Amanda Beard

Amanda Beard, 32 and mother of 2, to keep swimming

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Seven-time Olympic medalist Amanda Beard hasn’t been seen much, if at all, in competition since the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. But she’s not done swimming yet.

“The way that I look on my swimming career is as long as I’m physically capable of doing it,” Beard told the Springfield (Ill.) Journal-Register. “I don’t want to look back in 30 years and say, ‘Man, I could’ve kept swimming. Why didn’t I do it when I had the chance and opportunity?’ Whether or not you make the Olympics, who cares?”

Beard, 32, attempted to make her fifth straight U.S. Olympic Team in 2012 but finished fifth in the 200m breaststroke and 10th in the 100m breast at the Olympic Trials, where only the top two made the team for London.

She gave birth to her second child in June 2013, daughter Doone, and appeared on the reality show “Celebrity Wife Swap” in June of this year. Still, she swims.

“Swimming is kind of my hobby that I take pretty seriously,” Beard said, according to the newspaper.

Beard burst onto the scene at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics, where she won two silvers and one gold as a teddy bear-toting 14-year-old.

“To think back about being 14 and winning a gold medal, it kind of boggles my mind a little bit that I was at that point in my life to be able to do something like that,” Beard said.

U.S. Swimming Championships entry lists released

Teddy Riner, dominant judoka, to skip 2018, 2019 Worlds

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French judoka Teddy Riner, arguably the world’s most dominant athlete, will reportedly skip the next two world championships before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

French coach Franck Chambily said Riner will compete a light international schedule the next two years ahead of what would be his fourth Olympics, according to Agence France-Presse.

Riner, a 29-year-old, 6-foot-8-inch native of Guadeloupe, is undefeated since 2010 with a reported 144-match winning streak. That includes Olympic titles in 2012 and 2016 and world titles in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Before the streak, Riner also earned world titles in 2007, 2009 and 2010, plus an Olympic bronze at age 19 in 2008.

He could compete through the 2024 Paris Games.

“When I am invincible, I will stop,” Riner said in 2013, according to The Associated Press.

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Maggie Nichols wins NCAA all-around title with perfect 10

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Even after a perfect 10 in the last rotation, Maggie Nichols didn’t know that she had won the NCAA all-around title. Her coach at Oklahoma, K.J. Kindler, had to tell her.

The reaction?

“Excitement,” Nichols said Friday night on ESPNU. “I just wanted to go out there and feel out the equipment, staying calm and doing my routines that I have been doing in training.”

Nichols, a 2015 World team champion who retired from elite gymnastics after missing the 2016 Olympic team (set back by a torn meniscus that year), became the first Sooner to win the NCAA all-around in 30 years.

The sophomore tallied 39.8125 points and topped Olympic alternate MyKayla Skinner of Utah by .0875 for the title in St. Louis. It came one year after Nichols was 29th in the all-around with a balance beam fall.

Oklahoma and Utah will be joined in Saturday night’s Super Six team finals by UCLA, LSU, Florida and Nebraska. The Sooners eye their third straight national title.

Nichols capped her night with one of two perfect scores between the two semifinal sessions, matching 2012 Olympic alternate Elizabeth Price‘s 10 on uneven bars. It gave Nichols a second career gym slam, a perfect score on every apparatus for the season.

On Jan. 9, Nichols came forward as “Athlete A,” who first reported to USA Gymnastics that she was sexually abused by Larry Nassar in summer 2015.

“She has had a really unique year probably like no one else, and her strength showed through,” Kindler said Friday, according to the University of Oklahoma. “It was tough, and to come out on this side this year is really special.”

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