Macklemore

Macklemore, J.R. Celski share unlikely bond

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Short track speed skater J.R. Celski will return for his second Olympics in February, and he’ll have a Grammy-nominated duo rooting him on.

Celski took a break from short track following winning two bronze medals in 2010, five months after crashing at the Olympic Trials and needing 60 stitches to sew up his leg.

During that break, Celski, of Federal Way, Wash., collaborated on a film titled, “The Otherside,” which looked at the Seattle-area hip-hop scene.

That project included the story of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Check out this video from NBC Olympics about their partnership.

“In the lead up to Vancouver, I was really connecting with their music and their message,” Celski said.

Macklemore and Lewis would eventually rise to earn seven Grammy Awards nominations this year.

“That was the first athlete, or anybody really famous at all, to really acknowledge me,” Macklemore said.

Celski said he’s inspired by one of their songs in particular, “Ten Thousand Hours,” the first track on their Billboard No. 1 album released in 2012, “The Heist.”

“To be great at something, you have to have done it for over 10,000 hours,” Celski said. “I’m more dedicated and driven than ever right now.”

Apolo Ohno breaks down international short track contenders

David Ortiz weighed down by Aly Raisman’s medals (video)

David Ortiz, Aly Raisman
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David Ortiz called his good friend Aly Raisman on Thursday night. Raisman had one request for their scheduled meeting for Friday.

“I told him that he had to hold my medals while I threw out the first pitch,” Raisman said on NESN. “I told him he better not forget, but he remembered.”

Ortiz made it a highlight, wearing Raisman’s three Rio medals and plodding as if they were weighing him down before the Royals-Red Sox game at Fenway Park on Friday night.

It was reminiscent of Bryce Harper serving as a medal rack for Katie Ledecky on Wednesday night.

Ortiz and Raisman have come to know each other in the last four years, after Raisman’s first Olympic appearance in London. Raisman, a native of Needham, Massachusetts, has attended a gala and golf tournament benefitting Ortiz’s children’s charity.

She previously threw a first pitch at Fenway following the 2012 London Games. It didn’t faze Raisman that her pitch Friday bounced before reaching home plate.

“My pitch was horrible, but that’s OK,” Raisman said on NESN. “I’m good at gymnastics, so it doesn’t matter.”

Raisman will rejoin her Final Five teammates for a USA Gymnastics tour of 36 cities that begins Sept. 15. Whether she returns to competitive gymnastics is unknown.

MORE: Gymnastics royalty reacts to Biles and Raisman’s Olympic heroics

 

Claressa Shields congratulated by famous boxing actor (video)

Claressa Shields
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Claressa Shields may just be the most dominant female athlete on the planet. The Flint, Mich., native is now a two-time Olympic boxing champion with a 77-1 record and a four-year unbeaten streak.

Actor Mark Wahlberg, who played boxer Micky Ward in the 2010 film “The Fighter,” took notice.

He taped a video that Shields watched before a celebration in her hometown Thursday, according to the Flint Journal.

“You are the true definition of a champion,” Wahlberg said. “You continue to inspire so many people, not only in Flint, but all over the world. I’m so proud of you. Your performance was amazing. God bless you. I look forward to seeing you, and I look forward to doing lots of things with you.”

Now Shields must decide whether to turn professional, which would end her Olympic career.

“Professional women’s boxing is not nowhere near on the same attention level as the Olympics are,” the 21-year-old Shields said, according to the Flint Journal. “I get way more attention than any female boxer who is professional right now with me being an amateur.

“So the goal is to go professional but still have that same attention and same mainstream. Hopefully, if they have the rule changed that the women professionals can come back and fight the Olympics, I would go professional to fight on TV and make a bunch of money but then come back and defend my two gold medals in 2020.”

MORE: Shields becomes first U.S. fighter to win back-to-back golds