Caeleb Dressel withdraws from rest of world swimming championships

Caeleb Dressel
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BUDAPEST — Caeleb Dressel withdrew from the rest of his events at the world swimming championships on the fifth day of the eight-day meet, a day after scratching out of a race on unspecified medical grounds.

“After conferring with Caeleb, his coaches and the medical staff, a decision has been made to withdraw him from the FINA World Championships,” according to a USA Swimming statement Wednesday. “Our priority is and will always be the health of our athletes and we will continue to give Caeleb the assistance he needs to recover quickly.”

Dressel, a 15-time world champion who won five golds at the Tokyo Olympics, scratched out of Tuesday’s 100m freestyle semifinals. He was also expected to race in Tuesday’s mixed 4x100m medley relay final before the withdrawal.

He did not have any events scheduled Wednesday.

Now he will also miss the 100m butterfly and 50m freestyle, events that start Thursday, and two more relays he was expected to be a part of (mixed 4x100m free and men’s 4x100m medley).

He won a gold medal on each of the first two days of the meet, leading off the men’s 4x100m free relay on Saturday and repeating as 50m fly world champion on Sunday.

He didn’t have any events on Monday and was second-fastest in the 100m free preliminary heats on Tuesday before withdrawing.

SWIMMING WORLDS: TV Schedule | Results | U.S. Roster

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Kendall Gretsch wins six gold medals at Para Nordic Ski Worlds

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Kendall Gretsch, who won Paralympic titles at the last Summer and Winter Games, added another six gold medals at the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships in Sweden last week.

Gretsch, 30, earned seven total medals in seven days between biathlon and cross-country skiing.

Gretsch won gold medals in three different sports across the last three Paralympics: biathlon and cross-country skiing in 2018 (two years after taking up the sports), triathlon in 2021 and biathlon in 2022.

She plans to shift her focus back to triathlon after this winter for 2024 Paris Games qualification.

Gretsch, born with spina bifida, was the 2014 USA Triathlon Female Para Triathlete of the Year. Though triathlon was added to the Paralympics for the 2016 Rio Games, her classification was not added until Tokyo.

Also at last week’s worlds, six-time Paralympian Aaron Pike earned his first Paralympic or world championships gold medal in his decade-plus career, winning a 12.5km biathlon event.

Oksana Masters, who won seven medals in seven events at last year’s Paralympics to break the career U.S. Winter Paralympics medals record, missed worlds due to hand surgery.

The U.S. also picked up five medals at last week’s World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Spain — three silvers for five-time Paralympian Laurie Stephens and two bronzes for 17-year-old Saylor O’Brien.

Stephens now has 18 career medals from world championships, plus seven at the Paralympics.

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World champion skier Kyle Smaine dies in avalanche at age 31

Kyle Smaine
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Kyle Smaine, a retired world champion halfpipe skier, died in an avalanche in Japan on Sunday, according to NBC News, citing Smaine’s father. He was 31.

Smaine, a 2015 World champion in ski halfpipe, had been doing ski filming in Japan, sharing videos on his Instagram account over the past week.

The native of South Lake Tahoe, California, finished ninth in ski halfpipe at the 2016 Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado.

In 2018, Smaine won the fifth and final U.S. Olympic qualifying series event in ski halfpipe but did not make the four-man team for PyeongChang. His last sanctioned international competition was in February 2018.

Late Sunday, two-time Olympic champion David Wise won the X Games men’s ski halfpipe and dedicated it to Smaine.

“We all did this for Kyle tonight,” Wise said on the broadcast. “It’s a little bit of an emotional day for us. We lost a friend.”