Still image of Islamist rebel leader Doku Umarov speaking in a video posted on www.kavkazcenter.com

Chechen leader calls for attacks on Sochi Olympics

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A Chechen rebel leader called for militants to do “everything possible” to prevent the Sochi Olympics in a video published on a website Wednesday.

Doku Uramov said, translated, “We have the obligation to use all means to prevent this,” according to The Associated Press. Sochi is 300 miles west of Chechnya and neighboring Dagestan, which have a recent history littered with violence.

The Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee emailed a statement to the AP, saying, “We are confident that the Games will be safe and comfortable for all as guaranteed by the Russian state.”

“We have no doubt that the Russians will be up to the task and we continue to have full confidence in them,” International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams told the AP.

The Sochi Olympics begin with official competition on Feb. 6, followed by the Opening Ceremony on Friday, Feb. 7. They conclude on Sunday, Feb. 23.

Paralympic swimmer disqualified for Olympic rings tattoo

Josef Craig
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British Paralympic champion Josef Craig was disqualified from a race because he didn’t cover up an Olympic rings tattoo on his chest at the IPC European Championships on Sunday.

Craig, 19, was disqualified because of an International Paralympic Committee swimming rule that states, “body advertisements are not allowed in any way whatsoever (this includes tattoos and symbols).”

Craig, who did not have the tattoo when he took gold at London 2012, has since competed at the European Championships with the Olympic rings tattoo covered.

If people attend the Paralympics, which are held weeks after the Olympics at the same venues, they will very often see the Paralympic Agitos logo where the Olympic logo once appeared.

It is visual proof that the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee are separate entities.

At the London Paralympics, American Rudy Garcia-Tolson earned silver in a 200m individual medley with an Olympic rings tattoo visible near his left shoulder-blade.

An IPC spokesperson said the rule pertaining to the Paralympics — which covers all sports — was new going into 2012 and will be fully enforced for the first time in Rio.

MORE: London gymnastics medalist gets elaborate Olympic tattoo

Missy Franklin reads emotional letter to parents (video)

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Missy Franklin broke into tears reading a letter to her parents in a mock press conference in a spot for Minute Maid, one of the four-time Olympic champion’s sponsors since turning professional a year ago.

It was filmed in April near her home in Denver.

Franklin has split time training and competing and working with companies including GoPro, Laureus, Minute Maid, Speedo, United Airlines, Visa and Wheaties.

Franklin has said the sponsor commitments will curtail in the middle of May, when she starts a blackout period to focus on training for the U.S. Olympic Trials, which are June 26-July 3 in Omaha and air on NBC Sports.

VIDEO: Franklin revisits ‘biggest sacrifice’ in GoPro series finale