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  • Michael Phelps Makes Return; Tokyo Governor Seeks Advice in Beijing


    Phelps Returns to Competition

    Phelps (right) with Lochte in Mesa (Getty Images)
    18-time gold medalist Michael Phelps swam competitively on Thursday for the first time since the London Olympics.

    He did so in front of a sellout crowd at the Mesa Grand Prix and with more apparent joy than he’d taken in the sport in a long time. He finished second to fellow standout Ryan Lochte in the 100m butterfly final, clocking a time of 52.13 to Lochte’s 51.93.

    “I felt like a summer league swimmer today,” Phelps told the Baltimore Sun. “I was standing up behind the block, and I just felt like I should have my heat and lane written on my hand in case I forget it.”

    On Friday, he tried his hand in a 50m freestyle heat, finishing seventh.

    Tokyo Governor Seeks Advice in Beijing

    Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe met with officials in Beijing on Friday to glean the wisdom of the city that successfully hosted the 2008 Olympics.

    Masuzoe visits the Bird's Nest. (Getty Images)
    The move comes as the two capitals have increased cooperation despite political tensions between the governments of their respective countries.

    Masuzoe met with Mayor Wang Anshun to discuss opportunities to cooperate, including a possible visit to Tokyo by Wang as early as 2015 to aid efforts to prepare for the 2020 Summer Games.

    The Tokyo governor visited the Bird’s Nest stadium and the nearby National Aquatics Center. He asked Beijing officials how facilities built for the 2008 Games are now being used.

    Masuzoe has said Tokyo could aid help Beijing tackle the types of urban problems they share, such as air pollution and overcrowding.

    Russian Fed Chief Doubts PyeongChang

    Sochi's success set a high bar for PyeongChang. (Getty Images)
    The President of the Russian Skiing and Snowboarding Federation does not believe Korea will replicate the success of the Sochi Games.

    “I believe it is unrealistic to repeat in Korea what happened in Sochi – the infrastructure and everything,” Svetlana Gladysheva said at a press conference Thursday.

    “So the Koreans are a bit upset. Actually, Korea is shocked. Local workers would obviously be trained, but holding the Olympics as Sochi did is unlikely.”

    Russia spent an estimated $50 billion on the Games, the most ever for an Olympics due to building almost all infrastructure entirely from scratch.

    Written by Nick Devlin and Aaron Bauer

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