Carlos Balderas
Jose Balderas

First boxer named to 2016 U.S. Olympic team

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Lightweight Carlos Balderas became the first member of the 2016 U.S. Olympic boxing team, it was announced Monday.

“We’ve been climbing up the ranks, and it’s a wonderful feeling because I remember when I told my dad [that I was going to the Olympics], and my dad got emotional,” Balderas said, according to USA Boxing. “My dad teared up. As a kid, you are set to so many standards and you’re told that you’re not good enough for this. You’re only capable of a certain amount of things, and I’ve proved to a lot of people that with God, anything is possible.”

Balderas, 19, qualified via his finish in the World Series of Boxing this past season and the finishes of those ranked ahead of him at the World Championships in October. Balderas lost in the Pan American Games quarterfinals in July.

U.S. men’s boxers were shut out of the medals at London 2012 for the first time at an Olympics (excluding the boycotted Moscow 1980 Games). Boxing debuted at the St. Louis 1904 Olympics.

Balderas first saw a boxing gym at age 7, for punishment.

“I was getting in to the fights and getting into trouble, and so they took me to the boxing gym so another kid could whoop on me and straighten me out,” Balderas said, according to USA Boxing. “The other kid actually had some experience, and it was my first time in a boxing gym, but it actually went the other way around. They asked if I had boxed before, and I told them that I hadn’t, and we realized that I just a natural-born fighter.”

The U.S. Olympic men’s boxing trials are Dec. 7-12 in Reno, Nev. The winners there must qualify the U.S. spots in the Olympics at international qualifiers next year.

The three women’s trials winners — Olympic champion Claressa ShieldsMikaela Mayer and Ginny Fuchs — must also qualify the U.S. spots before the August Olympics next year.

MORE BOXING: Marlen Esparza posts tearful videos after losing at trials


Athletes qualified for 2016 U.S. Olympic team
Haley Anderson (Swimming) — @SwimHaley
Carlos Balderas (Boxing)
Morgan Craft (Shooting) — @morgancraft25
Glenn Eller (Shooting) — @wgeller3
Matthew Emmons (Shooting) — @mattemmonsusa
Vincent Hancock (Shooting) — @vincent_hancock
Gwen Jorgensen (Triathlon) – @gwenjorgensen
Michael McPhail (Shooting) —
Sean Ryan (Swimming) — @seanryan92
Keith Sanderson (Shooting)
Nathan Schrimsher (Modern Pentathlon) — @pentnate5
Sarah True (Triathlon) — @sgroffy
Jordan Wilimovsky (Swimming) — @j_wilimovsky
Jennifer Wu (Table Tennis)

IOC group proposes Olympic ‘host’ can be multiple countries

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International Olympic Committee members will decide next month whether to tweak the definition of an Olympic host to make it clear that it does not necessarily refer to a single city but can also mean multiple cities, regions and even countries, IOC President Thomas Bach said Wednesday.

“It’s not an encouragement to spread the Games out as much as possible,” Bach said in announcing the IOC’s executive board approved the measure. “It may be preferable to have a region as a signatory or an additional signatory of the host city contract rather than just a city, and therefore, we wanted to enjoy this flexibility. This, on the other hand, does not change our vision, our request and our focus on having not only an Olympic Village, but to have an Olympic center.”

It’s one of six proposed changes by a working group chaired by Australian IOC member John Coates to examine the bid process. Another is to make the timing of Olympic host city elections more flexible. Typically, hosts are elected seven years before the Games, though two years ago an exception was made in the double awarding of the 2024 and 2028 Games to Paris and Los Angeles.

Bach repeated that the proposals are “to avoid producing too many losers as we had it in the past candidature procedures.”

The IOC previously said in 2014, in announcing Agenda 2020, that it “will allow events held outside the host city or, in exceptional cases, outside the host country, notably for reasons of geography and sustainability.”

This shift manifests in Stockholm’s 2026 Winter Olympic bid plan to have sliding sports in Sigulda, Latvia, home of the nearest existing track for bobsled, luge and skeleton, rather than building a costly new track in Sweden.

IOC members will vote to choose the 2026 Winter Games host next month. The finalists are Stockholm and a joint Italian bid of Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, after five other potential candidates were dropped for various reasons.

There is precedent for events held far from the Olympic host city. In 1956, Melbourne held the Summer Games and had equestrian events in Stockholm due to quarantine laws in Australia. Similarly, equestrian at the 2008 Beijing Games was held in Hong Kong.

Soccer matches are often held in cities across the host country. Recent Winter Olympics have had mountain events in a different city or area than arena events.

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IOC board recommends AIBA suspension, boxing stays in Olympics

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The International Olympic Committee executive board recommended that AIBA has its recognition as boxing’s international federation suspended but that the sport remains on the Olympic program at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

An IOC decision on the recommendation will be made next month. The IOC created a group to organize 2020 Olympic boxing qualifying and competition if AIBA will not be allowed to run it.

“We want to ensure that the athletes can live their dream and participate in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 while drawing the necessary consequences for AIBA,” IOC president Thomas Bach said in a press release. “At the same time, we offer a pathway back to lifting the suspension, but there needs to be further fundamental change.”

The IOC said in October that boxing’s place in the Olympics was “under threat” after being introduced at the 1904 St. Louis Games and held at every Games since except Stockholm 1912.

In November, the IOC ordered an inquiry into AIBA, which has been in financial turmoil, faced claims of fixed bouts at the Rio Games and elected a president linked to organized crime.

That president, Uzbek Gafur Rakhimov, stepped aside in March to let an interim leader take charge but said he was not resigning. Rakhimov is on a U.S. Treasury Department sanctions list for suspected links to an organized crime group in former Soviet Union republics involved in heroin trafficking. He denies any wrongdoing.

“Serious governance issues remain, including breaches of the Olympic Charter and the IOC Code of Ethics regarding good governance and ethics, leading to serious reputational, legal and financial risks for the IOC, the Olympic Movement and its stakeholders,” the inquiry committee concluded. “AIBA has been unable to demonstrate a sustainable and fair management of refereeing and judging processes and decisions, increasing the lack of confidence that athletes can have in fair competitions.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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