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

Qatar’s Barshim sets season’s best high jump record in Birmingham

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Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim, who astonished the track and field world with his non-traditional hurdling technique on his way to becoming the reigning world champion in high jump this August, one-upped himself in Birmingham when he soared over the bar set to 2.40 meters. That’s just a smidge over 7 feet, 10 inches!

The men’s outdoor high jump world record is currently 2.45m, set by Cuba’s Javier Sotomayor in 1993.

At the 2017 Worlds, the 6-foot-2 Barshim cleared the bar at about 6 feet, 4 inches with his now famous feet-first maneuver.

At Birmingham’s Diamond League event his technique may have been conventional, but his final leap was no less breathtaking.

After trading jumps with Syria’s Majed Aldin Ghazal up to 2.35m, Ghazal decided to bow out, but the Qatari continued on. With the meet already won, Barshim raised the bar to 2.40m.

“I knew I had that jump in me but I needed that pressure on my shoulders,” Barshim said. “I love it here. I had the [meet] record here from 2014 and I also won in Birmingham last year so it is a lucky place for me.”

The 2.40m final jump for Barshim registered as a meet and season record. After climbing down off the landing pad, Barshim’s fellow jumping competitors mobbed him in celebration.

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MORE: Great Britain’s Mo Farah races and wins final track race in home country

Great Britain’s Mo Farah races and wins final track race in home country

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Great Britain’s 4-time Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah raced his final race on a U.K. track surface in Birmingham, winning the 3000m, as he crossed the line in 7 minutes 38.64 seconds in the final Diamond League event of the day.

Spain’s Adel Mechaal nipped at Farah’s heels heading into the final 200m, but the Brit’s kick, and the ovation from the home crowd, propelled Farah to victory.

“[The fans] have been amazing. This is what it is all about. This is what we dream of,” Farah said after the race.

At 34, Farah’s plans are to leave the 400m loop behind to pursue road racing in 2018.

“I now have to see what I will do on the road. I don’t think I’ll have the same pressure so I’ll go and enjoy it,” Farah said. “Running was a hobby when I was younger but it has become a job and I love it. It can be hard when you get the pressure but the roads will be something completely different.”

Immediately preceding Farah’s win in Birmingham, Allyson Felix of the U.S. finished second in the women’s 400m final behind Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain.

“It has been a long few weeks so I was feeling tired out there so I just wanted to come out here and try to get it done but I came up just short,” Felix said. “Everyone is tired from London but I came and gave it my best effort.

“I am not sure about any future races this season, I am going to see how I recover from this.”

Earlier this month, Felix finished behind Naser when she took bronze in the 400m at the 2017 IAAF World Championships, where Phyllis Francis of the U.S. won gold, running a personal best 49.92 seconds. Francis finished fourth in Birmingham behind another U.S. middle distance athlete, Courtney Okolo who got the bronze.

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MORE: U.S., Great Britain to hold track and field dual meet