London Olympic gymnastics champ Arthur Zanetti of Brazil is threatening to switch nationalities ahead of his upcoming hometown Games in Rio unless the nation’s Olympic Committee is willing to invest in his sport going forward.
“When I won the gold medal in London everybody said my life was going to change, but it hasn’t changed at all,” Zanetti told TV Globo Sunday.
Zanetti won his gold in the rings competition last summer over defending champion Chen Yibing of China. The Brazilian star hopes to win on his home soil in 2016, but promises of funding have gone unfulfilled. Now he’s getting a little antsy.
“I have already begun thinking about competing for another country if the opportunity arises,” Zanetti, who’s forced to share the gym with 300 other athletes, added. “I would do it with a broken heart, because I am Brazilian and I like to be Brazilian. But if another country offered me what I needed, I would go.”
Zanetti would have to act quickly because IOC rules dictate that an athlete much switch nationalities three years ahead of the Games in order to compete for the new country. World No. 1 taekwondo fighter Aaron Cook switched from Great Britain to Isle of Man after being left off last summer’s team.
15-year-old Alina Zagitova won the first gold medal for the Olympic Athletes from Russia on Thursday night in the ladies’ free skate in PyeongChang.
Yevgenia Medvedeva, her training partner and the two-time world champion, earned silver by a margin of 1.31 points. That’s the exact margin Zagitova led Medvedeva by after the short program on Tuesday.
This marks the first time two women from the same country have shared the ladies’ figure skating podium since Tara Lipinski and Michelle Kwan in 1998. Speaking of Lipinski – Zagitova is less than a month older than Lipinski was when she won gold in Nagano, and Zagitova is now the second-youngest individual ladies’ Olympic champion in history.
Kaetlyn Osmond earned bronze – Canada’s first Olympic medal in ladies’ figure skating since 2010.
Gold: Alina Zagitova (OAR)
Silver: Yevgenia Medvedeva (OAR)
Bronze: Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN)
9. Bradie Tennell (USA)
10. Mirai Nagasu (USA)
11. Karen Chen (USA)
Click here to read the full recap and watch highlights from the ladies’ free skate program
Canadian skiers Kelsey Serwa and Brittany Phelan took the top spots in women’s ski cross at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, giving Canada its third consecutive gold medal in this event.
Switzerland’s Fanny Smith edged out Sweden’s Sandra Naeslund in the big final to claim the final spot on the podium.
Read the rest of the story and watch video at NBCOlympics.com