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Ashton Eaton, Brianne Theisen-Eaton retire

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The world’s most athletic couple is retiring together.

Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton announced the ends of their track and field careers Wednesday.

The announcement came less than five months after Eaton repeated as Olympic decathlon champion and Theisen-Eaton earned heptathlon bronze in Rio, becoming the first Canadian to make the podium in the event.

“It’s my time to depart from athletics; to do something new,” Eaton said on the married couple’s website. “Frankly there isn’t much more I want to do in sport. I gave the most physically robust years of my life to the discovery and pursuit of my limits in this domain. Did I reach them? Truthfully I’m not sure anyone really does. It seems like we tend to run out of time or will before we run out of potential. That makes humanity limitless then, as far as I’m concerned. And I think that’s inspiring.”

Eaton, 28, is one of three men to win multiple Olympic decathlons, joining Bob Mathias and Daley Thompson. Eaton twice broke the decathlon world record, at the 2012 Olympic Trials and the 2015 World Championships.

Eaton did not lose a decathlon he finished in the final five years of his career.

The Canadian Theisen-Eaton, also 28, earned world championships heptathlon silver medals in 2013 and 2015 before taking bronze in Rio. She said she was mentally exhausted after the Rio Games.

“I have never been so thankful to be finished [with] something in my life,” Theisen-Eaton said of Rio on their website. “I felt like I never wanted to do another heptathlon again.

“I no longer have the passion for track and field or the heptathlon that I used to because I know I can’t advance any further in the sport. I’ve given it all I can, and I refuse to come back and half-ass it because I love and respect this event and sport too much. With that, I’ve decided to retire.”

MORE: Eatons’ coach details their decision

Eaton said shortly after his Rio competition that he would not compete in the 2020 Olympics and that he may retire in 2017.

Then in September, Eaton said he wanted to compete in at least one more decathlon if he continued on — to take part in the famous meet in Götzis, Austria, for the first time.

“I know I would want to do Götzis,” Eaton said then. “It’s more of a sense of missing out on something very cool.”

When Eaton spoke with 1976 Olympic decathlon champion Caitlyn Jenner on the phone in the summer, Eaton had one main question: Was it tough to leave the sport?

Jenner never competed in another decathlon after the Montreal Games. Jenner woke the day after the 1976 decathlon, looked into a hotel mirror, naked except for the gold medal, and said, “What the hell am I going to do now?” according to Sports Illustrated.

Eaton said he liked Jenner’s response.

“I just looked back, and I said thanks for the great time and all the memories, and then moved on,” Jenner told him.

The Eatons met as teenagers as students at the University of Oregon and were married in July 2013 at a ceremony that included a cake that looked like an Xbox, in honor of Eaton’s love of video games.

MORE: 17 Olympic sports events to watch in 2017

Swimming short-course records in peril as FINA recognizes ISL times

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In the debut season of the International Swimming League, six U.S. short-course records have fallen. USA Swimming has recognized the new circuit’s times from the outset.

International body FINA, which at first threatened to ban swimmers who participated in the ISL and then said it would not recognize records from the team-based league, which debuted in October and will hold its first final meet Dec. 20-21 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, is now recognizing those times, and the effects on its statistics have been drastic.

MORE: Ledecky sets U.S. record in ISL debut

This morning, a downloaded list of the top times in the world this year included no ISL times. By the afternoon, times from the ISL’s meet over the weekend in College Park, Md., accounted for most of the times on the lists, including the top 10 in the women’s 50m freestyle and women’s 100m freestyle.

So far, the ISL hasn’t figured into the top five on many all-time FINA lists. But the best short-course times are typically posted near the end of the year, and the ISL has two meets remaining.

The U.S. record book has already changed. In October, Katie Ledecky set the 400m freestyle record (3:54.06) and Melanie Margalis set the 200m medley mark (2:04.18).

In College Park this weekend, Margalis also set the U.S. 400m medley record (4:24.46) and Ian Finnerty set two records the 50m breaststroke (25.99), with runner-up Michael Andrew also beating the previous record, and the 100m breaststroke (56.29). Also, Caeleb Dressel set the 50m butterfly record (22.21).

Only half of the swimmers in the ISL will advance to the final, and qualification isn’t necessarily in their hands. After the College Park meet, the Cali Condors and LA Current clinched spots in Las Vegas. That’s bad news for Andrew (New York Breakers), Finnerty (DC Trident) and Ledecky (DC Trident).

Dressel, Margalis and Lilly King — all representing the Condors — will have another shot at records in Vegas. 

FINA, as usual, is running its World Cup circuit during the fall and early winter, and some swimmers — including overall World Cup champions Vladimir Morozov and Cate Campbell — are pulling double duty between the World Cup and ISL.

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IOC announces deal with Airbnb to add housing for future Olympics

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The International Olympic Committee has moved to help with the scramble to house the influx of athletes, staff and spectators with each Olympics, making a deal with online housing broker Airbnb to add accommodations for the Games through 2028.

“The agreement includes accommodation provisions that will reduce costs for Olympic Games organizers and stakeholders, minimize the need for construction of new accommodation infrastructure for the Olympic Games period, and generate direct revenue for local hosts and communities,” the IOC announced.

Airbnb’s partnership also includes accommodation for disability athletes for the Paralympic Games, and the company will join large global companies such as Coca-Cola, Visa and Panasonic as worldwide Olympic partners.

Athletes also will have a chance to make money by hosting travelers.

“As an Olympian host, you can create and lead an experience inspired by your expertise and interests,” reads an explanation on the Olympic athlete support portal Athlete365.

Outside the Olympics and Olympic athlete experiences, the IOC and Airbnb are pledging to work together on long-term support to refugees.

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