The Week That Was: Distance, Mixed Relay Events Added For 2020 Olympic Schedule

Photo Courtesy: USA TODAY Sports

This was a big week in the swimming world, with the IOC announcing the addition of three events to the Olympic schedule and international stars firing back to the fast times in Santa Clara last week at the Mare Nostrum tour in Monaco. Check out all these stories and more below in The Week That Was!

The Week That Was #5 – Thomas Fraser-Holmes Receives 12-Month Ban, Sent Home From Mare Nostrum

Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr

Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr

Australian Olympian Thomas Fraser-Holmes has been given a 12-month ban from competition after missing three drug tests following his hearing with FINA on June 7. Fraser-Holmes is one of three Australians who are currently in hot water for missing three drug tests. Fellow Olympians Madeline Groves and open water swimmer Jarrod Poort have yet to have their hearings with FINA. Fraser-Holmes suspension will keep him out of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which are set to be held in his home country. The Aussie was also scheduled to compete last weekend at the Mare Nostrum stop in Monaco, but was sent home by Swimming Australia following his ban and withdrawn from the meet. It was also reported that Fraser-Holmes will lose funding and not be allowed to continue his normal training during the suspension. The Olympian does plan to appeal the decision to the Court Arbitration for Sport.

The Week That Was #4 – Wright State Sets Goal To Save Swim Program

USA Swimming

Photo Courtesy: Competitor

In a sign of hope for the Wright State University Swimming & Diving programs the university has agreed to a fundraising plan in conjunction with the CSCAA to save the programs. Wright State had initially announced they were cutting the teams back in May, shortly after both the teams at University of North Dakota and the men’s team and University of Buffalo were cut. Cutting the programs was projected to save the University $500,000 annually. The fundraising goal to save the programs has been set at $85,000, with a deadline of June 30, 2017 to preserve the teams. Donations to the program can be made through the CSCAA on their website, which can be found here, or by mailing in check payments C/O Greg Lockard, CSCAA, Attn: Wright State Fund, PO Box 121, Essex Fells, NJ 07021.

The Week That Was #3 – Mare Nostrum Kicks Off In Monaco

Sarah Sjostrom -world-championships

Photo Courtesy: R-Sport / MIA Rossiya Segodnya

The first stop of the Mare Nostrum tour kicked off in Monaco this week with swimmers from across Europe, Asia, and Australia throwing down some fast times. Sarah Sjostrom continued what has been an epic 2017, winning the 100 fly in 56.20 on the first day while making an epic three event sweep on day two. In the second finals session of the meet, Sjostrom won the 100 free (52.60), 50 fly (24.90) and 50 free (23.95) in less than an hour, setting meet records in all three and taking down 2015 World Champion Bronte Campbell in the process. Yulia Efimova swept the breaststroke events (30.31, 1:06.45, 2:22.55), while Australian James Magnussen had a successful comeback to international competition, winning the 100 free in 49.11. While the time itself wasn’t head turning, he did take down teammate Cameron McEvoy, the fastest man ever in the event in textile. You can see full recaps and results from the first stop of the Mare Nostrum tour on our Event Landing Page.

The Week That Was #2 – Ryan Lochte And Kayle Reid Welcome Son

lochte-proposal-instagram

Photo Courtesy: Ryan Lochte (Instagram)

Olympian Ryan Lochte and fiance Kayle Reid announced the birth of the son this week. Named Caiden Zane Lochte, the couple welcomed their new child at 8:46 a.m. on Thursday, June 8, with Lochte posting about the birth shortly thereafter on social media. The two had announced their engagement back in October, shortly before sending news of their pregnancy. The birth comes the same week that Lochte was front and center in an ESPN feature story, where he detailed his struggles following his now infamous bathroom incident after the 2016 Rio Olympics. In that feature he also talks in detail about feeling burnt out from swimming in 2013 and losing his passion for the sport and how he has since bounced back. Finding new motivation from his future wife and new son, he said he is looking forward to the new Olympic quad and the possibility of competing in 2020.

The Week That Was #1 – IOC Adds Three Olympic Events For 2020 And Plan For 2024/2028 Olympic Announcements

katie-ledecky-dominant-800-freestyle-rio

Photo Courtesy: USA TODAY Sports

The International Olympic Committee dropped the news this week that it will add three new swimming events to the Olympic program in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The IOC will be adding the mixed 400 medley relay and the women’s 1500 free and men’s 800 free to the Olympic schedule, bringing the total number of swimming events to 35. The addition of the distance events will make the men’s and women’s schedules the same for individual events for the first time ever. Previously, the longest distance for women had been the 800 free, while men had only contested the 1500. In more IOC news this week, the IOC Executive Board also recommended awarding the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games at the same time. Paris and Los Angeles are the only two cities left for consideration in 2024, so in all likelihood whichever is not chosen for 2024 will receive the bid for 2028. Recent speculation has Paris as the leading candidate for 2024, but we will not know for sure until the IOC meets in September.

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Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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