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Lloyd, Morgan help USA open gold defense with win over New Zealand

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Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan scored as the United States opened its defense of Olympic gold by gliding to a 2-0 win over New Zealand on Wednesday at Mineirão in Belo Horizonte.

The win puts Team USA atop Group G and New Zealand at bottom ahead of Wednesday’s 9 p.m. EDT kickoff between Colombia and France.

The U.S. gets France on Saturday, while New Zealand will meet Colombia.

Notably, fans chanted “Zika” at Hope Solo in her run-up to goal kicks.

MORE: Highlights here

The Yanks had a corner kick within four minutes, and looked set to go ahead only to be foiled a couple times by Football Ferns goalkeeper Erin Nayler.

Then, a dangerous free kick on the edge of the 19 as Ali Riley hacked down Lloyd. The ensuing offering was badly missed off a header by a point-blank Alex Morgan.

The breakthrough came when ever-dangerous Tobin Heath cut in from the left and curled a hard cross for Lloyd to head home. 1-0, 10′ (Watch it here).

Hope Solo was wise to New Zealand’s first good bit of danger in the 29th minute, coming out to collect a floated ball.

Halftime saw the score the same. The second half had less than a minute of it, as Morgan beat Nayler short side for a too-easy left-footed goal. 2-0.

New Zealand found a rare bit of attack in the 79th minute, but bungled several chances at a good shot on net before the U.S. blocked one out for a corner. It came to nothing.

Eddy Alvarez, Olympic short track medalist, to play for Miami Marlins

Eddy Alvarez
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Eddy Alvarez realized his MLB dream, six years after earning a Winter Olympic medal, and during a global pandemic that affected his club more than any other U.S. professional sports franchise.

Alvarez, a 2014 U.S. Olympic short track speed skating medalist, is being added to the Miami Marlins roster for Tuesday’s restart of their abbreviated season, president of baseball operations Mike Hill said Monday, according to Marlins beat reporters.

The 30-year-old was among a group added after as many as 18 Marlins tested positive for the coronavirus last week, forcing the club to cancel seven games.

Alvarez is believed to be the first U.S. Winter Olympian to become a Major League Baseball player.

He may be the second Olympic medalist in a sport other than baseball to make it to the majors, joining Jim Thorpe. (Michael Jordan tried to do so with the Chicago White Sox, playing Double-A in 1994, but returned to the Chicago Bulls in 1995.)

Alvarez, a Miami native, played baseball in high school and at Salt Lake Community College before focusing on short track in 2012 for a 2014 Olympic run.

He came back from missing the 2010 Olympic team and surgeries on both knees, reportedly leaving him immobile and bedpan dependent for four to six weeks, to make the Sochi Winter Games. Eddy the Jet earned a silver medal in the 5000m relay.

Then Alvarez returned to baseball after three years away. He signed a minor-league contract with the Chicago White Sox in June 2014. He worked his way through the minors between that franchise and the Marlins system.

Alvarez was a Kannapolis Intimidator, a New Orleans Baby Cake and a Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.

Now, he’s a big leaguer.

“It definitely was a chance, picking up a kid who hasn’t played in three years who is starting at the age of 24,” Alvarez said in 2014. “It’s not your typical story, but I play like a 17-year-old kid. I’m running around everywhere. I’m diving around everywhere. I’m full of life. I definitely see my progression moving at a rapid pace.”

MORE: What Olympic baseball, softball return looks like in 2021

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Katie Ledecky balances glass of chocolate milk on her head while swimming

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Katie Ledecky will always remember Aug. 3 as the date she won her first Olympic gold medal, at age 15 in 2012.

Now, she can also associate it with the time she created another kind of buzz on social media.

The five-time Olympic champion posted video of her swimming the length of a pool while balancing a glass of chocolate milk on her head. Barely any, if any, milk spilled into the pool.

Ledecky swam as part of a new got milk? ad campaign.

“Hoooowww nervous were you when you did this?!” fellow Olympic champion and training partner Simone Manuel asked Ledecky on Instagram.

“I have never braced my core so hard,” Ledecky wrote. “It’s a great drill!”

“Try doing it breaststroke,” British Olympic 100m breaststroke champion and world-record holder Adam Peaty wrote.

“Is it wrong of me to think this is even more impressive than a few of your WR’s?!!!” wrote 1992 Olympic champion Summer Sanders.

MORE: The meet where Kathleen Ledecky became Katie Ledecky

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