World No. 1 golfer, Rory McIlroy is already threatening to sit out the 2016 Rio Games due to pressure over whether he’ll play for Ireland or Great Britain. Now, champion Irish golfer Padraig Harrington is speaking out for the 23-year-old, saying that the IOC needs to make the call, or else everyone will miss out on Rory’s talents.
“I have massive sympathy as an Irishman and massive sympathy more so as a sportsman,” Harrington told the Belfast Telegraph. “No sportsman should have to make that decision. That’s it, straightforward — nobody at 23 years of age should be asked to make that decision.”
Harrington added that that since golf is returning to the Olympics for the first time in more than a century, it will need the exploits of top young players like McIlroy to drive the storylines, bring in the audience, and prove that their sport belongs on podium along with the rest.
“We have two runs at it and we do, as golfers, have to perform and put our best foot forward, so it would be nice if the world number one is there and he’s supporting the event. It’s an extraordinarily difficult decision. We need our best players to play in the Olympics to show that golf is serious in the Olympics.”
Bob Costas reported from Rio de Janeiro for NBC News on Wednesday, 100 days out from the Opening Ceremony.
In the clip below, Michael Phelps, Simone Biles and even Brazil soccer legend Pelé comment on preparing for the first Games in South America.
Costas finished the clip with a stand-up from Copacabana Beach, where beach volleyball will take place in August.
VIDEO: Bob Costas picks biggest storyline of Rio Olympics
NBC Olympics will partner with Snapchat for daily “Live Stories” and an NBC Rio Olympic Discover channel (co-produced with Buzzfeed) during the U.S. Olympic Trials and the Rio Games.
The Live Stories allows Snapchatters attending select U.S. Olympic Trials events and the Rio Games to contribute photo and video Snaps to the Snapchat-curated story.
The Live Stories will include behind-the-scenes and fan moments, and Snapchat will feature NBC’s Rio Olympic brand marks, logos and more.
The Discover channel will be live from Aug. 4 (one day before the Opening Ceremony) through Aug. 22 (one day after the Closing Ceremony).
From NBC Sports Group:
Buzzfeed will leverage NBC’s access to athletes, as well as clips and shots from inside and outside Rio Olympic venues, to bring Snapchatters a fresh, mobile-first look at the Games.
MORE: Full Olympic Trials broadcast schedule