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Dana Vollmer’s plan for second child may include racing while pregnant

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Dana Vollmer pulled off the remarkable in Rio, earning a medal of every color, 17 months after childbirth. The butterfly swimmer wants to have another baby and return to competition again, and she’s preparing differently this time.

Vollmer has talked with her swimsuit maker, Tyr, about designing a suit for whatever size belly she has if and when she is pregnant. The goal is sooner rather than later.

“I didn’t swim at all with [baby boy] Arlen, so I’m hoping to be able to train through more of the pregnancy, hopefully,” Vollmer said last month. “Last time I was on bedrest. Really hoping that doesn’t happen.”

The seven-time Olympic medalist could even see a scenario where she competes in the early stages of pregnancy. Perhaps in 2017.

In the last Olympic cycle, Vollmer competed in the season after the London Olympics. Then she took 23 months off from competition before returning 13 months before the Rio Games.

“This time, if we get pregnant soon, then I’ll have more time than I had leading up to Rio,” Vollmer said. “I do feel like that I kind of ran out of time. I could have been faster in Rio. It’s part of what motivates me to continue swimming right now. I still feel like I have a faster swim in me.”

Vollmer was plenty fast in 2016, regaining her form as the fastest American in the 100m butterfly and posting the top 100m freestyle time in the country for the year going into the Olympic Trials.

In Rio, she took bronze in the 100m butterfly, silver as part of the 4x100m freestyle relay and gold with the 4x100m medley relay.

The 100m fly is her signature event.

At the 2012 Olympics, Vollmer broke Sarah Sjöström‘s world record in the 100m fly final and won gold.

In Rio, Sjöström broke the world record in the 100m butterfly and won gold. Vollmer, beaten by a gaping 1.15 seconds, then joked to her Swedish rival.

“Next is my turn,” Vollmer said, hinting at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Vollmer laughed about that comment in an interview last month.

“I would have liked to be a little closer to her to give her a little more of a scare for the gold medal,” she said. “For her to go as fast as she did [a half-second better than Vollmer’s personal best] was insane.”

Vollmer will be 32 come 2020, which is older than any previous U.S. Olympic female swimmer save Dara Torres, who raced at Sydney 2000 at age 33 and Beijing 2008 at 41.

Vollmer has been touched by words from other moms at playdates in the park this fall. They say she inspired them to believe they can achieve a life balance of being a mom while also pursuing their own self-interests, particiularly in physical fitness.

It could be just the start, especially if a pregnant Vollmer suits up for meets in the next year or so.

“I don’t know what my ‘fly would look like, and I don’t know how slow it might be,” she said. “It would be more about getting in and having fun racing a 100 fly.”

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USA Hockey to start reaching out to potential replacement players

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USA Hockey will begin reaching out to “alternate players” to determine their interest in playing for the U.S. at the women’s world championship next week amid a potential boycott by its national team.

The contact is taking place in the event a resolution cannot be reached between USA Hockey and the women’s national team in a wage dispute.

“It’s important for everyone to understand clearly that our objective is to have the players we named as the U.S. women’s national team be the ones that compete in the world championship,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey, in a statement. “Productive conversations have taken place this week and are ongoing in our collective efforts to reach a resolution.”

The alternate players are in the professional NWHL and college, according to USA Today, a report that USA Hockey would not confirm.

U.S. captain Meghan Duggan has said every player in the U.S. national team player pool, plus under-18 national team players, committed to not playing at worlds unless the wage dispute is resolved.

“We are confident that they [potential replacement players] would choose not to play,” the U.S. players said in a statement.

The world championship tournament starts March 31 in Plymouth, Mich.

As of Thursday evening, no resolution has come between USA Hockey and its women’s national team. They met formally on Monday for more than 10 hours, with both sides calling it productive.

“We ask that they approve the original agreement that, the players believed, was acceptable to both parties after Monday’s meeting,” the players said in a statement. “Unless there is an agreement, the players remain resolved to bypass the defense of the world championship.”

Neither side has said when the next meeting will take place.

On Tuesday, USA Hockey said it postponed a pre-worlds camp that was to run through next Tuesday in Traverse City, Mich., and canceled a scheduled Friday exhibition against Finland.

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MORE: NHL asked for decision on Olympics by end of April

NHL asked for decision on Olympics by end of April

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International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel tells The Associated Press he needs to know by the end of April whether NHL players will be cleared to play in the South Korea Olympics next year.

NHL team owners have made it clear they don’t want to stop their season again for the Winter Games and put their stars at risk of injury. The reluctance has come up before and yet the NHL has participated in the Olympics since 1998. This time, however, there seems to be an impasse.

The head of the NHL Players Association, Donald Fehr, says the players want to participate and hopes the league will take advantage of the chance to market the game in Asia.

However, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly says without “material change to the current status quo, NHL players will not be participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics.”

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MORE: 2018 Olympic hockey groups set