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U.S. and Russia to work together at securing Olympics

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Following a side-meeting at the G8 Summit in Ireland on Monday, President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin decided that their two nations should join efforts in order to ensure the safety and security of athletes, officials, fans, and world leaders at next year’s Olympics.

“The United States and Russia intend to continue to develop their counterterrorism partnership with the business community, including in the field of protecting the tourist sector,” the two world leaders explained in a joint statement Monday. 

“Providing security for major sporting and public events, including the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, is to be an important area of interaction.”

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said back in April, days after the Boston Marathon bombings, that Sochi officials are “beefing up” security even more than the already stringent precautions that were in full-effect at Olympic test events earlier this year, which many deemed excessive.

President Obama reiterated that sentiment at a news conference after the meeting, thanking President Putin for his cooperation with the Boston Marathon bombings and adding that the two countries had a “shared interest in countering terrorist violence, and we are continuing to strengthen our cooperation on this issue, including as we welcome Russia hosting the Winter Olympics in Sochi.”

Amy Purdy, Winter Paralympic medalist, to perform at Rio Paralympic Opening Ceremony

Amy Purdy
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Amy Purdy made her name as a snowboardcross bronze medalist at the Sochi Paralympics and runner-up on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2014.

In September, she’ll combine both.

Purdy will perform as a dancer in the Rio Paralympic Opening Ceremony on Sept. 7, in addition to being an NBC reporter during the Games.

She was told her performance will be four to five minutes. On “Dancing with the Stars,” her performances were about 90 seconds, she said. She traveled to Rio for a week of rehearsals in July.

Purdy, 36, survived bacterial meningitis in 1999 but lost both her legs and later needed a kidney from her father at age 20.

“I’m most excited about the concept of this dance,” Purdy said. “Just the idea of man versus machine. A lot of times we feel really limited because of our prosthetics. But this dance, hopefully, will kind of shatter those borders a little bit and allow me to move my body in a way I haven’t done before.”

Purdy is an innovator. She built her own snowboard and is seen as instrumental in getting her sport into the Paralympic program beginning in 2014.

A model, she’s been in a Madonna music video, a Super Bowl commercial, ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue and competed on “The Amazing Race” in 2012.

MORE: Rio Paralympic broadcast schedule

Sneak peek at Lindsey Vonn’s episode of ‘Running Wild with Bear Grylls’

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Lindsey Vonn‘s episode of “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” will air on NBC on Monday at 10 p.m. ET.

From NBC Universal:

“After roaring across crystal-clear waters in a speedboat, Bear and Lindsey must strip down and swim to shore before inching their way along the rugged coastline. After rappelling down a sheer rock wall, the two get inventive and use a spear-gun to traverse a hundred-foot deep chasm. With the sun setting, they collect a dinner of sea urchins and Bear challenges Lindsey to a swimming competition with hilarious results. Along the way Lindsey shares her journey of love, Olympic glory, and displays the focus and determination that has made her one of the most successful female athletes of all time.”

Vonn is returning from a Feb. 27 crash that left her with three significant left knee fractures.

With 76 career World Cup wins, she is 10 shy of the record held by Swedish legend Ingemar Stenmark.

MORE: Lindsey Vonn wants to race men, retire in 2019