Lance Armstrong, Robin Williams

Lance Armstrong remembers Robin Williams

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Robin Williams with Lance Armstrong at the 2002 Tour de France. (Getty Images)

Lance Armstrong was one of Robin Williams‘ closest friends in the sports world. The cyclist stripped of seven Tour de France titles spoke about his relationship with the late comedian Tuesday night.

“I had heard over the years that he was a fan of cycling,” Armstrong said on CNN. “So when we first starting racing the Tour [de France] and winning the Tour, he would send messages or send notes.”

Then Williams began traveling to France for the stage race, in 2002 and 2004. He rode with the man who beat testicular cancer during a rest day at the 2002 Tour, both donning U.S. Postal Service team jerseys.

Williams kept a sense of humor about Armstrong after the cyclist admitted last year to using performance-enhancing drugs during his career. Williams jokingly called Armstrong “the uniballer” on “The Daily Show” last September.

“[Williams] was always cracking jokes,” Armstrong said. “He was a special man. He was over at our house for dinner with the kids. The last great dinner I remember was a few years ago when all my kids were there. He had so many fart jokes, and he was doing all these noises. My kids were just rolling. He was so loved not just by myself, but everybody. Now we’re going to miss him.”

Armstrong said he visited Williams when the comedian was struggling to stay sober.

“I sort of lived with him through some of the previous challenges when he was sober and sort of fell off and spent some time back in therapy for that,” Armstrong said. “Life’s messy, and we all sort of found our way. This last year or so, Robin was in a place that I don’t think many people knew.”

Armstrong said some of his favorite memories were touring with Williams with United Service Organizations, entertaining troops in the Middle East and Europe over the holidays.

“To see him in front of those troops, he was their hero,” Armstrong said. “Perhaps it was a weakness of his — he could never say no. If somebody asked for something, if they needed something, he had to be somewhere, he would stretch himself so thin.

“The guy was a giver.”

Armstrong also gushed about Williams’ contributions to Livestrong.

“Any time I ever asked him to do anything for my organization, come to an event, donate something, donate a dinner, donate a bike, come do some comedy, he always, and I mean always, said yes,” Armstrong said.

Robin Williams and the Olympics

Ryan Lochte, with new coach, races in first meet since Olympics

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Ryan Lochte is back in the competition pool.

The 12-time Olympic medalist, suspended from USA Swimming and international meets through June, won a 200-yard individual medley at the U.S. Masters nationals in Riverside, Calif., on Friday. He also finished second in a 100-yard breaststroke.

Full results are here.

“I’m a little overweight,” Lochte said, according to the Orange County Register. “I guess you could say six months of not taking care of my body and just living my life, not worrying about waking up and going to practice or anything like that. My main focus was to just relax, get away from the sport, and now that I’m getting back in I’m like, ‘Ooh, maybe I should have at least worked out a couple of times.'”

Lochte has moved to the Los Angeles area and is now coached by the University of Southern California’s Dave Salo until his fiancée’s baby is born (likely June). After that, they will re-evaluate his plan, Salo said.

Lochte was formerly coached by Gregg Troy from 2002-13 at the University of Florida, where he attended college and matured to become an Olympian in 2004. Lochte won 11 Olympic medals under Troy and became the world’s best swimmer going into the 2012 Olympics.

In 2013, Lochte moved from Gainesville to Charlotte and trained under David Marsh through the Rio Games. Lochte said last summer that he planned to move to California.

Lochte has also said he plans to try for a fifth Olympics in 2020, but his immediate future is about to get very busy — becoming a father, becoming a husband and the end of his ban.

He will swim two meets in August, the U.S. Open in East Meadow, N.Y., and an international meet in Rome, according to the Orange County Register.

“I’m behind, but you know,” Lochte said, according to the newspaper, adding he hasn’t been this happy since 2012. “I took time off. I needed it. My body and mind needed it to recover. It was just a dog fight for so many years I just got overwhelmed with the sport and lost the passion and the love for it. But now I have it. I have new passion, and I’m finding ways that swimming is fun again.”

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Jesse Owens’ Olympic gold medals up for auction

Jesse Owens
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Two of Jesse Owens‘ four 1936 Berlin Olympic gold medals will be auctioned in August, according to Heritage Auctions.

Owens won four gold medals at the Berlin Games, triumphing in the face of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany by taking the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay and long jump.

Owens gifted one gold medal to entertainer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, according to “Mr. Bojangles: The Biography of Bill Robinson.”

That medal was auctioned for in 2013 for $1,466,574, the highest price ever for a piece of Olympic memorabilia.

Owens used his three other Olympic golds as payment for a Pittsburgh hotel stay in the mid-1950s, according to “Intelligent Collector,” a magazine affiliated with Heritage Auctions, which is housing the August auction with Owens’ medals.

“Jesse didn’t have the financial means to pay for his stay at Mr. Harry Bailey’s hotel,” said Albert DeVito, son of a local handyman who ended up with the two gold medals being auctioned, according to the magazine. “So he gave his medals to Harry as his payment for expenses incurred.”

DeVito’s father was later gifted the three gold medals by the hotel owner Bailey for previously lending him money. DeVito’s father kept two and gave back to Bailey one gold medal whose whereabouts are unknown, according to the magazine.

DeVito thought to sell the remaining two gold medals after seeing the 2013 auction.

“It wasn’t until that first gold medal sold that we even thought, ‘Oh, my goodness. These things are worth something!'” DeVito said, according to the magazine.

It’s unknown which of the gold medals corresponds to which Olympic event, as they are not specified on the medals.

Before Owens’ death in 1980, the sprinter reportedly said he had lost the four gold medals. The German government replaced them, and they now rest at Ohio State, Owens’ alma mater.

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