World champion swimmer Ariana Kukors‘ retirement lasted about one year.
Kukors, the 2009 World champion and world record holder in the 200m individual medley, announced last summer she had tossed aside her cap and goggles.
She was a correspondent for Seattle NBC affiliate KING 5 at the Sochi Olympics, where the atmosphere played a role in inspiring her return. She detailed her thoughts in a blog.
“[We] were standing together when the Olympic cauldron lit up, and I didn’t realize what the Olympics meant to me until that moment,” Kukors, 25, who finished fifth in her only Olympic swim, the 2012 200m IM, told KING 5. “I need to do this, it’s so amazing. I need to do this.
“The pool is the essence of my soul.”
Kukors will live and train at USC, where close friend and Olympic champion breaststroker Rebecca Soni used to train. She hopes to return to competition next year, according to KING 5.
Soni, 27, is still retired.
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The 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the final competition to determine the Pyeongchang Olympic team, will be in San Jose, California, at the SAP Center, concluding Jan. 7.
It appears to be the earliest the U.S. Figure Skating Championships will end in an Olympic year in at least 50 years.
The competition will be broadcast live on NBC and streamed live on Icenetwork.com.
San Jose previously hosted the U.S. Championships in 1996 and 2012, but it has never hosted in an Olympic year.
Sochi Olympian Polina Edmunds is from San Jose and figures to receive a boost of crowd support. Edmunds, 18, begins classes at nearby Santa Clara University next month.
The January 2017 U.S. Championships will be in Kansas City. The international figure skating season starts next month, with Skate America kicking off the Grand Prix season in October.
Recent Nationals host cities in Olympic years were Boston in 2014 and Spokane, Washington, in 2010.
MORE: Ashley Wagner, Gracie Gold headline Skate America
Olympic coaches don’t receive gold medals. Fiji Olympic men’s rugby coach Ben Ryan may have gotten something better anyway.
Ryan’s reward for guiding Fiji to its first Olympic medal in any sport — gold in rugby sevens’ Olympic debut — included three acres of land in Fiji and a new name, Ratu Peni Raiyani Latianara, according to Fijian reports.
Ryan, a London native, is stepping down as coach of the Fijian team. The 44-year-old coached the team for three years after leading the England national sevens team for six years.
MORE: Fiji wins nation’s first Olympic medal