Ian Thorpe

Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe still has eyes on Rio Olympics

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Ian Thorpe believes he can qualify for the Rio Olympics at age 33, he told Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News at an event in Istanbul on Friday.

“There is no physical reason why I cannot swim in Rio, but I have to consider whether or not my body can hold up for it,” Thorpe said, adding that he first had to concentrate on the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

Thorpe, Australia’s most decorated Olympian with nine medals (five gold) over the 2000 and 2004 Games, announced a comeback before London 2012 but failed to qualify in either the 100- or 200-meter freestyles at the Australian Olympic trials last year. He still went to London, as a commentator for the BBC.

That didn’t stop his swimming, though. Thorpe had his sights set on this summer’s world championships in Barcelona until the entries list for April’s trials in Australia was released without his name.

Thorpe, 30, said he considered himself more like a 26-year-old in terms of swimming age because of the four-plus years he took off in retirement beginning in 2006.

He added that he has a shoulder injury, though the report did not specify how long it’s bothered him. He’s been training an hour at a time six times per week rather than two hours at a time 10 times per week, he said.

“To actually be a champion you have to be willing to let go of it and pass it on to the next champion, and that’s always going to happen,” Thorpe told the Hurriyet Daily News.

It appears Thorpe is not willing to let go just yet.

Lochte nominated for Teen Choice Award, but not for swimming

Simone Biles welcomed home with cheerleaders, band, police escort (video)

Simone Biles
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The celebration began the moment Simone Biles walked into Bush Airport in Houston on Wednesday.

Biles, after winning four gold medals at the Rio Olympics, arrived in her home state of Texas to the sounds of a band, sights of Houston Texans cheerleaders and much more.

Mayor Sylvester Turner declared Wednesday to be “Simone Biles Day” in Houston, handing the gymnast a paper proclamation.

“Hi guys, I’m Simone Biles, and I can’t thank everyone [enough] in all of Houston for coming out to see me today and to welcome me from Rio,” she said, laughing, on a podium at the airport. “I don’t know what else to say, I’m nervous, and I love you guys.”

Later, Biles was given a parade in her hometown of Spring, a Houston suburb, with a police escort.

Biles and the Final Five’s first stop on the way home from Rio was New York, where they went on a media tour earlier this week. They reached the top of the Empire State Building, visited Jimmy Fallon and saw “Hamilton.”

The Final Five will reunite for a USA Gymnastics tour of 36 cities, beginning Sept. 15.

MORE: Home videos of Simone Biles doing gymnastics

Gwen Jorgensen the latest Olympic triathlon star to move up to marathon

Gwen Jorgensen
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When Olympic triathlon champion Gwen Jorgensen lines up for her first 26.2-mile race at the New York City Marathon on Nov. 6, it will be hard to judge her performance.

Perhaps the best measure will be her time versus those of previous Olympic triathlon medalists in their marathon debuts.

Jorgensen is recognized as the greatest female runner among top-level female triathletes, perhaps of all time, with an ability to make up deficits of more than one minute on the 10km run after swimming 1,500 meters and biking 40 kilometers.

Swiss Nicola Spirig, the 2012 Olympic triathlon gold medalist, made her marathon debut in 2014 in 2:42:53. Sprig, though, had more long-distance racing experience than Jorgensen, including a half marathon.

Jorgensen, 30 and a former University of Wisconsin distance runner and swimmer, has never tackled more than 10 miles in training, according to The New York Times.

“When you ask athletes what they want to do after they win gold or the Super Bowl, they say they want to go to the happiest place on earth,” Jorgensen said, according to the newspaper. “Running is my happiest place. It’s my Disneyland.”

Portugal’s Vanessa Fernandes shared triathlon’s longest top-level international winning streak before Jorgensen strung together 13 wins in a row.

Fernandes, the 2008 Olympic triathlon silver medalist, clocked 2:31:25 in her first marathon, but it came in 2015, four years after her last elite international triathlon.

The 2015 New York City Marathon women’s winning time was 2:24:25 by Kenyan Mary Keitany. The top American, Laura Thweatt, ran 2:28:23.

This year’s American field may be stronger, with Olympic track distance runners Molly Huddle and Kim Conley making their marathon debuts.

Other Olympic triathlon medalists, including 2004 gold medalist Kate Allen and 2000 silver medalist Michellie Jones, have moved up to the Ironman — a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon.

In 2014, Jorgensen said she didn’t see herself ever doing an Ironman.

MORE: What Jorgensen asked Ironman star Mirinda Carfrae