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Diver training in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 4
Diver training in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 4
Benjamin Witte

With the Olympic Games finally upon us, many spectators are focused on living legends like Brazilian soccer superstar Neymar, Jamaica's record-holding sprinter Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps, the American swimmer who's won more Olympic hardware than any athlete in history.

And that's just to name a few. The mega-event certainly doesn't lack star power. But the Games also feature plenty of compelling competitors who aren't household names — at least not beyond the borders of their home nations. Each comes to Brazil with his or her own goals and incredible life stories. And all of them carry the hopes of their respective countries on their shoulders. Here are five of those athletes.

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Geopolitics

NATO Entry For Sweden And Finland? Erdogan May Not Be Bluffing

When the two Nordic countries confirmed their intention to join NATO this week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his plans to block the application. Accusing Sweden and Finland of' "harboring" some of his worst enemies may not allow room for him to climb down.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO

Meike Eijsberg

-Analysis-

LONDON — When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared his opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO, it took most of the West's top diplomatic experts by surprise — with the focus squarely on how Russia would react to having two new NATO members in the neighborhood. (So far, that's been a surprise too)

But now Western oversight on Turkey's stance has morphed into a belief in some quarters that Erdogan is just bluffing, trying to get concessions from the negotiations over such a key geopolitical issue.

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To be clear, any prospective NATO member requires the consent of all 30 member states and their parliaments. So Erdogan does indeed have a card to play, which is amplified by the sense of urgency: NATO, Sweden and Finland are keen to complete the accession process with the war in Ukraine raging and the prospect of strengthening the military alliance's position around the Baltic Sea.

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