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

Serena Williams battles, then rolls into French Open second round

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Serena Williams overcame early struggles, sweeping past countrywoman Kristie Ahn 7-6 (2), 6-0 to reach the French Open second round.

Williams, again eyeing a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title, started out like somebody who went 16 months between clay-court matches. She needed 74 minutes to take the first set from the 102nd-ranked Ahn, recovering twice after having her serve broken.

She dominated the second set in 27 minutes, advancing to play Bulgarian and fellow mom Tsvetana Pironkova, a rematch of their three-set U.S. Open quarterfinal three weeks ago.

Williams, in long sleeves and tights, had 15 winners to 28 unforced errors in the first set in cloudy, sub-60-degree weather on Monday.

“I hate the cold. I’m from L.A. and I live in Florida,” Williams said before the tournament, which was postponed from its usual May/June slot due to the coronavirus pandemic. “For half my life I’ve never seen snow. Cold weather and me do not mix.”

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

Williams also noted before the tournament that she was “not at 100 percent physically” and spent most of her time in France “rehabbing” without giving specifics. She took a medical timeout with a left Achilles injury in her last match, a U.S. Open semifinal loss to Victoria Azarenka,

“I wouldn’t be playing if I didn’t think I could perform,” Williams said Saturday. “I don’t know any athlete that ever plays physically when they’re feeling perfect. That’s just something I think as athletes we have to play with.”

Earlier Monday, newly crowned U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem rolled 2014 U.S. Open winner Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.

Thiem, the 2018 and 2019 French Open runner-up, next gets American Jack Sock, a former top-10 player now ranked No. 310. Sock took out countryman Reilly Opelka 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 for his first main draw win at the French Open in four years.

Rafael Nadal begins his quest for a record-extending 13th French Open title and male record-tying 20th Grand Slam singles title later Monday.

The French Open first round concludes Tuesday with top-ranked Novak Djokovic in action.

MORE: Halep, Comaneci and the genesis of a Romanian friendship

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Tokyo Olympic torch relay sets date to resume

Tokyo Olympic Torch Relay
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The Tokyo Olympic torch relay will resume on March 25 and follow its originally planned route and schedule, starting in the Fukushima Prefecture.

Organizers are discussing torch relay modifications given the coronavirus pandemic. Possible changes include the number of officials and staff involved and reducing the size of vehicle convoys.

As it stands, the relay will visit all 47 prefectures of Japan with emphasis on the area affected by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

With the motto “Hope Lights Our Way,” it will visit the three prefectures most affected by the tsunami and earthquake (Fukushima (March 25-27), Iwate (June 16-18) and Miyagi (June 19-21)) for three days each.

The relay leads up to the Opening Ceremony on July 23.

The torch relay originally began last March 12 in Olympia. The Greek portion of the relay, originally scheduled for eight days, was called off on March 13 due to the pandemic after actor Gerard Butler was among the torch bearers in Sparta.

An unexpectedly large crowd gathered in Sparta despite recommendations to the public not to focus on the ceremony.

The flame remained in Greece until it was flown to Japan as scheduled on March 20.

On March 24, it was announced the Tokyo Games were postponed to 2021. The Japan portion of the torch relay was suspended, too, two days before it was to start.

MORE: USA Swimming updates 2020 competition schedule

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