Olympic Torch Relay

Olympic flame visits Acropolis, Parthenon in Athens before trip to Moscow (photos)

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The Russian Olympic torch relay will begin in Moscow on Monday, eight days after the flame was taken from the Ancient Olympic site of Olympia, Greece.

The flame wrapped up its Greek journey in and around Athens on Friday and Saturday. The official handover was held at the 1896 Olympic site of Panathinaiko Stadium. A few dozen activists staged a peaceful protest against Russia’s anti-gay law, according to The Associated Press.

On Monday, the longest Olympic torch relay will begin in Russia. It will cover 40,000 miles and also go on trips to the North Pole and the International Space Station before the Sochi cauldron is lit at the opening ceremony Feb. 7.

On Sunday, Russian president Vladimir Putin will take part in a ceremony at Red Square in Moscow, welcoming the Olympic flame to the capital, according to R-Sport.

The Moscow leg of the torch relay will last two days. The torchbearers will include two-time Olympic hockey champion Slava Fetisov and seven-time Olympic gymnastics medalist Svetlana Khorkina.

Here are some photos from the Olympic flame’s trip to Athens:

source: AP
AP
source: Getty Images
Getty Images
source: Reuters
Reuters

Video: Ovechkin carries Olympic torch in Olympia

Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas headline Secret Classic; Maggie Nichols out

Maggie Nichols
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World all-around champion Simone Biles and Olympic all-around champion Gabby Douglas are expected to compete at the Secret U.S. Classic on June 4, while World Championships teammate Maggie Nichols remains out after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery several weeks ago.

USA Gymnastics announced the field Thursday for the tune-up meet for the P&G Championships later in June and U.S. Olympic Trials in July.

Nichols is the only member of the seven-woman World Championships team who isn’t scheduled to compete at the Secret Classic in Hartford, Conn.

She is expected to be ready for the P&G Championships in St. Louis from June 23-26, an official from her gym said Thursday.

In early April, U.S. national team coordinator Martha Karolyi said Nichols was expected to be out four to six weeks, putting her in line to be ready in late May. Participation in the Secret Classic is not mandatory to be eligible for the Olympic team.

Nichols suffered the injury, a meniscus tear, on an Amanar vault landing in training, according to multiple reports.

The five-woman U.S. Olympic team will be named after the trials from July 8-10. The all-around champion at trials will clinch one of those five berths.

Nichols, an 18-year-old from Little Canada, Minn., is a favorite to make the Olympic team if healthy.

She was the only U.S. gymnast who competed in all four events in the World Championships team final Oct. 27. She earned a floor exercise bronze medal five days later.

Nichols opened her Olympic year by finishing second in the AT&T American Cup all-around behind Gabby Douglas on March 5.

Nichols was on the roster to compete at the Pacific Rim Championships from April 8-10 but was removed before the meet due to a slight knee injury, USA Gymnastics said.

She previously dislocated her left kneecap in summer 2014.

The men’s P&G Championships will also be held in Hartford, Conn., next week, with every major U.S. Olympic hopeful in the expected field. That includes London Olympians Danell LeyvaJohn OrozcoSam Mikulak and Jacob Dalton.

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Manny Pacquiao will not pursue Rio Olympics, reports say

Manny Pacquiao
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Manny Pacquiao has decided not to pursue boxing at the Rio Olympics, according to multiple reports.

Pacquiao chose to “prioritize his legislative duties,” the Philippines boxing federation’s executive director reportedly said Thursday. Pacquiao won a Philippine Senate seat earlier this month.

Pacquiao, the 37-year-old who may have fought for the last time April 9, reportedly previously said he was “thinking about” boxing in the Rio Games, that it would be “my honor” to do so and that he needed to ask the Filipino people about it.

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) could create a path for professional boxers to compete in the Olympics starting in Rio.

Pacquiao never boxed in previous Olympics, but he did carry the Philippines’ flag into the Beijing 2008 Opening Ceremony.

The Philippines has won nine Olympic medals, none gold.

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