This Sochi Winter Olympics Torch Relay begins October 7 in Moscow, and sometime in November the Flame will take a trip into the vacuum of Space.
Said Flame, which will travel to the International Space Station aboard the Russian vessel Soyuz TMA-11M, will be simulated because, you know, science. The Torch will be taken outside for a spacewalk by cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky, and then return to earth four days later on Soyuz TMA-09M to continue its trip to Sochi.
The launch of the Russian expedition was actually moved up from November 25 to November 7 to accomodate the Olympic Torch Relay.
But any fan of Flame Watch knows this will actually be the third time the Torch has traveled to Space. In 1976, the Flame was converted to an electronic impulse in Greece, then beamed into space and sent back down to Canada via satellite (again: science). And in 2000 the Torch made a trip aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis ahead of the Sydney Games.
Japan dressage rider Hiroshi Hoketsu, who abandoned his bid to become the oldest Olympian ever in Rio, could see his career come full circle in four years.
Hoketsu, whose Olympic debut came at the Tokyo 1964 Games, is not ruling out attempting to make the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at age 79.
“If I can do it and be in Tokyo, that would be marvelous,” Hoketsu said, according to Reuters. “I have to see if it will still be physically possible.”
The oldest Olympian is Swede Oscar Swahn, who earned 1920 Olympic shooting silver at age 72.
Hoketsu, 75 and the oldest Olympian at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games, sought to make his fourth Olympic team this year. It was derailed due to his horse’s illness.
After debuting at Tokyo 1964, Hoketsu went 44 years between Games appearances. He finished 41st out of 50 competitors in individual dressage at London 2012, according to sports-reference.com.
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Russia’s new track and field federation president said he thinks his nation’s track and field athletes have “between 50 and 60 percent” of a chance of competing in the Rio Olympics, according to Reuters.
The IAAF is expected to rule June 17 whether Russia’s ban from international track and field competition will be lifted before the Rio Olympics.
Russia’s track and field athletes were banned indefinitely in November by the IAAF, after an independent World Anti-Doping Agency report alleged widespread doping issues.
Russia was given criteria to earn reinstatement, and Dmitry Shlyakhtin, elected new Russian track and field chief in January, believes the situation has improved.
“A mouse would not be able to slip past us now!” Shlyakhtin said, according to Reuters.
Russia has recently come under more scrutiny following reports of widespread winter sports doping leading up to the Sochi Olympics and cheating during those Winter Games to avoid positive drug tests.
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