Michael Phelps found a new swimsuit company after parting with Speedo, but he can’t swim in the new suit just yet.
He’s now with Aqua Sphere, a company designing a racing suit for the first time, according to The Associated Press.
At his first meet since the London Olympics in April, Phelps said his 12-year relationship with Speedo ran out at the end of 2013, he was a suit “free agent” and wore an Arena model in the meantime.
Aqua Sphere was founded in Italy in 1998 with an emphasis on swimming eyewear. Since the company is creating a new suit for Phelps, it must be approved by FINA and can’t be worn in competition until 2015 at the earliest.
Seven-time Olympic medalist Amanda Beard has trained in Aqua Sphere suits.
Phelps signed his first-ever endorsement deal with Speedo in 2001 when he was 16 and had extended the deal for four years in 2009, one year after earning a $1 million bonus from the company for winning eight gold medals in Beijing. He used that money to start his own charity foundation.
“Throughout my career, I’ve been able to do a lot of things with Speedo. The relationship was great,” Phelps told the AP. “But we came to a point where we had an opportunity to really change the sport and grow the sport even more.”
Though Phelps has yet to commit to racing through the Rio Olympics, the Aqua Sphere contract runs through the 2020 Tokyo Games, according to the AP.
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London Olympic all-around champion Gabby Douglas was among four Olympic medalists appointed to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition, in one of Barack Obama‘s final acts as president.
Also appointed were Olympic soccer champion Carli Lloyd, hockey silver medalist Caitlin Cahow and fencing bronze medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad.
Olympic medalists Dominique Dawes, Allyson Felix, Grant Hill, Michelle Kwan, Alonzo Mourning and Chris Paul already have roles on the council.
One month after taking gold in London, Douglas led the Pledge of Allegiance at the Democratic National Convention, where Obama was formally nominated to run for re-election.
Douglas also appeared on “The Tonight Show” with First Lady Michelle Obama in 2012 and joined the First Lady for a Let’s Move event in Chicago in 2013.
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For the second time in as many months, Ryan Lochte stars in a jocular ad making a veiled reference to his Rio Olympic gas-station incident.
The swimmer wipes away “the past” on a foggy bathroom mirror and throws a blond wig out of a sunroof in a one-minute Power Bar video published Tuesday.
The company’s tag line in the video is “Clean Start.”
“For example, I am going to recommit myself to water sports,” Lochte says in the spot.
The ad follows a December video for Pine Bros. Softish Throat Drops, where Lochte starred in a spot with a closing banner that read, “Pine Bros.: In this Season of Forgiveness.”
Lochte had previously lost sponsorship deals, including with Speedo, after his Rio Olympic gas-station incident for which he was suspended through June by USA Swimming, plus for the world championships in July.
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