Which six cities are bidding for 2020 Olympics?

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Which six cities are bidding for 2020 Olympics?

From Comcast SportsNet Friday, September 2, 2011
LONDON (AP) -- Six cities from Europe, Asia and the Middle East are competing to host the 2020 Olympics. Submitting bids to the International Olympic Committee by Friday's deadline were Rome; Madrid; Tokyo; Istanbul; Doha, Qatar; and Baku, Azerbaijan. There were no surprises, as all six cities had previously announced their candidacies. All six contenders have made previous bids, and two -- Rome and Tokyo-- have hosted the Olympics before. Madrid is bidding for a third consecutive time, while Tokyo, Doha and Baku are making their second successive attempts. It is Istanbul's fifth overall bid. Doha is proposing to hold the games in September and October, outside the traditional July-August dates, to avoid the blistering summer temperatures in the Gulf country. National Olympic committees had until Friday to notify the IOC of the names of any applicant cities. The IOC will select the host city by secret ballot on Sept. 7, 2013, in Buenos Aires. The six candidates must first submit detailed application files and letters of guarantee to the IOC by Feb. 15. The IOC executive board will meet in May to decide whether to cut any of the cities and approve a list of finalists. Final bid dossiers will be submitted in January 2013, followed by visits to the cities by an IOC evaluation commission from February to April. The IOC panel will issue a report assessing the technical merits of the bids at least one month before the vote. The cities will also make technical presentations to the IOC ahead of the meeting in Buenos Aires. Rome, which hosted the 1960 Olympics, was the first of the cities to announce its bid months ago. The Italian capital lost to Athens in the race for the 2004 Olympics and hopes to stage the games on the 60th anniversary of the '60 Games. Madrid, which has never held the Olympics, mounted unsuccessful attempts for the 2012 and 2016 Games. Tokyo, host of the 1964 Games, finished third in the vote for the 2016 Games, which went to Rio de Janeiro. Tokyo wants the 2020 bid to be a symbol of Japan's recovery from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that left almost 23,000 people dead or missing. "I would like to thank members of the IOC for encouraging us to move forward for the reconstruction from the earthquake and tsunami damage earlier this year," Japanese Olympic Committee chief Tsunekazu Takeda said in a statement. "We also appreciate the IOC members giving us valuable input and feedback on the previous bid for the 2016 Games. Learning from the experiences, I am committed to delivering the best possible games plan with improvements on every aspect." Istanbul is back again after failed bids for the Olympics of 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012. Doha and Baku both failed to make the short list of finalists in the 2016 bidding. The IOC executive board last week agreed to the Qatari city's request for a Sept. 20-Oct. 20 time frame to avoid the summer heat, when temperatures can exceed 104 degrees. Qatar has already won the right to host the first World Cup in the Middle East in 2022. The event will be held in June, and the desert country has proposed air-conditioned stadiums to beat the heat. Qatar Olympic Committee general secretary Sheik Saoud Bin Abdulrahman called the IOC's decision to accept the Doha bid "wonderful news for the people of Qatar and the entire Middle East." "To have the opportunity to host the first ever Games in the Middle East will have a profound impact not just on sports development throughout the region, but also in encouraging a greater bridge between the Middle East and the wider international community," he said in a statement Friday. Still considered a longshot is the bid from Baku, capital of oil-rich Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijan committee said a stadium was already being built for the Olympics on the outskirts of Baku and will be completed by next year. The United States, South Africa and Dubai also considered bidding for 2020, but decided not to enter the race.

STANLEY CUP FINALS: Guentzel's goal lifts Penguins by Predators 5-3 in Game 1

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STANLEY CUP FINALS: Guentzel's goal lifts Penguins by Predators 5-3 in Game 1

PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh rookie Jake Guentzel beat Nashville's Pekka Rinne with 3:17 left in regulation to put the Penguins ahead to stay in a 5-3 victory in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night.

Guentzel snapped an eight-game goalless drought to help the defending champions escape after blowing a three-goal lead.

Nick Bonino scored twice for the Penguins. Conor Sheary scored his first of the playoffs and Evgeni Malkin scored his eighth. The Penguins won despite putting just 12 shots on goal. Murray finished with 23 saves for the Penguins, who used the first coach's challenge in finals history to wipe out an early Nashville goal and held on despite going an astonishing 37:09 at one point without a shot.

Game 2 is Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

Ryan Ellis, Colton Sissons and Frederick Gaudreau scored for the Predators. Rinne stopped just seven shots.

The Penguins had all of three days to get ready for the final following a draining slog through the Eastern Conference that included a pair of Game 7 victories, the second a double-overtime thriller against Ottawa last Thursday.

Pittsburgh downplayed the notion it was fatigued, figuring adrenaline and a shot at making history would make up for any lack of jump while playing their 108th game in the last calendar year.

Maybe, but the Penguins looked a step behind at the outset. The Predators, who crashed the NHL's biggest stage for the first time behind Rinne and a group of talented defenseman, were hardly intimidated by the stakes, the crowd or the defending champions.

All the guys from the place dubbed "Smashville" have to show for it is their first deficit of the playoffs on a night a fan threw a catfish onto the ice to try and give the Predators a taste of home.

The Penguins, who led the league in scoring, stressed before Game 1 that the best way to keep the Predators at bay was by taking the puck and spending copious amounts of time around Rinne. It didn't happen, mostly because Nashville's forecheck pinned the Penguins in their own end. Clearing attempts were knocked down or outright swiped, tilting the ice heavily in front of Murray.

Yet Pittsburgh managed to build a quick 3-0 lead anyway thanks to a fortunate bounce and some quick thinking by Penguins video coordinator Andy Saucier. Part of his job title is to alert coach Mike Sullivan when to challenge a call. The moment came 12:47 into the first when P.K. Subban sent a slap shot by Murray that appeared to give the Predators the lead.

Sullivan used his coach's challenge, arguing Nashville forward Filip Forsberg was offside. A lengthy review indicated Forsberg's right skate was in the air as he brought the puck into a zone, a no-no.

It temporarily deflated Nashville and gave the Penguins all the wiggle room they needed to take charge.

Malkin scored on a 5-on-3 15:32 into the first, Sheary made it 2-0 just 65 seconds later and when Nick Bonino's innocent centering pass smacked off Nashville defenseman Mattias Ekholm's left knee and by Rinne just 17 seconds before the end of the period, Pittsburgh was in full command.

It looked like a repeat of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against Ottawa, when the Penguins poured in four goals in the first period of a 7-0 rout.

Nashville, unlike the Senators, didn't bail. Instead they rallied.

Ellis scored the first goal by a Predator in a Stanley Cup Final 8:21 into the second. Though Nashville didn't get another one by Murray, they also kept Rinne downright bored at the other end. Pittsburgh didn't manage a shot on net in the second period, the first time it's happened in a playoff game in franchise history.

Nashville kept coming. Sissons beat Murray 10:06 into the third and Gaudreau tied it just after a fruitless Pittsburgh power play.

No matter. The Penguins have become chameleons under Sullivan. They can win with both firepower and precision.

Guentzel slipped one by Rinne with 3:17 to go in regulation and Bonino added an empty netter to give Pittsburgh early control of the series.

Posey stays out of the fray during Strickland-Harper brawl

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Posey stays out of the fray during Strickland-Harper brawl

SAN FRANCISCO  — As an irate Bryce Harper charged toward the mound, Buster Posey just stood and watched from behind home plate.

And when the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants cleared their benches Monday and punches flew both ways, the All-Star catcher did his best to remain just outside the fray.

Not where some expected to find the Giants team leader with his pitcher, Hunter Strickland, exchanging head shots with Harper.

“Posey did NOTHING to stop Harper from getting to his pitcher,” former major league pitcher Dontrelle Willis wrote on Twitter. “I’ve never seen that before in my life.”

Posey declined to enter the fracas, instead remaining around its edges and watching as the players scuffled in “a pretty good pile,” as Giants manager Bruce Bochy called it.

Posey dealt with a concussion in April after being struck in the head by a pitch, but did not say he held back because of concerns related to that. He did say he was wary about the risk of injury.

“There were some big guys tumbling around out there,” Posey said. “You see Mike Morse and Jeff Samardzija are about as big as they come and he was getting knocked around like a pinball. So it was a little dangerous to get in there.”

Still, social media was abuzz at the sight of Posey not sticking up for his teammate.

“Strickland must have told @BusterPosey he was hitting him and let him come cause he didn’t even give a soft jog,” Willis wrote.

“Says all you need to know that Buster Posey didn’t bother to hold back Harper,” tweeted Fox broadcaster Kevin Burkhardt . “Let him go get his pitcher.”

Also absent from the fight: hard-nosed Giants ace Madison Bumgarner. As his teammates flew over the dugout railing, Bumgarner stayed put, perhaps because the left-hander is still recovering after injuring his pitching shoulder and ribs in a dirt biking accident in April.