Monday, May 20, 2024

What role will Caitlin Clark have with Team USA in Paris?

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Caitlin Clark probably won’t attend Olympic evaluation camp, but it likely won’t matter

Expect Clark to be in Paris, even if that means a deserving older professional is left home. Fair or not fair, business is business. – Last week, Iowa phenom and generational women’s basketball player Caitlin Clark was invited to participate in an evaluation camp for prospective members of the U.S. women’s basketball team that will compete at this summer’s Paris Olympics.

The camp will be held this weekend in Cleveland, which is also the site of the women’s Final Four in college basketball.

Clark likely won’t attend the camp because her Iowa team will be competing in the Final Four, but it’s not likely to matter. It’d be a complete stunner if Clark isn’t selected to the 12-player Team USA roster.

If it were a matter of sheer basketball, that might seem a bit absurd given she is a college player and the 13 others invited to the camp are established professionals. Even as great as Clark is, the national team has historically favored more veteran professional players.

Of course, this probably won’t be a decision solely about basketball. You think executives at NBC and the International Olympic Committee see the transformative TV ratings and sellout crowds Clark has brought and will have no problem if USA Basketball omits her from the roster?

Fat chance. Expect Clark to be in Paris, even if that means a deserving older professional is left home. Fair or not fair, business is business.

With that in mind, it will simply be a matter of what Clark’s role will be. Can she be a starter? Will she play a leading or support role? Will the professionals on the roster be willing to share shots with her and step aside while she gets limelight?

All that will be an interesting dynamic for a women’s national team that has been dominant at the Olympics. The Americans have won the gold medal at the last seven Olympics.

American weightlifter makes history at qualifier

The United States isn’t exactly known as a weightlifting power when it comes to the Olympics, which is why the public should get to know the name Hampton Morris before the Paris Games start.

Morris, a 20-year-old from Marietta, Georgia, made history on Tuesday by becoming the first American since 1969 to break a world senior weightlifting record.

Competing in the 61 kg class at the final qualifier event for the Olympics in Thailand, Morris successfully lifted 388 pounds in the clean and jerk competition.

Last September, Morris became the first American to win a world title since 1972 in the same event and weight class. The United States hasn’t had a male Olympic gold medalist in weightlifting since 1960.

Team USA at the moment has Morris and five women ranked in the top-10 in their respective classes. Each country is allowed to take six weightlifters to Paris.

The weightlifting qualifier event in Thailand will end on Thursday, but it won’t be the only sport having its final qualifier for the Olympics next week.

Olympic taekwondo hopefuls from the U.S. will join athletes from other nations within the Americas for the final Olympic qualification event in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The finalists in each of the eight weight classes will comprise the 16 qualifiers out of the event who will advance to Paris.

Swimmer who upset Michael Phelps retires

Joseph Schooling was one of the more heartwarming stories of the 2016 Rio Olympics when he became the only athlete from Singapore to ever win an Olympic gold medal.

Even better was that he bested the most decorated Olympian ever in doing so. Schooling beat out Michael Phelps to win the 100-meter butterfly, and at the age of 21, seemed destined for more.

But Schooling, who attended the Boiles School in Jacksonville, Florida, when he was a teen and swam collegiately at the University of Texas, couldn’t duplicate that magical night in Rio, failing to get out of qualification heats at the Tokyo Olympics.

Now 28, Schooling announced on Monday that he was retiring from swimming. Still, beating out Phelps and still possessing your country’s only gold medal makes him a legend for life.

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