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LA 2024

LA 2024 Olympic bid details, venue plans updated

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Los Angeles 2024 published its updated Olympic bid strategy and concept plan on Tuesday, the file it’s required to (and did) submit to the International Olympic Committee by Wednesday.

Two key numbers were published in the bid book — the 81 percent of Los Angeles residents who support hosting the Olympics, according to an August poll, and the 97 percent of venues that already exist, are planned as permanent venues by private investors or will be temporary facilities.

The proposed dates of the Olympics remain unchanged from last summer’s bid announcement — July 19-Aug. 4, the same dates as the Atlanta 1996 Olympics and the failed Boston 2024 bid.

A difference from last year’s bid book is a trimming of venue clusters from five to four (consolidating the Hollywood cluster), plus several sports venue changes (most notably gymnastics moving from Staples Center to the Forum).

Baseball and softball, proposed to be included in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, were mentioned in the previous bid book as being played at Dodger Stadium if they were in the 2024 Olympic program. Neither sport is mentioned in the new bid book.

There’s been a tweak to basketball. In the original bid book, preliminary basketball games were slated for UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion and finals at Staples Center. Later in October, LA 2024 bid chairman Casey Wasserman said other California venues could hold basketball games.

Now, Staples Center is the only listed basketball venue.

The to-be-constructed Los Angeles Rams stadium could also be part of the LA 2024 plan.

“Over the coming months LA 2024 will work with the stadium owner to further explore these opportunities,” Tuesday’s bid book said.

Also, preliminary soccer matches will be held across the U.S., but the Rose Bowl remains a soccer venue, according to the new bid book.

The four clusters in the new bid book:

Downtown Cluster
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Track and Field)
New MLS Stadium (Diving, Swimming, Synchronized Swimming)
Staples Center (Basketball)
Los Angeles Convention Center (Boxing, Fencing, Handball, Judo, Table Tennis, Wrestling)
USC’s Galen Center (Badminton, Taekwondo)
Microsoft Theater (Weightlifting)
Also: Archery, Road Cycling, Marathon, Race Walk

Valley Cluster
Sepulveda Basin (Canoe Slalom, Equestrian, Modern Pentathlon, Shooting)

Coastal Cluster
Santa Monica Beach (Beach Volleyball, Open-Water Swimming, Triathlon)
UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion (Volleyball)
UCLA’s North Athletic Fields (Field Hockey)
UCLA’s Los Angeles Tennis Center (Water Polo)

South Bay Cluster
StubHub Center Soccer Stadium (Rugby)
Tennis Stadium (Tennis)
VELO Sports Center (Track Cycling)
Also: BMX

Other Venues
The Forum (Gymnastics)
Rose Bowl (Soccer)
Wilson Golf Course (Golf)
LA Waterfront (Sailing)
Lake Casitas (Rowing, Canoe/Kayak)
Santa Monica Mountains (Mountain Bike)

MORE: 2024 Olympic bidding coverage

Alex Zanardi, auto racer turned Paralympic champion, has 5-hour surgery to rebuild face after crash

Alex Zanardi
AP
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SIENA, Italy (AP) — Italian auto racing champion-turned-Paralympic gold medalist Alex Zanardi underwent a five-hour surgery Monday to reconstruct his face following a crash on his handbike last month.

It was the third major operation that Zanardi has had since he crashed into an oncoming truck near the Tuscan town of Pienza on June 19 during a relay event.

Dr. Paolo Gennaro of Santa Maria alle Scotte Hospital in Siena said the operation required three-dimensional digital and computerized technology that was “made to measure” for Zanardi.

“The complexity of the case was fairly unique, although this is a type of fracture that we deal with routinely,” Gennaro said in a hospital statement.

After the surgery, Zanardi was returned to the intensive care unit in a medically induced coma.

“His condition remains stable in terms of his cardio-respiratory status and grave in terms of his neurological status,” the hospital medical bulletin read.

The 53-year-old Zanardi, who lost both of his legs in an auto racing crash nearly 20 years ago, has been on a ventilator since the crash.

Zanardi suffered serious facial and cranial trauma, and doctors have warned of possible brain damage.

Zanardi won four gold medals and two silvers at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics. He also competed in the New York City Marathon and set an Ironman record in his class.

Last month, Pope Francis penned a handwritten letter of encouragement assuring Zanardi and his family of his prayers. The pope praised Zanardi as an example of strength amid adversity.

Shawn Johnson East shares struggles with body image, prescription drugs

Shawn Johnson
Getty Images
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Shawn Johnson East, a 2008 Olympic gymnastics champion, detailed past struggles with body image and prescription drugs and reflected on her eating disorder as an elite athlete, to show there is hope to others in difficult situations.

“It all started with pregnancy and having my daughter,” East, who had daughter Drew in October, said on TODAY on Monday. “I had so many people asking me questions about how did pregnancy affect you mentally and how did you get your body back after having your daughter. I couldn’t answer that without giving a greater and a larger story.”

East first went public about her undiagnosed teenage eating disorders in 2015, three years after retiring from the sport. She said she limited herself to 700 calories per day and didn’t tell her parents.

In a June YouTube video, Johnson said she also binged and purged, including while dating future husband Andrew in the mid-2010s. And that she had depression and anxiety in 2011, when she returned to competition for the first time since the Beijing Games.

“I thought it would fix all of my problems,” East said of returning to gymnastics for a 2012 Olympic bid.

When East won “Dancing with the Stars” in 2009, she “hit a very low spot” going through puberty on national TV. She said she gained 15 pounds after the 2008 Olympics and started taking medications and drugs “to look like I did at the Olympics.” It included fad diets, diuretics and a three-week stretch of eating nothing but raw vegetables.

“Most pain of my entire life because I couldn’t digest anything,” she said.

At some point in 2011, East began feeling burned out. She was back to eating too few calories and overtraining. An unnamed USA Gymnastics doctor prescribed her Adderall “to lose more weight, have more energy and be more successful in gymnastics.” She took “heavy doses.”

“It helped my performances, but there were massive consequences to it,” she said. “I continued to compete into 2012, where I just started to get depressed.

“I was overdosing on Adderall. I was overdosing on any medication that wouldn’t be caught by USADA.”

Adderall was a banned substance in competition without a therapeutic use exemption, but was legal outside of competition.

“I was so controlled by other people’s opinions that I wouldn’t live up to that Olympic standard that I did anything to get it back and I could never have it back,” East said. “I didn’t learn that until later on.”

East’s mental hurdles re-emerged when she had a miscarriage in 2017. She blamed herself, believing her unhealthy lifestyle in the past was a contributor.

“Our natural inclination is to say, what did I do? And what did I do wrong?” she said. “It haunted me. I felt like I had sacrificed everything for an Olympic medal to not actually get the dream I had wanted my entire life [to have a child].”

With the help of a nutritionist and therapist and her husband, she conquered the demons through her 2019 pregnancy and childbirth.

“Having gone through a whole pregnancy and knowing that I felt confident through the whole thing, I feel like I’ve climbed Everest,” she said.

MORE: Why Nastia Liukin, Shawn Johnson went 8 years without talking

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