Georgia Flag

Georgia’s presence at Sochi Olympics not assured

Leave a comment

Georgia’s president-elect is considering attending the Sochi Olympics, he said Sunday amid tensions between Georgia and Russia.

“We are considering this issue by our team,” Giorgi Margvelashvili said on TV, according to Trend News Agency.

The Olympics could, “give a start to some new relations not only in Russia but in the entire world,” Margvelashvili said on TV, according to RIA Novosti.

Margvelashvili was elected Georgian president on Oct. 27.

Richard Norland, the U.S. Ambassador to Georgia, said the decision on whether Georgia will participate in the Olympics will be made later.

“Georgia’s feelings are clear,” Norland said, according to Trend. “However, in terms of regional security interests, the country seeks to take constructive steps.”

Georgia, with 4.5 million people, is the country bordering Russia that’s closest to Sochi. It hasn’t won a Winter Olympic medal since its debut in 1994 after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili died on a training run the day before the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Opening Ceremony.

Recently, Georgian officials were reportedly unhappy that a Russian military pilot from the 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict was chosen as one of the torch bearers for the Sochi Olympic torch relay.

Georgia and Russia were in conflict during the 2008 Beijing Olympics over a breakaway region that left hundreds dead, and the two bordering nations have had disagreements since.

In May, the Georgian Olympic Committee put its Sochi participation to a vote and unanimously decided to take part.

In October, Georgia’s prime minister said the nation won’t take part in the Sochi Olympics if it’s expected to be “humiliating” for the country.

“We should see how the situation evolves,” Bidzina Ivanishvili said in an interview with Georgian Public Broadcaster’s First Channel, according to RIA Novosti. “And if we feel before the Games that the participation is humiliating for us, then, of course, we won’t take part.”

Sochi unveils souvenir ticket design

Amy Purdy, Winter Paralympic medalist, to perform at Rio Paralympic Opening Ceremony

Amy Purdy
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Amy Purdy made her name as a snowboardcross bronze medalist at the Sochi Paralympics and runner-up on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2014.

In September, she’ll combine both.

Purdy will perform as a dancer in the Rio Paralympic Opening Ceremony on Sept. 7, in addition to being an NBC reporter during the Games.

She was told her performance will be four to five minutes. On “Dancing with the Stars,” her performances were about 90 seconds, she said. She traveled to Rio for a week of rehearsals in July.

Purdy, 36, survived bacterial meningitis in 1999 but lost both her legs and later needed a kidney from her father at age 20.

“I’m most excited about the concept of this dance,” Purdy said. “Just the idea of man versus machine. A lot of times we feel really limited because of our prosthetics. But this dance, hopefully, will kind of shatter those borders a little bit and allow me to move my body in a way I haven’t done before.”

Purdy is an innovator. She built her own snowboard and is seen as instrumental in getting her sport into the Paralympic program beginning in 2014.

A model, she’s been in a Madonna music video, a Super Bowl commercial, ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue and competed on “The Amazing Race” in 2012.

MORE: Rio Paralympic broadcast schedule

Sneak peek at Lindsey Vonn’s episode of ‘Running Wild with Bear Grylls’

1 Comment

Lindsey Vonn‘s episode of “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” will air on NBC on Monday at 10 p.m. ET.

From NBC Universal:

“After roaring across crystal-clear waters in a speedboat, Bear and Lindsey must strip down and swim to shore before inching their way along the rugged coastline. After rappelling down a sheer rock wall, the two get inventive and use a spear-gun to traverse a hundred-foot deep chasm. With the sun setting, they collect a dinner of sea urchins and Bear challenges Lindsey to a swimming competition with hilarious results. Along the way Lindsey shares her journey of love, Olympic glory, and displays the focus and determination that has made her one of the most successful female athletes of all time.”

Vonn is returning from a Feb. 27 crash that left her with three significant left knee fractures.

With 76 career World Cup wins, she is 10 shy of the record held by Swedish legend Ingemar Stenmark.

MORE: Lindsey Vonn wants to race men, retire in 2019