Ryan Lochte plans to alter his training routine, not work as hard

Based on his expectations heading into the London Olympics, Ryan Lochte fell short of his goals. There is nothing wrong with five overall medals including two golds, but Lochte made it clear before the Games that he was aiming to sweep his events and beat Michael Phelps in their two head-to-head swims — the 200- and 400-meter individual medleys. Instead, he took gold in one and lost to Phelps in the other.

By the end of the first week in London, it seemed evident that the long week of swimming had taken its toll on Lochte. He finished third in the 200-meter backstroke — an event he won in Beijing in 2008 — and second behind Phelps in the 200-meter individual medley to wrap things up. On Thursday night after he was finished, Lochte wondered if he may have trained too hard.

“I’ll tell you this, I’m definitely gonna be training differently,” he said according to NBC Olympics. “All those brutal workouts that I did, I’m getting older. I think it’s time to change my training a little. Take it down a notch.”

Lochte celebrated his 28th birthday on Friday, so he certainly isn’t young by Olympic standards. NBC swimming analyst Rowdy Gaines also felt that the workload took its toll on Lochte.

“He’s a big boy,” Gaines said. “And those big boys need a lot of rest. I’m not saying he wasn’t rested enough, I think my point is that’s hard to swim so many events when you’re that big. It’s hard on the muscles. You need more recovery. You have a lot more weight pulling around the pool.”

Whether he prepared too hard or not hard enough, the bottom line is a week’s worth of swimming against the best competition in the world would take its toll on anyone not named the 2008 version of Michael Phelps. Lochte may not be happy with only two gold medals this year, but at least now he gets to focus on his one-night stands and guarding his medals rather than storing them in this safe spot.

Photo Credit: OSports via US PRESSWIRE

Olympic sprinter Kim Collins sent home for visiting wife and children at hotel

Former world champion sprinter Kim Collins had his London Olympic experience cut short on Saturday and was not allowed to compete in the final heat of the men’s 100-meter, but you will never guess why. Prior to Saturday’s race, Collins was sent home by his country for a violation of team rules. When we hear of something like that, we typically assume it has to do with drug testing or some sort of legal matter. You would likely never imagine that an Olympian would be sent home for visiting his wife in a hotel.

According to The Guardian, the team decided to take discplinary action against Collins — who carried the flag for St. Kitts and Nevis during the Opening Ceremony — after it learned that he had left the Olympic Village without permission to visit his wife. A team spokesman said Collins had been away from the village for “the last couple of days.” Collins took to Twitter early Saturday to express his frustration and disbelief.

“My fans. I won’t lie. Won’t be running later tonight,” he wrote. “For those who saw me run in Mexico, that’s the last time I represent my country. Even men in prison get their wives to visit.”

Rules may be rules, but it’s tough to argue that this isn’t a ridiculous decision. We hear stories about emergency shipments of condoms and people having sex out in the open in the Olympic Village and that’s all fine, but somehow a 36-year old man has to see his Olympic dreams come crashing down because he missed his wife. Between Collins’ story and the one about the shooting couple who wasn’t allowed to share a bed, I think it’s time some teams start rethinking their priorities in terms of rules governing the athletes’ personal lives.

H/T The Big Lead

Coach K didn’t appreciate question about Team USA running up score

Team USA basketball had a record-setting win over Nigeria at the London Olympics on Thursday, but they couldn’t completely enjoy the near-flawless performance.

The US won 156-73 and set records for most points, three-pointers, field goals, and highest field-goal percentage in an Olympic game. But just because the team was extraordinarily hot during the game doesn’t mean they were trying to humiliate their opponent. And if you suggested that to Coach K, he was not happy.

Mike Krzyzewski became defensive when asked in the postgame news conference about the team running up the score.

“We didn’t play LeBron [James] and Kobe [Bryant] in the second half, and with Carmelo shooting like that, we benched him,” Krzyzewski said, per Yahoo! Sports. “We didn’t take any fast breaks in the fourth quarter, and we played all zone. You have to take a shot every 24 seconds, and the shots we took happened to be hit.

“I take offense to this question because there’s no way in the world that our program in the United States sets out to humiliate anyone.”

Nigeria actually had some decent talent on the team — Al-Farouq Aminu, Ike Diogu, and Tony Skinn — but that’s nothing compared to a squad full of first-team All-NBA players, especially when they were on fire.

Questions about teams running up the score should only come if there are clear signs that a team was acting unsportsmanlike. I don’t believe that was the case here and, man, I wouldn’t want to be the one accusing Coach K of that in the future.

Australian rower Joshua Booth arrested after damaging store front while drunk, but that’s not all

Joshua Booth, a 21-year-old rower who rowed for Australia on Wednesday, was arrested early Thursday morning and held at a police department in Egham after he was reportedly involved in an incident where a store front was damaged. According to the BBC, officers discovered two broken windows at the front of a store in a Surrey town upon arriving at the scene and arrested Booth on suspicion of criminal intent. Shockingly, alcohol was involved.

The Australian men’s eight rowing team finished sixth in Wednesday’s final, so you can understand why Booth may have been upset. Unfortunately, there was more to it than just the broken windows and drunkenness. While at the police station, Booth reportedly fainted and hit his head. He had to be taken to a nearby hospital.

“One of our rowers, Josh Booth, from the men’s eight, has got himself in some trouble,” Australia’s Olympic Commission chef de mission Nick Green said at a press conference on Friday. “He was detained by the police last night for damage to a shop front.

“He was then taken to a police station. He fainted while he was there and hit his head at the police station and was taken to the hospital for precaution. He has to go back to the police station tomorrow where the police will investigate the matter and make some outcomes out of their investigation.”

And that, my friends, is the exact definition of adding insult to injury. Or is it adding injury to insult? Either way, this certainly can’t be the young rower’s proudest moment. Maybe this is why the Olympic athletes stick to crazy amounts of sex and flirting in the pool during practice. At least it keeps them out of trouble.

H/T The Big Lead

Alex Morgan knees New Zealand goalie Jenny Bindon in the face (Animated)

The US women’s soccer team defeated New Zealand 2-0 on Friday to advance to the semifinals of the Olympic tournament. Abby Wambach scored a goal in the 27th minute to extend her US record to eight Olympic goals. After missing the Beijing Olympics with a broken leg, Wambach has surged back in the London Games with four goals and has easily been one of the best players in the tournament.

Aside from the win itself, one of the more notable story lines on Friday was the beating New Zealand goalie Jenny Bindon took. Bindon was kicked in the head by both Wambach and Alex Morgan, both blows of which appeared to be unintentional. As you can see from the animation above that The Big Lead passed along, Morgan nearly decapitated Bindon with her knee in the second half. It was a frightening moment, but fortunately she seemed to come away without any serious injuries.

If you thought this flying kick to the head was bad, the knee Bindon took makes it look like a walk in the park.

Ryan Lochte downplays all the crazy sex stories from the Olympic Village (Video)

Now that Ryan Lochte has finished swimming at the London Olympics and will be bringing five medals home with him to the United States, he can turn his focus toward rest and relaxation. Lochte, who turned 28 on Friday, was asked all the questions you would expect him to be asked during the recent interview with 12 News in Arizona that you see above. Unlike Hope Solo, he decided to downplay the rumors we have all heard about sex in the Olympic Village.

“Not that I’ve known of,” Lochte said when asked if things have gotten wild at the dorms in London. “I mean I didn’t really notice a big thing in Beijing or Athens. Yeah, they want us to use protection and I guess that’s a good thing.”

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Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings work with sports psychologist to improve connection

If it feels like Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings have been around forever, it’s because they have. On Wednesday, they lost their first set since before the Athens Olympics in 2004 — and Walsh Jennings had pink eye. They are the defending gold medalists in women’s beach volleyball, having won the tournament at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. To say that the duo has been dominant in the 21st century would be an epic understatement.

However, their dominance has not come without distractions. London is the last time May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings will compete together. They are both married with families, and that can create obvious complications. In fact, Kerri says she feels as tho she is married to two people: her husband and Misty. With any marriage comes hurdles, which is why the two recently sought the help of a sports psychologist.

“I’ve known (Misty) for so long and I’m so close to her but I don’t know everything she’s thinking,” Walsh Jennings said according to NBC Olympics. “And it’s really important to just get on the same page and talk about those little things. Nothing’s too little.”

Even one of the most successful partnerships in Olympic history isn’t immune to the basic complications of life. If a sports psychologist helps Misty and Kerri win their third-straight Olympic gold and leave the volleyball world cemented in history, it’s worth every second they’ve spent in their counseling sessions.

Photo credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE