Andy Murray, Teddy Riner
Under Armour

Andy Murray, Teddy Riner grapple atop Paris monument

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A battle of Olympic champions took place in a unique setting, atop the Grande Arche de la Defense in central Paris on Wednesday.

British tennis player Andy Murray took up judo for a sponsor event. He did so against the world’s most formidable judoka, Frenchman Teddy Riner.

They faced off nearly 400 feet above the streets below and then posed for photos in front of the Avenue Charles de Gaulle, with the Arc de Triomphe far off in the distance.

Murray is one of the Olympic tennis greats with singles gold medals from 2012 and 2016, plus a mixed doubles silver with Laura Robson in 2012.

Riner is more dominant. He, too, took gold in 2012 and 2016. The 6-foot-8, 290-pound native of Guadeloupe hasn’t lost anywhere since 2010, racking up some 100 straight match wins.

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@AndyMurray & @TeddyRiner held their ground on top of La Défense, Paris. #IWILL

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Another 1996 Olympic venue to bite the dust

Stone Mountain Tennis Center
AP
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The Atlanta Olympic tennis venue, where Andre Agassi and Lindsay Davenport famously won gold, will be demolished, possibly as soon as next month.

The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners awarded a $1 million contract Tuesday to tear down the Stone Mountain Tennis Center, according to Atlanta media.

“Moving for demolition is not something we take very lightly at all,” Gwinnet County Commissioner John Heard said, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post. “The Olympic tennis center that was built for the ‘96 Olympics has been in place for 25 years now and has been running down the entire time. All of the copper has been stolen out of it. It is a health and safety hazard right now.”

Images from last year showed the Stone Mountain Tennis Center’s main stadium in disrepair. It was closed in 2007. Plants sprouted from cracks in the court surface. It is surrounded by a chain-link fence capped by barbed wire with a “no trespassing” sign.

“It’s a huge liability with people breaking in and going in and shooting videos of themselves doing all sorts of crazy things in there,” Commissioner Lynette Howard said, according to the newspaper. “Somebody is going to get hurt.”

The tennis center is the latest 1996 Olympic venue to fall out of favor.

Centennial Olympic Stadium, which housed Opening and Closing Ceremonies and track and field, was downsized from 85,000 seats to 50,000 when it was converted to Turner Field for the Atlanta Braves in 1997. Now that the Braves have left Turner Field, it will be further trimmed to 23,000 seats to host Georgia State football.

The Georgia Dome, home of gymnastics and basketball finals, hosted its last Atlanta Falcons game this past season. It is scheduled to be demolished.

Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, the home for Olympic baseball and the Braves from 1966-96, was imploded after the Atlanta Games to make room for a parking lot for Turner Field.

Perhaps the saddest legacy of the Games is Herndon Stadium, a 15,000-seat field hockey stadium used during the filming of the movie “We Are Marshall.” It was abandoned after Morris Brown College ran into financial difficulties. Gutted by vandals, it was covered in graffiti and piles of trash as of last summer.

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PHOTOS: Atlanta Olympic venues, 20 years later

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Simone Biles, Serena Williams added to LA 2024 Athletes’ Advisory Commission

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Four-time Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles and Serena Williams were among 46 U.S. and international Olympians and Paralympians added to the LA 2024 bid’s Athletes’ Advisory Commission on Friday.

“Growing up in Los Angeles taught me that anyone can succeed as long as they have dreams and goals,” Williams, who grew up near the would-be tennis venue in L.A., said in a press release (and full list). “Los Angeles embodies the optimistic spirit that allows kids like me to become athletes and Olympians. I am proud to join the LA 2024 Athletes’ Advisory Commission and help bring the Olympics and Paralympics home and inspire the next generation of champions.”

The American and international athletes based in the U.S. on the Athletes’ Advisory Commission boast 315 Olympic and Paralympic medals, of which 198 are gold. The athletes are expected to play an integral role, according to the statement, and create an unforgettable role for every participant in the athlete-centered LA 2024 Games. For example, one of the decisions the Commission had input on was the decision to utilize UCLA’s residential halls – which already exist – as the 2024 Olympic Athletes’ Village.

The Commission also hosted an Athlete Town Hall series, which included sessions in Atlanta, Chicago, Eugene, Fort Lauderdale, Omaha, San Jose, and Washington, D.C. and provided 450 more athletes all over the country to share their vision and ideas to shape the athlete experience for LA 2024.

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