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U.S., British Olympic officials to discuss Ryder Cup-style, multisport event

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LONDON (AP) — American and British Olympic leaders will firm up plans for a multisport event between the countries at a meeting in New York later this month.

The trans-Atlantic rivals, who finished one-two in the Rio Olympic medal standings, are exploring plans for a biennial contest that will alternate between the countries featuring about a half-dozen sports. The first event could be staged in 2019 as part of preparations for the following year’s Tokyo Olympics.

“The question now is to identify which sports this works best for and speaking to those sports and our stakeholders about it,” British Olympic Association chief executive Bill Sweeney said at the organization’s London headquarters.

Although the United States is strong in swimming and track, Britain is a powerhouse in cycling and rowing.

“A number of our sports have said they are interested in doing it and the concept is based around a home-and-away series, every two years, as we see in the world of golf,” Sweeney said.

The Ryder Cup was as a U.S.-Britain contest until 1979 when players from across Europe were also welcomed.

British Olympic sports have had their funding cut from UK Sport, despite the country finishing second in Rio, because of a decline in National Lottery sales.

The sports showdown with the United States could plug further funding shortfalls in the future. European Olympic rights holder Eurosport and American broadcaster NBC are involved in the planning discussions.

“[It] will give us another opportunity to generate additional revenue that we can pump back into the system,” Sweeney said. “It’s a very live conversation but, like most things, when you try to set them up there are lots of negotiations that need to happen.”

The Americans won 121 Olympic medals in Rio, while Britain collected 67 for its best performance outside London.

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Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir recall their childhood dating breakup (video)

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Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir discussed their brief dating relationship early on in their ice-dance partnership in an interview on “Ellen” published Tuesday.

No, they are not currently dating, as was reported when they won their second Olympic ice dance title in PyeongChang.

“If we were, we would announce it here,” Virtue said on “Ellen.”

“We did date,” Moir said, adding jokingly, “In order to advance our partnership, we had to put the hot-and-heavy relationship on the side.”

“Which meant you had to break up with me,” Virtue said.

“I broke up with Tessa, and none of my friends have let me live that down since,” Moir said.

So they did date.

“If you can call it that,” Moir said. “I think mostly our families were laughing at us. They kind of set us up. It was the same thing, actually, when we started ice dancing. They just kind of us put us together. I think it was for their amusement. Then, all of a sudden, 20 years later we’re still doing it, so joke’s on them.”

Virtue and Moir discussed their brief dating period in their 2011 book, Tessa and Scott: Our Journey from Childhood Dream to Gold:

“My sister and Scott’s cousin decided it would be kind of cute if we were ‘dating,'” Tessa says. “And I liked Scott. I don’t know if he liked me, but we just went along with it.”

“Were we not the hot topic by week four, though?” Scott asks rhetorically. “We were the big new couple on campus. We ‘dated’ for eight months. Why do I remember that? Because eight months is a long time for eight and ten years old. We probably only had two phone conversations and I remember my brothers talking me through the phone call with her, I was so nervous. We’d sit there and not say anything. It was a cool thing to do: phone and talk to each other.”

“Dating” was a little strong. It was the summer of 1997, and heading into grades there and five they were too young for even puppy love, so it was just a label that others attached to them, mostly for their own amusement.

Tessa talked about Scott during school hours at Stoneybrook Public School, but when Scott’s friends at Oxbow Public School found out about Tessa, he somehow felt he had to “end” it. His friends called Tessa and quickly handed the phone back to Scott, who blurted, “I don’t want to go out with you any more,” then hung up.

And although for the next dozen years every reporter and skating fan, and eventually, millions of TV viewers, tried to link them as boyfriend and girlfriend, that has been the extend of their romantic history.

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Two Italian cities discuss possible Winter Olympic bid

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ROME (AP) — Milan and Turin are in discussions with the Italian Olympic Committee about a possible bid for the 2026 Winter Games.

Turin Mayor Chiara Appendino sent a letter of interest to CONI on Sunday despite divisions in her own party, the populist 5-Star Movement, on a candidacy. Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala met with CONI president Giovanni Malago on Monday.

“I think Milan has everything required but we won’t do anything without a government and its approval,” Sala said Tuesday.

Italy awaits a new government in the next few weeks following a national election this month that yielded no clear majority.

CONI is still recovering from its dropped Rome bid for the 2024 Summer Games, which ended following staunch opposition from Mayor Virginia Raggi, who also represents the 5-Star Movement.

Among the cities which have shown preliminary interest for 2026: Calgary, Canada; Sion, Switzerland; and Sapporo, Japan.

Turin hosted the Winter Games in 2006. The 2026 host will be decided by the International Olympic Committee in Milan in September 2019.

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