Istanbul businesses back the 2020 bid

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Seven of Turkey’s largest companies are offering to sponsor the country in its bid to host the 2020 Summer Games in Istanbul with upwards of $20 million in funding, the largest private backing of a sporting event in the country’s history.

Istanbul is going up against Madrid and Tokyo, the presumed favorite to host the Olympics, in an IOC vote this September in Buenos Aires. It is Istanbul’s fifth time making it to the finals of the bidding process, with recent failures in 2000 and 2008.

“Turkey is one of the most fertile economic environments in Eurasia, and these seven companies typify the innovation, drive and tireless pursuit of excellence that have got us here,” Hasan Arat said.

“Our new National Sponsors bring with them an enormous amount of expertise and experience across a wide range of sectors and their input will be crucial as the campaign progresses. This is the most powerful alliance between the sports community, the business community and every level of government we have ever had.”

The deal was signed during a special dinner hosted by Suat Kiliç, Turkey’s Minister of Youth and Sports, following a meeting held last week at the Prime Minister’s office.

Diggins, Randall win historic gold medal for U.S. in cross-country

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The long, long wait is over.

Team USA ended their 42-year Olympic medal drought in cross-country skiing Wednesday and they made American cross-country history in the process.

Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall became the first American cross-country skiers to capture a gold medal by winning the women’s team sprint at the Alpensia Cross-Country Centre in PyeongChang, South Korea. Sweden captured silver and Norway took home bronze.

Diggins and Randall are the first American women to win an Olympic medal and join Bill Koch as the only American cross-country skiers to earn an Olympic medal.

The Americans advanced to the finals courtesy of their first place finish in the semifinals, beating Sweden and OAR in the process.

Diggins out-sprinted both the gold and silver medalists of the individual sprint (Stina Nilsson and Maiken Falla, respectively) in the final stretch to take the gold.

Results

Gold: Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins (USA)

Silver: Charlotte Kalla and Stina Nilsson (SWE)

Bronze: Marit Bjoergen and Maiken Falla (NOR)

Click here for a full recap of Team USA’s historic run

Czech Republic advance to medal round with shootout win vs. United States

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Petr Loukal scored the lone shootout goal as the Czech Republic defeated the United States and advance to the medal round.

Jan Kolar and Tomas Kundratek scored in regulation, while Pavel Francouz made 18 saves and stopped all five shootout attempts.

Ryan Donato scored his tournament-leading fifth goal, and Jim Slater added a shorthanded goal as the Olympics come to an end for the United States.