AP

Another Rio Olympic venue struggling to find a use

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Almost five months after the Rio de Janeiro Olympics ended, another venue is struggling to find a use.

Rio de Janeiro’s city hall said Tuesday that the Deodoro Olympic Park, which was to be used as a park and recreation area after the Games, has been closed.

Deodoro was the second-largest venue cluster during the Olympics and is located in Rio’s impoverished north, far from the famous Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. It held events that included equestrian, rugby and field hockey.

“Measures are being taken to ensure that the space is reopened as soon as possible,” the city said in a statement to The Associated Press. It did not say when that might happen. It said a contract had been terminated at the end of the year with a company operating the park.

Rio’s new Mayor Marcelo Crivella took over on Jan. 1, replacing Eduardo Paes who served his two-term limit and was credited as the driving force behind the Games by the International Olympic Committee.

The park’s main attraction is a public swimming area, which is now unavailable — at a time when temperatures in the South American summer in Rio soar daily to 35C (95F).

In another setback, Rio de Janeiro last month handed over responsibility to the federal government for sports venues in the main Olympic Park after a bid to auction them failed.

Officials said only one bidder participated, and failed to provide required assurances for a 25-year concession.

Brazil’s Sports Minister Leonardo Picciani said at the time that the federal government would operate the two arenas, the velodrome, and the tennis stadium.

A $20-million golf course built for the Olympics is also struggling to find players and funds to take care of upkeep.

The state of Rio de Janeiro has declared a “financial calamity” and is several months behind in paying teachers and public employees. The country itself is in the deepest recession in decades, with unemployment at 12 percent.

This stands in stark relief to the $10-12 billion Brazil spent to organize the Olympics. It spent a similar amount organizing the 2014 World Cup.

MORE: Neymar reflects on Rio Olympic shootout

Jessica-Ennis Hill gives birth to second child

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Great Britain’s two-time Olympic medalist, heptathlete Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, announced the birth of her second child on Instagram inviting her family, friends and fans to welcome Olivia Ennis-Hill to the world.

In her Instagram post, Olivia is holding Ennis-Hill’s three year old son Reggie’s finger as the two siblings meet for the first time.

Reggie meeting his beautiful baby sister 😊 Olivia Ennis-Hill, she was born Saturday night. We are all so in love with her 💕

A post shared by Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill (@jessicaennishill) on

After winning heptathlon gold at the 2012 London Olympics and a silver in the same event in Rio in 2016, Ennis-Hill announced her retirement from competition in October of last year.

About that title of Dame, in April at a ceremony held in Buckingham Palace, the Duke of Cambridge (aka Prince William) bestowed damehood upon Ennis-Hill.

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The Ennis-Hill family are darlings of the English press, so expect to see more photos in the future of the now two-time Olympic mom.

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Slovakia’s Sagan first to win three-straight road race world titles

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In a dramatic photo finish, Slovakia’s Peter Sagan became the first man ever to win three consecutive men’s world championship road race titles when he crossed the finish line in Bergen, Norway.

Norway’s Alexander Kristoff rounded the final turn toward home with a slight lead, churning for the finish, but Sagan sprinted up his right side to edge the Norwegian on the final extension at the finish.

An estimated 100,000 spectators watched the riders repeatedly try to establish a lead pack throughout the race which ended with 12 loops through the streets of Bergen, but no one could find a way to make a clean break. Sagan would bide his time in the peloton for much of the race.

Adding even more drama to an already thrilling road race, with 3km left France’s Julian Alaphilippe began pulling away from a bunched peloton, which kicked off the final lap en masse. With Alaphilippe appearing in control, the cameras shooting from the lead pack motorcycle lost power.

Television commentators and everyone watching on TV or online were left in the dark, waiting to catch a glimpse of the lead riders. Tension mounted while viewers were stuck looking at a road void of cyclists near one of the final turns toward the finish.

“Where are the riders at the front of this race!” lamented NBC’s Paul Sherwen.

When the riders finally came into view, Alaphilippe was no longer in the lead, and 25-30 riders were jockeying for position as they rushed to the finish, but it was Sagan who would cross first in the end.

“For the last five kilometers, I said to myself, it’s already done. But it’s unbelievable. This is something special. You saw in the climb, we were in pieces. And at the finish, it all happened in seconds,” Sagan said after the race according to The Guardian.

“I want to dedicate this win to Michele Scarponi, it would have been his birthday tomorrow. And I want to dedicate this victory to my wife. We are expecting a baby.”

Italian cyclist Michele Scarponi was killed after being hit by a van while training near his home in Filottrano back in April. The loss was one that was felt across the entirety of the cycling world.

Michael Matthews of Australia finished the race in third.

Full results can be found here.

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