Chinese Olympics gold medalist Zhu Xueying's new hardware is already losing some shine ... 'cause the trampoline gymnast says it's PEELING!!!
The 23-year-old athlete went to social media to show off the alleged damage this week ... asking fellow Olympians if they had experienced anything similar with their medals.
"#olympic-medal Was your medal ... peeling off like this?" she asked on Weibo.
Zhu says she initially thought the mark was just dirt, but the spot grew bigger and bigger.
FYI -- the medals aren't solid gold ... they're actually made from mostly silver and, for the 2020 Games, reused metals donated by the public ... and coated least 6 grams of pure gold.
The Olympic committee ended up sending a response to Zhu ... saying the peeling is actually a protective coating and claiming the medal is perfectly fine.
But, if something were to ever happen to a medal, the committee keeps a mold and can always crank out some new ones ... for a fee.
Zhu became the second Chinese Olympian to win gold in the trampoline gymnastics event in the 2020 Games in Tokyo ... with a score of 56.635.
NBA star Jayson Tatum is fresh off winning gold in Tokyo, but the Boston Celtics guard is hungry for more -- telling TMZ Sports he's gunning to add an NBA championship to his collection!!!
The 2-time All-Star and All-NBAer was out in Beverly Hills fresh off helping Team USA win it all at the 2020 Games ... and we asked where his shiny, new medal lands on his growing list of accomplishments.
"It has to be at the top so far, but clearly gotta bring a championship to the Celtics," 23-year-old Tatum tells us. "That’s first on the list."
The Celtics have a new coach this season with Ime Udoka ... but it's clear Tatum thinks Boston will be able to make a better run in the playoffs after getting eliminated in the first round in 2021.
Tatum tells us he's still riding the high of winning gold ... calling it "the coolest thing I've done so far."
As for whether he proudly wears the medal out and about, Jayson says it's a bit too heavy for his liking ... but he still did for a "little bit" after he got home.
Sha'Carri Richardson's return to the race track wasn't quite as glorious as she'd hoped -- she came in last place against some of the same women she'd beat a couple months ago.
The U.S. sprinter -- who was disqualified from competing in this summer's Tokyo Olympics -- took her mark Saturday for the Prefontaine Classic at the University of Oregon ... where she was set to race in the women's 100-meter dash against 8 others, including three of the Jamaican Olympians who took gold, silver and bronze during the games in her absence.
When the gun went off, everyone was hurdling down the track ... but it quickly became clear that Sha'Carri was falling behind ... and not just the Jamaican runners, but everyone else too.
She ended up coming in 9th place with a time of 11.14 seconds ... which many people weren't expecting. BTW, the Jamaican athletes ran the table again here for 1st, 2nd and 3rd -- with Elaine Thompson-Herah finishing on top with a new record at 10.54 seconds.
No matter, though -- because Sha'Carri got ahead of the criticism.
In a post-race interview with NBC ... she made it quite clear, in spirited terms, that she wasn't "done" ... and that she couldn't care less what haters have to say. She also said this is one race, and that it doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things for her future competing.
Of course, cruel as ever ... the Internet was still quick to make jokes about her placement, which is very interesting. Sha'Carri almost became a hero when she was banned for smoking pot -- but now ... it seems people are all too happy to see her so-called "downfall." 🤔
Something tells us she'll prove them wrong soon enough.
Katie Nageotte better brush up on her French ... 'cause the Team USA pole vaulter tells TMZ Sports she's hoping to defend her gold medal at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris!!
30-year-old Nageotte shocked the world by edging out Russian Olympic Committee world champ Anzhelika Sidorova on her third attempt of the event earlier this month ... after failing on her first two tries.
She ended up crushing it at 4.90 meters ... with Sidorova taking silver at 4.85.
Despite her rising popularity, Katie tells us it still hasn't really set in that she's the greatest in the world ... but she won't have much more time to dwell on it -- because she's already competing again at the Prefontaine Classic on Saturday.
A few weeks later, she's got the Diamond League Final in Zurich, Switzerland ... and then it's FINALLY time for a well-deserved break!!
She tells us she made a deal with her trainer that if the Olympics went well -- which they definitely did! -- she'd be able to have a few weeks off to do whatever she wants!!
But, Nageotte ain't ready to hang up the vaulting pole just yet -- she says as long as she stays healthy, she'll be ready to go for gold again in Paris!!
Sha'Carri Richardson says watching the 2020 Olympics from home was bittersweet ... admitting she was initially pissed to miss out on competing, but it ultimately helped her move on from her marijuana suspension.
Richardson -- the fastest woman in America -- is set to return to the track in the Prefontaine Classic this weekend ... her first race since being punished.
Before making her big comeback, the 21-year-old explained what it was like having to experience the Tokyo Games from a TV instead of in person ... saying it was a bit of a mixed reaction.
"It was a moment of bitterness, but at the same time it was sweet," the U.S. track star told the "Today" show.
"Because, it just gives me more -- it gives me more time, it gives me more to show the world that I'm here to stay."
"Watching it made me want to push forward and grow from that."
Of course, Sha'Carri received a 1-month suspension in July after testing positive for marijuana --- leaving her out of the Tokyo Olympics.
SCR later explained that she used marijuana after her biological mother died a few days before the Olympic trials ... and she's owned up to the mistake.
"I know what I did," she added Friday. "I know I'm responsible and I'm here to take what it is from the choices I decided to make. Can't run from reality."
"At the end of the day, I did make a mistake but that doesn't take away from my talent."
"It doesn't take away from who I am."
Richardson will be able to get back on the right track against a powerful trio this weekend -- Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Shericka Jackson and Elaine Thompson-Herah, who won the gold in the women's 100-meters at the Tokyo Olympics.
Fraser-Pryce won the silver and Jackson took home the bronze in the same race.
But, SCR says she's ready for the competition and "excited" to get back on the track.
"I'm feeling overjoyed to getting back to doing what it is that I love to do."
21-year-old Steveson was one of the breakout stars at the 2020 Olympics ... and has expressed interest in everything from the NFL, to WWE, to the UFC.
So, we asked the UFC prez if he had interest in Steveson ... and that's when White revealed he planned to link up with the gold medalist.
"[Gable] will be in town this weekend, and I think we're gonna hook up and talk."
FYI, Gable is a BEAST on the mats. He won the NCAA title this year at the University of Minnesota, as well as the championship at the Pan American Games. Gable hasn't lost a single match in 2 years.
But, just 'cause Dana's meeting Gable, doesn't mean a signing is guaranteed.
"Obviously there's a lot of work for him to do before he could make it to the UFC, but we'll see what happens."
If Steveson does ultimately sign a deal with the UFC ... fellow Olympic gold medalist turned UFC double champ Henry Cejudo recently told us he believes Gable -- with 2 or 3 years training -- could beat top heavyweights like Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou.
Either of those fights would be HUGE. But, first step is White and Steveson's Vegas meeting.
Stay tuned ...
Of course, the 24-year-old just returned to America after Team USA dominated at the Tokyo Olympics earlier this month ... securing gold in men's basketball.
Book's back stateside ... and he didn't waste any time meeting up with his supermodel girlfriend for some lakeside R&R after weeks away hooping.
Devin -- who also brought along his pooch, Raven -- posted video of the superstar couple on a motorboat ... while Kendall soaked up the sun, gold medal around her neck.
Of course, Caitlyn won it all in the decathlon in the 1976 Montreal Olympics ... so the fam is used to seeing gold.
Booker and Jenner have been one of the hottest couples in sports and Hollywood since they began dating in early 2020.
We first saw them together at a gas station in Arizona ... where they made a quick pit stop in their chauffeured Maybach.
They finally went official during Valentine's Day in 2021 ... and it's been nothing but mushy, lovey content ever since.
Gold medal + Supermodel GF + Gorgeous lake ... good to be Devin Booker.
Afghan athletes set to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics next week will NOT be able to represent their country ... this, after the Taliban's takeover over Afghanistan.
"Regrettably, NPC (National Paralympic Committee) Afghanistan will no longer participate in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games," International Paralympics Committee said on Monday.
“Due to the serious ongoing situation in the country, all airports are closed and there is no way for them to travel to Tokyo."
Of course, in the wake of the U.S. retreat, the Taliban has taken over much of the county ... including the capital city of Kabul. Travel out of the country by air is basically impossible.
Two athletes from Afghanistan were scheduled to compete ... Taekwondo player Zakia Khudadadi and track athlete Hossain Rasouli.
And, it would've been historic ... 23-year-old Khudadadi would've been the first female representing the country in the Paralympics.
"I just want to be there with the other athletes from the world and give my best. It is an opportunity to show my ability and I will be so proud to stand with all of those athletes," Khudadadi said last week before the Taliban takeover.
Rasouli and Khudadadi were supposed to arrive in Tokyo on Tuesday ... with the games scheduled to start on August 24.
8:46 AM PT -- Gable says he's going to be at SummerSlam this weekend -- now, the only question is ... will we see him in the ring!?
NFL. UFC. WWE.
Those are three of the lucrative options U.S. Olympian Gable Steveson reportedly has on the table after winning a gold medal in freestyle wrestling at the 2020 Games.
TMZ Sports ran into Seth Rollins at LAX ... and we asked the WWE Superstar if pro wrestling would be a good career move for 21-year-old Steveson.
"I mean, we’d love to have him. He seems like an incredible athlete, and decent dude. And, you know, we've had some luck with Olympic gold medalists before, so why not?" Rollins said.
Seth is referring to Kurt Angle ... who won a gold medal in wrestling at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta before ultimately joining WWF (now WWE) in 1998 -- where he became a legend in the squared circle.
But, freestyle wrestling and pro wrestling are VERY different sports ... which is why Rollins is offering Gable some assistance.
"I do have a wrestling school, Black and Brave Wrestling Academy, so if he wants to move to Davenport, Iowa for three months, we'll get him ready."
Of course, since defeating the #1 seed in the gold medal match in Tokyo with fractions of a second remaining, 6'1", 260+ lb. Steveson says he's received interest from the NFL (Ravens, Bills), UFC, Bellator, and WWE ... to name a few.
Gable hasn't ruled out signing with any of the organizations ... making it clear if they write a big enough check, he's interested in football -or- wrestling -or- fighting.
If Vince McMahon backs up the Brinks truck, Rollins -- former WWE heavyweight champ -- is more than willing to train the Olympic champ.
Sha'Carri Richardson is getting a second shot at glory -- the U.S. track star will face-off against the Jamaican Olympics winners anew ... this after missing her shot at the games.
SCR is confirmed to be one of 9 competing in next weekend's Prefontaine Classic at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field -- where she'll run against Jamaica's Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson in the women's 100-meter sprint.
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The above-mentioned Jamaican sprinters all took home the top 3 medals in the titular event that Sha'Carri would've otherwise competed in ... placing 1st, 2nd and 3rd among themselves. Sha'Carri beat 'em all out during the trials ... and, now, has the opportunity to do it again.
Of the forthcoming moment to prove she woulda kicked butt in Tokyo, her rep says ... "Sha'Carri is focused on running a good race since she last competed at the US Olympic Trials," adding ... "She will be focused on executing her race to the best of her ability regardless of who is in the race."
Sha'Carri has her work cut out for her -- Thompson-Herah actually beat her trial time of 10.64 seconds in the 100-m with an historic speed of 10.61 seconds during the actual games ... second only behind Flo-Jo.
Kaley Cuoco is enraged at the trainer in the Olympics who hit her horse with her fist, calling the move "classless" and "abusive."
Kaley launched hard on Annika Schleu and Kim Raisner from Germany, who tried in vain to get Saint Boy to jump during the event. The coach, Kim Raisner, is also seen in video slapping the horse. She was disqualified for her misconduct.
Kaley said, "I feel it's my duty and heart to comment on this disgrace. This is not Olympic show jumping. This is a disgusting, classless, abusive representation of our sport in so many ways. this team should be ashamed of themselves." She punctuated her comments with a photo of Schleu.
Kaley, who's an accomplished rider, is married to horse trainer Karl Cook.
And, Kaley wasn't done ... "You and your team did not do your country proud or this sport. You make us look bad. Shame on you and godspeed to any animal that comes in contact with you."
And, there's more ... "Pure classless behavior right here. Disgusting on all levels. This is not our sport. This does not represent our sport, This rider and her 'trainer' are a disgrace."
Kaley ended this way ... "I'll buy that horse outright and show it the life it should have. Name your price."
That would undeniably be a good move for the horse.
U.S. skateboarding bronze medalist Jagger Eaton has Bieber Fever ... 'cause the Olympic hero tells TMZ Sports he wants to personally invite Justin Bieber to a skate sesh!!
Of course, Eaton became a sensation in Tokyo last month ... becoming the first American to medal in skateboarding -- and he did it with a BROKEN ANKLE!!!
TMZ Sports caught up with JE this week to check in on his health ... and he says things are really good!!
"Feeling good. Ankle’s alright, just hanging out with the boys, shredding a little bit. Got told yesterday I don’t need surgery, so we’re all good vibes here."
Eaton says he was skating on a broken ankle for 2 whole months ... and it was "harsh."
"It wasn’t the greatest situation, but again, Advil works magic ... you kind of need to tough it out. It was a situation I didn’t want to be in, but again it’s like, it is what it is."
Given his expertise in the sport, we had to ask who the best celebrity skater is ... and Beliebers will love his answer!!
"I’ve seen Justin Bieber skate a little bit. I heard he rips. I don’t know. We got to set up a skate sesh or something."
Of course, Bieber is known to be good at a TON of sports ... and has skated with guys like Nyjah Huston in the past.
So, JB ... whatcha think??
There's more ... we had to ask how Eaton's social media DMs have been looking now that he's an Olympic superstar, what his future holds and if he'll be suiting up for the 2024 Games ... and the dude couldn't have been nicer!!
Jagger also shares what it's like to be an inspiration to the young skaters watching him shred at the highest level ... and you'll want to check it out.
Move over, Air Bud ... there's a new 4-legged athlete in town -- Olympics superstar Caeleb Dressel's incredibly talented black lab, Jane ... who might be the fastest dog on the planet!!!
Just days after returning from the Tokyo Games, the 7-time gold medalist was back in the pool working out at the University of Florida this week ... bringing Jane along for the ride.
But, it wasn't just Caeleb putting in some work -- his adorable doggo also showed off her speed ... and we're not kidding when we say this puppy is fast as lightning!!
"Someone check the time to 25, she’s built to float not for speed," Dressel said while bragging about his beloved pet.
But, we aren't the only ones freaking out about this wild highlight -- Bobby Finke, who won gold in the 800m and 1500m freestyle in Tokyo, was wowed by the clip ... saying, "Start is still better than mine."
We're gonna need some more of this kinda content over the next three years, Caeleb -- and can we get a Dog Olympics?!?!
Simone Biles' triumphant return home from the Olympics has hit a speed bump ... she says she was just bitten by a German Shepherd, and suffered a gnarly finger wound in the attack.
Biles explained the situation on her social media page Friday ... revealing a massive gash on her right hand.
"Here's an update on my finger that the dog bit me," the 24-year-old gymnast said, adding, "German Shepherds don't play."
Details surrounding the attack are unclear ... but Biles said she was forced to go to the doctor to get a tetanus shot and to make sure everything was OK with the injury.
Biles, though, did not seem shaken up at all over the incident ... even joking, "this dog at the farm just said NOT TODAY."
Of course, Biles had been having a great time in her return to Houston from Tokyo ... she got a hero's welcome at the airport and even got to ride in a parade!
Ice up and get back to living the good life soon, Simone!
Of course, Paul is slated to duke it out with Woodley on Aug. 29 in Cleveland ... just a stone's throw from where the YouTube superstar (Westlake) and NBA champ (Akron) grew up.
Jake says it's truly a special night for the city and the state ... so he wants the biggest local names to make an appearance and cheer him on.
"I think it’s just really cool that this is sort of an Ohio affair," Paul tells us, "and, not a lot of boxing matches take place in Ohio, let alone Cleveland."
With that being said, Jake is hoping to see the ex-Cavalier come through for his event ... giving a personal invite to the King.
"LeBron, pull up baby!!!" Paul said.
"When I was 12, came and saw your games. I paid good money for some front row seats. I was yelling at you from the crowds."
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"And so, I think it’s only right that you pull up and yell, "Jake! Jake! But look, LeBron, this one’s for the city man, pull up!"
JP's also inviting Ohioans who killed it in the Tokyo Olympics -- from Zach Apple to Katie Nageotte (who he just invited on Monday) and more.
"Katie taking gold, Duke Regan boxing coming up a silver. Oshae Jones with the bronze. We got swimmers Zach Apple, Hunter Armstrong both getting gold in swimming."
"Like, the Ohioans were crushing it. So, I was like come on down to the fight and it’s perfect timing. It’s right after the Olympics. They get to chill out, and maybe grab a beer!"
Sounds like a party!!
TMZ Sports talked to Maroney at Enso Studio art gallery in Malibu ... where we asked about her former teammates' legacy after her polarizing time in Tokyo.
"Honestly, I do [consider Simone the greatest ever]. When I competed with her back in 2013, I just felt like her gymnastics were so much better than mine."
McKayla continued ... "I mean, we competed with each other in the vault, and I was kind of head-to-head with her on that, but she blows everyone out of the water on every single event."
Of course, Biles pulled out of the gymnastics team competition and several individual events this Olympics after suffering from the "twisties."
Simone ultimately won a bronze (balance beam) and silver medal (team competition) ... bringing her total medal count to 7 ... and there could be more to come.
Maroney says she wouldn't put it past Simone to return next Olympics as a 27-year-old ... an advanced age for a top-level gymnast.
"I'm 25 and I can't see myself getting back in the gym. I did it for the little Geico commercial, but it is really tough," McKayla says.
But, we're talking about the G.O.A.T. ... so don't be surprised to see Biles kick ass in 2024.
"If Simone wants to do it, she can do anything. She's the G.O.A.T. She can do anything."