Walter Walsh

World’s oldest-ever Olympian passes away

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Walter Walsh, the world’s oldest-ever Olympian, passed away Tuesday, six days shy of his 107th birthday.

Walsh finished 12th in the 50m free pistol event at the 1948 London Olympics at age 41. He died of natural causes with his family by his side at his home in Northern Virginia, USA Shooting said.

Walsh eclipsed another American, Rudy Schrader, as the oldest Olymipan ever on Jan. 18, 2013. Schrader was a gymnast at the 1904 St. Louis Olympics.

The oldest living Olympian is now Swiss Hans Erni, who participated in art competitions at the 1948 Olympics. The oldest living Olympian in a current Olympic sport is believed by Olympic historians to be 1936 Chinese discus thrower Guo Jie, who is 102.

USA Shooting has a detailed biography of Walsh here. Some of the highlights:

Walsh grew up in New Jersey, learning to shoot with a BB gun, hitting clothespins off his aunt’s clothesline. He later shot a smoothbore .22 caliber rifle at rats in the city dump, where the Meadowlands would later be built.

Walsh joined the Civilian Military Training Corps and the New Jersey National Guard, winning marksmanship awards, graduated from Rutgers law school and, in 1934, joined the FBI.

He discovered the body of Chicago gangster Baby Face Nelson as a rookie FBI agent, and then helped apprehend Arthur “Doc” Barker and shot and killed gangster Rusty Gibson on the same day.

In 1937, he took a shot to the chest and the right hand while posing as a salesman in Bangor, Maine, helping bring down the Brady Gang, shooting a gang member and the gang leader after he was shot.

In 1938, he took a commission as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve. He went on active duty by 1942 and was later drawn into the front lines of World War II.

He returned to the FBI, competed at the 1948 Olympics and then served another 20-plus years in the Marine Corps as a shooting instructor before retiring.

He served as a team leader for USA Shooting at the 1972 Munich Olympics, where American shooters won four medals.

Walsh was inducted into the USA Shooting Hall of Fame in 2013.

First U.S. female Olympic champion to reach 100 years old

Katie Ledecky entered in 5 events at USA Swimming Nationals

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Katie Ledecky is signed up for five races at the USA Swimming National Championships (Summer Champions Series) next week.

The four-time Rio Olympic champion is entered in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyles in Indianapolis. Full entry lists are here.

The top two per individual event qualify for the world championships in Budapest in July, plus extra swimmers in the 100m and 200m frees for relays.

Ledecky is slated to race four of five days in Indy, starting with a Tuesday double of the 100m and 800m frees. A full broadcast schedule is here.

At last year’s Olympic Trials, Ledecky raced the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m frees, when there was no 1500m free on the Olympic program.

The women’s 1500m free will debut at Tokyo 2020, but it has been on the world championships program since 2001.

At this same meet in the last Olympic cycle in 2013, Ledecky contested the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m frees, winning the three latter races and finishing second to Missy Franklin in the 200m free. Franklin will miss nationals next week as she continues to return from January shoulder surgeries.

Ledecky goes into this year’s nationals ranked No. 1 in the world in the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m frees and No. 5 in the U.S. in the 100m free.

Ledecky showed marked improvement in the 100m free in the last four years. In Rio, she had the second-fastest split on the American 4x100m free relay team that took silver.

Ledecky is ranked No. 1 in the U.S. this year in the 400m individual medley but chose not to race it this summer.

Other headliners for nationals:

  • Ryan Murphy, Olympic 100m and 200m backstroke champion, is entered in all three backstrokes (50m, 100m and 200m) and the 100m freestyle, where he has an outside chance of earning a 4x100m relay berth.
  • Chase Kalisz, Olympic 400m IM silver medalist, is the top seed in the 200m IM and 400m IM and the No. 2 seed in the 200m butterfly.
  • Simone Manuel, four-time Rio medalist, is the top seed in the 50m and 100m frees and the No. 5 seed in the 200m free.
  • Lilly King, Olympic 100m breaststroke champion, is favored to make the team in the 50m, 100m and 200m breasts. She is also entered in the 200m IM.
  • The men’s 50m free is loaded with Olympic champions Anthony ErvinNathan AdrianCullen Jones and Caeleb Dressel as the top four seeds.

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Ex-USA Gymnastics doctor to stand trial on sex assault charges

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MASON, Mich. (AP) — A judge on Friday ordered a longtime doctor at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics to stand trial on charges of sexually assaulting six young gymnasts who said he molested them while they were seeking treatment for various injuries.

Judge Donald Allen Jr. made his decision after hearing testimony from the gymnasts over two days and watching a police interview of the doctor, Larry Nassar.

“He convinced these girls that this was some type of legitimate treatment,” Assistant Attorney General Angela Poviliatis told Allen during the hearing. “Why would they question him? Why would they question this gymnastics god?”

The gymnasts consistently said that Nassar penetrated them with his ungloved hands, sometimes while their parents were in the room, at his Michigan State clinic, his home and at a Lansing-area gymnastics club. Some allegations go back to 2000.

Nassar was a doctor at Michigan State and at USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians, until last year.

Prosecutors played a video of a 40-minute interview between campus police and Nassar last summer. He said he doesn’t get sexual pleasure from treating gymnasts. But he also said that if he had an erection, as a gymnast claimed, “that’s rather embarrassing.”

Nassar also is facing three more criminal cases, including one in federal court alleging he possessed child pornography. He’s pleaded not guilty. Separately, he’s being sued by dozens of women and girls.

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