Olympics

Usain Bolt gets gold No. 9 with another runaway win

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Usain Bolt gets gold No. 9 with another runaway win

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Undefeated, uncatchable, unquestionably the best.

Usain Bolt bid a blazing-fast farewell to the Rio de Janeiro Games -- and likely the Olympics altogether -- Friday night with yet another anchor leg for the ages. He turned a close 4x100 relay race against Japan and the United States into a never-a-doubt runaway, helping Jamaica cross the line in 37.27.

"There you go," he said. "I am the greatest."

Japan won the silver medal, finishing .33 seconds behind.

The U.S. finished the race third but endured yet another relay debacle -- disqualified because leadoff runner Mike Rodgers passed the baton to Justin Gatlin outside the exchange zone. That promoted Canada to the bronze medal.

This marked the ninth time since 1995 the U.S. men have been disqualified or failed to get the baton around at Olympics or world championships. That will cause more hand-wringing in the States.

Bolt hasn't botched a relay handoff in any major championship since he started running them in 2007.

Easier when you know you're the fastest man out there.

Bolt's record in Olympic finals: Nine races, nine wins.

Nobody's done that before, and nobody's on the horizon to do it again soon.

Along with Bolt for his final trip down the track were Nickel Ashmeade, training partner Yohan Blake and the Jamaican elder statesman, former world-record holder Asafa Powell.

When Bolt received the yellow baton from Ashmeade for his final run down the straightaway, he was even, maybe a step behind, Aska Cambridge of Japan and Trayvon Bromell of the United States.

That lasted about four steps.

With 70 meters to go, it was all over. Bolt looked at the clock -- same as he did when he finished the 200-meter victory the night before.

No world record, but he still has a piece of that one, too -- it's 36.84 seconds, set four years ago at the London Games.

"I am just relieved. It's happened. I am just happy, proud of myself. It's come true," Bolt said. "The pressure is real. I look at it as an accomplishment."

Musical selection for Bolt's final parade around the track: Bob Marley's "Jammin."

With most of the other debates over about greatest this, greatest that, a new one might be whether Bolt now surpasses Marley as the most famous person to rock the world from the country known for sea, sun and sprints.

Counting all the preliminaries, finals and his approximately nine-second blast down the stretch in Friday's last race, Bolt has spent 325 seconds -- a tad less than 5 1/2 minutes -- running on the track at the Olympics since he made his debut in Beijing eight years ago.

Every tick of the clock has been a treasure. And while he may not close things out with 23 golds, the number Michael Phelps left Rio with earlier this week, it's hard to argue there is anybody more successful or electric -- or important to his sport, and the Olympics themselves.

The anchor sport of the Olympics has been mired, especially over the past year, in a cesspool of doping, cheating and bad characters.

When Bolt's on the track, everyone forgets.

"A great sprinter," said American Tyson Gay who, once upon a time, was Bolt's biggest challenger. "Nine gold medals, words can't even describe what he's done for the sport."

So much of that is because the show isn't over when he's through running.

After crossing the line for his finale, Bolt pumped his fist in the air, slowed down and took off those famous gold spikes. He huddled with his teammates and they prayed. Then, a final, luxurious lap around the track.

"I'll stay up late tonight," Bolt said when asked how he'd celebrate.

But before he left the track, his partners peeled off from the victory lap. With the stadium emptying, Bolt kneeled down, brought his hands out to his sides and soaked in one last burst of applause. Then, he kissed the track and slapped his hand on the number "3" painted at the starting line.

As in three Olympics, three races at each, three gold medals each time.

He could have just as easily slapped the number "1."

That would need no explanation.

Los Angeles reaches deal with Olympic leaders for 2028 Games

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Los Angeles reaches deal with Olympic leaders for 2028 Games

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles has reached an agreement with international Olympic leaders that will open the way for the city to host the 2028 Summer Games.

City Council President Herb Wesson's office confirmed the deal Monday.

Spokeswoman Caolinn Mejza says the pact is expected to be reviewed by the council later this week.

The agreement to be formally announced later Monday follows a vote earlier this month by the International Olympic Committee to seek a deal to award the 2024 and 2028 Games.

Paris is the only city left to host the 2024 Games.

The arrangement would make L.A. a three-time Olympic city, after hosting the 1932 and 1984 Games.

L.A. and Paris were the last two bids remaining after a tumultuous process that exposed the unwillingness of cities to bear the financial burden of hosting an event that has become synonymous with cost overruns.

L.A. was not even the first American entrant in the contest. Boston withdrew two years ago as public support for its bid collapsed over concerns about use of taxpayer cash. The U.S. bid switched from the east to the West Coast as L.A. entered the race.

But the same apprehensions that spooked politicians and the local population in Boston soon became evident in Europe where three cities pulled out.

Uncomfortably for IOC President Thomas Bach, whose much-vaunted Agenda 2020 reforms were designed to make hosting more streamlined and less costly after the lavish 2014 Sochi Games, the first withdrawal came from his homeland of Germany.

The lack of political unity for a bid in Hamburg was mirrored in Rome and Budapest as support for bids waned among local authorities and the population. It was clear they did not want to be saddled with skyrocketing bills for hosting the Olympics without reaping many of the economic benefits anticipated.

Just like in the depleted field for the 2022 Winter Games which saw Beijing defeat Almaty, the IOC was left with only two candidates again.

With two powerful cities left vying for 2024, Bach realized France or the U.S. could be deterred from going through another contest for 2028 if they lost. Bach floated the idea in December of making revisions to the bidding process to prevent it producing "too many losers," building support that led to L.A. and Paris being able to figure out themselves how to share the 2024 and 2028 Games.

The dual award of the games relieves the IOC of having to test the global interest in hosting the Summer Olympics for several years until the 2032 Games are up for grabs.

Ryan Lochte rushed by 2 men on 'Dancing With the Stars' stage

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AP

Ryan Lochte rushed by 2 men on 'Dancing With the Stars' stage

LOS ANGELES -- Ryan Lochte says he feels "a little hurt" after two men were arrested for allegedly rushing the stage following his performance on "Dancing with the Stars."

The two men, wearing anti-Lochte T-shirts, were arrested on suspicion of criminal trespassing, Los Angeles police spokesman Officer Mike Lopez said.

They had rushed the stage while Lochte was getting his scores from judge Carrie Ann Inaba for his debut performance during Monday night's live installment of the celebrity ballroom dance competition.

"Hey, back off," Inaba said as the altercation was occurring off screen.

When the show returned, "Dancing with the Stars" host Tom Bergeron explained they were interrupted by "a little incident" and thanked the ABC series' security team "for staying in shape."

The two men were detained by security until police arrived to take them into custody, Los Angeles police spokesman Mike Lopez said. He did not have the men's names.

No one was injured or listed as a victim in the incident, Lopez said.

The swimmer told Bergeron that "so many feelings are going through my head right now." Lochte added that he was "a little hurt, but I came out here. I wanted to do something I'm completely not comfortable with, and I did."

ABC did not immediately return messages seeking comment about the incident.

During the episode, the Olympic medalist performed a foxtrot routine with professional partner Cheryl Burke to "Call Me Irresponsible." They received a combined score from the judges of 24 out of 40.

Lochte and teammates have seen scorn from some since they were involved in an early-morning drunken encounter during the Olympics last month at a gas station in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They later claimed they were threatened and robbed. United States team officials banned Lochte for 10 months, requiring him to forfeit $100,000 in bonuses and miss the 2017 world championships.