Bob Bowman, Michael Phelps

Bob Bowman: Nobody has filled Michael Phelps’ void in swimming

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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

NBC, Snapchat, Buzzfeed partner for Olympic Trials, Rio Games

Rio 2016
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NBC Olympics will partner with Snapchat for daily “Live Stories” and an NBC Rio Olympic Discover channel (co-produced with Buzzfeed) during the U.S. Olympic Trials and the Rio Games.

The Live Stories allows Snapchatters attending select U.S. Olympic Trials events and the Rio Games to contribute photo and video Snaps to the Snapchat-curated story.

The Live Stories will include behind-the-scenes and fan moments, and Snapchat will feature NBC’s Rio Olympic brand marks, logos and more.

The Discover channel will be live from Aug. 4 (one day before the Opening Ceremony) through Aug. 22 (one day after the Closing Ceremony).

From NBC Sports Group:

Buzzfeed will leverage NBC’s access to athletes, as well as clips and shots from inside and outside Rio Olympic venues, to bring Snapchatters a fresh, mobile-first look at the Games.

MORE: Full Olympic Trials broadcast schedule

Race against Usain Bolt’s world record with ‘BeatBot’ (video)

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Puma has introduced the “BeatBot,” a self-driving, line-following robot that runners can program to move at a specific pace around a track.

That means one could race against a robot-version of Usain Bolt‘s 100m world record of 9.58 seconds, with BeatBot’s top speed at just over 27 miles per hour.

The BeatBot can also navigate track curves, as shown in the video above.

Puma plans to roll out BeatBot to various track programs around the world over the year.

MORE: Bolt, Ashton Eaton set for showdown