Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin expected for Santa Clara Grand Prix

Leave a comment

Michael Phelps is expected to enter the third meet of his comeback in Santa Clara, Calif., next week.

Phelps and Missy Franklin are the headliners for the Santa Clara Grand Prix in a press release from USA Swimming for the June 19-22 meet.

Phelps, 28 and the most decorated Olympian ever with 22 medals, swam competitively for the first time since the London Olympics at meets in Mesa, Ariz., and Charlotte, N.C., in April and May.

He finished second to longtime rival Ryan Lochte in a 100m butterfly in Mesa and won the event in Charlotte, where Lochte didn’t swim due to a knee injury. He also swam the 200m freestyle in preliminaries in Charlotte.

It is not known if Lochte will swim in Santa Clara.

Franklin, 19, is coming off a strong freshman season at California, where she won the 200-yard freestyle NCAA title.

Olympic champions Nathan Adrian, Tyler ClaryNatalie CoughlinAnthony ErvinMatt Grevers and Allison Schmitt are also expected to compete in Santa Clara, the final Grand Prix event before the U.S. Championships in Irvine, Calif., from Aug. 6-10.

Phelps is also expected to swim in a meet in Athens, Ga., during the July 11-13 weekend.

The U.S. Championships serve as a selection meet for the biggest international competitions the next two years, the Pan Pacific Championships in Gold Coast, Australia, later in August, and the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russia.

Retired Olympic champion swimmer Amy Van Dyken Rouen hospitalized

Soccer star Carli Lloyd and coach Jill Ellis nominated for FIFA honors

Jill Ellis, Carli Lloyd
Leave a comment

FIFA announced today that Carli Lloyd, the midfielder on the U.S. women’s national soccer team whose hat trick in the World Cup final helped the US win gold, was nominated for the Women’s World Player of the Year award.

The woman who coached the USWNT to a 5-2 World Cup victory over Japan, Jill Ellis, was nominated in the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football category.

Nominated alongside Lloyd are Japan’s Aya Miyama, a member of the silver-medal winning team at the London Olympics, and Germany’s Celia Sasic, a bronze medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Both Lloyd and Miyama are expected to represent their countries again at the 2016 Rio Olympics, while Sasic retired after the 2015 World Cup.

Only two American women have been named the FIFA World Player of the Year–Abby Wambach in 2012 (when Lloyd was also a semifinalist) and Mia Hamm in both 2001 and 2002.

Lloyd is already racking up a long list of honors in 2015. In addition to earning the Golden Ball Award at the World Cup, she’s nominated by Sports Illustrated for Sportsman of the Year and will be honored on December 2nd by the March of Dimes as their Sportswoman of the Year.

Ellis has been USWNT head coach since May 2014, but has a long Olympic history with the team. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics she was a scout, and then was assistant coach to Pia Sundhage at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. She also served as the interim coach at the end of 2012 after Sundhage left to coach for Sweden, and again when Tom Sermanni was fired in April 2014. She is expected to be the head coach at the 2016 Games.

The other nominees for FIFA World Coach of the Year are England’s Mark Sampson and Japan’s Norio Sasak.

The awards are voted on by team captains, coaches and the media, and will be announced on January 11th. The Ballon d’Or winner will also be announced. The three finalists for the top honor on the men’s side are Neymar, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.


Best photos from USPA National Skydiving Championships

USPA National Skydiving Championships
Leave a comment

More than 500 skydivers competed at the United States Parachute Association (USPA) National Skydiving Championships, the largest annual skydiving competition in the world.

The best jumps from the USPA National Skydiving Championships will air tonight on Universal HD at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Skydiving is not an Olympic sport, but several skydivers have made cameos at the Olympics.

Dozens of free-falling parachutists formed the five Olympic rings in the sky during the Opening Ceremony of the 1988 Games.

Then at the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, stunt doubles playing Queen Elizabeth II and actor Daniel Craig leapt from a helicopter and parachuted into the Olympic Stadium (VIDEO).

Below are images via the USPA, captured by David Cherry and Martin Lemay:

USPA National Skydiving Championships

USPA National Skydiving Championships

USPA National Skydiving Championships

USPA National Skydiving Championships

USPA National Skydiving Championships