Olympics

The International Olympic Committee has announced that it will not impose a blanket ban on the entire Russian team from the upcoming Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro despite evidence of state-sponsored doping.

Instead, it has called on sports federations to carry out assessments on individual athletes to determine whether they can compete.

The decision is an attempt to balance "the desire and need for collective responsibility versus the right to individual justice of every individual athlete," IOC President Thomas Bach said in a teleconference with reporters on Sunday.

David Dermer / AP Images

In 2012, Pine-Richland graduate Meghan Klingenberg served as an alternate for the U.S. Women’s Olympic Soccer team. This year in Rio de Janeiro, Klingenberg will have the opportunity to be on the medal stand.

More than 20 athletes who won Olympic medals in Beijing are among 45 athletes from the 2008 and 2012 Summer Games whose anti-doping samples contained banned substances, a reanalysis has found. The International Olympic Committee says the findings nearly double the number of implicated athletes from those games.

That number of has now risen to 98. And while the IOC isn't identifying the 45 athletes or their countries who have what it calls an "Adverse Analytical Finding" at this point, here's what the organization is saying:

Police in Brazil have arrested 10 people for allegedly plotting a terrorist attack against the upcoming Olympics in Rio, according to Brazil's justice minister.

Authorities say the group, based in multiple states across Brazil, had "moved beyond discussion to active planning," NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro says.

Members of the group allegedly had pledged allegiance to ISIS but had not had any direct contact with the militant group, Lulu reports from Rio.

"It's a first for modern Brazil — Brazilians plotting a terrorist attack on their own country," Lulu says.

More than 60 track and field athletes from Russia have had their bid for an appeal rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, dealing another blow to their hopes of participating in the Summer Olympics in Rio next month.

The CAS decision comes weeks after the International Olympic Committee backed a ban on Russia's track and field athletes who were seeking the right to compete in Rio as neutral athletes, after their country's sporting federation for track was suspended by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

Alistair Ross / flickr

Herb Douglas is 94 years old and a graduate of Taylor Allderdice High School, as well as the University of Pittsburgh. He’s also a 1948 bronze medalist and the oldest living black Olympian.

Douglas’ passion for the Olympics and sports ignited when he met Jesse Owens.

University of Virginia Swimming and Diving / Facebook

A Pittsburgh native is traveling to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to compete in this summer’s Olympic games. Leah Smith was a standout swimmer at Oakland Catholic High School, and has become a four-time NCAA champion at the University of Virginia.  

Megan Fair / 90.5 WESA

For the first time, roller derby will be included in the Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympic Games. Four junior derby athletes who skate locally for the Pittsburgh Derby Brats will participate in this historic inclusion.

Just seven weeks before the opening ceremony of the Olympics, the governor of Rio de Janeiro has declared a "state of calamity." Interim Governor Francisco Dornelles says the state's government is bankrupt and can't meet its financial commitments ahead of the games.

Felipe Dana / AP Images

With concerns over the Zika epidemic in Brazil, 150 health experts have signed on to an open letter urging the World Health Organization to pressure Olympic officials to move or postpone the summer games in Rio de Janeiro.

Ronald Krall from the Center for Bioethics and Health Law at the University of Pittsburgh signed the open letter. He wants to see the WHO conduct a thorough analysis of the potential risks associated with holding the games in Rio.

Local Runners To Compete For Spot On Olympic Marathon Team

Feb 11, 2016
Laura Harnish

Hundreds of long distance runners will converge in Los Angeles for the Olympic Marathon Trials Saturday, each hoping to qualify to represent the United States in the games this summer in Brazil. Three of those who have met the requirements are Pittsburgh-area residents. Essential Pittsburgh’s Paul Guggenheimer sat down with two them, Jed Christiansen and Laura Harnish, to learn what it takes to qualify for the Olympics.

Mark Schultz / http://www.markschultz.com/

As the year comes to a close, we’re looking back on our favorite Essential Pittsburgh stories and guests from 2014. Today we’re highlighting some of our favorite author interviews from the year.

To hear the full-length audio for this story, please refer to the original post.

In 1996 Olympic wrestling gold medalist Dave Schultz was shot to death by John du Pont on the Foxcatcher Farms estate in Pennsylvania. What followed was sensational media coverage and a murder trial. Du Pont was found guilty and died in prison. A movie about these events, called “Foxcatcher,” was recently released in theaters. It’s based on a new book by Schultz’s brother and fellow gold medalist Mark Schultz.

We spoke with Mark Schultz in November about the true story behind his brother’s murder. Schultz explained to us that although he and his brother were Olympic medalists, they were still struggling to make ends meet, and that’s how they first got connected with millionaire philanthropist John Du Pont.

“He was the opposite of a coach; he was a bad example. We coached him! He was the biggest loser on earth, but he just inherited all of this money, and he was the only guy in the country willing to pay us to just compete. And with Title IV wiping out all the men’s wrestling programs, he was the only game in town.”

Mark Schultz / http://www.markschultz.com/

Olympic gold medal wrestler Mark Schultz joins us to discuss his book "Foxcatcher: The True Story of my Brother's Murder, John du Pont's Madness, and the Quest for Olympic Gold."

In it, he tells the story of the 1996 murder of his brother, fellow Olympic gold medalist Dave Schultz, at the hands of John E. du Pont at the Foxcatcher Farms estate in Pennsylvania.

A movie based on the events, also titled "Foxcatcher" has been released this month. He joins us today to talk about his career in wrestling, his thoughts about the film and his reaction to his brother's murder.

Ryan Loew / 90.5WESA

Curling is growing to be one of the most watched sports at the Winter Olympics. Although it may be a little while before Team USA wins a medal, Pittsburgh has a growing curling culture.

Drury Brought Pittsburgh First Winter Olympic Medal in 1924

Feb 11, 2014
Heinz History Center

During the first Winter Olympics in 1924, defenseman and Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets player Herb Drury brought home a silver medal for the U.S. Olympic Hockey team. In the games, Drury scored 22 goals and 3 assists for Team USA.

His career and many Olympic artifacts are memorialized in the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum at the Senator John Heinz History Center.

Anne Madarasz, director of the sports museum, says the exhibit features some of Drury’s medals as well as historical photographs highlighting Pittsburgh, specifically Duquesne Gardens, as a main stop for players who wanted to be recruited for professional teams. 

Allegheny Health Network has been designated by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) as an official Olympic Regional Medical Center.

“As a participating center, one of just six in the country, we will have the great privilege of playing a prominent role in the health and well-being of our nation’s elite Team USA athletes,” said Dr. Patrick DeMeo, chair of the AHN Orthopedic Institute.

The Business of the Winter Olympics

Feb 4, 2014
http://www.mcwade.com/DesignTalk/2009/12/does-sochis-olympic-logo-work/

The 2014 Winter Olympics open this Friday. While they are taking place a world away, how will they impact local businesses? We posed that question to our contributor Rebecca Harris.

There are seven Pittsburgh Penguins headed to  the Olympics, along with bobsledder Lauryn Williams and a local Pittsburgh nurse going to provide medical care, so Pittsburgh will be well represented in Sochi.

While airlines and travel agents are booking low numbers of trips to Sochi, local advertising sales are up because of the large amount of TV viewing and streaming that NBC will be offering during the games.

Former RMU Ice Hockey Goalie Travels to Winter Olympics

Jan 29, 2014
Brianne McLaughlin Twitter / Twitter

Former Robert Morris University women's ice hockey goalie Brianne McLaughlin has made the U.S. Women's Olympic ice hockey team for the second time and is headed to the winter games in Sochi, Russia.

She is the first Olympian to come out of the Colonials’ program and was part of the U.S. team that won a silver medal in the 2010 Vancouver games. McLaughlin, who says she “grew up on skates,” is currently in Boston gearing up for the winter games. She says she's proud to attend another match where she and her team have the chance to earn a gold medal.

Western Pennsylvania Native is Headed to the Winter Olympics

Jan 28, 2014
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobsleigh

A Beaver County native is heading to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Lauryn Williams of Rochester, a borough about 25 miles from Pittsburgh, has made the U.S. women's bobsled team as one of the push athletes.

Although she is a first-time Winter Olympian, Ms. Williams is a 3-time Summer Olympian, having helped the U.S. win a gold medal in the 400-meter relay at the London games in 2012. She joined us from Germany to discuss her preparations for Sochi.

Sports Talk with Bob Dvorchak

Jun 7, 2013
Bob Dvorchak / Sports n'at

Sports Illustrated's inaugural Male College Athlete of the Year award has gone to a wrestler at Cornell University, just as the International Olympic Committee announced that the sport of wrestling is still in the running for inclusion in the 2020 games.

Guest: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sportswriter Emeritus, Bob Dvorchak discusses a possible reinstatement of wrestling in the Olympics and the ongoing story of performance enhancing drugs in baseball.

Sports N' @ with Bob Dvorchak

Feb 25, 2013
Bob Dvorchak / Sports n'at

Pittsburgh Post Gazette sports writer emeritus a.k.a. our Sports Guy, Bob Dvorchak comments on the 2024 Olympics coming to Pittsburgh, the Steelers' locker room blow up and how about an NBA team for Pittsburgh?