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

U.S. boblsedders remembering Steve Holcomb

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PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — The memories are impossible to ignore. Justin Olsen sees him in the start house. Elana Meyers Taylor hears him on her track walks. Mentions of his name bring some members of the team to tears, and others still can’t fully open up about how difficult moving on has been.

NBCOlymipcs.com: 2018 U.S. Olympic bobsled team

It’s been nine months since Steven Holcomb died.

USA Bobsled is not over it, not by any stretch of the imagination.

Holcomb was the best bobsledder in U.S. history, and he was supposed to be at these PyeongChang Olympics for what likely would have been the final races of his career. Instead, the Americans will head to the start house at the Alpensia Sliding Center on Sunday for the first bobsled races of these games and face the nearly impossible task of doing as well as he would have done.

This season has been one struggle after another for the Americans. Nerves have been frayed all year. Results have been far from what the U.S. wanted or envisioned. Getting a third men’s sled to PyeongChang was a challenge until the final possible moment, something that certainly would not have been the case if Holcomb was still driving.

Read the rest of the story and watch live streams by clicking here 

Mikaela Shiffrin opens up on slalom disappointment

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The day after an winning an Olympic gold in the women’s the giant slalom, Shiffrin was widely expected to defend her gold medal in the slalom.

Shiffrin, failed to do so, finishing in fourth position. In what she considered to be her favorite event, the American came up short by just eight one-hundredths of a second of winning the bronze. The American even admitted to vomiting before she took to the course. 

The American took to Twitter earlier this morning giving fans more detail about the race that’s been lingering on her mind, and the nerves that overcame her.

Shiffrin continues to detail in the tweets below that, though not the result she wanted, she was proud of herself for showcasing the passion and love that she has for the sport and for the Olympic Games.

An athlete who is held to the highest of standards, and when one Olympic gold medal might feel like a minute failure from someone who has been expected to dominated these Olympic Games, Shiffrin expressed the gratitude she feels to be a part of the 2018 Olympics and to compete alongside athletes, many of whom will walk away without any medal whatsoever.

Shiffrin continued:

Shiffrin did not participate in the super-G, which was astonishingly won by Czech Republic’s Ester Ledecka. The dual-athlete wore Shiffrin’s skis en route to her own Olympic memory.

The American is expected to be competing next in the women’s downhill, where qualification begins on Feb. 21. Lindsey Vonn is also expected to be competing in the downhill.