Caitlyn Jenner plots run for California Governor

Caitlyn Jenner
Getty Images
2 Comments

Caitlyn Jenner, the 1976 Olympic decathlon champion, filed initial paperwork to run for governor of California and plans a formal announcement in the coming weeks.

“The significance of this decision is not lost on me,” Jenner, who launched a “Caitlyn for California” campaign on CaitlynJenner.com, said in a press release. “The sacrifice is significant, but responsibility is great, and I can’t wait to lead, to help and most importantly disrupt the status quo once again.”

At least two Olympians have served as governor of a state — 1956 Olympic ice hockey player Wendell Anderson (Minnesota) and 1964 Olympic speed skater Judy Morstein (Montana), according to Bill Mallon of Olympedia.org.

Jenner, 71 and a longtime Republican, consulted with GOP advisers as she considered joining the field of candidates hoping to replace Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in a likely recall election later this year.

Election officials are still reviewing petition signatures required to qualify the recall for the ballot. Several other Republicans have also announced plans to run.

If the recall qualifies for the ballot, as expected, voters would be asked two questions: first, whether Newsom should be removed from office. The second would be a list of replacement candidates to choose from, if more than 50% of voters support removing Newsom from office.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

South Korea short track star reportedly bids to skate for China at Beijing Olympics

Lim Hyo-Jun
Getty Images
0 Comments

Lim Hyo-Jun, the world’s top short track speed skater when he was banned one year for allegedly pantsing a male teammate in front of female skaters in 2019, has been in the process of changing his nationality to China to compete in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, according to media in his native South Korea.

Lim, who earned South Korea’s first gold medal of the PyeongChang Olympics in the 1500m, completed a Chinese naturalization process and left for that country to train with the Chinese program, according to South Korean media citing Lim’s agency.

The news of the 24-year-old Lim’s one-year suspension came in August 2019, but the case has reached a supreme court in South Korea. If Lim is not cleared, it’s possible his suspension could restart and rule him out of next year’s Olympics, should he remain a South Korean, according to reports.

“As the legal battle dragged on, it has become difficult for Lim to represent South Korea and try to win his second straight Olympic gold medal in Beijing,” Lim’s agency said, according to a Yonhap News Agency translation. “He hasn’t been able to train anywhere in Korea for the past two years. He just wanted to find ways to put his skates back on.”

Lim’s case is reminiscent (though slightly different than that) of Viktor Ahn, who won three golds for South Korea at the 2006 Olympics as Ahn-Hyun Soo.

Ahn missed South Korea’s team for the 2010 Olympics after undergoing four knee surgeries in the 15 months leading up to the Olympic Trials. Ahn’s club team dissolved, and his father contacted Russia’s federation. He became a citizen in 2011, then earned three golds among four medals for Russia at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

Ahn, now retired, was announced as a coach of China’s short program last year.

South Korea’s skating federation doled out Lim’s 2019 ban for sexual harassment after reviewing video of the incident and speaking with Lim and the unnamed teammate, according to media at the time.

Lim, who was dubbed a “virtual unknown” upon winning South Korea’s 2018 Olympic Trials, followed his PyeongChang gold by winning world titles in the overall, 1000m, 1500m, 3000m and 5000m relay in 2019.

The 2020 World Championships and the entire 2020-21 World Cup season were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This season’s world championships are happening this weekend in the Netherlands. South Korea and China, the two most successful short track nations in Olympic history, did not send teams to the event.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Iran judo suspension over Israel policy lifted

Saeid Mollaei
Getty Images
0 Comments

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Iran’s suspension from international judo events for refusing to let its athletes fight Israeli opponents was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday.

The case was prompted by former world champion Saeid Mollaei leaving the Iranian team in 2019, claiming he was ordered to lose matches and withdraw from competitions to avoid facing Israelis.

CAS said its judges hearing the Iranian judo federation’s appeal decided the International Judo Federation overstepped its own authority with such a severe ban, which was imposed in October 2019. The case was sent back to an IJF disciplinary panel for review.

The court acknowledged the Iranian judo federation had “committed severe violations of the IJF rules” on discrimination and should be punished, though within the world governing body’s rules.

The IJF had accused Iranian government officials of putting pressure on athletes including Mollaei, who later fled to Germany.

The International Olympic Committee last year approved Mollaei’s switch to compete for Mongolia.

The IOC said the change did not need permission from Iranian Olympic officials because the judoka was technically a refugee.

During the case, the IJF said any action taken against Iran would not apply directly to the Tokyo Olympics, because athletes are technically entered by the Iranian Olympic Committee and not the national judo body.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!