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Ebee Price wins all-around at Stuttgart World Cup

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Elizabeth “Ebee” Price, alternate for the 2012 women’s Olympic gymnastic team, won the all-around competition in dominating fashion at this weekend’s Stuttgart World Cup, while fellow U.S. teammate and Olympic all-around bronze medalist Danell Leyva finished fifth in a deep men’s field.

World Cup events remain popular with athletes abroad, particularly those in European nations, but are rarely attended by U.S. Gymnasts, who choose to focus on the major international competitions such as World Championships and Olympic games.

The Stuttgart World Cup, however, tends to draw many returning Olympians given it’s proximity to the games. On the men’s side alone six of the seven competing gymnasts finished in the top ten in London. London Olympic champion Kohei Uchimura withdrew last minute with minor shoulder and ankle injuries, but this competition should be a good indicator that he plans to continue in the sport.

Leyva didn’t fair as well in Stuttgart as London. He posted the top score on high bar but struggled on his first two events leaving him in fifth. Olympic all around silver medalist Marcel Nguyen from Germany grabbed the top spot followed by Daniel Purvis of Great Britain and David Belyavsky of Russia.

As expected on the women’s side Elizabeth Price won the competition by almost three points (yup, that’s a lot) ahead of Germany’s Elizabeth Seitz and Switzerland’s Giulia Steingruber. Price was one of the most memorable athletes at the U.S. Olympic trials that were essentially her coming out party. Ebee was a long shot to make the team until late in the season and she brought her famous coaches Bill and Donna Strauss to tears after her final floor routine that essentially sealed her placed as a team alternate. She’ll be one to watch over the next four years leading into Rio.

Also on the women’s side, the Russian team (which included Olympic uneven bars champ and resident diva Alyia Mustafina) won the team title ahead of Japan and Germany.

Elizabeth Price and Danell Leyva will move on to compete at the Glasgow World Cup on December 8th, which will conclude the 2012 World Cup Series for Gymnastics.

Michael Phelps left with one meet before Olympic Trials

Michael Phelps
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Michael Phelps could face his lightest-ever competition run-up to an Olympic Trials after opting not to swim at a meet in Atlanta next week.

Last week, Phelps noted one other scheduled meet before the U.S. Olympic Trials (June 26-July 3). That’s in Austin, Texas, from June 3-5.

In his previous four Olympic cycles, Phelps swam at least two meets in the final two months before the Olympic Trials, according to USA Swimming statistics.

Phelps’ training plan in May and June will be impacted by the impending birth of his first child. Fiancée Nicole Johnson is 36 weeks pregnant, according to her Instagram.

Without Phelps, the Atlanta meet is expected to include five-time 2015 World champion Katie Ledecky, 12-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin, Olympic 100m free champion Nathan Adrian and rising sprint freestyler Caeleb Dressel.

VIDEO: Phelps’ interview with Matt Lauer

Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic chief quits

Pyeongchang 2018
Reuters
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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A former South Korean government minister was nominated to take over the organizing committee of the 2018 Winter Olympics on Tuesday, just hours after Cho Yang-ho quit amid escalating financial troubles at the business group his family controls.

Lee Hee-beom, a former minister of industry and energy, needs to be ratified by a vote of senior committee officials to officially become president of the organizing committee for the Pyeongchang Games.

Cho’s sudden resignation marked the second change in less than two years at the helm of the local organizing committee, which had struggled to get preparations back on track in the face of venue construction delays, disputes over the location of the Olympic Stadium and slow pace of domestic sponsorship.

Cho is chairman of the Hanjin Group, which controls Olympic sponsor Korean Air and a major shipping company struggling with heavy debt.

He said in a statement he couldn’t continue with the Olympic job because he needs to focus on stabilizing Hanjin Shipping, South Korea’s largest container carrier, which said last week that it will undergo a debt revamp program with creditors in its last-ditch efforts to stay in business.

Cho took over as president of Pyeongchang’s organizing committee in July 2014 after the sudden resignation of Kim Jin-sun, the former governor of the region that includes Pyeongchang.

“For the past two years, I have truly put forward my very best efforts to work with every member of the organizing committee to prepare a successful Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2018,” Cho said in the statement. “I can proudly say that POCOG has become a strong team, and the challenges we have overcome have allowed us to achieve success at our first official test events this past February.”

Pyeongchang organizers have faced a series of challenges in recent years, including the construction delays, local conflicts over venues and criticism about their financial planning, but preparations had seemed to turn a corner after the successful hosting of test events earlier this year in Olympic venues.

Gunilla Lindberg, head of the International Olympic Committee’s coordination commission for the 2018 Winter Games, said the IOC respected Cho’s decision and appreciated his cooperation in recent years.

“Under his leadership, the organizing committee has made great progress and has delivered very successful test events,” Lindberg said. “There remain a number of important steps to be taken ahead of the Games and the IOC remains confident that through our close cooperation with the Pyeongchang 2018 organizing committee these will be successfully addressed.”

The announcement of Cho’s resignation came on the same day the Olympic flame was set to land in Brazil, where problems in preparations have sometimes overshadowed the build up to the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro in August.

MORE: New events added for 2018 Olympics