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

Kerri Walsh Jennings
FIVB World Tour
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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

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

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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.

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