Zinedine Zidane promotes Paris 2024 Olympic bid with 1998 World Cup scenes

Leave a comment

Paris 2024 hopes the spirit of 1998 will help its bid for the Olympics.

After announcing soccer legend Zinedine Zidane as a bid ambassador, Paris 2024 published a video with Zidane and longtime teammate Laurent Blanc discussing France’s 1998 World Cup win at home. Zidane’s Real Madrid stars, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, also make appearances.

The video included images of mass celebrations in Paris from July 1998, including on the famed Champs-Élysées.

“To be around 1.5 million people taking the streets, I will never forget that,” Zidane said. “It gives me goosebumps every time I talk about it.”

Zidane scored the first two goals in France’s 3-0 win over Brazil in the 1998 World Cup final. That match was held at the then-new Stade de France in Saint-Denis, just north of Paris.

The Paris 2024 bid lists Stade de France as its Olympic Stadium, which would host Opening and Closing Ceremonies and track and field.

That’s the same plan as Paris had for 2008 and 2012, when it lost to Beijing and London, respectively, when Zidane was also a Paris Olympic bid ambassador.

“I was involved in several bids, but this one stands out,” Zidane said in this week’s video.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Paris 2024 venue plan includes Eiffel Tower area

Alysa Liu rallies to win Junior Grand Prix with another quadruple jump

Getty Images
Leave a comment

U.S. figure skating champion Alysa Liu landed a quadruple Lutz for a second straight Junior Grand Prix, rallying from fourth after the short program to win an event in Poland on Friday.

Liu, who in January became the youngest U.S. champion in history at age 13, won both of her starts in her first season on the Junior Grand Prix to become the first U.S. woman to qualify for the six-skater Junior Grand Prix Final since 2013 (Polina Edmunds and Karen Chen). The Final is held with the senior Grand Prix Final in Turin, Italy, in December.

She won Friday by 6.63 points by surpassing a pair of Russians, a rarity in this era. Her free skate is here.

Liu trailed by 4.03 points after doubling a planned triple loop in the short program. She was the lone skater in the field to attempt a triple Axel (landing three of them, including two in combination and one with a negative grade of execution) or a quad.

Liu tallied 138.99 points in the free skate and 203.10 overall. She ranks sixth in the world this season by best total scores among junior and senior skaters, though some top skaters have yet to compete.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: 2019 Senior Grand Prix assignments

Rafaela Silva, first Brazilian gold medalist at Rio Olympics, claims innocence after positive drug test

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Rafaela Silva, the judoka who grew up in Rio’s most famously violent favela to become Brazil’s first gold medalist at the Rio Olympics, reportedly tested positive for a banned substance last month.

Silva tested positive for fenoterol, a substance that can be legal to treat asthma if an athlete has a therapeutic use exemption (TUE). Silva did not have a TUE before testing positive at the Pan American Games in August, according to Brazilian media.

A possible punishment has not been announced.

Silva claimed innocence at a news conference Friday afternoon, saying that a young child with whom she had bodily contact at her training location used the substance, and she plans to compete at a domestic event this weekend, according to O Globo.

Silva, 27, backed up her Rio Olympic 57kg title by taking bronze at the world championships later in August. If she is punished for the positive test, Silva could lose that bronze medal, though she said Friday that she had a clean drug test at worlds, according to O Globo.

Silva, from Rio’s Ciadade de Deus favela, has the Olympic rings tattooed on her right bicep with the inscription “God knows how much I’ve suffered and what I’ve done to get here.”

Brazil’s top female swimmer, Etiene Medeiros, reportedly tested positive for fenoterol in May 2016 but was cleared to compete at the Rio Olympics.

In PyeongChang, Slovenian hockey player Ziga Jeglic tested positive for fenoterol and was scratched before his nation’s last game before it was announced. Jeglic was suspended from the Games and, later, was suspended eight months.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Iran banned from judo for Israel policy