Visa Presents Michael Phelps, The Most decorated Olympian of All Time

AP names Michael Phelps its top male athlete of 2012

Leave a comment

After Michael Phelps swam the last race of his career on Aug. 4, he announced to the assembled media – the press conference room was so crowded it felt like all of the writers and camera operators were treading water in the same lane, elbow to elbow – that he was retiring.

He had 22 Olympic medals, more than anyone else.

He had finished the 2012 Games with six medals – four gold and two silver.

There was nothing else Phelps could do. All of his goals, he said, had been accomplished.

But Phelps was just one male Olympian who had an incredible 2012. Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt put on a spectacular show at Olympic stadium and successfully defended the two individual titles he won in Beijing – the 100m and 200m dash – along with the 4x100m relay.

Outside of the Olympics, LeBron James – who was Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year – won an NBA title with the Miami Heat.

But to the Associated Press, no single male athlete had a better year than Phelps. The wire service announced Thursday that Phelps was the recipient of its Male Athlete of the Year award. James finished second in the voting and Bolt was third.

“Obviously, it’s a big accomplishment,” said Phelps, who also won the award in 2008 after his eight-for-eight performance at the Beijing Olympics. “There’s so many amazing male athletes all over the world and all over our country. To be able to win this is something that just sort of tops off my career.”

Phelps spoke with the AP from his new home away from home – the golf course. With competitive swimming behind him, Phelps’ new favorite hobby is golf. He’s currently filming episodes of “The Haney Project,” a Golf Channel show in which celebrities work with golf instructor Hank Haney to improve their game. The show will air starting in February.

Aside from becoming a better golfer and winning more awards, here’s a sampling of what else Phelps has been up to since hanging up his competitive Speedo (we say “competitive” because Phelps told us last month that he still swims on his own time):

Our take (or hope): Phelps returns to compete at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016, wins two individual races (100m butterfly, 200m IM) and all three relays, and wins the AP award for a third time.

Elaine Thompson runs 200 meters to win 100m in Lausanne

Elaine Thompson
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Elaine Thompson won a 100m at her first meet since sweeping the Olympic sprints, but she actually raced about 200 meters in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday.

Thompson, who won the 100m and 200m in her Olympic debut in Rio, was one of seven runners in an eight-woman 100m field in Lausanne who did not react to a second gun indicating a false start.

So Thompson and others had to trudge back from the finish line to the start in order to re-run the race.

About nine minutes after the false start, Thompson won the 100m in 10.78 seconds (video here), a bit slower than her national record-matching 10.70 from the Jamaican Olympic Trials and her 10.71 from the Rio Games.

“There was a mix up at the start,” Thompson said, according to the IAAF. “To be able to produce 10.79 [sic] on second attempt, it’s a great time.”

Neither of the other Rio Olympic 100m medalists — Tori Bowie or Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce — was in the Lausanne field.

Untested, Thompson won by one-third of a second over American Jenna Prandini.

Full Lausanne results are here.

In other events Thursday, former world-record holder Asafa Powell won the 100m in 9.96 seconds against a field that didn’t include Rio medalists Usain BoltJustin Gatlin or Andre De Grasse. Powell, 33, broke 10 seconds for a record 97th time, according to the IAAF.

Rio bronze medalist LaShawn Merritt won a 400m in 44.50 against a field that did not include the Olympic gold and silver medalists Wayde van Niekerk and Kirani James. Van Niekerk won the Olympic title in a world record 43.03.

Keni Harrison, who missed the U.S. Olympic team but broke the 100m hurdles world record July 22, won the Lausanne 100m hurdles in 12.42 seconds. The field did not include the Americans who swept the Olympic podium — Brianna RollinsNia Ali and Kristi Castlin.

Harrison’s time Thursday would have won the Rio Olympics and was well short of her world record of 12.20.

“I’m a bit rusty because I haven’t competed for a few weeks with not being in Rio,” Harrison said.

American Dalilah Muhammad followed her Olympic 400m hurdles title with her second straight Diamond League race victory, clocking 53.78 in Lausanne.

Cuban-born Spaniard Orlando Ortega upset Olympic champion Omar McLeod of Jamaica in the 110m hurdles, winning by one hundredth of a second in 13.11. Ortega took silver behind McLeod in Rio.

In the shot put, New Zealand’s Valerie Adams topped Michelle Carter, also a reversal of their Rio Olympic one-two. Adams, the 2012 Olympic champion, threw 19.94 meters in Lausanne, while Carter recorded 19.49 meters.

Olympic bronze medalist Sam Kendricks equaled his personal best with a 5.92-meter clearance to win the pole vault over world-record holder Renaud Lavillenie. Surprise Olympic champion Thiago Braz da Silva of Brazil wasn’t in the Lausanne field.

The Diamond League continues in Paris on Saturday.

VIDEO: Top track and field moments of Rio Olympics

Ryan Lochte to be summoned to criminal hearing in Rio, NBC News reports

Ryan Lochte
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Ryan Lochte will be summoned to attend a criminal hearing in Brazil regarding his Rio de Janeiro gas station incident from Aug. 14, according to NBC News.

“A formal summons is expected to be sent to the U.S. asking for help in bringing Lochte to Brazil. If Lochte does not show up, the process, we’re told, will continue, where he could be charged by the public prosecutor and likely convicted in Brazil,” was reported on MSNBC on Thursday.

Lochte has said he “over-exaggerated” his original story that a gun was pointed at his head during a robbery at a gas station.

Lochte’s full interview with Matt Lauer that aired during NBC’s Olympic coverage last weekend is here.

MORE: Lochte loses sponsors after gas station incident