Meryl Davis, Charlie White

Gold, Davis/White lead after short programs at U.S. International Figure Skating Classic

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Gracie Gold fell, but so did the other top Americans in the women’s short program at the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic.

Gold, 18, the U.S. silver medalist, scored a 58.49, good enough for a two-point lead despite losing her landing on a double axel and looking a little off on triple jumps.

“I think that I fought for the jumps, but I don’t feel like I had to fight for any of the spins,” Gold said, according to the U.S. Figure Skating Association. “I think I was just pretty nervous today.”

She leads over U.S. bronze medalist Agnes Zawadzki, who fell on a planned triple-triple combination at the start of her skate. Zawadzki scored a 56.27 (full results below). The free skate is Saturday at 5 p.m. ET.

Ice dancing also began Friday. Reigning Olympic silver medalists and world champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White posted their highest short dance score at a season-opening event, a 73.67.

The pairs and men’s free skates were scheduled for later Friday.

In the women’s short program, Americans Courtney Hicks and Samantha Cesario, making their senior international debuts, scored 54.80 and 47.91, respectively, for third and fifth place. Both had trouble with triple-triple combinations and double axels.

Cesario, U.S. champion Ashley Wagner and Caroline Zhang are entered in Skate America, the first Grand Prix event of the season, Oct. 18-20 in Detroit. The U.S. women will compete for three spots on the Olympic team at nationals in Boston in January.

Ice dancers Davis and White, who skated to music from “My Fair Lady,” lead by a comfortable 11 points over Canadians Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje going into Saturday’s free dance (8 p.m. ET). Weaver and Poje were fifth at the World Championships in March.

“It’s still really early in the season, and we can’t go out there kind of on autopilot like we can later in the season and just enjoy the process,” Davis said. “We really have to think through everything, which is OK.”

Women
1. Gracie Gold (USA) 58.49
2. Agnes Zawadzki (USA) 56.27
3. Courtney Hicks (USA) 54.80
4. Amelie Lacosta (CAN) 50.94
5. Samantha Cesario (USA) 47.91
6. Sandy Hoffman (GER) 44.31
7. Melanie Yuung-Hui Chang (TPE) 41.62
8. Chelsea Chiappa (HUN) 35.17
9. Crystal Kiang (TPE) 33.73
10. Georgia Glastris (GRE) 31.55
11. Dimitra Korri (GRE) 31.36
12. Danielle Montalbano (ISR) 30.56
13. Clara Peters (IRL) 29.86
14. Brittany Lau (SIN) 27.79

Ice Dance
1. Davis/White (USA) 73.67
2. Weaver/Poje (CAN) 62.61
3. Orford/Williams (CAN) 54.64
4. Coomes/Buckland (GBR) 53.97
5. Zlobina/Sitnikov (AZE) 53.75
6. Kriengkrairut/Giuletti-Schmitt (USA) 53.03
7. Tobias/Deividas (LTU) 48.17
8. Cannuscio/McManus (USA) 48.07
9. Polutowska/Gerber (POL) 46.15
10. Reed/Rogov (ISR) 45.23
11. Telegina/Japaridze (GEO) 42.25
12. Bernardi/Mior (ITA) 41.15
13. Aronow/Brubaker (USA) 38.01
14. Maekawa/Maekawa (MEX) 35.58

U.S. figure skater aided by mime coach

Tommie Smith, John Carlos set to join Team USA at White House

FILe - In this Oct. 16, 1968, file photo, U.S. athletes Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos stare downward while extending gloved hands skyward during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner after Smith received the gold and Carlos the bronze for the 200 meter run at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City. Australian silver medalist Peter Norman is at left. Smith and Carlos, the American sprinters whose raised-fist salutes at the 1968 Olympics are an ageless sign of race-inspired protest, will join the U.S. Olympic team at the White House next week for its meeting with President Barack Obama. Smith and Carlos were sent home from the Olympics after raising their black-gloved fists in a symbolic protest during the U.S. national anthem. They called it a ``human rights salute.''
The USOC asked them to serve as ambassadors as it tries to make its own leadership more diverse. (AP Photo/File)
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Tommie Smith and John Carlos, the American sprinters whose raised-fist salutes at the 1968 Olympics are an ageless sign of race-inspired protest, will join the U.S. Olympic team at the White House next week for its meeting with President Barack Obama.

Smith and Carlos were sent home from the Olympics after raising their black-gloved fists in a symbolic protest during the U.S. national anthem. They called it a “human rights salute.”

USOC CEO Scott Blackmun asked them to serve as ambassadors as the federation tries to bring more diversity to its own ranks. They will join the team at the White House next Wednesday, then later that evening at an awards celebration in Washington.

The sprinters have been referenced frequently in the recent protests, spurred by Colin Kaepernick, during national anthems at NFL games. One player, Marcus Peters of the Chiefs, raised his own black-gloved fist before Kansas City’s season opener.

“I think Tommie and John have played an important and positive role in the evolution of our attitudes about diversity and inclusion, not only in the United States but around the world,” Blackmun said Friday night at a dinner to celebrate the U.S. performance in Brazil this summer.

MORE: Usain Bolt says he received offers to play wide receiver in the NFL (video)

Wilson Kipsang: I am very focused on the marathon world record

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The men’s marathon world record has been broken five of the last nine years at the Berlin Marathon.

Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang, who broke the world record at the 2013 Berlin Marathon, believes that he can do it again on Sunday, when the race will stream live on the NBC Sports app beginning at 2:30 a.m. ET.

“I’ve trained well and, three years down the line from my world record here, I feel good and believe I have the potential to attempt the world record once more,” he said at today’s press conference, according to the IAAF. “Running at the top level, there is a lot of wear and tear on the body, especially when you are running for a time, but I am very focused on the world record.”

Kipsang clocked 2 hours, 3 minutes, 23 seconds when he broke the world record in 2013. A year later, fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto lowered it to 2:02:57 on the same course. Kimetto will not race in Berlin this year.

Kipsang will be challenged by Kenyan compatriot Emmanuel Mutai, who has the fastest time (2:03:13) in the field, and Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele.

Bekele is a three-time Olympic track champion and the 5000m and 10,000m world-record holder, but acknowledged that his marathon personal best of 2:05:04 places him a distant fourth in the field.

“I consider my personal best of 2:05 to be slow compared to the best runners,” he said. “I want to run as fast as I can on Sunday and beat my best.”

MORE: Berlin Marathon to live stream on NBC Sports app