Meryl Davis, Charlie White

Gracie Gold struggles, Meryl Davis/Charlie White win at U.S. International Figure Skating Classic

Leave a comment

Courtney Hicks jumped from third to win the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic, while world champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White easily took the ice dance.

Hicks, 17, performed the cleanest free skate among four American women at the season-opening event in Salt Lake City to total 171.88 points (full results below).

She landed a handful of triple jumps and a double axel in her first senior international competition. Hicks was fourth at this year’s U.S. Championships.

She upset U.S. silver medalist Gracie Gold, who led after the short program Friday but stumbled in her free skate at finished with 164.68 points.

Gold was reported Friday by the Chicago Tribune to be changing coaches from Chicago area-based Alex Ouriashev to Frank Carroll in California.

Carroll was the longtime coach of Michelle Kwan and currently coaches Evan Lysacek.

Gold parted ways with Ouriashev immediately after Champs Camp in Colorado Springs, Colo., in August, according to, but no official announcement on Carroll has been made yet.

In the meantime, Gold struggled in her free skate Saturday. She doubled what appeared to be two planned triples and popped two other jumps.

American Samantha Cesario was third (157.29), and 2012 champion Agnes Zawadzki fourth (151.27). Gold and Zawadzki were second and third at nationals and considered the favorites going in.

Three U.S. women will make the Olympic team at nationals in January in Boston. Hicks, Gold and Zawadzki are considered contenders, along with U.S. champion Ashley Wagner and Christina Gao, fifth at nationals.

In the ice dance, Davis and White extended an 11-point lead from the short program to win by 22 over Canadians Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, who were fifth at the World Championships in March.

The next major event is Skate America in Detroit, Oct. 8-10. Wagner, Cesario and Caroline Zhang are entered there, along with ice dancers Davis and White, Maia and Alex Shibutani and Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue.

1. Courtney Hicks (USA) 171.88
2. Gracie Gold (USA) 164.68
3. Samantha Cesario (USA) 157.29
4. Agnes Zawadzki (USA) 151.27
5. Amelie Lacoste (CAN) 147.88
6. Sandy Hoffmann (GER) 124.18
7. Melanie Yuung-Hui Chang (TPE) 109.74
8. Crystal Kiang (TPE) 100.57
9. Dimitra Korri (GRE) 91.62
10. Chelsea Chiappa (HUN) 90.14
11. Georgia Glastris (GRE) 89.58
12. Clara Peters (IRL) 88.33
13. Brittany Lau (SIN) 83.44

Ice Dance
1. Davis/White (USA) 183.69
2. Weaver/Poje (CAN) 161.99
3. Orford/Williams (CAN) 137.60
4. Kriengkrairut/Giuletti-Schmitt (USA) 134.48
5. Coomes/Buckland (GBR) 133.41
6. Zlobina/Sitnikov (AZE) 132.34
7. Tobias/Deividas (LTU) 121.08
8. Cannuscio/McManus (USA) 119.34
9. Polutowska/Gerber (POL) 114.48
10. Reed/Rogov (ISR) 113.49
11. Telegina/Japaridze (GEO) 109.70
12. Bernardi/Mior (ITA) 106.13
13. Aronow/Brubaker (USA) 100.31
14. Maekawa/Maekawa (MEX) 92.26

Max Aaron shaky in men’s free skate

Michael Phelps appears in ‘Call of Duty’ trailer

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 11:  Michael Phelps of the United States celebrates winning gold in the Men's 200m Individual Medley Final on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Michael Phelps brandishes weapons in a trailer for the upcoming video game, “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare,” which is to come out Nov. 4.

Phelps, an avid Call of Duty player, filmed his spot after the Rio Olympics in Long Beach, Calif., according to reports. Actor Danny McBride is also in the 90-second video.

“We were in full getup and full armor,” Phelps said, according to Time magazine. “Where we were shooting was kind of wild. Danny and I were just playing off each other, talking trash. It was really tough to keep a straight face with him just firing off super funny comments left and right. It was fun.”

MORE: Usain Bolt’s obsession with ‘Call of Duty’

Claressa Shields turns professional, sets first fight

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 21:  Claressa Maria Shields of the United States celebrates victory over Nouchka Fontijn of the Netherlands in the Women's Middle (69-75kg) Final Bout on Day 16 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro - Pavilion 6 on August 21, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Two-time Olympic champion Claressa Shields turned professional, scheduling her first fight on Nov. 19 in Las Vegas.

The fight against a to-be-named opponent will be on the Sergey KovalevAndre Ward undercard. Ward is the last U.S. man to win an Olympic boxing title, at Athens 2004.

“After working hard for so many years and having the honor to represent my country at two Olympic games, I am thrilled to take the next big step in my career, fighting professionally and leading the rise of women’s boxing worldwide,” Shields said in a statement. “There is no better place to begin the journey than to join the biggest fight of the year, Kovalev vs Ward.”

In Rio, Shields, 21, became the first American boxer to repeat as Olympic champion. Her record is 77-1. The middleweight hasn’t lost in more than four years.

She said long before the Rio Games that she hoped to turn pro after them, but this summer amended that to say she hoped to be able to turn pro while still being able to compete in the Olympics in 2020.

“My legacy is what really is important to me,” Shields said last Wednesday, when she said she was unaware about an imminent professional announcement. “It’s about having a game plan before you do something. I don’t want to just go pro and then have one or two fights and then disappear. I actually want to make a platform for women’s boxing.”

Shields said that she has talked with the international boxing federation (AIBA) and USA Boxing since the Rio Olympics about finding a way for her to turn professional and return to fight in a third Olympics in Tokyo.

“The conversation basically was that they definitely would consider making changes for women’s boxing, but they’ve had so many changes in AIBA’s offices that, who knows,” she said. “I’ve always had a pretty great relationship with AIBA. … Being the only American [female] gold medalist, I love the Olympics, I would love to be in Tokyo if I got the opportunity.”

Laila Ali, the most famous women’s pro boxer in history, said she told Shields after the London Olympics she needed to take advantage of any and all opportunities.

“Women’s boxing is a sport that just doesn’t get that much attention,” Ali said Wednesday. “There’s a lot of talent in the sport, but there’s not a lot of promoters behind the women who are boxing. There were a lot more women when I was fighting, but I got all the attention because my last name’s Ali.”

Ali mentioned Ronda Rousey, a fighter who has achieved much more outside of the octagon than either Shields or Ali outside of the ring.

“I’m the daughter of the most famous athlete and man in the world, attractive, can fight, had more titles, had more fights, and I don’t have movies or endorsements or things like that,” Ali said. “But the UFC has a bigger platform than boxing because someone got behind her and said, ‘Let me put some money behind this girl. Let me build her up, make her name known.’ And that’s why she’s able to get those opportunities. So, unless someone’s inspired to do that and get behind some of the women, it’s just not going to happen. It has nothing do with [Shields’] talent, but unfortunately just because you won gold, not everybody else is going to be as excited about that, especially with women’s boxing being so new at the Olympics.”

VIDEO: Claressa Shields congratulated by famous boxing actor