U.S. gets 2 medals in men’s 100m backstroke (video)

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Matt Grevers leaves the world championships with a 100m backstroke silver medal, one year after failing to make the Olympic team.

Ryan Murphy snagged bronze, one year after bagging Olympic gold. But at least Murphy still has his world record.

China’s Xu Jiayu, who in April swam one hundredth shy of Murphy’s 100m backstroke mark, won the world title in a much slower time on Tuesday.

Xu, 21 and the Rio silver medalist, clocked 52.44 to prevail in Budapest. He edged a charging 32-year-old Grevers by .04 and Murphy by .15. Murphy swam 51.97 to win in Rio and then the world record of 51.85 in the Olympic medley relay.

“You’re never going to be happy when it comes down to a tenth, that’s really my thought process right now,” Murphy said, according to USA Swimming.

But this year has belonged to Xu, who had the fastest time in the world going into this week and then led the field in prelims, semis and the final.

Grevers, the 2012 Olympic 100m back champion, considered retiring from elite swimming after finishing third behind Murphy and David Plummer at the 2016 Olympic Trials.

But Grevers, after becoming a dad, powered through to beat Murphy at the USA Swimming National Championships last month to book a world team berth as the oldest member of the squad.

“Even a month ago I would have been ecstatic if you said I could get second place at worlds, but now that I’m here and I was in the race and I wanted to win,” Grevers said, according to USA Swimming. “I guess I’m just inspired to get back to my best.”

Men’s 100m Backstroke Results
Gold: Xu Jiayu (CHN) — 52.44

Silver: Matt Grevers (USA) — 52.48
Bronze: Ryan Murphy (USA) — 52.59
4. Ryosuke Irie (JPN) — 53.03
5. Grigory Tarasevich (RUS) — 53.12
6. Mitch Larkin (AUS) — 53.24
7. Guilherme Guido (BRA) — 53.66
8. Corey Main (NZL) — 53.87

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Eddy Alvarez, Olympic short track medalist, to play for Miami Marlins

Eddy Alvarez
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Eddy Alvarez realized his MLB dream, six years after earning a Winter Olympic medal, and during a global pandemic that affected his club more than any other U.S. professional sports franchise.

Alvarez, a 2014 U.S. Olympic short track speed skating medalist, is being added to the Miami Marlins roster for Tuesday’s restart of their abbreviated season, president of baseball operations Mike Hill said Monday, according to Marlins beat reporters.

The 30-year-old was among a group added after as many as 18 Marlins tested positive for the coronavirus last week, forcing the club to cancel seven games.

Alvarez is believed to be the first U.S. Winter Olympian to become a Major League Baseball player.

He may be the second Olympic medalist in a sport other than baseball to make it to the majors, joining Jim Thorpe. (Michael Jordan tried to do so with the Chicago White Sox, playing Double-A in 1994, but returned to the Chicago Bulls in 1995.)

Alvarez, a Miami native, played baseball in high school and at Salt Lake Community College before focusing on short track in 2012 for a 2014 Olympic run.

He came back from missing the 2010 Olympic team and surgeries on both knees, reportedly leaving him immobile and bedpan dependent for four to six weeks, to make the Sochi Winter Games. Eddy the Jet earned a silver medal in the 5000m relay.

Then Alvarez returned to baseball after three years away. He signed a minor-league contract with the Chicago White Sox in June 2014. He worked his way through the minors between that franchise and the Marlins system.

Alvarez was a Kannapolis Intimidator, a New Orleans Baby Cake and a Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.

Now, he’s a big leaguer.

“It definitely was a chance, picking up a kid who hasn’t played in three years who is starting at the age of 24,” Alvarez said in 2014. “It’s not your typical story, but I play like a 17-year-old kid. I’m running around everywhere. I’m diving around everywhere. I’m full of life. I definitely see my progression moving at a rapid pace.”

MORE: What Olympic baseball, softball return looks like in 2021

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Katie Ledecky balances glass of chocolate milk on her head while swimming

Katie Ledecky
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Katie Ledecky will always remember Aug. 3 as the date she won her first Olympic gold medal, at age 15 in 2012.

Now, she can also associate it with the time she created another kind of buzz on social media.

The five-time Olympic champion posted video of her swimming the length of a pool while balancing a glass of chocolate milk on her head. Barely any, if any, milk spilled into the pool.

Ledecky swam as part of a new got milk? ad campaign.

“Hoooowww nervous were you when you did this?!” fellow Olympic champion and training partner Simone Manuel asked Ledecky on Instagram.

“I have never braced my core so hard,” Ledecky wrote. “It’s a great drill!”

“Try doing it breaststroke,” British Olympic 100m breaststroke champion and world-record holder Adam Peaty wrote.

“Is it wrong of me to think this is even more impressive than a few of your WR’s?!!!” wrote 1992 Olympic champion Summer Sanders.

MORE: The meet where Kathleen Ledecky became Katie Ledecky

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