Nine-time gold medalist Carl Lewis offered his endorsement to Tokyo’s 2020 bid when he visited the site Monday where he had the “race of my life.”
Lewis was in town working with young athletes who were victims of the 2011 earthquake and Tsunami, along with former triple jump world record holder Willie Banks and current long jump world record holder Mike Powell, whose 8.95 meters mark has stood for twenty-two years.
“I wish them the best of luck because I think they will put on a tremendous games,” Lewis told the Associated Press. “I will be at the 2020 Games wherever it is, and I hope it’s here.”
Lewis believes that Japan’s distinction as a country of technology and innovation is what sets them apart from fellow 2020 bidders Madrid and Istanbul.
“I’m all for progress,” he said. “I believe in high-technology. I believe in state-of-the art new stadiums for people. It makes it more comfortable and leads to improved performances by the athletes.
“Japan has always been a very high-tech community and I think it will be a showcase for a stadium probably more high-tech than any stadium that’s ever been made. I think it will be a great place to be.”
Of course, Lewis admitted he held a bias toward Tokyo because it was where he reclaimed the 100m world record from compatriot Leroy Burrell, running 9.86 seconds at the 1991 world championships.
Coincidentally, Mike Powell broke his record at the same meet:
“Japan has always had a special place in my heart. Breaking the world record here changed my life.”
NBC Olympics, Facebook and Instagram will team up to provide video highlights and interviews on social media daily during the Rio Olympics.
An on-site “Social Command Center” in Rio will capture Facebook Live content, including interviews with athletes and NBC Olympics commentators.
A daily two-minute recap video will be produced for Facebook, while Instagram will have a daily slow-motion video around an inspiring moment.
Instagram will also feature NBC Olympics commentators and athletes on its own account, @instagram, along with highlights of NBC videos through its Search & Explore video channels.
More on the NBC Olympics, Facebook and Instagram partnerships is here.
MORE: Complete U.S. Olympic team roster
Russia’s depleted Olympic team named its flag bearer for the Rio Games Opening Ceremony, giving the honor to volleyball player Sergei Tetyukhin, who’s set to make his sixth Olympic appearance at 40 years old.
The announcement came via the Instagram page for Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, who has become somewhat of a spokesperson for the Russian team amidst the country’s doping scandal. Isinbayeva will not compete in Rio since her nation’s track and field team is banned, but she spoke to Russia’s athletes during a ceremony Wednesday.
“Today, as never before, we need to stay united and become a family,” Tetyukhin said before the athletes departed for Rio on Thursday.
Russia’s flag bearer was set to be announced Wednesday, according to Russian news agency TASS, but Isinbayeva said in her Instagram post (according to Google translate), “Flag bearer at the Olympics in Rio have already been defined, it is a great athlete, Olympic champion, Sergey Tetyukhin volleyball. Yesterday at a reception at the President he acted with dignity and promised to fight for the victory in Rio.”
The Russian men’s volleyball team has won a medal at the past four Olympics, but Tetyukhin’s time with the team began at the 1996 Atlanta Games. Russia placed fourth there, then took silver in 2000, bronze in 2004 and 2008, and gold in 2012. Tetyukhin was Russia’s third-leading scorer in London.
The team will be an outside medal contender in Rio. After winning the FIVB World League in 2013, the Russians have placed no better than fifth since. They finished fifth at the 2014 World Championship, fourth at the 2015 World Cup, and sixth at the 2015 European Championship.
Tennis star Maria Sharapova was Russia’s flag bearer for the London Olympic Opening Ceremony, but she will miss the Rio Games while serving a drug suspension.
MORE: Number of Russian athletes banned from Olympics reaches 105