BREAKING: President Lovell drops out of Rio Olympics

Marquette University president Michael Lovell is the latest United States athlete to announce that he will not compete in the 2016 Rio Olympics. The prolific runner has not yet cited a reason for his departure. Many people speculate that it is over concerns of Zika Virus, others have different theories.

The news is a devastating blow to Team USA’s track and field team. Lovell was slated to compete in the 100, 200, 400, 800, 1,500, 5,000 and 10,000-meter races. Team USA also had Lovell listed as an alternate for both Greco-Roman wrestling and 10-meter pistol shooting.

Star swimmer Michael Phelps was also counting on Lovell to be there for motivation, calling his existence “the reason why I even bother with swimming.”

“He’s just such an inspiration,” Phelps said. “That dude’s poster is right above my bed. One time I was about ready to stop swimming for the day, then I saw him walk right by the pool on his way to the locker room. I thought, “that man is the greatest champion of all,” and then continued swimming for a whole fortnight.”

Lovell’s decision to bow out has sparked widespread speculation about what is next for the prolific short, medium and long-distance runner. It is said that Lovell already has his sites set on the 2020 Olympics, which are to be held in Tokyo.

“If I power-crawled there with provost (Dan) Myers strapped to my chest and beloved actor Danny Pudi riding me like a horse, it would only take 52 days, assuming that I kept up a pace of five miles per hour,” Lovell said. “Plus, I’m pretty sure I’d get a free t-shirt or bottle opener or something.”

Bovada sports book reports that Team USA’s odds to get the most medals have now fallen from 2-to-1 to 2,000,000,000,000-to-1. The United States Olympic Committee is currently discussing whether to abandon the concept of running altogether until the year 2020.

Photo by Ian Schrank

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