Olympic Daily News: 30 June 2020

Get your daily update of Olympic news: Trivia, trends, and talking points. Adam Peaty on diversity in swimming, U.S. Figure Skating salutes LGBTQ+ athletes

By Scott Bregman

Happy birthday to swimming superstar Michael Phelps!

The 23-time Olympic champion has a lot to celebrate, including a recently announced HBO documentary called ‘Weight of Gold,’ which aims to continue Phelps’ work speaking out about mental health issues. Phelps will narrate the film out July 29, and Olympians Shaun White, Gracie Gold, Sasha Cohen, Bode Miller, David Boudia, Lolo Jones and more will also appear.

Two-time Olympian Shevon Nieto to appear on ‘America’s Got Talent’

Shevon Nieto, who represented Jamaica at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games in the 400m hurdles, is now running toward a new dream: singing.

The 37-year-old will appear on Tuesday’s ‘America’s Got Talent’ on NBC.

“I wanted to be an Olympian, but I knew my first love was music,” said Nieto, according to NewsDay.com. “I was always [thinking], ‘How are you going to do both?’ I always felt like God would work out a way for me to accomplish these dreams.”

On the show, Nieto will perform an original song, “Through the Good and the Bad,” which was written for her husband, Jamie, also a two-time Olympian.

U.S. Figure Skating celebrates Pride

With June’s LGBTQ+ Pride Month coming to an end, U.S. Figure Skating is saluting members of its community who have come out, including Adam Rippon, Brian Boitano, Amber Glenn, Karina Manta and more.

Rippon recalls a time when he expected to be critiqued for a costume that showed off his bare shoulders, believing some would think it too flamboyant.

"I was expecting ridicule. And then the judge says to [coach] Rafael Arutyunyan: 'The tank top didn't have enough crystals! Adam wasn't over the top enough! If he's going to go for it, go all the way!' said Rippon. "I was blown away."

Tim LeDuc, the 2019 U.S. pairs champion with Ashley Cain, credits Rippon and many others with having paved the way for him in the sport and feels a responsibility to keep pushing figure skating forward.

"To be able to now be out and to be at the top of my sport is really meaningful because I know that there are young queer people who need to be able to turn the TV on and see queer athletes," LeDuc said. "And (for them) to know that you do not have to change yourself, and you do not have to doubt yourself for any reason, and you can still be the best.

"You can still be a champion."

Adam Peaty: ‘We have to identify a way to reach out to more communities’

Team GB’s Adam Peaty, the Rio 2016 100m breaststroke champion, wants to have an impact in his sport well beyond the pool. With the world record holder in the 50 and 100m breaststroke set to have his first child with partner Eiri Munro in September, Peaty wants to increase the diversity of his sport.

"My son will be mixed race. I want him to be judged on his achievements, not his skin colour," Peaty said in an interview with BBC Sport.

"Swimming is a very white-based sport because culturally we don't really reach out to those communities to get them involved," he continued. "I want to start to create that positive environment for people where no matter what race, what age or background they can be part of it."

Trivia time!

Yesterday, we asked how many swimming events were included in the first modern Olympic Games of 1896. The answer: 4 (100m freestyle, 500m freestyle, 1200 freestyle and 100m freestyle for sailors).

Here’s today’s question:

Who was the first openly gay Olympic champion?

  1. Eric Radford
  2. Megan Rapinoe
  3. Matthew Mitcham
  4. Gus Kenworthy