Olympic Daily News: 2 September 2020

Get your daily update of Olympic news: Trivia, trends, and talking points with Nicola Adams headed to 'Strictly,' figure skater Valentina Marchei announces retirement

By Scott Bregman

For anyone who’s been meaning to pick up that one hobby, Olympic silver medallist and two-time World figure skating champion Evgenia Medvedeva has some inspiration for you.

The 20-year-old Russian posted a video of her starting to learn to play the ukulele this week, writing “Let’s start this long journey.”

So, what have you always wanted to learn to do? Tweet us and let us know.

Double Olympic champion Nicola Adams ready for history-making turn on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’

British boxer Nicola Adams, who took flyweight gold at London 2012 and Rio 2016, will make history as the first contestant to be part of a female same-sex dance team on the BBC’s ballroom dancing show ‘Strictly Come Dancing.’ Adams’ partner has yet to be announced.

“People might know me from work in the ring, but I’ll be every bit as passionate and dedicated on the dance-floor too,” Adams said, according to Yahoo! Entertainment.

“I also wanted to thank the BBC for supporting me and making me the first ever all female-pairing; and it’s amazing to be a part of the movement for change, diversity and breaking boundaries in the entertainment industry.”

Adams, openly bisexual, is used to breaking barriers, as the first openly LGBT person to win an Olympic boxing gold medal. In addition to her triumphs in London and Rio, she is the 2016 World Champion and took European gold in 2011.

Russia in doubt for participation at European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships

The European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships, scheduled for 26-29 November in Kiev, may be missing one very prominent country: Russia.

"The conditions put forward by the organisers are unacceptable for Russian athletes," said famed Russian rhythmic coach Irina Viner-Usmanova, according to Inside the Games. "You have to sit there for two weeks in isolation, which is impossible, therefore, we did not apply for participation in the European Championship.”

Russian athletes have dominated the championships, taking all-around gold at every championships back to 1998.

Organisers say they’re looking at addressing concerns raised by Viner-Usmanova and a final decision will be made at a late September meeting.

"As for quarantine, we and the LOC are looking into different options with the Ukrainian government, for example by providing negative test results not older than 48h upon arrival and/or to pass a test within 24h after arrival,” the European Gymnastics Union said in a statement.

Two-time Olympic figure skater Valentina Marchei announces retirement

Italian singles and pairs figure skater Valentina Marchei announced her retirement from the sport Tuesday in a post on Facebook.

“I've been thinking about writing this post for months. Maybe because until today I wasn't ready to 'let go' that part of me that was all I was: Vale, the skater,” wrote Marchei, who finished 11th in singles competition at Sochi 2014 and 6th in pairs with Ondřej Hotárek at PyeongChang 2018.

Away from the sport for two years, Marchei says she considered a return to pairs skating with a foreign partner. COVID-19 thwarted that effort, she said.

Marchei closed her post with a message to future skating stars: “I close with a message for the younger skaters: don't let yourself be stopped by fear of failing. Above all, don't let those around you limit your opportunities or convince you that you can't do it. You have to believe in yourselves, not others.”

Trivia time

Yesterday, we asked who is the only woman to win back-to-back Olympic titles in giant slalom. The answer? Deborah Compagnoni, who took titles at the 1994 Lillehammer and 1998 Nagano Olympics.

Here’s today’s question.

Who is the last non-Russian athlete to win Olympic gold in rhythmic gymnastics?

  1. Lori Fung
  2. Kateryna Serebrianska
  3. Anna Bessonova
  4. Inna Zhukova

ICYMI: UCI Road World Championships headed to new venue

The Union Cycliste Internationale announced Wednesday that the 2020 Road World Championships will be held in the Italian city of Imola.

The event, which was originally due to take place in Aigle-Martigny, Switzerland, is scheduled for 24-27 September.