The U.S. women’s gymnastics team won three golds, a silver, and a bronze In London this summer to bring the team total to 64 international medals since Martha Karolyi took over back in 2001.
And while a bit of posturing suggested she might step down after guiding the girls to the second U.S. team gold in Olympic history and third straight all-around title under her watch, it seems like she plans to stick around for a little while longer, albeit with a different definition of her role with the team.
Instead Karolyi started divvying up the duties Monday, naming Valeri Liukin – father and coach of five-time Beijing medalist Nastia Liukin – athlete development coordinator and Steve Rybacki the director of elite athlete programs.
“We believe the partnership of Martha, Valeri, and Steve gives USA Gymnastics the dream team to pilot and manage our women’s program from development through the elite level and national team,” President of USA Gymnastics, Steve Penny, told the AP. “Each of them has been integral in the success of our women’s team.”
Karolyi, who said that winning in London “reinforces the idea that I love it,” will remain in her post as team coordinator and will start prepping a successor for when she finally steps down.
Katie Ledecky rewrote the Stanford Avery Aquatic Center pool record book in her first college home meet.
The five-time Olympic gold medalist broke pool records in winning the 200- and 500-yard freestyles in a dual meet with Washington State on Thursday.
Ledecky clocked 1:44.18 in the 200-yard free, which broke Olympic champion teammate Simone Manuel‘s mark of 1:44.34 from last year.
The NCAA Championships winning time from last season was 1:42.42. Ledecky’s personal best in the event is 1:41.04. The American record is 1:39.10 by Missy Franklin.
About 45 minutes later, Ledecky won the 500-yard freestyle in 4:36.43, breaking 2008 Olympian Julia Smit‘s pool record of 4:41.74.
The NCAA Championships winning time from last season was 4:31.33. Ledecky’s personal best is 4:26.58, which doubles as the American record.
Ledecky passed up millions in endorsement dollars to swim collegiately.
The Stanford women’s swim team hosts Texas on Nov. 12, streamed live.
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Nick Symmonds, the outspoken two-time U.S. Olympic 800m runner, said he thinks he’s going to try and compete one more season.
“I really want to make one more worlds team,” Symmonds said in a Facebook video Thursday. “I’ve just got to make sure my ankle holds up.”
Symmonds, 32, last raced May 18 and missed the Olympic Trials due to a left ankle injury. He said Thursday that he’s 100 percent healthy and running 40 miles per week.
On June 30, Symmonds said after withdrawing before the Olympic Trials that he “could possibly” compete one more year, but the decision would come down to whether his apparel sponsor, Brooks, wanted to extend his contract beyond 2016.
The 2013 World Championships silver medalist said he had accomplished all of his running goals except for winning an Olympic medal (he was fifth in 2012) and completing a marathon.
In 2015, Symmonds won his sixth U.S. 800m title but missed the world championships due to a contract dispute with USA Track and Field.
Once he retires, Symmonds has said he wants to climb the tallest mountain on every continent.
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