Getty Images

Olympic medalists headline U.S. roster for diving worlds

Leave a comment

Three Olympic medalists headline the U.S. roster for the world diving championships, but David Boudia is absent for the first time since 2003.

Trials concluded Sunday in Indianapolis, where Olympic synchro platform silver medalist Steele Johnson made his first worlds team on the 3m springboard.

Johnson teamed in Rio with the 2012 Olympic platform champion Boudia, who is not competing this international season and may retire.

At world trials, Johnson was edged on the 3m springboard by Olympic synchro springboard silver medalist Michael Hixon, but both made the team as the U.S. can enter two divers per individual event at worlds.

Sam Dorman, who teamed with Hixon for that Rio silver, was fourth in the 3m springboard semifinals at trials and 90.9 points out of second place. With standings cumulative, he had a low chance of getting on the worlds team in the event and scratched out of finals.

MORE: U.S. Diving Trials Results

Still, Dorman previously made the worlds team in synchro springboard with Hixon. Each diver can build off his Olympic silver with a first world championships medal in Budapest in July.

Johnson qualified for three events at worlds — 1m and 3m springboard, plus the synchro platform with new partner Brandon Loschiavo. The 20-year-old Johnson previously competed at the 2015 Worlds, but not in any individual events. He finished 13th in the individual platform in Rio, one spot shy of making the finals.

Johnson took a break from the pounding of platform training after Rio but said his focus for worlds remains on the synchro platform rather than his individual springboard events.

With Dorman, Hixon and Johnson, the U.S. team at worlds boasts three Olympic men’s medalists. There are no Olympic medalists on the women’s side, but Rio Olympians Jessica Parratto (platform, synchro platform) and Kassidy Cook (synchro springboard) are back.

Perhaps the most promising member of the team is Tarrin Gilliland, a 14-year-old who will compete in both the women’s and mixed synchro platform events. Gilliland was third in the individual platform Sunday, missing the two-woman worlds team in that event by .05 of a point.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Chinese diving legend emotionally retires

U.S. roster for World Diving Championships

Men’s 3m Springboard
Michael Hixon (Olympian)
Steele Johnson (Olympian)

Women’s 3m Springboard
Brooke Schultz
Krysta Palmer

Men’s Platform
David Dinsmore
Jordan Windle

Women’s Platform
Jessica Parratto (Olympian)
Delaney Schnell

Men’s 1m Springboard

Michael Hixon (Olympian)
Steele Johnson (Olympian)

Women’s 1m Springboard
Maria Coburn
Alison Gibson

Men’s Synchro Springboard
Sam Dorman (Olympian)
Michael Hixon (Olympian)

Women’s Synchro Springboard
Maria Coburn
Kassidy Cook (Olympian)

Men’s Synchro Platform
Steele Johnson (Olympian)
Brandon Loschiavo

Women’s Synchro Platform
Tarrin Gilliland
Jessica Parratto (Olympian)

Mixed Synchro Springboard
Briadam Herrera
Lauren Reedy

Mixed Synchro Platform
Andrew Capobianco
Tarrin Gilliland

Chloe Kim, Adam Rippon, Rachael Denhollander among Time 100

chloe kim
Getty Images
Leave a comment

PyeongChang medalists Chloe Kim and Adam Rippon were among four Olympians named to the 2018 Time 100, along with former gymnast Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to publicly accuse Larry Nassar of sexual abuse.

The other Olympians were Kevin Durant and Roger Federer on the most influential people list. Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt also made it.

Kim made the list as a pioneer. Award-winning chef David Chang, a second-generation Korean American and special correspondent for NBC at the PyeongChang Olympics, wrote an essay about watching the snowboarder take halfpipe gold.

“I felt two things simultaneously: incredibly happy for her — I made her a celebratory churro ice cream sandwich, which I think she called “bomb” — but also sad, because the whole world was about to descend on this now 17-year-old girl,” he wrote. “Asian-­American fans further piled on their hopes that she would shatter Asian stereotypes on her way to the podium. And to top it all off, she was competing in her parents’ birth country, one that is notoriously judgmental of its diaspora.

“And you know what? She crushed it. Blew us all out of the water. Now the best thing Chloe Kim can do is be Chloe Kim. That’s not being selfish—that’s letting people know they don’t have to be anything that anyone says they should be.”

Cher wrote the Time essay for Rippon, the first openly gay figure skater to compete for a U.S. Olympic team.

“Adam is a skater who happens to be gay, and that represents something wonderful to young people,” she wrote. “When I was young, I had no role models—everyone looked like Sandra Dee and Doris Day. There was nobody who made me think, Oh, I could be like them. They represent me. Adam shows people that if you put blood, sweat and tears into what you’re doing, you can achieve something that’s special. You can be special. And I think that’s very brave.”

Like Rippon, the gymnast Denhollander made the Time 100 in the icon category. Olympic champion gymnast Aly Raisman, also a Nassar survivor, penned an essay.

“Rachael was there for each court session of that sentencing, each impact statement and each fellow survivor,” Raisman wrote. “This show of courage and conviction inspired many people to feel less like victims and more like survivors. We still have a long way to go before we achieve all the change that is so desperately needed, and I am grateful to be fighting alongside Rachael, my sister survivor!”

Here are Olympians and Paralympians on past Time 100 lists, counting only athletes who had competed in the Games before being listed:

2017 — Simone Biles, LeBron James, Neymar
2016 — Usain BoltCaitlyn JennerKatie LedeckySania MirzaRonda Rousey
2015 — Abby Wambach
2014 — Cristiano Ronaldo, Serena Williams
2013 — LeBron James, Li Na, Lindsey Vonn
2012 — Novak DjokovicLionel MessiOscar Pistorius
2011 — Lionel Messi
2010 — Yuna KimSerena Williams
2009 — Rafael Nadal
2008 — Andre Agassi, Lance Armstrong, Oscar Pistorius
2007 — Roger FedererChien Ming-Wang
2006 — Joey Cheek, Steve Nash
2005 — LeBron James
2004 — Lance Armstrong, Paula Radcliffe, Yao Ming
2000 (20th Century) — Muhammad Ali

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Rippon among Olympians in People’s Beautiful Issue

McKayla Maroney: I would have starved at Olympics without Larry Nassar

TODAY
Leave a comment

McKayla Maroney said she thought she “would have starved at the Olympics” in 2012 if Larry Nassar didn’t bring her food.

“Your coaches are just always watching you and wanting to keep you skinny,” Maroney said in an interview with Savannah Guthrie that will air in full on an hourlong “Dateline” special Sunday at 7 p.m. ET. “There’s just other things about the culture that are also messed up that he used against us.”

Past U.S. national team coordinators Bela and Martha Karolyi also gave interviews for the Dateline special “Silent No More.”

Maroney laughed when she said Nassar bought her a loaf of bread.

Her comments were shown on TODAY on Thursday, less than a day after her 2012 Olympic champion teammate Jordyn Wieber testified at a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing to discuss the roles of national governing bodies — like USA Gymnastics — in protecting athletes following the Nassar case.

“We couldn’t smile or laugh in training,” Wieber said at the hearing. “We were even afraid to eat too much in front of our coaches, who were pressured to keep us thin.”

Maroney, Wieber and other U.S. national team gymnasts had personal coaches and convened multiple times per year at the Karolyi ranch in Texas for national team camps. Wieber’s personal coach, John Geddert, was the 2012 Olympic team coach.

Geddert was suspended by USA Gymnastics in January and is facing a criminal investigation after Nassar, who molested girls at Geddert’s gym in Michigan, was sentenced to 40 to 125 years in prison on Jan. 24. Geddert said he had “zero knowledge” of Nassar’s crimes.

“Our athletes, like McKayla, are the heart and soul of USA Gymnastics, and every effort has been made to support our athletes’ development and provide the opportunities for them to achieve their dreams.” USA Gymnastics said in a statement to NBC News.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Full transcript of McKayla Maroney’s first comments since Larry Nassar case