USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun addresses the media at the USOC Olympic media summit at The Beverly Hilton hotel. To his right: USOC board chair Larry Probst // Getty Images

USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun addresses the media at the USOC Olympic media summit at The Beverly Hilton hotel. To his right: USOC board chair Larry Probst // Getty Images

Rio 2016

Like a plague of locusts, so predictable

Like one of those locust cycles that erupt with scientific predictability, here we are five months before an Olympic Games and, just on schedule, there’s an outbreak among the ladies and gentlemen of the press of OMG the-sky-is-falling. What, you say? These Rio Games are on track to be a disaster! Zika! Water pollution! Slow ticket sales! Ack! Danger, Will Robinson!

Or maybe, you know, not.

Swimming

Free Michael Phelps

This space believes in making things simple and easy. So here it is: Michael Phelps should swim at the 2015 world championships in Kazan, Russia.

USA Swimming suspended Phelps for six months in the aftermath of his drunk-driving incident in Maryland last September. That suspension has run, and he will open his 2015 season by swimming this week at a meet in Mesa, Arizona. In addition to that suspension, Phelps and USA Swimming agreed — and “agreed” is putting a spin on it — that he would not be on the U.S. team in Kazan. Now the time has come to fix that.

Yannick Agnel, Florent Manaudou Fabien Gilot and Jeremy Stravius celebrate their 4x100 relay victory // Getty Images

Yannick Agnel, Florent Manaudou Fabien Gilot and Jeremy Stravius celebrate their 4x100 relay victory // Getty Images

Swimming

Déjà two all over again

BARCELONA — With Michael Phelps watching from the stands, the U.S. men took a lead into the final leg of the men’s 4×100 relay here Sunday night at the Palau Sant Jordi.

As the old building roared, what happened in the next 48 or so seconds was either a bad case of déjà two all over again or a matter of the Americans playing not for short-term glory but for long-term reward. Depends on your point of view.

Missy Franklin, Ryan Lochte, Nathan Adrian and Matt Grevers are among the U.S. swimmers at Friday's news conference in Barcelona

Missy Franklin, Ryan Lochte, Nathan Adrian and Matt Grevers are among the U.S. swimmers at Friday's news conference in Barcelona

Swimming, Uncategorized

BCN 2013: life after Phelps

BARCELONA — The world after Michael Phelps gets underway here shortly in sun-splashed Spain, or at least that part that everyone outside serious swim geeks would be inclined to pay attention to, the 2013 swimming world championships, and from all over the globe they sought Friday both to downplay expectations while asserting that quite naturally the point in racing is to win.

“It’s kind of a down year but everyone is getting ready to race,” American Matt Grevers, the London Games 100 meters backstroke gold medalist, said, summing it up perfectly in just one short sentence.