Olympic Daily News: 30 September 2020

Get your daily update of Olympic news: Trivia, trends, and talking points as we celebrate International Podcast Day; Aly Raisman and Laurie Hernandez on speaking up for change in gymnastics

By Scott Bregman

Happy International Podcast Day!

We’re clearly biased here at Olympic Channel, but… our favourite podcast is, of course, the Olympic Channel Podcast. And today, as with every Wednesday, we have a new episode.

This week's edition features two-time Olympic gold medallist Haile Gebrselassie sharing his insights into this weekend’s hotly anticipated London Marathon duel between Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele.

Take a listen!

Gymnasts Aly Raisman, Laurie Hernandez on mental health and change in their sport

Aly Raisman and Laurie Hernandez, who were part of Team USA’s gold medal-winning women’s artistic gymnastics team at Rio 2016, have shared their experiences prioritizing mental health.

“I think I found my voice solidly this year, because until then, it was me just going through the motions in life,” Hernandez told Glamour magazine, which is currently airing a gymnastics documentary titled ‘Defying Gravity’ on its YouTube Channel.

Hernandez credits the change, in part, to being open about emotional and verbal abuse she experienced under former coach Maggie Haney.

Raisman, who came forward as a survivor of the abuse perpetrated by former team doctor Larry Nassar, and Hernandez are part of a larger movement to make change in the sport called #GymnastAlliance.

“It’s gymnasts from all around the world speaking up and sharing their stories. And it is heartbreaking. It’s hard to put into words. I find it just so incredible at the same time,” says Raisman. “My heart goes out to them. And just the pain that they’ve endured, but then also the hope of, Wow, I really feel things can actually change. It’s really powerful.”

1988 Olympic bronze medalist Kotani Mikako joins Tokyo organising committee

Japanese artistic swimmer Kotani Mikako, who won two Olympic bronze medals at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, will serve as the Tokyo 2020 Sports Director, the organising committee announced today.

“As Sports Director, I am very honoured and humbled to be able to support the Olympic and Paralympic Games from a sporting perspective and from the perspective of an Olympian,” Kotani said in a statement. “We will work hard to overcome this unprecedented challenge the world is facing, and help athletes perform to their best in a new kind of the Games.”

In addition to her Olympic medals in women’s solo and duet artistic swimming, Kotani is the first woman to serve as flag-bearer for Japan at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games.

“I will do my best to contribute to the success of these historic Games,” she said.

NBA, WNBA finals set to begin

The NBA and WNBA Finals are about to get underway in the respective bubbles in Orlando and Bradenton, Florida.

For the NBA, it’s the Los Angeles Lakers facing off with the Miami Heat. Game 1 is scheduled for Wednesday evening with basketball superstar and Olympic champion Lebron James seeking his fourth championship win with his third team.

“We’re just playing good ball at the right time and we want to continue that. Being in the bubble, all we have is each other,” James said ahead of the series, according to LakersNation.com.

The Las Vegas Aces will take on the Seattle Storm Friday evening in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals.

The Storm, fresh of their sweep of the Minnesota Lynx, are seeking their fourth WNBA title, while a win for the Aces would be a first for the club.

Figure skating Grand Prix final postponed

The International Skating Union (ISU) announced on Wednesday that it had postponed the 2020/21 Grand Prix Final of Figure Skating, which had been scheduled for 10-13 December in Beijing, citing "pandemic developments". The event was due to double as a test for Beijing 2022. Find out more on that story here.

Trivia time

Yesterday, we asked when badminton was officially added to the Olympic programme. The answer? 1992. The sport was previously part of the Games as a demonstration sport (1972) and an exhibition sport (1988) before being added in 1992. Mixed doubles was first contested in 1996.

Here’s today’s question.

What city will be the first host of both a summer and winter Olympic Games?

  1. London

  2. Los Angeles

  3. Paris

  4. Beijing

Today’s ‘Daily Dog’ asks the tough questions…

And frankly, this dogless writer doesn’t quite know the answer.