Cam F. Awesome among U.S. Olympic boxing trials winners

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Heavyweight Cam F. Awesome was among nine men’s boxers to move closer to Rio Olympic berths by winning the U.S. Olympic trials in Reno, Nev., over the weekend.

Awesome and a group that includes 2014 Youth Olympic champion Shakur Stevenson can clinch spots at the Rio Games via results at international tournaments next year. The first opportunity is in March in Buenos Aires.

They hope to join the lone U.S. boxer already qualified for the Olympics, lightweight Carlos Balderas. All potential 2016 U.S. Olympic men’s boxers would be first-time Olympians.

In 2012, U.S. men’s boxers failed to win a medal for the first time in Olympic history.

The vegan Awesome, 27, won the Olympic trials four years ago as Lenroy “Cam” Thompson in the super heavyweight category but received a one-year doping ban in February 2012 not for failing drug tests, but for missing three out-of-competition drug tests.

He then changed his name — “because I am an entertainer,” and the F stands for “whatever you want it” — and, after reportedly ballooning to 270 pounds, shed 70 pounds to compete in the heavyweight division.

“I’m trying not to cry,” Awesome, who calls himself the Taylor Swift of boxing on his Twitter profile, said after winning Saturday night, according to USA Boxing. “It’s a long road and a very emotional week. I felt like I held myself together long enough that I can go cry now.”

Here’s the full list of U.S. Olympic men’s boxing trials winners:

108 lbs: Nico Hernandez
114 lbs: Antonio Vargas
123 lbs: Shakur Stevenson
141 lbs: Gary Russell
152 lbs: Paul Kroll
165 lbs: Charles Conwell
178 lbs: Jonathan Esquivel
201 lbs: Cam F. Awesome
201+ lbs: Marlo Moore

MORE BOXING: Marlen Esparza posts tearful videos after missing Olympic team

Breanna Stewart to miss entire WNBA season with Achilles injury

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Breanna Stewart, the world’s top female basketball player and one of the most dominant athletes of 2018, is expected to miss the entire upcoming WNBA season after rupturing an Achilles playing in Europe on Sunday, according to the Seattle Storm.

“The situation is still a shock to me,” was posted on Stewart’s social media. “I’m feeling every emotion possible at this point but just know that the bounce back will be real and I’ll be back better than ever.”

Stewart, 24, skyrocketed in this Olympic cycle.

The Storm’s franchise player went from playing the second-fewest minutes on the 2016 Olympic team as its youngest player to leading the U.S. per game in points (16.3) and minutes (27) at the 2018 World Championship tournament.

Stewart earned MVP honors at worlds, matching her WNBA season and Finals honors. She became the first player to earn all three MVPs in one year.

Stewart is still expected to be in play for the 2020 Olympic team, given the Storm expect her to make a full recovery by the start of the following WNBA season next spring.

Tamika Catchings made the 2008 Olympic team after tearing her right Achilles in September 2007.

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Caster Semenya leads Olympians in Time 100; streak hits 16 years

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An Olympian has made the Time 100 Most Influential list every year since its annual inception in 2004. South African runner Caster Semenya, soccer players Alex Morgan and Mo Salah and LeBron James kept the streak going in 2019.

It’s the fourth appearance for James (2005, 2013, 2017), extending his record for an athlete, and the first for Semenya, Morgan and Salah. Semenya made it in the “icons” category, while the other three are “titans.”

Two-time Olympic 400m hurdles champion Edwin Moses penned an essay about the two-time Olympic 800m champion Semenya, who is fighting a legal battle with the IAAF over a potential rule change limiting women’s testosterone levels in her events. If the rule goes into effect, Semenya’s dominance (three years undefeated at 800m) is expected to vanish.

“Caster Semenya has taught us that sex isn’t always binary, and caused us to question the justness of distributing societal benefits according to “male” and “female” classifications,” Moses wrote. “Ultimately, this incredibly difficult issue is a political one for sport to resolve. But however it is addressed, Semenya will have already made a singular historical contribution to our understanding of biological sex.”

Here are Olympians and Paralympians on past Time 100 lists, counting only athletes who competed in the Games before being listed:

2018 — Kevin Durant, Roger Federer, Chloe Kim, Adam Rippon
2017 — Simone Biles, LeBron James, Neymar
2016 — Usain BoltCaitlyn JennerKatie LedeckySania MirzaRonda Rousey
2015 — Abby Wambach
2014 — Cristiano Ronaldo, Serena Williams
2013 — LeBron James, Li Na, Lindsey Vonn
2012 — Novak DjokovicLionel MessiOscar Pistorius
2011 — Lionel Messi
2010 — Yuna KimSerena Williams
2009 — Rafael Nadal
2008 — Andre Agassi, Lance Armstrong, Oscar Pistorius
2007 — Roger FedererChien Ming-Wang
2006 — Joey CheekSteve Nash
2005 — LeBron James
2004 — Lance Armstrong, Paula Radcliffe, Yao Ming
2000 (20th Century) — Muhammad Ali

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