July 3, 2012

Dara Torres missed out on the London Games     Photo: Bryan Allison/Flickr

Torres Misses Out on Sixth Olympics

Finishes fourth in 50-meter freestyle

American swimmer Dara Torres narrowly missed out on her sixth Olympic Games after finishing fourth in the 50-meter freestyle Monday night by nine-hundredths of a second. Torres, 45, won three silver medals at the Beijing Olympics and is tied with Jenny Thompson as the most winning U.S. female swimmer. She is the first American to swim in five Olympics and also the oldest female to ever swim at the Games. Torres had pinned her London hopes on the 50-meter freestyle after undergoing knee surgery. "This is really over," Torres said. "That's it, I'm going to enjoy some time with my daughter, have a nice summer and cheer on the U.S. team."

Read more at The Boston Herald

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The Grünhorn, Bernese Alps     Photo: Johnw/Wikimedia Commons

Five Climbers Die in Swiss Alps Fall

Team was roped together

Five foreign climbers are reported to have fallen to their deaths after summiting the Lagginhorn in the Swiss Alps on Tuesday. An unidentified team of climbers was descending the 13,155-foot mountain when they inexplicably plunged several hundred meters. A sixth member of the group, who had not made the summit, saw the accident and was able to alert authorities. Police have said that all five were roped together and died at the scene. It is unclear what caused the incident, as the weather was good and the Lagginhorn is known as one of the less technical peaks in the Pennine Alps. Officials would not identify the climbers, whose families had yet to be contacted.

Read more at BBC News

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    Photo: Unhindered by Talent/Flickr

Senator Proposes McKinley Name Change

Ohio legislators say they'll fight "Denali"

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski introduced a bill to officially rename the country's highest peak, Mount McKinley, to Denali, drawing the ire of legislators from President William McKinley's native state, Ohio. Under Murkowski's proposal, Denali—an Athabascan word meaning "the high one," commonly used by mountaineers and Alaskans—would become the "technically correct" name for the mountain. The proposed legslation is the latest salvo in a battle that dates back to 1975, when Alaska's legislature passed a resolution asking the Secretary of the Interior to rename the peak. The name change was blocked by U.S. Representative Ralph Regula of Ohio until his retirement in 2009, and subsequent Ohio delegations have continued to fight it.

Read more at Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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Tour de France     Photo: Lindyi/Flickr

Tour de France Vehicle Hits Spectator

Sponsor caravan previously struck two

A spectator was struck by a sponsor vehicle in the Tour de France publicity caravan on Tuesday, fracturing his leg. The 160-vehicle motorcade was passing through the town of Saint-Floris, about 45 miles past the start of the third stage, when one of the vehicles hit a bystander. Officials say the man's injuries are not life-threatening. The caravan, which promotes about 30 sponsors, typically travels about an hour ahead of the peloton. A boy was struck and killed by a sponsor's vehicle in 2000 and another in 2002. The Tour has since reduced the number of vehicles on the course.

Read more at the Washington Post

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    Photo: Alba Rincón/Flickr

French Runner Assaults Young Mascot

Has history of mascot run-ins

French Olympic runner Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad assaulted a 14-year-old girl in a mascot costume after winning the European Athletic Championships' 3,000-meter steeplechase in Helsinki on Friday. After crossing the line, the Algerian-born Benabbad slapped a gift bag from “Appy” the mascot's hand and shoved her with both hands. The girl recovered quickly, but the European Athletics Association has not ruled out the possibility of reprimanding Benabbad. In 2010, after winning the same race, Benabbad told a mascot to kneel in front of him before knocking him to the ground. Benabbad was also suspended for 10 months in July 2011 after fighting his teammate Mehdi Baala at the finish line of the 1,500-meter at the Monaco Diamond League games.

Read more at ABC News

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