Rio Olympics, Michael Phelps top 2016 list of Google search trends

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The Rio Olympics were the top global sporting event on Google’s list of 2016’s top trending search terms. Across the world, the Olympics were second only to the U.S. election in the global news category, and Michael Phelps and Simone Biles were the third and fifth, respectively, highest trending people.

Google’s yearly list of trending terms are not the most searched of 2016, but the terms that had the highest spike in search volume in 2016 as compared to 2015.

In the U.S., the Olympics were ahead of the election to be the No. 1 trending search term in news. Of the top 10 trending athletes, 7 were Rio Olympians: Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Biles, Usain Bolt, Kevin Durant, Gabby Douglas and Katie Ledecky.

The top 10 trending Olympic moments were a mix of planned pagentry, viral surprises and an oiled-up taekwondo athlete:

1. Olympics Opening Ceremony
2. Olympics Closing Ceremony
3. Tonga Flag Bearer
4. Olympic Bike Crash
5. Olympic Refugee Team
6. Olympics Green Pool
7. Olympic Torch Lighting
8. Triplets in Olympics
9. US Disqualified 4×100
10. Olympics Cupping

In Olympics host country Brazil, the Rio Games were the No. 2 trending topic  of the year–behind Pokemon Go. Brazil’s list of trending sportspeople was dominated by its gymnastics team, with Arthur Nory taking the top spot. 23-year-old Nory made his Olympic debut in Rio and won a bronze medal on the floor exercise.

The other Olympic athletes on Brazil’s list of trending sportspeople were Phelps, Bolt, Jade Barbosa, Lochte, Arthur Zanetti, Flavia Saraiva, Diego Hypolito and Rafaela Silva.

Nory, Jarbosa, Zanetti, Saraiva and Hypolito are gymnasts, while Silva is a judo athlete who won an Olympic gold medal in Rio in the women’s -57kg division.

READ MORE: Sports Illustrated presents Michael Phelps with ‘Greatest Olympian of All-Time’ award

 

 

Teri McKeever fired by Cal as women’s swimming coach after investigation

Teri McKeever
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Teri McKeever, the first woman to serve as a U.S. Olympic swimming head coach, was fired by the University of California at Berkeley after an investigation into alleged verbal and emotional abuse of swimmers that she denied.

McKeever was put on paid administrative leave from her job as head women’s swimming coach in May after an Orange County Register report that 20 current or former Cal swimmers said McKeever verbally and emotionally bullied her swimmers.

Cal athletics director Jim Knowlton wrote in a letter to the Cal team and staff that a resulting independent law firm report detailed “verbally abusive conduct that is antithetical to our most important values.”

“I strongly believe this is in the best interests of our student-athletes, our swimming program and Cal Athletics as a whole,” Knowlton said of McKeever’s firing in a press release. “The report details numerous violations of university policies that prohibit race, national origin and disability discrimination.”

The Orange County Register first published what it says is the full independent report here with redactions.

“I deny and unequivocally refute all conclusions that I abused or bullied any athlete and deny any suggestion I discriminated against any athlete on the basis of race, disability or sexual orientation,” McKeever said in a statement Tuesday confirming her firing and expressing disappointment in how the investigation was conducted. “While I am disappointed in the way my CAL Career will conclude, I wish to thank and celebrate the many student-athletes and staff that made my time in Berkeley a true blessing and gift.”

McKeever’s lawyer wrote that McKeever “will be filing suit to expose the manner in which gender has affected not only the evaluation of her coaching but harmed and continues to harm both female and male athletes.”

McKeever led Cal women’s swimming and diving for nearly 30 years, winning four NCAA team titles and coaching Olympic champions including Missy FranklinNatalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer.

In 2004, she became the first woman to be on a U.S. Olympic swim team coaching staff, as an assistant. In 2012, she became the first woman to be head coach of a U.S. Olympic swim team. She was an assistant again for the Tokyo Games.

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Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

Diana Taurasi
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Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Olympedia.org. Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

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