Rio 2016 Olympic torch unveiled

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The Rio Olympic torch and torch relay route were unveiled on Friday, 399 days out from the opening of the 2016 Rio Games.

The unique design of the torch incorporates “Brazilian flair,” the Rio 2016 website explains. The open segments reveal “harmonious diversity, contagious energy and exuberant nature–with the ground, sea, mountains, sky and sun represented in the colors of the Brazilian flag.” The segments will open up at the “moment of the kiss, when the flame is passed from one bearer to another.”

The torch relay will begin with the traditional flame lighting ceremony in Olympia, Greece, where the Ancient Olympic Games were born. Then the torch will begin its tour of Brazil in May 2016.

Starting in the capital city of Brasilia and passing through an expected 500 cities and towns, the Olympic torch route was designed to reach as much of the Brazilian population as possible–an estimated 90 per cent of the public. Carlos Arthur Nuzman, Rio 2016 President, said, “We want to show the world the chemistry that we believe will be born when the Olympic Flame meets the warmth of the Brazilian people.”

The torch relay will end on August 5th, when it will light the Olympic Cauldron at Maracana Stadium during the Opening Ceremony. The relay will last between 90 and 100 days, allowing for technical breaks or special photo events.

The Olympic torch relay creates excitement for the upcoming Games and allows the citizens of the host country to participate in the festivities. Here are some photos of past Olympic torches and relays:

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The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games torch, held by Prince Albert II of Monaco (L) with Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) (Photo by SERGEI CHIRIKOV/AFP/Getty Images)
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The London 2012 Summer Olympics torch, held by LOCOG Chair and former Olympian Lord Sebastian Coe. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
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The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics torch, held by Jean Toussignant, one of the members of the assembly team from Bombardier. (Photo by ROGERIO BARBOSA/AFP/Getty Images)
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The Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics torch. (Photo by Osports/Getty Images)
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The Turin 2006 Winter Olympics torch, held by TOROC president Valentino Castellani. (Photo by ROBERTO BARRETTI/AFP/Getty Images)
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The 2004 Athens Summer Olympics torch relay on June 7, 2004 in Seoul, Korea. The Olympic Flame travels to 34 cities in 27 countries en route to the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
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The 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics torch, held by Lance Armstrong. (Photo by TODD WARSHAW/AFP/Getty Images)
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The 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics torch, carried by Olympic decathalete Rafer Johnson. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Allspo)

 

Michael Phelps potential record chases at Rio Olympics

Valencia Marathon produces historic times in men’s, women’s races

2022 Valencia Marathon
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Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum and Ethiopian Amane Beriso won the Valencia Marathon and became the third-fastest man and woman in history, respectively.

Kiptum, a 23-year-old in his marathon debut, won the men’s race in 2 hours, 1 minute, 53 seconds. The only men to ever run faster over 26.2 miles are legends: Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge (2:01:09 world record, plus a 2:01:39) and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele (2:01:41).

Kipchoge made his marathon debut at age 28, and Bekele at 31.

Beriso, a 31-year-old whose personal best was 2:20:48 from January 2016, stunned the women’s field Sunday by running 2:14:58. The only women to have run faster: Kenyans Brigid Kosgei (2:14:04) and Ruth Chepngetich (2:14:18).

Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey finished second in 2:16:49, the fastest-ever time for a woman in her marathon debut. Gidey is the world record holder at 5000m and 10,000m.

Valencia is arguably the top annual marathon outside of the six World Marathon Majors. The next major marathon is Tokyo on March 5.

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Aleksander Aamodt Kilde wins Beaver Creek downhill

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BEAVER CREEK, Colo. — Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde won his second straight World Cup downhill race to start the season, despite feeling under the weather.

Although dealing with an illness all week in training, Kilde powered through the challenging Birds of Prey course Saturday in a time of 1 minute, 42.09 seconds. It was enough to hold off Marco Odermatt of Switzerland by 0.06 seconds. James Crawford of Canada was third to earn his second career World Cup podium finish.

Kilde also won the opening downhill last weekend in Lake Louise, Alberta.

“It’s been a tough week,” Kilde said after the race. “I caught the flu in Lake Louise after a very, very nice weekend. It really hit me hard. Then I got a couple of days to rest and take it easy. … I felt OK. Still feeling it a little bit in my system.”

The Beaver Creek crew members had the course in solid shape a day after a downhill race was canceled due to high wind and snowfall.

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Kilde reached speeds around 75 mph in picking up his eighth World Cup downhill victory. That tied him with Kjetil Jansrud for the third-most downhill wins in the World Cup discipline among Norwegian men. The total trails only Aksel Lund Svindal (14) and Lasse Kjus (10).

“I found a really, really good set-up with my equipment and also with my skiing,” Kilde explained. “I believe in myself. I trust in myself. I have a good game plan. When I stand on the start, I don’t dwell on anything. I know that this plan is what I do and when I do that it’s going to be fast.”

Odermatt has been on the podium in all four World Cup races this season as he tries to defend his overall World Cup title. The 25-year-old finished third in the opening downhill of the season last weekend. He’s also won a giant slalom race and a super-G.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle wound up in seventh place for the top American finish. He was ninth in the downhill in Lake Louise.

“It’s been solid,” Cochran-Siegle said of his strides in the discipline. “A couple of little things here and there that pushed me off that top three. You have to ski with a lot of intensity and ski without abandon, in a sense. Today was a good step.”

Switzerland’s Beat Feuz, who won the Olympic downhill gold medal at the Beijing Games last February, tied for ninth.

The Beaver Creek stop on the circuit comes to a close Sunday with a super-G race. Odermatt will be the favorite after holding off Kilde in the opening super-G last weekend.

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