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

Tahiti chosen for Olympic surfing competition at 2024 Paris Games

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Paris 2024 Olympic organizers want the surfing competition to be held in Tahiti, an island in French Polynesia that is about 9,800 miles from Paris.

It would break the record for the farthest Olympic medal competition to be held outside the host. In 1956, equestrian events were moved out of Melbourne due to quarantine laws and held five months earlier in Stockholm, some 9,700 miles away.

The Paris 2024 executive board approved the site Thursday — specifically, the village of Teahupo’o — and will propose it to the IOC. It beat out other applicants Biarritz, Lacanau, Les Landes and La Torche, all part of mainland France.

Surfing will debut at the 2020 Tokyo Games but is not on the permanent Olympic program. Surfing was among sports added to the Paris 2024 program in June and could be added for the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

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Adam Jones, five-time MLB All-Star, becomes Olympic eligible

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Should the U.S. qualify for baseball’s Olympic return, a five-time MLB All-Star could be eligible for its roster in Tokyo. And he has interest.

Outfielder Adam Jones signed with the Orix Buffaloes of Japan’s domestic league, which, unlike MLB, will take an Olympic break next summer to allow players to take part in the first Olympic baseball tournament in 12 years.

Jones, 34, made no mention of Olympic eligibility in a social media post announcing the signing. His Instagram avatar is a photo of him in a Team USA jersey from the World Baseball Classic.

Jones’ agent later said that Jones does have interest in playing for the U.S. in Tokyo, should an American team qualify in the spring.

“To play over in Japan has always been a desire of Adam’s, and the timing worked out that the Olympics happens to be played in Tokyo the first year of his contract,” Jones’ agent wrote in an email. “It wasn’t one of the factors on his decision BUT more of a [sic] addition to the overall package to decide to go.”

Jones called being part of the U.S.’ 2017 WBC title, “probably the best experience of my life so far, especially with sports,” according to The Associated Press. He was one of five players to be on the U.S. team at each of the last two World Baseball Classics.

The U.S. still faces a difficult task to qualify for the Tokyo Games. It lost to Mexico last month in its first of up to three chances at qualifying tournaments, using a roster of mostly double-A and triple-A caliber players.

Major Leaguers are not expected to be made available for qualifying or for the Tokyo Games.

The next two qualifying tournaments will be in late March (an Americas qualifier in Arizona) and early April (a final, global qualifying event in Chinese Taipei). It remains to be seen how MLB clubs will go about releasing minor leaguers for a tournament that will take place during spring training.

Jones could become the third player with prior MLB All-Star experience to compete at the Olympics from any nation, joining Australian catcher Dave Nilsson and Canadian pitcher Jason Dickson.

Jones made five All-Star teams during an 11-year stint with the Baltimore Orioles from 2008-18 before playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks last season.

Many players competed at the Olympics before making an MLB All-Star team, including Stephen Strasburg and Jason Giambi.

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