Written by Staff Writer by Maria Valverde, CNN
Sportswatching: Pavara Yao wrote from Fortaleza in Brazil, which will host the Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games in two years.
“Peng Shuai was born in China, the son of a chef, and someone who loved eating so much that he used to ask for sugar and cereal boxes,” he said. “One day he opened an ice cream wrapper and found candy, and one day he opened a pizza box and found three kinds of pasta.”
Rookie player and wunderkind, Peng was destined to win titles. Since his precocious start, he has compiled a 50-2 record. His prestige remains enormous in China, and has often led to stories of how he is generally blamed when teams underperform.
However, there has been ample evidence that his game lacks polish and refinement. Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Roddick admitted as much in 2016, when he called him “human ash.”
Still, Olympian’s shoes are made for walking, and Peng has obviously made it.
The natural progression for the 23-year-old prodigy is not just to capture a gold medal, he said, but to set an Olympic record.
CNN quizzed Peng on potential winners and failed to hit a home run, but he did play ball with iconic figures such as Ernie Banks, Sugar Ray Leonard and Tiger Woods.
The response to the FIFA vote on the 2022 winter World Cup location couldn’t have been more predictable.
The 2018 tournament will be hosted by Russia, the country which banned homosexuals from its largest city, St. Petersburg. Photograph: TASS via Getty Images
South Korea is giving 2022 to Qatar and the U.S. will host the 2026 Winter Games. It was a straight five-for-five, with FIFA’s decision being met with immediate accusations of sportswashing (a word synonymous with the unseemly practice of giving a benefit to a country that hosts a sporting event).
World Cup host Qatar is mired in controversy over human rights abuses, with allegations of slave labor and widespread corruption. This was reinforced by FIFA’s intention to appoint a country that had given $8 million to FIFA in the last two years. That was met with a non-stop barrage of criticism on social media, with many even comparing the level of financial support to an open slather.
“Of course there are over 40 different host cities bidding for this, and how much of that money will they get? I am wondering whether the real objective of awarding the tournament to Qatar is to claim the World Cup to host in 2022.”
Last week, Putin was spotted cuddling President Obama.
In 1989, a Russian man named Vladimir Ivanov was named the world’s manliest man, beating off the stiff competition from 127 year-old Londoner retired chef Sir Kennington Andrews. — Credit: Alamy Stock Photo
It has also made real sportswatching become a political act.
As CNN’s John Torchia reported, Putin is a certifiable sportsman. Of course he is. Whether he’s washing cars, assisting American athletes, or being the fastest man alive, there is no doubt the Russian is the world’s biggest human athlete.
But the current international crisis between his government and the US and Britain makes you wonder if there isn’t something more behind his desire to win.
Last week, he was photographed cuddling former US President Barack Obama.
It’s clear that tennis is not the main focus of his affection, but as Trump’s downfall illustrates, even the most powerful figures in the world can lose their mind over a football or tennis match.
CNN Newsource was provided with footage of the interviews with Peng and Roddick.