Katie Ledecky

Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte
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NBCSN’s Olympic Games Week: What to watch on Friday

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Four titans of U.S. swimming — Missy FranklinKatie LedeckyMichael Phelps and Ryan Lochte — highlight NBCSN’s Olympic Games Week programming on Friday night.

Coverage starts at 8 p.m. ET with four hours of 2012 London Olympic swimming events. At those Games, Franklin, Ledecky, Phelps and Lochte combined for 17 medals, including six individual titles.

LIVE STREAM: NBCSN Olympic Games Week — Friday, 8 p.m.-3 a.m. ET

The 17-year-old Franklin swept the backstrokes, including breaking the 200m back world record. The rising Colorado high school senior delivered on the hype placed on her as the most talked-about U.S. female swimmer going into the Games.

Ledecky, the youngest U.S. Olympian across all sports at 15, did not have gold-medal expectations. But she shocked home favorite and defending Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington to win the 800m freestyle, the first of many gold medals in her career. Ledecky hasn’t lost an 800m free since.

The Phelps-Lochte rivalry was a key storyline throughout that Olympic cycle. Lochte had supplanted Phelps as the world’s top all-around swimmer a year earlier.

On the first night of competition, Lochte won the 400m individual medley, while a gassed Phelps was fourth. But by the end of the Olympics, Phelps had the better medal tally, including a win over Lochte in the 200m IM.

Phelps retired after those Games, only to return to the pool a year later with unfinished business after being defeated by South African Chad le Clos in his trademark 200m fly in London.

Later Thursday, catch the 2012 Olympic women’s soccer semifinal epic between the U.S. and Canada. In injury time of extra time, Alex Morgan headed in the latest goal scored in U.S. soccer and Olympic soccer history. It ended a 4-3 thriller that included three U.S. comebacks from a goal down and a hat trick from Canadian Christine Sinclair, who went on to become the greatest scorer in international history.

Then in the 2012 Olympic women’s beach volleyball final, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings dispatched countrywomen April Ross and Jen Kessy for a third straight gold medal. It marked the end of May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings’ partnership, as the former retired.

At the net post-match, Walsh Jennings whispered to Ross, let’s go win gold in Rio. They soon became partners, culminating in a bronze medal in 2016.

MORE: Full Olympic Games Week TV, live stream schedule

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NBCSN Olympic Games Week — Friday, April 17

Time (ET) Program Events Live Stream
8 p.m. Return to London Women’s Swimming STREAM LINK
10 p.m. Return to London Men’s Swimming STREAM LINK
12 a.m. Return to London Women’s Soccer: USA-Canada STREAM LINK
2 a.m. Return to London Women’s Beach Volleyball Final STREAM LINK

NBCSN’s Olympic Games Week: What to watch on Wednesday

Katie Ledecky
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Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky, David Boudia and Lilly King will be featured Wednesday night as part of NBCSN’s Olympic Games Week.

After four hours of swimming, coverage will swing to diving, the men’s gymnastics team final and the women’s water polo final.

LIVE STREAM: NBCSN Olympic Games Week Wednesday, 7 p.m.-3 a.m. ET

The evening starts at 7 p.m. ET with women’s swimming. Ledecky won the 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle and 800m freestyle, along with a fourth gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay and silver in the 4x100m freestyle relay.

King won the 100m breaststroke over Yuliya Efimova and wagged a finger at her Russian rival, who had been allowed to compete in Rio despite doping allegations. King didn’t qualify for the 200m breaststroke final but won another gold medal in the 4x100m medley relay. King and Efimova have moved on and have been friendly in the last two world championships.

At 9 p.m., coverage switches to men’s swimming. Phelps, racing in his last Olympics, earned five gold medals in his last Olympics — the 200m butterfly, 200m individual medley, 4x100m freestyle relay, 4x200m freestyle relay and 4x100m medley relay. He also took silver in the 100m butterfly. His final career medal haul: 23 gold medals, three silver and two bronze.

The diving events, starting at 11 p.m., were dominated by China, but U.S. men’s divers claimed three medals. David Boudia, who had gold and bronze in 2012, took bronze in the platform and silver in synchronized platform with Steele Johnson.

In men’s gymnastics, Kohei Uchimura led Japan to gold. The women’s water polo final was a coronation for the dominant U.S. women.

The week’s programming includes more than 100 hours of events from the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics as well as some other selected events. The look at past Olympics continues with classic events and Mary Carillo‘s Summer Olympic Adventures from April 22 to April 26.

All programming is also streaming on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app.

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NBCSN Olympic Games Week — Wednesday, April 15

Time (ET) Program Events Live Stream
7 p.m. Return to Rio Women’s Swimming STREAM LINK
9 p.m. Return to Rio Men’s Swimming STREAM LINK
11 p.m. Return to Rio Women’s Diving STREAM LINK
12 a.m. Return to Rio Men’s Diving STREAM LINK
1 a.m. Return to Rio Men’s Gymnastics Team Final STREAM LINK
2 a.m. Return to Rio Women’s Water Polo Final STREAM LINK

Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel welcome Olympic decision amid backyard pool, backpack lunges

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Katie Ledecky had reportedly turned to a backyard pool to swim last weekend. Simone Manuel, without a weight room available, piled books into a backpack and did lunges at home.

That’s been life for two of the world’s best swimmers for much of the last two weeks. No surprise, then, that they were relieved that the Tokyo Olympics were postponed until 2021.

“I think that a lot of the athletes expected it, but I support today’s decision,” Manuel told NBC Olympic primetime host Mike Tirico. “The health of everyone is more important than the Olympics at this time. So I’m just excited that a decision has finally been made and we can move on and get prepared for 2021.”

No more uncertainty over whether to keep preparing for a potential June Olympic Trials. No more searching for pools around their base of Stanford University, which closed its athletics facilities amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The search to swim brought Ledecky and Manuel to Menlo Circus Club, two miles up the road. That didn’t last. Ledecky and Manuel eventually turned to swimming in somebody’s backyard pool on a few occasions, according to the Washington Post.

“Honestly, it’s been more just therapeutic,” Ledecky said, according to the newspaper, which added she and Manuel considered relocating to Florida to find an Olympic-size pool. “It hasn’t really been training. It’s just been something to do, something to get our minds off the uncertainty that we’ve all been in these last 10 days or so.”

Manuel said that after Stanford’s pool closed two Fridays ago, a ripple effect of events essentially ended her training. She’s used to nine practice sessions a week — 22 hours in the water — and four more hours of dryland work.

“For a period of time we were being told that the Olympics are still on, and you’ve got to do the best that you can, so scrambling, trying to figure out what to do about training,” Ledecky said.

On a scale of one to 10, Manuel said right now she would be a three on the range of readiness to compete.

“Even if I am able to train, I’m training short-course yards [25-yard pools], and in no way is that going to allow you to win Olympic medals [in 50-meter pools],” she said. “I’m not able to lift in the gym, and so I’m really just putting books in a backpack and trying to do lunges.”

They can now exhale. It’s still unknown when Ledecky and Manuel can return to regular training, but the last two weeks put that problem in perspective.

“As we stand together to meet today’s challenges, we can dream about a wonderful Olympics in a beautiful country,” Ledecky posted on social media. “Now is the time to support all those working to heal the sick and keep us all healthy.”

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