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Tracy McGrady Olympics Are Way Too Dangerous ... No Way I'd Play!!

6/28/2016 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Tracy McGrady says there's NO DAMN WAY he'd hoop for the U.S. in the '16 Olympics ... warning athletes everywhere that Zika and the putrid water situation make it not worth it. 

Tons of huge stars have signed up for Team USA -- including Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Kyrie Irving ... while other stars like LeBron, Steph and Russell Westbrook took a pass. 

So, with all the questions about the health risks to the players, we had to ask T-Mac what he would do in the same situation. 

Long story short -- HELLLLLL NO. 

Don't close the door yet, Tracy ... if guys keep dropping out we might actually need you.

Rio Olympics 'Mascot' Jaguar Shot Dead After Torch Ceremony

6/21/2016 2:16 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

0621_jaguar-at-olympics_JAIR-ARAUJODIARIO-DO-AMAZONASAFPThe Olympic torch relay took a horrific turn when a Brazilian soldier shot and killed a jaguar that had just been involved in the torch ceremony.

The female jaguar, named Juma, was photographed in the town of Manaus as the torch passed through on its way to Rio, and the whole thing went off without a hitch.

But according to reports, shortly after the ceremony the sedated big cat -- normally captive at a zoo -- bolted for freedom as it was being placed back in its cage. When Juma approached a soldier, he fired the fatal shot.

The Amazon Military Command said the killing was in line with safety procedures.

Talk about a tragic omen -- Brazil's Olympic team mascot is a yellow jaguar, known as Ginga. 

0621_Ginga_the_mascot_getty

Shane Mosley Blasts Amir Khan You Suck Too Hard to Fight at Olympics

6/4/2016 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0602-shane-mosley-amir-khan-TMZ-01Shane Mosley is dashing the hell out of Amir Khan's Olympic dreams -- saying it would be DUMB AS HELL to fight at the '16 Games in Rio after the way he was brutally K.O.'d back in May. 

FYI, Khan has expressed serious interest in fighting for Pakistan at the summer games -- after the International Boxing Association finally voted to allow pros to compete for gold. 

But after watching Khan nearly get decapitated by Canelo Alvarez last month, Mosely tells TMZ Sports, the dude needs to rethink his plan. 

"I don’t think after getting knocked the f*** out Khan should be talking about representing anyone."

Damn.

As for Mosely, the boxer says he WILL be in Rio for the games, but not to fight ...

"I think there are better people than me to represent the USA. I will be in Rio for the games though. And having a lot of sex on the beach."

Good plan. 

Paralyzed U.S. Olympian 'Getting Better Every Day' ... Moving Arm!

5/23/2016 3:20 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

The former Team USA Olympic high jumper who was paralyzed in a training accident in California last month says he's making HUGE progress -- and can now move his arm!!!  

As we previously reported, 2-time Olympic high jumper Jamie Nieto fell on his head while training Olympic hopefuls last month ... and suffered major damage to his spinal cord

But in a new video shot from his hospital bed, the 39-year-old said he's "getting better every day. Just feeling a lot better."

Nieto -- who underwent emergency surgery following the life-threatening accident -- is also trying to walk again ... though it might take some time.  

"It's been a tough experience, not easy. You know, learning how to walk again, move my hands and getting my feet moving again."

"But I'm getting stronger, so it's getting better. It's a process. I thank everybody out there for all their love and support."

Nieto's girlfriend has said he's a fighter who hopes to be jumping again as soon as possible. 

Brazilian Soccer Legend Brazil Is a Violent Mess Don't Come Here for Olympics!

5/9/2016 1:15 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

0509_Rivaldo_olympics_gettyOne of the greatest Brazilian soccer players of all time is warning people to NOT come to Brazil for the Olympics ... saying his country is so violent and dangerous, tourists' lives will be at risk.

The man calling out his country is Rivaldo -- who famously won the World Cup with Brazil in 2002. He's also a member of the Brazilian soccer Hall of Fame. 

Rivaldo unleashed Sunday after learning of the murder of a 17-year-old girl. 

"Things are getting uglier in Brazil," Rivaldo posted on Instagram ... "I advise everyone with plans to visit Brazil for the Olympics in Rio – to stay home. You'll be putting your life at risk here."

He added, "This is without even speaking about the state of public hospitals and all the Brazilian political mess. Only God can change the situation in our Brazil."

The Olympics are set to begin in Rio on August 5th ... despite the violence, water issues, Zika scare and everything else. 

[h/t Yahoo Sports]

Diana Nyad Rio Is Unsafe Olympians In Serious Danger

5/8/2016 12:05 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Diana Nyad -- one of the greatest swimmers of all time -- says the water situation in Rio is a "mess" ... telling TMZ Sports she's extremely concerned for the health of our Olympic athletes. 

Long story short ... Nyad essentially says the decision to host the Olympics in Rio was a huge mistake -- because the water is putrid and people are getting seriously sick. 

Nyad says it's too late to switch venues now -- but the athletes have a serious decision to make ... boycott for your health ... or risk it all for Olympic glory. 

What would you do? 

Paralympic Swimming Legend Disqualified Over Olympic Rings Tattoo

5/3/2016 6:18 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

0503-jose-craig-twitter-01A world record setting paralympic swimmer has been DISQUALIFIED from a race at the IPC European Championships ... all because he didn't cover up a tattoo of the Olympic rings on his chest. 

The swimmer is British legend Josef Craig -- who set the world record for the 400m freestyle at the 2012 Summer Paralympics. 

19-year-old Craig -- who has cerebral palsy -- was competing at the 100m freestyle at the IPC race in Portugal on Sunday (and WON his heat) ... but was disqualified immediately following the race. 

A spokesman for the event said the Olympic rings tat violated a "body advertising" ban -- "the athlete did not wear a cover and was therefore disqualified."

Craig's mother has told the media her son has since covered up the tat -- and plans to compete with tape covering up the Olympic rings. 

Ex-Olympic Wrestling Champ Fights Ukranian Cops Gets Face Cracked Open

5/2/2016 8:26 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

How many Ukranian cops does it take to apprehend a 50-year-old former Olympic wrestling champ? 

Seven, actually ... plus a bunch of pepper spray and some batons. 

The man who got his face cracked open is Vyacheslav Oliynyk -- who won the gold medal at the '96 Olympics in Atlanta. 

Oliynyk was reportedly stopped for drunk driving after celebrating his 50th bday -- but an argument broke out and the guy made it clear he wasn't going to jail quietly. 

0502-Vyacheslav-Oliynyk-AP-02He squared up ... he put his hands on one of the cops ... and then all hell broke loose. 

After the brawl, Oliynyk reportedly told local media, "I admit I was partially guilty, I can’t tell you the whole thing. I’m partly guilty because I did not stop and I was ignoring the police."

"But I am not a criminal. As far as I can see there will be a court hearing and they will punish me somehow because they always do. However the fact that police let me go home on the same day shows I didn’t do anything that bad."

[H/T Metro]

Paralyzed U.S. Olympian 'Thank God I'm Still Alive' ... Emotional Hospital Video

4/28/2016 11:29 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

The U.S. Olympian who was paralyzed in a freak training accident says he's GETTING BETTER ... and in an emotional new video, says he's lucky to be alive. 

As we previously reported, 2-time Olympic high jumper Jamie Nieto fell on his head while training Olympic hopefuls this past weekend ... and suffered major damage to his back. 

Nieto has now made a brand new video from his hospital bed -- thanking everyone for supporting him ... including Olympic star Lolo Jones who launched a fundraising campaign to pay for his medical bills. 

In the emotional video, Nieto says doctors believe he has a "high chance of getting better" -- which is amazing considering he almost died following the accident. 

As for the fundraising, we're told Lolo has raised more than $40k -- which is extremely significant considering Nieto had canceled his health insurance before the accident due to financial struggles. 

#GetWellSoon #KeepFighting

Ex-U.S. Olympian Paralyzed In Training Incident Lolo Jones Leads Fundraising Campaign

4/26/2016 12:41 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

0426-jamie-nieto-GETTY-02A former U.S. Olympic star was partially paralyzed in a training incident over the weekend ... and now his friend Lolo Jones is spearheading a fundraising campaign to help pay for his medical bills. 

TMZ Sports has learned ... Jamie Nieto -- a high jumper who finished 4th at the 2004 Games and 6th in 2012 -- was injured during a backflip training exercise while working with Olympic hopefuls at Azusa Pacific University in California on April 23rd. 

Nieto's manager, Paul Doyle, tells us the 39-year-old landed on his head -- and the injury was so bad, a helicopter was called to the scene to transport him to USC Medical Center. 

"We were very close to losing him at one stage," Doyle says ... "but thankfully, the MRI came back with no broken neck and the spinal cord remained intact."

"He’s slowly getting better. He’s starting to get feeling in his hands and legs ... doctors are optimistic."

But Nieto has another huge problem -- Doyle says Nieto had financial issues before the incident and had cancelled his health insurance to save money. Bottom line ... he's in trouble. 

Enter Lolo Jones ... who trained with Nieto for years and became close with the track star. Now she wants to help raise funds to cover some of the medical costs. 

In fact, Jones launched a fundraising page and made a video saying Nieto "has always been a light for me even when I've had some of my toughest moments."

"I just beg of you to please help donate to him now so that we can help him get back on his feet and he can soar to great heights once again."

So far, Jones has raised about $9,000 and counting. 

Kevin Costner Bring MMA to Olympics 'Where the Real Tough Guys Exist'

4/26/2016 7:49 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Did you know ... table tennis is an Olympic sport -- and MMA is not? 

Well, Kevin Costner ain't happy about it -- telling TMZ Sports he thinks the powers that be should bring the fighting sport to the Olympic games, ASAP!!!!

Costner says MMA has already "established itself as one of the greatest sports out there" ... adding, "I think it's where the real tough guys exist."

BTW, Costner's not the first high-profile dude to call for MMA in the games ... Randy Couture's been banging this drum for years

#NoDisrespectToPingPong

Usain Bolt Rihanna Totally Dissed Me ... She Never Called

4/20/2016 12:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Bad news love fans ... Usain Bolt didn't get his "Sleepless in Seattle" ending with Rihanna ... 'cause according to Bolt himself he got "no love" from the pop star after publicly laying his mack down.

The fastest man on the planet was at a Hublot watch event in NYC promoting his new timepiece when we asked him for a Rihanna love update ... since he begged her to call him back in 2013. 

The bad news ... Usain says RiRi left him hangin'. 

The good news ... Usain's moved on, he's got a NEW girlfriend. 

The bad news ... if Rihanna ever reconsiders, Bolt's girlfriend could be in trouble! 

Check out the clip ... and try to process the fact that even the fastest athlete in the history of humanity couldn't catch Rihanna. 

Makes you have more respect for Drake, doesn't it? 

Lolo Jones Advice From Olympic Teammate ... Give Up The Bobsled!

4/17/2016 12:25 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

If Lolo Jones ever wants to win an Olympic medal in track & field, she's gotta stop bobsledding ... this according to her 2012 U.S. Olympic teammate Duane Solomon who says Lolo needs to leave that snow alone.

Duane was at LAX when we asked him about Lolo's Olympic prospects ... basically, does the 33-year-old have a chance in hell of finally getting that elusive medal this summer?

Lolo's been doing double duty lately ... competing as a member of the U.S. bobsled team when she's not training on the track. 

Solomon says that's a mistake ... telling our photog Ms. Jones would have a way better chance to end her international drought if she just focused on one sport.

Check out the clip ... and expect a Lolo reaction on Twitter in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... 

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