Getty Images

Hillary Clinton has extensive Olympic history

Leave a comment

Hillary Clinton has done all of these things:

Attended a Summer Olympics
Attended a Winter Olympics
Gave a speech at an Olympic torch relay lighting at Olympia, Greece
Gave a speech at an IOC Olympic host-city vote session

Clinton is an “Olympics nut,” her then-press secretary, Lisa Caputo, said in 1996, according to USA Today.

As First Lady, Clinton traveled to the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Games and the 1996 Atlanta Games.

In 1994, Clinton was most noticed for attending the men’s downhill in Kvitfjell, bearing freezing temperatures near the finish line with Olympic sprint gold medalist Florence Griffith-Joyner.

American Tommy Moe was the surprise race winner. Last month, Moe was asked about meeting Clinton in the finish area.

“We took a photo, and she was just really unassuming and just like, ‘Congratulations, this is my [13-year-old] daughter, Chelsea,'” Moe said at the U.S. Ski Team’s Gold Medal Gala fundraiser on Wall Street. “I was on the cover of [Sports Illustrated], and they had a photo of us [in the magazine]. … I think Florence Griffith-Joyner was freezing her butt off, because it was definitely five degrees below zero.”

Moe said he later received a call from President Bill Clinton, who was not in Norway, and answered the phone with the greeting, “Hey Bill, how’s it going?”

In March 1996, Clinton flew to Greece to and spoke at the beginning of the Atlanta Olympic torch relay at the ancient Olympic site of Olympia.

“These Olympic Games, which have moved princes to lift peasants onto their shoulders, emphasize an inescapable dimension of the human experience — that we are all members of one global family,” Clinton said in Olympia, according to The Associated Press.

In July, she attended the Opening Ceremony in Atlanta, where her husband declared the Games open. Clinton and Trump were both at Centennial Olympic Stadium that night.

She later took in the action, including swimming (where she had her photo taken with the U.S. women’s 4x200m freestyle relay team), gymnastics (photo with the Magnificent Seven) and diving (sat next to Carl Lewis).

Finally in 2005, Clinton, then a U.S. Senator in New York, spoke at the IOC session that would determine the 2012 Olympic host city.

She was part of the New York City 2012 Olympic bid team, flanked by Olympic champions Oksana Baiul, Nadia Comaneci, Bob Beamon and Ian Thorpe. New York City would finish fourth out of five cities in the voting won by London.

For her 2016 presidential campaign, Clinton brought on two-time Olympic medalist figure skater Michelle Kwan as a surrogate outreach coordinator. Kwan detailed her job here.

MORE: LA 2024 comments on Trump election

Ghana Olympic skeleton slider’s helmet: rabbit escapes lion

Ron Leblanc
Leave a comment

It’s called The Rabbit Theory.

That’s what Akwasi Frimpong, Ghana’s first Olympic skeleton slider, calls his new helmet.

The one that he will wear in PyeongChang as the second athlete from his nation to compete at a Winter Games.

Frimpong, 31, tells an incredible story.

He said he was raised by his grandmother Minka in a one-room home with nine other children before joining his mom in the Netherlands at age 8 as an illegal immigrant and eventually moving to Utah.

Frimpong’s full story is here.

Frimpong’s life — before he converted from sprinting to bobsled to skeleton — was chronicled in a 2010 Dutch documentary tilted “Theorie van het Konjin” (translation: The Rabbit Theory).

“My former sprint coach Sammy Monsels talks about the analogy of a rabbit in a cage, ready to escape from a lion,” Frimpong said in an email Monday. “I am that rabbit, and I have escaped the lions [of my past]. I am no longer being eaten by all the things around my life.”

The helmet that he will wear sliding head-first down an icy chute in South Korea in three weeks draws attention to it.

The design is of a lion’s head with mouth agape and a pair of rabbits coming out. Plus the colors of the Ghanaian flag.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Jamaica qualifies first Olympic women’s bobsled team

Images via Ron Leblanc:

USA Gymnastics leaders resign as more victims speak

USA Gymnastics
Getty Images
2 Comments

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — USA Gymnastics announced the resignations of three key leaders Monday while more women and girls told a judge about being sexually assaulted at the hands of a sports doctor who spent years with Olympic gymnasts and other female athletes.

The resignations of chairman Paul Parilla, vice chairman Jay Binder and treasurer Bitsy Kelley were announced in Indianapolis while a judge in Lansing heard a fifth day of statements from women and girls who said they were molested by Larry Nassar.

“We support their decisions to resign at this time,” said Kerry Perry, president and CEO of USA Gymnastics, which is the national governing body for gymnastics. “We believe this step will allow us to more effectively move forward in implementing change within our organization.”

The board positions are volunteer and unpaid, but the resignations add to the months of turmoil. Steve Penny quit as president last March after critics said USA Gymnastics failed to protect gymnasts from abusive coaches and Nassar.

“New board leadership is necessary because the current leaders have been focused on establishing that they did nothing wrong,” USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said in a statement Monday. “USA Gymnastics needs to focus on supporting the brave survivors.”

USA Gymnastics last week said it was ending its long relationship with the Karolyi Ranch, the Huntsville, Texas, home of former national team coordinator Martha Karolyi and her husband, Bela. Some Olympians said they were assaulted there by Nassar.

Meanwhile, in Michigan, Nassar’s sentencing hearing continued Monday, raising the number of girls and women who have spoken to nearly 100 since last week.

“I want to you know that your face and the face of all of the sister survivor warriors — the whole army of you — I’ve heard your words,” Ingham County Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said after a woman spoke in her Michigan courtroom. “Your sister survivors and you are going through incomprehensible lengths, emotions and soul-searching to put your words together, to publicly stop (the) defendant, to publicly stop predators, to make people listen.”

Nassar, 54, has admitted molesting athletes during medical treatment when he was employed by Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics. He has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography crimes.

Under a plea deal, he faces a minimum prison sentence of 25 to 40 years in the molestation case. The maximum term could be much higher.

“Larry, how many of us are there? Do you even know?” asked Clasina Syrboby, as she fought back tears while speaking for more than 20 minutes Monday. “You preyed on me, on us. You saw a way to take advantage of your position — the almighty and trusted gymnastics doctor. Shame on you Larry. Shame on you.

She and other victims also continued their criticism of Michigan State, USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee for not doing enough to stop Nassar when initial complaints were made.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Watch, read Aly Raisman’s full testimony