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. senators speak up as women’s hockey worlds near with no resolution

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Sixteen U.S. senators wrote a letter to USA Hockey’s executive director Monday over their concerns about the treatment of the women’s national team.

Players have threatened to boycott the upcoming world championships over a wage dispute. The senators, all Democrats, urged David Ogrean to resolve the matter and ensure the team receives “equitable resources.” They cited the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act.

USA Hockey’s board of directors meets Monday, and players said Sunday night they hope there’s a deal.

The senators, all Democrats, joined a chorus of support that includes unions representing players from the NHL, NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball. Those organizations said over the weekend they stood with the women’s team and criticized USA Hockey for attempting to find replacement players.

Prominent NHL agent Allan Walsh tweeted Sunday, “Word circulating among NHL players that American players will refuse to play in men’s World Championships in solidarity with the women.”

Zach Bogosian, an American-born Buffalo Sabres defenseman, went to high school with U.S. captain Meghan Duggan. He tweeted his support and said he hopes the dispute is resolved.

The U.S. is the defending champion at the International Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship, which begins Friday in Plymouth, Michigan.

In negotiations over the past 15 months, players have asked for a four-year contract that pays them outside the six-month Olympic period. The senators’ letter notes the $6,000 that players earn around the Olympics and USA Hockey’s $3.5 million annual spending on the men’s national team development program and other discrepancies.

“These elite athletes indeed deserve fairness and respect, and we hope you will be a leader on this issue as women continue to push for equality in athletics,” the senators wrote.

In a statement Sunday night, players said they hoped USA Hockey would approve terms discussed during a meeting last week. They said the agreement has the “potential to be a game changer for everyone.”

The letter was signed by: Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey of Massachusetts, Patty Murray of Washington, Dianne Feinstein of California, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Thomas Carper of Delaware, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Robert Menendez and Cory Booker of New Jersey, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

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Ugandan Olympian’s body shuts down at World Cross-Country Champs (video)

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Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei went from leading the race to finishing 30th in the final kilometer at the World Cross-Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda, on Sunday.

Cheptegei, a 20-year-old Olympian, saw his body shut down in the last four minutes of his race.

His stride shortened. His pace slowed. Cheptegei appeared on the verge of falling. At one point, a teammate deliberately pushed him from behind to keep going.

Cheptegei led by 12 seconds going into the final two-kilometer lap. He would finish 1 minute, 44 seconds behind Kenyan winner Geoffrey Kamworor, with 28 other runners separating them after the 10km race that took about a half-hour.

Cheptegei’s body movement looked similar to that of British triathlete Jonny Brownlee, who had to be helped to the finish line by brother Alistair Brownlee at the World Triathlon Series Grand Final in Cozumel, Mexico, in September.

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