We were kind of hoping the new school year would allow “five-time Olympic medalist Missy Franklin” to go back to being a “17-year-old teen who worries about teachers, tests, and boys Missy Franklin,” and her recent Tweet about having “So. Much. Homework.” put us in an optimistic mood.
But on Thursday Tostitos Fiesta Bowl organizers announced that Missy, the likely new face of Team USA, would be serving as Grand Marshall at the 42nd annual parade on December 29, and then be a special guest for festivities like the coin toss at the Jan. 3 game in Glendale, Ariz.
“I have always loved college football, and I am looking forward to participating in this great community event, along with my family,” Franklin said in a statement we assume she neither wrote nor read. “It is an honor to join a list of U.S. Olympians who have been a part of the Fiesta Bowl Parade.”
The Fiesta Bowl has never been shy about having Olympic athletes serve as the Grand Marshall, including NBA MVP Charles Barkley, ice skater Kristi Yamaguchi, softball pitcher Jennie Finch, gymnast Keri Strug, and many more. So maybe the world record holding high school senior can go back to being a normal person next semester. Fingers crossed.
London Olympic high jump champion Anna Chicherova is one of many Russians among 31 athletes overall who tested positive in recent retests of Beijing Olympic samples, according to Russian news agency TASS.
TASS named nine 2008 Olympic medalists among 14 Russian athletes, citing a Russian TV report, including seven in track and field, with Chicherova being the superstar of the group.
“Three days ago, Anna received a notice that her doping sample from the Beijing Olympic tested positive after a re-check, and she called me,” Chicherova’s coach said, according to TASS. “So far, this is at the development stage and this has not yet been finally confirmed. But all are aware of this and are dealing with the issue.”
Last week, the International Olympic Committee said 31 unnamed athletes from 12 nations across six sports failed drug tests in retesting of 454 samples from 2008 using the latest drug-testing methods.
Chicherova, 33, took high jump gold at the London Games and bronze in Beijing. She is one of two track and field athletes to earn an individual-event medal at the last five World Championships and last two Olympics. The other is Usain Bolt.
Chicherova, who has had no previously widespread reported doping history, would be one of Russia’s top Olympic track and field medal hopes in Rio, should the ban on Russian track and field athletes competing be lifted before the Games.
Russia is expected to learn if it will be allowed to send a track and field team to Rio on June 17.
MORE: Russia track and field boss: ’50-60 percent’ chance of Olympics
Katie Zaferes was announced Tuesday as the sixth and final member of the U.S. Olympic triathlon team seeking its first medal since 2004 and first gold medal in the sport’s 16-year Olympic history.
Zaferes, 26, was named to her first Olympic team 10 days after the final Olympic selection race in Yokohama, Japan.
Zaferes comfortably led the qualifying standings for the third and final U.S. Olympic women’s spot behind World champion Gwen Jorgensen and Sarah True, who qualified for Rio on Aug. 2.
USA Triathlon decided not to bypass Zaferes in discretionary selection for a less-accomplished triathlete that would be used as a domestique to improve Jorgensen and/or True’s medal chances in Rio.
Jorgensen, True and Zaferes are the only active U.S. women to make a World Triathlon Series podium, all having done so at least five times in the last two years.
Jorgensen won in Yokohama, with Zaferes placing sixth and True not competing.
The U.S. Olympic men’s triathlon team includes Greg Billington, Ben Kanute and Joe Maloy, all first-time Olympians who have never made a World Series podium.
MORE: Gwen Jorgensen returns to top of podium