Pavle Jovanovic
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Pavle Jovanovic, Olympic bobsledder, dies at 43

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Pavle Jovanovic, a 2006 U.S. Olympic bobsledder, took his life on Sunday. He was 43.

U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton confirmed Jovanovic’s death on Saturday. A number of U.S. bobsled team members remembered him on social media.

“Pav, I can’t believe another one of these needs to be written,” was posted on Olympic teammate Steve Mesler‘s Instagram. “I can’t believe it’s you I’m writing this about. My personal legend – the athlete that set the standard for focus, dedication, meticulousness, and drive – tragically took his own life at the age of 43.”

Mesler wrote that Jovanovic was the best bobsledder on the planet for six years, “and I wanted to be just like him.”

Jovanovic, after missing the 2002 Olympics due to a contested positive drug test, placed seventh in the 2006 Olympic two- and four-man events as a push athlete in driver Todd Hays‘ sled.

A year earlier, Jovanovic was a push athlete in Steven Holcomb‘s sled at the world championships. Holcomb was found dead in his U.S. Olympic Training Center room in Lake Placid, N.Y., on May 6, 2017.

“Today we mourn the second bobsled Olympian in the last three years,” Mesler wrote. “Today I mourn the second of the six men I competed at the Olympics for my country with to be laid to rest too soon. ‘Bro’, that’s a problem.”

In 2002, Jovanovic missed the Olympics after testing positive for a banned steroid less than two months before the Salt Lake City Winter Games. He was suspended two years. Jovanovic insisted he unknowingly took a contaminated supplement and sued the manufacturer.

Mesler was put on the 2002 Olympic team in Jovanovic’s place, according to reports at the time, and later lived with Jovanovic in a Calgary house. Hays’ quartet earned silver without Jovanovic in Salt Lake City, the first U.S. men’s bobsled medals since 1956.

Jovanovic’s parents were from the former Yugoslavia. He first saw bobsled watching the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Games on TV and played middle linebacker for Rutgers before becoming a bobsledder.

“I only was on the team with Pavle for a short time but while I was, it was never a dull moment,” was posted on three-time U.S. Olympic bobsled medalist Elana Meyers Taylor‘s Instagram. “He was one of the first bobsledders who showed me how to be elite. RIP Pavle.”

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Pav, I can’t believe another one of these needs to be written. I can’t believe it’s you I’m writing this about. My personal legend – the athlete that set the standard for focus, dedication, meticulousness, and drive – tragically took his own life at the age of 43. You won’t have to keep going to the line with that hamstring torn in half anymore, buddy. We’ll make sure your brother, your sister, & your parents know the person and athlete you were. @TeamUSA's Pavle Jovanovic (‘77-‘20) for 6 years was the best bobsledder on the planet and I wanted to be just like him. We did everything together – from sushi in Calgary to poker in Innsbruck to wind tunnels in Maryland and too many World Cup medals to count all over the world. Together with @billschuffenhauer, B-Rock, Hays or Holcy & our coach @fingermash, we were unstoppable. When Pav was removed from the ‘02 Olympic Team by USADA & CAS, I benefitted. That guilt laid with me until Pav became my roommate, teammate, and for quite some time, my best friend. He alleviated me of the guilt, even as he fought in lawsuits (and won) to clear his name. But he buried it deep and put it on himself. Then we went to the '06 @olympics, together. Pav was the best teammate anyone ever had. He knew your success would mean his success. He taught me that. He taught me to care about my teammates' sleep, nutrition, therapy, & work ethic in the gym and behind closed doors just as much as you cared about your own. He taught me about the need for being mentally healthy – not for life, but for athletic success. And that may have been part of his downfall. What happens when the person who is best known as being 150% focused or nothing– finds the nothing becoming what they become 150% focused on? In the last era without social media to show everyone how hard you were working everyday; when the only time an outsider saw the work you put in was when you stepped to the line for raceday – Pavle was King. He WAS the standard. Today we mourn the second bobsled Olympian in the last three years. Today I mourn the second of the six men I competed at the Olympics for my country with to be laid to rest too soon. 'Bro', that’s a problem.

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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

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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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