Rebecca Soni

Year in Review: For Rebecca Soni, pink equals gold

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OlympicTalk’s writers recount some of their favorite moments from the 2012 London Games.

Rebecca Soni received a lot of attention in London, not only because she frequently sported a hot pink swimsuit, but because she also broke the world record for the women’s 200m breaststroke not once, but twice during the 2012 Games.

Soni first broke the 200m-breaststroke world record by clocking 2:20-flat during the semis. She broke that newly set world record 24 hours later, and defended her title from Beijing, with a time of 2:19:59, which made her the first woman to swim the event in under 2:20. It was just like her high school coach predicted years ago.

But that wasn’t all for Soni, who also took home silver medal in the 100m-breastroke, as well as another gold medal (and another world record) as a member of the 4x100m medley relay team with Missy Franklin, Dana Vollmer and Allison Schmitt.

That’s the power of pink.

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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