Laurie Hernandez, Morgan Hurd will not compete at Olympic Gymnastics Trials

Laurie Hernandez
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Olympic champion Laurie Hernandez and world champion Morgan Hurd will not compete at the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials in two weeks.

USA Gymnastics on Wednesday updated its national championships recap from early Monday morning to reflect that “no additional names will be added” to the Olympic Trials field of 18 following a concluded petition process.

The original 18 were named after nationals on Sunday night — the top 17 in the all-around standings plus Riley McCusker, who finished second on uneven bars.

Hernandez, who earned team gold and balance beam silver in Rio, withdrew from nationals after performing on one event after hyperextending her left knee in balance beam warm-ups on Friday. She returned to competition this year after a four-and-a-half-year break following Rio.

“Definitely heartbroken that this week didn’t quite go the way I’d planned,” was posted on Hernandez’s social media on Sunday.

Hurd, the 2017 World all-around champion in Simone Biles‘ year off, competed in two of the four events on both days of nationals. She finished 23rd on floor and 26th on beam after undergoing her fifth and sixth career right elbow surgeries in March.

“The future is an unwritten place. cannot express my gratitude enough to everyone for the constant love and support,” Hurd posted on social media on Monday. “i wouldn’t be where i am or accomplish what i have without it. congrats to all the girls who made olympic trials, can’t wait to watch you kill it!”

Chellsie Memmel, the 2005 World all-around champion and 2008 Olympic silver medalist who competed this year for the first time in nine years, is also not in the Olympic Trials field.

A committee reviewed petitions to be included at Trials from Hurd, McCusker and Memmel and approved McCusker’s based on criteria outlined in procedures.

  • Simone Biles, Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre
  • Skye Blakely, Frisco, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics
  • Jade Carey, Phoenix, Ariz./Arizona Sunrays
  • Jordan Chiles, Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre
  • Kayla DiCello, Boyds, Md./Hill’s Gymnastics
  • Amari Drayton, Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre
  • Kara Eaker, Grain Valley, Mo./Great American Gymnastics Express
  • Addison Fatta, Wrightsville, Pa./Prestige Gymnastics
  • Shilese Jones, Westerville, Ohio/Future Gymnastics Academy
  • Emily Lee, Los Gatos, Calif./West Valley Gymnastics School
  • Sunisa Lee, St. Paul, Minn./Midwest Gymnastics Center
  • Emma Malabuyo, Flower Mound, Texas/Texas Dreams
  • Grace McCallum, Isanti, Minn./Twin City Twisters
  • Riley McCusker, Brielle, N.J./Arizona Sunrays
  • Zoe Miller, Spring, Texas, World Champions Centre
  • Ava Siegfeldt, Williamsburg, Va./World Class Gymnastics
  • MyKayla Skinner, Gilbert, Ariz./Desert Lights Gymnastics
  • Leanne Wong, Overland Park, Kan./Great American Gymnastics Express

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LeBron James answers Olympics question by promoting ‘Space Jam’

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LeBron James promoted his upcoming movie when asked if he will play at the Tokyo Olympics after his Los Angeles Lakers were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs.

“I think I’m going to play for the Tune Squad this summer instead of the Olympics,” James, referencing “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” said with a straight face before later smiling in his answer late Thursday night after a season-ending defeat to the Phoenix Suns. “I think that’s what my focus [is] on, trying to beat the Monstars, or the Goon Squad we call them now. So, didn’t have much success versus the Suns, so now I am gearing my attention to the Goon Squad here in July, mid-July.”

To be clear, the movie is due out in theaters in July, so filming has long since finished.

James, who at 36 is older than any previous U.S. Olympic men’s basketball player, said getting his injured ankle back to 100 percent is “the most important thing” for him this summer.

“I’ve got like three months to recalibrate,” he said in a perhaps more telling comment about his Tokyo prospects. The Olympics open in the middle of that time frame.

“I’m going to let the ankle rest for about a month,” James said later, “and then gear up with Lola, Taz, Granny, Bugs and the rest of the crew.”

James played at the Olympics in 2004, 2008 and 2012 before skipping the 2016 Rio Games to rest after leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to an NBA title.

He has been asked about the Tokyo Olympics several times since then but never committed, though having the respected Gregg Popovich as the new U.S. head coach made it appealing.

No NBA superstar has publicly committed to or taken his name out of consideration for the U.S. Olympic team.

Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers has come the closest to saying he would accept a roster spot if offered. Leonard previously played for Popovich’s San Antonio Spurs, but the Clippers are still alive in the playoffs and will likely advance to the conference semifinals.

The farther a team goes, the less likely it is the player makes himself available for the Olympics given the proximity to the July 23 Opening Ceremony.

In February, FIBA said that it and the IOC were reviewing a USA Basketball petition to change the rules for when Olympic men’s basketball rosters must be submitted.

ESPN reported that USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said U.S. officials asked to allow roster changes closer to and even during the Olympics.

The NBA season started later and runs later this year. A potential NBA Finals Game 7 would be the day before the Opening Ceremony.

The current deadline for nations to submit Olympic teams is July 5, though there is a late athlete replacement policy that extends closer to the start of competition. This usually comes into play for injuries.

“These are not normal times. Rosters by a certain date doesn’t make any sense,” Colangelo said, according to ESPN.com. “What we’re seeking is flexibility to substitute players very late and to get the best players on the court. It doesn’t just apply to us but for all the countries.”

Complicating matters further, USA Basketball plans to hold a player training camp in early July in Las Vegas during the playoffs.

“It’s conceivable, there will be a few players who are competing in the Finals and want to participate, and we want them to participate,” Colangelo said, according to USA Today last week. “We’ll take inventory after each round. It’s possible that we don’t end up with 12 in Las Vegas, and we bring a couple of guys at the last minute.”

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Caitlyn Jenner plots run for California Governor

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Caitlyn Jenner, the 1976 Olympic decathlon champion, filed initial paperwork to run for governor of California and plans a formal announcement in the coming weeks.

“The significance of this decision is not lost on me,” Jenner, who launched a “Caitlyn for California” campaign on CaitlynJenner.com, said in a press release. “The sacrifice is significant, but responsibility is great, and I can’t wait to lead, to help and most importantly disrupt the status quo once again.”

At least two Olympians have served as governor of a state — 1956 Olympic ice hockey player Wendell Anderson (Minnesota) and 1964 Olympic speed skater Judy Morstein (Montana), according to Bill Mallon of Olympedia.org.

Jenner, 71 and a longtime Republican, consulted with GOP advisers as she considered joining the field of candidates hoping to replace Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in a likely recall election later this year.

Election officials are still reviewing petition signatures required to qualify the recall for the ballot. Several other Republicans have also announced plans to run.

If the recall qualifies for the ballot, as expected, voters would be asked two questions: first, whether Newsom should be removed from office. The second would be a list of replacement candidates to choose from, if more than 50% of voters support removing Newsom from office.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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