Gabby Douglas

Gabby Douglas explains move to California from Iowa

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NEW YORK — Olympic all-around champion Gabby Douglas is training in California, without a coach yet, and her plan is still to return to competition at the 2014 U.S. Championships.

In August, Douglas left Iowa and the coach who guided her to double Olympic gold, Liang Chow, to join her family in California. Douglas, a Virginia native, had been living with a host family in Iowa.

“I went to the gym and said goodbye to everyone,” Douglas said at the Right To Play Gymnastics Festival on Sunday. “It was a really sad moment for me because I love that gym, and it’s a really great program. Some part of me wanted to be connected with my family because I hadn’t been with them in a very long time. So it was a bittersweet moment.”

She had resumed training with Chow in his West Des Moines gym in May after a post-Olympic break.

“She was a little upset,” Chow’s wife, Liwen Zhuang, told the Des Moines Register about Douglas’ goodbye at the gym. “I guess that’s a family decision for her.”

Liwen was caught “off-guard somewhat,” according to the newspaper.

“We were not really sure for a long time, because we heard from other people first,” she said. “Nothing was really confirmed. We didn’t really know for sure. We heard some rumors.

“It’s kind of awkward.”

Douglas said she still emails and texts with her former coach Chow.

“It was really tough for the both of us,” she said.

Douglas has already done interviews in California, including with Entertainment Tonight. She was a judge on the “So You Think You Can Dance” season finale Sept. 3.

Asked about her next coach, she said she was “still figuring it all out.”

“A lot of decisions,” she said. “But a good thing is I’m training. … Any coach is definitely a possibility out in L.A.”

Douglas became the first U.S. woman to win both team and individual all-around Olympic gold last year, in addition to being the first African-American woman to win the all-around.

Two members of the Fierce Five are expected to be named to the World Championships team this week — McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross. The other two, Jordyn Wieber and Aly Raisman, did not compete this year.

Max Aaron shaky in season debut

Yuzuru Hanyu wins record fourth straight Grand Prix Final; Nathan Chen on podium

Yuzuru Hanyu
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Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu became the first singles skater to win four straight Grand Prix Finals, while 17-year-old Nathan Chen is the second-youngest men’s medalist in the event’s 22-year history.

The Olympic champion Hanyu held on to win despite scoring 10 points fewer than Chen in the free skate in Marseille, France, on Saturday.

Chen finished second, 11.05 points behind, rising from fifth of six skaters after Thursday’s short program.

“It’s kind of a shock,” said Chen, the U.S. bronze medalist who is in his first season as a senior skater. “I wasn’t really expecting to be able to come out with a medal here.”

Chen landed four quadruple jumps in his free skate with no falls after erring on both of his quads in the short program.

Hanyu fell once and singled a Lutz, scoring 32.11 points fewer than his record free skate last year.

“I feel total disappointment with my long program,” Hanyu said to open the post-event press conference. “But the result is good.”

Chen became the first U.S. men’s medalist at the Grand Prix Final since Evan Lysacek and Johnny Weir earned gold and bronze in 2009.

Only Russian Yevgeny Plushenko won a men’s Grand Prix Final medal at a younger age, a bronze at 16 in the 1998-99 season.

U.S. champion Adam Rippon fell three times Saturday and finished last of six skaters.

Chen, the darling attraction of the 2010 U.S. Championships at age 10, is now the clear favorite for the U.S. Championships in January. Chen can become the youngest U.S. champion since Scott Allen in 1966.

“There’s always room to improve in terms of artistry and stuff like that,” said Chen, who has been working with noted ice dance coach and choreographer Marina Zoueva this fall. “I guess that will be the biggest goal for me next.”

NBCSN will air Grand Prix Final coverage Sunday from 8:30-11 p.m. ET.

MORE: Javier Fernandez builds toward last Olympic chance

Men’s Results
GOLD: Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) — 293.90
SILVER: Nathan Chen (USA) — 282.85
BRONZE: Shoma Uno (JPN) — 282.51
4. Javier Fernandez (ESP) — 268.77
5. Patrick Chan (CAN) — 266.75
6. Adam Rippon (USA) — 233.10

Yevgenia Medvedeva repeats as Grand Prix Final winner, misses Yuna Kim record

Yevgenia Medvedeva
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Russian Yevgenia Medvedeva extended one of the most dominant runs in recent history, repeating as Grand Prix Final champion on Saturday.

Medvedeva recovered from stepping out of her opening jump — a shocking error for her — to total 227.66 points, the second-highest score under an 11-year-old judging system. The 17-year-old just missed Yuna Kim‘s record 228.56 from the 2010 Olympics.

Medvedeva, who last lost in November 2015, won by 9.33 points over Japan’s Satoko Miyahara in Marseille, France. Russian Anna Pogorilaya was third, followed by Canadian Kaetlyn Osmond.

Miyahara, Pogorilaya and Osmond all tallied personal-best free skates.

Medvedeva made that early mistake skating to music from “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” a 2011 film relating to the 9/11 attacks. It’s a controversial program choice that includes, at one point, the voice of George W. Bush declaring that two airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center.

“I’m happy, but I’m so sad about my mistake on my first jump,” Medvedeva said.

Nobody has finished within five points of Medvedeva during this winning streak, which included the 2016 European and World Championships and this perfect Grand Prix season. She’s seeking the first perfect season, including Grand Prix Final and world titles, since countrywoman Irina Slutskaya in 2004-05.

No U.S. woman qualified for the Grand Prix Final for the first time since 2008.

NBCSN will air Grand Prix Final coverage Sunday from 8:30-11 p.m. ET.

MORE: Javier Fernandez builds toward last Olympic chance

Women’s Results
GOLD: Yevgenia Medvedeva (RUS) — 227.66
SILVER: Satoko Miyahara (JPN) — 218.33
BRONZE: Anna Pogorilaya (RUS) — 216.47
4. Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN) — 212.45
5. Maria Sotskova (RUS) — 198.79
6. Yelena Radionova (RUS) — 188.81