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.
Ryan Lochte will be summoned to attend a criminal hearing in Brazil regarding his Rio de Janeiro gas station incident from Aug. 14, according to NBC News.
“A formal summons is expected to be sent to the U.S. asking for help in bringing Lochte to Brazil. If Lochte does not show up, the process, we’re told, will continue, where he could be charged by the public prosecutor and likely convicted in Brazil,” was reported on MSNBC on Thursday.
Lochte has said he “over-exaggerated” his original story that a gun was pointed at his head during a robbery at a gas station.
Lochte’s full interview with Matt Lauer that aired during NBC’s Olympic coverage last weekend is here.
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Polish discus thrower Piotr Malachowski sold the silver medal he won at the Rio Olympics to raise funds for a 3-year-old boy fighting eye cancer.
In an online auction, Polish billionaire siblings Dominika and Sebastian Kulczyk bid an amount large enough to cover 3-year-old Olek Szymanski‘s treatment for retinoblastoma in New York, according to Malachowski’s Facebook page and media reports.
Malachowski’s gesture is reminiscent of Polish swimmer Otylia Jędrzejczak, who sold her gold medal from the 2004 Athens Olympics to raise money to help children with leukemia.
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