Thomas Bach

Leaders of IOC, Sochi Olympics at United Nations for Olympic Truce

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International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach and Sochi Olympic Organizing Committee president Dmitry Chernyshenko were at the United Nations on Wednesday as the General Assembly adopted the symbolic resolution for an Olympic Truce during the Sochi Games.

The Olympic Truce has been a common practice for two decades.

“Precisely because many of our principles are the same, it must always be clear in the relationship between sport and politics that the role of sport is always to build bridges,” Bach said. “It is never to build walls.”

For the first time, the Olympic Truce called “upon host countries to promote social inclusion without discrimination of any kind,” according to Reuters. The statement was first reported to be added to the truce by The New York Times in September.

This comes five months after Russia passed its law banning homosexual “propaganda” toward minors.

On Tuesday, Chernyshenko said those who wear rainbow colors at the Olympics in response to Russia’s anti-gay legislation will not face repercussions, according to USA Today.

“For me it sounds funny that someone is saying, ‘I am very brave. I will put my rainbow pin on and let me go to the (jail) in Russia because I will be promoting (gay rights) during the Olympic Games,'” he told the newspaper. “Has anybody noted what kind of uniform game organizers will be wearing?”

Volunteers and staff at the Olympics will wear multi-colored uniforms and gloves.

“People should not be afraid of painting their nails in a rainbow,” Chernyshenko said.

One of the fundamental principles of Olympism outlined in the Olympic Charter is this:

“Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.”

Chernyshenko also told USA Today that Russia has collaborated with the U.S. for security during the Olympics, to make it the safest Games ever. He said military in Sochi will make for a “friendly atmosphere.”

Instead of military uniforms, the military providing Olympic security will be outfitted in “a special civilian uniform,” Chernyshenko said. They will wear uniforms similar to the Games organizers, but a different color.

Photos: Rocket readied to take Olympic torch to outer space

U.S. sprinters past, present trade relay barbs

Justin Gatlin
Getty Images
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The only loss for the Americans at the Penn Relays came in the men’s 4x100m, as the U.S. team bobbled its victory away on a bad baton handoff between Tyson Gay and Isiah Young for the final leg, which led to a disqualification.

Mike Rodgers and Justin Gatlin gave the Americans an early lead in the race, and things were moving along well during Gay’s third leg. But the muffed handoff for the final leg cost the Americans. Both the winning Jamaican squad and the second American team surpassed them.

Young finished third, but the team was disqualified because the handoff occurred outside the pass zone. The second U.S. team of Sean McLean, Wallace Spearman, Calesio Newman and Remontay McLain finished in 39.02.

The mistake led to some inflammatory comments from U.S. great Leroy Burrell about continued problems with handoffs by U.S. relay teams.

“Well, I think we’ve got to put our team together a little earlier, possibly,” Burrell said in a television interview. “I think, we’ve had the same coaches working with these guys for many years, and we’ve had failure after failure. So it’s possible that, you know, it might be time for a bit of a regime change with the leadership.

“I think the athletes have to be the catalysts that make that happen. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to get the stick around. I saw thousands of relay teams yesterday — maybe not thousands, but hundreds of relay teams get it around. But the professionals can’t. That’s just not good for our sport.”

Rodgers didn’t take kindly to those remarks.

“People keep pointing their fingers and downing us, but nobody has ever tried to come out there and help us,” he said. “Nobody from the past. Not Carl [Lewis] or Leroy. They haven’t been out there. I can’t really respect their opinions because they’re supposed to be leaders in our sport and in the USA, and they’re not coming out there to drop some knowledge on us, so I don’t care what they have to say.”

Lewis criticized U.S. relays in March.

Gatlin was equally critical of Burrell.

“I’m tired of people who have been part of Team USA take shots at Team USA,” Gatlin said. “To put us in the same boat as high schoolers is insulting.”

Bob Costas’ report 100 days out from Rio (video)

Bob Costas
NBC News
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Bob Costas reported from Rio de Janeiro for NBC News on Wednesday, 100 days out from the Opening Ceremony.

In the clip below, Michael PhelpsSimone Biles and even Brazil soccer legend Pelé comment on preparing for the first Games in South America.

Costas finished the clip with a stand-up from Copacabana Beach, where beach volleyball will take place in August.

VIDEO: Bob Costas picks biggest storyline of Rio Olympics