Rio officials promise safety for World Cup, Olympics

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In the wake of last month’s bombings at the Boston Marathon, Brazilian authorities are promising a special effort to secure Rio for the upcoming World Cup in 2014 and for the Olympics in 2016.

“We are confident in the excellent quality of the security planning for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games and we continue to work in close partnership with the federal, state, and city governments to deliver this,” Rio Games President Carlos Arthur Nuzman told the Epoch Times.

“We are fully confident that the 2016 Games, and the test events preceding them, will take place in a safe and enjoyable atmosphere.”

The Ministry of Tourism is estimating they’ll welcome about one million foreign tourists to Rio between the two events, and added Monday that increasing the number of Pacifying Police Units, which have helped them reclaim gang territories in the favelas, are an important part of their new model for safety.

Boules bids for 2024 Olympic inclusion

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 (AP) — The sport of boules has launched a bid to be included in the 2024 Olympics.

The Bowls Sports World Confederation, which is recognized by the International Olympic Committee, is campaigning on behalf of three disciplines: the French petanque, the Boule Lyonnaise and the Raffa, a version of the game popular in Italy.

According to the international world games association, about 20 million people regularly play boules in France and Italy, and more than 2 million players are licensed in 150 other countries.

Under new IOC rules, Olympic host cities can propose the addition of one or more sports to their games. Paris and Rome are among the five cities bidding for the 2024 Games, along with Los Angeles, Budapest and Hamburg.

MORE: Complete 2024 Olympic bidding coverage

South Korean rhythmic gymnast throws another acrobatic first pitch (video)

Pitching mound
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South Korean Olympic gymnast Shin Soo-ji made a triumphant return to the mound over the weekend and outdid her acrobatic 2013 first pitch.

Shin, who finished 12th in rhythmic gymnastics at Beijing 2008, added another gymnastics move to her wind-up before tossing a little bit high.

MORE GYMNASTICS: Analyzing U.S. women’s World Championships roster