Jessica Ennis

Jessica Ennis-Hill still interested in hurdles, but focused on heptathlon

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Jessica Ennis-Hill is focused on the heptathlon — not the 100m hurdles — as she trains to return to competition next summer after giving birth to her first child in July.

“I love the hurdles, and I still want to give that a serious go, but I’m training for the heptathlon for now and really focusing on that,” Ennis-Hill told Sky Sports. “I’m hoping to get a really good qualifying score for the Rio Games and take it from there, but I’m not pushing things too soon.”

Ennis-Hill, who resumed training in October, said in May that she had thought about going for the Rio Olympics in the 100m hurdles.

Ennis-Hill won the 2012 Olympic heptathlon with a Great Britain record 6,955 points and a whopping 306-point victory margin. The highest score in the world since then was 6,682 by Brit Katarina Johnson-Thompson in June.

Ennis-Hill has never contested the individual 100m hurdles at a World Championships or Olympics, though the hurdles are part of the seven-event heptathlon program.

Ennis-Hill owned the British record of 12.54 seconds in the 100m hurdles until Tiffany Porter broke it Sept. 14. Ennis-Hill’s top time of 12.54 would have placed fourth at the London Olympics and tied the gold-medal time at the Beijing Olympics.

Ennis-Hill, 28, has barely competed since her London Olympic triumph. She got married in May 2013, missed last year’s World Championships in the summer with an Achilles injury and announced her pregnancy in January.

If she focused on the hurdles, she wouldn’t be the first Olympic multi-event champion to seriously take on an individual event. Jackie Joyner-Kersee won three Olympic medals each in the heptathlon and the long jump. Reigning Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton ran the 400m hurdles this past season.

If Ennis-Hill sticks to the heptathlon for Rio 2016, she will try to join Joyner-Kersee as the only multiple Olympic gold medalists in the event.

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Eddy Alvarez, Olympic short track medalist, to play for Miami Marlins

Eddy Alvarez
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Eddy Alvarez realized his MLB dream, six years after earning a Winter Olympic medal, and during a global pandemic that affected his club more than any other U.S. professional sports franchise.

Alvarez, a 2014 U.S. Olympic short track speed skating medalist, is being added to the Miami Marlins roster for Tuesday’s restart of their abbreviated season, president of baseball operations Mike Hill said Monday, according to Marlins beat reporters.

The 30-year-old was among a group added after as many as 18 Marlins tested positive for the coronavirus last week, forcing the club to cancel seven games.

Alvarez is believed to be the first U.S. Winter Olympian to become a Major League Baseball player.

He may be the second Olympic medalist in a sport other than baseball to make it to the majors, joining Jim Thorpe. (Michael Jordan tried to do so with the Chicago White Sox, playing Double-A in 1994, but returned to the Chicago Bulls in 1995.)

Alvarez, a Miami native, played baseball in high school and at Salt Lake Community College before focusing on short track in 2012 for a 2014 Olympic run.

He came back from missing the 2010 Olympic team and surgeries on both knees, reportedly leaving him immobile and bedpan dependent for four to six weeks, to make the Sochi Winter Games. Eddy the Jet earned a silver medal in the 5000m relay.

Then Alvarez returned to baseball after three years away. He signed a minor-league contract with the Chicago White Sox in June 2014. He worked his way through the minors between that franchise and the Marlins system.

Alvarez was a Kannapolis Intimidator, a New Orleans Baby Cake and a Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.

Now, he’s a big leaguer.

“It definitely was a chance, picking up a kid who hasn’t played in three years who is starting at the age of 24,” Alvarez said in 2014. “It’s not your typical story, but I play like a 17-year-old kid. I’m running around everywhere. I’m diving around everywhere. I’m full of life. I definitely see my progression moving at a rapid pace.”

MORE: What Olympic baseball, softball return looks like in 2021

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Katie Ledecky balances glass of chocolate milk on her head while swimming

Katie Ledecky
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Katie Ledecky will always remember Aug. 3 as the date she won her first Olympic gold medal, at age 15 in 2012.

Now, she can also associate it with the time she created another kind of buzz on social media.

The five-time Olympic champion posted video of her swimming the length of a pool while balancing a glass of chocolate milk on her head. Barely any, if any, milk spilled into the pool.

Ledecky swam as part of a new got milk? ad campaign.

“Hoooowww nervous were you when you did this?!” fellow Olympic champion and training partner Simone Manuel asked Ledecky on Instagram.

“I have never braced my core so hard,” Ledecky wrote. “It’s a great drill!”

“Try doing it breaststroke,” British Olympic 100m breaststroke champion and world-record holder Adam Peaty wrote.

“Is it wrong of me to think this is even more impressive than a few of your WR’s?!!!” wrote 1992 Olympic champion Summer Sanders.

MORE: The meet where Kathleen Ledecky became Katie Ledecky

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