LOS ANGELES (AP) — Multiple Grammy Award-winning singer Adele says she turned down an offer to perform at the 2017 Super Bowl halftime show.
The British singer told an audience Saturday at her Los Angeles concert that she was asked to perform at the event.
“First of all, I’m not doing the Super Bowl,” Adele says from the stage in a video posted on Twitter. “I mean, come on, that show is not about music. And I don’t really — I can’t dance or anything like that. They were very kind, they did ask me, but I did say no.”
She adds: “I’m sorry, but maybe next time.”
Performers at previous halftime shows have included Beyonce, Madonna, the Rolling Stones and Prince.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Simone Biles spent Sunday morning in the warm-up gym thinking not of history but perfection.
When it didn’t happen — and really, it never does in gymnastics anymore — the 19-year-old star settled for a pretty sweet consolation prize: a third gold medal in Rio.
Twisting and flipping through the air with explosive precision, Biles easily captured gold in the women’s vault final on Sunday. Her two-vault average of 15.966 was more than .7 better than silver medalist Maria Paseka of Russia and bronze medalist Giulia Steingruber of Switzerland. The margin between first and second was greater than second and eighth, a symbol of the canyon Biles created between herself and her peers.
Biles’ triumph is the first in the Olympics by an American woman on vault, and her first vault title in a major international competition. It’s heady territory, though Biles wasn’t quite so thrilled when her feet moved just a touch on the landing of her Amanar.
“I just wanted to stick a vault so badly here and it didn’t happen,” Biles said. “I can be disappointed about that but I can’t be disappointed with the gold.”
Good idea considering there may be more on the way. Biles is in the balance beam final on Monday and the floor exercise final on Tuesday, events in which she happens to be the reigning world champion. The chance of her leaving Rio going an unprecedented 5-for-5 is looking more inevitable than impossible.
Not that Biles is getting ahead of herself. While she’s aware of her growing celebrity inside the athlete’s village, Biles and coach Aimee Boorman are trying to remain in the comfortable rhythm Biles and the rest of her “Final Five” teammates follow during any other meet. It wasn’t hard to keep Biles engaged heading into the event which Boorman thought would be Biles’ best when she reached the elite level in 2013.
“When she first entered the elite world we thought ‘maybe you’ll make a world team and be a vault specialist,'” Boorman said. “She never won her gold at worlds but now she’s got her Olympic gold.”
Other takeaways from the first day of event finals inside the Rio Olympic Arena.
BRITAIN’S BREAKTHROUGH: During the first 116 years of the Olympics, Great Britain won exactly zero gold medals in gymnastics of any variety. Max Whitlock gave his home country two in the span of an hour. The 23-year-old edged Brazil’s Diego Hypolito in the men’s floor exercise then beat teammate and friendly rival Louis Smith on pommel horse a short time later.
The triumph marked a high point in a renaissance that began in 2008 when Smith earned a bronze on pommel horse in Beijing. The Brits added a team bronze in London four years ago and the momentum has continued to build. Smith’s silver gave him three on pommels in his career and Whitllock’s sublime routine had the teammates standing side by side on the podium as the Union Jack was raised and “God Save the Queen” played over the loudspeakers.
“It was really cool to see two flags rise up there,” Whitlock said. “It was just an amazing feeling.”
MUSTAFINA’S METTLE: Aliya Mustafina of Russia defended her gold medal on uneven bars, edging American Madison Kocian in a taut final. Mustafina’s score of 15.9 was just ahead of Kocian’s 15.833. The difference came down to difficulty. Mustafina’s start value was a .1 higher than Kocian’s, giving the former world all-around champion her seventh Olympic medal.
The 21-year-old draped the Russian flag over her shoulders in victory while celebrating a draining comeback from injuries that threatened to derail her career. Mustafina took third in the all-around last week behind Biles and Aly Raisman, calling the Americans “unbeatable.” Asked if she considers herself the same on uneven bars, Mustafina smiled and said “well, now I think yes.”
Sophie Scheder of Germany earned bronze. Three-time Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas, the all-around champion in London, finished seventh in what is likely her final competition.
HISTORY MAKERS: Oksana Chusovitina has no plans to make her seventh Olympics her last. The 41-year-old plans to keep training through Tokyo 2020 following a seventh-place finish on vault. She blew kisses to the crowd during a video tribute as she made her way off the floor. It looked like she was saying good-bye. Turns out, it was more like “see you next time.”
“It was very simple,” Chusovitina said. “I woke up in the morning and bingo the decision was there.”
Dipa Karmakar of India just missed out on bronze in vault, remarkable considering she’s the first Indian woman to compete in the Olympics.
NADDOUR’S REDEMPTION: Alex Naddour became the first American since 1984 to earn a medal on pommel horse when he came in a close third behind Smith on pommel horse. It served as a bit of redemption for Naddour. He was an alternate four years ago in London and struggled on floor exercise in the team final last week as the U.S. finished fifth. He washed his uniform in baby detergent so he would be reminded of his infant daughter Lilah.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Looking for an Olympic venue? The IOC has acknowledged that the Rio Olympics are missing part of the so-called “look” that characterizes the games.
“It’s a very unfortunate situation where the look could not be delivered on time,” Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi said Sunday.
Organizing committee officials admitted just days before the games opened that only 15 percent of the signage had been installed at Olympic venues. Signs give the Olympics their unique branding and help fans get around.
“There were many other things that were supposed to be installed, and they could not,” said Dubi, who said Ukrainian suppliers had failed to deliver at the last minute, forcing organizers to improvise.
Signage was absent along part of Sunday’s women’s marathon route, relying on famous backdrops like Sugar Loaf Mountain to remind television viewers that the race was being run in Rio de Janeiro. Rio’s famous Sambadrome was largely barren of decorations, except very close to the marathon’s finish line.
Rio organizers have made deep budget cuts hitting all food service, transportation, and volunteers. The cuts were supposed to affect only “behind-the-scenes” aspects, but have crept into other areas.
“We understand that the look of the games needs to be improved in some venues, especially in the Olympic stadium,” Rio spokesman Mario Andrada said. “We understand also that in some areas of the marathon we could have had a little bit more.”
Yiannis Exarchos, chief executive officer of the Olympic Broadcasting Services, has called the “look of the games” a disappointment. He said many venues were “not what we expected or hoped for” and lacked colorful designs, logos and graphics.”
OBS, the broadcasting arm of the International Olympic Committee, delivers the live video and sound from all the venues to television rights-holders around the world.
Stephen Wade on Twitter: http://twitter.com/StephenWadeAP . His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/stephen-wade
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The IAAF said Saturday it has banned the only Russian in Olympic track and field from competition and that she is appealing the ruling.
The eligibility of long jumper Darya Klishina was revoked by the IAAF based on new information it received last week, spokesman Yannis Nikolaou told The Associated Press.
He would not specify what the new information is or who delivered it, though Klishina’s attorney Paul Greene told the AP the case revolves around “scratch marks” on Klishina’s doping sample bottles, identified as part of World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren’s work.
McLaren has alleged that Russian security services were able to open supposedly tamper-proof bottles with the intent of swapping out tainted samples for clean urine, leaving behind telltale scratch marks on the glass.
“The basic idea here is that even a clean athlete like Darya is the victim of the state sponsored doping system,” Greene added in a text message. “At least that’s the IAAF position.”
Greene said he had not seen the “underlying evidence” in confidential parts of McLaren’s report.
Klishina, a former European indoor champion, previously was the only one of 68 Russians allowed to compete in the sport amid a massive doping scandal. The IAAF had accepted her application because she is based in the United States. The rest of the Russian team was banned over allegations of a widespread, state-sponsored doping program.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport said it had received Klishina’s appeal of the decision imposed by the IAAF’s doping review board. The IOC and Russian Olympic Committee were invited to take part in the hearing. CAS said it hopes to issue its verdict by Sunday night.
“I am a clean athlete and have proved that already many times and beyond any doubt,” Klishina said in a statement on her Facebook page.
“Based in the U.S. for three years now, I have been almost exclusively tested outside of the anti-doping system in question,” she added, an apparent reference to the Russian anti-doping agency, which remains suspended over doping cover-ups.
“I am falling victim to those who created a system of manipulating our beautiful sport and is guilty of using it for political purposes,” she said.
“I will take every possible effort to protect my clean image as an athlete,” Klishina said. “At this moment, I cannot help but feel betrayed by a system that is not focused on keeping the sport clean and supporting rank-and-file athletes, but rather seeking victories outside sport arenas.”
The president of the Russian Olympic Committee, Alexander Zhukov, condemned the IAAF decision. “Overall, all of this looks like a mockery of the athlete by the IAAF,” he said in a video message posted by the Russian Olympic Committee.
The International Olympic Committee ruled out a blanket ban on Russia last month but imposed new rules which have barred some Russian athletes in various sports because their names were implicated in a report by McLaren, who alleged a major doping cover-up.
McLaren said he had received leaked emails in which senior Russian Sports Ministry officials discussed whether or not to conceal doping cases related to hundreds of athletes across dozens of Olympic and non-Olympic sports.
Some Russian athletes who were named in that report were able to regain their Olympic spots on appeal to CAS, although others were refused.
“If Darya Klishina is in the McLaren list, then the IAAF must have been aware of it for a long time,” Zhukov said. “They, as I understand it, only addressed questions to Klishina on Aug. 6. She answered them, and they only took this decision today, Aug. 13. Why it couldn’t have been done while all the other federations were examining the problems with athletes who were in the McLaren list is completely incomprehensible.”
McLaren has said his investigation is continuing and that more athletes could be implicated as more evidence emerges.
AP Sports Writer Stephen Wilson contributed.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Standing atop the medal podium for the 23rd time, Michael Phelps teared up, bit his lip and gave a little nod.
This was how he really wanted to go out.
On top of his game in the water.
Totally content away from the pool.
“It turned out pretty cool,” Phelps said, another gold medal around his neck. “It’s just a perfect way to finish.”
Phelps put the United States ahead to stay on the butterfly leg of the 4×100-meter medley relay, giving the most decorated athlete in Olympic history his 23rd career gold medal Saturday night.
If that was the end, and Phelps insists it is, the numbers are simply astonishing.
No other Olympian has more than nine gold medals.
With 28 medals in all, he’s 10 clear of anyone else.
“It’s not even once in a generation,” said his coach, Bob Bowman. “It might be once in 10 generations that someone like Michael Phelps comes along. “
As Nathan Adrian touched the wall to finish off the victory, Phelps gathered the other relay swimmers, Ryan Murphy and Cody Miller, in his arms. One night after his only setback of the games, an upset loss to Joseph Schooling in the 100 fly, Phelps was back on top.
At age 31, he leaves Rio with five golds and a silver.
“I wouldn’t change anything,” he said. “This is the best place I’ve ever been in my life.”
In the stands, his fiancee, Nicole Johnson, bounced along to the music with their son, 3-month-old Boomer, cradled in her arms.
Phelps is eager to spend a lot more time with them. He plans to marry Johnson after the Olympics and said he wants to watch his son grow, maybe even dole out a swimming lesson or two.
And what if Boomer wants to take all those medals to show-and-tell someday?
“I might let him take one,” Phelps said with a grin.
“Maybe a bronze,” Bowman chimed in.
Most of the U.S. swim team was in the stands to watch Phelps’ finale, including the biggest female star at the pool, Katie Ledecky.
The 19-year-old Ledecky joked that she was proud to be part of Phelps’ final Olympics — twice. He initially retired after the 2012 London Olympics, only to decide about a year later to return.
The comeback endured a huge setback with his second drunken-driving arrest in 2014, which led to Phelps being banned from the world championships last year. But it also sparked a turnaround in his personal life. He entered six weeks of inpatient therapy, where he got in touch with some of the issues that seemed to lead him astray.
He quit drinking, reconnected with his estranged father, got engaged, moved to Arizona along with Bowman, and became a father for the first time.
Phelps sounds much more adamant when he says his swimming career really is over.
“These games really showed his growth,” teammate Anthony Ervin said. “That human spirit, that capacity to heal. I think it showed in his swimming, it showed in his demeanor, and it certainly showed in his leadership on the team.”
Phelps was elected a team captain for the first time in his fifth Olympics and truly seemed to enjoy being around his fellow swimmers. He was still the same ruthless competitor, but he was also willing to join in when some of his younger teammates made a carpool karaoke video at their final training camp in Atlanta.
Took a starring role, in fact.
“Being Michael requires such isolation,” Ervin said. “Other people respect that. They give him that space because he is the greatest. But this time around he started reaching out, reaching out to other people, bringing them closer, letting that gap be bridged. That was special.”
On a victory stroll around the pool, Phelps and his teammates grabbed a sign that said, “Thank You Rio.”
“No matter what country you swim for, you’re indebted to Michael Phelps for bringing a lot of exposure to the sport and making it a little more mainstream,” Murphy said. “If this is the end that was a great way to cap off an incredible career.”
Murphy, who won two backstroke golds in Rio, put the Americans out front with a world-record split — it counts since he was leading off — before Britain surged ahead on the breaststroke with its own world-record holder, Adam Peaty.
Phelps dove into the pool in second place.
He wouldn’t be for long.
On the return lap, Phelps powered through the water with his windmill of a stroke, surging ahead of James Guy to pass off a lead to the anchor Adrian.
It wasn’t in doubt after that. Adrian pulled away on the freestyle to win in an Olympic-record time of 3 minutes, 27.95 seconds. Britain held on for silver, with Australia nabbing bronze.
The victory came just minutes after the women’s medley relay gave the United States its 1,000th Olympic gold medal at the Summer Games.
“A thousandth gold for team USA,” said Simone Manuel, who swam the anchor leg for her second gold of the games and second medal of the night. “It’s a nice number.”
Kathleen Baker, Lilly King and Dana Vollmer joined Manuel in the historic victory, which came with a time of 3:53.13. Australia earned silver, while Denmark took bronze.
Earlier in the night, Manuel took silver in the 50 free. She already became the first African-American woman to win an Olympic swimming title with her win in the 100 free.
Connor Jaeger gave the U.S. another silver in the 1,500 free, leaving the American with 33 swimming medals in Rio — matching the highest total since they captured 34 against a depleted field at the boycotted Los Angeles Games of 1984.
The U.S. also won 33 medals at Sydney in 2000.
The final two individual golds of the games went to Pernille Blume of Denmark in the 50 free, her country’s first swimming victory since 1948, and Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri in the grueling 1,500 free.
The night, though, belonged to Phelps, who walked out of the arena for the final time carrying an American flag handed to him by his mother from her front-row seat, right next to Johnson and little Boomer.
With a gold medal around his neck.
The only way imaginable.
Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/paul-newberry .
A look at what’s happening all around the majors today:
HISTORY AT FENWAY?
Right-hander Rick Porcello looks to become the first Red Sox pitcher in 70 years to open a season 12-0 at Fenway Park in a series finale against Arizona. Porcello (15-3, 3.40 ERA) is 11-0 in his 12 home starts. Righty Dave “Boo” Ferriss is the last Boston hurler to win his first 12 decisions in Fenway, finishing 13-0 at home when he went 25-6 overall with three saves in 1946. Right-hander Zack Greinke (11-3, 3.67) goes for the Diamondbacks. He’s 8-0 with a 2.47 ERA in his last 10 starts.
HELLO OLD FRIEND
Cubs right-hander John Lackey (9-7, 3.56) makes his fourth start against the Cardinals in a primetime game at Wrigley Field. Lackey, who pitched for St. Louis the previous two seasons, is 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA against his former team this year, although the Cards are 2-1 in those games. Righty Mike Leake (8-9, 4.79) signed an $80 million, five-year deal with St. Louis shortly after Lackey left in free agency. He has a 9.00 ERA in his past four starts.
The Marlins will skip ace Jose Fernandez’s scheduled turn to keep him on pace for his 180-inning limit this season. Instead, righty Tom Koehler will start against White Sox left-hander Chris Sale (14-5, 3.16). In his past four starts, Koehler is 3-0 with an ERA of 0.67, and Miami manager Don Mattingly called him “our best pitcher since the All-Star break.” Sale is 0-3 in his past five games and hasn’t won since his suspension for cutting up the team’s throwback jerseys on July 23.
SIXTH CHANCE AT 10
Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer (9-3, 2.43), the AL rookie leader in wins, tries again for his 10th victory. The series finale at Texas will be Fulmer’s sixth start since his ninth win July 6 at Cleveland. Fulmer gave up only two runs over seven innings in a loss Monday at Seattle after no-decisions in his previous four games — all Detroit victories. During a 10-start stretch from May 21-July 17, Fulmer was 7-1 with a 0.83 ERA.
Cleveland minor leaguer Francisco Mejia had his hitting streak stretched to 50 games Saturday when the official scorer changed a ruling on an error from the third inning more than an hour after Class A Lynchburg’s 7-5 10-inning loss. Mejia chopped a grounder down the line, and third baseman Gerson Montilla missed trying to backhand it for a two-base error. The scorer changed the play to a double hours later after reviewing video and conferring with the teams. It’s the longest hitting streak in professional baseball in 62 years and longest ever by a catcher.