The first American to qualify for BMX Cycling as an Olympic event, Kyle Bennett, 33, died in a single-vehicle car crash early Sunday morning in his hometown of Conroe, Texas.
“Kyle was a pioneer in Olympic BMX and an inspiration to those of us that knew him,” said USA Cycling CEO Steve Johnson in a statement. “He will be sorely missed.”
Bennett was reportedly rushing to the aid of his fiancée, Lynsie, whose car had been broken into. Bennett wasn’t wearing a seat belt.
Bennett competed in his first national competition at age 9 and turned pro at age 18 after he graduated high school, eventually becoming a three-time champion in the National Bicycle League and winning International Cycling Union world titles in 2002, ’03 and ’07.
Bennett qualified as part of the three-person U.S. men’s BMX team for the 2008 Beijing Games, the year the sport debuted as an Olympic event, but was knocked out in the semis.
Cycling was a family affair for the Bennetts: His grandfather was a motorcycle shop owner who encouraged his grandson to race bikes, and Kyle’s stepfather was a professional rider who helped him train.
Bennett’s smooth riding style earned him the nickname “Butter.” He was a champion for his sport as it gained global prominence and told the Houston Chronicle in 2008 he wanted BMX to become a household name.
“It’s such an easy sport to get involved in. All you need is a bike, long pants, a shirt and a helmet.”
Yevgenia Medvedeva followed up her world title with a personal-best short program in her Grand Prix season debut, taking the lead at Skate Canada in Mississauga, Ontario, on Friday.
Medvedeva, a 16-year-old Russian, landed all of her jumps cleanly and tallied 76.24 points, bettering her previous high of 74.58 from last season’s Grand Prix Final.
She leads by 1.91 points over Canadian Kaetlyn Osmond. Russian Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, the 2015 World champion, is in third place, 9.45 points behind.
American Mirai Nagasu fell on her opening triple flip and is in ninth place out of 11 skaters. Full results are here.
Medvedeva is the youngest world champion since Tara Lipinski in 1997 and hasn’t lost in nearly one year.
Medvedeva’s short program score Friday was 6.74 points higher than world silver medalist Ashley Wagner‘s total from Skate America last week.
Later in pairs, two-time world champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada lapped the field by 8.96 points with a personal-best 78.39. Americans Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier were fourth.
The short dance and men’s short program are later Friday. The free skates are all Saturday. A full broadcast and streaming schedule is here.
NBC and the NBC Sports app will air Skate Canada coverage Sunday from 5-6 p.m. ET.
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Boston College’s Madeline Adams dropped to the ground during the final meters of the ACC Cross-Country Championships on Friday.
What happened next was reminiscent of one of the most memorable Rio Olympic track and field moments.
Clemson’s Evie Tate stopped and helped Adams up at the Cary, N.C., 6k race. Then, Louisville’s Rachel Pease did the same. Tate and Pease each took one of Adams’ arms and dragged her to the finish.
Pease would end up 127th and Tate 128th out of 131 finishers. Adams was disqualified. Full results are here.
Tate was running around 70th or 80th place when she stopped, according to the Asheville Citizen-Times, which means her aid ended up costing Clemson about 10 points in the team scores.
Clemson was sixth, 23 points behind fifth-place Syracuse, so Tate’s act of sportsmanship actually didn’t change the Tigers’ placing. NC State won, Louisville was fourth and Boston College 12th.
The scene brought to mind the Rio Olympic women’s 5000m heats, when American Abbey D’Agostino and New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin fell and then crossed the finish line together.
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