Author: Jason Devaney

Rebecca Adlington

British swimmer Rebecca Adlington retires at 23

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British swimmer Rebecca Adlington joined swimming’s list of retirees on Tuesday when she announced her decision to stop swimming at the competitive level.

The 23-year-old said distance swimming is in the hands of the younger generation now. She’s right about that: 15-year-old American Katie Ledecky won the 800m freestyle at last summer’s London Olympics, while Adlington finished third.

Adlington also earned a bronze medal in the 400m freestyle. She won both events at the Beijing Games.

“I have achieved everything I wanted to,” said Adlington, who many British fans simply call ‘Becky.’ “Some people want to milk it all they can. I’ve always said I wanted to finish on a high, despite my love of the sport.

“I did feel old at 23, female distance swimming is going a lot younger as was evident in London,” she added. “I can’t compete with that and can’t do the same level of work. I need a lot more rest and recovery. I think it was the perfect time.”

Adlington, who took time after the London Olympics to ride a bicycle across the African nation Zambia for charity, wants to help grow the sport of swimming in Great Britain.

“My vision is that every child in Britain will be able to swim 25 meters by the time they leave primary school,” she said. “Being able to swim is such a wonderful life skill, and I see this as my greatest challenge in swimming.”

Adlington’s retirement news reached the U.S., where Michael Phelps – who is probably still celebrating the Baltimore Ravens’ victory in the Super Bowl – weighed in: “Our paths have crossed many times over the years … Her accomplishments speak for themselves, she has been a great representative for British Swimming and the sport overall. I congratulate her on a fantastic career and wish her all the best in the future.”

FLASHBACK: Lindsey Vonn’s injury history

Lindsey Vonn 2009 World Cup crash
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Lindsey Vonn’s crash at the Alpine Worlds on Tuesday was certainly the most severe injury of her career, as she tore two ligaments in her right knee during the super-G. But it’s not the first time the American has been injured on the slopes, particularly at important events.

Here’s a brief history of Vonn’s injuries:

2006 Olympics
Vonn crashed in a downhill training run and was taken off the mountain via helicopter. She suffered a bruised hip but competed two days later, finishing eighth in the event.

2007 World Championships
Vonn crashed in a slalom training run and suffered a sprained ACL, which ended her season. Before the crash, she earned silver medals in the downhill and super-G.

2009 World Championships
Vonn won the downhill title at the 2009 Worlds, and then while celebrating she cut her right thumb on a broken champagne bottle. The incident left her with a cut tendon, which required surgery. She ended the Worlds with gold medals in the downhill and super-G.

2009-10 World Cup
Vonn crashed during a World Cup giant slalom run in December – shortly before the 2010 Olympics – and bruised her arm. There was no fracture and she continued to ski.

2010 Olympics
A week before the Games started, Vonn bruised her shin during a training run. She called the pain “excruciating” when she tried to put on a ski boot. She skied through the pain to win gold in the downhill and bronze in the super-G.

During the giant slalom, Vonn crashed and broke her right pinkie. She later crashed out of the super-combined after falling during a slalom run.

2011 World Championships
Vonn crashed during a training run one week before the 2011 Worlds started and suffered a concussion. She raced anyway, finishing second in the downhill and seventh in the super-G.

2012-13 World Cup
Vonn suffered from an intestinal illness early in the season and missed two races. After returning briefly to the slopes, she decided to take an extended break over the holiday season before returning in early January.

2013 World Championships
In her first race on the opening day of the competition, Vonn crashed hard in her super-G run and was airlifted to the hospital. Doctors said she tore two ligaments in her right knee.

Here’s a video of today’s crash at the World Championships:

Michael Phelps arrives at the Super Bowl

Michael Pheps and Ray Lewis

The Baltimore Ravens’ No. 1 fan has arrived in New Orleans, the site of Sunday’s Super Bowl.

Michael Phelps, who can also be called the Greatest Olympian of All Time (G.O.A.T.), hopes to cap his busy – and definitely exciting – week by witnessing a Ravens victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

Phelps visited the Ping headquarters in Phoenix earlier this week, where he was fitted with a brand new – and custom designed – set of golf clubs. And when we say custom, we really mean custom. Then the 22-time Olympic medalist played in Wednesday’s pro-Am with golfer Bubba Watson at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he was mobbed by fans, got booed on the famous par-3 16th hole and admitted he was “very nervous” playing golf in front of so many people.

(Note: We’ll see more of Phelps on the golf course starting Feb. 25 on Golf Channel.)

After his round on the links, Phelps hopped on a plane bound for Super Bowl land. Now he’s there to cheer on his favorite team (the Ravens) and his favorite player (Ray Lewis). We’ll leave out any deer antler jokes.

But seriously, enjoy NOLA, Mr. G.O.A.T.