Rio deadlines ‘challenging’
The head of an IOC inspection committee says the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics face some “challenging deadlines” and that a meeting with top government officials next week will be “crucial” in finalizing funding and venue planning for the games. With the Rio Games just two-and-a-half years away, Nawal El Moutawakel on Friday said that inspectors witnessed “improvements on the ground,” but that many projects face tight deadlines. The Rio Games — like Brazil’s World Cup in under three months — have been plagued by delays and concerns about the lack of coordination among Brazil’s three levels of government. El Moutawakel said the meeting on Thursday in Brasilia would include “top levels of government,” which might include Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.
Scioscia traded for Gretzky
The Los Angeles Angels traded the son of Angels manager Mike Scioscia to the Chicago Cubs on Friday in exchange for the son of National Hockey League legend Wayne Gretzky. The unique Major League Baseball swap sends 21-year-old Trevor Gretzky, who plays as a leftfielder and first baseman for a developmental-level team, to southern California, where his all-time NHL scoring leader father was a star for years after winning four Stanley Cup crowns with Edmonton. In exchange, developmental-level first baseman Matt Scioscia was sent to the Cubs by the club for which his father has managed since 2000. Mike Scioscia is the longest-tenured manager in the major leagues and guided the Angels to the 2002 World Series title and won two World Series crowns as a player with the Dodgers.
FIFA says can’t help workers
FIFA on Friday accepted “some responsibility” over the welfare of migrant workers constructing venues for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, but acknowledged it was powerless to intervene. “We have some responsibility, but we cannot interfere in the rights of workers,” FIFA president Sepp Blatter told a press conference in Zurich. The energy-rich Gulf emirate has been under mounting pressure to improve the working and living conditions of migrant workers building the multi-billion-dollar infrastructure for the 2022 tournament. Blatter was speaking after the issue was discussed at a FIFA executive committee meeting. “We are insisting that the responsibilities lie first with the state of Qatar and secondly with the companies employing the workers,” Blatter added.
Thief returns Hogan’s shoe
Police in Florida say a Michigan tourist has returned a wrestling shoe autographed by Hulk Hogan that she took from a store in Clearwater. Authorities say the woman called the professional wrestling icon’s Clearwater Beach store on Thursday, saying she wanted to return the shoe. A security camera captured images of the Sunday evening theft, but it was not until Tuesday that employees realized the shoe — valued at US$5,500 — was missing. Though she had returned to Michigan, she had left the shoe behind and arranged for three people she met while in Clearwater to return it to the store. No charges have been filed.
Jack Fleck dies at 92
Jack Fleck, who upset Ben Hogan in a playoff to win the 1955 US Open golf title, died on Friday at age 92, the US PGA Tour announced. Fleck, an American who had been the oldest living US Open champion, won only three US PGA titles, all in playoffs.