Olympics | KUOW News and Information

Olympics

Co-workers move a stone down the ice at Granite Curling Club. The club rents out their facility for group parties.
Courtesy of Gil Aegerter

It will be a flurry of brooms and stones on the ice in Everett for the next week. The U.S. Curling Nationals got underway Saturday at Xfinity Arena and runs until Saturday, February 18.

Fresh off the Olympic Games, Brazil now hosts the Paralympic Games. Athletes from the Northwest are packing up this week to fly south to compete in sports such as wheelchair rugby, sitting volleyball -- and goalball.

Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Nathan Adrian received a rapturous welcome home from his hometown of Bremerton, Washington, Monday.

The three-time Olympian got the full rock star treatment from his hometown. A police cruiser escorted Adrian from his boyhood home to his high school where screaming fans lined up by the hundreds for an autograph and a picture. Bremerton’s mayor gave him a key to the city.

Seattle Reign goalkeeper Hope Solo was suspended from the U.S. National Team after her comments following a loss to Sweden in the Olympics.
Flickr Photo/Herald Post (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/a3xihe

Bill Radke speaks with Mike Pesca, host of Slate's podcast The Gist, about the decision by the U.S. National Soccer Team to suspend star goalie Hope Solo because of remarks she made during the Olympics in Rio. 

Gamers want video games at the Olympics already!

Aug 22, 2016
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REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

The next Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo in 2020. The host city made quite an entrance during the closing ceremonies Sunday night. In a pre-recorded skit, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe transformed into Super Mario and proceeded to travel to Rio via pipe. Like from the Super Mario video games.

Then, in Rio, emerging a pipe in the middle of the stadium, suddenly it's Super Mario live. He changes out of his costume and he's ... Prime Minister Abe.

 

Eight more Olympic medalists with ties to our region stood on the podium this weekend before Brazilian music brought the Summer Games to a close in Rio de Janeiro.

Portland runner Galen Rupp returns to competition at the Summer Olympics early Sunday morning. Rupp will race in the men's marathon just a week after he finished fifth in the 10,000-meter run.

Oregon's Ashton Eaton successfully defended his Olympic decathlon title Thursday night at the Summer Games in Rio. Eaton stayed on top of the leader board for nearly all of the two-day, ten event test of speed, strength and stamina.

A day after police pulled two of Ryan Lochte's teammates off a U.S.-bound plane to discuss their claims of being robbed last weekend, we're seeing reports that the group was involved in an altercation that centered on a gas station's bathroom.

The police have scheduled a 2 p.m. ET news conference to discuss the case. But even as new details emerge, Rio 2016 spokesman Mario Andrada downplayed the case's significance at a briefing Thursday morning.

Fu Yuanhui, a Chinese swimmer at the Rio Olympics, made headlines this week for telling the world she was on her period.

A major budget crisis is threatening this year's Paralympic Games in Rio.

The president of the International Paralympic Committee is warning there might be cuts to athlete services at the games next month, while insisting that the funding woes won't stop the games entirely.

"Although the situation is pretty precarious, rumours that the Games may not go ahead or that sports may be cut are totally unfounded and not true," Philip Craven said in a statement Monday.

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FilmAid

The Olympic Games are being broadcast and streamed far beyond Rio de Janeiro. One place where the crowds watching the competition are really dedicated? One of the world's largest refugee camps, a place called Kakuma in northwest Kenya.

Some 200,000 refugees live there in a crowded and sprawling tent city overseen by the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR.

"That bullet almost hit my bed. Have mercy, please God, deliver us," a resident in a group of Rio favelas called Alemao said in a message posted Saturday on the WhatsApp smartphone messaging service.

While media attention has focused on U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte and three other U.S. swimmers who were robbed at gunpoint on Sunday, violence is surging in Rio's favelas, or shantytowns, far from the games.

Eighty years ago this month, the United States competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games in Nazi Germany, with 18 African-American athletes part of the U.S. squad.

Track star Jesse Owens, one of the greatest Olympians of all time, won four gold medals. What the 17 other African-American Olympians did in Berlin, though, has largely been forgotten — and so too has their rough return home to racial segregation.

There were medals a-plenty for Northwest athletes competing at the Summer Olympics in Brazil this weekend. One runner from Portland missed out on the podium in a dramatic race, but got kudos afterwards for sportsmanship.

In a stunning upset in Olympic women's soccer Friday, Sweden eliminated defending gold medalists and reigning World Cup champions Team USA. The quarterfinal match in Brasilia went to penalty kicks after the teams deadlocked 1-1 through 120 minutes of play.

Thursday night in Rio, for the first time in history, a black woman won an individual swimming medal in the Olympics. Simone Manuel, a 20-year-old from Sugar Land, Texas, tied for the gold medal in the women's 100-meter freestyle with an Olympic record time of 52.70 seconds.

At first, it wasn't clear just what had happened in the women's 100-meter freestyle at the Summer Olympics in Rio. It's a blaze of a race that rarely puts big gaps between its finishers. But in this case, two swimmers who had matched each other stroke for stroke — Simone Manuel of the U.S. and Penny Oleksiak of Canada — came into the wall at the same instant.

All was soon made clear: Not only had these two swimmers hit the wall together; they had also set a new Olympic record of 52.70 seconds, writing their names in the record book.

They come from Syria, South Sudan, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Ten athletes who are refugees are competing on the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team at the Rio Games. They are representing the estimated 65 million people around the world who have been driven from their homes.

Wendy Boglioli won bronze in the Women's 100 metres Butterfly and gold in the Women's 4 × 100 metres Freestyle Relay at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Audio Pending...

Bill Radke speaks with swimmer Wendy Boglioli about facing off against the East German women's swimming team at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

The massively powerful East German swimmers, who were later found to have been systematically doped by their government, took gold after gold in event after event. The Americans were entirely shut out -- until the last race. 

U.S. swimmer Wendy Boglioli dives in to the pool to begin the second heat in the women's 100 meter butterfly competition at the Olympic pool in Montreal, Canada, July 21, 1976.
AP Photo/Harry Cabluck

At the summer Olympics, 19-year-old American swimmer Lilly King is making headlines – and not just for winning gold.

After beating Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova, King openly condemned the Russian swim team for doping.

When tennis star Maria Sharapova admitted in March to having taken the heart drug meldonium, the public got a rare glimpse of a common practice that's often called "legal doping."

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David Gray/Reuters

Teenage Olympian Lilly King became the face of clean competition on Monday night.

The American swimmer won gold in the 100-meter breaststroke.

After her victory, King says she felt "incredible, winning the gold and knowing I did it clean." The words were aimed at her main rival, Russian Yulia Efimova, a swimmer who was recently served a doping suspension.

King also felt that anyone with a prior doping violation should not be able to compete. This includes her US teammate, sprinter Justin Gatlin. 

Spitting in the Soup

Simone Biles led the way for a talented American women's gymnastics squad that delivered on massive expectations Tuesday, winning gold in the team competition of the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. It was the team's second consecutive Olympic gold, setting a new standard in gymnastics.

This win was never in doubt: The 8-point gap between the U.S. and second-place Russia was the largest since 1960, when the Soviet Union defeated Czechoslovakia by 8.997 points in Rome.

Brazil won its first gold medal today in this Olympics, when judoka Rafaela Silva defeated Sumiya Dorjsuren of Mongolia in the women's 57 kg.

Judo has a big following in Brazil, and that enthusiasm followed Silva from one match to the next. Silva grew up about 5 miles from where the competition took place today, and her fans packed the stands.

Flashy Brazilian music and dance is likely to light up your TV screen Friday night when the Olympic cauldron is lit to officially launch the Summer Games. But a lot of the Olympic athletes from the Northwest are skipping the Opening Ceremony in Rio.

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Catherine Osborn

To get Brazilians excited about the Olympics, the city government in Rio de Janeiro commissioned a countdown song in the funk carioca style, which is very popular in the city.

Olympic fans, prepare to watch hookers in a scrum who hope not to end up in the sin bin.

The lexicon of rugby, and the men's game itself, return to Olympic competition after a 92-year absence. The return in Rio also involves a couple of debuts: It's the first Olympic appearance for women in the sport, and a first for Rugby Sevens. It's a seven-on-seven game. Traditional rugby has 13 or 15 a side.

American women were not exactly a powerhouse at the 1972 Summer Olympics: They won just 23 medals, compared with 71 for the U.S. men. The women were absent from the medal podium in gymnastics. They didn't win a single gold in track and field, managing just one silver and two bronze.

But something else happened that year. The U.S. Congress passed Title IX, which bars sex discrimination in education programs receiving federal money. Sports wasn't the focus of Title IX. In fact, quite the opposite.

There will be plenty of Olympic athletes with local connections to cheer for when the Summer Games begin this week.

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