Chellsie Memmel, Alicia Sacramone Quinn to lead U.S. women’s gymnastics program

Alicia Sacramone, Chellsie Memmel
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Chellsie Memmel and Alicia Sacramone Quinn, who were on the 2008 U.S. Olympic silver medal team, and longtime coach Dan Baker have been named the leaders of the U.S. women’s gymnastics program.

After USA Gymnastics changed its model from a single director to a trio, Memmel will be the technical lead, Quinn the strategic lead and Baker the developmental lead. They start next week.

“We are extremely pleased to have this well-rounded team of leaders to drive our program, from development to the Olympic stage,” U.S. women’s gymnastics vice president Annie Heffernon said in a press release. “They bring decades of experience in coaching, talent development, judging and elite competition. To have Olympians return to our national team in coaching and strategic capacities will have an even bigger impact on the next generation of women’s elite athletes.”

Memmel, who last year came out of a nine-year retirement and competed at nationals, will direct national team camps while providing “technical and coaching oversight” for the high performance program.

Quinn, captain of the 2008 Olympic team and a 10-time world championships medalist, will focus on “the overarching strategy for the national team,” overseeing planning and direction of the high performance program.

Baker, a club coach since 1998 and USA Gymnastics elite women’s development coordinator since 2018, will continue focusing on junior levels, overseeing the developmental program and camps.

Dominique Moceanu, a member of the 1996 Olympic gold medal team, said she applied for the strategic lead position and was interviewed.

Memmel, Quinn and Baker succeed Tom Forster, who stepped down at the end of 2021 after three and a half years at the helm that included a team silver-medal result at the Tokyo Games.

Top gymnasts are preparing for the U.S. Classic in July and national championships in August, after which the team for the world championships in October and November will be named.

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Joel Embiid gains U.S. citizenship, mum on Olympic nationality

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Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid said he is now a U.S. citizen and it’s way too early to think about what nation he would represent at the Olympics.

“I just want to be healthy and win a championship and go from there,” he said, according to The Associated Press.

Embiid, 28, was born in Cameroon and has never competed in a major international tournament. In July, he gained French nationality, a step toward being able to represent that nation at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In the spring, French media reported that Embiid started the process to become eligible to represent France in international basketball, quoting national team general manager Boris Diaw.

Embiid was second in NBA MVP voting this season behind Serbian Nikola Jokic. He was the All-NBA second team center.

What nation Embiid represents could have a major impact on the Paris Games.

In Tokyo, a French team led by another center, Rudy Gobert, handed the U.S. its first Olympic defeat since 2004. That was in group play. The Americans then beat the French in the gold-medal game 87-82.

That France team had five NBA players to the U.S.’ 12: Nicolas BatumEvan FournierTimothe Luwawu-CabarrotFrank Ntilikina and Gobert.

Anthony Davis, who skipped the Tokyo Olympics, is the lone U.S. center to make an All-NBA team in the last five seasons. In that time, Embiid made four All-NBA second teams and Gobert made three All-NBA third teams.

No Olympic team other than the U.S. has ever had two reigning All-NBA players on its roster.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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LA 2028, Delta unveil first-of-its-kind emblems for Olympics, Paralympics

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Emblems for the 2028 Los Angeles Games that include logos of Delta Air Lines is the first integration of its kind in Olympic and Paralympic history.

Organizers released the latest set of emblems for the LA 2028 Olympics and Paralympics on Thursday, each with a Delta symbol occupying the “A” spot in LA 28.

Two years ago, the LA 2028 logo concept was unveiled with an ever-changing “A” that allowed for infinite possibilities. Many athletes already created their own logos, as has NBC.

“You can make your own,” LA28 chairperson Casey Wasserman said in 2020. “There’s not one way to represent Los Angeles, and there is strength in our diverse cultures. We have to represent the creativity and imagination of Los Angeles, the diversity of our community and the big dreams the Olympic and Paralympic Games provide.”

Also in 2020, Delta was announced as LA 2028’s inaugural founding partner. Becoming the first partner to have an integrated LA 2028 emblem was “extremely important for us,” said Emmakate Young, Delta’s managing director, brand marketing and sponsorships.

“It is a symbol of our partnership with LA, our commitment to the people there, as well as those who come through LA, and a commitment to the Olympics,” she said.

The ever-changing emblem succeeds an angelic bid logo unveiled in February 2016 when the city was going for the 2024 Games, along with the slogan, “Follow the Sun.” In July 2017, the IOC made a historic double awarding of the Olympics and Paralympics — to Paris for 2024 and Los Angeles for 2028.

The U.S. will host its first Olympics and Paralympics since 2002 (and first Summer Games since 1996), ending its longest drought between hosting the Games since the 28-year gap between 1932 and 1960.

Delta began an eight-year Olympic partnership in 2021, becoming the official airline of Team USA and the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

Athletes flew to this year’s Winter Games in Beijing on chartered Delta flights and will do so for every Games through at least 2028.

Previously, Delta sponsored the last two Olympics held in the U.S. — the 1996 Atlanta Games and the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games.

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