Missy Franklin

Missy, Lochte impress in Minnesota

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Gold medalists Missy Franklin and Ryan Lochte had presumably spent more time shooting scenes for TV teen dramas than actually swimming since the London Games, but neither seemed too affected by the time off at this weekend’s Minnesota Grand Prix.

The Olympians finished with five wins each at the short-course meet, as Missy dominated the 200 back – which she holds the world record in – by nearly six seconds and Lochte coasted to victories in the 200 IM and the 200 back on Sunday to finish off his first big weekend back in the pool.

“After London I’ve just been doing so many different things like cameos for TV shows, all these appearances, and you can get caught up in it,” Lochte told the AP after winning his events Sunday. “But I knew if I wanted to go to short-course worlds, I had to stop all that and start training again.”

Lochte, who appeared in “30 Rock” and “90210” this fall, but has thus far shunned Hollywood to continue training for the Rio Games in Florida, also won the 200 freestyle, 100 butterfly, and 100 back in Minneapolis.

Missy, who kicked off the meet Friday by recording a personal best in the 200 free, seemed happy getting back to business after bouncing around the country on the post-London medai tour, appearing on “Pretty Little Liars,” and signing up to join U.S. Olympic swim coach Terri McKeever at Cal next fall.

“It’s been so long since London,” she said. “And I’ve been looking forward to this for so long, just to get back in the water and get racing again.”

David Ortiz weighed down by Aly Raisman’s medals (video)

David Ortiz, Aly Raisman
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David Ortiz called his good friend Aly Raisman on Thursday night. Raisman had one request for their scheduled meeting for Friday.

“I told him that he had to hold my medals while I threw out the first pitch,” Raisman said on NESN. “I told him he better not forget, but he remembered.”

Ortiz made it a highlight, wearing Raisman’s three Rio medals and plodding as if they were weighing him down before the Royals-Red Sox game at Fenway Park on Friday night.

It was reminiscent of Bryce Harper serving as a medal rack for Katie Ledecky on Wednesday night.

Ortiz and Raisman have come to know each other in the last four years, after Raisman’s first Olympic appearance in London. Raisman, a native of Needham, Massachusetts, has attended a gala and golf tournament benefitting Ortiz’s children’s charity.

She previously threw a first pitch at Fenway following the 2012 London Games. It didn’t faze Raisman that her pitch Friday bounced before reaching home plate.

“My pitch was horrible, but that’s OK,” Raisman said on NESN. “I’m good at gymnastics, so it doesn’t matter.”

Raisman will rejoin her Final Five teammates for a USA Gymnastics tour of 36 cities that begins Sept. 15. Whether she returns to competitive gymnastics is unknown.

MORE: Gymnastics royalty reacts to Biles and Raisman’s Olympic heroics

 

Claressa Shields congratulated by famous boxing actor (video)

Claressa Shields
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Claressa Shields may just be the most dominant female athlete on the planet. The Flint, Mich., native is now a two-time Olympic boxing champion with a 77-1 record and a four-year unbeaten streak.

Actor Mark Wahlberg, who played boxer Micky Ward in the 2010 film “The Fighter,” took notice.

He taped a video that Shields watched before a celebration in her hometown Thursday, according to the Flint Journal.

“You are the true definition of a champion,” Wahlberg said. “You continue to inspire so many people, not only in Flint, but all over the world. I’m so proud of you. Your performance was amazing. God bless you. I look forward to seeing you, and I look forward to doing lots of things with you.”

Now Shields must decide whether to turn professional, which would end her Olympic career.

“Professional women’s boxing is not nowhere near on the same attention level as the Olympics are,” the 21-year-old Shields said, according to the Flint Journal. “I get way more attention than any female boxer who is professional right now with me being an amateur.

“So the goal is to go professional but still have that same attention and same mainstream. Hopefully, if they have the rule changed that the women professionals can come back and fight the Olympics, I would go professional to fight on TV and make a bunch of money but then come back and defend my two gold medals in 2020.”

MORE: Shields becomes first U.S. fighter to win back-to-back golds