Cher

Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee says it hasn’t had negotiations with Cher

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There’s still some confusion over what Cher told a Canadian magazine earlier this month, but the Sochi Olympic Organizing Committee tried to clear it up Wednesday.

The singer, whose father was from the former Soviet republic of Armenia, was asked what she thought about “what’s going on in Russia right now.”

Her answer:

“I can’t name names, but my friend called who is a big oligarch over there, and asked me if I’d like to be an ambassador for the Olympics and open the show,” Cher told Maclean’s in a q-and-a published Sept. 8. “I immediately said no. I want to know why all of this gay hate just exploded over there. He said the Russian people don’t feel the way the government does.”

Cher never said Sochi organizers reached out to her, and she never said anything about performing at the Olympics. “Open the show” is vague.

On Tuesday, Reuters published a video interview with Cher with an accompanying article.

The article’s lede said, “Cher said it was a ‘no-brainer’ to turn down a chance to perform at next year’s Winter Olympics,” though Cher did not say in the video or in the article specifically she was offered anything by Sochi organizers.

“Probably no one will ever ask me to come to the Olympics and either be a, you know, goodwill ambassador,” she said in the video. “There were a couple of different things offered.”

What she was offered, and by whom, is still unknown. On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Sochi Organizing Committee has not talked to Cher about a role in “the ceremonies,” which could mean the opening and/or closing ceremony or one of the nightly medal ceremonies where musical acts perform.

“There have never been any negotiations with Cher about her possible participation in the ceremonies,” the committee said in a statement.

Russian weatherman predicts problems in Sochi next year

Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross beat top-ranked Brazilians for first time

Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross
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Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross beat Brazil’s best beach volleyball team for the first time and extended the longest winning streak of their partnership in winning the Moscow Grand Slam on Sunday.

“That just shows our growth,” Ross said. “We’re still on the up and up.”

Walsh Jennings, a three-time Olympic champion, and Ross, an Olympic silver medalist, beat Olympic qualifying top seed Larissa and Talita 22-20, 22-20 in the final for their third straight international title.

Walsh Jennings and Ross have now won 22 straight FIVB World Tour matches, the best run of their three-year parternship. Walsh Jennings last reached a streak this long from 2007 to 2010, when she won 78 straight international matches with Misty May-Treanor and Nicole Branagh, according to BVBInfo.com

The Americans had lost all three of their previous matches (one a one-set exhibition) versus Larissa and Talita:

Feb. 27, 2015 — 26-24 in Rio de Janeiro
Aug. 23, 2015 — 21-18, 21-16 in Long Beach, Calif.
March 20, 2016 — 22-20, 21-19 in Vitoria, Brazil

Larissa and Talita, seeking to become Brazil’s first Olympic women’s beach volleyball champions in 20 years, have won 12 of their 20 international tournaments since pairing in July 2014.

The FIVB World Tour continues in Hamburg, Germany, next week, the final event in Olympic qualifying. Walsh Jennings and Ross are expected to play there.

Walsh Jennings and Ross and Larissa and Talita are already qualified for the Rio Games.

MORE: Logan Tom continues volleyball career in Indonesia

Joe Kovacs goes wild after winning Pre Classic shot put (video)

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Joe Kovacs put together an incredible series of throws to win the Pre Classic shot put on Friday night, and he topped it off with perhaps an even more impressive celebration.

The World champion Kovacs, who is listed at 6 feet and 276 pounds, let out bellowing roars and a “Hell yeah!” after his final throw of 22.13 meters.

Kovacs threw farther with every throw in Eugene, Ore., on Friday night:

20.41
20.49
21.26
21.57 (farthest in the world this year)
21.66 (farthest in the world this year)
22.13 (farthest in the world this year)

Kovacs has come a long way in four years. He finished fourth at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials with a then-personal-best throw of 21.08 meters. His last throw Friday night would have won the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.

MORE: Kovacs emerges from family tragedy, Olympic miss to world leader