Evan Lysacek

Evan Lysacek ‘is in pain,’ coach Frank Carroll says

Leave a comment

Evan Lysacek is six months out from the Sochi Olympics and three weeks from his first competition since winning the 2010 Olympics, but he’s far from 100 percent.

“We’re at the trial and error stage,” Lysacek’s coach, Frank Carroll, told USA Today. “He’s recovering from his injuries and his surgeries which were a lot more extensive than a lot of people know. It’s getting better and better but he is in pain and he has to be very careful with how much he does. I don’t know in figure skating if someone has tried to come back from that level of injury.”

A groin injury forced Lysacek out of Skate America last October. Then, he underwent sports hernia surgery in November. Lysacek is scheduled to compete at the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic in Salt Lake City from Sept. 12-14.

“I think he will contend,” Carroll told USA Today. “He’ll go to Salt Lake and skate well, skate decently but that’s it. Today we don’t expect the world. In a couple of months we expect him to be much, much better and 100 percent by the Olympics.”

Carroll and Lysacek made comments at Champs Camp in Colorado Springs, Colo., where U.S. figure skaters across all disciplines congregate before the season to perform their programs in front of judges. Consider it like baseball’s simulated games.

“I’m gaining more confidence as I go,” Lysacek told USA Today. “I see myself in Sochi — yes. I hope that I can make that a reality. I have a lot of steps up the ladder to get there.”

Lysacek, 28, is attempting to make his third Olympic team and to become the first man to repeat as Olympic figure skating champion since American Dick Button in 1948 and 1952.

It will not be easy, compounded by the fact that the U.S. has two men’s spots at the 2014 Olympics as opposed to the three it had in 2002, 2006 and 2010. The U.S. earned two because of its showing at worlds, where Max Aaron placed seventh and Ross Miner 14th.

Lysacek, Aaron, Miner and three-time U.S. champion Jeremy Abbott figure to fight for the two Sochi spots at the U.S. Figure Skating National Championships in Boston in January.

Internationally, the top contenders for Sochi medals will be three-time reigning world champion Patrick Chan of Canada, world silver medalist Denis Ten of Kazakhstan, world bronze medalist Javier Fernandez of Spain, Japan’s Daisuke Takahashi and Yuzuru Hanyu and, potentially, Russian Evgeni Plushenko. Plushenko, the 2006 Olympic champion, is attempting one more comeback at age 30.

U.S. figure skater’s free skate tribute to Boston

Katie Ledecky entered in five events at USA Swimming Nationals

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Katie Ledecky is signed up for five races at the USA Swimming National Championships (Summer Champions Series) next week.

The four-time Rio Olympic champion is entered in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyles in Indianapolis. Full entry lists are here.

The top two per individual event qualify for the world championships in Budapest in July, plus extra swimmers in the 100m and 200m frees for relays.

Ledecky is slated to race four of five days in Indy, starting with a Tuesday double of the 100m and 800m frees. A full broadcast schedule is here.

At last year’s Olympic Trials, Ledecky raced the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m frees, when there was no 1500m free on the Olympic program.

The women’s 1500m free will debut at Tokyo 2020, but it has been on the world championships program since 2001.

At this same meet in the last Olympic cycle in 2013, Ledecky contested the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m frees, winning the three latter races and finishing second to Missy Franklin in the 200m free. Franklin will miss nationals next week as she continues to return from January shoulder surgeries.

Ledecky goes into this year’s nationals ranked No. 1 in the world in the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m frees and No. 5 in the U.S. in the 100m free.

Ledecky showed marked improvement in the 100m free in the last four years. In Rio, she had the second-fastest split on the American 4x100m free relay team that took silver.

Ledecky is ranked No. 1 in the U.S. this year in the 400m individual medley but chose not to race it this summer.

Other headliners for nationals:

  • Ryan Murphy, Olympic 100m and 200m backstroke champion, is entered in all three backstrokes (50m, 100m and 200m) and the 100m freestyle, where he has an outside chance of earning a 4x100m relay berth.
  • Chase Kalisz, Olympic 400m IM silver medalist, is the top seed in the 200m IM and 400m IM and the No. 2 seed in the 200m butterfly.
  • Simone Manuel, four-time Rio medalist, is the top seed in the 50m and 100m frees and the No. 5 seed in the 200m free.
  • Lilly King, Olympic 100m breaststroke champion, is favored to make the team in the 50m, 100m and 200m breasts. She is also entered in the 200m IM.
  • The men’s 50m free is loaded with Olympic champions Anthony ErvinNathan AdrianCullen Jones and Caeleb Dressel as the top four seeds.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Phelps takes on great white on Shark Week

Ex-USA Gymnastics doctor to stand trial on sex assault charges

AP
Leave a comment

MASON, Mich. (AP) — A judge on Friday ordered a longtime doctor at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics to stand trial on charges of sexually assaulting six young gymnasts who said he molested them while they were seeking treatment for various injuries.

Judge Donald Allen Jr. made his decision after hearing testimony from the alleged victims over two days and watching a campus police interview of Dr. Larry Nassar.

It is one of four Michigan criminal cases against Nassar following reports last year in the Indianapolis Star about how USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians, mishandled complaints about sexual misconduct involving the doctor and coaches. Women and girls said the stories inspired them to step forward with detailed allegations of abuse, sometimes when their parents were in the exam room at Michigan State.

“He convinced these girls that this was some type of legitimate treatment,” Assistant Attorney General Angela Poviliatis told the judge. “Why would they question him? Why would they question this gymnastics god?”

Nassar didn’t testify nor did his lawyers offer an argument against sending the case to trial. The legal threshold in Michigan is probable cause, a low standard at the initial stages of a criminal case.

The final evidence Friday was a video of Nassar’s 40-minute interview last August with a Michigan State police detective, who was investigating a complaint from a former gymnast, now in her 30s. He was not under arrest and spoke voluntarily.

Nassar denied any inappropriate contact and said he got no sexual pleasure from treating gymnasts. He said if he had an erection, as a gymnast claimed, “that’s rather embarrassing.”

The camera was above Nassar’s head. He repeatedly moved his arms and hands as he explained his techniques, using phrases such as “lift and shift” and “tissue tension” to describe treatments for back and hip injuries. He sighed, scratched his forehead and appeared frustrated with the allegations against him.

“I’m trying my best to help the patient. I’m trying to get real-time feedback. I don’t want to hurt someone,” Nassar told Det. Sgt. Andrea Munford.

The judge watched the video and later noted that Nassar had put his fingers in a position that matched the testimony of one of the alleged victims, who said the doctor had penetrated her with his hands in 2000.

“Every victim who testified was unambiguous” about being molested, Poviliatis said. “They were clear and consistent and precise.”

Outside of the criminal cases, Nassar and Michigan State are being sued by dozens of women and girls. Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics also is a defendant in some of the lawsuits.

Nassar will appear in court in Eaton County next Friday on assault charges involving two more gymnasts. He’s separately charged in federal court in Grand Rapids with possessing child pornography.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!