Olympic Daily News: 24 August 2020

Get your daily update of Olympic news: Trivia, trends, and talking points featuring Andy Murray's first win in nine months, Iouri Podladtchikov announces his retirement

By Scott Bregman

A day after tributes poured in for NBA legend and double Olympic basketball champion Kobe Bryant on what would have been his 42nd birthday, Orange County, California, is celebrating Kobe Bryant Day.

The date was chosen to honor the jersey numbers Bryant wore during his career with the Los Angeles Lakers: 8 and 24.

"A treasured member of our Orange County community, Kobe Bryant was the basketball legend that inspired so many young men and women to pursue their dreams and never give up," said Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Michelle Steel.

Andy Murray wins first match in nine months

Olympic champion tennis player Andy Murray won his first in nine months over the weekend at the Western & Southern Open against American Frances Tiafoe.

“Physically, I thought I did pretty well,” said Murray, according to the Associated Press. “I moved maybe better than what I expected to.”

The two-time Wimbledon champion is returning to the sport after two major hip operations in 2018 and 2019 that threatened to keep him away from the sport permanently.

Elsewhere at the Western & Southern Open, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, a 2008 Olympic bronze medallist, withdrew from doubles as he nurses an injury. He is, however, expected to play Monday in singles along with Serena Williams, who had a bye through first round action.

Olympic snowboard champ Iouri Podladtchikov retires

Swiss snowboarder Iouri Podladtchikov announced his retirement. The 31-year-old took gold at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi.

But since his triumph in Sochi, he has encountered many hardships including a traumatic brain injury at the Winter X Games weeks before PyeongChang 2018. Then, came bad a crash at an event in China followed by a torn Achilles tendon in early 2019.

He returned to competition in January at the Laax Open, finishing fifth in the halfpipe competition in what ultimately became the last event his career.

His legacy in the sport extends beyond his Olympic gold, having been the first rider to perform a Cab double cork 1440 in competition, a move he named the ‘YOLO Flip.’

U.S. gymnast Sunisa Lee shares coronavirus scare

Team USA gymnast Sunisa Lee, who finished runner-up to Simone Biles at the 2019 U.S. National Championships and helped her team to gold at the World Championships, shared her coronavirus scare Monday in an interview with the New York Times.

“Of course, the first thing I thought when I got sick was, ‘I have the coronavirus,’” said Lee. “It was scary.”

Lee has already seen the damage the virus can do after her aunt and uncle died from COVID-19 earlier this summer.

The 17-year-old's biggest fear was that she could give virus to her father, John, who is paralyzed from the neck down after falling from a ladder a year ago – the anniversary of that event coming while Lee isolated herself from her family at home.

“On the anniversary, I texted him and said, ‘Dad, I’m so proud of how far you’ve come and that you’ve come back so strong,’” said Lee.

Trivia time

Yesterday, we asked what medal did boxing’s Floyd Mayweather win at Atlanta 1996. The answer? Bronze.

Here’s today’s question:

Who won the first Olympic gold medal in men’s halfpipe snowboard?

  1. Ross Powers

  2. Gian Simmen

  3. Shaun White

  4. Iouri Podladtchikov

The next great artistic swimmers

Do Marty and Murphy have what it takes to be Olympic greats?