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Soccer great Pele to play no role at closing ceremony

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first_imgBy Karolos GrohmannRIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (Reuters) – Pele will not appear at the Olympics closing ceremony tomorrow, organisers said yesterday, meaning Brazil’s most famous sportsman has played no formal part in the Games.The soccer great, whose full name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, turned down an offer to appear as the final torchbearer at the Games’ opening party on August 5, citing a health problem.“Pele is not going to take part in the closing ceremony,” Abel Gomes, executive producer of the ceremonies, told reporters.Pele, 75, underwent hip surgery at the end of last year and has said his rehabilitation has been difficult.Games organisers said they had not been in contact with him since earlier this month when he turned down the invitation to light the cauldron.“We have not got in touch with him or he in touch with us since the opening,” Games spokesman Mario Andrada said. “But if he wants to be there it will be our pleasure.”Pele caused some confusion before the start of the Olympics, revealing that he had been asked to light the cauldron, but adding that he needed to consult some commercial sponsors on whether he contractually would be able to do that.Organisers had kept light-tipped about the details of the ceremony but after the opening confirmed he had been due to light the flame in the stadium.last_img read more

Unhappy birthday for Kohl Center

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first_imgOn the 10th anniversary of the Kohl Center, the Wisconsinwomen?s basketball team lost a heart breaker to the Michigan Wolverines inovertime, 79-73. After leading by as many as 11 points in the second half, theBadgers blew a late lead, setting the stage for a remarkable finish.With the game tied and less than 30 seconds remaining,Wisconsin’s Jolene Anderson drove to the lane and found point guard Rae LinD?Alie wide open. D’Alie made a three-pointer that appeared to seal a win for theBadgers with 10 seconds left in the game.However, in Michigan?s next possession, center KristaPhillips heaved a desperation shot from nearly half-court and made thegame-tying basket.?It was a lucky shot,? Phillips said. ?Luck ? that?s theonly word I can use to describe it.?Lucky or not, Phillips, a 6-foot-6 center, made her presencenoticeable throughout the game, especially down the stretch. She dominated theboards and the inside offensive game. She scored 15 points and grabbed sevenrebounds for the Wolverines.?It was a great shot when she hit it,? D?Alie said. ?Icouldn?t believe it when she threw it up. Right away I was like, ?Oh my gosh, Ican?t believe it,? but I immediately thought that when we went to overtime, wehad to score in the first two minutes, and we just couldn?t do that.?Anderson also had an impressive game, scoring 30 points andkeeping the Badgers in the game throughout regulation. But her wild 3-pointshot as time expired in the second period did not go, and she only scored threepoints in the following overtime period.Going into overtime, Wisconsin looked sluggish and forcedbad shots, allowing Michigan to take an early lead they never gave up.?Our team was a bit deflated and defeated going into thattimeout at the start of the overtime period,? UW head coach Lisa Stone said.?It kind of breaks your heart when emotions are going your way and then Phillipsmakes a deep, deep 3.?Throughout the game, the Badgers looked in control, butcould not put the game away. When they did not extend their lead, the Badgersallowed Michigan to create offensive opportunities and score points in thepaint and off of turnovers.?Like coach Stone always says, it was swinging our way,? Wisconsinsenior Janese Banks said. ?But, I mean, it?s the Big Ten, and nobody?s going toquit. … They just kept battling, and I think that at the same time. … Weneed to be more conscious during the game of things that could be potentialmomentum swingers.Before the game, Anderson was honored with a basketballpresented by UW athletic director Barry Alvarez. The ceremony commemorated herpassing of Barb Frank for the UW all-time scoring record in women?s basketball.last_img read more