Liz Cambage will not play for Australia national team again, Olympic captain believes

Liz Cambage
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Australian Olympic team captain Jenna O’Hea said she does not think star Liz Cambage will play for the national team again, 10 months after Cambage announced a withdrawal from the Tokyo Olympics one week before the Opening Ceremony.

O’Hea, who retired in March, also asserted on the Australia ABC program “Offsiders” that Cambage told Nigerian players in a pre-Olympic scrimmage, “Go back to your third-world country.” Three days after that scrimmage, Cambage said she was withdrawing from the Olympics, citing mental health, panic attacks and the “terrifying” prospect of entering a bubble environment.

Three days after Cambage withdrew, Basketball Australia announced she was part of an unspecified investigation “for a breach of the integrity framework and code of conduct.”

Then in November, the federation announced that Cambage was formally reprimanded for conduct in the Nigeria scrimmage, without elaborating on the nature of the incident nor the reprimand.

In December, Cambage posted on social media that she had zero interest in playing for the national team, the day before a preliminary 24-player roster pool was named for September’s FIBA World Cup in Sydney. Cambage was not in that pool.

Cambage, a 30-year-old with a Nigerian father, recently told ABC of the national team, nicknamed the Opals, “I’m living my best life. I’m supported. I’m protected on a level that the Opals or the Australian team never gave to me. My heart lies with those who want to protect me and those who want me to be the best I can be, and I never felt that in the Opals at all.”

After O’Hea’s comments aired last weekend, Cambage tweeted, “The truth will always come to light, and it ain’t even dawn yet.”

Without Cambage, Australia went 1-3 at the Tokyo Olympics and lost in the quarterfinals to the U.S. It marked the team’s worst Olympic performance since its debut at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.

Cambage earned a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics and led the tournament in points per game in 2016. She is a four-time WNBA All-Star now playing for the Los Angeles Sparks.

Australia was once the top challenger to the U.S., taking silver at the Olympics in 2000, 2004 and 2008 and winning the world title in 2006.

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Summer McIntosh, Canadian teen swimmer, caps record year with another historic time

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Summer McIntosh swam the fourth-fastest 400m individual medley in history on Friday, capping a year that already included world titles, Commonwealth Games titles and a victory over Katie Ledecky.

McIntosh, a 16-year-old Canadian whose mom swam at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, won the 400m IM in 4 minutes, 28.61 seconds at the U.S. Open in Greensboro, N.C. She prevailed by a Ledecky-like 13.24 seconds, breaking her own national record that was previously the fourth-fastest time in history.

“It’s still pretty early in the season, so I didn’t really know what to expect going into it,” she said on Peacock.

The only two women who ever went faster in the event known as the decathlon of swimming are Olympic gold medalists: Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (world record 4:26.36 and 4:28.58) and China’s Ye Shiwen (4:28.43).

McIntosh has come a long way in a short time. Three years ago, she put all her eggs in the 1500m freestyle basket, thinking it was her best shot to merely qualify for the Tokyo Games in 2020. The one-year Olympic postponement was a blessing.

The rapidly improving McIntosh swam three individual events in Tokyo with a top finish of fourth in the 400m free, just missing becoming the youngest swimming medalist since 1996. She then told her coach she wanted to become an IMer.

At this past June’s world championships, McIntosh won two of the most grueling events — 400m IM and 200m butterfly — to become the youngest individual world champion since 2011. She also took silver to Ledecky in the 400m free, an event in which she later beat Ledecky in a short-course meet (25-meter pool rather than the 50-meter pool used for the Olympics).

A month after worlds, McIntosh swept the IMs at the Commonwealth Games, where she broke more world junior records and again took second in the 400m free (this time to Olympic champ and world record holder Ariarne Titmus of Australia).

McIntosh, who turned professional last year, now trains full-time in Sarasota, Florida, where she rents a house with her mom, Jill Horstead, who was ninth in the 200m fly at the 1984 Olympics (McIntosh, whose passions include the Kardashians and plants from Target, has seen video of her mom winning the B final at those Games). They’re a three-hour drive down Interstate 75 from Ledecky’s base in Gainesville.

Also Friday, Erin Gemmell celebrated her 18th birthday by nearly becoming the first American to beat Ledecky in a 200m freestyle in nearly nine years. Ledecky won by 42 hundredths of a second in 1:56.74 and said she had an off-day while also praising Gemmell, the daughter of her former coach.

NBC airs U.S. Open highlights on Dec. 10 at 4:30 p.m. ET.

U.S. OPEN SWIMMING: Full Results

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Kaillie Humphries begins trek to 2026 Winter Olympics with monobob World Cup win

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Kaillie Humphries is off to a strong start to a four-year cycle that she hopes ends with her breaking the record as the oldest female Olympic bobsledder.

Humphries, the women’s record holder with three Olympic bobsled titles, earned her first World Cup victory since February’s Winter Games, taking a monobob in Park City, Utah, on Friday.

Humphries, the first Olympic monobob champion, prevailed by .31 of a second over German Lisa Buckwitz combining times from two runs at the 2002 Olympic track.

Humphries has said since February’s Olympics that she planned to take time off in this four-year cycle to start a family, then return in time for the 2026 Milano-Cortina Winter Games. Humphries, who can become the first female Olympic bobsledder in her 40s, shared her experiences with IVF in the offseason on her social media.

“We’ve pushed pause so that I could go and compete this season, maintain my world ranking to be able to still work towards my 2026 goals, and we’ll go back in March to do the implantation of the embryos that we did retrieve,” she said, according to TeamUSA.org.

The next Games come 20 years after her first Olympic experience in Italy, which was a sad one. Humphries, then a bobsled push athlete, was part of the Canadian delegation at the 2006 Torino Games, marched at the Opening Ceremony and had her parents flown in to cheer her on.

But four days before the competition, Humphries learned she was not chosen for either of the two Canadian push athlete spots. She vowed on the flight home to put her future Olympic destiny in her own hands by becoming a driver.

She has since become the greatest female driver in history — Olympic golds in 2010, 2014 and 2022, plus five world championships.

Her longtime rival, five-time Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor, plans to return to competition from her second childbirth later in this Olympic cycle and can also break the record of oldest female Olympic bobsledder.

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