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Torah Bright, Olympic champion, no longer competing in halfpipe

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Torah Bright, a 2010 Olympic halfpipe champion and a force in snowboarding for a decade, will no longer compete in halfpipe or the Olympics.

Bright, a 33-year-old expecting her first child in July, is “happy having left the competitions behind,” according to the Aspen (Colo.) Times. Bright’s longtime agent confirmed the report.

“I much prefer to cheer people on than to compete myself,” Bright said, according to the report. “It’s way less stressful. So it’s been fun to know the people who are still competing and love them and cheer them on and watch them do their best.”

Bright is arguably Australia’s greatest Winter Olympian. She toppled Americans Kelly ClarkHannah Teter and Gretchen Bleiler for gold at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, winning from last place after the first of two runs. Bright landed a switch backside 720, coming back after she sustained three concussions in the five weeks before the Games.

In 2014, she took silver behind another American, Kaitlyn Farrington, in Sochi while becoming the first snowboarder to compete in three disciplines (halfpipe, slopestyle, snowboard cross).

Bright scantly competed after Sochi and was left off Australia’s team for PyeongChang. She returned to competition two months before the Olympics for the first time in nearly two years and saw her hopes dashed when she picked up a reported wrist injury.

Bright’s last halfpipe competition was an eighth-place finish at the January 2018 Laax Open in Switzerland.

Correction: An earlier version of this post reported that Bright retired. Bright is no longer competing in halfpipe or the Olympics but does plan to compete in other events.

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U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials set new dates in 2021 in Omaha

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The U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials, originally scheduled for June 21-28 in Omaha, will now be June 13-20, 2021 at the same venue.

The Olympic Trials event schedule will remain the same across the 15-session, eight-day meet.

The top two finishers per individual event are in line to qualify for the Tokyo Games. Usually, the top six finishers in the 100m and 200m freestyles also qualify for relays.

Trials will be one week earlier in relation to the Olympics, which moved from July 24-Aug. 9, 2020 to July 23-Aug. 8, 2021.

As of Friday, 1,213 athletes have achieved the 2020 qualifying times to swim at trials. USA Swimming anticipates those swimmers will remain qualified for 2021. Updated trials qualifying standards will be released before swimming competition resumes.

Around 1,800 swimmers qualified to compete at the 2016 Olympic Trials.

Omaha, announced as host in May 2017, will hold the trials for a record fourth straight time.

The trials were first held at the CHI Health Center Center (then the Qwest Center) in 2008, after they were in Long Beach, Calif., in 2004 and Indianapolis in 1992, 1996 and 2000.

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Olympic triathlon champion to do Ironman at home

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German Jan Frodeno announced on April 1 that he wanted to complete an Ironman triathlon at home. Turns out he wasn’t joking.

Frodeno, the 2008 Olympic champion and three-time Ironman Kona world champion, plans to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run a marathon on Saturday, all at his home in Girona, Spain, to fundraise for hospital workers fighting the coronavirus.

“If you would have said this to me 10 years ago, I would have called you insane but special times call for special measures,” was posted on Frodeno’s Instagram. “The idea is not to race, nor is it a call for you to try this at home. It’s about showing that you can do a lot of things in your own four walls, despite restrictions.”

Frodeno said he wants to complete the Ironman between sunrise and sunset. Shouldn’t be a problem. Last year, Frodeno won Kona in 7:51:13 to break the course record.

The event is set to be live streamed on Frodeno’s Facebook page.

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