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Joanne Reid, niece of Eric Heiden, makes Olympic team

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The U.S. Olympic women’s biathlon team is set, and includes the niece of the arguably the greatest U.S. Winter Olympian of all time.

Joanne Reid, whose uncle is five-time 1980 Olympic speed skating champion Eric Heiden, was named to the team along with Emily Dreissigacker and Maddie Phaneuf on Thursday.

All are first-time Olympians.

They join the already qualified Susan DunkleeClare Egan to complete the five-woman team.

Biathlon is the only Winter Olympic sport where the U.S. has yet to earn a medal.

Reid’s mom is Beth Heiden Reid, a 1980 Olympic speed skating bronze medalist (on a bum ankle) and world champion road cyclist.

In 1983, Heiden Reid won an NCAA individual cross-country skiing championship two years after picking up the sport.

Then in 2010, she competed at the U.S. Cross-Country Skiing Championships at age 50, beating her then-17-year-old daughter in a pair of races.

“When I was 13 or 14, my parents and I did a bike tour across California,” Reid, whose middle name is Firesteel, said in 2017. “The last day was 110 miles, and crossed several mountain passes that are in the famous California Death Ride. Two days later, I ran my first half marathon. That’s about what it’s like to grow up with a mother like mine.”

Reid skied for the University of Colorado from 2010-13, winning an NCAA title like her mom, then switched to biathlon in 2015 after watching a broadcast of the sport for the first time with friends of her parents earlier that year.

Her best individual World Cup finish is 29th from last season, when she was one of three U.S. women to earn World Cup points.

Reid underwent two heart procedures that took seven total hours last summer, according to her Instagram.

“I remember every minute of it — because firstly, I was awake through both procedures, and secondly because, you know, they saved my athletic career,” she posted.

Dreissigacker, 29, is the daughter of two Olympic rowers and the younger sister of Sochi Olympic biathlete Hannah Dreissigacker.

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MORE: U.S. athletes qualified for PyeongChang Olympics

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I made my biathlon debut two years and two months ago, and I am so happy that this biathlon family welcomed me with open arms. With a functioning, full heart, I am honored to receive a berth at the Olympic Games in 2018. To all those that have fueled my sporadic journey to end up here, whether in a small way or a huge way, THANK YOU. Mountain West Dermatology, @bluemooseofboulder @wildzorafoods , special thanks to the wonderful Dr. Lewis Kirkegaard and Ted Hulbert. To the CBC: my supporters and my heroes, keep on keeping on. To Glenn Jobe, and the ASC biathletes- thank you for teaching me, and letting me into the fold. My parents- for a hundred thousand iterations of rifle parts, because for every piece on my rifle that works, there were ten that didn’t, and thirty stopped in the design phase. With the patience of a hundred men in the pursuit and understanding of a new sport, they got me to the right starting lines with a rifle that shot straight. And lastly, but certainly not least, to my cardiologists Aaron Baggish and Conor Barrett and the staff of the Massachusetts General Hospital cardiology unit for getting me through three unsuccessful treadmill stress tests totaling more than three hours, and not one but TWO heart procedures this summer, which clocked in at over 7 hours procedure time. I remember every minute of it – because firstly, I was awake through both procedures, and secondly because, you know, they saved my athletic career. Here’s a picture of my mom on the wall of the rink in Inzell where she was training before winning the world championship all around. @ascbiathlon #coloradobiathlonclub #massgen #brokenheart #mendedheart #teamusa🇺🇸 #pyeongchang2018

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Mark Spitz takes on Katie Ledecky’s challenge

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Swimmers around the world took on Katie Ledecky‘s milk-glass challenge since it became a social media sensation, including one of the few Americans with more Olympic gold medals.

Mark Spitz, who won seven golds at the 1972 Munich Games, took 10 strokes in an at-home pool while perfectly balancing a glass of what appeared to be water on his head.

“Would’ve been faster with the ‘stache, @markspitzusa, but I still give this 7 out of 7 gold medals,” Ledecky tweeted.

Spitz joined fellow Olympic champions Susie O’Neill of Australia and American Matt Grevers in posting similar videos to what Ledecky first shared Monday.

In Tokyo next year, Ledecky can pass Spitz’s career gold-medal count of nine if she wins all of her expected events — 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyles and the 4x200m free relay.

Then she would trail one athlete from any country in any sport — Michael Phelps, the 23-time gold medalist who has yet to post video of swimming while balancing a glass on his head.

MORE: Spitz puts Michael Phelps’ career in perspective

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Serena Williams, reclusive amid pandemic, returns to tennis eyeing Grand Slam record

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Serena Williams travels with “like 50 masks” and has been a little bit of a recluse since early March and the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t have full lung capacity, so I’m not sure what would happen to me,” Williams said Saturday, two days before the start of the WTA’s Top Seed Open in Lexington, Ky., her first tournament since playing Fed Cup in early February. “I’m sure I’ll be OK, but I don’t want to find out.”

Williams, 38, has a history of blood clots and pulmonary embolisms. She faced life-threatening complications following her Sept. 1, 2017, childbirth that confined her to a bed for six weeks. She said her daily routine was surgery and that she lost count after the first four.

More recently, Williams enjoyed “every part” of the last six months at home in Florida, her longest time grounded since her teens.

“I’ve been a little neurotic, to an extent,” on health and safety, she said. “Everyone in the Serena bubble is really protected.”

Williams is entered to play next week in Lexington and at consecutive tournaments in New York City later this month — the Western & Southern Open and U.S. Open, the latter starting Aug. 31.

Williams is the highest-ranked player in the Lexington field at No. 9. Others include 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, older sister Venus Williams and 16-year-old Coco Gauff.

She has been bidding ever since having daughter Olympia to tie Margaret Court‘s record 24 Grand Slam singles titles, albeit many of Court’s crowns came before the Open Era and, notably at the Australian Open, against small fields lacking the world’s best players. Williams reached the last two Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals, losing all of them.

She showed her seriousness in committing early to this year’s U.S. Open by installing a court at home with the same surface. Three of the top 10 female singles players already said they will skip the U.S. Open due to travel and/or virus concerns, including No. 1 Ash Barty.

“Tennis is naturally a socially distanced sport, so it was kind of easy to go back and just walk on my side of the court and have my hitter walk on his side of the court,” Williams said.

The French Open starts two weeks after the U.S. Open ends. Williams was asked if she will fly to Europe for tournaments this autumn.

“I see myself doing it all, if it happens,” she said.

The Tokyo Olympics are too far away to make plans.

“We’ll have to kind of wait to see what happens in the fall,” she said. “One thing I have learned with this pandemic is don’t plan.”

MORE: Past U.S. Open champions get wild cards

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