Michelle Carter has benign tumor removed, won’t defend Olympic shot put title

16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017 - Day Six
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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — To find defending Olympic shot put champion Michelle Carter this week, cast a glance into the stands.

She won’t be in the competition. That hurts.

But the American record holder is thankful that a surgically removed tumor on her right ankle came back benign.

The 35-year-old is relegated to cheering on her friends and fellow competitors at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials as she heals from surgery on June 3 in Dallas.

“It’s a little rough to watch the Olympic trials knowing that I will not be participating,” Carter told The Associated Press in a phone interview. “I was really excited to compete this year.

“I’m doing pretty good. Just taking everything one day at a time.”

Not long ago, she began favoring her right ankle, which would flare up “really, really bad,” she said, “and we couldn’t figure out why.” Known for a high pain tolerance, Carter was set to push through the discomfort to make it to trials and, should she earn a spot, to defend her title at the Tokyo Games. As a precaution, though, she underwent an MRI, which uncovered a growth.

TRACK AND FIELD TRIALS: Results | TV Schedule | Men’s Preview | Women’s Preview

There was still a chance for doctors to remove the tumor so she could be ready for the shot put event, which begins Thursday. But her surgery turned out to be more complicated and took more than two hours. There also was a gumball-sized piece of bone that needed to be removed.

“I guess prior to surgery, I had already kind of prepared myself to hear something other than, ‘Oh, everything was OK. You’re good,’” said Carter, a three-time Olympian. “Because I knew there was a possibility there could be more. I guess I kind of felt it in my heart that there was a possibility that there was going to be more. And I kind of already was prepared. Because the worst place for me to be in is a position of not knowing.”

Last Wednesday, she heard the news she was hoping for — the tumor was benign.

“It helped so much, my friends and family checking in on me constantly, making sure that I’m good,” said Carter, who planned to arrive in Eugene on Monday. “It’s one feeling to know that your friends and family love you. But when they get a chance to actually really show you how much they love and care about you, that’s an amazing feeling. I’ve just been enjoying being loved on from them.”

She wanted to be in Eugene to show her support. For Raven Saunders, who made the 2016 Rio team and is among the favorites to make it to Tokyo. And for Magdalyn Ewen, another fellow Nike athlete. For all of them.

“I’m so excited for these young ladies to have a chance since now there’s an extra spot open,” Carter cracked. “I’m going to enjoy it, even though it’s going to be bittersweet. But I’m there to watch other people’s dream come true.”

Don’t jump to any conclusions: She’s not retiring.

She and her dad/coach Michael Carter — a 1984 Olympic shot put silver medalist and Super Bowl-winning nose-tackle for the San Francisco 49ers — envision a few more seasons. They for sure see world championships next summer in Eugene and are locked in on the 2024 Paris Olympics, where Carter will try to recapture the title she won’t get to defend this time.

To keep her busy, Carter will work on a few of her outside track ventures — a throwing camp for youth (”You Throw Girl”) and her nonprofit One Golden Shot, which empowers and encourages youth and communities in self-awareness and confidence-building.

This week, however, is for taking in some track and field from the stands.

“I’ve been doing this for so long and next year will be 25 years of me competing and throwing the shot put,” Carter said. “That’s a long time. And so, watching the young ladies that are coming up in my event, in the sport, and just watching them have the opportunity to experience what I’ve been able to experience three times, it’s special. You work so hard for this one dream.”

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

Joel Embiid

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

Delta LA 2028
LA 2028

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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