Bruce Jenner’s Olympic Torch going up for auction

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Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner, now known as Caitlyn, played a small part in the 1984 Summer Olympic torch relay, carrying the flame for about 1,000 meters in Tahoe, Nevada. The philanthropist who coordinated Jenner’s participation in the race will likely see a big pay-off when Jenner’s torch goes up for auction at the end of the month.

The torch, the first significant piece of memorabilia to be auctioned off since the iconic decathlete transitioned to Caitlyn Jenner, is expected to sell for $20,000 or more.

The hotel casino Caesars Tahoe sponsored about 31 miles of the Nevada leg of the Olympic torch’s journey to the Los Angeles Summer Games in 1984. The AP reports that Bob Lorsch, the seller of the torch, said, “Caesars saw it as a tremendous opportunity … to do something more special, never realizing that we would be creating what is truly a piece of history that originated as a piece of sports history, then evolved as a piece of entertainment history through the Kardashian legacy and becoming a cultural phenomenon through the transition to Caitlyn.”

The relay was run from May 7th to July 28th, 1984 and passed through 33 states. It covered a distance of 9,300 miles, then the longest ever. The final torchbearer was another decathlete turned Hollywood star, Rafer Johnson. Johnson won gold at the 1960 Rome Olympics and went on to appear in a number of films, including two Tarzan movies and the James Bond film License to Kill.

The torch will go up for auction on July 30th at the Platinum Night Sports Auction in Chicago.

Four days before, Jenner’s documentary series “I Am Cait” will debut on E! Entertainment. The series will follow Jenner, who won gold at the 1976 Montreal Games, as she transitions from a man to a woman.

Rio 2016 Olympic torch unveiled

Swimming short-course records in peril as FINA recognizes ISL times

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In the debut season of the International Swimming League, six U.S. short-course records have fallen. USA Swimming has recognized the new circuit’s times from the outset.

International body FINA, which at first threatened to ban swimmers who participated in the ISL and then said it would not recognize records from the team-based league, which debuted in October and will hold its first final meet Dec. 20-21 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, is now recognizing those times, and the effects on its statistics have been drastic.

MORE: Ledecky sets U.S. record in ISL debut

This morning, a downloaded list of the top times in the world this year included no ISL times. By the afternoon, times from the ISL’s meet over the weekend in College Park, Md., accounted for most of the times on the lists, including the top 10 in the women’s 50m freestyle and women’s 100m freestyle.

So far, the ISL hasn’t figured into the top five on many all-time FINA lists. But the best short-course times are typically posted near the end of the year, and the ISL has two meets remaining.

The U.S. record book has already changed. In October, Katie Ledecky set the 400m freestyle record (3:54.06) and Melanie Margalis set the 200m medley mark (2:04.18).

In College Park this weekend, Margalis also set the U.S. 400m medley record (4:24.46) and Ian Finnerty set two records the 50m breaststroke (25.99), with runner-up Michael Andrew also beating the previous record, and the 100m breaststroke (56.29). Also, Caeleb Dressel set the 50m butterfly record (22.21).

Only half of the swimmers in the ISL will advance to the final, and qualification isn’t necessarily in their hands. After the College Park meet, the Cali Condors and LA Current clinched spots in Las Vegas. That’s bad news for Andrew (New York Breakers), Finnerty (DC Trident) and Ledecky (DC Trident).

Dressel, Margalis and Lilly King — all representing the Condors — will have another shot at records in Vegas. 

FINA, as usual, is running its World Cup circuit during the fall and early winter, and some swimmers — including overall World Cup champions Vladimir Morozov and Cate Campbell — are pulling double duty between the World Cup and ISL.

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IOC announces deal with Airbnb to add housing for future Olympics

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The International Olympic Committee has moved to help with the scramble to house the influx of athletes, staff and spectators with each Olympics, making a deal with online housing broker Airbnb to add accommodations for the Games through 2028.

“The agreement includes accommodation provisions that will reduce costs for Olympic Games organizers and stakeholders, minimize the need for construction of new accommodation infrastructure for the Olympic Games period, and generate direct revenue for local hosts and communities,” the IOC announced.

Airbnb’s partnership also includes accommodation for disability athletes for the Paralympic Games, and the company will join large global companies such as Coca-Cola, Visa and Panasonic as worldwide Olympic partners.

Athletes also will have a chance to make money by hosting travelers.

“As an Olympian host, you can create and lead an experience inspired by your expertise and interests,” reads an explanation on the Olympic athlete support portal Athlete365.

Outside the Olympics and Olympic athlete experiences, the IOC and Airbnb are pledging to work together on long-term support to refugees.

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