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

Eliud Kipchoge sets next marathon

Eliud Kipchoge
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Eliud Kipchoge will race the London Marathon on April 26 before he is expected to defend his Olympic title in Japan on Aug. 9, which would mark the shortest break between marathons of his career.

Kipchoge, who in his last 26.2-mile effort became the first person to break two hours at the distance, won all four of his London Marathon starts, including breaking the course record in 2016 and 2019.

His time this past April 28 — 2:02:37 — is the third-fastest time in history. Kipchoge has the world record of 2:01:39 set at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. His sub-two-hour marathon in Vienna on Oct. 12 was not in a record-eligible race.

Kipchoge’s previous shortest break between marathons came in 2016, when he also ran London and the Olympics. The Olympics will be two weeks earlier in 2020 than in 2016.

Kipchoge, 35, has won 11 of 12 marathons since moving to road racing after failing to make Kenya’s 2012 Olympic track team.

He has yet to race the two most prestigious marathons in the U.S. — Boston and New York City — but has said they are on his bucket list.

MORE: Eliud Kipchoge opines on shoe technology debate

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Canadians become first female doubles luge team in World Cup

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WHISTLER, British Columbia (AP) — Caitlin Nash and Natalie Corless made luge history Saturday, becoming the first female team to compete in a World Cup doubles race.

The 16-year-olds from Whistler combined to finish 22nd in a field of 23 sleds, though that seemed largely irrelevant. There have been four-woman teams in what is typically called four-man bobsledding, but luge has never seen a pairing like this until now.

The German sled of Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken won the race in 1 minute, 16.644 seconds. Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt finished second and the Russian team of Vsevolod Kashkin and Konstantin Korshunov placed third for their first medal of the season.

The U.S. team of Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman placed 11th.

But the story was the Canadian teens, who qualified for the World Cup event on Thursday. They were nearly a half-second behind any other finisher and almost 2.7 seconds back of Eggert and Benecken. But they’ll forever be able to say that they were winning the race at one point — a technicality because they were the first ones down the hill at the Whistler Sliding Center, but accurate nonetheless.

The only sled they beat was the Italian team of Ivan Nagler and Fabian Malleier, who crashed in the second heat.

There are women’s singles and men’s singles races on the World Cup luge circuit, but there is no rule saying doubles teams must be composed of two men. There have been more female doubles racers at the junior level in recent years, and it was generally considered to be just a matter of time before it happened at the World Cup level.

That time became Saturday.

Canada had the chance to qualify a second sled into the doubles field because some teams typically on the circuit chose to skip this weekend’s stop, and Nash and Corless got into by successfully finishing a Nations Cup qualifying race on Thursday.

They were 11th in that race out of 11 sleds, more than a full second behind the winner and nearly a half-second behind the closest finisher. But all they had to do was cross the line without crashing to get into Saturday’s competition, and earned their spot in the luge history books as a result.

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