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Leanne Smith leads U.S. gold medalists at para swim worlds

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Leanne Smith has never competed at a Paralympics. Came into this week’s world championships with zero world medals. But she leaves London with three individual golds, most for any American, one year before the Tokyo Games.

Smith, 21, won the 150m individual medley, 50m breaststroke and 100m freestyle in her classification, all in American record times. The last two titles came on the final day of the seven-day meet on Sunday.

Smith, diagnosed with a rare neurological muscle disease called dystonia in January 2012, began swimming in 2013. By 2017, she broke a world record and then debuted at the world championships with a best individual finish of sixth.

The U.S. finished with 35 total medals and 14 golds, ranking sixth in the overall standings. Ukraine, usually strong at the Paralympics, led the way with 55 medals. Full results are here.

Jessica Long, the second-most-decorated U.S. Paralympian in history with 23 medals, earned six this week — five silvers and a bronze — to give her 52 career world championships medals.

Two-time Paralympian Mallory Weggemann earned two golds this week, giving her 15 world titles in three appearances (her others being in 2009 and 2010).

She won 50m titles in the butterfly and freestyle. Weggemann won a 2012 Paralympic 50m free title but was fortunate just to make it back for Rio after a 2014 accident that she said was harder to come back from than her teenage paralysis. She left Rio with no medals but a resolve to return for a third Games in Tokyo.

“I’m two seconds away from bursting into tears,” Weggemann said after winning the first of her two golds in the 50m fly, according to U.S. Paralympics. “I had a really rough go these past three years since Rio, so to finally be back after busting my butt to be here, and to be here in London of all places, is absolutely incredible.”

Fellow Rio Paralympians McKenzie Coan and Robert Griswold added two golds a piece.

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MORE: Five storylines to watch for Tokyo Paralympics

Michael, Nicole Phelps welcome third baby boy

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The Phelps family is one boy short of a relay team.

Nicole Phelps gave birth to their third boy, Maverick Nicolas Phelps, on Monday, according to her Instagram.

“He instantly has stolen all of our hearts and keeps me an ecstatic mommy of boys,” was posted. “I can’t wait to walk this journey surrounded by my men.”

No Olympian in history has had the first name of any of Phelps’ sons — Boomer (born May 5, 2016), Beckett (born Feb. 12, 2018) and now Maverick.

“So happy to welcome mavericknphelps to the world!” was tweeted from the account of Phelps’ longtime coach, Bob Bowman. “We’re working on a relay!”

Maverick’s Instagram had 4,000 followers less than a half-hour after Nicole tweeted the news. Boomer, who became a sensation during the Rio Olympics, has 679,000 followers. Beckett has 66,000 followers.

Michael Phelps, now 34, retired for the second time after his fifth Olympics in Rio with a record 28 medals and 23 golds. He has said he will not come back but has stayed in shape, taking up Peloton.

MORE: Dana Vollmer retires from swimming

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Elizabeth Beisel becomes latest Olympian to compete on ‘Survivor’

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Elizabeth Beisel, a retired, three-time U.S. Olympic swimmer, is a contestant on the 39th season of “Survivor,” which premieres Sept. 25.

Beisel is not the first Olympian to compete in the show’s two-decade history. She retired in 2017 at age 25 after earning Olympic silver and bronze medals, plus the 2011 World title in the 400m individual medley.

Previously, Athens 2004 4x400m runner Crystal Cox was a castaway in 2008, two years before she admitted to using performance enhancing-drugs during her career, which led to her being retroactively stripped of an Olympic gold medal. The 1988 Olympic swimmer Katrina Radke was on in 2017 and the first person voted off.

“Australian Survivor” featured Olympic champion swimmer Shane Gould (fifth-season winner), gold medalist aerials skier Lydia Lassila and bronze medalist water polo player Nicola Zagame.

Beisel’s close friend from training at the University of Florida, 12-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte, competed on the second season of “Celebrity Big Brother” earlier this year, along with Summer and Winter Olympian Lolo Jones.

Lochte and a host of Olympians have competed on “Dancing with the Stars.”

MORE: On Caeleb Dressel’s mind: Not gold medals, but a dark fantasy

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