Olympic Torch Relay

Sochi Olympic torchbearer dies after carrying flame

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A man who took part in the Sochi Olympic torch relay suffered a heart attack and died after carrying the Olympic flame on Sunday.

Vadim Gorbenko, 73, a former Greco-Roman wrestling coach, felt ill after walking 500 feet as a torchbearer in his home Siberian city of Kurgan, according to Reuters.

“He returned to the gathering place and was photographed, then he said he was not feeling well and was taken to hospital, but the doctors were unable to save him,” said Sochi 2014 torch relay spokesman Roman Osin, according to Reuters. “We express our deepest condolences to his loved ones.”

Gorbenko had suffered two heart attacks before.

Vuvuzelas, certain ‘printed literature’ banned at Sochi Olympics

Usain Bolt beats James Corden, Owen Wilson in race (video)

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James Corden, the host of the “The Late Late Show,” challenged Usain Bolt and actor Owen Wilson to a 100m race.

Not surprisingly, Bolt, who owns the world record in the event, crossed the finish line first (VIDEO).

The appearance was a part of Bolt’s media tour, which moved from the East Coast to Los Angeles on Tuesday.

He also appeared on “The Ellen Show,” and Ellen DeGeneres asked Bolt his girlfriend. He said that his mother wants him to get married, but he would rather “give it some time.” DeGeneres then asked if his girlfriend was pushing him to “put a ring on it.”

“She might be thinking it, you never know,” he said (VIDEO). “But she’s not saying it, so that’s good.”

Bolt also interacted several celebrities in Los Angeles. After meeting David Beckham, he posed with the rapper Drake.

What a time to be alive @champagnepapi 🤘🏿🤘🏿👌👌

A photo posted by Usain St.Leo Bolt (@usainbolt) on

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Pyeongchang Olympic organizers optimistic with 500 days to go

Security personnel stands by a logo of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games before an event to mark the start of the 500-day countdown in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016. With 500 days until the Olympic cauldron is ignited in Pyeongchang, organizers of the 2018 Winter Games say 90 percent of construction on new venues is complete and the focus of preparations is on test events. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Marking the 500-day countdown to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, organizers said Tuesday that 90 percent of construction of new venues is complete and the focus is now on preparing for test events.

Pyeongchang’s organizing committee said construction is on schedule for a series of sports competitions scheduled from November to April that will serve as rehearsals for the Olympics, which begin Feb. 9, 2018.

The six new competition venues for the games are now 88 percent complete and a new high-speed rail line – designed to link the country’s main gateway of Incheon airport with Pyeongchang in less than two hours – will be completed next June and start operations in January 2018, organizers said.

The preparations are undergoing a transition from the “planning phase to operational readiness,” the organizing committee said in a statement.

“Asia has immeasurable potential to become the frontier of winter sports. Pyeongchang has been dedicated to promote winter sports and attract investments throughout Asia,” the committee said.

Noting that the 2018 Games will be the first of three consecutive Olympics in Asia, the committee said Pyeongchang will be an “opportunity to establish even closer links among the next host countries and build bridges through sports.”

Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Olympics, while Beijing will stage the 2022 Winter Games.

Pyeongchang organizers have overcome delays, local conflicts over venue constructions and difficulties attracting domestic sponsorships in past years. Optimism over preparations has increased after the successful hosting of the first round of test events at Alpine venues earlier this year.

Despite a slow start, organizers say more than 80 percent of the domestic sponsorship target of $850 million has been met and that they expect to reach 90 percent of the target by the end of the year.

A program of cultural events featuring pop singers and local sports stars was held in Seoul on Tuesday evening to mark the start of the countdown.

MORE: 500 Days to Pyeongchang: Five athletes to watch