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Hillary Clinton has extensive Olympic history

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Hillary Clinton has done all of these things:

Attended a Summer Olympics
Attended a Winter Olympics
Gave a speech at an Olympic torch relay lighting at Olympia, Greece
Gave a speech at an IOC Olympic host-city vote session

Clinton is an “Olympics nut,” her then-press secretary, Lisa Caputo, said in 1996, according to USA Today.

As First Lady, Clinton traveled to the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Games and the 1996 Atlanta Games.

In 1994, Clinton was most noticed for attending the men’s downhill in Kvitfjell, bearing freezing temperatures near the finish line with Olympic sprint gold medalist Florence Griffith-Joyner.

American Tommy Moe was the surprise race winner. Last month, Moe was asked about meeting Clinton in the finish area.

“We took a photo, and she was just really unassuming and just like, ‘Congratulations, this is my [13-year-old] daughter, Chelsea,'” Moe said at the U.S. Ski Team’s Gold Medal Gala fundraiser on Wall Street. “I was on the cover of [Sports Illustrated], and they had a photo of us [in the magazine]. … I think Florence Griffith-Joyner was freezing her butt off, because it was definitely five degrees below zero.”

Moe said he later received a call from President Bill Clinton, who was not in Norway, and answered the phone with the greeting, “Hey Bill, how’s it going?”

In March 1996, Clinton flew to Greece to and spoke at the beginning of the Atlanta Olympic torch relay at the ancient Olympic site of Olympia.

“These Olympic Games, which have moved princes to lift peasants onto their shoulders, emphasize an inescapable dimension of the human experience — that we are all members of one global family,” Clinton said in Olympia, according to The Associated Press.

In July, she attended the Opening Ceremony in Atlanta, where her husband declared the Games open. Clinton and Trump were both at Centennial Olympic Stadium that night.

She later took in the action, including swimming (where she had her photo taken with the U.S. women’s 4x200m freestyle relay team), gymnastics (photo with the Magnificent Seven) and diving (sat next to Carl Lewis).

Finally in 2005, Clinton, then a U.S. Senator in New York, spoke at the IOC session that would determine the 2012 Olympic host city.

She was part of the New York City 2012 Olympic bid team, flanked by Olympic champions Oksana Baiul, Nadia Comaneci, Bob Beamon and Ian Thorpe. New York City would finish fourth out of five cities in the voting won by London.

For her 2016 presidential campaign, Clinton brought on two-time Olympic medalist figure skater Michelle Kwan as a surrogate outreach coordinator. Kwan detailed her job here.

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Iran banned from judo for instructing athlete to withdraw rather than face Israel opponent

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Iran has been banned from international judo for instructing one of its athletes to withdraw from August’s world championships rather than face an Israeli judoka.

The International Judo Federation said Iran authorities instructing Saeid Mollaei to withdraw rather than face Israeli judoka Sagi Muki was “a serious breach and gross violation” of its code of ethics and the Olympic Charter.

IJF spokesman Vlad Marinescu said any ban won’t apply to the Tokyo Olympics. That’s because it’s the Iranian Olympic Committee, not the Iranian Judo Federation, which formally enters the Olympic team.

“We have been informed by IJF that they will launch a proper procedure giving all concerned parties the right to be heard,” an International Olympic Committee spokesperson said. “Should the issue become an Olympic issue we will take the result of this procedure into consideration.”

An IJF disciplinary commission said it “has a strong reason to believe that the Iran Judo Federation will continue or repeatedly engage in misconduct” given its history of similar actions with its athletes potentially facing Israelis.

Mollaei, a 2018 World champion, said he was afraid to return to Iran after disobeying those orders at worlds. He competed anyway but lost one round before a potential final with Muki.

“I want to compete wherever I can,” Mollaei said in a statement from the IJF. “I live in a country whose law does not permit me to. We have no choice, all athletes must comply with it. All I did today was for my life, for a new life.

“I need help. Even if the authorities of my country told me that I can go back without any problems, I am afraid.”

The IJF said it would help Mollaei prepare for next year’s Olympics, also in Tokyo. If Iran refuses to enter him, one option could be the International Olympic Committee-backed team of refugee athletes.

Iranian sports teams have for several decades had a policy of not competing against Israelis, which the country does not recognize. The IJF has said Iranians have thrown matches and used “questionable injuries” to avoid competing against Israelis.

Mollaei’s case came four months after judo officials hailed a breakthrough in relations with Iran, publishing a letter signed by Salehi Amiri pledging to “fully respect the Olympic charter and its non-discrimination principle.”

Back in August, Iranian Sports Minister Masoud Soltanifar accused the IJF of trying to “create problems” with Mollaei, the IRNA news agency reported. He said Iran will send a protest letter to the IOC.

Iranian team manager Majid Zareian also criticized the IJF, saying “everything was set in advance to put Mollaei against a participant from (Israel).”

“They did not allow me to be present next to my athlete in exercise salon,” Zareian said. “After the competitions they changed hotel of Mollaei without my permission, against the regulations.”

He denied reports Iranian authorities had put pressure on Mollaei.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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MORE: Israel, judo federation hail letter from Iran; Tehran silent

Jacarra Winchester, after foe bites her, wins first wrestling world title

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Jacarra Winchester missed the Rio Olympic wrestling trials after tearing her knee playing soccer. She missed a medal at the 2018 World Championships after a semifinal-winning takedown was reversed.

There was no denying her on Wednesday.

Winchester, who picked up wrestling a decade ago as a high school junior, became the first American to earn a medal at the worlds in Kazakhstan this week. And it was gold.

She came back to beat Japanese Nanami Irie 5-3 in the final of the 55kg division, a weight class that is not on the Olympic program. Winchester must move to 53kg or 57kg next year.

But for now she can celebrate quite a journey. At 26, she’s one of the older wrestlers to become a first-time world champion. She believed she had what it took last year, when a reversed call kept her from the final and she subsequently lost a bronze-medal match.

Winchester, who has problems sleeping, said she replayed the end of that semifinal in her head ever since.

“There’s no reason why I should have gotten beat,” she said Wednesday. “Clearly I have what I need on the mat. I just need to change my mindset. … Just knowing you’re the best, pushing yourself and not letting anything get to me.”

That helped in Tuesday’s semifinals, where Winchester said her Turkish opponent bit her, pulled her hair and twisted her fingers. Winchester, who grew up in the Oakland, Calif., area, said that when she started wrestling she had no Olympic goals.

“I had a mindset of I’m not a quitter,” she said.

Earlier Wednesday, Adeline Gray reached Thursday’s 76kg final, where she will try to become the first American to earn five world titles.

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