Aussie swimmer Magnussen hires a ‘mind coach’

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Australian swimmer James Magnussen has come up with what he feels is the solution to not winning a gold medal in London: A “mind coach.”

Or, as we’ll call it, a head doctor.

Amid reports of drug and alcohol use, bullying and hazing rituals, the Aussies won just 10 swimming medals at last summer’s Olympics – one gold, six silver and three bronze. Magnussen was brash and confident leading up to the Games, saying he would win the 100m freestyle and lead the 4x100m freestyle relay team to victory. But neither happened.

American Nathan Adrian out-touched the man who is often called “Maggie” in the 100m freestyle and in the relay, the Aussies finished fourth.

Magnussen returns to action this week for a meet in Perth, Australia.

“I think more than anything I got wrong (was) my life outside of the pool,” Magnussen told Reuters today. “I did everything I needed to do in the lead-up in the pool. (But the results) just showed there were some imbalances.”

As a result, Magnussen said he’s been working with a “mind coach” to right the ship that is his head. “Not necessarily purely for the psychological side of swimming, but for my life in general,” Magnussen said. “I’ve really worked hard on trying to be a more positive and easygoing person. I think it’s paid huge dividends both in and out of the pool.”

This summer at the World Championships, we’ll get a sense of how Maggie’s “mind coaching” has helped him.

Russian pairs skater slices leg in worlds practice, needs 10 stitches (video)

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Russian pairs skater Yevgenia Tarasova needed 10 stitches after her partner’s skate sliced her leg in practice Wednesday.

Hours later, Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov skated to third place in the short program at the world championships in Helsinki.

“We were thinking about withdrawing because after this incident we left the ice immediately, there was a long break off the ice, we didn’t know how I would feel in skates,” Tarasova said afterward. “But when I was asked, ‘Will you skate?’ I said, ‘I will!’ And I wasn’t thinking about the pain during our performance.”

Morozov called her “a hero.”

In Thursday’s free skate, Tarasova and Morozov will be largely tasked with keeping Russia from going three straight years without world championships pairs medalists, which would be the longest drought for Soviet and Russian pairs since their dominance began in the 1960s.

Tarasova and Morozov trail Chinese leaders Sui Wenjing and Han Cong by 1.86 points and second-place Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany by .47.

Another Russian pair is in fifth place going into the free skate (1 p.m. ET, NBCSN, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app).

Full worlds short program results are here.

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MORE: U.S. pairs skater back from life-threatening condition

World Cup champ lands first quad cork 1800 (video)

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Switzerland’s Andri Ragettli landed what’s being touted as the first ski quad cork 1800 in a video published recently.

Ragettli, 18, is one of the leading slopestyle skiers in the world. He won the World Cup season title in 2015-16 and placed second this year, in addition to fifth- and sixth-place finishes at the last two Winter X Games.

Previously, Ragettli became the first slopestyle skier to land back-to-back triples in a full competition at the 2016 Winter X Games, according to ESPN.com.

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