Getty Images

Sylvester Stallone headlines guest list for LA 2024 bid event

Leave a comment

LA 2024 already has Dr. Dre in its corner. It appears it can count Sylvester Stallone, too.

Stallone was one of many celebrities who were reportedly invited to and attended a dinner with the International Olympic Committee evaluation commission for the 2024 Olympics in Southern California on Wednesday, hosted by LA 2024 bid chairman Casey Wasserman.

The IOC evaluation commission is touring Los Angeles this week and the other 2024 bid city, Paris, next week. IOC members are scheduled to vote to choose the 2024 host city on Sept. 13 at a session.

It’s possible Los Angeles and Paris could both be named Olympic hosts in September, if the 2028 Games are also awarded at the session in Lima, Peru.

Wednesday’s reported dinner guest list included Stallone, who carried the Olympic flame in 2004 on Santa Monica Beach, the site of the famous Rocky III beach running scene between Rocky and Apollo Creed.

Stallone called his part of the 2004 Athens Olympic torch relay “the proudest moment of my life.”

Also on the list was two-time Olympic basketball champion Kobe Bryant, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, LA mayor Eric Garcetti, Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel and Spanish tenor Placido Domingo.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: 2024 Olympic bid news

Kerri Walsh Jennings pleased by result after longest break in 5 years

Kerri Walsh Jennings
FIVB World Tour
Leave a comment

Kerri Walsh Jennings returned from her longest competition break since 2013 and, with partner Nicole Branagh, nearly beat the world’s top-ranked team.

Walsh Jennings and Branagh ultimately were eliminated in the round of 16 at the Xiamen Open in China.

“We WILL do better,” was posted on Walsh Jennings’ social media. “We actually had a great showing and learned and battled and improved – sometimes the stats don’t show everything.”

Walsh Jennings and Branagh, a pair of 39-year-old moms, played together for the first time since July 22, when Walsh Jennings’ five-times surgically repaired right shoulder popped out mid-match.

Walsh Jennings, eyeing her sixth and final Olympics in 2020, underwent a sixth shoulder surgery and an ankle surgery and did not return to training on the beach until March (her longest break between hitting a ball on sand since switching from indoor following the 2000 Olympics).

The duo won their opening Xiamen match in three sets last week, then lost a three-setter to the world’s No. 1 team in group play. Canadians Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes prevailed 21-15, 22-24, 18-16 en route to the tournament title.

After Walsh Jennings and Branagh swept American qualifiers Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman in the first elimination round, they squandered a one-set lead in the round of 16. Australians Mariafe Artacho and Taliqua Clancy eliminated them 19-21, 21-16, 20-18.

Walsh Jennings said before flying to Xiamen that she and Branagh would next play on the FIVB World Tour at the Itapema Open in Brazil in mid-May. In four FIVB World Tour events since partnering last year, they were eliminated in qualifying once, bounced in the round of 16 twice and forfeited a bronze-medal match due to that shoulder dislocation.

Early season partner changes defined the U.S. women’s landscape. In Xiamen, one of those new teams, Kelly Claes and Brittany Hochevar, reached the final, losing to the Canadians.

It marked the first final four appearance on the senior FIVB World Tour for the 22-year-old Claes, an NCAA champion at USC with former partner Sara Hughes, and for the 36-year-old Hochevar, the older sister of former Kansas City Royals pitcher Luke Hochevar.

MORE: Walsh Jennings documents comeback from surgeries

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Watch Dateline special on McKayla Maroney, Larry Nassar; full episode

Leave a comment

McKayla MaroneyAly Raisman and Martha and Bela Karolyi spoke about their experiences with Larry Nassar in “Silent No More,” an NBC News’ DATELINE special that aired Sunday night.

It marked Maroney’s first interview since she went public as one of the hundreds of survivors who said they were sexually abused by Nassar, a team doctor for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University for two decades.

The Karolyis, both former U.S. women’s national team coordinators, spoke on camera for the first time regarding Nassar, too. Olympians said they were abused at the Karolyis’ ranch in Texas at national team training camps.

Maroney said that at 2011 Worlds in Tokyo she told John Geddert, the personal coach of teammate Jordyn Wieber and head coach for the U.S. team at the event, that Nassar abused her.

NBC News reported that three other people in the car at the time remembered Maroney’s account from seven years ago. Geddert did not respond to requests for comment.

Geddert was suspended by USA Gymnastics in January and is facing a criminal investigation after Nassar, who molested girls at Geddert’s gym in Michigan, was sentenced to 40 to 125 years in prison on Jan. 24. Geddert said he had “zero knowledge” of Nassar’s crimes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Karolyis deny knowledge of Nassar crimes | Maroney’s first speech on Nassar