U.S. will bid for 2024 Olympics, no city chosen yet

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The U.S. Olympic Committee will bid for the 2024 Olympics, but the city hasn’t been chosen yet.

One of Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. will be the U.S. bid. The USOC had not committed to bidding until after those four finalists gave presentations to the USOC board of directors in San Francisco on Tuesday.

It hopes to choose its city after another board meeting that it hopes to hold in early January, with more discussion on the pros and cons of each city. Not all board members were on hand Tuesday.

“It’s a four-way tie,” USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said when asked if there’s a front-runner among the cities.

The USOC, which will go eight years between Olympic bids, could announce its bid city any time between now and February.

“I would say within 30-60 days we would probably select a city,” USOC chairman Larry Probst said last Tuesday, according to The Associated Press.

The International Olympic Committee’s invitation phase for bids begins Jan. 15, with a deadline to declare a bid of Sept. 15.

Of the four U.S. finalist cities, Los Angeles is the only one that hosted an Olympics — in 1932 and 1984.

San Francisco recently attempted bids for the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. New York and Chicago became the respective U.S. bids those years and lost in IOC voting to London and Rio de Janeiro.

All four cities’ mayors (mayor-elect for D.C.) were part of presentation teams Tuesday. The D.C. presentation team included Olympic champion swimmer Katie Ledecky, a high school senior from Bethesda, Md., former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue and Washington Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis.

The U.S. last hosted the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002 and the Summer Olympics in Atlanta in 1996.

The current 22-year stretch is its longest gap between hosting Olympics since it went 28 years between 1932 and 1960.

Italy and Germany’s Olympic Committees said they will also bid for the 2024 Olympics. Rome will be Italy’s bid. Germany will choose between Berlin and Hamburg by the end of March.

A South African member of the IOC said his nation is also readying to bid for the 2024 Olympics. An African nation has never hosted an Olympics.

Paris may also bid to host the Olympics on the 100-year anniversary of the last time it hosted.

The IOC will choose candidate cities from the list of applicant cities in April/May 2016. IOC members will vote to choose the 2024 Olympic host city in 2017 at a session in Lima, Peru.

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Teri McKeever fired by Cal as women’s swimming coach after investigation

Teri McKeever
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Teri McKeever, the first woman to serve as a U.S. Olympic swimming head coach, was fired by the University of California at Berkeley after an investigation into alleged verbal and emotional abuse of swimmers that she denied.

McKeever was put on paid administrative leave from her job as head women’s swimming coach in May after an Orange County Register report that 20 current or former Cal swimmers said McKeever verbally and emotionally bullied her swimmers.

Cal athletics director Jim Knowlton wrote in a letter to the Cal team and staff that a resulting independent law firm report detailed “verbally abusive conduct that is antithetical to our most important values.”

“I strongly believe this is in the best interests of our student-athletes, our swimming program and Cal Athletics as a whole,” Knowlton said of McKeever’s firing in a press release. “The report details numerous violations of university policies that prohibit race, national origin and disability discrimination.”

The Orange County Register first published what it says is the full independent report here with redactions.

“I deny and unequivocally refute all conclusions that I abused or bullied any athlete and deny any suggestion I discriminated against any athlete on the basis of race, disability or sexual orientation,” McKeever said in a statement Tuesday confirming her firing and expressing disappointment in how the investigation was conducted. “While I am disappointed in the way my CAL Career will conclude, I wish to thank and celebrate the many student-athletes and staff that made my time in Berkeley a true blessing and gift.”

McKeever’s lawyer wrote that McKeever “will be filing suit to expose the manner in which gender has affected not only the evaluation of her coaching but harmed and continues to harm both female and male athletes.”

McKeever led Cal women’s swimming and diving for nearly 30 years, winning four NCAA team titles and coaching Olympic champions including Missy FranklinNatalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer.

In 2004, she became the first woman to be on a U.S. Olympic swim team coaching staff, as an assistant. In 2012, she became the first woman to be head coach of a U.S. Olympic swim team. She was an assistant again for the Tokyo Games.

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Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

Diana Taurasi
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Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Olympedia.org. Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

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