Figure skaters set Blades for the Brave benefit for health-care workers

Sasha Cohen
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Olympic and world champion figure skaters will gather virtually for “Blades for the Brave,” a streaming event to benefit health-care workers fighting the coronavirus.

The one-hour stream is April 17 at 8 p.m. ET, hosted by U.S. Olympic medalists Jason Brown and Gracie Gold and organized by Americares and Fireworks Sports Marketing. The stream will feature skaters’ submitted videos from on and off the ice, detailing how they’re handling life during the pandemic.

The videos will be a “creative variety,” an organizer said, including skating programs.

It airs free on Bladesforthebrave.org and Americares’ Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels. U.S. Figure Skating is aware of and supports the event.

Skaters will encourage viewers to donate to americares.org or by texting “BRAVE” to 80100 to make a $25 donation toward protective gear and training for health-care workers fighting the virus. Americares is a non-profit, health-focused relief and development organization.

“Figure skating is a worldwide sport — we are joining together from Moscow to New York to Tokyo and every country, state and city in between to support health care workers, first responders and our neighbors and contribute to Americares COVID-19 relief efforts,” Gold said in a press release. “I am proud to join my fellow competitors from around the world for the most important competition of our lives. Let’s make sure we win against this heartbreaking disease.”

The list of skaters (subject to change)
Jeremy Abbott
Brian Boitano
Michal Březina
Jason Brown
Kurt Browning
Alexei Bychenko
Ashley Cain
Sasha Cohen
Amber Glenn
Gracie Gold
Ekaterina Gordeeva
Scott Hamilton
Nancy Kerrigan
Naomi Lang
Timothy LeDuc
Tara Lipinski
Tatiana Navka
Viktor Petrenko
Evgeni Plushenko
Matteo Rizzo
Yuka Sato
Bradie Tennell
Johnny Weir
Rohene Ward

MORE: Most decorated U.S. female Olympian on front line of coronavirus fight

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Joel Embiid gains U.S. citizenship, mum on Olympic nationality

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Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid said he is now a U.S. citizen and it’s way too early to think about what nation he would represent at the Olympics.

“I just want to be healthy and win a championship and go from there,” he said, according to The Associated Press.

Embiid, 28, was born in Cameroon and has never competed in a major international tournament. In July, he gained French nationality, a step toward being able to represent that nation at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In the spring, French media reported that Embiid started the process to become eligible to represent France in international basketball, quoting national team general manager Boris Diaw.

Embiid was second in NBA MVP voting this season behind Serbian Nikola Jokic. He was the All-NBA second team center.

What nation Embiid represents could have a major impact on the Paris Games.

In Tokyo, a French team led by another center, Rudy Gobert, handed the U.S. its first Olympic defeat since 2004. That was in group play. The Americans then beat the French in the gold-medal game 87-82.

That France team had five NBA players to the U.S.’ 12: Nicolas BatumEvan FournierTimothe Luwawu-CabarrotFrank Ntilikina and Gobert.

Anthony Davis, who skipped the Tokyo Olympics, is the lone U.S. center to make an All-NBA team in the last five seasons. In that time, Embiid made four All-NBA second teams and Gobert made three All-NBA third teams.

No Olympic team other than the U.S. has ever had two reigning All-NBA players on its roster.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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LA 2028, Delta unveil first-of-its-kind emblems for Olympics, Paralympics

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LA 2028
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Emblems for the 2028 Los Angeles Games that include logos of Delta Air Lines is the first integration of its kind in Olympic and Paralympic history.

Organizers released the latest set of emblems for the LA 2028 Olympics and Paralympics on Thursday, each with a Delta symbol occupying the “A” spot in LA 28.

Two years ago, the LA 2028 logo concept was unveiled with an ever-changing “A” that allowed for infinite possibilities. Many athletes already created their own logos, as has NBC.

“You can make your own,” LA28 chairperson Casey Wasserman said in 2020. “There’s not one way to represent Los Angeles, and there is strength in our diverse cultures. We have to represent the creativity and imagination of Los Angeles, the diversity of our community and the big dreams the Olympic and Paralympic Games provide.”

Also in 2020, Delta was announced as LA 2028’s inaugural founding partner. Becoming the first partner to have an integrated LA 2028 emblem was “extremely important for us,” said Emmakate Young, Delta’s managing director, brand marketing and sponsorships.

“It is a symbol of our partnership with LA, our commitment to the people there, as well as those who come through LA, and a commitment to the Olympics,” she said.

The ever-changing emblem succeeds an angelic bid logo unveiled in February 2016 when the city was going for the 2024 Games, along with the slogan, “Follow the Sun.” In July 2017, the IOC made a historic double awarding of the Olympics and Paralympics — to Paris for 2024 and Los Angeles for 2028.

The U.S. will host its first Olympics and Paralympics since 2002 (and first Summer Games since 1996), ending its longest drought between hosting the Games since the 28-year gap between 1932 and 1960.

Delta began an eight-year Olympic partnership in 2021, becoming the official airline of Team USA and the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

Athletes flew to this year’s Winter Games in Beijing on chartered Delta flights and will do so for every Games through at least 2028.

Previously, Delta sponsored the last two Olympics held in the U.S. — the 1996 Atlanta Games and the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games.

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