Oksana Chusovitina already shares the record for most Olympic appearances in gymnastics. She’d like to have it all to herself in two years.
“I hope to make my seventh Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and seven is my favorite number,” said the Uzbek Chusovitina, who won vault silver at the Asian Games on Wednesday (video here), according to Xinhua News Agency.
Chusovitina, 39, and Bulgaria’s Jordan Jovtchev both competed in their sixth Olympics at London 2012. Jovtchev then retired, but Chusovitina is still going. Normally a vault specialist, she wants to compete in the all-around at the World Championships in October.
Chusovitina has competed for the Soviet Union, Unified Team, Germany and Uzbekistan. She won 11 World Championship medals and two Olympic medals, but all of the hardware since 1992 has come on vault.
She hasn’t competed on all four events and qualified for a global championship all-around final since the 2008 Olympics, when she finished ninth for Germany.
Chusovitina finished fifth in the World Championships vault final last year, behind winner McKayla Maroney.
If she could win a medal in Rio, she would own Olympic medals from three different decades. The record for most Olympic appearances across all sports is 10.
“Age is just a number, and I keep doing it not for a living but because I love the sport,” Chusovitina said, according to Xinhua. “When I come to the podium I feel like a fish in the water.”
Hayato Sakamoto, an MVP of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) league, is one of two players from the Yomiuri Giants to test positive for the coronavirus, according to several Japanese media reports.
Sakamoto, a 31-year-old shortstop, and catcher Takumi Oshiro tested positive ahead of the NPB’s planned June 19 start to the season that had been delayed to the coronavirus.
The Giants canceled Wednesday’s practice game with the Seibu Lions to limit the spread of the virus.
Sakamoto is the reigning Central League MVP. He has been called the Derek Jeter of Japan for playing the same position as the Yankee great and being the veteran captain of Japan’s equivalent club, the Giants, which own a record 22 Japan Series titles.
Sakamoto, who played in the last two World Baseball Classics, has been considered a lock for Japan’s baseball team at the Tokyo Games in 2021 as the most well known active player who hasn’t left for Major League Baseball. MLB is not expected to allow its top players to participate in the Olympics, which would keep the likes of Shohei Ohtani and Masahiro Tanaka off the Olympic roster.
The sport returns to the Olympic program for the first time since 2008, though it is not on the 2024 Olympic program nor guaranteed a place at the 2028 Los Angeles Games.
Japan reached the semifinals of all five Olympic baseball tournaments when the sport was previously on the medal program but never took gold.
In a 2018 survey, Sakamoto was ranked as Japan’s eighth-most popular athlete across all sports, foreign or domestic, active or retired.
Sky Brown, 11-year-old Olympic skateboard hopeful, suffers serious injuries in fall
Sky Brown, an 11-year-old British Olympic skateboarding hopeful, recently suffered her worst fall, requiring surgery, she said in a video posted from a hospital bed.
Brown suffered skull fractures and broke her left wrist and hand and was at first unresponsive upon arrival to a hospital, according to the BBC, which quoted her father.
Video of the fall from a skateboarding ramp was posted on her social media. She appeared to be wearing a helmet in the video.
“I don’t usually post my falls or talk about them because I want people to see the fun in what I do,” Brown said. “But this was my worst fall, and I just want everyone to know that, it’s OK, don’t worry. I’m OK. It’s OK to fall sometimes. I’m just going to get back up and push even harder. I know there’s a lot of things going on in the world right now. I want everyone to know that whatever we do, we’ve just go to do it with love and happiness.”
Brown is the 2019 World bronze medalist in the new Olympic sport’s park discipline.
Later Tuesday, Brown reposted an Instagram post from what appeared to be her father’s account. The caption of that post said Brown fell 15 feet to flat concrete.
“I held her in my arms and she bled helplessly moaning in and out of consciousness waiting for the helicopter to take her to the Hospital,” the caption read. “We spent the night sick and terrified not knowing if Sky was going to make it through the night, as the ICU team tried to get her conscious and kept her alive.
“4 days later Sky sits across from me with her full memory back, smiling, watching TikTok while Eating her favorite bad snacks.”