Lindsey Vonn, Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods in Val d’Isere, plans to support Lindsey Vonn on road to Sochi Olympics

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It looks like Lindsey Vonn will have company for her downhill race in Val d’Isere, France, on Saturday — boyfriend Tiger Woods.

Woods was spotted in Val d’Isere on Friday, a day after a blog was posted on his website saying he would put his “clubs away for a while” to spend time with his kids and support Vonn as she prepares for the Sochi Olympics.

“We see our sports through the same looking glass in how we approach them,” the blog read. “We both work very hard and are prepared for our seasons. And when we’re ready to go, we give it everything we possibly have and there’s no holding back. I think that’s some of our commonalities. But she has to be way more aggressive in her sport than I have to be in mine. You’re trying to make your way down a mountain at 80-plus mph, and you have to have the adrenaline and the aggressiveness to do it.

“But I think it’s the preparation that we both appreciate and the fact that we can do it time and time again, and we’ve done it for a long period of time. It’s not a flash in the pan, and you just don’t do it for one year — she’s done it for 13 years, and I’ve done it for 18 years. As far as Lindsey competing in Sochi, we’re very hopeful. It all depends on how that knee is.”

Vonn has said Woods has helped her return from major knee surgery because he’s gone through it before.

“Having experienced reconstructive surgery on my knee and the ensuing rehab, and the amount of pain associated with it, it’s really hard to explain to anybody unless you’ve been through it,” the blog said. “And then coming back on it athletically, to trust that it’s going to be there, that’s a whole different ballgame. I’ve had my share of experiences in that regard — unfortunately — but I think it helps her in a sense because she can bounce ideas off me about what to expect. It is a frustrating process and really difficult to go through.”

Woods and Vonn have both been asked if Woods will be attending the Sochi Olympics and have said they are unsure, citing his schedule and Vonn’s status not being 100 percent for the Games. Though Vonn appears more and more likely to compete with every training run.

Lindsey Vonn ponders World Cup career wins record

Simone Biles returns to the gym, going from mental drain to physical pain

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For Simone Biles, this was supposed to be the stretch run of a legendary career.

Instead, she returned to her gym on May 18 with long-term thoughts of waiting 14 months until the Tokyo Olympics. And the immediate aches of a world-class gymnast who just missed nearly two months of regular training.

“After that amount of time off, it kind of sucks because your body hurts and then you get really sore,” Biles said in a pre-recorded ESPNW interview that aired Thursday. “So you just have to get back into the swing of things. But it felt nice to see my coaches, my teammates, and just to be back on the equipment and in the environment.”

In that same Texas gym three months ago, Biles had a far different outlook. One that would have put fear into any gymnast who still harbored ambition of ending her near-seven-year win streak.

“I never felt more ready this early in the season,” she said. “I was so ready for the Olympics to be this year.”

Biles repeated in interviews the last two months that the Olympic postponement to 2021 was devastating. Thoughts zig-zagged: How do I go on another year, at age 23, in a sport recently dominated by (but not limited to) teenagers?

“I’m getting pretty old,” she said in the interview published Thursday. “Will I be at the top of my game?”

Biles proved the last two years — after a year off — that she can win — and comfortably — while not at her best. She grabbed the 2018 World all-around title by a record margin — with two falls. Last year, she became the most decorated gymnast in world championships history. In Tokyo, she can become the first woman to repeat as Olympic all-around champion, and the only one older than 20, in more than 50 years.

This for a gymnast whose early goal was to earn a college scholarship. Biles did, to UCLA, but had to give it up by turning professional.

“So I’ve exceeded that,” Biles said. “And then I wanted to go to world championships and Olympics, and I’ve been to five worlds and one Olympic Games. So, I’d be more than happy [to walk away].”

After gymnastics, Biles has another goal — to be a voice for foster kids. She was in foster care multiple times before being adopted at age 6 by grandparents Ron and Nellie.

Those plans, along with so much else for Biles and so many others, have been pushed back a full year.

“I was already being mentally drained and almost, not done with the sport, but just going into the gym and feeling tired and being like, OK, I’m going to get my stuff [done], get out,” she said. “We have this one end goal, and now that it’s postponed another [year], it’s just like, how are we going to deal with that? We’re already being drained, and so it’s to keep the fire in the sport within yourself alive.”

MORE: Top U.S. gymnasts disagree with Tokyo Olympic age rule

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2022 Pan Pacific Championships canceled as swimming calendar shifts

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The Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, a quadrennial major international meet, will not be held in 2022 “out of respect for the recent changes to the international sporting calendar,” according to a press release.

The Pan Pacs’ charter nations — the U.S., Australia, Canada and Japan — agreed to the move. The 2026 event will be held in Canada, which was supposed to be the 2022 host.

The decision came after the 2021 World Championships were moved to May 2022, following the Tokyo Olympics moving from 2020 to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The quadrennial multi-sport Commonwealth Games — which includes Australia and Canada, but not the U.S. or Japan — are scheduled for July 27-Aug. 7, 2022.

“Organizing a third major championships in that window presented several challenges,” according to the Pan Pacs release.

Pan Pacs mark the third-biggest major international meet for U.S. swimmers, held in non-Olympic, non-world championships years.

MORE: Caeleb Dressel co-hosts a podcast. It’s not about swimming.

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