Team Blue Card
Team Blue Card

Runners take on New York City Marathon to help Holocaust survivors

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Of the 50,000 New York City Marathon runners, about 35 will race Sunday wearing blue T-shirts with a Star of David over the left chest and, just below, the words “Aiding Needy Holocaust Survivors.”

The Blue Card is one of 340 official race charities and has been since 2009. In that time, the non-profit has raised more than $1 million for Holocaust survivors in New York City Marathon fundraising and provided more than $30 million overall.

There are more than 100,000 Holocaust survivors living in the U.S., with one-third at or below the poverty line, according to The Blue Card, which serves some 3,000 Holocaust survivor households.

“Although the number of survivors is decreasing,” executive director Masha Pearl said, “the needs are increasing exponentially as survivors are aging.”

The Blue Card was created in 1934 Nazi Germany, to aid Jews already being oppressed. Its name was derived from blue paper cards given to Jewish donors who raised funds for those who lost their jobs.

In 1939, The Blue Card was re-established in the U.S. to aid refugees and survivors.

The Blue Card is present in 32 states and has participated in the New York 5 Borough Bike Tour, New York City Triathlon and marathons in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

No Holocaust survivor has run the New York City Marathon as part of The Blue Card, but some have come out to cheer the runners.

Several runners have been children or grandchildren of survivors. The Bronx’s Sarah Mizrachi, an Albert Einstein College medical student racing Sunday, is the great-granddaughter of a woman who fled from the Holocaust.

New York City Marathon charity runners earn entry into the five-borough race by raising $3,000 or more.

The Blue Card runners will be wearing the shirt designs below.

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U.S. Olympic 3×3 basketball qualifying teams named with former NBA player, WNBA stars

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Former NBA player Robbie Hummel and WNBA stars lead U.S. Olympic qualifying teams in the new Olympic event of 3×3 basketball.

The four-man and four-woman teams will compete in a global qualifier in India in March, each favored to grab one of three available Olympic berths per gender for the U.S.

Hummel, who unretired to become world champion in 3×3, is joined on the U.S. Olympic men’s qualifying team by Team Princeton teammates Canyon Barry and Kareem Maddox, plus Dominique Jones, who has played with Team Harlem. Team Princeton is guided by an investment firm CEO who once beat Michael Jordan one-on-one.

Last year, Hummel, Maddox and Barry (one of Rick Barry‘s sons) were part of a team that won the world title.

The U.S. women’s 3×3 qualifying roster is made up of WNBA stars Napheesa Collier, Stefanie DolsonAllisha Gray and Kelsey Plum. The U.S.’ top-ranked 3×3 player, as of last month, is Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu, who can’t play internationally this spring as she is in the thick of the NCAA season.

Olympic teams will not necessarily be made up of players from the qualifying tournament.

If the U.S. qualifies for Tokyo, it will then choose its roster(s) in a similar fashion to its traditional basketball teams — via selection committee. It’s unlikely active NBA players will be eligible.

Like with the qualifying tournament, two of the four Olympic players must be ranked in the top 10 among Americans in FIBA 3×3 rankings (as of a May 22 cutoff).

In 3×3, games last 10 minutes, or until one team reaches 21 points. Games are played on a half-court with a 12-second shot clock, and offense immediately turns to defense after a team scores.

MORE: Kobe Bryant embraced the Olympics, on and off the court

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First U.S. sailors qualify for Olympics; gold medalist misses on tiebreak

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The first five members of the U.S. Olympic sailing team were finalized this past weekend. The last American sailor to win an Olympic title missed on a tiebreaker.

Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea (49er FX), Anna Weis and Riley Gibbs (Nacra 17) and Charlie Buckingham (Laser) qualified after world championships competition concluded in Australia. The U.S. Olympic roster across all sports is now at 43 qualified athletes.

The closest race for a U.S. Olympic spot came in 49er FX. Roble and Shea edged Paris Henken and 2008 Olympic champion Anna Tobias on a tiebreak. Roble and Shea, both first-time Olympic qualifiers, won Saturday’s medal race and earned an overall bronze medal.

That put the two U.S. duos in a tie in Olympic qualifying — combining placements from the 2019 and 2020 Championships, according to TeamUSA.org. The tiebreak went to Roble and Shea for having the better finish at this year’s worlds.

Tobias, a 37-year-old who won the individual 2008 Olympic Laser Radial as Anna Tunnicliffe, came out of retirement in a bid for a third Olympics. She left competitive sailing in 2014, took up CrossFit competitions and returned to crew for Henken more than two years ago.

“We are very sad and upset,” was posted on Tobias’ Instagram, “but we wish them [Roble and Shea] the best of luck.”

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