Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps scratches first two events of Pan Pacs

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Michael Phelps won’t compete on the first day of the Pan Pacific Championships, pulling out of the 200m freestyle and 100m backstroke. The most decorated swimmer of all time will debut at the Australian meet in the 100m free on Friday, according to reports.

It’s not a shocking move for Phelps, whose best shots at individual victories at the meet appear to be in the 100m butterfly Saturday and 200m individual medley Sunday. Phelps is also swimming to make the U.S. team for the 2015 World Championships.

He said he spent time “working on the basics” in training after not winning any events at the U.S. Championships two weeks ago, though he did swim the fastest 100m fly time in the world this year (in prelims).

Phelps said he committed mistakes at Nationals that a swimmer would make at age 11 or 12. Those mistakes included misjudging his turns and finishes at walls.

It’s Phelps’ first international meet after a 20-month competitive retirement following the London Olympics. He is not yet committed to attempting a run to the Rio 2016 Olympics. This meet, the biggest competition of the year, is another building block.

“Taking it with me for the next season,” Phelps said. “Then back to the drawing board.”

Phelps a vocal leader in Australia

President Obama to female Olympians: ‘Y’all crushed it’ (video)

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President Barack Obama hosted the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams at the White House on Thursday.

Obama opened his speech by saying that he had planned on doing a floor routine with Simone Biles, before ultimately deciding that the room was too crowded. First Lady Michelle Obama interjected to remind the crowd that her husband “can’t touch his toes.”

The President then singled out the athletic accomplishments of Olympians including Biles, Michelle Carter, Simone Manuel, Claressa Shields, Kristin Armstrong, Kim Rhode, Allyson Felix, Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali, Kristi Castlin, Katie Ledecky, Michael Phelps and the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

He also recognized: Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American to compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab, Sam Kendricks, the U.S. Army reservist who put down his pole and stood at attention when the national anthem started playing, Will Claye, who proposed to U.S. hurdler Queen Harrison after winning an Olympic silver medal, and Abbey D’Agostino, who helped an opponent to her feet after a crash.

“That is exactly what the Olympic spirit and the American spirit should be all about,” Obama said about the sportsmanship of D’Agostino.

The President was particularly enthusiastic about the performance of the female athletes.

“2016 belonged to America’s women Olympians,” Obama said. “Y’all crushed it.”

Watch Obama’s full speech here.

After Obama’s speech, Biles presented him with a surfboard autographed by the Olympians in attendance.

“I’m going to have a lot of time to surf next year,” Obama said.

MORE: Photos of Team USA at the White House

Photos: Team USA at the White House

Twitter: @TeamUSA
Twitter: @TeamUSA
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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams at the White House on Thursday.

Below are some of the best photos of Team USA from inside the White House: