Aly Raisman

Aly Raisman back in gymnastics training

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Four members of the Fierce Five are now in California. The fifth is on the East Coast, training to perhaps join her teammates on a U.S. team down the road.

U.S. Olympic gymnastics team captain Aly Raisman has returned to training, as confirmed by the Boston Globe.

Raisman had tweeted in June that she was back.

“It took me a long time, but one morning I woke up and said, I’m ready to come back,” she told the newspaper. “Now that I’m back, I feel like a little kid again.”

Raisman is back with her old coach, Mihai Brestyan, in her old gym in Burlington, Mass., after a busy year off. She made the finals of “Dancing with the Stars,” threw out a first pitch at a Red Sox game and was drug tested at “Access Hollywood.”

In addition to team gold, Raisman won gold on floor exercise, bronze on balance beam and missed out on bronze in the all-around by a tiebreaker in London. The newspaper reported Raisman could train with an eye on the all-around in 2016.

Of course, Raisman will not be competing this season. The U.S. named its team for the World Championships on Sunday.

Raisman, 19, was the oldest member of the U.S. Olympic champion team in London. Therefore it would seem she faces the toughest odds of making the 2016 Olympic team out of the five, especially because she took the longest post-Olympic break.

Gabby Douglas returned to her Iowa gym in May and is now training without a coach in California.

Jordyn Wieber was training in Michigan earlier this year but did not compete this season. She’s about to start her freshman year at UCLA and possibly be a manager with the school’s gymnastics team. Wieber can’t compete collegiately because she turned pro.

McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross are on the team for worlds in Antwerp, Belgium, next month.

No U.S. woman has made back-to-back Olympic teams since 2000. Five of the six from 2008 made attempts and were unsuccessful.

“I feel like I’ve already done it,” Raisman told the newspaper. “So if it doesn’t go my way, at least I’ve done what I always wanted to do.”

Here’s video from last month’s U.S. Championships, where Raisman and Douglas talked a little about 2016:

Olympians headline swimming’s Winter Nationals; Preview

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Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin and Nathan Adrian are among the Olympic gold medalists listed on the psych sheets for this weekend’s Winter Nationals in Federal Way, Wash.

Phelps’ lineup includes the 200m IM, 100m butterfly and 200m butterfly. At Summer Nationals in August, he clocked the fastest times in the world in each of those events.

“I already know what I can change in that event,” he told NBC Sports’ Carolyn Manno in a poolside interview immediately following his 200m IM.

Franklin is expected to swim the 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 100m backstroke, where she is seeded second behind Natalie Coughlin, and 200m backstroke.

Coughlin will also see action in the 50m and 100m freestyles. She said earlier in 2015 that the 100m backstroke may enter her repertoire again, and at the Pan American Games, her 100m backstroke leadoff leg in the medley relay was the fastest she’s been since the 2008 Beijing Games at 59.05.

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Adrian will swim the 50m freestyle, where he is ranked first, and the 100m freestyle, where he ranks third. However, both men faster than him in the 100m freestyle field represent non-U.S. countries internationally.

Allison Schmitt is slated to compete with Franklin in the 100m and 200m freestyles, in addition to the 400m freestyle. Katie Ledecky, who has dominated U.S. women’s freestyle events at all distances, is not expected at the meet.

Notable international names competing at the meet, like those ranked above Adrian in the 100m freestyle, include:

  • Olympic bronze medalist Vladimir Morozov (Russia): 100m freestyle, 50m freestyle, 100m breaststroke, 100m backstroke
  • Olympic gold medalist Ous Mellouli (Tunisia): 400m freestyle, 1500m freestyle, 400m IM
  • Olympic gold medalist Grant Hackett (Australia): 100m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle
  • World champion Yulia Efimova (Russia): 50m freestyle, 100m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke, 200m IM
  • Pan American Games medalist Santo Condorelli (Canada): 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly

A live webcast of the meet will be available on, including noon E.T. prelims and 9 p.m. E.T. finals beginning Thursday, Dec. 3 through Saturday, Dec. 5. NBC will air coverage on Sunday, Dec. 6 from 1-2 p.m. E.T.

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Thomas Bach: Hamburg bid rejection is ‘missed opportunity’

Thomas Bach
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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) The rejection of Hamburg’s bid for the 2024 Olympics marks a “missed opportunity” for the city and Germany, IOC President Thomas Bach said Monday.

Hamburg withdrew its bid Sunday after it was defeated in a referendum by voters in the northern port city. The vote was 51.6 percent against, and 48.4 percent in favor.

“The IOC of course respects the close vote by the citizens of Hamburg,” Bach said in a statement. “We regret the decision, which should be seen in the light of the very particular and difficult circumstances the referendum was held in. This is a missed opportunity for Hamburg and Germany.”

The vote came as Germany copes with an influx of migrants and refugees, a situation that Bach said “requires a great effort by German government and society and is causing widespread feelings of uncertainty.”

He also said the result may have been influenced by current doping and corruption scandals in sports. Without citing any by name, Bach alluded to the scandals surrounding FIFA, allegations of bribery involving Germany’s winning bid for the 2006 World Cup, and doping and corruption charges facing the IAAF and track and field.

“This is a pity,” Bach said, adding that the IOC applies strict anti-corruption rules.

The IOC president said the Hamburg vote was “greatly influenced” by the issue of how the games would be financed. Hamburg’s operating budget of 3.4 billion euros ($3.6 billion) was “very well balanced,” with the IOC planning to contribute $1.7 billion to the project, Bach said.

Hamburg’s withdrawal leaves four cities in contention: Rome, Paris, Los Angeles and Budapest, Hungary. The IOC will select the host city in September 2017.

“The IOC is proud to have four strong candidate cities,” Bach said.

A spokeswoman for Angela Merkel said the German chancellor regretted the decision by Hamburg voters.

Merkel “took note of the results of the vote in Hamburg, and the chancellor finds this decision regrettable but of course she respects the will of the people,” government spokeswoman Christiane Wirtz told reporters in Berlin.

“That’s why referendums are held – to find out what the population wants, and obviously Hamburgers don’t want the Olympics,” Wirtz said.

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