Highlights from Sochi Olympic torch relay trip around Moscow

Moscow Subway Torch
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The Olympic torch relay departed Moscow on its fourth day, completing a highlight-filled trip around the Russian capital. Here are some highlights from the first few days of the Olympic torch relay:

Several Olympic medalists were part of the Moscow leg, including gymnast Svetlana Khorkina and figure skater Irina Slutskaya.

Khorkina, a seven-time Olympic medalist, was reportedly recently robbed on the streets of Moscow. But she was in great spirits after carrying the torch earlier this week.

“I had those nostalgic feeling as if I were standing on the Olympic podium again – I had three Olympics in my career,” Khorkina told Voice of Russia. “I can compare the ceremony to receiving an Olympic gold, though the only difference is that the medal is all mine while the symbolic Olympic flame belongs to the whole world.”

source: AP
Svetlana Khorkina carries the torch in Moscow on Monday. (AP)

Slustkaya, the only Russian woman to win an Olympic singles figure skating medal since the fall of the Soviet Union, took the flame up Moscow’s tallest building.

source: AP
Irina Slutskaya holds a lamp with the Olympic flame at Ostankino TV tower. (AP)

Voice of Russia also asked a torch bearer what instructions they were given before receiving the handoff.

“Well, we were instructed on the way we should hold the torch, specifically not to hold it too close to one’s clothes, so they wouldn’t catch fire,” Andrei Sukhantsev said.

The flame also visited sites from the 1980 Moscow Olympics, the only Games that Russia previously hosted, and Russian police headquarters.

Even actor Steven Seagal was reportedly on hand for part of the ceremonies in Moscow.

The famous actor and producer told the Voice of Russia that he liked the ceremony very much and was hoping to come to Sochi in February to watch the Olympics.

The Olympic flame departed Moscow on Thursday, as Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry assured Sochi’s facilities are safe against potential natural disasters.

Sochi torch relay: by the numbers

Joel Embiid gains U.S. citizenship, mum on Olympic nationality

Joel Embiid
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Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid said he is now a U.S. citizen and it’s way too early to think about what nation he would represent at the Olympics.

“I just want to be healthy and win a championship and go from there,” he said, according to The Associated Press.

Embiid, 28, was born in Cameroon and has never competed in a major international tournament. In July, he gained French nationality, a step toward being able to represent that nation at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In the spring, French media reported that Embiid started the process to become eligible to represent France in international basketball, quoting national team general manager Boris Diaw.

Embiid was second in NBA MVP voting this season behind Serbian Nikola Jokic. He was the All-NBA second team center.

What nation Embiid represents could have a major impact on the Paris Games.

In Tokyo, a French team led by another center, Rudy Gobert, handed the U.S. its first Olympic defeat since 2004. That was in group play. The Americans then beat the French in the gold-medal game 87-82.

That France team had five NBA players to the U.S.’ 12: Nicolas BatumEvan FournierTimothe Luwawu-CabarrotFrank Ntilikina and Gobert.

Anthony Davis, who skipped the Tokyo Olympics, is the lone U.S. center to make an All-NBA team in the last five seasons. In that time, Embiid made four All-NBA second teams and Gobert made three All-NBA third teams.

No Olympic team other than the U.S. has ever had two reigning All-NBA players on its roster.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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LA 2028, Delta unveil first-of-its-kind emblems for Olympics, Paralympics

Delta LA 2028
LA 2028
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Emblems for the 2028 Los Angeles Games that include logos of Delta Air Lines is the first integration of its kind in Olympic and Paralympic history.

Organizers released the latest set of emblems for the LA 2028 Olympics and Paralympics on Thursday, each with a Delta symbol occupying the “A” spot in LA 28.

Two years ago, the LA 2028 logo concept was unveiled with an ever-changing “A” that allowed for infinite possibilities. Many athletes already created their own logos, as has NBC.

“You can make your own,” LA28 chairperson Casey Wasserman said in 2020. “There’s not one way to represent Los Angeles, and there is strength in our diverse cultures. We have to represent the creativity and imagination of Los Angeles, the diversity of our community and the big dreams the Olympic and Paralympic Games provide.”

Also in 2020, Delta was announced as LA 2028’s inaugural founding partner. Becoming the first partner to have an integrated LA 2028 emblem was “extremely important for us,” said Emmakate Young, Delta’s managing director, brand marketing and sponsorships.

“It is a symbol of our partnership with LA, our commitment to the people there, as well as those who come through LA, and a commitment to the Olympics,” she said.

The ever-changing emblem succeeds an angelic bid logo unveiled in February 2016 when the city was going for the 2024 Games, along with the slogan, “Follow the Sun.” In July 2017, the IOC made a historic double awarding of the Olympics and Paralympics — to Paris for 2024 and Los Angeles for 2028.

The U.S. will host its first Olympics and Paralympics since 2002 (and first Summer Games since 1996), ending its longest drought between hosting the Games since the 28-year gap between 1932 and 1960.

Delta began an eight-year Olympic partnership in 2021, becoming the official airline of Team USA and the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

Athletes flew to this year’s Winter Games in Beijing on chartered Delta flights and will do so for every Games through at least 2028.

Previously, Delta sponsored the last two Olympics held in the U.S. — the 1996 Atlanta Games and the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games.

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