Olympic Daily News: 19 June 2020

Get your daily update of Olympic news: Trivia, trends, and talking points. USOPC training centers to reopen, Nigeria plans Africa's first curling facility

By Scott Bregman ·

On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Grander arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced the end of the United States’ Civil War. Grander’s announcement, which came some two months after the Confederate army had surrendered, also informed enslaved African-Americans of their freedom.

Slavery in the United States was officially outlawed with the ratification of the 13th amendment later that year on Dec. 6.

Since the late 1800s, the day, known as Juneteenth, has been an annual holiday.

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Centres set to open next week

Sarah Hirschland, chief executive of the United States Olympics and Paralympic Committee, announced Thursday that two of the organisation’s main training centres will re-open Friday, June 26.

"We will start small, we will start slowly, and we will scale up as we feel confident in our systems and in our safety protocols in those two locations," Hirshland said according to the AFP.

The training centres, located in Colorado Springs and Lake Placid, New York, serve hundreds of athletes, including more than 500 who live and train at the Colorado Springs location. The centers have been shut down since mid March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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First African curling facility begins development in Nigeria

Nigeria will become the first African country with a curling facility. The country’s curling federation joined the World Curling Federation Member Association in 2018 and now is set to open its continent’s first-ever dedicated curling facility.

“We want the sport to be played locally in the country and help us save travel costs at all times for ice training. In addition, we want to help introduce the game of curling to other African countries,” said Nigeria Curling Federation’s President, Daniel Damola.

The federation hopes the facility will open in late 2021.

“The plan is to have a two-sided ice facility where we can have other ice sport played on one side while the other side is for our own sport of curling. It will have five dedicated sheets, restaurants, bar, shopping, gym, conference rooms, and training center all within the facility.”

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Team GB’s Eilish McColgan hoping to follow in mum’s Tokyo footsteps

At the 1991 World Athletics Championships in Tokyo, Olympic silver medallist Elizabeth McColgan won the gold medal in the women’s 10,000m race.

Now, with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics pushed to 2021, it gives McColgan’s daughter, Eilish, a chance to honour her mother’s victory 30 years later by participating in the same race in the same city.

"I'm excited now to aim for 10,000m, put everything into it and see what I can do next year,” Eilish McColgan, a 2012 and 2016 Olympian, told BBC Sport. “I'd love to qualify for my third Olympic Games and it would be my third event as well, which is quite unusual."

In her two previous Olympic appearances, the 29-year-old has entered the steeplechase and 5,000m events, but Olympic postponement has given her a chance to try something new, according to her mum.

"It has given us time to experiment and try new sessions," said Elizabeth McColgan. "Eilish has embraced it really well and physically she is getting stronger."

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Trivia time…

Yesterday, we asked which sport was originally played with a champagne cork and cigar box. The answer: table tennis!

Here’s today’s question.

How many Olympic Games did Spanish water polo legend Manel Estiarte compete in?

  1. 3
  2. 5
  3. 8
  4. 6

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