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Ryan Lochte, Laurie Hernandez brought to tears on ‘Dancing with the Stars’

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Olympic champions Ryan Lochte and Laurie Hernandez both cried while preparing for Monday’s episode of “Dancing with the Stars.”

The week’s theme was the contestants’ most memorable year. Lochte and Hernandez are among the final nine contestants, seeking to become the fifth Olympian to win the mirror ball trophy.

Lochte said his most memorable year was 2008, which brought tearful memories of the Beijing Games for the newly engaged swimmer.

The 12-time Olympic medalist recalled his first individual gold medal, taking the 200m backstroke in world-record time at the Water Cube and beating the defending champion Aaron Peirsol despite his suit coming undone in the first 50 meters.

“I just remember touching that wall, looking up at the scoreboard and seeing Ryan Lochte, world-record holder, first place,” Lochte said in a taped segment on Monday’s show while wiping his eyes. “It was the happiest moment of my life.”

Lochte’s fiancée, Playboy model Kayla Rae Reid, joined Lochte before Monday night’s show.

“We have been dating for a little under a year, but it’s insane, we’ve been through so may ups and downs, so many hard times together that we’ve overcome,” she said in a Facebook live video. “I feel like normal people dating this long wouldn’t really have gone through that many things. It’s brought us so close. It’s weird. I’m still in shock. My brain is like a mashed potato right now.”

Of the engagement, Lochte said he took Reid on a helicopter ride over West Hollywood, to the Santa Monica Pier and up to Malibu, where they were dropped “on top of a mountain” with a picnic, roses and champagne.

“He was being so awkward the whole time,” Reid said. “I was like, ‘What is wrong with you?'”

Hernandez broke down while practicing with partner Val Chmerkovskiy, having difficulty learning a new dance move. She reflected on her myriad injuries before making the Olympic team at age 16 this year.

“I think the worst is when people just assume, she’s young, she’s healthy, she’s athletic, and they don’t see that I went through a lot of stuff before finally making it,” Hernandez said, adding that she “bottles up” emotions in gymnastics.

Chmerkovskiy said Hernandez has been shedding tears “since week one” on the show.

MORE: Hernandez gets first perfect score on DWTS

Alistair Brownlee, after Ironman, leans toward Olympic return

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Alistair Brownlee is already the only triathlete with multiple Olympic titles. In July, he is reportedly leaning toward another impressive feat, to win an Olympic gold medal the summer after completing the Kona Ironman World Championships.

The Brit Brownlee said he is “definitely swinging towards” trying to qualify for the Tokyo Games, according to the Times of London. Brownlee’s manager confirmed the stance while noting that his result in the Ironman Western Australia on Dec. 1 will play into the ultimate decision.

Brownlee previously reportedly said he was “50-50” on going for the Olympics and that he had to decide between focusing on the shorter Olympic distance or the Ironman, which includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon.

Other Olympic triathletes transitioned to the Ironman and never went back, such as 2008 Olympic champion Jan Frodeno of Germany and two-time U.S. Olympian Sarah True.

Brownlee finished 21st in Kona on Oct. 12 in 8 hours, 25 minutes, 3 seconds, which was 33:50 behind the winner Frodeno.

Brownlee won four half Ironmans between 2017 and 2018 (sandwiched by a hip surgery), then finished second to Frodeno at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship on Sept. 2.

One other triathlete won an Olympic title after completing the Kona Ironman — Austrian Kate Allen, who was seventh in Kona in 2002, then took gold at the 2004 Athens Games.

MORE: 2019 Kona Ironman World Championships Results

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Alberto Salazar appeals doping ban

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The Court of Arbitration for Sport says it has registered an appeal by track coach Alberto Salazar against his ban for doping violations, though a hearing will take several months to prepare.

CAS says Salazar and Dr. Jeffrey Brown appealed against their four-year bans by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

After a multi-year USADA investigation, Salazar and Brown were found guilty of doping violations linked to the Nike Oregon Project training camp. USADA said Salazar ran experiments with supplements and testosterone, and possessed and trafficked the banned substance.

The case also related to falsified and incomplete medical records that disguised the work.

CAS says Salazar and Brown asked for more time to file “written submissions and evidence,” adding the hearing is “unlikely to take place before March.”

Verdicts typically take at least a further several weeks.

MORE: Mary Cain raises issues from being coached by Salazar

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