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Los Angeles’ ties to the Olympics

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Few cities can match Los Angeles’ rich Olympic history.

Los Angeles will in 2028 become the third city to host three Olympics, following London and Paris.

L.A. hosted the 1932 and 1984 Summer Games, with its main Olympic Stadium, the LA Memorial Coliseum, expected to return in 2028.

Some of the greatest U.S. Olympians are natives of Southern California, trained there or took part in some of the greatest competitions of their careers in the City of Angels.

Those who have called the Los Angeles area home include:

Evelyn Ashford (Track and field, 4 gold medals)
Shirley Babashoff
(Swimming, 9 medals)
Matt Biondi
(Swimming, 11 medals)
Gail Devers (Track and field, 3 gold medals)
Janet Evans (Swimming, 4 gold medals)
Allyson Felix (Track and field, 6 gold medals)
Lisa Fernandez (Softball, 3 gold medals)
Florence Griffith-Joyner (Track and field, 3 gold medals)
Jackie Joyner-Kersee (Track and field, 6 medals)
Karch Kiraly (Beach volleyball/Volleyball, 3 gold medals)
Lisa Leslie (Basketball, 4 gold medals)
Carl Lewis (Track and field, 9 gold medals)
Greg Louganis (Diving, 4 gold medals)
Misty May-Treanor (Beach volleyball, 3 gold medals)
Aaron Peirsol (Swimming, 5 gold medals)
Kim Rhode (Shooting, 6 medals)
Jim Thorpe (Track and field, 2 gold medals)
Dara Torres (Swimming, 12 medals)
Kerri Walsh Jennings (Beach volleyball, 3 gold medals)
Johnny Weissmuller (Swimming, 5 gold medals)
Serena Williams (Tennis, 4 gold medals)
Venus Williams (Tennis, 4 gold medals)

Some of the names most associated with Los Angeles professional sports teams are Olympians, from Jerry West, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant to Wayne Gretzky to Candace Parker to Landon Donovan. Even longtime Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda guided the 2000 U.S. Olympic baseball team to gold.

UCLA’s Rafer Johnson lit the cauldron at the Los Angeles 1984 Opening Ceremony, 24 years after he won Olympic decathlon gold. He would be 92 years old come the 2028 Olympic Opening Ceremony.

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MORE: Rose Bowl, Staples Center among LA Olympic venues

Gregorio Paltrinieri swims second-fastest 1500m freestyle in history

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Olympic champion Gregorio Paltrinieri swam the second-fastest 1500m freestyle in history, clocking 14:33.10 in his native Italy on Thursday.

Paltrinieri, 25, missed Chinese Sun Yang‘s world record from the 2012 Olympics by 2.08 seconds.

The Italian now owns the second- and third-fastest times in history, including his 14:34.10 from the 2016 European Championships, also held at the 2012 Olympic pool in London.

Paltrinieri is a versatile distance swimmer. At last year’s world championships, he finished sixth in the open-water 10km to qualify for the Olympics, then won the 800m free in the pool in a European record time and finished with 1500m bronze, just missing a third straight world title in that event.

German Florian Wellbrock won the 1500m in 14:36.54 at worlds, with Paltrinieri finishing 2.21 seconds back.

Sun, 28, was in February banned eight years stemming from destroying a drug-test sample with a hammer in September 2018. Sun, who focused more on the 200m and 400m frees in recent years, did not race the 1500m at the 2017 or 2019 Worlds.

Top-level swim meets in the U.S. are scheduled to resume in November with the Tyr Pro Series.

MORE: Michael Phelps qualifies for first Olympics at age 15

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Bianca Andreescu to miss U.S. Open

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Bianca Andreescu withdrew from the U.S. Open, citing “unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic” compromising her ability to prepare to defend her Grand Slam title.

“I have taken this step in order to focus on my match fitness and ensure that I return ready to play at my highest level,” Andreescu, a 20-year-old Canadian, posted on social media. “The US Open victory last year has been the high point of my career thus far and I will miss not being there. However, I realize that the unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic, have compromised my ability to prepare and compete to the degree necessary to play at my highest level.”

Andreescu’s absence means the U.S. Open, the first Grand Slam tournament since tennis resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic, will be without both 2019 male and female singles champions.

Rafael Nadal previously announced he would not defend his title, saying he would rather not travel given the global situation. Roger Federer is also out after knee surgery. Women’s No. 1 Ash Barty didn’t enter, either, citing travel concerns.

Last year, Andreescu made her U.S. Open title run as the 15th seed, sweeping Serena Williams in the final. Ranked 208th a year earlier, she became the first player born in the 2000s to win a Slam and the first teen Slam winner since Maria Sharapova at the 2006 U.S. Open.

Andreescu then missed the Australian Open in January due to rehab from a knee injury that forced her to retire during a match at the WTA Finals on Oct. 30. She also missed the French Open and Wimbledon in 2019 following a rotator cuff tear.

MORE: Serena Williams, reclusive amid pandemic, returns to tennis competition

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