Dilma Rousseff

Brazil president: Rio 2016’s goal to be better than London 2012

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The Rio 2016 Olympics’ goal is to put on a Games better than London 2012, Brazil president Dilma Rousseff said Wednesday, according to an O Globo report translated by Xinhua News Agency.

“Your [2012 Games] were very successful,” Rousseff said Wednesday, when she met British Prime Minister David Cameron in Belgium. “Brazil is quite ahead of time, and we aim to put on a monumental party. Let me say that our aim, like all Olympic hosts, is to do it even better.”

Leading into London 2012, British organizers said their goal was not to try to better or even replicate the size and scope of the Beijing 2008 Games. China’s population is about 20 times that of Great Britain. Brazil’s population is about three times that of Great Britain.

A South American nation has never hosted an Olympics. In 2012, London became the first city to host an Olympics three times.

Rousseff was re-elected to a second term as Brazil’s president in October, meaning she is in line to be the nation’s head of state during the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Heads of state are always quite visible during the Olympics. Most notably, they usually have the honor of declaring the Games open at the Opening Ceremony.

If Rousseff declares open the Rio Olympics on Aug. 5, 2016, she will be the third woman in four Games to do so. Before Vancouver 2010, three women total opened an Olympics from the first modern Games in Athens in 1986 through the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

Brazil sets medal standings target for Rio 2016

Eddy Alvarez, Olympic short track medalist, to play for Miami Marlins

Eddy Alvarez
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Eddy Alvarez realized his MLB dream, six years after earning a Winter Olympic medal, and during a global pandemic that affected his club more than any other U.S. professional sports franchise.

Alvarez, a 2014 U.S. Olympic short track speed skating medalist, is being added to the Miami Marlins roster for Tuesday’s restart of their abbreviated season, president of baseball operations Mike Hill said Monday, according to Marlins beat reporters.

The 30-year-old was among a group added after as many as 18 Marlins tested positive for the coronavirus last week, forcing the club to cancel seven games.

Alvarez is believed to be the first U.S. Winter Olympian to become a Major League Baseball player.

He may be the second Olympic medalist in a sport other than baseball to make it to the majors, joining Jim Thorpe. (Michael Jordan tried to do so with the Chicago White Sox, playing Double-A in 1994, but returned to the Chicago Bulls in 1995.)

Alvarez, a Miami native, played baseball in high school and at Salt Lake Community College before focusing on short track in 2012 for a 2014 Olympic run.

He came back from missing the 2010 Olympic team and surgeries on both knees, reportedly leaving him immobile and bedpan dependent for four to six weeks, to make the Sochi Winter Games. Eddy the Jet earned a silver medal in the 5000m relay.

Then Alvarez returned to baseball after three years away. He signed a minor-league contract with the Chicago White Sox in June 2014. He worked his way through the minors between that franchise and the Marlins system.

Alvarez was a Kannapolis Intimidator, a New Orleans Baby Cake and a Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.

Now, he’s a big leaguer.

“It definitely was a chance, picking up a kid who hasn’t played in three years who is starting at the age of 24,” Alvarez said in 2014. “It’s not your typical story, but I play like a 17-year-old kid. I’m running around everywhere. I’m diving around everywhere. I’m full of life. I definitely see my progression moving at a rapid pace.”

MORE: What Olympic baseball, softball return looks like in 2021

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Katie Ledecky balances glass of chocolate milk on her head while swimming

Katie Ledecky
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Katie Ledecky will always remember Aug. 3 as the date she won her first Olympic gold medal, at age 15 in 2012.

Now, she can also associate it with the time she created another kind of buzz on social media.

The five-time Olympic champion posted video of her swimming the length of a pool while balancing a glass of chocolate milk on her head. Barely any, if any, milk spilled into the pool.

Ledecky swam as part of a new got milk? ad campaign.

“Hoooowww nervous were you when you did this?!” fellow Olympic champion and training partner Simone Manuel asked Ledecky on Instagram.

“I have never braced my core so hard,” Ledecky wrote. “It’s a great drill!”

“Try doing it breaststroke,” British Olympic 100m breaststroke champion and world-record holder Adam Peaty wrote.

“Is it wrong of me to think this is even more impressive than a few of your WR’s?!!!” wrote 1992 Olympic champion Summer Sanders.

MORE: The meet where Kathleen Ledecky became Katie Ledecky

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