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

Leave a comment

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.”

PyeongChang Olympic medals unveiled (photos)

PyeongChang Olympic medal
PyeongChang 2018
Leave a comment

The medals for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics were unveiled in a joint Seoul-New York City ceremony on Wednesday.

The Korean Hangul alphabet was incorporated into the medals’ edges to spell what translates to “PyeongChang Winter Olympics.”

Recent Winter Olympic medals include the Italian piazza design for Torino, the undulating surfaces for Vancouer and a patchwork quilt with diamond-shaped openings for Sochi.

The medals for the previous Olympics in South Korea — the 1988 Seoul Summer Games — were of the more traditional variety.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: What to watch every day of the PyeongChang Olympics

Medals from past Olympics:

Seoul 1988/Getty Images
Cindy Klassen
Torino 2006/Getty Images
Vancouver 2010
Sochi 2014/Getty Images

U.S. names women’s gymnastics team for world champs

Getty Images
Leave a comment

It was already assured, but now it’s official.

The U.S. women’s gymnastics team for the world championships named Wednesday includes zero Olympians.

As the wait continues for possible elite comebacks by Simone BilesGabby Douglas, Aly RaismanLaurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian, these four gymnasts will chase medals in Montreal in two weeks:

Ragan Smith
P&G Championships all-around winner
Olympic alternate

Smith was the clear favorite going into the P&G Championships, and she delivered. The Texan coached by 1991 World all-around champion Kim Zmeskal Burdette won by 3.4 points, which is greater than the average margin of victory of Biles’ four U.S. all-around titles.

The pressure is on Smith to keep an incredible streak alive. An American gymnast has won every Olympic and world all-around title since 2011. The biggest threat could be Romanian Larisa Iordache, who shared the all-around podium with Biles in 2014 and 2015.

With no team event at worlds this year, the focus is first and foremost on the all-around.

Morgan Hurd
P&G Championships all-around sixth-place finisher

Hurd, a first-year senior who competes in glasses, was adopted from China as a toddler and now lives with her mom in Delaware. She must have really impressed at this week’s selection camp to get a spot over P&G Championships all-around silver medalist Jordan Chiles, who was named an alternate.

Though she had struggles at P&Gs, Hurd is capable of one of the world’s best floor exercise routines.

Ashton Locklear
P&G Championships uneven bars silver medalist
Olympic alternate

The “veteran” of this team at age 19 and the only one with world championships experience. Locklear was probably the closest of the alternates to making the Olympic team, getting edged out by Kocian for the uneven bars specialist spot.

Locklear missed an uneven bars medal at 2014 Worlds by .017. She was second to Riley McCusker on bars last month at P&Gs, where she wasn’t performing her most difficult set.

Jade Carey
P&G Championships vault winner

Carey hopes to follow the path of Kayla Williams, who in 2009 went from not even being an elite-level gymnast to winning the world vault title. Carey, 17, struggled with her Amanar at P&Gs, falling once and nearly sitting it down on the second day.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Aly Raisman speaks out about USA Gymnastics scandal