LeBron James met fellow Olympic champions runner Caster Semenya and discus thrower Robert Harting at a track and field meet at Berlin’s historic Olympic Stadium on Sunday.
James, in Germany as part of a Nike promotional tour, was later reading about Jesse Owens on the way to an airport, according to one of his friends’ Instagram accounts.
James is an experienced Olympic sports spectator. He attended swimming finals at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, sitting with Dara Torres in Beijing.
At Beijing’s Water Cube, Michael Phelps said he heard James and Kobe Bryant ”starting cheers and getting everybody going” as he chased Mark Spitz‘s record of seven gold medals in the pool, according to The New York Times.
James, Bryant and Paul all became acquainted with Phelps, sharing conversations in Phelps’ retirement. Fellow swimmer Jason Lezak also provided this story from Beijing:
“I remember leaving the pool, and we were all in the elevator together, me and all these NBA guys,” Lezak said. “I was like, this is so cool. Kobe says to me, ‘Right before the elevator stops, check this out, I’m going to sit here in the back, LeBron’s going to walk out and get swamped, and I’m going to get right on the bus.’ LeBron was swarmed. Sure enough, Kobe sneaks right onto the bus.”
Similar stories date to the first Olympics with NBA players in 1992 — such as Larry Bird and the Dream Team meeting U.S. female gymnasts on a bus in Barcelona. Or 4-foot-6 gymnast Ragan Smith taking a photo with 6-foot-11 center DeAndre Jordan in Rio.
The Tokyo Paralympic medals, which like the Olympic medals are created in part with metals from recycled cell phones and other small electronics, were unveiled on Sunday, one year out from the Opening Ceremony.
In a first for the Paralympics, each medal has one to three indentation(s) on its side to distinguish its color by touch — one for gold, two silver and three for bronze. Braille letters also spell out “Tokyo 2020” on each medal’s face.
For Rio, different amounts of tiny steel balls were put inside the medals based on their color, so that when shaken they would make distinct sounds. Visually impaired athletes could shake the medals next to their ears to determine the color.
More on the design from Tokyo 2020:
The design is centered around the motif of a traditional Japanese fan, depicting the Paralympic Games as the source of a fresh new wind refreshing the world as well as a shared experience connecting diverse hearts and minds. The kaname, or pivot point, holds all parts of the fan together; here it represents Para athletes bringing people together regardless of nationality or ethnicity. Motifs on the leaves of the fan depict the vitality of people’s hearts and symbolize Japan’s captivating and life-giving natural environment in the form of rocks, flowers, wood, leaves, and water. These are applied with a variety of techniques, producing a textured surface that makes the medals compelling to touch.