Ron Hill
Ron Hill

Olympian ends longest running streak of all time

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Ron Hill, a three-time British Olympian, ended the longest recorded streak of consecutive days running at least one mile on Sunday.

Hill, 78, had run 19,032 consecutive days, or every day since Dec. 21, 1964, according to the United States Running Streak Association.

“The worlds greatest run streaker ends his streak. Due to ill health Ron has decided to take a day off,” was posted on Hill’s social media pages.

“After 400m my heart started to hurt, and by the time I got to the one-mile point I thought I was going to die,” Hill said, according to the BBC. “I was in such pain, and I thought, ‘No, hang on, this isn’t going anywhere at the moment,’ and really in respect of my wife, two sons and friends, I need to stop this.”

Hill began his streak two months after competing at his first Olympics in Tokyo in 1964. He had a top Olympic finish of sixth in the Munich 1972 Marathon famously won by American Frank Shorter. Hill also won the 1970 Boston Marathon.

In 1993, Hill had two setbacks that nearly ended his streak. He broke his sternum crashing his car and later had bunion surgery, according to reports.

“My son picked me up from hospital the next morning, drove me to a track, and I did one mile using walking sticks [canes], not crutches, which go under the arm pits,” Hill said, according to the Runner’s World. “I was able to abandon these after seven days but still ran a mile a day in a plaster cast.”

The new longest streak of consecutive days running is held by Jon Sutherland, who is at 17,419 days. Sutherland, 66 and of California, has run every day since May 26, 1969.

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Hayley Wickenheiser is 7th woman elected to Hockey Hall of Fame

Hayley Wickenheiser
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Hayley Wickenheiser, arguably the greatest female hockey player of all time who retired in 2017, will be the seventh female player in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The six-time Canadian Olympian (once in softball) was elected in her first year of eligibility. Wickenheiser is joined by Sergei Zubov, who earned gold at the 1992 Albertville Games with the Unified Team, two-time Czech Olympic medalist Václav Nedomanský and 1980s and ’90s NHLer Guy Carbonneau, among others.

The induction ceremony is Nov. 18 in Toronto.

Wickenheiser is the fifth Canadian female player elected after Angela James (2010), Geraldine Heaney (2013), Danielle Goyette (2017) and Jayna Hefford (2018). Americans Cammi Granato (2010) and Angela Ruggiero (2015) are also Hall of Famers.

Wickenheiser, now the Toronto Maple Leafs’ assistant director of player development, earned four golds and one silver in the first five Olympic women’s hockey tournaments. She played 23 years for the Canadian national team, earning seven world titles and being named Olympic tournament MVP in 2002 and 2006.

She also carried the Canadian flag at the Sochi 2014 Opening Ceremony and recited the Athletes’ Oath at the Vancouver 2010 Opening Ceremony. She was elected to the International Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission in 2014.

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Breaking provisionally added for 2024 Olympics

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Breaking (don’t call it break dancing) was provisionally added to the Olympics for the 2024 Paris Games.

The IOC also announced Tuesday that skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing were provisionally added to the 2024 Olympic program. Those three sports will debut at Tokyo 2020 but were not assured places on the Olympic program beyond next year.

“They contribute to making the program more gender balanced and more urban, and offer the opportunity to connect with the younger generation,” IOC President Thomas Bach said in a press release. “The proposed sports are in line with these principles and enhance Paris 2024’s overall dynamic Games concept, which focuses on inclusivity, inspiring a new audience and hosting socially responsible Games.”

The IOC Executive Board will make the final decision on the Paris 2024 event program in December 2020, but no more sports can be proposed for inclusion. That means baseball and softball, which return to the Olympics next year, will not be on the 2024 Olympic program. Those sports can still be added for the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

Breaking debuted at the Youth Olympics last year, where the U.S. did not have any athletes. Sergei “Bumblebee” Chernyshev of Russia and Ramu Kawai of Japan took gold medals.

Breaking had never previously been up for a vote for Olympic inclusion, but the World DanceSport Federation is recognized by the IOC.

Teenagers, some of whom went by nicknames like Bad Matty, Senorita Carlota and KennyG, went head-to-head in dance battles at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires last year. They performed on a mat atop an outdoor basketball court to a musical beat and emcees.

Judges determined winners using six criteria: creativity, personality, technique, variety, perfomativity and musicality.

“Breaking (also called b-boying or b-girling) is an urban dance style,” according to the Youth Olympics. “The urban dance style originated during the mid 1970s in the Bronx borough of New York City.”

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