International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach has seen the first Olympics he’ll preside over attract various degrees of controversy in recent months.
But the former gold-medal winning fencer appears to be staying on an even keel as the countdown to Sochi draws closer to zero.
Today, Bach made his first formal appearance in Sochi. NBCOlympics.com’s Alan Abrahamson was there as Bach calmly answered the expected questions about Russia’s anti-gay legislation, the Games’ security, and their cost, which has risen to a eyebrow-raising sum of more than $50 billion.
Even with all of these elements in play, Bach is confident that Sochi will put on a great show, hosting in his words “Games with excellent conditions for the athletes” that herald “the transformation of a city, of a whole region.”
To the German, “the Olympic stage is set.”
For more on Bach meeting the press, check out Abrahamson’s report in the link above.
Athletes enjoy video games, basement tunnels, dental work in Olympic Villages
Katie Ledecky rewrote the Stanford Avery Aquatic Center pool record book in her first college home meet.
The five-time Olympic gold medalist broke pool records in winning the 200- and 500-yard freestyles in a dual meet with Washington State on Thursday.
Ledecky clocked 1:44.18 in the 200-yard free, which broke Olympic champion teammate Simone Manuel‘s mark of 1:44.34 from last year.
The NCAA Championships winning time from last season was 1:42.42. Ledecky’s personal best in the event is 1:41.04. The American record is 1:39.10 by Missy Franklin.
About 45 minutes later, Ledecky won the 500-yard freestyle in 4:36.43, breaking 2008 Olympian Julia Smit‘s pool record of 4:41.74.
The NCAA Championships winning time from last season was 4:31.33. Ledecky’s personal best is 4:26.58, which doubles as the American record.
Ledecky passed up millions in endorsement dollars to swim collegiately.
The Stanford women’s swim team hosts Texas on Nov. 12, streamed live.
MORE: Phelps, Ledecky lead Golden Goggle nominees
Nick Symmonds, the outspoken two-time U.S. Olympic 800m runner, said he thinks he’s going to try and compete one more season.
“I really want to make one more worlds team,” Symmonds said in a Facebook video Thursday. “I’ve just got to make sure my ankle holds up.”
Symmonds, 32, last raced May 18 and missed the Olympic Trials due to a left ankle injury. He said Thursday that he’s 100 percent healthy and running 40 miles per week.
On June 30, Symmonds said after withdrawing before the Olympic Trials that he “could possibly” compete one more year, but the decision would come down to whether his apparel sponsor, Brooks, wanted to extend his contract beyond 2016.
The 2013 World Championships silver medalist said he had accomplished all of his running goals except for winning an Olympic medal (he was fifth in 2012) and completing a marathon.
In 2015, Symmonds won his sixth U.S. 800m title but missed the world championships due to a contract dispute with USA Track and Field.
Once he retires, Symmonds has said he wants to climb the tallest mountain on every continent.
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