Jason Lezak

Beijing swimming hero Jason Lezak retires

Leave a comment

Jason Lezak, the guy who swam arguably the greatest relay leg in swimming history, has decided to call it quits at the age of 37.

Lezak became a household name during the Beijing Olympics when he brought the U.S. 4x100m freestyle relay team from a distant second to the gold medal in the last 50 meters of the race. He was nearly a full body length behind France’s Alain Bernard when he dove into the water for the anchor leg. Not only was a gold medal on the line for the U.S., Michael Phelps’ hopes of going eight for eight were in serious jeopardy in just his second race.

After the first 50 meters, Lezak still trailed by a considerable margin. Then he started making up ground. And more ground. Before we knew it, Lezak had pulled even with Bernard about 10 meters from the wall.

You know how the story ends; Lezak out-touched Bernard by .08 of a second.

Lezak decided to make one more Olympic run last year and made the London squad by the skin of his teeth, finishing sixth in the 100m freestyle at the Olympic Trials. In London, Lezak swam in the prelims of the 4x100m freestyle and earned a silver medal with the squad.

This week, Lezak told OCVarsity.com he was ready to call it a career.

“I’ve accomplished a lot and had to sacrifice a lot to get there,” said Lezak, who owns eight Olympic medals (four gold). “I just want to be able to relax and enjoy the kids to the fullest.”

Lezak and his wife have two sons.

Ryan Lochte: Katie Ledecky beats me in practice

Ryan Lochte
Getty Images
Leave a comment

We already knew Katie Ledecky can beat the boys in practice, even an Olympic champion.

One of the many takeaways from this week’s Sports Illustrated profile of Ledecky is that she has beaten 11-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte in practice.

Ledecky and Lochte may rep different swim clubs — Ledecky in Washington, D.C., and Lochte in Charlotte — but they both take trips to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., for altitude training.

“She swims like a guy,” Lochte said after training with Ledecky in Colorado Springs in March, according to SI. “I’ve never seen a female swimmer like that. … Her times are becoming good for a guy. She’s beating me now, and I’m like, What’s going on?

When Ledecky broke the women’s 1500m freestyle world record for the third time at the August 2014 Pan Pacific Championships, her time of 15:28.36 was .01 faster than Lochte’s 1500m free time at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials (one of the rare instances Lochte swam a 1500m free).

Ledecky has since re-broken the women’s 1500m free world record twice more, bringing it down to 15:25.48.

“I trained with her in Colorado once, and she made me look like I was stopping,” Lochte reportedly told media on his 31st birthday, Aug. 3 at the World Championships in Kazan, Russia. “She flew by me.”

MORE: Shirley Babashoff bows to Katie Ledecky

Jennie Finch to manage baseball team for one day

Jennie Finch
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Athens Olympic softball champion Jennie Finch will manage the Bridgeport Bluefish, an independent minor-league baseball team on Sunday and, reportedly, become the first woman to manage a men’s pro baseball team.

Finch, a pitcher, retired from softball in 2010, two years after her sport’s Olympic farewell in Beijing, where she and the U.S. took silver behind Japan.

Finch has been an advocate for softball’s return to the Olympics, which could happen in Tokyo 2020.

The International Olympic Committee is expected to decide in August if baseball and softball, among four other sports, will be added for the Tokyo Games.

Finch, who is married to former MLB pitcher Casey Daigle, is also known for having struck out Albert Pujols.

MORE: Jennie Finch, Lisa Fernandez weigh in on Mo’ne Davis

Looking fwd to guest managing the Bridgeport Bluefish this Sunday! ⚾️ #Baseball #BridgeportBluefish

A photo posted by Jennie Finch (@jfinch27) on