PHOENIX, Arizona, September 24. A lot of swimming news has come down the pipe in the past 24 hours, so let's get right to it. Today, USA Swimming announced its complete schedule for the Arena Grand Prix, which starts November 14 in Minneapolis. It's going to be an exciting six-meet series that, as usual, runs through June. What will make it exciting is the news that BMW is giving the overall male and female a one-year lease of the ActiveHybrid 3. Ryan Lochte has been winning the overall Grand Prix title the past couple of years, but Lochte's got enough money to buy a BMW outright. We'll possibly see someone putting up a Katinka Hosszu-style schedule to ensure their name gets on that lease. Missy Franklin has also won the past two Grand Prixs, but now that she's in college, we're not likely to see her in many of these meets, and she wouldn't be eligible for the BMW anyway.
Megan Jendrick announced her retirement from competitive swimming, ending a career that took her to the Olympics twice. She won the 100 breast in the 2000 Games as well as the 400 medley relay, and returned in 2008 to make the 100 breast final and win a silver medal as part of the medley relay prelim squad. Jendrick and her husband, Nate, will be working on their swim clinic business while raising their young son Daethan.
Three swimmers made their intentions known in the past 24 hours that they will represent the USA at the Duel in the Pool in December. Texas A&M teammates Cammille Adams and Sarah Henry are seniors at Texas A&M University, and will provide some firepower in the middle distance and distance events. Adams was an Olympian in the 200 fly in London and is also a strong individual medley swimmer. Henry posted the second-fastest 500 free last February at the SEC championships and is also a strong IM swimmer as well. With these two announcements, it appears that their Aggie teammate Breeja Larson is not attending the Duel in the Pool as well. Larson would have been a strong force in the breaststroke events to counter whomever steps up for Europe. The other swimmer to commit to the team was Claire Donahue, an Olympian in the 100 fly and world championship finalist in the event.
If you are a fan of the Paralympics -- and really, who isn't? -- you will like this next bit of news. Starting with the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia and continuing to the 2016 Games in Brazil, the networks of NBC will bring fans more than 100 hours of television coverage of both events, with the Winter Games getting 50 hours and 66 hours devoted to the Paralympics in Rio. If you followed last year's Paralympics, you know that TV coverage in the United States was next to nonexistent, so this is a big step up for the Paralympic movement in terms of wider exposure.