Los Angeles 2024
LA 2024

IOC pushes plan to award 2024, 2028 Olympics to LA, Paris

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Los Angeles and Paris should split the 2024 and 2028 Olympics, the IOC executive board recommended Friday.

Which city gets 2024 and which gets 2028 is still to be decided.

IOC members will vote on ratifying a double-awarding proposal in July. If it’s ratified, Los Angeles will end the U.S.’ longest drought between hosting Olympics since 1960.

IOC president Thomas Bach said that, ideally, LA, Paris and the IOC would come to an agreement that produces “no losers” for 2024 and 2028.

IOC members could also take an historic double vote at a session in Lima, Peru, on Sept. 13 to choose which city gets 2024 and which gets 2028.

The IOC recommendation was made on the strength of the LA and Paris bids for 2024. There are no formal bids for 2028 yet.

“We have two big birds in our hands, and I cannot see any small bird on the roof,” Bach said when asked about potentially excluding a formal 2028 Olympic bidding process. “There may be some flying over the roof and making some noise, but none of them has landed on the roof.”

It would mark the first time two Olympic hosts are determined at once since 1921, when the 1924 Paris and 1928 Amsterdam Games were awarded, according to Olympstats.com.

Paris bid co-chief Tony Estanguet previously said the French bid would not accept the 2028 Olympics. LA is open to 2028. Bach would not confirm or deny Paris’ ultimatum on Friday.

“We believe that the IOC is acting in the best interests of the Olympic Movement and the future of the Games in taking these steps,” Paris 2024 said in a statement, while not commenting on a 2028 possibility.

Los Angeles would become the first U.S. Olympic host city since Salt Lake City held the 2002 Winter Games and Atlanta had the 1996 Summer Games. The U.S. went 28 years between Los Angeles 1932 and the 1960 Squaw Valley Winter Games.

Los Angeles and Paris would join London as the only cities to host three Olympics. Los Angeles hosted in 1932 and 1984. Paris hosted in 1900 and 1924.

One of the major selling points of Paris’ 2024 bid has been marking the centennial of its 1924 Games.

The 2024 Olympic bid process included dropouts from Boston, Hamburg, Rome and Budapest.

East Asian nations will host the next three Olympics — PyeongChang in 2018, Tokyo in 2020 and Beijing in 2022.

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Salwa Eid Naser, world 400m champion, provisionally banned

Salwa Eid Naser
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Salwa Eid Naser, the world 400m champion of Bahrain, was provisionally suspended for missing three drug tests in a 12-month span.

“I’ve never been a cheat. I will never be,” Naser, 22, said in an Instagram live video. “I only missed three drug tests, which is normal. It happens. It can happen to anybody. I don’t want people to get confused in all this because I would never cheat.”

Naser said “the missed tests” came before last autumn’s world championships, where she ran the third-fastest time in history (48.14 seconds) and the fastest in 34 years.

“This year I have not been drug tested,” she said. “We are still talking about the ones of last season before the world championships.”

The Athletics Integrity Unit, which handles doping cases for track and field, did not announce whether Naser’s gold medal could be stripped.

“Hopefully, it’ll get resolved because I don’t really like the image, but it has happened,” she said. “It’s going to be fine. It’s very hard to have this little stain on my name.”

Naser, the 2017 World silver medalist, upset Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas for the world title in Doha on Oct. 3.

The only women who have run faster than Naser, who was born Ebelechukwu Agbapuonwu in Nigeria to a Nigerian mother who sprinted and a Bahraini father, were dubious — East German Marita Koch (47.60) and Czechoslovakia’s Jarmila Kratochvilova (47.99).

“I would never take performance-enhancing drugs,” Naser said. “I believe in talent, and I know I have the talent.”

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When Laurie Hernandez winked at the Olympics

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Blink, and you may have missed one of the social-media-sensation moments of the Rio Olympics.

Laurie Hernandez, then 16, was the youngest woman on the U.S. Olympic team across all sports. She was about to start arguably the most important floor exercise routine of her life.

So, she winked.

“The amazing thing about the Olympics is that you feel so many different emotions in the span of a few days, and they are all intense,” she wrote in her 2017 book, “I Got This,” a nod to what she told herself before her balance beam routine earlier that night. “So it was nice to have at least one totally playful moment.”

The U.S., on its fourth and final rotation, already had the team gold all but locked up. Knowing she was nervous, Hernandez’s teammates confirmed to her that they were a few points ahead.

Then Hernandez heard the beep, and it was time to go. She was in the view of an out-of-bounds judge at the Rio Olympic Arena.

“Well, I looked straight at her and suddenly felt this surge of confidence to wink,” she wrote. “Later, a woman came up to me while I was watching Simone [Biles] and Aly [Raisman] compete in their all-around finals and she said, ‘Wow, I just want you to know that when you winked at the judge, it really worked.’ I didn’t know how to respond, so I just said, ‘Thank you. That’s very nice of you to say.’ That’s when she told me she was the out-of-bounds judge! All I could say was ‘Oh my goodness.'”

Hernandez, a New Jersey native, finished the Olympics with a team gold and balance beam silver.

She took more than two years off before making a comeback in earnest last year, announcing she planned to return to competition this spring under new coaches in California. Now that’s on hold given the coronavirus pandemic, which pushed the Tokyo Olympics to 2021.

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