The Iceland company that manufactured Oscar Pistorius‘ running blades used since at least 2004 cut ties with the first double amputee to run at the Olympics, two weeks into his murder trial.
“We’re no longer sponsoring Oscar Pistorius,” Ossur Chief Financial Officer Sveinn Solvason said, according to the New York Daily News.
Pistorius was known as the “Blade Runner” for his feats on Ossur’s “Flex-Foot Cheetah” prosthetic legs. He won eight medals over the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Paralympics and competed in the 400m at the 2012 Olympics.
Pistorius fatally shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early morning of Valentine’s Day 2013, saying he thought Steenkamp was an intruder locked in his bathroom.
He lost sponsors, such as Nike, but in the days after Steenkamp’s death, Ossur said it was awaiting the outcome of the police investigation, according to the Telegraph in England.
Pistorius has pleaded not guilty to charges, including murdering Steenkamp, and is two weeks into a high-profile trial in Pretoria, South Africa. Ossur decided not to wait for the outcome.
“It’s up to the courts of South Africa to rule in this matter,” Solvason said, according to Bloomberg. “We, as Ossur, don’t have any official stand in this matter on whether the man is innocent or guilty. But we’re no longer sponsoring Oscar Pistorius.”
Pistorius’ prosthetic legs, shorts covered in blood in trial photos
U.S. 800m runner Nick Symmonds‘ right shoulder is apparently twice as valuable as his left shoulder.
The two-time Olympian auctioned ad space on his body for a second straight Olympic summer, with the final bid at $21,800 for nine square inches on his right shoulder in an Ebay auction that ended Thursday afternoon.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere‘s Twitter account claimed the winning bid of 107 overall bids.
In 2012, Symmonds auctioned the same nine inches on his left shoulder for $11,100 to Hanson Dodge Creative, a marketing agency based in Milwaukee. Here’s what that temporary tattoo looked like.
Symmonds’ temporary tattoo was not visible during the 2012 Olympics or 2012 Olympic Trials, as rules mandate the advertisement is taped over in those events plus other IAAF competitions.
Symmonds, 32, finished fifth at the 2012 Olympics and second at the 2013 World Championships.
He was left off the 2015 World Championships roster, after winning the national title, after refusing to sign a USA Track and Field contract that required athletes to wear Nike-branded Team USA gear at team functions at Worlds.
Symmonds’ apparel sponsor has been Brooks since January 2014. He was previously a Nike-sponsored Oregon Track Club member for seven years.
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Karch Kiraly will continue as U.S. women’s volleyball team head coach through the 2020 Olympics, agreeing to a four-year contract renewal.
“It’s been a tremendous honor to lead this special group of intelligent, powerful, hard-working, dedicated women, and the great staff that supports them — and it’s a double honor to prepare for battle at the Rio Olympics, knowing we’ll have the opportunity to carry that work forward in the next quadrennial,” Kiraly said in a press release.
Kiraly, the only U.S. volleyball player to earn indoor and beach Olympic titles, took over after serving on Hugh McCutcheon‘s staff from 2009 through the 2012 Olympics, where the U.S. women took silver behind Brazil.
Kiraly then led the U.S. women to their first World or Olympic title in 2014. They are ranked No. 1 in the world ahead of China and Brazil.
The program has gone 50 years with zero Olympic golds and broke a 62-year World Championship drought in 2014.
Kiraly, 55, is set to become the first coach of multiple U.S. Olympic women’s volleyball teams since Terry Liskevych from 1988 through 1996.
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