Michael Phelps‘ longtime coach explained why swimming needs Phelps and how long it would take Phelps to be competitive with the world’s best swimmers, if he were to come back, in a BBC article.
“Swimming needs [Phelps] because he shines a spotlight on the sport and adds a level of excitement we don’t get from anyone else,” Bob Bowman said while at the UK Sport World Class Performance Conference in Manchester. “When we’ve gone to some meets this year and he is not swimming, you see hardly anyone watching. The stands were full when he was swimming.”
It was revealed Phelps had re-entered the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency drug testing pool on Nov .14, when he was attending the Minneapolis Grand Prix.
Phelps didn’t officially come out of retirement, but re-entering drug testing makes him eligible to swim next summer, when the U.S. team for the 2015 World Championships will be decided.
“The two of us have a standard,” Bowman said, according to the BBC. “Should he choose to come back, I would never allow him to be in a meet unless he could compete near his top level. That’s just the way we do business.”
Bowman said Phelps would need “years of work” to be “competitive at the top.” He also cautioned this:
“I would say it’s more likely that he would not come back than that he would come back now,” Bowman said. “We just gave him the option to do it if he wants to.”
‘Female Phelps’ returns to competitive swimming
Basketball reporter Craig Sager will miss the Rio Games as he returns to a cancer center to continue his battle against acute myeloid leukemia, NBC announced in a statement Thursday.
Sager was set to cover his fifth straight Olympics for NBC, but instead needs to undergo a third bone marrow transplant at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He resumed receiving chemotherapy on Wednesday, according to the Houston Chronicle, with the goal being to force the disease into remission so the transplant can be performed next month.
“We’ve known since February we would have to have the third transplant,” Sager told the Chronicle. “We tried to delay it until after the Olympics, but (the disease) is very aggressive, and there is a sense of urgency to do it now.”
Sager was diagnosed in 2014, went into remission after a bone marrow transplant, was told the cancer came back in March 2015, underwent a second transplant last year, and then found out in February he was no longer in remission.
“My body isn’t getting stronger, so they want to do it while I’m strong enough,” Sager said. “Third transplants are kind of rare, so hopefully we will get it done and I’ll be ready in time for (NBA) opening night.”
MORE: Marv Albert to call Olympic basketball for first time since 1996
NBC Olympics, Facebook and Instagram will team up to provide video highlights and interviews on social media daily during the Rio Olympics.
An on-site “Social Command Center” in Rio will capture Facebook Live content, including interviews with athletes and NBC Olympics commentators.
A daily two-minute recap video will be produced for Facebook, while Instagram will have a daily slow-motion video around an inspiring moment.
Instagram will also feature NBC Olympics commentators and athletes on its own account, @instagram, along with highlights of NBC videos through its Search & Explore video channels.
More on the NBC Olympics, Facebook and Instagram partnerships is here.
MORE: Complete U.S. Olympic team roster