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Published 1:23 p.m. ChT May 16, 2018
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In this file photo, Kaori Icho, in red, and Valeriia Koblova Zholobova compete in a women’s freestyle 58kg gold wrestling medal match at Carioca Arena 2 during the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games.(Photo: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor)
The Guam Amateur Wrestling Federation will host the United World Wrestling Oceania Championship May 18-19 at the Leo Palace Resort Ballroom — and the island also will welcome a four-time Olympic wrestler from Japan.
The championship will feature wrestlers from American Samoa, Australia, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Palau, Tahiti and Guam competing in freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling, male and female divisions, according to a news release.
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Freestyle wrestling will begin at 10 a.m. May 18, while the Greco-Roman wrestling is slated for 10 a.m. May 19. Both events are scheduled to begin weigh-ins at 7 a.m.
Events are open to licensed United World Wrestling competitors who have registered though their national federations, the news release stated. The events also will serve as a Youth Olympic Games qualifier for athletes under 18 years of age, who will represent the region in Buenos Aries Oct. 6-20.
The More Than Medals Camp, featuring 10-time world champion and four-time Olympic champion Kaori Icho, will be held May 21-28 for registered cadet athletes. Icho took Olympic gold in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 — the first female in any sport to win individual-event gold at four consecutive Olympics, the news release stated.
The event is sponsored by Ernst & Young, Pacific Amusement Inc., Leo Palace Resort, Pro Ink, Gracie Barra Guam, Coffee Slut, Let’s Ride and Stroll Guam.
For additional information contact Tony Aquino at 687-1493.
Minnesota Vikings helmets and equipment at the Super Bowl LII Experience at the Minneapolis Convention Center.(Photo: Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports)
The Minnesota Vikings will become the first NFL franchise to host a large-scale summit focused on the inclusion of LGBTQ athletes in sports.
The event, scheduled for June 21 at the Vikings’ new practice facility, will include panels featuring gay, lesbian and transgender athletes and coaches, including Olympic diver Greg Louganis, triathlete Chris Mosier and former NFL defensive tackle Esera Tuaolo. The audience is expected to include 200 athletes, high school and college coaches and members of LGBTQ organizations from the Twin Cities.
“I think it sends a message that we at the Vikings, and others, believe in being inclusive,” Vikings chief operating officer Kevin Warren told USA TODAY Sports. “My hope and desire is that this inspires individuals, this inspires businesses and corporate entities, and inspires sports teams, in all sports, to really sit back and say, this is a fact of life. This is reality. We have individuals who may be in pain on our teams. They may not feel they have an opportunity to talk about these issues, and hopefully this is the spark to get some of these issues out on the table and allow people to become more comfortable in addressing these issues.”
Former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, who has been a longtime advocate of LGBTQ rights, has advised the team during the planning of the summit and will also participate in the event. Kluwe in 2014 threatened to sue the Vikings after he said an assistant coach made homophobic remarks. He also alleged that his activism led to his release in 2013. Kluwe settled with the organization in 2014, and the two sides have worked in the years since to mend their relationship.
“Ideally, it’s not just one team doing it — it’s something that a lot of teams are looking at it and saying, ‘Hey, we can do something like this,’” Kluwe told USA TODAY Sports. “Hopefully it goes off really well for the Vikings. Regardless of my situation with them and how that ended, the big goal is to make sure that other athletes don’t have to go through that situation and that LGBTQ athletes are able to be who they are.”
The NFL has not had an openly gay player on a roster since former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in 2014. Sam did not make the Rams’ regular-season roster, but briefly spent time on the practice squad of the Dallas Cowboys and in the Canadian Football League.
“Hopefully the big take away is that having LGBTQ individuals in your locker room isn’t the end of the world, right? This is something that lots of teams are dealing with, especially at the high school and college level, and it’s hopefully something we see teams starting to address more at the professional level,” Kluwe said. “For me, that’s particularly the NFL, but the other major organizations as well, it’s that we want openly out gay players to be able to play. It shouldn’t be that you’re frightened to be who you are while you’re trying to pursue this immensely difficult athletic career.”
Samantha Rapoport, the NFL’s director of football development, said the summit is the first of its kind for any team, though other franchises have worked with LGBTQ organizations like You Can Play in the past. She said the Vikings’ event, which also includes a fundraiser for local and national LGBTQ charities, is the latest step in the league’s effort to be more inclusive of LGBTQ athletes and employees. The league will also have a float in the New York City Pride parade this year for the first time, and it recently established an NFL Pride Affinity group.
“I think the unknown is what hinders progress in general as it pertains to including any minority group, so I think that what this event is going to do is it will normalize the discussion around LGBTQ inclusion,” Rapoport said. “I think the power that football has in this county to do that, the fact that the Minnesota Vikings are leading this, I think will hold a lot of weight and certainly advance that in people’s minds.”
Follow Lindsay H. Jones on Twitter @bylindsayhjones.
How soon can a national football championship and/or Final Four get to Las Vegas?
According to College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock, it’ll be awhile.
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The CFP announced in November title game sites for 2021-24. Hancock told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday that it will likely be “at least two years, maybe more, before we start thinking about the next round” of site selection.
“It’s premature for me to even comment on it because we haven’t talked about it at all,” Hancock said, adding that as of now, Las Vegas does not have a facility that could accommodate a national championship football game.
But it won’t be long before there will be. Construction a new stadium to accomodate the NFL’s Raiders move from Oakland is scheduled to be completed by fall 2019.
“I suspect we’re going to want to know that the building is in place, or will be in place, at least a couple years before we go there,” Hancock said. “I don’t think we’ll be awarding any cities where theres’s a stadium under construction — what if you have delays?”
Even if it’s a few years away, Hancock understands the buzz around the Supreme Court’s decision, and the anticipation about how the ruling could, and likely will, dramatically alter the college sports championship landscape.
“We’re always gonna be excited about a new world class stadium,” he said. “That’s the bottom line for us: Let’s give our athletes the chance to compete in a really cool place … a lot of things will happen before our term comes up, in particular what does the NCAA do (about its bylaws). We’ll be watching.”
On a misty winter morning at a gym in Kolkata, Pushpa Jha, 15, hits a punching bag with all her might, sweat trickling down her cheeks and temples, while her mother looks on.
Jha had severe malnutrition when she was younger, which affected her respiratory system badly, stunting her growth. Tiny and frail, she’s an unlikely candidate for a gold medal at the World Chess Boxing Amateur Championships, but she won that very title in May of 2017. Now she has set her sights on the 2018 championships, to be held this July in Kolkata.
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Her coach, Montu Das, president of Chess Boxing Association of India, says that she has something that many players do not—a desire to succeed against all odds. Her mother, Golapi Jha, agrees.
“She forgets everything when she is up in the ring; she has been wounded and injured twice already during matches, and she often has blood flowing through her nose during physical stress, yet she is adamant to continue,” Golapi Jha, a domestic worker, says.
Much to the surprise of its pioneers, this new sport is transforming the lives of a group of Indian girls.
Many of them have learned chess at home, so training focuses on the physical skills needed for boxing, with a half-hour at the end dedicated to chess strategy.
“It has made me strong—not only physically but also mentally,” Jha says of the sport. “I am learning to overcome my fears. It has helped me in getting medical help too.”
She says the prize money had been useful for her and her family. Her local elected representative has also given her small scholarship packages over past two years for her achievements.
Rashmi Saha, 16, hopes to build a more certain future for herself through chess boxing. Her mother cleans the houses of six different families every day, while her father pulls a rickshaw on Kolkata’s backstreets. In total, the family income usually doesn’t exceed Rs 22,000 ($338) per month, which vanishes as soon as it appears.
They don’t have enough money to send their daughter to college, but Saha hopes chess boxing will change that by giving her access to scholarships. Certain schools and colleges recognize certification from the Chess Boxing Association of India when considering applications.
“I’ll appear for my board exams next year and hopefully secure a seat in a college,” she says. She hopes the sport will give her an edge over other students in the job market too. In India, a percentage of jobs in the railways, defense, banking, and other government departments are reserved for people in sports. The Chess Boxing Association of India is currently in talks with committees and government departments to recognize the new sport nationwide as part of these programs. In the meantime, practitioners can apply for the program through either the chess or the boxing streams.
“If my performances are good, I may find a job somewhere using the sports quota,” Saha says.
Debjani Dutta Roy, the headmistress of Kolkata’s Surah Kanya High School, says chess boxing has provided an alternative to domestic labor for her students, more than 200 of whom have trained in the sport so far.
“I don’t know how long they’ll be able to hold on, but they are persisting. This sport has introduced them to an alternative; this has made them hopeful,” she says. “At least, they are not dropping out from school to join the workforce.”
Das agrees. “Many of these girls would have been married away at an early age, right after they dropped school, or would go after some kind of employment,” he says. “Their parents can’t support their education nor could they help them pursue a proper career. Chess boxing has helped them dream of something—a medal, a fantastic performance, maybe a job going forward.”
Saha is already training a few girls in her area. She aspires to become a sports coach when she is done competing.
“It’s relieving that they are able to bring home something. Even though we want our children to have a good life, it’s practically not possible to invest much in them,” her mother, Kumkum Saha, says.
India now has more than 1,200 registered chess boxers, 35 percent of whom are women, Das told News Deeply. The sport’s founder, Iepe Rubingh, who is also the president of the World Chess Boxing Organization, says this is unusual.
“In India, there are a lot more women involved in chess boxing than in Europe. In Europe, it’s 90 percent men and 10 percent women,” he said in an email. He says there will soon be opportunities for India’s women chess boxers on the international circuit.
“We will select the best fighters from India to fight in the professional league in Europe, and if they do well and win a title, the plan is to bring the professional events together with Mr Montu Das to India.”
This article originally appeared on Women’s Advancement Deeply, and you can find the original here. For more news coverage and community engagement focused on women’s economic advancement, you can sign up to the Women’s Advancement Deeply email list.
Rattled by joint military exercises by the United States and South Korea, North Korea threatened to cancel the June 12 historic summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un. North Korea’s state-run Central News Agency called the exercises “provocative military disturbances.” Pyongyang also canceled high-level talks with South Korea planned for Wednesday. The warning comes amid recent goodwill by North Korea and Kim. In just the past few weeks, Kim met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, North Korea promised to dismantle a nuclear bomb test site, and the isolated nation released three American prisoners. Despite the threat, the State Department said the U.S. is still planning for the meeting between Trump and Kim.
America’s fittest city definitely isn’t Oklahoma City. Too Soon(ers)?
A move to Arlington, Va., won’t put you in the best shape of your life, but the Washington suburb does stand as the fittest of America’s largest cities. Credit all those parks, farmers markets and low-smoking rates, said the American College of Sports Medicine. Perhaps it’s a regional thing. Washington, D.C., ranked third on the list, behind Minneapolis. Arlington’s neighbor, Falls Church, Va., was named the nation’s healthiest community earlier this year. Sorry Sooners, Oklahoma City takes the cake as the least fit of the 100 cities in the new report. Is your city more Fitbit or chicken fried steak? See the full list. Not on there? Green Bay, Wis., America’s drunkest city.
Arlington, Va. is the fittest city in the country, edging out Minneapolis, Minn. by half a point. USA TODAY
A divided America can’t agree on its moral leaders
“What is happening to my country?” Regardless of political identity, if you spend time on social media or following the news, you’ve likely asked yourself this question. America has grown more diverse, more secular and more polarized, with fewer identifiable voices emerging as moral authorities — including the president. It’s made the nation’s moral compass harder to tune to a true north. That’s part of the reason why activists with the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival are kicking off a 40-day operation of civil disobedience to refocus the nation’s moral agenda.
Nick Weiler-Babb learned quickly which bar patrons had the most money Randy Peterson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kira Lewis, of Hazel Greene, is named the 6A Player of the Year during the annual Alabama Sport Writers Association Mr. and Miss Basketball Banquet in Montgomery, Ala. on Tuesday April 10, 2018.(Photo: Mickey Welsh / Advertiser)
With April’s evaluation period in the books, 2019 priorities for college basketball teams around the country are becoming more and more clear.
Based on what the Register is hearing from recruiting contacts and industry sources, as well as taking team needs into consideration, here is the newest version of Iowa State’s basketball recruiting big board:
Lots of guards in here, as the Cyclones have made the backcourt their big-time priority for 2019. Although they also would like to add an athletic forward or wing.
Iowa State will likely try to land four players in its 2019 class, even if Lindell Wigginton stays in Ames next year. It is no longer in the running for D.J. Carton, who recently named a top six of Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan, Indiana, Marquette and Xavier.
Lewis is blowing up right now. Kansas is his most recent offer, but he’s also received new offers from Oregon, Northwestern, UConn, Clemson, Indiana and Pitt, and Alabama is all over him. Lewis hosted Iowa State for an in-home visit in April. It will try its best to stay in the hunt for the South’s rapidly rising point guard.
3. Mario McKinney, PG/SG
Vashon (St. Louis)
247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 4 stars
McKinney has been at or near the top of Iowa State’s board for a long time. He’s an explosive combo guard who would work well with any of the point guards on this list. The Cyclones had an in-home visit with McKinney in April. As much as Missouri is considered the favorite, Iowa State is in this race, too.
4. Dekeyvan ‘KyKy’ Tandy, PG
University Heights (Hopkinsville, Kentucky)
247Sports Composite: 3 stars; Rivals: 4 stars
Prohm has had his eye on Tandy since his sophomore year, and he’s recently impressed Tandy with his level of interest. He’s another guy Iowa State had an in-home visit with this April. Tennessee, Kansas State and Cincinnati are also showing healthy interest.
5. Luke Anderson, PF
Lakeland (Lakeland, Florida)
247Sports Composite: 3 stars; Rivals: 3 stars
Iowa State has been in on Anderson since August, when it became his first high-major offer. Other schools, such as Georgia and Florida State, have offered since. But the Cyclones are well-positioned here. Their interest hasn’t wavered.
6. Tyler Wahl, SF
Lakeville North (Lakeville, Minnesota)
247Sports Composite: Unrated; Rivals: Unrated
Wahl, who plays with Terry on D1Minnesota, has blossomed into a high-major prospect with a strong offseason. He’s hauled in offers from Drake, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa State and Butler since April 22. His shot needs some work, but the Cyclones love his length and play-making ability. On paper, he looks like a power forward, but he plays nimbly like a wing. He could see more high-major offers come his way this summer.
7. Samuell Williamson, SG
Rockwall (Rockwall, Texas)
247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 4 stars
Iowa State has gained good traction with Williamson lately, and a summer visit could be in the cards. Rivals loves this kid — it ranks him top-50 in the class. Williamson would be a nice third guard to go along with a point guard and a combo guard for the 2019 backcourt class.
8. E.J. Liddell, PF
Belleville West (Belleville, Illinois)
247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 4 stars
Of course, Iowa State would love to get Liddell, the reigning Mr. Illinois Basketball. But the Cyclones are fading from the picture here.
9. Malik Hall, SF
Sunrise Christian (Wichita, Kansas)
247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 4 stars
Iowa State loved what it saw from Hall last month and offered him on April 24. It’s getting into this race later than some of the other contenders, including Kansas, who many consider the favorite. The Cyclones will try to wedge themselves in here.
10. Terrence Hargrove Jr., SF
East St. Louis (East St. Louis, Illinois)
247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 3 stars
Iowa State hasn’t offered, but Hargrove is on the Cyclones’ board and they will continue to evaluate him this offseason. Assistant coach Daniyal Robinson watched Hargrove in February during the same trip in which he watched Liddell and McKinney. An athletic, scoring-machine small forward.
Matthew Bain covers college football and basketball recruiting for the Des Moines Register. He also helps out with Iowa and Iowa State football and basketball coverage for HawkCentral and Cyclone Insider. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.