Marv Albert on his favorite Dream Team memories

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Few people had a better vantage point for the Dream Team’s gold medal-winning run than Marv Albert, who sat courtside handling play-by-play duties for NBC Olympics’ basketball coverage.

Albert watched the Dream Team go 8-0 and win by an average of 43.8 points per game at the 1992 Barcelona Games. Eleven of the 12 players on the team are in the Basketball Hall of Fame as individuals, as NBA players were allowed to participate in Olympic basketball for the first time.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, the Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA will air every Dream Team game from the Olympics with original commentary beginning Monday, Aug. 28. A full schedule is here.

In honor of “Dream Team Week,” Albert shared his memories and impressions from the 1992 Barcelona Games:

On his most memorable Dream Team moment: “The first time they ran onto the court, I got the chills because I knew then that we were seeing the greatest group of athletes assembled in the history of team sports – it was stunning.”

On the celebrity of the Dream Team: “It was extraordinary to see the reaction the team received from their time in Monte Carlo (where they trained) before the Games. They were the Beatles. This was a time when the league didn’t have many international players and we were taken aback by how much people knew about the team. They couldn’t walk the streets – although Charles (Barkley) did nearly every day with legions of fans who accompanied him along Las Ramblas.”

On the celebrity of the Dream Team (cont.): “There was a [pre-Olympics] game in Monte Carlo against France, and one of the guards on the French team was going against Jordan. He was playing him very rough, and Jordan was getting annoyed – they were taunting and pushing. The U.S. won, and at the end, the French player comes up with a photographer to take photos with Michael and puts his arm around him. You thought it was going to lead into fisticuffs during the game – but this would happen after every game, even at the Olympics.”

On the Dream Team’s impact on international basketball: “On opening day of the 1991-92 seasons, the NBA had 23 international players. Today, there are over 125 international players. This was so influenced by the Dream Team. Over the years after the ’92 Games, players from oversees would always refer to the effect watching the Dream Team on TV had on them.”

On having the opportunity to call the Dream Team games: “It was one of the great thrills of my career. The drama was seeing these guys together, and seeing them on the stand receiving the gold. Even now when I travel around the country to call games, I’m constantly asked about it.”

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IOC gives more time to pick 2030 Olympic host, studies rotating Winter Games

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The 2030 Winter Olympic host, expected to be Salt Lake City or Sapporo, Japan, is no longer targeted to be decided before next fall, the IOC said in announcing wider discussions into the future of the Winter Games, including the possibility of rotating the Games within a pool of hosts.

The IOC Future Host Commission was granted more time to study factors, including climate change, that could impact which cities and regions host future Winter Olympics and Paralympics. The 2030 Winter Games host is not expected to be decided before or at an IOC session next September or October.

Hosts have traditionally been chosen by IOC members vote seven years before the Games, though recent reforms allow flexibility on the process and timeline. For example, the 2024 and 2028 Games were awarded to Paris and Los Angeles in a historic double award in 2017. The 2032 Summer Games were awarded to Brisbane last year without a traditional bid race.

Italy hosts the 2026 Winter Games in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo.

There are three interested parties for the 2030 Winter Olympics, the IOC said Tuesday without naming them. Previously, Salt Lake City, Sapporo and Vancouver were confirmed as bids. Then in October, the British Columbia government said it would not support a Vancouver bid, a major setback, though organizers did not say that decision ended the bid. All three cities are attractive as past Winter Games hosts with existing venues.

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee officials have said Salt Lake City is a likelier candidate for 2034 than 2030, but could step in for 2030 if asked.

The future host commission outlined proposals for future Winter Olympics, which included rotating hosts within a pool of cities or regions and a requirement that hosts have an average minimum temperature below freezing (32 degrees) for snow competition venues at the time of the Games over a 10-year period.

The IOC Executive Board gave the commission more time to study the proposals and other factors impacting winter sports.

The IOC board also discussed and will continue to explore a potential double awarding of the 2030 and 2034 Winter Olympic hosts.

Also Tuesday, the IOC board said that Afghanistan participation in the 2024 Olympics will depend on making progress in safe access to sports for women and young girls in the country.

On Monday, Human Rights Watch urged the IOC to suspend Afghanistan until women and girls can play sport in the country.

In a press release, the IOC board expressed “serious concern and strongly condemned the latest restrictions imposed by the Afghan authorities on women and young girls in Afghanistan, which prevent them from practicing sport in the country.” It urged Afghanistan authorities to “take immediate action at the highest level to reverse such restrictions and ensure safe access to sport for women and young girls.”

The IOC board also announced that North Korea’s National Olympic Committee will be reinstated when its suspension is up at the end of the year.

In September 2021, the IOC banned the North Korean NOC through the end of 2022, including banning a North Korean delegation from participating in the Beijing Winter Games, after it chose not to participate in the Tokyo Games.

North Korea, formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, was the only one of 206 National Olympic Committees to withdraw from Tokyo. The country made its choice in late March 2021, citing a desire “to protect our athletes from the global health crisis caused by the malicious virus infection.”

The IOC said in September 2021 that it “provided reassurances for the holding of safe Games and offered constructive proposals to find an appropriate and tailor-made solution until the very last minute (including the provision of vaccines), which were systematically rejected by the PRK NOC.”

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Olympic champion Justine Dufour-Lapointe leaves moguls for another skiing discipline

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Justine Dufour-Lapointe, the 2014 Olympic moguls champion, is leaving the event to compete in freeriding, a non-Olympic skiing discipline.

“After three Olympic cycles and 12 years on the World Cup circuit, I felt that I needed to find a new source of motivation and had to push my limits even more so I can reach my full potential as a skier,” the 28-year-old Montreal native said in a social media video, according to a translation from French. “Today, I am starting a new chapter in my career. … I want to perfect myself in another discipline. I want to connect with the mountain differently. Above all, I want to get out of my comfort zone in a way I’ve never done before.”

Dufour-Lapointe said she will compete on the Freeride World Tour, a series of judged competitions described as:

There‘s a start gate at the summit and a finish gate at the bottom. That’s it. Best run down wins. It truly is that simple. Think skiers and snowboarders choosing impossible-looking lines through cornices and cliff-faces and nasty couloirs. Think progressive: big jumps, mach-speed turns and full-on attack. Think entertaining.

Dufour-Lapointe has retired from moguls skiing, according to a Freeride World Tour press release, though she did not explicitly say that in social media posts Tuesday.

At the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, Dufour-Lapointe denied American Hannah Kearney‘s bid to become the first freestyle skier to repeat as Olympic champion. Older sister Chloé took silver in a Canadian one-two.

Dufour-Lapointe also won the world title in 2015, then Olympic silver in 2018 behind Frenchwoman Perrine Laffont.

Chloé announced her retirement in September. A third Dufour-Lapointe Olympic moguls skier, Maxime, retired in 2018.

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