Kanak Jha
ITTF

Kanak Jha is first U.S. athlete born in 2000s to qualify for Olympics

Leave a comment

Table tennis player Kanak Jha will go down in history as the first American born in the 2000s to make an Olympic team.

Jha, born on June 19, 2000, qualified for the Rio Games by reaching the finals on the third and last day of a North American Olympic qualifying tournament in Markham, Ontario, on Sunday.

Jha will face 2012 Olympian Timothy Wang in the finals, but both have clinched Olympic berths. They join the already-qualified Yijun Feng to make up the three-man U.S. Olympic table tennis team.

A U.S. table tennis player has never advanced past the quarterfinals of an Olympic tournament.

Jha, of San Jose, Calif., is one of more than 80 athletes who have qualified for the 2016 U.S. Olympic team. The complete list of qualifiers is updated regularly here.

Other Americans born in the 2000s who could make the Rio Olympic team include gymnasts Laurie Hernandez and Ragan Smith and swimmer Reece Whitley.

At Sochi 2014, the youngest U.S. Olympic qualifier was slopestyle skier Maggie Voisin, who was born Dec. 14, 1998, but did not compete in Russia due to injury.

At London 2012, the youngest U.S. Olympic competitor was swimmer Katie Ledecky, who was born March 17, 1997.

Before Sunday, the youngest American to qualify for Rio was boxer Charles Conwell, born Nov. 2, 1997.

MORE: Lily Zhang makes second Olympic table tennis team

Adam Rippon’s Olympic medal is stained

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Olympians and Paralympians lose medals. They ding and dent them. Even melt them. Then there’s the unique case of figure skater Adam Rippon.

“Mine actually has barbecue sauce on it,” Rippon told Variety of his PyeongChang team event bronze medal, “because I did an interview, and somebody was cooking at the same time, and they’re like, ‘Come over here.’ I went over there, and I have, like, barbecue sauce on it.”

It may have occurred in PyeongChang, where Rippon appeared on a TODAY cooking segment and ate Korean fried chicken.

Rippon told the story while sitting next to Olympic champion Alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin, who rightly asked if the stain was not on the medal, but on the ribbon.

“No, on the medal part,” Rippon answered, “but it’s in a groove. It’s stuck there forever.”

Shaun White‘s mom once took his medal to a dry cleaners. A Florida jeweler has repaired Summer and Winter Olympic medals. Rippon has the option of getting his finely cleaned.

“You know what, I’m going to keep it there,” he said.

“It adds character,” Shiffrin said.

“And flavor,” Rippon said. “It’s barbecue flavored.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Adam Rippon opines on figure skating future

Alex Naddour, Olympic bronze medalist, banned by USA Gymnastics

AP
Leave a comment

Alex Naddour, the 2016 Olympic pommel horse bronze medalist, has been banned by USA Gymnastics.

Naddour’s suspension was on grounds relating to two USA Gymnastics bylaws, including one regarding allegations of sexual misconduct and the other on interim measures before complaints are resolved, but neither the gymnast nor USA Gymnastics said why he was suspended.

According to his Twitter, Naddour was trying to contact the U.S. Center for SafeSport, which responds to reports of sexual misconduct within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movements.

“I have no idea what is happening or why, we are trying to contact safe sport for any information,” was tweeted from Naddour’s account Wednesday night. Naddour did not return messages seeking comment.

“USA Gymnastics cannot comment publicly on membership matters unless an action taken involves a public result, such as being placed on the list of individuals whose membership is suspended or who is permanently ineligible for membership,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement. “The U.S. Center for SafeSport has the exclusive authority to handle sexual misconduct matters for the entire U.S. Olympic movement (including gymnastics).”

Naddour, 27, also competed at the last five world championships, in addition to being an alternate for the 2012 Olympic team. He is married to two-time 2003 World champion Hollie Vise, and they have two children.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Ex-USA Gymnastics CEO refuses to answer questions on sex abuse scandal