London Marathon to go on as scheduled Sunday

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British Sports Minister Hugh Robertson told BBC Radio 4 that Sunday’s London Marathon will go on as scheduled this weekend to show “we won’t be cowered by this sort of behavior.”

“These are balance of judgments but we are absolutely confident here that we can keep the event safe and secure,” Robertson added. “I think this is one of those incidents where the best way to show solidarity with Boston is to continue and send a very clear message to those responsible.”

The race was expecting 37,500 competitors, including two-time London Olympic champion Mo Farah, who was scheduled to make his debut at the distance but was only planning to run half the Marathon. Farah hasn’t made a statement about the race, but he’s still expected to run this weekend, and his foundation tweeted support to Monday’s victims.

Organizers are hoping the estimated 500,000 spectators set to line the streets and stand in the shadows of London’s monuments won’t be detoured after Monday’s bombing, and Mayor Boris Johnson, who dealt with security for Olympic Marathon, said he spoke with the Met police commissioner about Sunday’s race:

“We do have robust security measures in place for Sunday’s London Marathon,” Johnson said. “But given events in Boston it’s only prudent for the police and the organizers of Sunday’s race to re-examine those security arrangements.”

Syria-born Olympian takes advocacy role at U.N. refugee agency

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GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. refugee agency has chosen as a goodwill ambassador a Syrian teenage girl who helped save a boat carrying fellow refugees and later became an Olympic swimmer.

Yusra Mardini was appointed as UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador on Thursday, joining other notables like actress Cate Blanchett and author Khaled Hosseini in the unpaid advocacy role.

UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi said Mardini “represents the hopes, the fears and the incredible potential of the more than 10 million young refugees around the globe.”

Mardini and her sister Sarah jumped overboard and swam for hours alongside their overloaded boat to reach Greece from Turkey in 2015.

She swam on the first Refugee Olympic team in Rio last year and has discussed refugees’ challenges with leaders like Pope Francis and President Barack Obama.

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Rafael Nadal recreates famous 1992 Olympic cauldron lighting

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Rafael Nadal, owner of two Olympic gold medals, recently parroted arguably the most famous moment in Spanish Olympic history.

Nadal and Marc Lopez, the 2016 Olympic doubles champions, took up bows and arrows and joined archer Antonio Rebollo on Monday at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Stadium. It brought back memories of Rebollo’s unforgettable cauldron lighting from the only Olympics held in Spain.

Nadal is in Barcelona for an ATP Tour event as he prepares to vie for a 10th French Open title next month.

Rebollo, now 61 years old, was one of 200 hundred archers considered to light the cauldron in 1992. He learned that he was chosen for the role over four other finalists two hours ahead of time, according to an NBC Olympics profile in 1996.

The cauldron would be 195 feet away. Fearing Rebollo would miss the target, organizers instructed him to fire his arrow beyond the stadium walls. As the arrow soared, a technician lit the natural gas flame with a remote control.

The illusion worked. The true story wasn’t revealed for another 20 years.

“There were no fears,” Rebollo, a Barcelona native who contracted polio at age 8, told NBC two decades ago. “I was practically a robot. I focused on my positioning and reaching the target. That was all. … My feelings were taken from the people who described to me how they saw it. What they felt, their emotions, their cries. This is what made me realize what the moment actually meant.”

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