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Trump Tower Stunt Brings ‘Cupping’ From Rio to NYC

No, climbing tall structures is not an Olympic sport — yet

For over an hour on Wednesday, America's attention shifted from the Rio Olympics to Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, where a man was scaling Trump Tower with what appeared to be suction cups.

TV news was glued to the action as police broke through windows to speak with the man. Officers finally pulled him into the building, but not before plenty of people cracked a bunch of jokes about the Olympics, and one baffling Olympic craze in particular that suddenly took on a new meaning.

[Rio2016 - USMedals] Highest Honors: American Medalists at the Rio Olympics

Michael Phelps and other U.S. athletes have been covered in circles that look like bruises, the product of a healing technique called cupping, which purportedly increases blood flow to the muscles. The practice mystified many viewers, but not quite as much as climbing a building using nothing but suction cups.

And as @NBCOlympics reminded us, sports climbing really is going to be an Olympic sports at the 2020 Games in Tokyo. But odds are the athletes will be climbing rock walls and not glass skyscrapers.

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