Ryan Lochte on not swimming with Michael Phelps: ‘I’m definitely going to miss him’

Now that Michael Phelps has announced he will officially retire from swimming, Ryan Lochte will be the star of the show for Team USA in the pool. Anytime the most decorated Olympian of all time is not competing, other swimmers have a better chance to take home a medal. While no Phelps could mean a better shot at a gold for Lochte and others in 2016, Ryan says he is going to miss the rivalry and camaraderie.

“I’ve been racing against him for eight years, and every time I go up on the blocks he’s right there next to me, so I’m used to it,” Lochte said on the Tonight Show With Jay Leno Thursday according to US Weekly. “He’s one of the hardest racers I’ve ever had to come across so I’m definitely going to miss him.”

When asked about the rivalry between the two, Lochte said that only exists in the water.

“We kind of leave everything in the pool,” he explained.

Outside of the pool, Phelps and Lochte appear to get along. They have been known to compliment each other on Twitter and can often be seen joking around with one another. The good news for Lochte is that he might have a little less competition now when trying to sell his lame apparel and promote his bizarre catchphrase. The good news for Phelps is that he no longer has to be in the pool next to Lochte when he pees in it.

There will reportedly be no basketball age limit at 2016 Olympics in Rio

For people like Mark Cuban, it looks like the next four years are going to be just as long as the last four were. As you probably know, there is no one more vocal than Cuban when it comes to the idea of superstar athletes competing in the Olympics without their NBA teams receiving compensation. He and David Stern, among others, have made it a goal to restrict Olympic play to players who are 23 years old or younger. It doesn’t look like that plan will be coming to fruition any time in the near future.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Ian Thompson, a source told SI.com on Thursday that it is “unlikely” any type of age limit could be put into place in time for it to affect the 2016 Olympic in Rio, Brazil. Owners are aiming to eventually create a World Cup of basketball that would become the premier international basketball tournament every four years, but a plan of that magnitude could reportedly take years to complete.

As the opinions of NBA stars like Kobe Bryant and Tyson Chandler have shown, the players want to be able to choose whether or not they will compete in the Olympics. They take a great deal of pride in the tournament and some even feel as though it helps prepare them for the upcoming season. Fortunately for the players and fans of so-called “Dream Teams,” anything involving the IOC is bound to be a long and tedious process.

Roger Goodell: American football should ‘absolutely’ be an Olympic sport

Over the past several years, the NFL has been working to grow the sport of American football internationally by holding regular season games in London. For the most part, the games have been a success. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says it won’t be long before the NFL is holding two regular season games a year in London and possibly even more.

“Our point is just to keep growing the game,” Goodell said during an interview with guest host Mike Florio on the Dan Patrick Show. “We’re having a tremendous reaction in London and the UK for the game of football, our regular season game over there is sold out again this year, we are seriously contemplating as early as 2013 playing two NFL games next season and I think we’ll do that. It’s a response to the tremendous fan reaction and the growth of the game. If we can continue to grow the game there and have the fan reaction that we have, there very well may be a franchise in London.”

But that’s not all. Goodell is hoping the fan reaction to the NFL abroad will be so strong that the game eventually grows to a point where it becomes an Olympic sport. While that may seem unfathomable at the moment, all Olympic sports have to start somewhere.

“Absolutely. We’re already taking steps to gain that IOC recognition,” Goodell said when asked about the potential of American football becoming an Olympic sport. “We have, I think, 64 countries that are playing American football now, and that’s one of the requirements. That’s been growing dramatically — I think it was 40 just five years ago.”

Other countries may play American football, but none take it nearly as seriously as the United States. If American football ever was added as an Olympic sport, the US would completely dominate it for years. After seeing what Team USA did to Nigeria on the basketball court Thursday, it would be silly to say that it is impossible for American football to ever become an Olympic sport. It’s not like lopsided sports don’t exist in international competition.

The Olympics and their antiquated games have returned

Friday kicks off a familiar quadrennial tradition: trying to figure out what Bob Costas will wear on a given night, while marveling at his encyclopedic knowledge of badminton. This practice may or may not include bouts of cheering for the underdog Belgian men’s national field hockey team, hoping that the country can finally get off the gold-medal schneid. Or, even the occasional urge to position pieces of furniture in the room to recreate the optimal conditions for a gymnastics vault. The latter certainly explains why the Olympics bring about an increase in the number of OR visits concerning various household item-related impalement injuries.

Yes, folks, the five-ringed media circus is back. The Olympic Games have returned. Citius. Altius. Fortius. If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought that the Latin maxim probably had something to do with watching the world’s greatest athletes on tape-delay in primetime. The Games, where all the nations of the world — the ones that don’t hold some political grudge against the IOC, that is — come together to run, dive, shoot, and walk really fast (sounds like Al Capone’s apocryphal escape from Alcatraz).

At some point during the Opening Ceremony, which will no doubt feature a montage of a fresh-faced Queen Elizabeth II hurling a shot put played over the strains of the title track from “Chariots of Fire,” the realization for athletes all around the world will set in that winning a gold medal is a dream come true. However, melting it out down and selling the metal will be a much more lucrative task, especially for the poor schmoes competing for Greece and Spain. I tried selling that last joke to “The Economist” to no avail.

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Kobe Bryant on potential under-23 Team USA: ‘It’s a stupid idea, stupid’

Kobe Bryant and Mark Cuban do not agree when it comes to the Olympics. As you probably know, Cuban is the most enthusiastic Olympic hater in sports. He roots for Team USA to fail because he feels that the concept of allowing players who are under contract with NBA teams to risk injury in international competition is incredibly dumb. David Stern obviously agrees with Cuban in some way, as evidenced by the fact that he is hoping to make Olympic rosters 23-and-under in the future. Kobe is strongly opposed to that idea.

“It’s a stupid idea,” Bryant told reporters in Great Britain on Tuesday. “It should be a (player’s) choice. If I’m an owner, I would want my player to play (internationally) because I understand that they’re going to be playing anyway, going to be playing pickup basketball in the summertime, and I’m not going to be able to know where they are.

“They could be playing against a bunch of bums — no, really — guys that feel like they have something to prove and all of a sudden, a (star player) goes to the rim and a guy takes them out and now he’s hurt. Here you’re playing against the best guys, you have treatment around the clock, your (NBA) coaching staff can always come sit in the stands and view practice. To me, playing on an Olympic basketball team is actually better if you’re an owner.”

Cuban’s main beef is that the Olympic Committee profits from NBA team assets, but as far as injuries are concerned Kobe makes a valid point. Guys are going to play basketball over the summer no matter where they are — they have to in order to prepare for the season. They could blow out their knee in a charity game, too.

In fact, Kobe even went as far as to say he believes the Olympics help him to better prepare for the upcoming season. He pointed to the 2008-2009 season, saying it was his “best season in the NBA statistically.” I don’t know what he’s basing that on since his numbers have been better in several other seasons, but we get the point. Kobe likes the Olympics. I’m sure plenty of other players who are over 23 do as well.

Cloned horses will now be allowed to participate in the Olympics

Keep a close eye on the horses you see competing in the equestrian events at the Olympics this summer. You just may see them again at the Summer Olympics in about eight or 12 years. Well, not the exact same horses, but a 98% nearly perfect copy of them. According to ABC News, the group that governs international equestrian events has officially lifted its ban on cloned horses in international competitions. Instead of trying to pair two horses with great bloodlines together to create the next champion, breeders can now simply clone the current winners.

Little is known about the exact science that goes into cloning horses, except for the fact that the end result will be horses that are almost identical to the horse whose genes they were created from — with “almost” being the key word.

“We now know that the clone is only a 98 percent copy of the original,” Fédération Equestre Internationale veterinary director Graeme Cooke explained. “Therefore, we came to the conclusion that there were so many variables there were no unfair advantages that were contrary to the spirit of sport.”

Cooke said that the abilities of the horse will also be affected by training methods, the skill of the rider, the horse’s relationship with the rider and the environment the horse is raised in. For that reason, he says, it has been determined that allowing cloned horses to participate in events would not be unfair.

Current horses that are clones are still too young to compete, and most have not yet been weaned from their mothers. Horses must be 9 years old to qualify for Olympic competition, so it will be a while before we know if cloning is a beneficial practice in the equestrian world. If you’re a gambler, you might want to find a sports book that will let you start betting on clones right now. Maybe you’ll end up winning huge off a 10-cent bet like this lucky lady.

David Stern would like to make Olympics basketball teams 23-and-under

If you enjoy watching all your favorite NBA players compete in the Olympics, you better get your fix in this summer because you may not get to see them play for gold medals in the future if David Stern has his way.

The NBA commissioner said on the radio this week that he would prefer to have a system like soccer where basketball at the Olympics is restricted to athletes under 23 years old.

“My own view is that post-London, we should be thinking about what soccer does and make it 23 and under,” Stern told ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd on Monday.

Stern was asked if the NBA encourages players to compete in the Games and said no.

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