we are very excited and flattered by that,” Gosper said to reporters. “It would be fabulous if it happened. Such a wonderful venue at the Olympics says ‘major sport, mainstream’ straight away for rugby on its return and it feels like a huge vote of confidence.
“It’s a really good opportunity to set out our stall out in a meaningful way.”
Rugby is only locked in as an Olympic sport for two cycles – 2016 and 2020 – so it will need to convince the IOC that it’s a great spectator sport with international appeal before it’s up for another vote in roughly 2021. Debuting in the stadium, with the flame burning nearby, could definitely boost the sport’s profile.
Actually, why hasn’t anyone thought of this sooner?
Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, recently met former soccer star David Beckham at a restaurant.
Both global sporting icons posted similar photos on social media with similar captions Monday morning.
Beckham played midfield for Manchester United, and Bolt is a longtime fan of the soccer club.
Bolt, who is planning on retiring after the 2017 World Championships, was recently asked about the possibility of Manchester United while hosting a Facebook Live.
“If I had the chance to play for Manchester United, I would go right now,” he said, laughing. “I would retire and start playing futbol right now. That’s how much I really want to play for Manchester United.”
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Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was running down the open field when he encountered Chicago Bears safety Chris Prosinski.
Prosinski went low and Elliott, a high school state champion in the 110m and 300m hurdles, decided to go high and hurdle the defender:
The track and field community took notice of Elliott’s hurdle.
Lolo Jones, a 100m hurdler who competed at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, gave Elliott grades of an A++ for difficulty and an A for technique on Twitter. She wrote that it “hands down would’ve been best NFL hurdle technique of the yr.” if a second Bears defender, Jonathan Anderson, hadn’t prevented Elliott from landing cleanly:
Dawn Harper-Nelson, the 2008 Olympic champion and 2012 Olympic silver medalist in the 100m hurdles, also had a positive review of Elliott’s efforts:
Emma Coburn, the 2016 Olympic 3000m steeplechase bronze medalist, thought Elliott’s leap resembled her event:
Elliott finished with 30 carries for 140 yards to lead the Cowboys to a 31-17 win during Sunday Night Football.
His mother, Dawn, who was a track and field athlete at the University of Missouri, posted a photo on Twitter to remind everyone where her son inherited his hurling gene from:
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