Tyler Clary eyes NASCAR after swimming at Rio Olympics

Leave a comment

Tyler Clary hopes to one day become a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver. He’s learning from the best.

Clary, the 2012 Olympic 200m backstroke champion, moved to Charlotte, N.C., joining the SwimMAC Carolina team in March. They happen to train at a pool where six-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson works out.

Clary and Johnson have been exchanging advice, swim strokes for driving tips. The swimmer is so serious about it that he skipped out of the Charlotte Grand Prix meet on Saturday to hang out with Johnson in the pits and watch him compete at the All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

It has been a boon for Clary, a noted motorsports enthusiast with speedway driving experience who has developed a seven-year plan, according to The Associated Press. Clary, 25, wants to switch sports after the Rio Olympics and get behind the wheel in various NASCAR series before reaching the ultimate, the Sprint Cup, by 2021.

“I’m one of those guys who has a screw loose,” Clary said with a smile, according to the AP. “I’d rather go out with a big, fiery crash than slowly dying in my bed as an old guy.”

As far as swimming goes, Clary has plenty of work ahead of him to make his second Olympic Team. He’s always had to race against Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps in his best events, the 200m back and both individual medleys.

And though Lochte has dealt with injury and Phelps took 20 months off after London, there are new threats such as 20-year-old Chase Kalisz in the medleys and three-time Russian Olympic backstroker Arkady Vyatchanin, who is looking for a new country to represent, possibly the U.S.

“It was definitely a factor moving down to Charlotte that it is the heart of NASCAR,” Clary said, according to TeamUSA.org, “but swimming is what pays the bills right now so that has to take the front seat.”

Former coach sues Tyson Gay over doping case

Watch Simone Biles, Nancy Kerrigan cha-cha on ‘Dancing with the Stars’

Leave a comment

Simone Biles made a rare misstep, but her performance on “Dancing with the Stars” was still plenty strong enough to survive the first elimination Monday.

The four-time Olympic champion gymnast got a step ahead of partner Sasha Farber on their cha-cha on the season’s second episode, leading to a lower score this week (29 out of 40) than the first week (32 out of 40).

“What you did was nice, just not together,” judge Carrie Ann Inaba said.

“I don’t know if I necessarily felt it, but what I saw was beautiful,” added another judge, Julianne Hough.

Biles and Farber’s score tied for the fourth-highest of the 12 couples, after posting the highest score the previous Monday. Biles is trying to join Shawn Johnson and Laurie Hernandez as gymnasts to win the Mirrorball Trophy.

Meanwhile, two-time Olympic medalist figure skater Nancy Kerrigan scored 28 points with partner Artem Chigvintsev for a second straight week. They also advanced.

Judge Len Goodman said Kerrigan “lost a bit of control here and there.”

“I think the thing that got to you was your nerves,” Inaba said. “In your first half of your routine you were a little bit off your step. … As the dance progressed, I saw you find yourself.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

VIDEO: Tom Brady calls Simone Biles ‘the GOAT’

U.S. senators speak up as women’s hockey worlds near with no resolution

Getty Images
3 Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sixteen U.S. senators wrote a letter to USA Hockey’s executive director Monday over their concerns about the treatment of the women’s national team.

Players have threatened to boycott the upcoming world championships over a wage dispute. The senators, all Democrats, urged David Ogrean to resolve the matter and ensure the team receives “equitable resources.” They cited the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act.

USA Hockey’s board of directors meets Monday, and players said Sunday night they hope there’s a deal.

The senators, all Democrats, joined a chorus of support that includes unions representing players from the NHL, NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball. Those organizations said over the weekend they stood with the women’s team and criticized USA Hockey for attempting to find replacement players.

Prominent NHL agent Allan Walsh tweeted Sunday, “Word circulating among NHL players that American players will refuse to play in men’s World Championships in solidarity with the women.”

Zach Bogosian, an American-born Buffalo Sabres defenseman, went to high school with U.S. captain Meghan Duggan. He tweeted his support and said he hopes the dispute is resolved.

The U.S. is the defending champion at the International Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship, which begins Friday in Plymouth, Michigan.

In negotiations over the past 15 months, players have asked for a four-year contract that pays them outside the six-month Olympic period. The senators’ letter notes the $6,000 that players earn around the Olympics and USA Hockey’s $3.5 million annual spending on the men’s national team development program and other discrepancies.

“These elite athletes indeed deserve fairness and respect, and we hope you will be a leader on this issue as women continue to push for equality in athletics,” the senators wrote.

In a statement Sunday night, players said they hoped USA Hockey would approve terms discussed during a meeting last week. They said the agreement has the “potential to be a game changer for everyone.”

The letter was signed by: Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey of Massachusetts, Patty Murray of Washington, Dianne Feinstein of California, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Thomas Carper of Delaware, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Robert Menendez and Cory Booker of New Jersey, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Stanley Cup-winning goalie joins U.S. women’s coaching staff