Janet Evans
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Janet Evans to lead Los Angeles 2024 Olympic bid athletes’ commission

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Janet Evans, a four-time Olympic swimming champion and Southern California native, will head up the Los Angeles 2024 Olympic bid athletes’ commission, being named the bid’s vice chair on Thursday.

She attended the last Olympics in Los Angeles, in 1984, at age 12.

“I’m honored to join this team and will do everything I can to help L.A.’s bid,” Evans said in a press release. “I remember sitting in the stands as a young fan at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum in 1984, and those athletes truly inspired my athletic pursuits.”

Evans will work closely with Olympians and Paralympians to ensure their voices are heard as Los Angeles bids for the 2024 Olympics against Budapest, Hamburg, Paris and Rome.

Evans “will ensure that we remain in dialogue with the athletes and constantly identify new ways to refine and improve our offering,” Los Angeles 2024 bid chairman Casey Wasserman said in a press release.

Evans, of Fullerton, Calif., won five combined medals at the Seoul 1988 and Barcelona 1992 Olympics, retired after Atlanta 1996 and attempted a comeback before the London 2012 Olympics but did not make the team at the Olympic trials.

Evans, 44, was among many star U.S. Olympians who helped announce the bid Sept. 1.

International Olympic Committee members will vote to choose the 2024 Olympic host city in September 2017.

MORE 2024 Olympics: Watch L.A. 2024 promo video

Gregorio Paltrinieri swims second-fastest 1500m freestyle in history

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Olympic champion Gregorio Paltrinieri swam the second-fastest 1500m freestyle in history, clocking 14:33.10 in his native Italy on Thursday.

Paltrinieri, 25, missed Chinese Sun Yang‘s world record from the 2012 Olympics by 2.08 seconds.

The Italian now owns the second- and third-fastest times in history, including his 14:34.10 from the 2016 European Championships, also held at the 2012 Olympic pool in London.

Paltrinieri is a versatile distance swimmer. At last year’s world championships, he finished sixth in the open-water 10km to qualify for the Olympics, then won the 800m free in the pool in a European record time and finished with 1500m bronze, just missing a third straight world title in that event.

German Florian Wellbrock won the 1500m in 14:36.54 at worlds, with Paltrinieri finishing 2.21 seconds back.

Sun, 28, was in February banned eight years stemming from destroying a drug-test sample with a hammer in September 2018. Sun, who focused more on the 200m and 400m frees in recent years, did not race the 1500m at the 2017 or 2019 Worlds.

Top-level swim meets in the U.S. are scheduled to resume in November with the Tyr Pro Series.

MORE: Michael Phelps qualifies for first Olympics at age 15

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Bianca Andreescu to miss U.S. Open

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Bianca Andreescu withdrew from the U.S. Open, citing “unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic” compromising her ability to prepare to defend her Grand Slam title.

“I have taken this step in order to focus on my match fitness and ensure that I return ready to play at my highest level,” Andreescu, a 20-year-old Canadian, posted on social media. “The US Open victory last year has been the high point of my career thus far and I will miss not being there. However, I realize that the unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic, have compromised my ability to prepare and compete to the degree necessary to play at my highest level.”

Andreescu’s absence means the U.S. Open, the first Grand Slam tournament since tennis resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic, will be without both 2019 male and female singles champions.

Rafael Nadal previously announced he would not defend his title, saying he would rather not travel given the global situation. Roger Federer is also out after knee surgery. Women’s No. 1 Ash Barty didn’t enter, either, citing travel concerns.

Last year, Andreescu made her U.S. Open title run as the 15th seed, sweeping Serena Williams in the final. Ranked 208th a year earlier, she became the first player born in the 2000s to win a Slam and the first teen Slam winner since Maria Sharapova at the 2006 U.S. Open.

Andreescu then missed the Australian Open in January due to rehab from a knee injury that forced her to retire during a match at the WTA Finals on Oct. 30. She also missed the French Open and Wimbledon in 2019 following a rotator cuff tear.

MORE: Serena Williams, reclusive amid pandemic, returns to tennis competition

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