Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky top loaded Austin swim meet field

Natalie Coughlin, Michael Phelps
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Michael Phelps is expected to lead a gathering of the most decorated active swimmers at a Pro Swim Series meet in Austin, Texas, next week, streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra.

The meet runs from Jan. 15-17, with finals at 7 ET each night. USASwimming.org will live stream all sessions, while Live Extra will live stream the Jan. 16-17 finals.

Phelps, a 22-time Olympic medalist, is slated to be joined by nine-time World champion Katie Ledecky, 12-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin, 11-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte and five-time 2012 Olympic medalist Missy Franklin.

It’s the first time that quintet will compete in the same meet since the August 2014 U.S. Championships.

Phelps, Ledecky, Lochte and Franklin all competed at the last Pro Swim Series meet in Minneapolis in November. Phelps and Franklin then took part in the Winter Nationals in December, while Lochte and Franklin helped the U.S. to a Duel in the Pool victory one week later.

U.S. swimmers are gearing up for the Olympic trials in Omaha, Neb., in June and July, when the top two finishers per individual event will make the Olympic team.

Last year, Phelps came back from a DUI arrest and suspension to post the world’s fastest times in the 100m and 200m butterfly and 200m individual medley.

Ledecky was the star of the World Championships in August, bagging a meet-topping five gold medals.

Franklin, coming off two years of NCAA competition and returning from an August 2014 back injury, also earned five Worlds medals, including a silver and a bronze in individual events.

Lochte captured his fourth straight World title in the 200m individual medley using a turn off the last wall that has since been outlawed by FINA.

Coughlin did not qualify for the World Championships team but nonetheless resurged, ranking No. 1 in the U.S. in the 100m backstroke and No. 3 in the 100m freestyle.

Times in Austin aren’t expected to be particularly fast as swimmers train to peak in the summer.

The Pro Swim Series continues after Austin with a meet in Orlando from March 3-5.

MORE SWIMMING: Phelps eyes coaching in retirement

Joel Embiid gains U.S. citizenship, mum on Olympic nationality

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Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid said he is now a U.S. citizen and it’s way too early to think about what nation he would represent at the Olympics.

“I just want to be healthy and win a championship and go from there,” he said, according to The Associated Press.

Embiid, 28, was born in Cameroon and has never competed in a major international tournament. In July, he gained French nationality, a step toward being able to represent that nation at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In the spring, French media reported that Embiid started the process to become eligible to represent France in international basketball, quoting national team general manager Boris Diaw.

Embiid was second in NBA MVP voting this season behind Serbian Nikola Jokic. He was the All-NBA second team center.

What nation Embiid represents could have a major impact on the Paris Games.

In Tokyo, a French team led by another center, Rudy Gobert, handed the U.S. its first Olympic defeat since 2004. That was in group play. The Americans then beat the French in the gold-medal game 87-82.

That France team had five NBA players to the U.S.’ 12: Nicolas BatumEvan FournierTimothe Luwawu-CabarrotFrank Ntilikina and Gobert.

Anthony Davis, who skipped the Tokyo Olympics, is the lone U.S. center to make an All-NBA team in the last five seasons. In that time, Embiid made four All-NBA second teams and Gobert made three All-NBA third teams.

No Olympic team other than the U.S. has ever had two reigning All-NBA players on its roster.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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LA 2028, Delta unveil first-of-its-kind emblems for Olympics, Paralympics

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Emblems for the 2028 Los Angeles Games that include logos of Delta Air Lines is the first integration of its kind in Olympic and Paralympic history.

Organizers released the latest set of emblems for the LA 2028 Olympics and Paralympics on Thursday, each with a Delta symbol occupying the “A” spot in LA 28.

Two years ago, the LA 2028 logo concept was unveiled with an ever-changing “A” that allowed for infinite possibilities. Many athletes already created their own logos, as has NBC.

“You can make your own,” LA28 chairperson Casey Wasserman said in 2020. “There’s not one way to represent Los Angeles, and there is strength in our diverse cultures. We have to represent the creativity and imagination of Los Angeles, the diversity of our community and the big dreams the Olympic and Paralympic Games provide.”

Also in 2020, Delta was announced as LA 2028’s inaugural founding partner. Becoming the first partner to have an integrated LA 2028 emblem was “extremely important for us,” said Emmakate Young, Delta’s managing director, brand marketing and sponsorships.

“It is a symbol of our partnership with LA, our commitment to the people there, as well as those who come through LA, and a commitment to the Olympics,” she said.

The ever-changing emblem succeeds an angelic bid logo unveiled in February 2016 when the city was going for the 2024 Games, along with the slogan, “Follow the Sun.” In July 2017, the IOC made a historic double awarding of the Olympics and Paralympics — to Paris for 2024 and Los Angeles for 2028.

The U.S. will host its first Olympics and Paralympics since 2002 (and first Summer Games since 1996), ending its longest drought between hosting the Games since the 28-year gap between 1932 and 1960.

Delta began an eight-year Olympic partnership in 2021, becoming the official airline of Team USA and the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

Athletes flew to this year’s Winter Games in Beijing on chartered Delta flights and will do so for every Games through at least 2028.

Previously, Delta sponsored the last two Olympics held in the U.S. — the 1996 Atlanta Games and the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games.

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