Swimmer Tyler Clary knows the formula for speed

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Before the London Olympics, U.S. swimmer Tyler Clary told us about his passion for off-road racing and said he was designing a custom buggy for that purpose.

Then he won Olympic gold in the 200m backstroke.

Clary’s life as an Olympic champion has certainly changed, and so have his out-of-the-pool interests: He’s scrapped his buggy plans and is about to start designing a Formula One style car.

We caught up with Clary on the red carpet at USA Swimming’s Golden Goggle Awards Monday night, the organization’s annual gala that celebrates every swimmer in the pool and recognizes the year’s great performances (more coverage here, here and here). Clary relocated from California back to his native Michigan to train after London.

“Since Michigan raceway is so close, I’m actually gonna use the same engine [as his off-road car], completely redesign everything and turn it into an open-wheel car,” Clary said. “I’m actually looking to get involved with the Michigan Formula SAE Team as either a driver or a helping hand.”

Clary said he’d like to be a different type of racer when his swimming career is over.

“Ideally, I want to be road racing on a track and preferably open-wheel,” he said. “If I had my choice I’d be in a Formula One car. I actually got the chance to complete the Skip Barber Racing School about a month ago. One of the corners on the track was taken at 100 miles an hour. That’s frickin’ crazy. It’s amazing what those type of cars can do.”

Apparently one thing is very clear: All Clary wants to do is travel as fast as humanly possible in any way possible.

Nathan Chen holds off Yuzuru Hanyu to win first Grand Prix

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U.S. champion Nathan Chen opened the Grand Prix season by beating Olympic gold-medal favorite Yuzuru Hanyu.

Chen, 18, held off Hanyu at Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, totaling 293.79 points to win by 3.02 over the Japanese megastar. Full scores are here.

Chen landed four quadruple jumps in a strong but imperfect free skate for his first Grand Prix title in his second senior international season.

Hanyu outscored Chen in the free skate, but the American benefited from his 5.69-point lead from Friday’s short program.

Hanyu, the reigning Olympic and world champion, has never won his opening Grand Prix start in eight tries.

He did three quadruple jumps in Saturday’s free skate rather than the planned five, but did not fall as he did in the short program.

Chen has now outscored Hanyu in three of their last four head-to-head events dating to February.

The Rostelecom Cup free dance and pairs and women’s free skates are later Saturday.

A full Rostelecom Cup broadcast schedule is here.

The Grand Prix season continues next weekend with Skate Canada, headlined by three-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner and three-time world champion Patrick Chan.

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Olympic ski cross champion suffers serious knee injury

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Canadian Marielle Thompson, the reigning Olympic and World Cup ski cross champion, ruptured an ACL and MCL in a training crash in Switzerland.

Alpine Canada did not say when the accident happened or what Thompson’s chances are of returning to defend her Olympic title in PyeongChang.

Thompson flew from Switzerland to Vancouver for an MRI that confirmed the injury.

“I’ll be making a plan with my team moving forward and when the time is right getting back on the ski cross course stronger than ever,” Thompson said in a press release.

Thompson, 25, tore a meniscus in January 2015 and returned to competition 11 months later. She won seven of the 13 World Cup races last season.

Other Olympic medal contenders include Swede Sandra Näslund and Swiss Fanny Smith.

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