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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

Jerry Colangelo We're Trying to Protect Team USA from Zika Virus

2/12/2016 11:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

No one wants to see LeBron James get the Zika virus during the Olympics ... especially Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo who says they're doing everything they can to protect the players. 

With everyone talking about the Zika scare in Latin America (and specifically in Brazil) ... people are wondering if it's worth sending our athletes to compete if there's a risk they'll get the virus. 

"I sure hope no one's going to come back with the virus," Colangelo tells TMZ Sports

"I think all the precautionary steps are being taken by the World Health Org., by the USOC and USA Basketball to limit that to hopefully nothing."

Team USA soccer star Hope Solo has said that if the Olympics were today, she would not go. It'll be interesting to see how the basketball team reacts as the games get closer. 

USA's Justin Gatlin I'M GOING TO BEAT USAIN BOLT ... Period.

2/12/2016 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

You heard it here first ... Team USA sprinter Justin Gatlin guaranteeing OLYMPIC VICTORY over Usain Bolt at the 2016 Olympics!!!

Gatlin joined the guys on the "TMZ Sports" show on FS1 -- when he told us he's not afraid of the Zika scare in Brazil ... and NOTHING can keep him from competing against his rival at the games. 

So, when we asked straight up if he was finally going to crush the Jamaican sensation on the track -- Gatlin laid down the gauntlet ... "I'M GOING TO WIN!"

By the way, Gatlin says he's already got plans for his gold medal when he crosses that line!!!

#GOUSA!!!

Sanya Richards-Ross Zika Scare Won't Keep Me From Olympics

2/11/2016 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0210-sanya-richards-ross-mosquito-01

U.S. track superstar Sanya Richards-Ross says she's definitely concerned about the Zika virus scare in Brazil ... but it won't keep her from competing in the Olympic games in Rio later this year. 

It's an issue athletes from all over the world are dealing with -- especially with the Zika virus spreading at a frightening rate in Latin America. 

But SRS -- who's won gold before in the 400m and the 4x400 relay -- says she's not ready to cancel her travel plans. 

"As of right now ... no, I would not consider not going to the Olympic games because it just means too much to me. This will probably be my last hurrah."

Sanya does however, acknowledge the Zika virus -- which can cause birth defects -- is still a real concern.  

"Of course it is a concern of mine. Not knowing how you can be affected and what the consequences are. It's scary. But I can't imagine doing all this work and not going [to Rio]."

Michael Phelps Chippendales Wants a Piece ... After ASU Speedo Stunt

2/2/2016 10:58 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0202_michael_phelps_chipendalesMichael Phelps -- male stripper??

The folks at Chippendales hope so ... 'cause they were so impressed with the Olympian's Speedo stunt at the ASU basketball game last week, they want him to shake it onstage!

0129-michael-phelps-usat-01We spoke with a rep for the legendary male review who tells us they've already reached out to Michael's rep in the hopes he'll be a special celeb guest host at their show at the Rio in Vegas. 

"We know Michael will add a touch of gold to our already stellar, internationally acclaimed flagship production in the $10 million Chippendales Theatre at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas."

No word on if Phelps is up for it -- but he IS retiring after the 2016 games -- so he'll have some free time. Plus, he wouldn't be the first celeb to join the gang ... just ask Tyson BeckfordIan Ziering and Joey Lawrence

Meantime, enjoy this video of the greatest Chippendales dancer of them all ... 

Team USA Gymnastics Abs. Abs. Abs. On Brazil Beach

1/14/2016 4:24 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

0114-mens-gymnastics-instagramHere's the Team USA men's gymnastics team showing off their ridiculous, shredded physiques on a beach in Brazil.

It appears the guys are there to get in some training sessions in preparation for the 2016 Summer Olympics ... which are set to go down in Rio.

Nice speedos. 

#GoUSA

0114_usa_gymnastics_team_shirtless_photos_footer

Jesse Owens' Daughter We Had Final Script Approval ... For 'Race' Movie

1/12/2016 12:55 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0111_marlene_owens_jesse-owens_facebook_gettyThe daughter of Olympic legend Jesse Owens says the family had final script approval for the upcoming biopic "Race" -- and actually REJECTED certain scenes to ensure the movie was 100% authentic. 

TMZ Sports spoke with Marlene Owens Rankin who tells us producers approached her family several years ago to get their blessing to make a movie about the sprinting hero who beat Hitler at the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin.   

"We were involved from the very beginning. The production company contacted us 5 years ago. We’ve gotten to know them pretty well over the years. We had script approval, by our request, and we were even on location in Berlin for a little while."

0111_jesse_owens_poster_race_SUB

Marlene says she was very impressed with producers -- "the script and facts are really very well done" -- but says there were times the family had to use their veto powers. 

"Our focus was to make sure history wasn’t rewritten and that they stuck to the facts. Of course, they had to use a bit of creative licensing, and we had to reject a couple things. But they took those parts out and we love the product. We’ve been to several screenings."

As for the actor who plays Jesse -- Stephan James (who also played John Lewis in "Selma") -- Marlene says the family DEFINITELY approves. 

"He did a phenomenal job. He’s a very nice man and it was great to have him involved."

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