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Rio de Janeiro 2016 unveil Olympics mascots

The next Olympics and Paralympics games in Brazil will be fronted by a colourful duo, after the mascots were unveiled.

One is a yellow cat-like creature, representative of all the animals in Brazil, whereas the Paralympic mascot is a fusion of Brazilian forest plants.

The mascots looking like a cheery duo. Credit: Rio 2016

Neither is named yet, with the organisation offering the public the opportunity to name them.

People can vote for their preferred names on the mascots' own website.

'Irregularities in Vanessa Mae's Olympic qualifier'

World famous Violinist Vanessa Mae finished last when she competed for Thailand in last year's Winter Olympics. Credit: PA

Four slovenian officials have been suspended for alleged 'irregularities' during violinist Vanessa Mae's Olympic qualifying ski race, the National Skiiing Association said.

Slovenian Ski Association head Jurij Zurej told news agency Reuters: "We discovered there were a number of irregularities in the competition in which Vanessa Mae qualified."

He said there was 'no indication whatsoever' that Mae or any other skier was involved and that the matter was now in the hands of local police.

Mae in her 'day job' as a violinist. Credit: PA

Mae competed for Thailand at the Games in Russia in February under her father's surname of Vanakorn, finishing a distant last of the 67 finishers in the giant slalom.

The 35-year-old had qualified for the Olympics at the very last moment after competing in four giant slaloms in Slovenia at the end of January gave her the ranking points needed to be eligible.


IOC warns Rio it risks missing deadline for 2016 Games

The International Olympic Committee has sent a clear warning to the organisers of the Rio 2016 Games that "every second counts" after visiting the Brazilian city.

With just over two years to go, the IOC said that a "constant, concerted and integrated effort is required for the successful delivery of the Games and its legacy".

It added: "Although progress is being made, each decision that is postponed and each subsequent delay will have a negative impact on delivery. Total focus and dedication are therefore required."

ITV News' Brazil correspondent Nick Ravenscroft, who was at the news conference, tweeted:

Sports minister's comments 'discouraging'

Comments made by sports and equalities minister Helen Grant have been criticised by anti-sexism campaigners as "discouraging" at a time when female Olympians are leading the glory for Britain at the Sochi games.

Helen Grant. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, Laura Bates, said: "It's really the wrong approach to suggest that the only way for women to get involved in sports is to be girlie and feminine."It's actually discouraging for a minister to say this.

"With our great athletes performing fantastically at the Olympics, we still see media outlets focusing on the looks and femininity, which the comments seem to do too."

Lizzy Yarnold, 25, won the country's first gold medal at the Winter Olympics in the skeleton while Jenny Jones took a bronze in snowboard slopestyle and so did the female curling team.

Team GB Winter Olympians congratulate Yarnold

Team GB's short track speed skater Jonathan Eley, ice skater Penny Coomes and short track speed skater Richard Shoebridge have tweeted:


Team GB's Christie denied silver after crash penalty

Great Britain's Elise Christie crashes in the Ladies 500m Final during the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games. Credit: PA Wire

Short track speed skater Elise Christie missed out on a silver medal after she was disqualified in the women's 500 metres final at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The 23-year-old Scot recovered from a fall to cross the line in second, but judges swiftly dropped her to fourth place after blaming her for the fall.

On her disqualification, Christie told BBC Sport: "I thought she hit me. I was not sure if it would go my way. I did not think it would be me [to be penalised] but it was. You have to respect the decision. I have not watched it back so I cannot comment."

BBC admits Sochi commentary team became overexcited

The BBC has admitted that "excitement got the better of" their commentary team during Jenny Jones' bronze medal winning slopestyle final at the Sochi Winter Olympics after more than 300 complaints from viewers.

Ed Leigh, Tim Warwood and fellow snowboarder Aimee Fuller were heard cheering when other competitors fell during Jones' medal pursuit, prompting around 303 complaints from viewers unhappy at the standard of commentary.

Viewers heard Warwood say "I can't look, someone else commentate" as the British hopeful was about to start her run, before Fuller screamed "go on the Jones" after the score for her second attempt initially put her into a gold medal position.

Tim Warwood, Aimee Fuller and Ed Leigh have received a mixed reaction to their snowboarding commentary. Credit: Twitter/Tim Warwood

Fuller also cheered when Austrian snowboarder Anna Glasser suffered a bad landing which boosted Jones' medal hopes, before saying: "Are we supposed to do that? Probably not."

All three commentators began crying once Jones' triumph was confirmed.

A BBC spokeswoman said: "This was a truly historic occasion for Team GB and the commentary team were understandably very excited, however we acknowledge that on occasion this excitement got the better of them and this is something that we will work on for future events."

'Incredible vibe' in Team GB camp after Jones' bronze

Jenny Jones' bronze medal win led to an "incredible vibe" in the Team GB camp, according to another of Britain's medal hopes.

Shelley Rudman, who is set to compete in the Skeleton event later this week, said the win has increased the positive atmosphere within the team.

Jones won Britain's first medal at the Winter Olympics in Sochi after claiming bronze in the snowboard slopestyle event on Sunday.

  1. West Country (E)

Jenny Jones talks about her Olympic medal success

The Bristol snowboarder Jenny Jones is celebrating winning Great Britain's first medal of the Winter Olympics.

The former Filton College student is the first Team GB athlete to ever win an Olympic medal in a snow-based sport. She won bronze in the spectacular sport of snowboard slopestyle in Sochi thanks to a brilliant second run in yesterday's final.

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