Anna Meares, most decorated Olympic women’s track cyclist, retires

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Australian Anna Meares, the most decorated Olympic women’s track cyclist with six medals, announced her retirement Sunday at age 33.

Meares shared the news via a 300-word Facebook post listing her career accomplishments, accompanied by a photo of her carrying the Australian flag into the Rio Olympic Opening Ceremony.

“I am really proud of my longevity, also proud of the level of high consistency in my performances and results during my career,” Meares said, according to Cycling Australia. “It is hard to close this chapter, because it is a bloody big one, but I am really excited about the doors opening in to the next chapter of my life.”

Meares began her Olympic career at Athens 2004, taking gold in the time trial, and added an individual sprint gold at London 2012. In between, she came back from a January 2008 broken neck to take individual sprint silver at the Beijing Games.

Meares ended her Olympic career with keirin bronze in Rio.

“I kind of knew that I was leaning this way prior to Rio, but I needed to shelve that to be able to put all of my focus into getting to Rio and performing there at my very best and then reassess when I got home,” Meares told Australian media. “I have had to consider [three] things in this decision. Do I want it? Can I do it? And obviously the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games [in 2018].”

Meares is from Blackwater, Queensland, which is in the same Australian state as Gold Coast.

Meares and sister Kerrie were profiled in Bud Greenspan‘s 2004 Olympic film.

MORE: American wins world road cycling championships time trial

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone appears in ‘This is SportsCenter’ commercial

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Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone appears in an ESPN “This is SportsCenter” commercial that was published Friday and debuts on the network on Saturday night, after she races for the first time this year at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on NBC.

In the commercial, ESPN (and former NBC Sports) anchor Hannah Storm asks McLaughlin-Levrone if she has a minute to catch up.

McLaughlin-Levrone replies by saying she has 51.46 seconds right after lunch, 51.41 seconds later in the afternoon or 50.68 seconds right now. The numbers represent the last three times that McLaughlin-Levrone clocked when breaking the 400m hurdles world record.

McLaughlin-Levrone is scheduled to race the 60m at the New Balance meet in Boston, which airs on NBC, NBCSports.com/live, the NBC Sports app and Peacock from 4-6 p.m. ET on Saturday.

The commercial first airs during the North Carolina-Duke men’s basketball game that starts at 6:30 on ESPN.

In the last two years, McLaughlin-Levrone lowered the 400m hurdles world record four times, winning the Tokyo Olympics and last July’s world championships in Eugene, Oregon. She brought the record down from countrywoman Dalilah Muhammad‘s 52.16 from 2019 to 50.68 at July’s worlds.

The 23-year-old said after last season that she wants to expand by adding the flat 400m to the 400m hurdles, but she has not yet publicly committed to racing it at the next major outdoor meet, the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in Eugene in July.

For the first time, McLaughlin-Levrone has a bye into the 400m hurdles at the world championships in August, meaning she does not have to race it at USATF Outdoors. That could make the flat 400m more appealing.

Past “This is SportsCenter” spots included Olympians Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt and Kerri Strug,

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Olympic flame to travel by sea for Paris 2024, welcomed by armada

Paris 2024 Olympic Torch Relay Marseille
Paris 2024
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The Olympic flame will travel from Athens to Marseille by ship in spring 2024 to begin the France portion of the torch relay that ends in Paris on July 26, 2024.

The torch relay always begins in the ancient Olympic site of Olympia, Greece, where the sun’s rays light the flame. It will be passed by torch until it reaches Athens.

It will then cross the Mediterranean Sea aboard the Belem, a three-masted ship, “reminiscent of a true Homeric epic,” according to Paris 2024. It will arrive at the Old Port of Marseille, welcomed by an armada of boats.

Marseille is a former Greek colony and the oldest city in France. It will host sailing and some soccer matches during the Paris Olympics.

The full 2024 Olympic torch relay route will be unveiled in May.

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Paris 2024 Olympic Torch Relay Marseille
Paris 2024