Missy Franklin, the 17-year-old darling of the U.S. swim team in London, finally has her “normal” life back.
After winning five medals at her first Olympics – four gold and one bronze – Franklin returned to her home state of Colorado and started celebrating. She became a national celebrity, appearing on talk shows, attending awards banquets and receiving boxes of mail and gifts from around the world.
There were also recruiting trips – Franklin, a senior in high school, visited Georgia, Texas, USC and the University of California before picking the latter as her college choice. But now Franklin is back in her comfort zone: the pool.
Franklin told the Morning Swim Show that she resumed practicing five weeks after the Olympics ended. “It was the most horrible, awful thing ever. It was so terrible,” Franklin said of her time away from the water (apparently she really likes to swim). “And as every swimmer knows, getting back into shape is never fun.”
Something tells us she’s not in that bad of shape.
At any rate, Franklin confirmed she would return to competition at the Minneapolis Grand Prix Nov. 9-11. That’s the same meet where she won seven races in seven attempts two years ago. She went on to win the Grand Prix series that season with 101 points, 20 more than second-place Michael Phelps.
A few weeks after competing in Minnesota, Franklin will travel to New York City for the Golden Goggle Awards, USA Swimming’s annual banquet, where she’s up for more accolades.
And then she’ll get back to work. She’s got some laps to swim.
Japan dressage rider Hiroshi Hoketsu, who abandoned his bid to become the oldest Olympian ever in Rio, could see his career come full circle in four years.
Hoketsu, whose Olympic debut came at the Tokyo 1964 Games, is not ruling out attempting to make the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at age 79.
“If I can do it and be in Tokyo, that would be marvelous,” Hoketsu said, according to Reuters. “I have to see if it will still be physically possible.”
The oldest Olympian is Swede Oscar Swahn, who earned 1920 Olympic shooting silver at age 72.
Hoketsu, 75 and the oldest Olympian at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games, sought to make his fourth Olympic team this year. It was derailed due to his horse’s illness.
After debuting at Tokyo 1964, Hoketsu went 44 years between Games appearances. He finished 41st out of 50 competitors in individual dressage at London 2012, according to sports-reference.com.
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Russia’s new track and field federation president said he thinks his nation’s track and field athletes have “between 50 and 60 percent” of a chance of competing in the Rio Olympics, according to Reuters.
The IAAF is expected to rule June 17 whether Russia’s ban from international track and field competition will be lifted before the Rio Olympics.
Russia’s track and field athletes were banned indefinitely in November by the IAAF, after an independent World Anti-Doping Agency report alleged widespread doping issues.
Russia was given criteria to earn reinstatement, and Dmitry Shlyakhtin, elected new Russian track and field chief in January, believes the situation has improved.
“A mouse would not be able to slip past us now!” Shlyakhtin said, according to Reuters.
Russia has recently come under more scrutiny following reports of widespread winter sports doping leading up to the Sochi Olympics and cheating during those Winter Games to avoid positive drug tests.
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