David Boudia, Steele Johnson win U.S. Olympic Diving Trials

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Steele Johnson wouldn’t let the reality sink in until after the final dive Thursday night. David Boudia wouldn’t let him.

Standing off to the side of the 10-meter platform, Johnson realized he and synchronized diving teammate Boudia had such a large lead if they didn’t complete their final dive they would still win the final round and earn spots in the Olympic Games.

But Boudia, who competed in the 2008 and 20012 Olympics, reeled in his teammate and the pair completed their final dive, finishing with a score of 1,326.57 to cement their spot on the U.S. team.

Ryan Hawkins and Toby Stanley finished in second at 1,088.55.

“I knew we didn’t have to do our last dive because we were so far ahead, but (David) brought me back down to where we needed to be,” Johnson said. “He said we still had a job to do, but the second we hit the water (the emotions) came out.”

They won by 238 points, and they did it Indianapolis just miles from their hometowns. And if there was a moment where the two left no doubt in the minds of their competitors and spectators that were present, it was their 4 1/2-rotation forward summersault in the fifth round that garnered a 101.01 from the judges and an almost standing ovation from the crowd in attendance.

“How those dives went tonight is how they go in training,” Johnson said.

Boudia added, “Diving like this is in our bag of tricks, we train like this. But for it to play out like this in competition right before we leave for (Rio) is exactly what we wanted. Yes we did make it to the Olympic Games, but this isn’t where (success) stops. This is just the beginning.”

Boudia said Thursday night was the most emotional he has ever been in this, his third time making the Summer Games.

As the two came out of the water on their final dive, they ran over to the section where their families were sitting. Boudia hugged his wife and then raised his daughter into the air before hugging her. Johnson’s family, all of them donning matching t-shirts in support of Steele, gathered around the railing and waited for Johnson. When Johnson made it to the railing, he and his father shared a very emotional moment as the two hugged.

Johnson said he had been off social media for three weeks, and would only hop back on the grid for tonight. Tomorrow, the two will be back on the platform, practicing for the 10-meter individual final Sunday (standings here). Then, preparing for the Olympics in less than two months will be the only focus.

As Johnson began talking about the individual task ahead of both divers for Sunday’s event and the training the pair still needs before Rio, Boudia interrupted his teammate — it was time for Johnson to embrace the moment and forget about everything else.

“We get to enjoy this night,” Boudia said, looking at Johnson as he started to fight back tears.

MORE: Athletes qualified for U.S. Olympic team

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde wins Beaver Creek downhill

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde
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BEAVER CREEK, Colo. — Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde won his second straight World Cup downhill race to start the season, despite feeling under the weather.

Although dealing with an illness all week in training, Kilde powered through the challenging Birds of Prey course Saturday in a time of 1 minute, 42.09 seconds. It was enough to hold off Marco Odermatt of Switzerland by 0.06 seconds. James Crawford of Canada was third to earn his second career World Cup podium finish.

Kilde also won the opening downhill last weekend in Lake Louise, Alberta.

“It’s been a tough week,” Kilde said after the race. “I caught the flu in Lake Louise after a very, very nice weekend. It really hit me hard. Then I got a couple of days to rest and take it easy. … I felt OK. Still feeling it a little bit in my system.”

The Beaver Creek crew members had the course in solid shape a day after a downhill race was canceled due to high wind and snowfall.

ALPINE SKIING: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Kilde reached speeds around 75 mph in picking up his eighth World Cup downhill victory. That tied him with Kjetil Jansrud for the third-most downhill wins in the World Cup discipline among Norwegian men. The total trails only Aksel Lund Svindal (14) and Lasse Kjus (10).

“I found a really, really good set-up with my equipment and also with my skiing,” Kilde explained. “I believe in myself. I trust in myself. I have a good game plan. When I stand on the start, I don’t dwell on anything. I know that this plan is what I do and when I do that it’s going to be fast.”

Odermatt has been on the podium in all four World Cup races this season as he tries to defend his overall World Cup title. The 25-year-old finished third in the opening downhill of the season last weekend. He’s also won a giant slalom race and a super-G.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle wound up in seventh place for the top American finish. He was ninth in the downhill in Lake Louise.

“It’s been solid,” Cochran-Siegle said of his strides in the discipline. “A couple of little things here and there that pushed me off that top three. You have to ski with a lot of intensity and ski without abandon, in a sense. Today was a good step.”

Switzerland’s Beat Feuz, who won the Olympic downhill gold medal at the Beijing Games last February, tied for ninth.

The Beaver Creek stop on the circuit comes to a close Sunday with a super-G race. Odermatt will be the favorite after holding off Kilde in the opening super-G last weekend.

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Summer McIntosh, Canadian teen swimmer, caps record year with another historic time

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Summer McIntosh swam the fourth-fastest 400m individual medley in history on Friday, capping a year that already included world titles, Commonwealth Games titles and a victory over Katie Ledecky.

McIntosh, a 16-year-old Canadian whose mom swam at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, won the 400m IM in 4 minutes, 28.61 seconds at the U.S. Open in Greensboro, N.C. She prevailed by a Ledecky-like 13.24 seconds, breaking her own national record that was previously the fourth-fastest time in history.

“It’s still pretty early in the season, so I didn’t really know what to expect going into it,” she said on Peacock.

The only two women who ever went faster in the event known as the decathlon of swimming are Olympic gold medalists: Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (world record 4:26.36 and 4:28.58) and China’s Ye Shiwen (4:28.43).

McIntosh has come a long way in a short time. Three years ago, she put all her eggs in the 1500m freestyle basket, thinking it was her best shot to merely qualify for the Tokyo Games in 2020. The one-year Olympic postponement was a blessing.

The rapidly improving McIntosh swam three individual events in Tokyo with a top finish of fourth in the 400m free, just missing becoming the youngest swimming medalist since 1996. She then told her coach she wanted to become an IMer.

At this past June’s world championships, McIntosh won two of the most grueling events — 400m IM and 200m butterfly — to become the youngest individual world champion since 2011. She also took silver to Ledecky in the 400m free, an event in which she later beat Ledecky in a short-course meet (25-meter pool rather than the 50-meter pool used for the Olympics).

A month after worlds, McIntosh swept the IMs at the Commonwealth Games, where she broke more world junior records and again took second in the 400m free (this time to Olympic champ and world record holder Ariarne Titmus of Australia).

McIntosh, who turned professional last year, now trains full-time in Sarasota, Florida, where she rents a house with her mom, Jill Horstead, who was ninth in the 200m fly at the 1984 Olympics (McIntosh, whose passions include the Kardashians and plants from Target, has seen video of her mom winning the B final at those Games). They’re a three-hour drive down Interstate 75 from Ledecky’s base in Gainesville.

Also Friday, Erin Gemmell celebrated her 18th birthday by nearly becoming the first American to beat Ledecky in a 200m freestyle in nearly nine years. Ledecky won by 42 hundredths of a second in 1:56.74 and said she had an off-day while also praising Gemmell, the daughter of her former coach.

NBC airs U.S. Open highlights on Dec. 10 at 4:30 p.m. ET.

U.S. OPEN SWIMMING: Full Results

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