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Torah Bright, Olympic champion, no longer competing in halfpipe

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Torah Bright, a 2010 Olympic halfpipe champion and a force in snowboarding for a decade, will no longer compete in halfpipe or the Olympics.

Bright, a 33-year-old expecting her first child in July, is “happy having left the competitions behind,” according to the Aspen (Colo.) Times. Bright’s longtime agent confirmed the report.

“I much prefer to cheer people on than to compete myself,” Bright said, according to the report. “It’s way less stressful. So it’s been fun to know the people who are still competing and love them and cheer them on and watch them do their best.”

Bright is arguably Australia’s greatest Winter Olympian. She toppled Americans Kelly ClarkHannah Teter and Gretchen Bleiler for gold at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, winning from last place after the first of two runs. Bright landed a switch backside 720, coming back after she sustained three concussions in the five weeks before the Games.

In 2014, she took silver behind another American, Kaitlyn Farrington, in Sochi while becoming the first snowboarder to compete in three disciplines (halfpipe, slopestyle, snowboard cross).

Bright scantly competed after Sochi and was left off Australia’s team for PyeongChang. She returned to competition two months before the Olympics for the first time in nearly two years and saw her hopes dashed when she picked up a reported wrist injury.

Bright’s last halfpipe competition was an eighth-place finish at the January 2018 Laax Open in Switzerland.

Correction: An earlier version of this post reported that Bright retired. Bright is no longer competing in halfpipe or the Olympics but does plan to compete in other events.

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Swimmer Emma McKeon issues plea after hometown hit by Australia fires

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Australian Olympic swimmer Emma McKeon‘s family was reportedly evacuated from an area affected by the country’s wildfires that are causing states of disaster.

“Sadly our home town in Lake Conjola was hit very badly, and we were extremely lucky to be safe where we were,” was posted on McKeon’s Instagram. “But our heart goes to the victims who lost so much, and to the place many call home.”

McKeon, 25, earned an Australia-leading four medals at the Rio Olympics, including gold as part of the 4x100m freestyle. Her father, Ron, and brother, David, also swam for Australia at the Olympics.

The McKeon family was evacuated Friday, according to Swimming World.

At least 17 people have died since the fires broke out, and almost twice the land of New Jersey has been scorched, according to NBC News.

It is so hard to truly understand the level of devastation and suffering happening right now across the country from these fires,” was posted on McKeon’s Instagram. “I am so grateful to the relentless work and sacrifice from the firies, most of who are volunteers, saving thousands of people’s homes and lives, and still continuing.

“From being down at Lake Conjola over the last week, you can feel the way the community has come together to support eachother. Everyone across Australia can come together as a country and support from afar aswell by donating to those who have sadly lost their homes and everything in them, and to the fire fighters and volunteers who are risking their lives daily.”

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It is so hard to truly understand the level of devastation and suffering happening right now across the country from these fires. I am so grateful to the relentless work and sacrifice from the firies, most of who are volunteers, saving thousands of people’s homes and lives, and still continuing. From being down at Lake Conjola over the last week, you can feel the way the community has come together to support eachother. Everyone across Australia can come together as a country and support from afar aswell by donating to those who have sadly lost their homes and everything in them, and to the fire fighters and volunteers who are risking their lives daily. We can often feel helpless from far away but we can do the best we can by donating to those who have lost so much. Sadly our home town in Lake Conjola was hit very badly, and we were extremely lucky to be safe where we were. But our heart goes to the victims who lost so much, and to the place many call home. To help the victims from Lake Conjola’s recent bush fires of New Years follow the link in my bio 🔗 Some other suggestions are: *Australian Red Cross Disaster Recovery and Relief (just google it) You can also support our brave volunteer fire fighters: *NSW RFS Donations Page Those still in the areas, please be safe, we are thinking of you, and to those fighting these devastating fires, THANKYOU, SO SO MUCH🙏🏽

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Australia to bid for 2032 Olympics

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BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Australia’s Queensland state will bid to host to the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics, state premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told reporters Monday.

Palaszczuk said her cabinet had given its approval to advancing a bid and Australia prime minister Scott Morrison said his government was on board. Federal opposition leader Anthony Albanese said his Labour party also backs the bid.

Australia hosted the Olympics twice before in Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000. Queensland’s capital is Brisbane.

“Cabinet has this morning given the go-ahead to moving to the next level,” Palaszczuk said.

She said Queensland had a potential advantage over other bidders because 80 percent of the venues were already in place. The Gabba ground, famous as an international cricket venue, could host the Opening Ceremony of the Games, which take place from July 23 to Aug. 8.

“That means we do not need to build huge stadiums we will not need into the future,” Palaszczuk said.

“In terms of the Opening Ceremony, we have not discounted the use of the Gabba. We believe we could put on quite a show at the Gabba.”

Estimates released in May put the cost of hosting the games at $3.6 billion. But financial consultants KPMG estimated the Games could return $4.9 billion in benefits to Queensland.

Olympic cost estimates are notoriously low and usually soar three or four times over estimates. Economic benefits are also unclear and often small, if they exist at all.

The Australian Olympic Committee welcomed the announcement Monday.

“We know the business community recognizes the economic benefits that will flow, but it is vitally important that the community is kept fully informed,” John Coates, president of the Australian Olympic Committee, said.

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