Olympics-Athletes sidelined by 1980 boycott say today's Olympians are saving lives

April 29 (Reuters) - Athletes impacted by the postponement of the Summer Games in Tokyo will need extra time to regain their fitness but can rest assured they are saving lives by not competing this year, members of the U.S. team that boycotted the 1980s Games said.

The COVID-19 crisis has forced the IOC to move this year's Games to 2021. American athletes also missed the 1980 Games in Moscow when the United States led a boycott against them over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

"I don't think it's possible for athletes to get to 80 to 90% of peak performance and not roll the clock back and start over, perhaps further than you think you ought to," two-time Olympic track and field gold medalist Edwin Moses, who was part of the 1980 team, said during an online conference call on Tuesday.

"You're not going to be able to stay in shape for 15 months and you really want to prevent yourself from getting injured because that's what takes most athletes out as well."

Olympic volleyball player Rita Buck-Crockett, who was part of the 1980 team, said today's disappointed athletes should know that their sacrifice isn't for nothing, although she said she couldn't say the same for the 1980 boycott, which to this day she said she doesn't understand.

"In this time now, what you have to understand is that you are saving lives by not going to the Olympics this year," she said.

"As hard as it is, you have only one year hopefully and you're going to save a million lives.

"You know when we boycotted as Anita (Defranze) said, we didn't save one life," she said, adding that the boycott left her devastated.

Buck-Crockett was able to compete in the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, where she took home a silver medal.

"We shouldn't have had that position but now just look at it as you're saving lives," she said.

"Just go do your sit ups in your living room. Go do your sit-ups. Go run. Do whatever you can do to keep yourself in shape."

(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Stephen Coates)

  • Iowa congressman Steve King loses Republican primary
    Yahoo News

    Iowa congressman Steve King loses Republican primary

    Rep. Steve King of Iowa, whose history of racist statements resulted in years of criticism and eventually discipline from Republican leadership, lost his primary Tuesday night. The winner of the five-way race was Randy Feenstra, a state senator who outraised King by several hundred thousand dollars and had won endorsements from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Right to Life Committee. Last year King was condemned or outright abandoned by a number of Republican allies who stood by him through his long history of racist rhetoric when he asked, speaking to the New York Times, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” Previously, King had attempted to defend his association with international far-right groups by saying, “If they were in America pushing the platform that they push, they would be Republicans.”

  • Trump tells NYC to activate National Guard: 'The lowlifes and losers are ripping you apart!'
    Yahoo News

    Trump tells NYC to activate National Guard: 'The lowlifes and losers are ripping you apart!'

    After vowing Monday to deploy military force to restore order in states that fail to “dominate” unlawful demonstrations, President Trump on Tuesday all but ordered New York City to request help from the National Guard. “NYC, CALL UP THE NATIONAL GUARD,” Trump tweeted. Parts of New York City, including midtown Manhattan, were rocked by disorder Monday night, despite an 11 p.m. curfew.

  • ‘Wanton thuggery’: Australian reporter knocked down by police live on air as she covered George Floyd protests in DC
    The Independent

    ‘Wanton thuggery’: Australian reporter knocked down by police live on air as she covered George Floyd protests in DC

    US riot police were broadcast live on air using aggressive force to push and knock down an Australian reporter and her cameraman as they covered the Black Lives Matter protests in Washington DC, prompting an investigation by the Australian embassy. Amelia Brace, a reporter for Australian television network Channel 7, was broadcasting from the White House with cameraman Timothy Myers when police plouged into the crowd with riot shields, firing rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse them. Footage of the police barrelling at the camera and shoving the news team was viewed over a million times in a matter of hours.

  • Minneapolis police chief filed a civil suit against the department in 2007 alleging discrimination against people of color, including black officers
    INSIDER

    Minneapolis police chief filed a civil suit against the department in 2007 alleging discrimination against people of color, including black officers

    The Minneapolis Police Department Chief filed a civil suit against the department alleging discrimination against people of color including black officers in 2007, CNN reported. Excessive force complaints against Minneapolis officers were common, specifically from African-American residents, The New York Times reported. Derek Chauvin, the ex-police officer charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter tied to George Floyd's death had 18 complaints against him prior to the incident.

  • U.K. PM tells China that Britain will admit 3 Million from Hong Kong
    NBC News

    U.K. PM tells China that Britain will admit 3 Million from Hong Kong

    The United Kingdom will not walk away from the people of Hong Kong if China imposes a national security law which conflicts with Beijing's international obligations under a 1984 accord, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday. "Hong Kong succeeds because its people are free," Johnson wrote in The Times of London. "If China proceeds, this would be in direct conflict with its obligations under the joint declaration, a legally binding treaty registered with the United Nations."

  • The 2020 hurricane season already broke a record, and it's only day 3
    Business Insider

    The 2020 hurricane season already broke a record, and it's only day 3

    NOAA GOES-East Just two days into the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, Tropical Storm Cristobal was churning in the Gulf of Mexico. It was the third Atlantic storm powerful enough to get a name this season; no other year on record has seen three named Atlantic storms so early. On average, the third storm forms around August 13, according to AccuWeather.

  • NYPD Says Looters Are Stashing Bricks. Brooklyn Locals Say Otherwise
    The Daily Beast

    NYPD Says Looters Are Stashing Bricks. Brooklyn Locals Say Otherwise

    On Wednesday morning, New York Police Department Commissioner Dermot F. Shea tweeted a low-resolution video of an unidentified officer picking up blue plastic crates on a city street corner. The crates, which appeared to be filled with chunks of masonry, had apparently been left next to a garbage can near Avenue X and West 3rd Street in Gravesend, a neighborhood by the water on Brooklyn's south end that's been largely untouched by the protests elsewhere in the borough and the city. "This is what our cops are up against: Organized looters, strategically placing caches of bricks & rocks at locations throughout NYC," Shea wrote.

  • Putin declines British invitation to take part in coronavirus summit: Kremlin
    Reuters

    Putin declines British invitation to take part in coronavirus summit: Kremlin

    Russian President Vladimir Putin does not plan to take part in an online summit on a possible coronavirus vaccine being organised by the British government this week, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday. Putin received an invitation to take part in the summit from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week, the Kremlin had said. Scheduled to take place on June 4, the Global Vaccine Summit 2020 is designed to mobilise resources needed to ensure universal availability of the vaccine against the novel coronavirus.

  • Bar owner won't face charges in fatal shooting of Omaha protester
    CBS News

    Bar owner won't face charges in fatal shooting of Omaha protester

    During protests in Omaha, Nebraska over the weekend, a black activist was shot and killed by a white bar owner after a fight broke out. The county attorney said the shooter will not face charges because he was "defending himself." James Scurlock, 22, was killed by Jacob Gardner, the owner of the Hive Bar and Gatsby Bar in Omaha's Old Market neighborhood around midnight Saturday in the midst of protests against police brutality and George Floyd's death.

  • Powerful video from 1986 resurfaces showing Biden’s passionate speech against apartheid
    The Independent

    Powerful video from 1986 resurfaces showing Biden’s passionate speech against apartheid

    A powerful video of then-Senator Joe Biden speaking about apartheid South Africa has resurfaced. The clip, taken from C-Span coverage of a Senate committee in 1986, shows Mr Biden passionately speaking out in support of the majority black population of South Africa, and against the oppressive apartheid regime. Challenging Reagan administration secretary of state George Schultz on government policy towards South Africa, Senator Biden says he is disturbed by the rationale behind it, arguing that it amounts to doing nothing.

  • Obama steps out as nation confronts confluence of crises
    Associated Press

    Obama steps out as nation confronts confluence of crises

    Former President Barack Obama is taking on an increasingly public role as the nation confronts a confluence of historic crises that has exposed deep racial and socioeconomic inequalities in America and reshaped the November election. In doing so, Obama is signaling a willingness to sharply critique his successor, President Donald Trump, and fill what many Democrats see as a national leadership void. On Wednesday, he held a virtual town hall event with young people to discuss policing and the civil unrest that has followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

  • Cyclone Nisarga: India's Mumbai escapes worst cyclone in decades
    BBC

    Cyclone Nisarga: India's Mumbai escapes worst cyclone in decades

    At least one person died after Cyclone Nisarga struck India's west coast near the densely populated city of Mumbai. India's most populous city has 20 million residents and has also been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Mobile phone footage of the storm in Raigad, about 50km (30 miles) south of Mumbai, showed huge waves crashing into the shore, with trees being whipped into a frenzy by the strong winds.

  • 'My face exploded': Police firing rubber bullets have wounded and permanently disabled protesters and journalists
    INSIDER

    'My face exploded': Police firing rubber bullets have wounded and permanently disabled protesters and journalists

    Social media is filled with images of wounded protesters and journalists who have been struck by rubber bullets and tear gas canisters in the eyes and face. Some have even lost their sight. Experts policing, however, tell Insider that rubber bullets are considered "less lethal" weapons — and many police departments have considered them a "legitimate tool" for decades.

  • Hong Kong marks Tiananmen crackdown despite virus vigil ban
    AFP

    Hong Kong marks Tiananmen crackdown despite virus vigil ban

    Hong Kong marked China's deadly Tiananmen crackdown on Thursday, with candle-light ceremonies set for the evening across the city after authorities banned a mass vigil at a time of seething anger over a planned new security law. Open discussion of the brutal suppression is forbidden in mainland China, where hundreds -- by some estimates more than a thousand -- died when the Communist Party sent tanks on June 4, 1989 to crush a student-led demonstration in Beijing calling for democratic reforms. With Beijing planning to impose a new national security law on the finance hub that many believe will end the city's unique freedoms, some residents on Thursday said they feared future memorials would also be blocked.

  • Missing Mexican congresswoman's body found a month after abduction
    The Guardian

    Missing Mexican congresswoman's body found a month after abduction

    The body of a missing Mexican congresswoman has been found in a shallow grave more than a month after she was abducted by armed men while raising awareness about the coronavirus pandemic. Anel Bueno, a 38-year-old lawmaker from the western state of Colima, was snatched on 29 April in Ixtlahuacán, a town on a stretch of Mexico's Pacific coast that the drug trade has made one of the country's most murderous regions. Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador told reporters on Wednesday a suspect had been detained over the killing of Bueno, who was a member of his party, Morena.

  • D.C. police officer to protesters: 'If I didn't think change was possible, I would just give up'
    Yahoo News Video

    D.C. police officer to protesters: 'If I didn't think change was possible, I would just give up'

    Hours into the mandatory curfew in Washington, D.C., several police officers were recorded engaging in peaceful dialogue with protesters. While remaining in opposition to the extended protests over George Floyd's death, one officer appeared to commiserate with protesters' desire to seek change.

  • Cuomo Hypothesizes About Overthrowing de Blasio After NYC Riots: ‘Police Did Not Do Their Job Last Night’
    The Daily Beast

    Cuomo Hypothesizes About Overthrowing de Blasio After NYC Riots: ‘Police Did Not Do Their Job Last Night’

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo openly hypothesized on Tuesday about overthrowing NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio after rampant looting and destruction swept across Manhattan on Monday night, overwhelming the NYPD and leaving the city looking like a war zone. De Blasio had doubled NYPD officers out on the streets to 8,000 on Monday night and imposed an 11 p.m. curfew after three nights of protests against police brutality were overshadowed by violence.

  • An 'ANTIFA' Twitter account that called for looting 'white hoods' was actually run by white nationalist group Identity Evropa
    Business Insider

    An 'ANTIFA' Twitter account that called for looting 'white hoods' was actually run by white nationalist group Identity Evropa

    A fake antifa Twitter account that called for violence was actually run by a white nationalist group, according to a Twitter spokesperson. The account, "@ANTIFA_US," pretended to align with the Black Lives Matter movement and ongoing nationwide protests, and called for protesters to "move into residential areas... the white hoods.... and we take what's ours." Twitter banned the account Monday for breaking its rules against platform manipulation, spam, and inciting violence.

  • Why The Middle East Fears Russia's Alpha Group Commandos
    The National Interest

    Why The Middle East Fears Russia's Alpha Group Commandos

    Russia and the Lebanese Islamic militia Hezbollah have become close allies in the civil war in Syria, with both of them supporting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad in the conflict. When members of Hezbollah kidnapped four Russian diplomats in 1985, killing one of them, Russia dispatched the KGB's Alpha Group to deal with the situation. Alpha Group is part spy network, part counterterrorism team, part general-purpose commando squad — and entirely terrifying.

  • Trump suggested taking control of Washington, D.C. police: reports
    Reuters

    Trump suggested taking control of Washington, D.C. police: reports

    The Trump administration floated the idea of taking control of Washington's police department amid nationwide protests over police brutality, according to media reports on Tuesday. U.S. President Donald Trump said in remarks in the White House Rose Garden on Monday he would deploy thousands of soldiers and law enforcement officers to halt violence in the U.S. capital and threatened to do the same in other cities. "I think you heard the president yesterday that he wanted a show of force in D.C. and we know that they examined a lot of ways to do that," Muriel Bowser, the city's mayor, told reporters on Tuesday.

  • 2 dead after shooting at North Dakota air base
    Yahoo News Video

    2 dead after shooting at North Dakota air base

    A shooting on Monday left two airmen dead at the Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota, the military said. The base's emergency services members responded to the shooting, which occurred at 4:30 a.m. Officials said there is no risk to other personnel, and the shooting remains under investigation.

  • Voices captured on an NYC police scanner can be heard saying protesters should be shot and run over
    INSIDER

    Voices captured on an NYC police scanner can be heard saying protesters should be shot and run over

    REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz A New York police scanner broadcast voices advocating violence against protesters. Audio clips of the communication have circulated on social media. In one clip, someone says: "Shoot those motherf---ers," referring to the protesters.

  • Autopsy report shows Floyd had tested positive for COVID-19
    Associated Press

    Autopsy report shows Floyd had tested positive for COVID-19

    A full autopsy of George Floyd, the handcuffed black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police, was released Wednesday and provides several clinical details, including that Floyd had previously tested positive for COVID-19. Bystander video showing Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressing his knee on Floyd's neck, ignoring Floyd's “I can't breathe” cries until he eventually stopped moving, has sparked nationwide protests, some violent. The report by Chief Medical Examiner Andrew Baker spelled out clinical details, including that Floyd had tested positive for COVID-19 on April 3 but appeared asymptomatic.

  • Lewis Hamilton ‘completely overcome with rage’ as he says black people ‘should not have to feel as if they were born guilty’
    The Independent

    Lewis Hamilton ‘completely overcome with rage’ as he says black people ‘should not have to feel as if they were born guilty’

    Lewis Hamilton has explained the feeling behind his passionate outburst over Formula One's silence against racism, with the reigning world champion saying that he has been “completely overcome with rage” at the sight of George Floyd's death in the United States and saying that people of Black, Asian and mixed ethnicity backgrounds should “not feel as though we were born guilty”. The six-time F1 world champion has taken a vocal stance against racism, having previously spoken of the sport's white-male dominated industry given he is the only black driver to have competed, and this week he has broadened his outrage over racial inequality following the disturbing death of African-American Floyd. The 46-year-old was arrested by police in Powderhorn, Minneapolis, with a video showing a police officer pressing his knee into his neck for more than eight minutes despite complaints that he could not breathe.

  • China sea security issues pushed Philippine U-turn on US troop pact
    AFP

    China sea security issues pushed Philippine U-turn on US troop pact

    Security issues in the disputed South China Sea helped convince the Philippines to delay quitting a key US military pact, the nation's envoy to Washington said Wednesday. The government of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced Tuesday it had suspended plans to cancel the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), a deal that is important to Washington's moves to counter Beijing's rising regional power. Duterte has cosied up to China in search of trade and investment, sparking US concern that its long-time ally and former colony would change sides in a strategic boost to Beijing.