Missy Franklin could have chosen any college swim program in the country after winning four golds in London, and she arguably chose the best.
The 17-year-old officially signed her letter of intent Wednesday to swim at Cal Berkeley, which has won three of the last four national championships and boasts alumni like Natalie Coughlin.
Missy said she plans to swim for two seasons at Cal before going pro in 2015 in preparation for the Rio Olympics, at which she’ll likely be the face of Team USA. She does, however, plan to earn a degree from the university and continue swimming with the team and coach Teri McKeever, who helmed the U.S. Olympic team in London.
“I can’t wait to be a part of that team,” the 17-year-old said in a video post. “I hope to bring whatever it is they need. I can’t wait to get to know the girls better. I am so excited.”
To be fair, the back-to-back national champs don’t need much, but Missy brings with her Olympic experience, five medals, three world championships, two world records, and smile that could break any opponent. She’ll join Olympic teammate Rachel Bootsma on the squad in Berkley next September.
Liang Chow, former coach of 2008 and 2012 Olympic champions Shawn Johnson and Gabby Douglas, hopes to return to the Games with a new gymnast in Rio.
Chow’s current group includes three recent members of U.S. junior and senior national teams — Norah Flatley, Rachel Gowey and Victoria Nguyen (who is too young for Rio).
However, none of the 14 current U.S. senior national team members train under Chow. Ultimately, the five-woman U.S. Olympic team will be named in July.
In the above NBC News profile, Chow discusses immigrating to the U.S. from China in 1991 and opening his gym in West Des Moines, Iowa.
Plus, Flatley, Gowey and Nguyen discuss being coached by Chow.
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Four Russians who won gold medals at the Sochi Olympics were on steroids at the time, a whistleblower who previously provided evidence of Russian track and field doping said, according to CBSNews.com.
The report doesn’t name the athletes or their sports. Nor does it say any of the athletes failed drug tests.
A “60 Minutes” piece on Russian doping will air Sunday on CBS between 7 and 8 p.m. ET. An excerpt will air on CBS Evening News on Friday between 6:30 and 7 ET.
The whistleblower is Vitaly Stepanov, a former Russian anti-doping official who, along with wife and former Russian 800m runner Yulia Stepanova, provided a 2014 German TV documentary undercover footage and evidence of Russian track and field doping.
Russia’s track and field federation was banned from competition in November. The suspension could last through the Rio Olympics.
The “60 Minutes” report cites Stepanov learning of Russian cheating at the Sochi Olympics from Grigory Rodchenkov, former director of a Moscow drug-testing lab that was stripped of its accreditation by the World Anti-Doping Agency in April.
In a November WADA independent commission report, Rodchenkov was alleged to have requested and accepted money to conceal positive drug tests. He immediately resigned.
MORE: Russia track and field Olympic fate gets decision date