President Obama: IOC’s decisions are ‘a little cooked’

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President Barack Obama reflected on Chicago’s unsuccessful bid for the 2016 Olympics during an interview that was published recently in New York Magazine.

Obama flew to Copenhagen in 2009 with the bid committee, because “everybody thought that if I flew out there we had a good chance of getting it.” But Chicago was eliminated in the first round of voting, and Rio was later awarded the 2016 Games.

“I think we’ve learned that IOC’s decisions are similar to FIFA’s decisions: a little bit cooked,” Obama said. “We didn’t even make the first cut, despite the fact that, by all the objective metrics, the American bid was the best.”

Obama used the Olympic bid anecdote as an example of how some Republicans were determined to see him fail and become a one-term President.

“On the flight back, we already know that we haven’t got it, and when I land it turns out that there was big cheering by Rush Limbaugh and various Republican factions that America had lost the Olympic bid,” Obama said. “It was really strange, but at that point, Limbaugh had been much clearer about wanting to see me fail and had, I think, communicated that very clearly to his listeners.”

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump used Chicago’s unsuccessful bid to critique Obama during an appearance at the Center for the National Interest in Washington in April.

“Do you remember when the president made a long, expensive trip to Copenhagen, Denmark, to get the Olympics for our country?” Trump asked, according to the Chicago Tribune. “And, after this unprecedented effort, it was announced that the United States came in fourth. Fourth place.

“The president of the United States making this trip, unprecedented, comes in fourth place. He should have known the result before making such an embarrassing commitment. We were laughed at all over the world as we have been many, many times. The list of humiliations go on and on and on.”

MORE:  President Obama to female Olympians: ‘Y’all crushed it’ (video)

Kendall Gretsch wins six gold medals at Para Nordic Ski Worlds

Kendall Gretsch
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Kendall Gretsch, who won Paralympic titles at the last Summer and Winter Games, added another six gold medals at the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships in Sweden last week.

Gretsch, 30, earned seven total medals in seven days between biathlon and cross-country skiing.

Gretsch won gold medals in three different sports across the last three Paralympics: biathlon and cross-country skiing in 2018 (two years after taking up the sports), triathlon in 2021 and biathlon in 2022.

She plans to shift her focus back to triathlon after this winter for 2024 Paris Games qualification.

Gretsch, born with spina bifida, was the 2014 USA Triathlon Female Para Triathlete of the Year. Though triathlon was added to the Paralympics for the 2016 Rio Games, her classification was not added until Tokyo.

Also at last week’s worlds, six-time Paralympian Aaron Pike earned his first Paralympic or world championships gold medal in his decade-plus career, winning a 12.5km biathlon event.

Oksana Masters, who won seven medals in seven events at last year’s Paralympics to break the career U.S. Winter Paralympics medals record, missed worlds due to hand surgery.

The U.S. also picked up five medals at last week’s World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Spain — three silvers for five-time Paralympian Laurie Stephens and two bronzes for 17-year-old Saylor O’Brien.

Stephens now has 18 career medals from world championships, plus seven at the Paralympics.

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World champion skier Kyle Smaine dies in avalanche at age 31

Kyle Smaine
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Kyle Smaine, a retired world champion halfpipe skier, died in an avalanche in Japan on Sunday, according to NBC News, citing Smaine’s father. He was 31.

Smaine, a 2015 World champion in ski halfpipe, had been doing ski filming in Japan, sharing videos on his Instagram account over the past week.

The native of South Lake Tahoe, California, finished ninth in ski halfpipe at the 2016 Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado.

In 2018, Smaine won the fifth and final U.S. Olympic qualifying series event in ski halfpipe but did not make the four-man team for PyeongChang. His last sanctioned international competition was in February 2018.

Late Sunday, two-time Olympic champion David Wise won the X Games men’s ski halfpipe and dedicated it to Smaine.

“We all did this for Kyle tonight,” Wise said on the broadcast. “It’s a little bit of an emotional day for us. We lost a friend.”