Kate Courtney
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USA Cycling names Olympic long team, finalists for Tokyo Games

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World champion Kate Courtney leads the finalists for the U.S. Olympic cycling team across the road, track and mountain events.

USA Cycling named its “long team” on Thursday in a live streamed announcement on its YouTube page featuring actor Patrick Dempsey and NBC Sports anchor Steve Schlanger. Most of the cyclists will ultimately make the Tokyo Olympic roster. The rest will be alternates. Nobody outside of the long team can go to the Olympics, according to USA Cycling.

The long team features world champions in Courtney, Chloe Dygert (the lone cyclist among the finalists who previously clinched an Olympic spot), Amber Neben, Jennifer Valente, Emma White and Lily Williams.

Courtney won the 2018 World title in mountain bike and eyes the first U.S. Olympic title in the discipline that debuted at the 1996 Atlanta Games. Dygert is a reigning world champion on the road and the track. Valente, White and Williams joined Dygert on a team pursuit squad that won a world title on Feb. 27. Neben won world road time trial titles in 2008 and 2016.

The men on the long team are led by Tour de France veteran Tejay van Garderen.

Van Garderen placed fifth in the Tour de France in 2012 and 2014, the best finish for an American at the three-week stage race since 2008. Van Garderen also has the top Tour de France finish for an American in this Olympic cycle — 32nd in 2018.

Van Garderen withdrew from Rio Olympic consideration due to Zika virus concerns four years ago, when his wife was pregnant with their second child,

The full Olympic long team for road, track and mountain events:

Chloe Dygert
Krista Dobel-Hickock
Katharine Hall
Amber Neben
Coryn Rivera
Lauren Stephens
Leah Thomas
Taylor Wiles
Ruth Winder
Lawson Craddock
Ian Garrison
Alex Howes
Sepp Kuss
Brandon McNulty
Neilson Powless
Tejay van Garderen

Christina Birch
Chloe Dygert
Maddie Godby
Megan Jastrab
Mandy Marquardt
Kendall Ryan
Jennifer Valente
Emma White
Lily Williams
Adrian Hegyvary
Daniel Holloway
Gavin Hoover

Haley Batten
Kate Courtney
Lea Davison
Hannah Finchamp
Erin Huck
Chloe Woodruff
Christopher Blevins
Keegan Swenson

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MORE: Chloe Dygert wanted to be Prefontaine. Then Bird. Now, her coach.

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

Katie Ledecky
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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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