Got a Tip? Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here
READ NOW

TMZ SPORTS

  • FS1
    M-T-Th-F:
    9:00 PM PST

    W:
    9:30 PM PST
clock-iconREMIND ME TO WATCH

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 ... 

NFL's Willie Gault Training Suspended Para-Athlete ... For Return To Competition

4/10/2016 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

NFL legend Willie Gault -- one of the fastest men in NFL history -- is getting back on the track to help a suspended world class Para-athlete make a triumphant return to Track & Field. 

TMZ Sports has learned Gault is training Blake Leeper ... a Paralympic star who in February was slapped with a 1-year suspension from USADA stemming from a positive cocaine test in 2015.

We talked to Willie during a training session with Blake ... and he told us he took the gig 'cause he thinks Leeper deserves a second chance to chase that gold medal.

"He's a really good kid," Gault said, adding, "He made a mistake, he had a problem."

Gault ... who still competes in track events himself at age 55 ... maintains since Leeper tested positive for cocaine -- not a performance enhancing drug -- the suspension was too harsh.

"It just doesn't make sense."

We also spoke with 26-year-old Leeper ... who told our guy he's determined to live a clean life, and has actually taken a vow of sobriety.

"I'm living a complete clean life ... it's about being the 24 hour athlete on and off the track."

U.S. Olympian Dominique Dawes Crazy Gym Parents Train Their Kids ... At 6 MONTHS!!!

3/28/2016 3:41 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

So, baby gymnastics is apparently a thing ... so says U.S. Olympic legend Dominique Dawes who says some parents start training their kids at 6 MONTHS OLD!!

The '96 gold medal winner was out in D.C. with her husband Jeff Thompson and their 2 kids (6 months and 2 years) when we jokingly asked if she had started THEIR Olympic training yet. 

That's when Dawes told us some people actually DO get the Olympic ball rolling super early -- but don't worry ... she's not one of those parents.  

So, how old is the right age? Check out what Dominique says in the clip. 

NBA Legend Mitch Richmond Military Will Keep U.S. Olympians Safe ... I Would Know

3/23/2016 11:16 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Terrorists shouldn't even THINK about harming U.S. athletes at the Olympics -- 'cause the mighty U.S. military is locked, loaded and dedicated to keeping our people safe ... so says NBA legend Mitch Richmond.

FYI, Mitch played on the U.S. Olympic basketball team back in '96 -- when a terrorist set off bombs near the team hotel in Atlanta. In the clip, Richmond describes how he reacted when he heard the explosion. 

But Richmond says the fact that the team had the best security in the world watching their backs really helped the players focus on the game -- and they went out and won gold. 

Randall Cunningham's Daughter World Class Track Athlete Gunning For Gold Medal!!

3/21/2016 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0317_Randall-and-Vashti-CunninghamRidiculous athleticism runs in ex-NFL star Randall Cunningham's family. The proof ... his 18-year-old daughter has her sights set on a gold medal, 'cause she's one of the nation's best high jumpers.

Vashti Cunningham's a HUGE DEAL in track & field circles ... in fact, there's not a woman alive who's recorded a better jump in 2016. VC's career best is only 3 inches shy of the all-time world record.

Her father ... and coach, Randall Cunningham -- one of the most athletic QBs ever -- tells TMZ Sports his daughter has a very clear idea of what she wants ... and it's shiny, heavy and gold.

"She has a real good chance of making it to the Olympics. The goal is to win a gold medal, but that's hard to do when you're 18."

The road to gold starts on July 1st in Oregon ... when Olympic trials kick off. 

As for Vashti's life after the games in Rio ... Randall tells us “She will have to choose between college or going pro. She’s had offers from USC, Oregon and Georgia, and she’s had companies contact her about wanting to make endorsement deals."

FYI -- Randall's son, Randall Cunningham Jr., is no slouch either ... he's an All-American high jumper at USC.

#GreatGenes 

Soccer Legend Julie Foudy U.S. Can Win Gold Without Hope Solo

3/8/2016 10:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

With Hope Solo considering skipping the Olympics due to Zika virus scares in Brazil -- the big question ... can Team USA still win the gold without her? 

According to soccer legend Julie Foudy -- the answer is definitely "Yes."

Foudy says she completely understands Solo's concern -- but says if she skips the games, Team USA will still be real contenders ... thanks to serious talent on the bench. 

The games begin in just 5 months ... and a lot can happen between now and then. 

#GoUSA

Around The Web