Matthew Dellavedova

Matthew Dellavedova and the Olympics

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An Australian Olympic guard is breaking out in the NBA Finals for a second straight year.

Those who closely watched the London 2012 Games will have known about Matthew Dellavedova long before he scored 20 points in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ win over the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night.

Dellavedova was the Australian men’s basketball team’s youngest player at the London Olympics. At 21, he started next to Patty Mills in the backcourt. Mills, with ties to watching Cathy Freeman, gained plenty of attention with the San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 NBA Finals.

Dellavedova nearly made the Australian national team for the 2010 FIBA World Championship but was cut by Brett Brown, who now coaches the Philadelphia 76ers.

“To this day, he’s the single most difficult person I had to cut, and I have cut many, many, many players,” Brown said, according to the San Jose Mercury News. “He was so passionate and determined to play for his country and worked so hard to earn that right, and I took it from him.”

Dellavedova, while playing for St. Mary’s College, helped Australia qualify for the 2012 Olympics in a winner-goes-to-London series with New Zealand in September 2011.

At the Olympics, the central Victoria native started all six games, averaged 7.3 points per game and set the screen that freed Mills to hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to beat Russia 82-80 in group play. Mills also played at St. Mary’s, before Dellavedova.

Dellavedova even faced future Cavs teammate LeBron James at the Olympics as the Aussies lost to the U.S. in the quarterfinals 119-86. A year later, Dellavedova went undrafted but signed with Cleveland before the 2013-14 season.

Will Dellavedova make a return to the Olympics next year?

He will likely have a large say in Australia’s qualification. The Aussies and New Zealand play another winner-goes-to-the-Olympics series in August, with the loser still having a shot at Rio at a last-chance global qualifying tournament next summer.

Australian women’s basketball star considers retiring daily

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Underneath the Olympic rings in the village

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Ready for the #openingceremony #pumped #excited

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David Rudisha escapes car crash ‘well and unhurt’

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David Rudisha, a two-time Olympic champion and world record holder at 800m, is “well and unhurt” after a car accident in his native Kenya, according to his Facebook account.

Kenyan media reported that one of Rudisha’s tires burst on Saturday night, leading his car to collide with a bus, and he was treated for minor injuries at a hospital.

Rudisha, 30, last raced July 4, 2017, missing extended time with a quad muscle strain and back problems. His manager said last week that Rudisha will miss next month’s world championships.

Rudisha owns the three fastest times in history, including the world record 1:40.91 set in an epic 2012 Olympic final.

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Tokyo Paralympic medals unveiled with historic Braille design, indentations

Tokyo Paralympic Medals
Tokyo 2020
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The Tokyo Paralympic medals, which like the Olympic medals are created in part with metals from recycled cell phones and other small electronics, were unveiled on Sunday, one year out from the Opening Ceremony.

In a first for the Paralympics, each medal has one to three indentation(s) on its side to distinguish its color by touch — one for gold, two silver and three for bronze. Braille letters also spell out “Tokyo 2020” on each medal’s face.

For Rio, different amounts of tiny steel balls were put inside the medals based on their color, so that when shaken they would make distinct sounds. Visually impaired athletes could shake the medals next to their ears to determine the color.

More on the design from Tokyo 2020:

The design is centered around the motif of a traditional Japanese fan, depicting the Paralympic Games as the source of a fresh new wind refreshing the world as well as a shared experience connecting diverse hearts and minds. The kaname, or pivot point, holds all parts of the fan together; here it represents Para athletes bringing people together regardless of nationality or ethnicity. Motifs on the leaves of the fan depict the vitality of people’s hearts and symbolize Japan’s captivating and life-giving natural environment in the form of rocks, flowers, wood, leaves, and water. These are applied with a variety of techniques, producing a textured surface that makes the medals compelling to touch.

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Tokyo Paralympic Medals

Tokyo Paralympic Medals