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

Elana Meyers Taylor crashes, brakewoman ejected (video)

Leave a comment

Two-time Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor‘s start to the World Cup bobsled season was both record-breaking and painful.

Meyers Taylor and brakewoman Kehri Jones had the fastest women’s start time ever recorded on the 2010 Olympic track in Whistler, B.C., on Saturday.

But only one of them made it to the finish.

Meyers Taylor crashed the sled during their first run, with the impact causing Jones to eject out the back and slide along the chute before coming to a stop.

Both athletes were able to walk off the track, according to U.S. Bobsled.

Meyers Taylor missed four races last season while receiving treatment for long-term effects from a January 2015 concussion. She returned to win at the last two stops.

MORE: Why Steven Holcomb mulled retirement

Diver Sammy Lee, first Asian-American male gold medalist, dies at 96

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 18:  1948 and 1952 Olympic platform diving gold medalist Dr. Sammy Lee and Olympic diving hopeful Brittany Viola of the United States attend the Team USA Road to London 100 Days Out Celebration in Times Square on April 18, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for USOC)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Dr. Sammy Lee, the first Asian-American man to win an Olympic gold medal and first male diver to repeat as Olympic champion, died of pneumonia at age 96 on Friday, according to the University of Southern California.

Lee was born in Fresno, Calif., of Korean parents.

He unretired from a medical career to compete in his first Olympics in London in 1948, after the Games took a 12-year break due to World War II.

Lee earned platform gold and springboard bronze in 1948 and then retired, unretired and defended his platform title in 1952. Lee and another Asian-American, Victoria Manolo-Draves, who had a Filipino father and English mother, both won diving titles in 1948, with Draves’ springboard gold coming first.

Lee also served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during the Korean War.

He succeeded despite facing racial discrimination. From TeamUSA.org:

When Sammy was growing up, non-whites could use the pool where he practiced one day a week, on Wednesdays only. And then, as he has told it, the pool would be emptied after the non-whites used it, and fresh water was brought in the next day.

When the pool was off-limits, Sammy practiced by jumping into a sand pile.

Lee went on to coach divers, including Greg Louganis, after his competitive career, and continued his medical work. He graduated from USC’s medical school in 1947.

He is a member of the U.S. Olympic and International Swimming Halls of Fame.

*Correction: An earlier version of this post erroneously reported Lee was the first Asian-American Olympic champion. He was the second.