Racist joke haunts Brazilian medal winner (Rio diary)

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 18 (IANS) When Brazilian gymnast Arthur Nory won a bronze in the floor exercises, he naturally expected an all-round ovation from his countrymen. But that was not to be. The reason lay in a racist joke cracked by him last year in a snapchat video, apparently targeting a black member of the Brazilian team.

“Your cell phone breaks: when the screen works, it’s white, when it doesn’t, it’s black. Grocery bags are white. Why are trash bags black,” Nory was seen joking in the video, while looking at Angelo Assuncao.

The incident sparked a furore in Brazil. Though Nory apologised to his teammate, he was suspended by the country’s top gymnastics body.

The episode came back to haunt Nory after he won the Olympic medal. Some twitter users asked fans not to celebrate, recalling his racist joke.

“Arthur Nory is doing very well, it’s nice but let’s not forget about his racism,” wrote one.

“Stop idolising Arthur Nory because he is nothing but a racist,” wrote another.

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Jones makes it to the Olympics, finally

It has taken 36 years and 10 Olympic Games for Earl Jones to fulfil his dream of setting foot on the biggest global sports festival arena.

Long ago, in 1980, Jones — then a Canadian boxer — had failed to qualify for the Moscow Games. Of course, even if he had made the cut, Jones would not have been able to take part in the Games as his country decided to boycott the event.

Even after his career as a boxer got over, Jones continued to nurse an Olympic dream. In 2012, before the London Games, he registered as a volunteer, but a sudden stroke saw his efforts go up in smoke.

Finally, Jones got selected as a volunteer at Rio.

“My dream has finally come true,” said Jones, volunteering at the Riocentro boxing venue.

His team of volunteers is responsible for keeping the ring and is surroundings tidy and clean, and offering water and seating for competitors between rounds.

There are no prizes for guessing that Jones is going the extra mile to do his assigned task.

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Wanderlust

Reports of muggings and hold-ups have not in any way dampened the spirits of the competitors to explore Rio.

Once their events get over, or even during rest days, the athletes from various countries are going on sightseeing trips to the famous Copacabana beach or to the Corcovado hills. Other hotspots are the Sugarloaf mountain, and the Lapa bohemian nightspot.

American swimmer Cody Miller, who was part of the 4x100m medley relay team that won the gold with a world record timing, posted photos of his visit to the Sugerloaf with other swimmers of his county.

American woman weightlifter Morghan King, who finished sixth in her event, relaxed at the Copacabana and Ipanema beaches.

British boxer Joe Cordina called Brazil the most beautiful country he has seen after a trip to the Corcovado, which is known for the statue of Christ the Redeemer.

The US women’s basketball team decided to spice up things up things by exploring Rio’s lively Lapa neighbourhood.

–IANS

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