Gwen Jorgensen

Gwen Jorgensen’s triathlon bike helmet includes Paul Bunyan, Bucky Badger

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World champion triathlete Gwen Jorgensen‘s bike helmet includes designs of Paul Bunyan and Bucky Badger, homages to her roots.

Jorgensen debuted the headgear at the World Triathlon Series event in Yokohama, Japan, on Saturday. The 2012 Olympian won her record-extending ninth straight WTS race and is a heavy favorite to win the U.S.’ first Olympic triathlon gold medal next year.

Jorgensen resides in St. Paul, Minn., (when not training in Australia or Spain) and competed for the Wisconsin Badgers in track and field, cross-country running and swimming before turning to triathlon.

The next World Triathlon Series race is May 31 in London.

Jorgensen blogged about her experience in Japan and her new helmet:

You may have noticed I had a few new accessories at Yokohama, my favorite being a new helmet design. A few weeks ago, Red Bull mailed me a newly designed Specialized Evade helmet. It is one of the neatest things I own and means so much to me because it tells a story about where I come from. On one side of the helmet is Bucky Badger (Go UW Badgers!) catching monarch butterflies. The monarch butterfly is Minnesota’s state insect. On the other side is Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. Paul Bunyan is American Folklore. He traveled around Minnesota, and each one of his footsteps is said to have created one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes. He is also known for eating huge stacks of pancakes. I couldn’t be happier to carry pieces of my Minnesota home with me everywhere I go, thanks to Red Bull. I also raced in new running flats: ASICS Tartherzeal 3. They are lighter than my previous race shoes and have more grip (which proved to be VERY useful in the rain!)

Here are images of Jorgensen’s helmet, via witsup.com:

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Mark Spitz takes on Katie Ledecky’s challenge

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Swimmers around the world took on Katie Ledecky‘s milk-glass challenge since it became a social media sensation, including one of the few Americans with more Olympic gold medals.

Mark Spitz, who won seven golds at the 1972 Munich Games, took 10 strokes in an at-home pool while perfectly balancing a glass of what appeared to be water on his head.

“Would’ve been faster with the ‘stache, @markspitzusa, but I still give this 7 out of 7 gold medals,” Ledecky tweeted.

Spitz joined fellow Olympic champions Susie O’Neill of Australia and American Matt Grevers in posting similar videos to what Ledecky first shared Monday.

In Tokyo next year, Ledecky can pass Spitz’s career gold-medal count of nine if she wins all of her expected events — 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyles and the 4x200m free relay.

Then she would trail one athlete from any country in any sport — Michael Phelps, the 23-time gold medalist who has yet to post video of swimming while balancing a glass on his head.

MORE: Spitz puts Michael Phelps’ career in perspective

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Serena Williams, reclusive amid pandemic, returns to tennis eyeing Grand Slam record

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Serena Williams travels with “like 50 masks” and has been a little bit of a recluse since early March and the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t have full lung capacity, so I’m not sure what would happen to me,” Williams said Saturday, two days before the start of the WTA’s Top Seed Open in Lexington, Ky., her first tournament since playing Fed Cup in early February. “I’m sure I’ll be OK, but I don’t want to find out.”

Williams, 38, has a history of blood clots and pulmonary embolisms. She faced life-threatening complications following her Sept. 1, 2017, childbirth that confined her to a bed for six weeks. She said her daily routine was surgery and that she lost count after the first four.

More recently, Williams enjoyed “every part” of the last six months at home in Florida, her longest time grounded since her teens.

“I’ve been a little neurotic, to an extent,” on health and safety, she said. “Everyone in the Serena bubble is really protected.”

Williams is entered to play next week in Lexington and at consecutive tournaments in New York City later this month — the Western & Southern Open and U.S. Open, the latter starting Aug. 31.

Williams is the highest-ranked player in the Lexington field at No. 9. Others include 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, older sister Venus Williams and 16-year-old Coco Gauff.

She has been bidding ever since having daughter Olympia to tie Margaret Court‘s record 24 Grand Slam singles titles, albeit many of Court’s crowns came before the Open Era and, notably at the Australian Open, against small fields lacking the world’s best players. Williams reached the last two Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals, losing all of them.

She showed her seriousness in committing early to this year’s U.S. Open by installing a court at home with the same surface. Three of the top 10 female singles players already said they will skip the U.S. Open due to travel and/or virus concerns, including No. 1 Ash Barty.

“Tennis is naturally a socially distanced sport, so it was kind of easy to go back and just walk on my side of the court and have my hitter walk on his side of the court,” Williams said.

The French Open starts two weeks after the U.S. Open ends. Williams was asked if she will fly to Europe for tournaments this autumn.

“I see myself doing it all, if it happens,” she said.

The Tokyo Olympics are too far away to make plans.

“We’ll have to kind of wait to see what happens in the fall,” she said. “One thing I have learned with this pandemic is don’t plan.”

MORE: Past U.S. Open champions get wild cards

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