American soccer stars Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan have both been nominated for the FIFA player of the year after dominating performances that led to America’s third straight Olympic gold medal.
The two women are aiming to be the first American to take the award since Mia Hamm won back in 2002. Wambach and Morgan combined for 50 international goals this year and led the world’s best team to an undefeated 13-0-2 record this season.
Also on the list is Brazil’s Marta, who has been nominated every year since 2005 and won the award five consecutive times. America’s former coach Pia Sundhage, who now leads the national team in her native Sweden, was nominated for coach of the year.
“What a tremendous honor for all of us,” Wambach said. “And even more so to be recognized with Alex, someone who compliments me in almost every way on the field.”
Noticeably absent from the nominees is Canada’s Christine Sinclair, who scored an Olympic record six goals, including three in an devastating extra-time semi-final loss to the U.S., but was suspended by FIFA for comments made to and about the referees after the game.
“It’s a travesty,” Canadian coach John Herdman told the National Post. “A player who can score a hat trick in a semi-final and lead her country to the first medal since 1936, the first time Canada’s ever been on a [soccer] podium at one of these events.. and she can’t get in the top three.”
“There’s something wrong somewhere. But… you don’t want to be pointing fingers at people. It is what it is.”
London Olympic all-around champion Gabby Douglas was among four Olympic medalists appointed to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition, in one of Barack Obama‘s final acts as president.
Also appointed were Olympic soccer champion Carli Lloyd, hockey silver medalist Caitlin Cahow and fencing bronze medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad.
Olympic medalists Dominique Dawes, Allyson Felix, Grant Hill, Michelle Kwan, Alonzo Mourning and Chris Paul already have roles on the council.
One month after taking gold in London, Douglas led the Pledge of Allegiance at the Democratic National Convention, where Obama was formally nominated to run for re-election.
Douglas also appeared on “The Tonight Show” with First Lady Michelle Obama in 2012 and joined the First Lady for a Let’s Move event in Chicago in 2013.
MORE: Gabby Douglas’ mom: Leslie Jones ‘came to the rescue’ in Rio
For the second time in as many months, Ryan Lochte stars in a jocular ad making a veiled reference to his Rio Olympic gas-station incident.
The swimmer wipes away “the past” on a foggy bathroom mirror and throws a blond wig out of a sunroof in a one-minute Power Bar video published Tuesday.
The company’s tag line in the video is “Clean Start.”
“For example, I am going to recommit myself to water sports,” Lochte says in the spot.
The ad follows a December video for Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops, where Lochte starred in a spot with a closing banner that read, “Pine Bros.: In this Season of Forgiveness.”
Lochte had previously lost sponsorship deals, including with Speedo, after his Rio Olympic gas-station incident for which he was suspended through June by USA Swimming, plus for the world championships in July.
PHOTOS: Lochte set to be a father