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Neymar, Brazil score early and often, advance to gold medal match in Rio

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Braces from Neymar and Gabriel Jesus led Brazil to a Olympic semifinal demolition of Honduras at the Maracana Stadium in Rio on Wednesday.

Marquinhos, and Luan also scored for Brazil in a 6-0 win.

Brazil will face the winner of Germany and Nigeria’s afternoon match in the final on Saturday.

WATCH: Neymar’s goalMatch replay

The first :15 seconds of Wednesday’s men’s soccer semifinal between Brazil and Honduras had a little bit of everything.

First, a horrible giveaway from Honduras. Then, a goal from home country superstar Neymar.

Finally, that same superstar on the field with an apparently chest injury. Twice. He was stretchered off, only to return (though this was not the sort of faux injury that fuels the vitriol of soccer haters).

Neymar picked the pocket of a defender before seeing a loose ball bound off Honduran keeper, off him, and then into the goal.

But he clutched his chest on the turf during the celebration, then ran a few steps before dropping to the turf again. After being stretchered off, the Barcelona star returned to the game.

Gabriel Jesus scored in the 26th minute to boost Brazil’s lead to 2-0, and added another before halftime.

All the breaks well Brazil’s way, as missed Honduras’ clearance was accidentally trapped by Marquinhos outside the six. The PSG man easily tapped home to make it 4-0.

Felipe Anderson found Luan for a cross-six goal in the 79th minute for Brazil’s fifth goal.

A cynical takedown of Luan in the box in the 90th minute provided for the final penalty, converted by Neymar. He feigned a free throw in celebration, and the match was over.

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

Katie Ledecky
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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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