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In the weeks leading up to the 2016 Olympics, Rio de Janeiros sailing venue was not a pretty picture. Cheap Cleveland Browns Jerseys 2018 . Despite the host citys successes in clearing away a significant quantity of sewage from the Marina da Gloria, competitors continued to report large flotillas of trash -- made up of everything from Coke cans to items of household furniture -- obstructing their practice runs in Guanabara Bay.Organizers insisted that plans were in place to remove such obstacles during the Games, with spotters in helicopters providing the GPS coordinates of debris to garbage-clearing ships below.If the sailors themselves remained skeptical, it was because they knew this would not be the first time floating detritus had found its way onto an Olympic course. In fact, a variety of athletes over the course of Olympic history -- from runners to swimmers to gymnasts -- have had to endure less-than-ideal conditions during the most prestigious competition in sports.Dirty little secretAsk American windsurfer Mike Gebhardt about his experience at Barcelona in 1992.Oh yeah, he says with a laugh. I sailed right by a dead cow!Although Spanish authorities commissioned four ships to clear the Port Olímpic venue on a daily basis, competitors still found themselves navigating garbage drifts and animal carcasses. During one race, a plastic bag got caught on Gebhardts board. He lost six places before he was able to remove it.I kept looking and looking because I was going slow as s---, he recalls. I thought maybe I had weeds, but Id look down and, because the plastic was clear, I couldnt see it. Finally, I noticed just a little bitty air bubble coming up off the edge.That incident might have cost Gebhardt a gold medal. In the 1992 windsurfing event, points based on finishing position were compiled over 10 races. Gebhardt finished just a fraction behind the winner, Franck David, and far ahead of bronze medalist Lars Kleppich.Not that Gebhardt feels bitter about his experience.Theres two ways to look at it, he says. You can get mad and make up a nice story -- Oh, you know, garbage cost me my medal -- or you can empower yourself and say, Hey, the other guy was a little more consistent. I could have recognized that problem more quickly.The polluted water that surrounds major coastal cities is, for Gebhardt, the worlds dirty little secret. If trash impedes sailors in Rio, it wont be anything new.Crazy old GamesQuite possibly the most chaotic Games of all time took place on American soil, in St. Louis, back in 1904. The event had originally been awarded to Chicago, but a combination of political pressure and funding issues saw it relocated to the city that was already hosting the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (commonly known as the St. Louis Worlds Fair) the same year.The 1904 marathon remains one of the most bizarre and brutal events in Olympic history. Commencing in 90-degree heat, it featured seven hills -- some as high as 300 feet -- and only two opportunities for the competitors to get a drink of water, the last of those at a well 12 miles from the finish.Runners were forced to dodge traffic on public roads, and historic accounts suggest a South African runner was chased off course and across a cornfield by wild dogs. Fewer than half of those competing made it to the finish line, and the man who got there first, Fred Lorz, had hitched a ride in a car for 11 miles.Yet the marathon runners got off easy compared to those competing in the aquatic events. Swimming, diving and water polo were conducted at the Life Saving Exhibition Lake, whose title would later take on a cruel irony, following reports that several athletes who competed there died within a year of the Games.The venue, named to highlight the U.S. Coast Guard demonstrations it hosted during the Worlds Fair, was created by diverting water from the Mississippi into a man-made reservoir. By the time the Olympics began, it had been sitting stagnant, with no filtration system, for months. Worse, it had likely been contaminated with manure from the livestock that grazed outside the Worlds Fairs nearby agricultural exhibition.The longer you were exposed to those waters, the more risk you assumed, says Olympic historian Robert K. Barney, co-author of a paper on the 1904 aquatic events. With water polo, you were in there a lot. Its possible that these stories are apocryphal, but there is some strong suggestion that two or three of the U.S. water polo players died because of their exposure to that E. coli-infested water.In a more immediate sense, swimmers in St. Louis were hindered by the absence of such modern aides as starting blocks and lane lines. That, though, was hardly surprising. The Olympics in the early part of the 20th century were routinely haphazard in organization, and the history books are thick with stories of similarly poor planning.At the 1900 Games in Paris, the discus event took place in a narrow space between two rows of trees, whose limbs caught some of the throws. Twelve years later, the cycling time trial in Stockholm extended for a wildly ambitious 196 miles. Cross-country running was taken off the Olympic schedule altogether after a 1924 debacle in which fewer than half the entrants made it to the end of a course that featured knee-high thistles and a close encounter with a power plant belching fumes.Modern mishapMore recent examples of inadequate Olympic venues are harder to come by and generally less dramatic. Even host nations who struggled to complete building works on time -- such as Montreal in 1976 and Athens in 2004 -- managed to ensure the events themselves were not compromised.Besides sailing, there have been only occasional instances of venues failing to provide athletes with good conditions for competing. The most glaring such case came at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, where the vault apparatus was set 5 centimeters too low for the final of the womens all-around gymnastics competition.This mistake might have gone unnoticed if not for Australias Allana Slater. Two groups of gymnasts had completed their rotations on the vault and committed an unusually high number of errors?before Slater got ready to compete with the third group. She had been too focused on herself to notice her rivals struggles, but as soon as she lined up for a practice run, she noticed that something was not right.I was standing at the end of the vault run, and I remember saying to some of the girls, Does the vault look low to you? Slater says. I dont know if they didnt understand me, speaking in English, or they just werent sure, but as I did my one warm-up turn, I knew.I was quite a short gymnast, so I was always going up onto the vault. All of a sudden, Im going down onto into it instead. As soon as I landed, I tried to tell my coach, and hes like, Allana, get off the mat! I just remember thinking, Im not getting off here until theyve measured it because theres no way this is right.Officials were summoned and quickly confirmed the mistake. The vault was adjusted to its proper height, and all athletes who had been affected were offered the chance for a do-over. For some, though, the damage had already been done. Great Britains Annika Reeder was forced to withdraw after she got injured on a bad landing, and others had gone on to make further mistakes as they tried to compensate for their poor vault scores.I really do feel for the athletes for whom that was the first apparatus, Slater says. It may have totally spun them out for the rest of the final. I know that Svetlana Khorkina was a front-runner at the 2000 Olympics, going for the gold medal in the all-around. She made an error due to the vault height being wrong, and that unfortunately led to another error on the next apparatus.A subsequent investigation by the governing body of gymnastics found that the vault had been set too low as a result of human error. Additional controls were put in place to make sure that could not be repeated at future events.In the grand scheme of Olympic history, such a story is no great scandal. Officials in Sydney were neither as negligent as those in St Louis 112 years ago nor as slow in reacting to criticism as those in Rio have been with this summers sailing event. But for the likes of Khorkina and Reeder, those 5 centimeters made all the difference in the world. Denzel Ward Jersey .Y. -- Bills receiver Stevie Johnson has a bone to pick with the NFL schedule maker. Cleveland Browns Jerseys For Sale . The home side created most of the chances but struggled to break down Braunschweigs resilient defence, resulting in the Bundesligas 1,000th scoreless draw.http:///...-chad-thomas-jersey/ . The No. 1-ranked Nadal tweaked his back warming up for the Australian Open final, which he lost almost four weeks ago in a major upset against Stanislas Wawrinka. His first stop after the layoff is the clay in Rio as he tests the back and tries to stay healthy for the French Open in three months. Andy Murray goes into this weeks ATP Masters 1000 in Paris with an excellent chance to leave the City of Light on Sunday with the No. 1 ranking wrenched from the hands of the man who scant months ago seemed to have it under long-term lease, Novak Djokovic.So why are Murray and Djokovic so seemingly blasé about this new, electric development?Murray, whos been playing like a father already worried about how hes going to afford college tuition, keeps reminding everyone that earning that No. 1 ranking remains on his to-do list for 2017 -- not 2016. He repeated the mantra to the media when he arrived in Paris the other day:My goal wasnt to finish No. 1 at the end of this year, Murray said. There [was] a lot stronger chance of doing it in the early part of next year, which is what I [had] targeted -- rather than this week.Its like liquidating a bunch of skyrocketing stock shares because you didnt really plan on getting rich right now; you were thinking three, four years from now.Murray does make a valid point when he notes that acquiring the ranking isnt entirely in his own hands. Djokovic could conceivably lose to Murray in the Paris final, and also at least once in London, yet still hold onto No. 1.Its not in my control, Murray said. Even if I win all of my matches this week, I still might not get there. Its in Novaks hands.Its a sharp reminder of how deceptive the rankings system used by the ATP and WTA tours is, as well as an October surprise as great as anything this credulity-straining political season has kicked up.Both Murray and Djokovic won their Paris Masters openers on Wednesday. The top-ranked Serb beat Gilles Muller?6-3, 6-4, while Murray held off Fernando Verdasco?6-3, 6-7 (5), 7-5.?Murrays reluctance to fire his hopes up under these circumstances is sane and realistic. Yet, Djokovic must be looking like a bigger, juicier target with every passing day. Its partly because he seems increasingly preoccupied with quasi-spiritual, personal development issues than practical, tennis-related ones.Djokovic arrived in Paris in this time of undeniable crisis without the two coaches who are generally considered the architects of his long and successful run at the top, Marian Vajda and Boris Becker. Instead, he is accompanied by doubles partner Nenad Zimonjic, a physiotherapist and trainer, and a guru-like spiritual adviser, Pepe Imaz.The latter is a Spanish former journeyman player who once ranked No. 167 and won a round once at the French Open. Imaz espouses a home-baked, new age-type philosophy long on meditation and platitudes about peace, lovee, harmony and deep hugging. Nick Chubb Jersey. According to The Daily Mail, Imaz struck up a relationship with Novak after helping Djokovics younger brother, Marko, recover from depression following his failure to make it as an ATP pro.Just days after Wimbledon, Djokovic appeared in a lengthy video shot at a Spanish resort with which his new adviser is affiliated, presumably to spread the gospel according to Imaz. At the time, Murray was in Belgrade, lending support to the ultimately victorious British Davis Cup team battling Serbia. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b66eDl9MIBgIn the video, Djokovic is seated on the dais along with Imaz, Marko Djokovic and another Imaz protégé, WTA pro Daniela Hantuchova. At one point, Novak Djokovic makes a fairly long speech about meditation:We switch off the exterior light, and we go inside to try to calm our minds, calm our energies. Why are we trying to do that? Because essentially we all are looking for love, happiness and harmony. And to find the love, happiness and harmony, we need to be able to look inward and to establish this connection with a divine light.And so on.After beating Muller, Djokovic was asked about his working relationship with Imaz.?I dont know where you heard that hes a guru, first of all, Djokovic said. Hes been in tennis for all his life. Im just glad that he came this week, together with my brother, to be with me and work with me. ... ?Im not going to go into details, because there is no sense. I know certain media is trying to find a story here in calling him guru. Im not going to give any room for speculations anymore. Hes been there, and hes part of the coaching team and thats all.Well, the divine light was on the blink the last time Djokovic hit the court. His meltdown in the Shanghai semifinals was epic, and its the last image he left us with. Djokovic claims he has evolved as a person since his third-round loss. But hes undoubtedly devolved as a tennis player. Perhaps his quest for harmony and inner peace is just Djokovics way of preparing himself for a soft landing on that inevitable day when he loses the No. 1 ranking, as all top players do. Maybe he can harmonize himself right into accepting a No. 2 or 4 or 8 ranking with a blissful smile on his face.Murray might continue to insist that his big day isnt at hand and may not be until at least next year. But hes been connecting with a light of his own, and while it may not be divine, it sure looks green. Cheap NFL Hoodies Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping Jerseys NFL China Wholesale NFL Autographed Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping ' ' '