Alex Gilady, Israeli Olympic Committee member, dies at 79

Alex Gilady
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JERUSALEM — Alex Gilady, an Israeli media pioneer and longtime International Olympic Committee member, has died. He was 79.

Gilady was a former sport executive at NBC and was the first Israeli journalist to report from Egypt in 1977 ahead of the signing of a landmark peace treaty with its Arab neighbor. He received the Israeli Broadcasting Association’s “Man of the Year” award that year.

He died at a hospital in London from cancer late on Thursday, according to Israeli business paper The Marker.

“Today, the Olympic movement lost a giant,” NBC Sports said. “Alex Gilady, our friend and colleague of more than 40 years, was a guiding light to our NBC Sports and Olympics teams through 15 Games. His contributions were immeasurable. We will miss his wisdom, warmth and always optimistic spirit.”

In 1993 he founded Keshet Media Group, which grew into one of the country’s major media production companies. Gilady was also elected as an IOC member in 1994. He served on the commissions organizing each of the games from Athens in 2004 until Paris 2024, according to the Olympic Committee.

“We are losing a pioneer of the modern Olympic Movement” IOC President Thomas Bach said of Gilady’s passing. “He has always stood up for the Olympic values, often when sometimes the situation was not easy for him.”

In 2017, Gilady was accused of sexual harassment and rape in prior decades. He denied the accusations, but resigned his role as president of Keshet. Gilady filed libel suits against his accusers that were later settled, and the IOC’s ethics commission closed an investigation.

Keshet Media Group, the company he founded, issued a statement mourning the death of its former CEO, “a visionary and one of the designers of Israeli television.”

Lucas Braathen, world’s top male slalom skier, in doubt for world championships

Lucas Braathen
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Norway’s Lucas Braathen, the world’s top male slalom skier this season, is doubtful to compete in the world championships slalom on Feb. 19 after appendix surgery on Tuesday.

“It’s been a tough couple of days fighting after surprisingly finding out about quite an intense infection on my appendix,” Braathen, a 22-year-old soccer convert with a Brazilian mom, posted on social media. “I’ve been through surgery and I’m blessed that it went successfully.”

The Norway Alpine skiing team doctor said Braathen’s recovery will take a few weeks, but there is a small possibility he can make it back for the world championships slalom, which is on the final day of the two-week competition.

Braathen has two slalom wins and one giant slalom win this World Cup season. He will miss Saturday’s slalom in Chamonix, France, the last race before worlds. Countryman Henrik Kristoffersen and Swiss Daniel Yule can overtake him atop the World Cup slalom standings in Chamonix.

Braathen entered last year’s Olympics as the World Cup slalom leader and skied out in the first run at the Games.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

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Sifan Hassan sets marathon debut

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Sifan Hassan, who won 5000m and 10,000m gold and 1500m bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in an unprecedented triple, will make her 26.2-mile debut at the London Marathon on April 23.

Hassan, a 30-year-old Dutchwoman, said she will return to the track after the race, but how the London Marathon goes will play into whether she bids for the Olympic marathon in 2024.

“I want to see what I can do on the marathon distance, to make future decisions,” she posted on social media. “We’ll see if I will finish the distance or if the distance will finish me.”

Exhausted by her Olympic feat, Hassan reportedly went at least seven months after the Tokyo Games between training in track spikes. She finished fourth in the 10,000m and sixth in the 5000m at last July’s world championships in Eugene, Oregon.

“I really needed a break after the Tokyo Olympics,” Hassan said at worlds. “I was mentally crashed. I didn’t even care about running.”

London, billed as the best women’s marathon field in history, also boasts Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya, 2016 Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, 1500m world record holder Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia and the two fastest Americans in history, Emily Sisson and Keira D’Amato.

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