Olympic Daily News: 24 July 2020

Your daily update of Olympic news, including a bizarre Olympic marathon finish, Sanya Richards-Ross' emotional letter to Olympians, trivia, and bobsleigh dancing!

By Andrew Binner

On this day in 1908, United States runner Johnny Hayes won the London Olympic marathon in what was then a Games record of 2:55:18.

But he didn’t cross the line first.

Heavy favourite Dorando Pietri took that honour, but was disqualified for receiving assistance before the finish line due to heat exhaustion!

The Italian expended all his energy at the start of the race to open up a 10-minute lead at one point, fatiguing himself to the point that when he entered the stadium, he took a wrong turn and was helped to his feet by the umpires.

Four more tumbles followed, and each time the umpires came to his aid and the U.S. officials successfully complained.

Sanya Richards-Ross on Olympic heartbreak

Former USA track star Sanya Richards-Ross has penned an emotional letter To The Olympians of the Tokyo 2020 Games, in The Player's Tribune.

In it, the four-time Olympic gold medallist reveals what happened at Beijing 2008 when she lost out in her favourite 400m, as well as expressing deep sympathy for the emotional turmoil athletes who base their lives around one event every four years must be going through.

"That’s why I feel for every Olympian who had prepared to compete in Tokyo this summer. Because even though I suffered the most disappointing loss of my life in Beijing … at least I’d had the chance to compete," she said.

"I know that to a lot of people, one year doesn’t seem like a long time. But for so many Olympic athletes — especially those in more niche or individual sports — this delay hurts, and it will for a while.

"A lot of you are already feeling the financial impact. Maybe you’re a track athlete like I was and you make most of your money from competing. Now there are no races to run. Or maybe you’ve lost sponsors because companies aren’t renewing contracts in this uncertain economic climate."

David Boudia's moving story

The Olympic postponement is just another obstacle for David Boudia to dive over, so to speak, on his roller-coaster journey towards the Tokyo Olympic Games.

In between the many highs of the U.S. Olympic gold medallist diver’s career, he has struggled immensely with concussion, a loss of love for competition and poor form that led to depression and suicidal thoughts.

His amazing journey in diving, as well as his life mantra that the key to success is not focusing purely on an end result, but instead valuing the journey you are on, is explored in the first episode of new Olympic Channel series What Moves Me.

Bobsleigh dancing

They say bobsleigh athletes need to have the power of a weightlifter and the speed of a sprinter...but what about the agility of a dancer?

Olympic sledder Luke Dawes showed off his team’s new warm-up routine at training, and heck does it look fun!

Might need a few more clothes than that at the Beijing 2022 Olympics though...

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Test your knowledge

Yesterday's question was: Which of the following nations did NOT win their first Olympic gold medal at Rio 2016?

The answer is Tonga, which sent seven athletes to Rio and did not win a medal. Fiji clinched gold in men's rugby sevens, Hoang Xuan Vinh won Vietnam's first gold medal in shooting, and swimmer Joseph Schooling took Singapore's maiden Olympic gold.

Today we are asking:

Which of these sports featured at the Paris 1900 Olympic Games?

  1. Chariot racing
  2. Wrestling
  3. Equestrian long jump
  4. Snooker

We'll have the answer tomorrow.