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Olympic champion to auction gold medal for Iran earthquake victims

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Iran weightlifter Kianoush Rostami will reportedly auction his Rio Olympic gold medal and give the money raised to victims of Sunday’s earthquake near Iran’s border with Iraq.

“My gold medal belongs to my people, and I just hand it back to them,” Rostami said, according to the Tehran Times. “I didn’t sleep in the previous nights due to a sorrowful event.”

An Instagram post on a Rostami account with 129,000 followers outlined how to bid.

Rostami, 26, broke the world record for total weight in taking 85kg (187 pounds) gold in Rio — eclipsing his own record by one kilogram with 396kg (or 873 pounds) for the snatch and clean and jerk combined.

Rostami was one of the three Iranian gold medalists in Rio. He also took 85kg silver at the 2012 London Games and won world titles in 2011 and 2014.

A devoutly religious man, Rostami practices the same routine before every lift: He stands over the bar, lifts his head, takes a prolonged deep breath and says, declaratively, in Arabic, “In the name of God.”

NBC Olympic research contributed to this report.

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کیانوش رستمی مدال طلای المپیک خود را جهت کمک به زلزله زدگان غرب کشور به حراج می گذارد کیانوش رستمی قهرمان وزنه برداری المپیک و جهان جهت کمک به زلزله زدگان غرب کشور، مدال طلای بازیهای المپیک ریو 2016 خود را به حراج می گذارد. پهلوان کرمانشاهی کشورمان در متن پیام خود در این باره گفت: کرمانشانَگم، اي شار شيرين نفس کم ديرم، اَراي زار و شين همدياريم، ها ژِير آوار کم بتکن خاک، وَه‌ اي کُردَوار بار دیگر دل زمین لرزید تا دل میلیوها ایرانی در غم از دست دادن عزیزانشان بلرزد،دلیرمردان و شیر زنانی که همواره در دل تاریخ بعنوان پاره ای از تن ایران بزرگ در خط مقدم دفاع از کشورشان بودند و هستند و امروز این دریادلان اینگونه در ساحل مصیبت زده طوفان بلا،دست به آسمان ساییده اند و چشم انتظار یاری مردم عزیز خود هستند. اینجانب کیانوش رستمی فرزند کوچک این ملت بزرگ که هنوز در این چند روز خواب به چشمانم نیامده بر خود وظیفه دانستم قدمی هر چند کوچک برای هموطنان زلزله زده کشورم پرداخته و مدال طلای بازیهای المپیک 2016 ریو را که در واقع متعلق به همین مردم است به آنها باز گردانده و برای کمک به مردم زلزله زده غرب کشور به حراج بگذارم و عواید حاصل از آن را به زلزله زدگان غرب کشور اختصاص دهم. علاقه مندان که می خواهند در این امر خیر شرکت کنند می توانند پیشنهاد و درخواستهای خود را به شماره تلفن های زیر 26203390-26203418 و همراه 09192787890 و یا آدرس ایمیل olympic.iran@yahoo.com در میان بگذارند.

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Skylar Diggins-Smith has the opportunity to fill USA Basketball’s need

Skylar Diggins
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Skylar Diggins-Smith said making the U.S. Olympic team is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This is her second chance.

An ACL tear derailed her Rio 2016 hopes. That happened in a WNBA game on June 28, 2015.

Though Diggins-Smith was among 25 Olympic finalists named in January 2016, she didn’t return to game action until that May, four weeks after the 12-woman Olympic team was chosen.

The 27-year-old guard said she’s played for USA Basketball for 12 years, since before her standout Notre Dame career that led to her current stint with the Dallas Wings (formerly Tulsa Shock).

“This is the most clear my mind has been,” with USA Basketball, Diggins-Smith said from training camp in Seattle on Tuesday, ahead of a Thursday exhibition against China at Key Arena (10 p.m. ET, usab.com/live).

Signs point to Diggins-Smith making her major international tournament debut at September’s FIBA World Cup, the quadrennial world championship event.

Though Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi‘s surprising returns crowd the backcourt, the other Olympic gold medalist guard, Lindsay Whalen, retired from the national team.

Diggins-Smith’s play last season, her first full campaign back from the ACL tear, boosts her case. She made the All-WNBA First Team.

She also made the first team in 2014. That year, Diggins-Smith was among the final cuts for the world championship team less than a week before the tournament.

“Every time I come to USA Basketball, I think you have a tendency to kind of overthink,” Diggins-Smith said Tuesday. “You just want to do the right thing, don’t really want to make mistakes. … You want to do the right thing, and you press a little bit.”

USA Basketball has stressed finding its next stalwart point guard following five-time Olympian Teresa Edwards, three-time Olympian Dawn Staley (now the U.S. head coach) and the 37-year-old Bird, eyeing her fifth Olympics in 2020.

“Give me three guards that have separated themselves from everyone else in the WNBA to put themselves at the same level as Sue, Diana, Lindsay Whalen,” then-U.S. coach Geno Auriemma said after the Olympic team was named in April 2016. “You really start to look around and, you go, that is a huge question that has to be answered.”

“Obviously, there’s a need,” Staley said in February, listing point guards other than Bird at that camp.

The first name Staley mentioned was Diggins-Smith, for what it’s worth.

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USA Track and Field to honor 1968 Olympic team on 50th anniversary

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USA Track and Field begins a campaign this week to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Olympic team.

Members of the Mexico City Games team, one of the greatest track and field teams in history, will be honored at high-profile events the remainder of the year.

The campaign, “1968-2018: Celebrating Athletic Achievement and Courage,” culminates with a “Night of Legends” reunion in December at the USATF Annual Meeting in Columbus, Ohio, also attended by current U.S. stars.

The 1968 Olympic team is most remembered for Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who took gold and bronze in the 200m and were sent home after raising their black-gloved fists in a human rights salute during the national anthem.

The team also included gold medalists Bob Beamon (long jump), Dick Fosbury (high jump), Al Oerter (discus), Wyomia Tyus and Jim Hines (100m), Lee Evans (400m), Madeline Manning Mims (800m), Willie Davenport (110m hurdles), Bob Seagren (pole vault), Randy Matson (shot put), Bill Toomey (decathlon) and the men’s and women’s 4x100m and men’s 4x400m.

“The legacy of the greatest track & field team to ever be assembled is still felt 50 years later,” USATF CEO Max Siegel said in a press release. “These Olympians persevered through athletic challenges and social injustices, maintaining their composure and dignity when others may have fallen. It is USATF’s honor to pay homage to their achievements and bring the team together for an epic celebration at our Annual Meeting.”

U.S. track and field athletes will compete at two meets on NBC Sports and NBC Sports Gold this weekend — the Drake Relays and Penn Relays.

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WATCH: NBC Olympics documentary on 1968 Olympics