Istanbul 2020 Officials said Wednesday that the recent violent protests in their nation will have “no bearing” on whether or not Istanbul is chosen to host the 2020 Olympics when IOC members meet for a final vote in Buenos Aires this September.
“The feedback Istanbul 2020 has received from IOC members and the wider Olympic family continues to be positive and very understanding,” Officials told the AP. “While they are obviously as keen as we are for a swift and peaceful resolution, the majority of people we have spoken to recognize that 2020 is still seven years away.”
The protests come amid Turkey’s fifth bid to host the Summer Games in the last six Olympic cycles, dating back to 1996. As one of only three finalists, this is already their best showing after finishing fourth in the vote to host the 2008 Games that were eventually awarded to Beijing, and finishing fifth for the 2000 Games, which were hosted by Sydney.
Istanbul’s price tag of $19 billion is astronomical compared to Tokyo’s $4.5 billion and Madrid’s $1.9 billion, but Turkey is focusing its pitch on improving transportation to “Bridge Together” two continents, figuratively – of course – but also literally by way of the Bosphorus, which connects Europe and Asia.
And so, officials wish to focus on the idea of unity, rather than on the protests:
“This is a bid for the people of Turkey and we are united by our passion to bring the Games here for the first time. Istanbul 2020, and the 20-year dream of the Turkish people, will not be affected by the events.”
Turkey is also set to host the Under-20 soccer World Cup starting later this month, and FIFA officials have said that the tournament will go on as scheduled.
Michael Phelps said Thursday that he had to keep his June marriage to Nicole Johnson “hush-hush.”
Phelps and Johnson, who got engaged in February 2015, were married June 13, though Phelps had been saying all summer and into the fall that they were not yet married.
“You guys probably already saw the article that was posted [about the marriage],” Phelps said, widening his eyes and sticking the tip of his tongue out while golfing shirtless with former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. “I’ve been married for a while, been married for while, couple months. I had to keep it secret from y’all. I had to keep it hush-hush from you guys. Nicole and I are married. We are officially married.”
Phelps and Johnson welcomed baby boy Boomer on May 5.
“Why is it a secret? Just because. … Baby No. 2 may be coming soon, who knows though,” Phelps said.
VIDEO: Phelps in ‘Call of Duty’ trailer
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former gymnast on the U.S. women’s national team is the latest athlete to accuse a longtime team doctor of sexual abuse.
But she’s the first to allege renowned husband-and-wife coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi knew about the abuse and did nothing to stop it.
The lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles contends Dr. Larry Nassar repeatedly sexually abused the now-24-year-old gymnast when she was on the team from 2006 to 2011.
It says the Karolyis, and the current and former presidents of USA Gymnastics knew of molestations committed by Nassar before and during his employment, “yet chose to allow him to remain unsupervised,” allowing further abuse.
Nassar’s lawyer and the Karolyis didn’t respond to messages Thursday. Nassar’s lawyer has previously denied abuse allegations by two other gymnasts.
USA Gymnastics is also named in the suit. The Indiana-based governing body denies wrongdoing.
MORE: Michigan State fires Nassar after sexual abuse accusations