Friday, December 15, 2017
Sports

Hot thing in swimming circles

Michael Phelps and the Olympic swimmers arrived in prime time Sunday, and there was something and unmistakable on their bodies: round circles.

They weren't the result of a tattooing misadventure or a secret symbol known only to swimmers.

The circles came from cupping, a technique used by trainers who attach suction cups to pull blood to sore and injured areas to speed healing. A recent Under Armour video shows Phelps receiving the treatment, as he has done for years. It's supposed to stretch tendons and muscles differently than massage.

"It looks like we get attached by octopuses," said three-time U.S. Olympian Dana Vollmer, fresh off a bronze medal in the 100 butterfly.

The cups, which create suction with either heat or little pumps, aren't attached for long, and the discoloration is the result of broken capillaries that occur as the skin is pulled up into the cup.

Travel woes: Athletics Kenya, the nation's track and field body, blamed the Kenyan Olympic committee for the travel problems that left javelin world champion Julius Yego without a plane ticket to Rio and caused other frustrated athletes, including 1,500-meter world champion Asbel Kiprop, to book their own flights. … Nigeria's sports minister apologized to the men's soccer team for the travel chaos that resulted in players arriving on the same day as their first game in Rio. The team was delayed last week in Atlanta. Despite the issues, Nigeria is 2-0 and has clinched a quarterfinal berth.

Around Rio: Australian track cyclist Melissa Hoskins left the velodrome on a stretcher after her pursuit team crashed hard while training. Cycling Australia spokeswoman Gennie Sheer said Hoskins was put in a back brace as a precaution. … Rio police say Namibia's flag bearer, Jonas Junius, was arrested and accused of sexual assault. Junius, 22, is a light-middleweight boxer who was set to face France's Hassan Amzile on Thursday.

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