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USOC: ‘an exciting new time’

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — After Larry Probst and Scott Blackmun had given first-rate speeches to the hundreds gathered here at the Antlers Hilton hotel for the U.S. Olympic Committee’s annual assembly, the two senior USOC officials, with a gaggle of reporters in tow, found a small room just off the big ballroom for an impromptu news conference.

This was the Jackson Room, named not for the seventh president but for a 19th-century Colorado photographer. A big wooden table dominated Mr. William Jackson’s room. Blackmun took one of the blue chairs on one side of the table, Probst the chair right next to him.

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The USOC’s “new direction” (for real)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A year after Chicago’s “devastating” 2016 loss, a regrouped U.S. Olympic Committee can rightly call the past 12 months extraordinarily challenging and yet “one of the best” years ever, USOC chairman Larry Probst asserted Friday.

In addresses to the annual USOC assembly, Probst and chief executive Scott Blackmun pointed to, among other accomplishments, 37 medals won by American athletes at the Vancouver Games, key top-tier sponsor deals, a far-reaching study aimed at re-making the USOC board, re-engagement with domestic groups such as national governing body officials and intensive relationship-building internationally.

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Dara is back, and that’s good

True enough, over the past year or so Dara Torres hadn’t committed herself to competitive swimming. Not in any way. Not with the knee surgery, the shoulder surgery, the book tour, the motivational speaking, the travel — and, most important, the being a mom to daughter Tessa, who’s now 4 1/2.

Then again, Dara secretly probably knew deep down all along that vying for London and 2012 was her destiny. And here is the telling clue: All this time, she kept herself in the athlete drug-testing pool.