Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps’ comeback at Mesa Grand Prix competition, broadcast schedules

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Michael Phelps is entered in three events at his first competition since the 2012 Olympics with his first swims Thursday at the Arena Grand Prix in Mesa, Ariz.

Phelps is slated for 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly heats on Thursday afternoon (ET), though he’s expected to swim only one of them in the night finals session, according to the Arizona Republic. The complete heat sheets are here.

UPDATE: Phelps scratched out of the 100m freestyle, he said Wednesday.

Phelps is also scheduled for the 50m freestyle on Friday but may swim the butterfly stroke, according to the report. If he swims butterfly, Phelps may not be fast enough to qualify for the finals Friday night.

Live streams of nightly finals sessions will be on USA Swimming’s website. Universal Sports will interrupt programming to show Phelps’ swims Thursday and have coverage on Friday and Saturday at 8 ET.

Here’s the unofficial daily schedule of potential Phelps events (all times Eastern):

Thursday prelims — 100m butterfly heats, 2:42-3:09 p.m.
Thursday finals — 100m butterfly, session begins at 8 p.m.
Friday prelims — 50m freestyle, 3:20-3:31 p.m.
Friday finals — 50m freestyle, session begins at 8 p.m.

Apolo Ohno plans to do Ironman World Championships

Paralympic swimmer disqualified for Olympic rings tattoo

Josef Craig
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British Paralympic champion Josef Craig was disqualified from a race because he didn’t cover up an Olympic rings tattoo on his chest at the IPC European Championships on Sunday.

Craig, 19, was disqualified because of an International Paralympic Committee swimming rule that states, “body advertisements are not allowed in any way whatsoever (this includes tattoos and symbols).”

Craig, who did not have the tattoo when he took gold at London 2012, has since competed at the European Championships with the Olympic rings tattoo covered.

If people attend the Paralympics, which are held weeks after the Olympics at the same venues, they will very often see the Paralympic Agitos logo where the Olympic logo once appeared.

It is visual proof that the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee are separate entities.

At the London Paralympics, American Rudy Garcia-Tolson earned silver in a 200m individual medley with an Olympic rings tattoo visible near his left shoulder-blade.

An IPC spokesperson said the rule pertaining to the Paralympics — which covers all sports — was new going into 2012 and will be fully enforced for the first time in Rio.

MORE: London gymnastics medalist gets elaborate Olympic tattoo

Missy Franklin reads emotional letter to parents (video)

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Missy Franklin broke into tears reading a letter to her parents in a mock press conference in a spot for Minute Maid, one of the four-time Olympic champion’s sponsors since turning professional a year ago.

It was filmed in April near her home in Denver.

Franklin has split time training and competing and working with companies including GoPro, Laureus, Minute Maid, Speedo, United Airlines, Visa and Wheaties.

Franklin has said the sponsor commitments will curtail in the middle of May, when she starts a blackout period to focus on training for the U.S. Olympic Trials, which are June 26-July 3 in Omaha and air on NBC Sports.

VIDEO: Franklin revisits ‘biggest sacrifice’ in GoPro series finale