Arizona Cardinals' Fitzgerald visits Sen. McCain at his Arizona cabin

Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald paid a visit Saturday to one of his team's biggest cheerleaders: Sen. John McCain.

McCain's wife, Cindy, posted a photo of the trio on Instagram at the McCains' Arizona cabin.

Fitzgerald and the 81-year-old Arizona Republican lawmaker -- who has been battling an aggressive form of brain cancer for months -- have been friendly for years.

In December, the football player penned a touching tribute to McCain for Sports Illustrated.

"When I think about Christmas, and I think about Senator McCain, I think of giving," Fitzgerald wrote.

In a nod to McCain's military service, Fitzgerald continued, "The sacrifices John McCain has made for our country, and especially the men and women he served with in the military, are incredible. I saw the very jail cell where he was held as a POW, and I tried to imagine what it must have been like to be him. I took a photo of myself next to his flight suit, the suit he was wearing when he got shot down. So powerful. So meaningful. Those images will never leave my mind."

And of McCain's health, Fitzgerald wrote, "Sen. John McCain again finds himself in a battle. This time it’s with cancer, and the treatment he’s undergoing is exhausting. I'll wish him a Merry Christmas today, and I pray he lives another 20 years."

McCain was diagnosed with glioblastoma over the summer. In July, he began chemotherapy and radiation treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix.

In December, McCain spent time in a hospital. "He’s receiving treatment for the side effects of the therapy," his longtime friend, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told ABC News at the time. "I feel pretty good about the way the treatment is affecting his underlying cancer. But the treatment has a downside. So he’s trying to get rested up."

Graham added, "I’m very confident he’ll come back and continue to participate for a long time to come."

In an interview with the Arizona Republic last month, McCain's son Jack said of his dad, "He is a tough old person. I usually use the term 'bastard.' He's a tough old bastard. And he has an indomitable spirit. It is impossible to keep the man down."

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Scoreboard roundup -- 2/24/18

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Saturday’s sports events:
N.Y. Yankees 4, Pittsburgh 1
Houston 6, Atlanta 1
Philadelphia 9, Baltimore 6
Kansas City 8, L.A. Dodgers 4
Oakland 8, San Diego 3
Chicago Cubs 6, Texas 1
Cleveland 11, Arizona 2
L.A. Angels 6, Milwaukee 5
Boston 4, Tampa Bay 3
Detroit 5, Toronto 4
Chicago White Sox 5, Seattle 3
Minnesota 1, Baltimore 1
Miami 3, Washington 2
St. Louis 10, N.Y. Mets 5
Colorado 11, Cincinnati 4
San Francisco 9, L.A. Dodgers 3
Philadelphia 116, Orlando 105
Miami 115, Memphis 89
Boston 121, N.Y. Knicks 112
Golden State 112, Oklahoma City 80
Utah 97, Dallas 90
Minnesota 122, Chicago 104
Portland 106, Phoenix 104
L.A. Lakers 113, Sacramento 108
Philadelphia 5, Ottawa 3
Calgary 5, Colorado 1
Florida 6, Pittsburgh 5
New Jersey 2, N.Y. Islanders 1
Detroit 3, Carolina 1
Winnipeg 5, Dallas 3
Toronto 4, Boston 3
Columbus 3, Chicago 2
Washington 5, Buffalo 1
Tampa Bay 4, Montreal 3
Arizona 2, Anaheim 0
Edmonton 4, L.A. Kings 3

(1) Virginia 66, Pittsburgh 37
Creighton 89, (3) Villanova 83
(5) Duke 60, Syracuse 44
(6) Gonzaga 79, BYU 65
(8) Kansas 74, (7) Texas Tech 72
Florida 72, (12) Auburn 66
(13) Wichita St. 84, SMU 78
Oregon 98, (14) Arizona 93
(15) Clemson 75, Georgia Tech 67
(17) Michigan 85, Maryland 61
(19) Tennessee 73, Mississippi 65
(21) West Virginia 85, Iowa St. 70
(22) Saint Mary's (Cal) 67, Santa Clara 40
(24) Middle Tennessee 79, UAB 54

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American men's curling team wins gold medal for first time ever at Olympics

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images(PYEONGCHANG, South Korea) -- John Shuster and his “ragtag squad” made history for the United States by winning its first-ever gold medal in curling.

"It feels almost unbelievable," said curler Matt Hamilton immediately after the match. "We came out here with great intensity and just had to believe we could do it."

Neither the Americans, who were slight underdogs, nor their Swedish opponents had ever been in the Olympic finals.

The Americans knew Sweden’s strategy would be to make a lot of shots, and they would have to challenge them during each end -- similar to an inning in baseball -- on the sheet, or ice.

Tied at 5-5 in the eighth end, Team USA took a commanding lead after a tactical error by Sweden, which left the door open for the Americans to score five points and secure their gold medal victory.

The Swedish team conceded in the last end knowing they could not win. The United States won, 10-7.

"Believing in ourselves, playing the way we know how," said John Landsteiner. "One of our goals was to come out and be ourselves."

The first ends were evenly balanced, with the team in gold position flipping back and forth throughout.

A Shuster miss in the second end gave Sweden a chance to take an early lead with two points. But the U.S. captain came back with a perfect last shot, or hammer, to equalize in the third.

By the fourth end, an overthrown stone from Sweden’s Niklus Edin meant the first and only call for a measurement to see which stone was closest to the center of the "house" -- the area that looks like a bullseye.

Team USA took the lead, 3-2. Shuster then overshot on his last delivery, and Sweden was able to score two and again take the lead. But, by the sixth, Team USA had retaken the lead.

Hamilton then drew cheers from the stands by delivering a perfect slide in the seventh end.

Skip Niklus Edin had a big miss that triggered a flurry of comments on social media. But he managed to salvage one point to tie.

Another error by Edin in the 8th sealed the victory for the "ragtags."

"This is what you dream about as a teenager," said Tyler George before the team faced Canada in the semifinals.

The Americans' victory over three-time defending Olympic champions Canada, which came down to the last stone, stunned the curling world. Shuster and his team battled down to the wire, rallying late as they have had to throughout most of the early parts of the tournament.

Curling is often overshadowed by the more well-known winter sports and more famous athletes. The U.S. men’s curling team members are hardly household names, but they have deftly maneuvered through the early stages of the competition by leaning on each other.

"We have been in tough situations where our backs have been up against the wall," said Hamilton.

Going into the gold medal match, he and the team knew what had to be done.

"It is really all about positivity," he added.

Sweden reportedly prepared for the curling event by playing hours of billiards, learning from the pool table how the balls react to particular shots. A major difference in curling, however, is that the sheet is "pebbled," or has a rough finish, which affects the movement of the stone. Aggressive sweeping can change the direction of the stone as the broom warms the ice and alters the surface.

In the early rounds, Team USA was struggling with a 2-2 standing, with some predicting another dismal result for the team at Pyeongchang; it had finished ninth and 10th in the last two Olympics.

But the Americans fought back by winning three games in a row to advance to the semifinals.

With the Americans' run, curling is suddenly in the limelight again. The broom, skip, hammer, button and sheet terms are being introduced -- as they are every four years -- to the American public.

For Shuster, this is his fourth Olympic run -- and his third as skip, or captain. His teammates credit him for leading them during tough victories.

"He knows the game very well. He knows the right things to say to his teammates and how to get the best out of them," said Landsteiner after an earlier match victory.

Shuster was passed over when USA Curling started a high-performance program after the Sochi Games to strengthen the curling athletic program. The snub forced him to rethink his approach to the sport.

He put himself on a physical fitness program, lost 35 pounds and sought out curlers with potential who had also been overlooked for the elite squad. The players he convinced to join him were nicknamed the “ragtag” team, which went on to qualify for Pyeongchang.

Meanwhile, Ivanka Trump, who is heading the official U.S.A delegation to the closing ceremony, was in the crowd cheering on Team USA. But it was Shuster’s 4-year-old son, Luke, who has been the most vocal fan.

Ivanka Trump was seen laughing and joking with the young cheerleader between ends.

“He just loves being loud and making sure that I can hear that he’s here," joked Shuster. "He is doing his best to cheer me on. His favorite one is to 'give me a U, give me an S, give me an A.' Who are we? And then everyone chants: 'USA.'"

Curling fans throughout the United States were doing the same.

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Gus Kenworthy, boyfriend rescue puppy from South Korean dog meat farm

Instagram/GusKenworthy(PYEONGCHANG, South Korea) --U.S. Winter Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy isn't walking away from the games with a medal, but instead, he's returning from PyeongChang with something cuddlier and yappier: A rescue dog from a South Korean dog meat farm.

"This morning Matt and I had a heart-wrenching visit to one of the 17,000 dog farms here in South Korea," Kenworthy explained on Instagram Friday, along with a photo of his actor boyfriend Matt Wilkas and their new pooch, Beemo. "Across the country there are 2.5 million dogs being raised for food in some of the most disturbing conditions imaginable.

Rippon detailed the conditions at the farm he visited in his Instagram post.

"I was told that the dogs on this particular farm were kept in 'good conditions' by comparison to other farms," Kenworthy, 26, said. "The dogs here are malnourished and physically abused, crammed into tiny wire-floored pens, and exposed to the freezing winter elements and scorching summer conditions."

The farm Kenworthy visited is being shut down, and the newly-free canines will be brought to the U.S. and Canada and placed in "fur-ever homes," he explained.

"I adopted the sweet baby in the first pic (we named her Beemo) and she'll be coming to the US to live with me as soon as she's through with her vaccinations in a short couple of weeks," Kenworthy wrote of his new family member. "I cannot wait to give her the best life possible!"

Kenworthy's soft spot for rescue dogs was apparent at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, when he brought home two puppies he found near the Olympic Village. Those dogs, Jake and Misshka, now reportedly live with his ex-boyfriend in Canada.

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Adam Rippon would now 'totally' accept a call from Mike Pence

Jean Catuffe/Getty Images(PYEONGCHANG, South Korea) -- Has the icy relationship between Adam Rippon and Mike Pence thawed out?

It seems so, now that U.S. Olympic figure skater, who said he previously turned down a phone call from the vice president, has had a change of heard and is now open to having such a conversation.

"I was offered a phone call with the vice president that I decided not to take before the games," Rippon, who earned a bronze at the games in PyeongChang, South Korea, said Friday during an interview on NBC."

"I didn't take the phone call [with VP Mike Pence] because I needed to focus on the competition," the Scranton, Pennsylvania-born athlete explained. "I feel that Mike Pence doesn't stand for anything that I was taught when I grew up, and I think that it's important if you're given the platform to speak up for those who don't have a voice."

But when asked if he would now accept a call from Pence, who led the U.S. Olympic delegation, Rippon said, "totally."

Rippon, 28, and skier Gus Kenworthy, 26, are the first openly gay U.S. athletes to compete at the Winter Olympics.

And because of that, Rippon said he understands why his perceived feud with Pence has drawn significant interest.

"I think there is a lot being made of it," he said, "because people still on some level people still have a problem with it."

At a press conference earlier this month in PyeongChang, Rippon said, "I don't want my Olympic experience to be about Mike Pence. I want it to be about my amazing skating and being America's sweetheart."

The Rippon-Pence saga kicked off last month when Rippon told USA Today of the vice president's involvement with the Olympics, "You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy? I’m not buying it."

In a 2000 statement on his congressional campaign website, Pence said, "Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior." During the 2016 election campaign, however, Pence's spokesman said he does not support the concept.

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Russian bobsledder who failed doping test, once wore 'I Don't Do Doping' sweatshirt

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images(PYEONGCHANG, South Korea) -- Russian bobsled pilot Nadezhda Sergeeva made quite a fashion statement last year when she appeared in a promotional video for clothing brand Zasport, wearing a sweatshirt with "I DON'T DO DOPING" emblazoned across it.

The irony?

The Russian Bobsled Federation on Friday confirmed that Sergeeva, a member of for the Russian women's team in Pyeongchang, had tested positive for a banned heart medication.

In the video, which resurfaced following confirmation that the substance was in her system, Sergeeva, 30, wears the "I DON'T DO DOPING" sweatshirt as she trains at the Sliding Center Sanki Olympic bobsledding track near Sochi.

Zasport is the official clothing provider for Russian athletes.

"If we are here, and we are clean -- we should be able to walk under our flag," Sergeeva told Yahoo Sports, when asked how she felt about the O.A.R. (Olympic Athletes from Russia) label on her suit.

The Russian Bobsled Federation said that Sergeeva, 30, whose sled placed 12th in the women's competition on Wednesday, had passed a doping test five days earlier.

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Scoreboard roundup -- 2/24/18

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  Here are the scores from yesterday's sports events:
 Final  Houston       3  Washington      2
 Final  Tampa Bay     6  Pittsburgh      3
 Final  Toronto       2  Philadelphia    1
 Final  L-A Dodgers  13  Chi White Sox   5
 Final  Cincinnati    6  Cleveland       4
 Final  Seattle       3  San Diego       2
 Final  N-Y Yankees   3  Detroit      1
 Final  Boston        4  Minnesota    3
 Final  Tampa Bay     6  Baltimore    3
 Final  Oakland       9  L-A Angels   8
 Final  Miami       6  St. Louis       4
 Final  N-Y Mets    6  Atlanta         2
 Final  Milwaukee   6  San Francisco   5
 Final  Milwaukee   2  Chi Cubs        1
 Final  Arizona     7  Colorado        6, 10 Innings
 Final  Boston         110  Detroit       98
 Final  Indiana        116  Atlanta       93
 Final  Charlotte      122  Washington   105
 Final OT  Milwaukee      122  Toronto      119
 Final  Houston        120  Minnesota    102
 Final  Cleveland      112  Memphis       89
 Final OT  New Orleans    124  Miami        123
 Final  Portland       100  Utah          81
 Final  L.A. Clippers  128  Phoenix      117
 Final  Denver         122  San Antonio  119
 Final  L.A. Lakers    124  Dallas       102

 Final  Minnesota    4  N-Y Rangers   1
 Final  Pittsburgh   6  Carolina      1
 Final  Winnipeg     4  St. Louis     0
 Final  Chicago      3  San Jose      1
 Final  Vegas        6  Vancouver     3
 Final 2OT  (16) Ohio St.       80  Indiana   78
 Final  (18) Rhode Island   81  Dayton    56

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Ex-NFL player questioned by police after threatening Instagram post 

Joel Auerbach/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Former Miami Dolphins lineman Jonathan Martin was detained by the Los Angeles Police Department for questioning in an investigation over an Instagram post that caused Harvard-Westlake School to close on Friday.

"The individual we believe responsible for the social media post in question has been detained and our investigation is ongoing," the LAPD said in a statement.

Hours later, the LAPD said the "person of interest" in the case had been questioned and was no longer in custody.

Posted from @jmart, the caption on a picture of an assault rifle and bullets with the hashtag #HarvardWestlake reads, “When you’re a bully victim 7 a coward, your options are suicide, or revenge.”

It isn’t clear if Martin posted the image or he was hacked, law enforcement sources said.

The post was found Thursday evening, and on Friday morning, the school sent out an emergency notification asking students to stay home.

“Students already on campus will be supervised and protected in designated areas until parents can make arrangements to pick them up or for them to return home safely,” the notification said.

In a statement, the school said: "Late last evening, Harvard-Westlake was made aware of a disturbing and possibly threatening social media post attributed to a former student, which specifically mentioned our school. The safety of our students, faculty, and staff is always our top priority, so we made the decision to close both campuses of our school today. It is our understanding that the former student is now in the custody of authorities. We are working closely with law enforcement, and all further inquiries about this matter should be directed to the Los Angeles Police Department."

Martin, a former student of the elite school, previously accused his former Dolphins teammates of bullying and harassment, resulting in an NFL investigation, according to ESPN. A 2014 report on the allegations detailed that Martin suffered from low self-esteem and depression as a teenager because he was bullied.

Martin hasn’t played in the NFL since 2015. Shortly after his retirement, he wrote a lengthy Facebook post sharing that he had suffered from depression and had contemplated committing suicide.

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USA Swimming directors Susan Woessner and Pat Hogan resign following report of sexual abuse

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Two directors at USA Swimming have resigned this week amid allegations of widespread sexual abuse of underage swimmers by their coaches and other officials.

USA Swimming on Friday announced the resignation of Susan Woessner, its safe sport senior director. According to a press release, Woessner recently provided the national governing body with information regarding a single "personal interaction" she had with former coach Sean Hutchison.

Woessner revealed in her resignation letter, dated Thursday, that she "engaged in kissing on a single occasion" with then-coach Hutchison in 2007 when she worked as the USA Swimming times database coordinator.

"I have never had a sexual or romantic relationship of any kind at any time with any USA Swimming coach, including Hutchison," Woessner wrote in her resignation letter, a copy of which USA Swimming said she requested to be made public.

In late 2010, after Woessner started her role with the organization, USA Swimming's then-executive director Chuck Wielgus requested an investigation into "rumors" that Hutchison was "engaged in a romantic relationship with a 21-year-old athlete member," according to Woessner's resignation letter. Woessner said her role in the probe was to "provide contact information for potential witnesses to the investigator, provide status updates from outside legal to then-executive director Chuck Wielgus, and at the request of outside legal, contact potential witnesses and ask them to speak with the investigator."

"In order to keep the focus on the tremendous efforts of my friends, colleagues, and personal heroes working every day to keep kids safe, I have submitted my resignation to the organization of which I have been so proud to be a part for the last twenty years as a staff member, coach, and athlete," Woessner wrote.

USA Swimming said in the press release Friday that the 2007 "incident" between Woessner and Hutchison "did not conflict with any organizational rules prior to her subsequent position working in safe sport in 2010." However, the organization added that "considering Woessner's safe sport role, a disclosure of this interaction should have preceded an investigation involving Hutchison in December 2010."

"Since its inception, the effort and work of the Safe Sport program have been among the leading initiatives in amateur sport," USA Swimming CEO and President Tim Hinchey said in a statement Friday. "We are committed to carrying on with the efforts Susan led, supported by the Board of Directors and the organization, to create a safe environment for children and swimming families across the country."

A day earlier, USA Swimming announced the resignation of its longtime club development managing director, Pat Hogan.

"Since the creation of the Club Development division, it has provided service to every club in the country from large to small through education, recognition programs, organizational consulting, performance consulting, camps and more," Hinchey said in a statement Thursday. "Pat’s work in building the programs and services within this division will continue to be a key part of our future as an organization."

The departures of Woessner and Hogan come just days after a bombshell investigation by the Southern California News Group revealed how hundreds of young swimmers were allegedly sexually abused for decades by their coaches and other officials in the sport, and USA Swimming repeatedly missed opportunities to take action.

Hinchey addressed the "recent media coverage" in a statement Thursday, in which he acknowledged that "members were failed."

"Let me be clear: USA Swimming does not tolerate sexual abuse or misconduct, and I assure you that this organization is facing this extremely serious issue with one very clear goal – protecting children and athletes," Hinchey said in the statement. "While we disagree on several of the reported statements and many of the conclusions in recent media reports, members were failed, and we are doing everything we can to make sure it never happens again."

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Japanese students voted to select official mascots for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games 

Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games(TOKYO) -- Voting for the selection of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic mascots ended Thursday.

Japanese elementary students had 73 days to vote for their favorite pair of mascots. More than 200,000 classes from around 16,000 schools, including Japanese schools overseas, were able to vote on the three different mascots.

For both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, a new mascot is chosen to represent the county and culture of the host country.

In December 2017, a short list of mascot designs was released after a review of more than 2,000 submissions into the competition.

The Tokyo 2020 Mascot Selection Panel chairperson, Ryohei Miyata, said in a statement: "I greatly appreciate the participation of so many pupils at elementary schools across Japan and at Japanese schools overseas –- their interest and excitement were really inspiring."

"The involvement of schoolchildren in the mascot selection process provided a great opportunity for younger generations to make their mark on the Tokyo 2020 Games," Miyata added. "We hope the chosen mascots will engage athletes, spectators and the wider public across the world as ambassadors for the Tokyo 2020 Games, and that they will live in people's hearts and minds for a long time afterwards.”

The mascots are placed into three groups, each with their own description of the characters along with the relationship between the Olympic Mascot and the Paralympic Mascot.

Mascot Candidates A are described as both having opposite personalities but have respect for each other as they are very good friends. The Olympic Mascot embodies both old tradition and new innovation on Japan; the Paralympic Mascot is calm but very powerful when needed with a kind heart that loves nature.

Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games

The second set are described as being born in different places and look very different but are best friends and good rivals. The two characters compete on Japanese soil and in the sky, taking each other to a higher level. Olympic Mascot B is born from fire and modeled after the Lucky cat and the Inari fox, while Paralympic Mascot B is born from the wind and modeled after a guardian dog at a shrine.

Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games

The final candidates both have Japan’s popular red and white colors and are good friends who understand and encourage each other. The Olympic Mascot is the fox that jumps out from fairy tales and the Paralympic Mascot is a raccoon that uses the leaf on its head and transforms its shape.

Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games

The winning mascot duo will be announced live on Facebook and YouTube on Wednesday, February 28. The names of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic mascots will be announced this summer and will be decided by the Mascot Selection Panel.

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