Evan Lysacek

Evan Lysacek’s coach ‘a little worried’ because ‘clock is ticking’

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Olympic figure skating champion Evan Lysacek is running out of time to start his competitive comeback.

“I’m a little worried because the clock is ticking,” Lysacek’s coach, Frank Carroll, told the Chicago Tribune‘s Phil Hersh. “He has to go somewhere and do something to get qualifying score.”

Lysacek, 28, pulled out of last week’s U.S. International Classic with a “slight abdominal tear,” according to U.S. Figure Skating. That was scheduled to be his first competition since winning gold at the 2010 Olympics. The comeback has also been delayed by a groin injury and sports hernia surgery over the last year.

Now, Lysacek looks to Skate America in Detroit, Oct. 18-20. It’s his only Grand Prix assignment of the season. U.S. Figure Skating said Monday the Lysacek is still scheduled to compete at Skate America.

Carroll’s quote mentioned a “qualifying score.” Lysacek must post a minimum score in the short and long programs in an international competition before Jan. 27 to be eligible for the Olympics.

The U.S. Championships, from which the Olympic team will be named, are Jan. 5-12 in Boston. Of course, that is not an international competition.

Carroll said Lysacek’s return to practice is uncertain, according to Hersh.

Gracie Gold stumbles amid coaching change

WATCH LIVE: Big Air at Fenway — 8:30 p.m. ET

Fenway Big Air
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Fenway Park will host some of the world’s best freeskiers in the one-of-a-kind Big Air at Fenway, live on NBC Sports Live Extra on Friday night.

Big air skiers will descend from a ramp that’s four times higher than the Green Monster inside the hallowed Boston Red Sox home.

Ski big air is most like slopestyle of the current Olympic disciplines, except skiers get one jump per run.

WATCH LIVE: Big Air at Fenway — 8:30 p.m. ET

On Thursday, Canadian Max Parrot and American Julia Marino won the snowboard big air competitions at Fenway Park.

Big Air at Fenway coverage will conclude with an NBC show on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET.

MORE: Olympic champ suffers concussion at Big Air at Fenway practice

Lillehammer Youth Winter Olympics open with homages to 1994

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In an homage to the Lillehammer 1994 Winter Olympics, Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway lit the Lillehammer Youth Winter Olympic cauldron to cap the Opening Ceremony on Friday night.

The princess’ father, Crown Prince Haakon, lit the 1994 Olympic cauldron in a very similar fashion (video here). Princess Ingrid Alexandra was born in 2004.

The Opening Ceremony, held outdoors at a ski jump (same venue as 1994) in sub-freezing temperatures, included a speech from International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.

“I’m just a little bit too old to compete in the YOG,” Bach said, urging listeners to use the hashtag #IloveYOG during the nine-day Winter Games.

The ceremony included Olympic legends, such as 2010 figure skating gold medalist Yuna Kim and eight-time Olympic cross-country champion Bjorn Daehlie carrying the Olympic flag.

Marit Bjoergen, a 10-time Olympic medalist cross-country skier, handed the Olympic flame to the princess.

NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra will air coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Saturday at 12:30 a.m. ET, plus daily coverage throughout the Winter Games. A full broadcast schedule is here.

MORE: Two years to Pyeongchang: Updates on U.S. Olympic medalists from Sochi