Aly Raisman
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Aly Raisman expects to keep Mihai Brestyan as coach

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When Aly Raisman returns to training, she expects to continue working with longtime coach Mihai Brestyan, even though Brestyan is now the Australia women’s national team coach.

Raisman discussed the news last week while appearing at the LPGA Tour’s ANA Inspiration Women in Sports Conference at Rancho Mirage, Calif.

“I think I’d still, obviously, work with Mihai,” said Raisman, who said in September she would take a full year off and then return to training. “He’s not moving to Australia. I would never want to be with any other coach, but he’s still living in Boston and Massachusetts, and so the gym’s still in Burlington. He’s still there all the time. He’s going to go off to Australia, obviously, and be at their national-team training camps, but I also train a lot with his wife [Silvia]. His wife is my coach. She’s with me every single day. She’s an international judge, so having the combination of both of them is very, very key. So being able to have both of them, when he’s away, I’ll work strictly with her. Most of the time, I’ll be with both of them, unless he’s away at training camp.”

Raisman said in her most recent conversation with Brestyan before he got the Australia job, he told her that he didn’t think it would happen.

“It was like six months since the [Rio] Olympics, so I thought they would have already hired someone sooner,” Raisman said.

Raisman also said that Brestyan was at first hoping to succeed Martha Karolyi as U.S. women’s national team coordinator. That job went to Valeri Liukin.

“It was between Mihai or Valeri,” Raisman said. “[Brestyan] had opportunities to go anywhere. … I think [Australia] was a no-brainer for him.”

Raisman said she had not spoken with the Brestyans about who will be her coach on the floor at international meets, or when Mihai is away in Australia. Not surprising given it’s still a while before she’ll be competing again.

“I’m guessing it would have to be my coach Sylvie, because I’m not sure exactly what the rules are,” Raisman said. “I mean, Gymnastics Australia, they’re very nice and very understanding, so I’m sure if I needed Mihai for something, they’ll be very accommodating, but I’m sure there must be some rule that maybe Sylvie will have to definitely be down there with me, but Mihai will probably already be down there on the floor with the Australian gymnasts. I can see and talk to both of them. It might actually work out better.”

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UCI looks for new host for 2020 World Road Cycling Championships

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The International Cycling Union (UCI) is looking for a new host for the 2020 World Road Cycling Championships due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Switzerland can no longer host the week-long event in late September after a national decision to extend a ban on events with more than 1,000 people through next month.

Amid reports the competition has been canceled, the UCI clarified Wednesday that it still hopes to hold it in some form, perhaps without some of the junior or senior races.

It now seeks an “alternative project,” preferably still in Europe and on the same dates (Sept. 20-27).

Worlds were due to start in Switzerland on the same day that the rescheduled Tour de France ends, though the senior elite men’s races are typically not on the first three days.

The Tour de France is still scheduled to start Aug. 29.

Last year, American Chloe Dygert starred at road worlds, winning the time trial in dominant fashion. Other world champions in Olympic events: Annemiek van Vleuten (road race), Rohan Dennis (time trial) and Mads Pedersen (road race).

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Michael Phelps qualifies for first Olympics at age 15 in 2000

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In the biggest race of his young life, a 15-year-old Michael Phelps turned for the last 50 meters in fourth place of the U.S. Olympic Trials 200m butterfly final on Aug. 12, 2000.

His mom, Debbie, couldn’t watch. She turned away from the Indianapolis Natatorium pool and stared at the scoreboard. Both Debbie and Phelps’ coach, Bob Bowman, mentally prepared their consolation speeches for the rising Towson High School sophomore outside Baltimore.

Then Phelps, fueled by nightly Adam’s Mark chicken sandwich-and-cheesecake room service and amped by pre-race DMX on his CD player, turned it on. He zoomed into second place, becoming the youngest U.S. male swimmer to qualify for an Olympics since 1932.

Phelps had “come out of nowhere in the last six months” to become an Olympic hopeful, NBC Sports swimming commentator Dan Hicks said on the broadcast. True, Phelps chopped five and a half seconds off his personal best that March.

“He doesn’t know what it means to go to the Olympics and how it’s going to change his life,” Tom Malchow, the 1996 Olympic silver medalist who held off Phelps in that trials final, said that night, according to The Associated Press. “He’s going to find out soon.”

Phelps, who did his trademark arm flaps before the trials final, made Bowman look like a prophet. Four years earlier, the coach sat Debbie down for a conversation she would not soon forget.

“Told me what he projected for Michael,” Debbie said, according to the Baltimore Sun‘s front-page story on a local 15-year-old qualifying for the Sydney Games. “He said that in 2004, he would definitely be a factor in the Olympics. He also said that he could be there in 2000, to watch out for him. At the time, he was only 11.”

The trials were bittersweet for the Phelps family. Whitney, one of Phelps’ older sisters, withdrew before the meet with herniated discs in her back that kept her from making an Olympics after competing in the 1994 World Championships at age 14.

After Phelps qualified for the Olympics, one of the first people to embrace him was Whitney on the pool deck.

The next week, Phelps, still with bottom-teeth braces, did his first live TV sitdown on CNN, swiveling in his chair the whole time, according to his autobiography, “Beneath the Surface.”

The next month, Phelps finished fifth in his Olympic debut, clocking a then-personal-best time that would have earned gold or silver at every previous Olympics.

Following the Olympic race, gold medalist Malchow patted Phelps on the back, according to “No Limits,” another Phelps autobiography. What did Malchow say?

“The best is ahead of you.”

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