Olympic, Paralympic medals for Rio Games unveiled

Rio Olympic medals
Rio 2016

Fifty-two days out from the Opening Ceremony, the Rio Olympic and Paralympic medals have been unveiled. The 4,924 award medals and 75,000 participation medals were designed by the Brazilian Mint.

They were displayed for the first time Tuesday in an event attended by IOC president Thomas Bach, who is in Brazil this week to look over Olympic preparations.

Check them out:

The gold medals are free of mercury and produced with strict sustainability criteria, according to Rio 2016. And 30 percent of the silver and bronze medals come from recycled materials. Half of the colorful ribbon for each medal was made from recycled plastic bottles.

Surrounding the Rio 2016 logo on the front of the medals are laurel leaves, representing the link between nature and Olympians. The back side follows the Olympic tradition of featuring an image of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, as well as Panathinaiko Stadium and the Acropolis. Event names and sports are displayed on the edge of the medals.

The Paralympic medals, meanwhile, will have a tiny, noise-making device inside that sounds off when the medal is shaken. This allows visually-impaired athletes to know if they are gold (which makes the loudest noise), silver or bronze (the lowest noise). “Rio 2016” is also etched on in braille.

Additionally, Rio officials unveiled the design of the podiums to be used at the Olympics and Paralympics. They’ll feature plants to celebrate the tropical nature of Brazil, and are made out of wood so they can be reused as furniture after the Games.

This is the closest date to the Opening Ceremony that Olympic medals have been unveiled since 2000, and two days earlier than the 50-days-out mark – June 16 – originally announced.

Eliud Kipchoge, two races shy of his target, to make Boston Marathon debut

Eliud Kipchoge Berlin Marathon

World record holder Eliud Kipchoge will race the Boston Marathon for the first time on April 17.

Kipchoge, who at September’s Berlin Marathon lowered his world record by 30 seconds to 2:01:09, has won four of the six annual major marathons — Berlin, Tokyo, London and Chicago.

The 38-year-old Kenyan has never raced Boston, the world’s oldest annual marathon dating to 1897, nor New York City but has repeated in recent years a desire to enter both of them.

Typically, he has run the London Marathon in the spring and the Berlin Marathon in the fall.

Kipchoge’s last race in the U.S. was the 2014 Chicago Marathon, his second of 10 consecutive marathon victories from 2014 through 2019.

He can become the first reigning men’s marathon world record holder to finish the Boston Marathon since South Korean Suh Yun-Bok set a world record of 2:25:39 in Boston in 1947, according to the Boston Athletic Association.

In 2024 in Paris, Kipchoge is expected to race the Olympic marathon and bid to become the first person to win three gold medals in that event.

The Boston Marathon field also includes arguably the second- and third-best men in the world right now — Kipchoge’s Kenyan training partners Evans Chebet and Benson Kipruto. Chebet won Boston and New York City this year. Kipruto won Boston last year and Chicago this year.

American Des Linden, who won Boston in 2018, headlines the women’s field.

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2024 Tour de France to end with Nice time trial due to Paris Olympics

2024 Tour de France Nice

The 2024 Tour de France will end on the French Riviera instead of the French capital because of the Paris Olympics.

The finish of cycling’s marquee race leaves Paris for the first time since 1905.

Tour organizers said on Thursday the last stage of its 111th race will take place in the Mediterranean resort of Nice on July 21. Five days later, Paris opens the Olympics.

Because of security and logistical reasons, the French capital won’t have its traditional Tour finish on the Champs-Elysees. Parting with tradition of a sprint on the Champs-Elysees, the last stage will be an individual time trial along Nice’s famed Promenade des Anglais.

The start of the 2024 race, which will begin for the first time in Italy, was brought forward by one week, a customary change during an Olympic year. The Tour will start on June 29 in Florence.

Nice has hosted the Tour 37 times, including its start twice, in 1981 and in 2020. Two years ago, the start was delayed until Aug. 29 due to lockdowns and travels bans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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