Figure skater, 14, lights Lausanne Youth Olympic cauldron at Opening Ceremony

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Gina Zehnder, a 14-year-old ice dancer, lit the cauldron at the Youth Olympic Opening Ceremony in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday.

“Welcome home,” IOC president Thomas Bach said in a speech, noting that IOC headquarters are in Lausanne, before joining an athlete from each continent for a selfie. “Here you are in the heart of the Olympic Movement.”

Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA airs Opening Ceremony coverage at 8 p.m. on Thursday, followed by 13 days of competition. A full Youth Olympic TV schedule is here.

Zehnder, the youngest athlete in the Swiss delegation, isn’t the youngest person to light an Olympic cauldron. Four years ago, Norway’s 12-year-old Princess Ingrid Alexandra was the final torch bearer at the Lillehammer Youth Winter Games.

Earlier Thursday, each nation’s flag bearer marched out in the countries’ alphabetical order, with Lexie Madigan carrying the Stars and Stripes. Luger Reannyn Weiler was to carry the U.S. flag at a separate Opening Ceremony in St. Moritz, where mountain events will be held.

The Youth Winter Games feature athletes ages 14-18 in traditional Olympic sports and other events not on the traditional Winter Games program, such as monobobsled, women’s Nordic combined and ski mountaineering.

The U.S. roster of 96 athletes is here. Past U.S. Youth Winter Olympians included PyeongChang snowboard halfpipe gold medalist Chloe Kim and Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel.

The U.S. tied for the most gold medals with 10 at the last Youth Winter Games in Lillehammer. Innsbruck, Austria, hosted the first Youth Winter Olympics in 2012.

MORE: IOC details rules on political protests at Olympics

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Bobby Joe Morrow, triple Olympic sprint champion, dies at 84

Bobby Joe Morrow
AP
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Bobby Joe Morrow, one of four men to win the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at one Olympics, died at age 84 on Saturday.

Morrow’s family said he died of natural causes.

Morrow swept the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, joining Jesse Owens as the only men to accomplish the feat. Later, Carl Lewis and Usain Bolt did the same.

Morrow, raised on a farm in San Benito, Texas, set 11 world records in a short career, according to World Athletics.

He competed in one Olympics, and that year was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year while a student at Abilene Christian. He beat out Mickey Mantle and Floyd Patterson.

“Bobby had a fluidity of motion like nothing I’d ever seen,” Oliver Jackson, the Abilene Christian coach, said, according to Sports Illustrated in 2000. “He could run a 220 with a root beer float on his head and never spill a drop. I made an adjustment to his start when Bobby was a freshman. After that, my only advice to him was to change his major from sciences to speech, because he’d be destined to make a bunch of them.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Johnny Gregorek runs fastest blue jeans mile in history

Johnny Gregorek
Getty Images
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Johnny Gregorek, a U.S. Olympic hopeful runner, clocked what is believed to be the fastest mile in history for somebody wearing jeans.

Gregorek recorded a reported 4 minutes, 6.25 seconds, on Saturday to break the record by more than five seconds (with a pacer for the first two-plus laps). Gregorek, after the record run streamed live on his Instagram, said he wore a pair of 100 percent cotton Levi’s.

Gregorek, the 28-year-old son of a 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic steeplechaser, finished 10th in the 2017 World Championships 1500m. He was sixth at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

He ranked No. 1 in the country for the indoor mile in 2019, clocking 3:49.98. His outdoor mile personal best is 3:52.94, ranking him 30th in American history.

Before the attempt, a fundraiser was started for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, garnering more than $29,000. Gregorek ran in memory of younger brother Patrick, who died suddenly in March 2019.

“Paddy was a fan of anything silly,” Gregorek posted. “I think an all out mile in jeans would tickle him sufficiently!”

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