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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

U.S. Olympic 3×3 basketball qualifying teams named with former NBA player, WNBA stars

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Former NBA player Robbie Hummel and WNBA stars lead U.S. Olympic qualifying teams in the new Olympic event of 3×3 basketball.

The four-man and four-woman teams will compete in a global qualifier in India in March, each favored to grab one of three available Olympic berths per gender for the U.S.

Hummel, who unretired to become world champion in 3×3, is joined on the U.S. Olympic men’s qualifying team by Team Princeton teammates Canyon Barry and Kareem Maddox, plus Dominique Jones, who has played with Team Harlem. Team Princeton is guided by an investment firm CEO who once beat Michael Jordan one-on-one.

Last year, Hummel, Maddox and Barry (one of Rick Barry‘s sons) were part of a team that won the world title.

The U.S. women’s 3×3 qualifying roster is made up of WNBA stars Napheesa Collier, Stefanie DolsonAllisha Gray and Kelsey Plum. The U.S.’ top-ranked 3×3 player, as of last month, is Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu, who can’t play internationally this spring as she is in the thick of the NCAA season.

Olympic teams will not necessarily be made up of players from the qualifying tournament.

If the U.S. qualifies for Tokyo, it will then choose its roster(s) in a similar fashion to its traditional basketball teams — via selection committee. It’s unlikely active NBA players will be eligible.

Like with the qualifying tournament, two of the four Olympic players must be ranked in the top 10 among Americans in FIBA 3×3 rankings (as of a May 22 cutoff).

In 3×3, games last 10 minutes, or until one team reaches 21 points. Games are played on a half-court with a 12-second shot clock, and offense immediately turns to defense after a team scores.

MORE: Kobe Bryant embraced the Olympics, on and off the court

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First U.S. sailors qualify for Olympics; gold medalist misses on tiebreak

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The first five members of the U.S. Olympic sailing team were finalized this past weekend. The last American sailor to win an Olympic title missed on a tiebreaker.

Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea (49er FX), Anna Weis and Riley Gibbs (Nacra 17) and Charlie Buckingham (Laser) qualified after world championships competition concluded in Australia. The U.S. Olympic roster across all sports is now at 43 qualified athletes.

The closest race for a U.S. Olympic spot came in 49er FX. Roble and Shea edged Paris Henken and 2008 Olympic champion Anna Tobias on a tiebreak. Roble and Shea, both first-time Olympic qualifiers, won Saturday’s medal race and earned an overall bronze medal.

That put the two U.S. duos in a tie in Olympic qualifying — combining placements from the 2019 and 2020 Championships, according to TeamUSA.org. The tiebreak went to Roble and Shea for having the better finish at this year’s worlds.

Tobias, a 37-year-old who won the individual 2008 Olympic Laser Radial as Anna Tunnicliffe, came out of retirement in a bid for a third Olympics. She left competitive sailing in 2014, took up CrossFit competitions and returned to crew for Henken more than two years ago.

“We are very sad and upset,” was posted on Tobias’ Instagram, “but we wish them [Roble and Shea] the best of luck.”

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