Troy Dumais ends storied diving career on emotional note (video)

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The final competitive dive of Troy Dumais‘ storied career was one of his toughest.

As he stepped up on the springboard in the final round of the U.S. Olympic Diving Trials on Saturday, the crowd at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis gave the 36-year-old, four-time Olympian a standing ovation. He was already out of contention for a berth in a fifth Olympics, but he still wanted to nail his forward dive with two and a half somersaults and two twists.

“It took a lot out of me, I’ve got to be honest with you,” Dumais told NBC after the emotional dive.

But he executed flawlessly and called it a career – one of the greatest the sport of diving has ever seen. He didn’t use the word “retire,” but Dumais did say, “It’s been a great career.”

He was bidding to become the first U.S. man to dive in five Olympic Games, and he would have been the oldest to qualify for the U.S. Olympic diving team since at least 1912. Four-time Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis is the only other U.S. male to qualify for four Olympics.

VIDEO: U.S. Olympic Diving Trials

Ultimately, Dumais finished fourth when only the top two divers go to the Olympics. Since May, he’s been bothered by a nerve injury that causes numbness in his right arm.

But he fought through the pain and goes out as one of the most decorated U.S. divers of all time: 38 national championships, 21 consecutive national teams made (first appearance at age 16), seven NCAA championships, five World Championships medals, three-time USA Diving Athlete of the Year, and one Olympic medal.

He earned that bronze four years ago in London with synchronized partner Kristian Ipsen, the man who won the individual springboard event Saturday night. Upon clinching his Olympic berth, Ipsen was immediately greeted by Dumais.

“It was cool because he just said ‘You’re going to kill it,'” Ipsen said afterward. “It’s pretty awesome. He’s been to four Olympics now, so for him to say that was like passing on the torch. It was a really cool moment.”

Dumais’ final night was full of memorable moments.

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Russia to finish Youth Olympics with most medals

AP
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Russia clinched the top spot in the Youth Olympic medal standings, two days before the Closing Ceremony in Buenos Aires and eight months after it was excluded from the PyeongChang Winter Games for its doping problems.

The Russians have 52 medals with 25 golds so far, distancing the rest of the world.

1. Russia — 52 total, 25 gold
2. China — 36 total, 18 gold
3. Mixed NOCs — 36 total, 12 gold
4. Japan — 34 total, 14 gold
5. Italy — 31 total, 10 gold
10. U.S. — 15 total, 4 gold

China and Russia went one-two in total medals at the first two Youth Olympics in Singapore in 2010 and Nanjing, China in 2014. The U.S. has never topped a Youth Olympic total medal table, be it Summer or Winter Games.

The U.S. has, however, earned the most total medals at the last six Summer Olympics, beginning with the 1996 Atlanta Games.

The Youth Olympics, for athletes ages 14 to 18, do not emphasize medal counts (plus have many medal events where athletes from different nations compete on the same team). The Games include many Olympic events and some that are not on the Olympic program, including break dancing, where a Russian who goes by Bumblebee earned gold last week.

The next Youth Olympics are the winter version in the IOC base of Lausanne, Switzerland, in 2020, followed by the summer version in 2022 in Dakar, Senegal, the first Olympic Games of any kind to be held in Africa.

The Youth Olympics conclude with the last full day of medal competition on Wednesday and the Closing Ceremony on Thursday.

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Aliya Mustafina returns to gymnastics worlds, year after giving birth

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Aliya Mustafina, an all-around medalist at the last two Olympics, made Russia’s team for next week’s world gymnastics championships, 16 months after giving birth to daughter Alisa.

Mustafina, 24, is joined by one Rio Olympic teammate, Angelina Melnikova, and three world championships rookies (plus Olympian Daria Spiridonova as an alternate), according to Russia’s gymnastics federation.

Mustafina is the last non-American woman to win an Olympic or world championships all-around, back in 2010 in her first year as a senior gymnast. A series of injuries followed, including surgeries on both knees and her left ankle.

She missed the 2015 Worlds with back pain but rebounded for a medal of every color in Rio (uneven bars gold, team silver and all-around bronze, just as she had done at London 2012).

Her seven total Olympic medals are tied for the most by a Russian woman since the fall of the Soviet Union with retired gymnast Svetlana Khorkina.

Viktoria Komova, the 2012 Olympic all-around silver medalist who has also struggled with injuries, is not on Russia’s team for worlds in Doha. She last competed at a global championship in 2015, sharing the uneven bars title with three other gymnasts.

Mustafina joins a list of distinguished moms to return to the top level of gymnastics, including Oksana Chusovitina, who began competing in the Soviet Union in the 1980s and, seven Olympics later, is still competing at age 43 (for Uzbekistan).

The most decorated Olympic gymnast, Soviet Larisa Latynina, earned 12 of her 18 medals after becoming a mom.

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