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Fastest woman alive retires

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NEW YORK — Carmelita Jeter, the second-fastest woman in history, is no longer competing in track and field.

“I am going to miss when they say, ‘Carmelita Jeter, lane five,’ and everyone screams,” Jeter, a 37-year-old who last competed in June 2016, said Thursday night at the USATF Black Tie and Sneakers Gala.

Jeter is the fastest woman alive. Her 100m personal best, 10.64 seconds, is second only to Florence Griffith-Joyner all-time.

At the 2012 Olympics, she took silver behind Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the 100m and bronze in the 200m behind Allyson Felix and Fraser-Pryce. She also won the world title in the 100m in 2011.

But Jeter said her proudest accomplishment was not an individual race. She anchored the U.S. 4x100m relay, joining Tianna Bartoletta, Felix and Bianca Knight for gold in a world-record time of 40.82 seconds at the London Games (VIDEO).

In her garage, Jeter hangs an oversized photo of herself crossing the finish line and pointing a finger at the electronic clock.

“For four women who all run the same event to put their pride and ego aside,” Jeter said, “that is the most amazing thing I’ve done in my career.”

A left quad injury forced Jeter to withdraw ahead of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

She is now a motivational speaker, speed coach and manager for Total Sports, her professional agency. She considered trying out for the U.S. bobsled team, but reaggravated her left quad injury.

One of the sprinters Jeter works with, Aaliyah Brown, ran the opening leg as the U.S. won the 4x100m at the world championships on Aug. 12 in London.

To inspire additional athletes, Jeter is hosting a clinic on Dec. 2 in Los Angeles with sprint coach John Smith.

“I want to coach the next world record,” she said. “I want to make someone else a better Carmelita Jeter.”

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Sam Girard, Olympic short track champion, surprisingly retires at age 22

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Sam Girard, who avoided a three-skater pileup to win the PyeongChang Olympic 1000m, retired from short track speed skating at age 22, saying he lost the desire to compete.

“I leave my sport satisfied with what I have accomplished,” Girard said in a press release. “This decision was very well thought through. I am at peace with the choice that I’ve made and am ready to move onto the next step.”

Girard and girlfriend and fellow Olympic skater Kasandra Bradette announced their careers end together in a tearful French-language press conference in Quebec on Friday.

Girard detailed the decision in a letter, the sacrifices made to pursue skating. Notably, moving from his hometown of Ferland-et-Boilleau, population 600, to Montreal in 2012. His hobbies had been of the outdoor variety, but he now had to drive an hour and a half from the training center just to go fishing.

In PyeongChang, Girard led for most of the 1000m final, which meant he avoided chaos behind him on the penultimate lap of the nine-lap race. Hungarian Liu Shaolin Sandor‘s inside pass took out South Koreans Lim Hyo-Jun and Seo Yi-Ra, leaving just Girard and American John-Henry Krueger.

Girard maintained his lead, crossing .214 in front of Krueger to claim the title. He also finished fourth in the 500m and 1500m and earned bronze in the relay.

“My first Olympics, won a gold medal, can’t ask for more,” he said afterward.

Though Girard was already accomplished — earning individual silver medals at the 2016 and 2017 Worlds — he came to PyeongChang as the heir apparent to Charles Hamelin, a roommate on the World Cup circuit whom Girard likened to a big brother. Girard earned another world silver medal this past season.

Hamelin, after taking individual gold in 2010 and 2014, left PyeongChang without an individual medal in what many expected to be his last Olympics. However, he went back on a retirement vow and continued to skate through the 2018-19 season.

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MORE: J.R. Celski explains decision to retire

Maia, Alex Shibutani extend break from ice dance competition

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Brother-sister ice dance duo Maia and Alex Shibutani will not compete next season, the Olympic bronze medalists announced via U.S. Figure Skating on Friday.

“We’re healthier and stronger than we were after the Olympics, and we’re continuing to push ourselves,” Maia Shibutani said in a press release.

“We’ve continued to skate a lot, and we feel like we’ve benefited from some time away to create in different environments and focus on experiences that can help us grow,” Alex said.

The “Shib Sibs” won the U.S. title in 2016 and 2017. They won their first world medal in 2011 (bronze) before reaching the world podium again in 2016 and 2017 with silver and bronze, respectively.

They most recently competed at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, where they earned bronze both individually and in the team event.

Maia and Alex Shibutani are now the second ice dance medalists from PyeongChang to announce they’ll sit out at least part of next season. Gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada will tour instead this fall and are not expected to return to competition.

The siblings haven’t stayed away from the ice entirely in their break from the sport, though — they’ve also been touring and performing in shows.

The Shibutanis became the second set of siblings to earn Olympic ice dance medals after France’s Isabelle and Paul Duchesnay in 1992.

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