Olympic Daily News: 26 June 2020

Get your daily update of Olympic news: Trivia, trends, and talking points including Larisa Iordache on Tokyo 2020, a digital Wimbledon and Mirai Nagasu's Olympic Day message

By Scott Bregman

“The happier we are, the healthier we are. The healthier we are, the happier we are.”

Those are the words of two-time Olympian Pita Taufatofua from Tonga. Check out what he and other Olympians, including Laurie Hernandez and Felix Sanchez, have to say about how important it is to #StayActive!

Larisa Iordache on Tokyo 2020 dreams: “I’m very ambitious!”

When 2012 Olympic gymnastics bronze medallist Larisa Iordache of Romania heard the news of Olympic postponement, it presented an unexpected opportunity.

“I read the news as a new chance for me,” the 24-year-old, who finished runner-up to Simone Biles at the 2014 World Championships and third in 2015, told Olympic Channel this week.

Iordache recently announced her intent to compete for a spot in Tokyo at December's European Gymnastics Championships, and the five-time European champion has already shared many promising videos of her training on Instagram.

“The workouts are getting better and better,” she says. "I'm very ambitious!"

Since those triumphs in 2014 and 2015, Iordache has been plagued by injuries, including an Achilles tendon tear at the start of the 2017 World Championships, her last international competition.

“I had another operation in 2018,” she said. “I worked in an office and I recovered in order to be a normal person.”

Her announcement that she would resume training has sparked excitement from a loyal fan base.

“It means a lot to me that people support me in everything I do,” she said. “I want to thank [my fans] for all the support they offer me.”

Wimbledon goes digital, honors past champions

Monday would have marked the start of the 2020 Wimbledon tennis tournament. But with the 2020 edition canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, things are going digital with ‘The Greatest Championships.’

Round-by-round, a selection of the greatest matches at Wimbledon will be released, enhanced by detailed stats, player bios, point-by-point commentary, interviews and more.

In addition, the tournament is also honoring some of its past champions including Olympic champion Venus Williams with short, documentary-style videos on YouTube. Williams’ video is narrated by her sister and fellow Olympic gold medallist Serena.

Mirai Nagasu shares emotional Olympic Day post

Two-time figure skating Olympian Mirai Nagasu shared an emotional Olympic Day post on social media late Thursday, writing in part, “Two days ago, it was Olympic day, and I think that I’ve been immune to the importance of how special that day is. It took me hours and years of work that are full of memories, good and bad.”

The American first competed at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. But then missed out on a return trip in 2014, despite finishing third at the U.S. championships.

She battled her way back to Olympic ice in 2018.

“I remind myself every day that training those last two years going into the 2018 Olympics felt like a live or die situation,” Nagasu writes. “I was pushing through pain where I knew that I needed to get surgery afterwards, but I also didn’t think that I could physically survive what I mentally went through in 2014 again. So, I trained every day like it was the last day of my life.”

Those 2018 Olympics included a team bronze medal win and historic triple axel.

“I think back on the adrenaline pumping through me after I skated in the team event and how powerful I felt after accomplishing something I spent days crying over,” Nagasu reflected. “When I think back on it, I can’t even comprehend that I was able to accomplish going to the Olympics, not just once but twice.”

ISU reveals figure skating award nominees

The International Skating Union announced Friday the three nominees in each category for its Skating Awards 2020. The winners will be announced on July 11, during a live stream scheduled for 16:00 CEST. The live stream will be hosted by Tanith and Charlie White.

The nominations are based off the results of the 2019-20 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating, ISU European Figure Skating Championships and ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships of 2019-20, and online votes from fans, media and ISU Members.

Nominees include Nathan Chen, Gabriella Papdakis and Guillaume Cizeron, and Hanyu Yuruzu in the most valuable skater category. Awards for best costume, most entertaining program, best newcomer, best choreographer, best coach and lifetime achievement award are also on the line.

Trivia time

The answer to yesterday’s question is four: Usian Bolt owns four of the 10 fastest 200m times at the Olympic Games.

Here’s today’s question:

Who is the only women’s figure skater to win three-straight Olympic gold medals?

  1. Katerina Witt
  2. Kristi Yamaguchi
  3. Sonja Henie
  4. Peggy Fleming