Sen. Wicker says Sam Kendricks should compete in Olympics despite positive Covid test

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NBC News 30 July, 2021 - 05:42am 44 views

When is the track and field Olympic trials?

The U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team was largely decided at the Olympic Trials, which took place from June 18-27, except for the marathoners who qualified through a separate trial in 2020. The top three finishers in each event at the trials joined the Olympic roster. AS EnglishWhat’s USA team for athletics and track field at Tokyo Olympics 2021?

How much money do you get if you win gold in the Olympics?

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee has set the cash prize at $37,500, $22,500, and $15,000 for winning gold, silver and bronze respectively. On the other hand, one of the highest rewarding countries is Singapore which will pay medalists around $737,000 for gold, $369,000 for silver and $184,000 for bronze. DNA IndiaDNA Explainer: Here's how much money athletes will earn for winning medals at Tokyo Olympics

Do the Olympians get paid?

However, most Olympic medal winners do receive a cash reward from their home Olympic committee. The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee pays members of Team USA $37,500 for each gold medal they win, $22,500 for every silver, and $15,000 for a bronze. independent.co.ukTokyo Olympics: How much money do athletes win for gold, silver and bronze medals?

Pole vaulter Sam Kendricks, a Mississippi native, was blocked from the Games Thursday after testing positive for Covid-19 on the eve of track and field events getting underway.

But Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss, suggested the test that knocked him out of the competition was “almost certainly a false positive.”

“This is an injustice that can still be rectified if the Olympic Committee will be fair,” Wicker declared on the Senate floor later Thursday.

Kendricks, Wicker said, was disqualified “with no consideration for the fact that his test, one among thousands of tests administered daily, may very well have been a fluke!”

“I am outraged, outraged that a young athlete is unfairly missing out on his chance to show his talent to the world and win a gold medal on behalf of his country,” Wicker added.

International Olympics Committee spokesman Mark Adams said at a press conference Friday that every athlete competing at the games is treated the same. That includes being immediately retested if their saliva test comes up positive for Covid-19.

“I can’t talk about the individual case, but that’s what happens in all cases,” Adams said.

“He and everyone else will be subject to the same strict protocols because it’s important to give everyone confidence. And for obvious reasons, we can’t make exceptions for individuals. Everyone has to follow the rules, I’m afraid.”

But the IOC did say Friday it would make an effort to improve conditions for athletes who land in coronavirus quarantine. That comes after Dutch taekwondo competitor Reshmie Oogink drew worldwide attention when she described her isolation as "Olympic jail" in an Instagram posting.

Kendricks, 28, is the two-time reigning world pole vault champion and was one of the top U.S. hopes for a gold medal in the track and field competition, which got underway Friday at the Tokyo Olympic stadium.

Wicker said Kendricks had Covid-19 before “and should be immune.” But it wasn’t clear if Kendricks was vaccinated and during a June 14 zoom call with reporters he didn’t directly answer the question, The Wall Street Journal reported.

A Mississippi native and a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army reserve, Kendricks created one of the most memorable moments at the Rio games when he stopped in mid-sprint, set down his pole, and stood at attention when he heard the U.S. national anthem being played during a medal ceremony on the other side of the stadium.

The Team USA vaccination rate is 83 percent, suggesting as many as 100 American athletes in Tokyo are unvaccinated.

By contrast, just 27 percent of the Japanese population is fully vaccinated, according to the latest figures.

And in recent days, record numbers of new Covid cases have been reported in Tokyo, which has been under a state of emergency resulting in all fans being banned from watching the athletes compete at the Olympic venues.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government reported 3,300 new positive Covid-19 cases on Friday, a slight decline from Thursday's record 3,865 new cases.

The Japanese government also declared fresh states of emergency in three prefectures around Tokyo and in the city of Osaka.

Read full article at NBC News

Pandemic Protocols In Tokyo Have Given Us An Adorable New Olympic Tradition

NPR 30 July, 2021 - 06:40am

Pandemic protocols have kept Olympic venues primarily fan-free, required extra precautions and testing for athletes and staff and prevented many loved ones from cheering their teams on in person.

But one COVID-19 concession may actually make for a beautiful new Olympic tradition.

In years past, dignitaries would place medals around each winner's neck on the podium.

This year, officials are presenting athletes with their medals on a tray, from which they can then theoretically put them on themselves. But with the flowers and the masks, it can be a lot to juggle.

So some Olympians are giving each other a hand, in what might just be the most pure example of teamwork at this year's Games.

This story originally appeared on the Morning Edition live blog.

US sprinter Noah Lyles is at the top of his game, on and off the track, ready for Tokyo | USA TODAY

USA TODAY 30 July, 2021 - 06:40am

The Philippines clinched its first ever gold medal in Tokyo this week, making Filipino weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz the country's first Olympic gold medalist.

As a reward for her historic achievement, Diaz will reportedly receive at least 33 million Philippine pesos (around $600,000) from the Philippine Sports Commission as well as the country's top businessmen. She has also been offered two homes and free flights for life, according to reports.

While the International Olympic Committee does not pay prize money to medalists, many countries offer monetary rewards to their athletes for the number of medals they win at the Olympics.

Here's a look at how much money medalists from 12 countries could take home, based on data compiled by CNBC from various national Olympic committees, sport associations as well as personal finance site Money Under 30.

More than 600 U.S. athletes are competing at the Tokyo Olympics, and the United States has so far won 11 gold, 11 silver and 9 bronze.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee rewards athletes $37,500 for every gold medal won, $22,500 for silver and $15,000 for bronze. Most of that prize money is not taxable unless athletes report gross income that exceeds $1 million.

U.S. athletes also receive other forms of support including health insurance, access to top-tier medical facilities and college tuition assistance.

In comparison, Singapore rewards its gold medalists nearly 20 times more than the U.S. Players who clinch their first individual gold medal for the city-state stand to receive 1 million Singapore dollars ($737,000). The prize money is taxable and awardees are required to return a portion of it to their national sports associations for future training and development.

The country sent only 23 athletes to Tokyo.

The sporting economy in the U.S. allows athletes to better monetize their talents as most of it is driven by the private sector, according to Unmish Parthasarathi, founder and executive director at consulting firm Picture Board Partners.

In places like Singapore, India and elsewhere, many of the national sporting initiatives are driven by governments that sometimes use higher monetary rewards to encourage a growing sporting culture, he told CNBC.

Athletes who win gold receive 1 million ringgit ($236,149), while silver winners are awarded 300,000 ringgit, and 100,000 ringgit is given to athletes who win bronze. In dollar terms, a Malaysian Olympic bronze winner will receive a higher performance reward than a gold winner from Australia or Canada.

Beyond receiving monetary and non-monetary rewards from their countries for winning medals, Olympians rely on other revenue streams for their sporting endeavors.

Athletes from bigger, more competitive countries receive stipends or training grants from their national sports associations. Top performers collect prize money by winning national and international tournaments. Others draw regular salary by holding a variety of jobs.

Some, like U.S. badminton player Zhang Beiwen, reportedly relied on crowdsourcing to finance their trip to Tokyo. Most Team USA athletes are not represented by sports agents and some have no sponsors or endorsements at all, according to a Forbes report.

A handful of athletes may score multimillion dollar endorsements or sponsorship deals, either before competing at the Olympics or after achieving success in the Games. For example, tennis star Naomi Osaka reportedly made $55 million from endorsements in 12 months, and was named the highest-paid female athlete ever, according to reports.

But scoring lucrative deals is rare, and hardly the norm.

Parthasarathi pointed out that one profitable career move for some athletes is to go into coaching after retirement as people are willing to pay a premium for former Olympians.

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Gov. Walz, St. Paul Mayor Carter declare Friday ‘Sunisa Lee Day’

Japan Today 29 July, 2021 - 06:22pm

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Gov. Tim Walz has proclaimed Friday, July 30, 2021, as Sunisa Lee Day in Minnesota.

This announcement comes roughly 12 hours after Lee earned a gold medal in the women’s gymnastics all-around competition at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. She is the first Hmong American to represent Team USA at the Olympics.

“Suni Lee, Minnesota’s own, has made our state and country proud by etching her name among the legendary USA Olympians that have won at the Summer Games,” Walz said in a release. “We so proud of you, Suni. Way to bring home the gold!”

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter also declared Friday, as Sunisa Lee Day in the city St. Paul.

“We join members of our Hmong American community, along with all those in Saint Paul, throughout the state of Minnesota, across our nation, and around the world in celebrating Sunisa Lee, and in thanking her for inspiring all of us,” the mayor’s proclamation reads.

The 18-year-old St. Paul native finished with a final score of 57.433 points in the all-around competition.

She stuck her landing on vault, crushed her routine on uneven bars, battled through a shaky start on balance beam, and put forth a clutch performance on floor exercise. In the end, that was enough for Lee to hold off Rebeca Andrade of Brazil.

“Congratulations to Team USA’s Suni Lee, the first Hmong-American Olympian, on bringing home the gold medal,” Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan said in the release. “That roar you hear coming from Minnesota is all of the love and excitement we’re sending to you in Tokyo! The story of your victory will be told to generations of Minnesotans as you exemplify the very best of who we are.”

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Gov. Walz, St. Paul Mayor Carter declare Friday ‘Sunisa Lee Day’

The Straits Times 29 July, 2021 - 06:22pm

GET BREAKING NEWS IN YOUR BROWSER. CLICK HERE TO TURN ON NOTIFICATIONS.

Gov. Tim Walz has proclaimed Friday, July 30, 2021, as Sunisa Lee Day in Minnesota.

This announcement comes roughly 12 hours after Lee earned a gold medal in the women’s gymnastics all-around competition at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. She is the first Hmong American to represent Team USA at the Olympics.

“Suni Lee, Minnesota’s own, has made our state and country proud by etching her name among the legendary USA Olympians that have won at the Summer Games,” Walz said in a release. “We so proud of you, Suni. Way to bring home the gold!”

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter also declared Friday, as Sunisa Lee Day in the city St. Paul.

“We join members of our Hmong American community, along with all those in Saint Paul, throughout the state of Minnesota, across our nation, and around the world in celebrating Sunisa Lee, and in thanking her for inspiring all of us,” the mayor’s proclamation reads.

The 18-year-old St. Paul native finished with a final score of 57.433 points in the all-around competition.

She stuck her landing on vault, crushed her routine on uneven bars, battled through a shaky start on balance beam, and put forth a clutch performance on floor exercise. In the end, that was enough for Lee to hold off Rebeca Andrade of Brazil.

“Congratulations to Team USA’s Suni Lee, the first Hmong-American Olympian, on bringing home the gold medal,” Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan said in the release. “That roar you hear coming from Minnesota is all of the love and excitement we’re sending to you in Tokyo! The story of your victory will be told to generations of Minnesotans as you exemplify the very best of who we are.”

These are simple money moves any normal, non-millionaire person can make today.

As you comment, please be respectful of other commenters and other viewpoints. Our goal with article comments is to provide a space for civil, informative and constructive conversations. We reserve the right to remove any comment we deem to be defamatory, rude, insulting to others, hateful, off-topic or reckless to the community. See our full terms of use here.

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