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Oscar Pistorius successfully appeals bail restrictions

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Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius, who was charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last month, has been granted permission to travel outside of South Africa, and no longer needs to report to his probation officer.

Pistorius’s lawyers argued that the athlete was being treated like a flight risk, even though the courts determined he wasn’t one during his hearing. They added that might need to return to competition in order to start earning money again, and said while Pistorius had no desire to compete now, “this might and this will change.”

Pistorius isn’t free and clear to travel, however. His passport will be held by the courts and he’ll need to submit travel plans at least a week in advance, and then return his passport within 24 hours after touching back down in South Africa.

Last month, the prosecution charged Pistorius with premeditated murder, saying Pistorius knew Steenkamp was in the bathroom when he shot her three times through the door the morning of February 14. But Pistorius wrote in a statement that he heard a noise in the bathroom that he thought was an intruder, grabbed his gun, and fired before considering it might have been Steenkamp. He saw that he had shot her, called paramedics, and carried her downstairs for help, where she died in his arms.

The original restrictions handed down by the South African Magistrate barred Pistorius from leaving Pretoria without permission. No word on the other bail restrictions, but it’s assumed he’s still not allowed to use firearms, must stay away from his home, and must refrain from using drugs and alcohol.

Pistorius wasn’t required to be at the hearing Thursday and neither he nor his family showed. His trial was adjourned until June 4. No one is certain if and when he’ll re-enter competitions, but he likely hopes to train for the World Championships this August in Moskva, Russia.

David Ortiz weighed down by Aly Raisman’s medals (video)

David Ortiz, Aly Raisman
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David Ortiz called his good friend Aly Raisman on Thursday night. Raisman had one request for their scheduled meeting for Friday.

“I told him that he had to hold my medals while I threw out the first pitch,” Raisman said on NESN. “I told him he better not forget, but he remembered.”

Ortiz made it a highlight, wearing Raisman’s three Rio medals and plodding as if they were weighing him down before the Royals-Red Sox game at Fenway Park on Friday night.

It was reminiscent of Bryce Harper serving as a medal rack for Katie Ledecky on Wednesday night.

Ortiz and Raisman have come to know each other in the last four years, after Raisman’s first Olympic appearance in London. Raisman, a native of Needham, Massachusetts, has attended a gala and golf tournament benefitting Ortiz’s children’s charity.

She previously threw a first pitch at Fenway following the 2012 London Games. It didn’t faze Raisman that her pitch Friday bounced before reaching home plate.

“My pitch was horrible, but that’s OK,” Raisman said on NESN. “I’m good at gymnastics, so it doesn’t matter.”

Raisman will rejoin her Final Five teammates for a USA Gymnastics tour of 36 cities that begins Sept. 15. Whether she returns to competitive gymnastics is unknown.

MORE: Gymnastics royalty reacts to Biles and Raisman’s Olympic heroics

 

Claressa Shields congratulated by famous boxing actor (video)

Claressa Shields
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Claressa Shields may just be the most dominant female athlete on the planet. The Flint, Mich., native is now a two-time Olympic boxing champion with a 77-1 record and a four-year unbeaten streak.

Actor Mark Wahlberg, who played boxer Micky Ward in the 2010 film “The Fighter,” took notice.

He taped a video that Shields watched before a celebration in her hometown Thursday, according to the Flint Journal.

“You are the true definition of a champion,” Wahlberg said. “You continue to inspire so many people, not only in Flint, but all over the world. I’m so proud of you. Your performance was amazing. God bless you. I look forward to seeing you, and I look forward to doing lots of things with you.”

Now Shields must decide whether to turn professional, which would end her Olympic career.

“Professional women’s boxing is not nowhere near on the same attention level as the Olympics are,” the 21-year-old Shields said, according to the Flint Journal. “I get way more attention than any female boxer who is professional right now with me being an amateur.

“So the goal is to go professional but still have that same attention and same mainstream. Hopefully, if they have the rule changed that the women professionals can come back and fight the Olympics, I would go professional to fight on TV and make a bunch of money but then come back and defend my two gold medals in 2020.”

MORE: Shields becomes first U.S. fighter to win back-to-back golds