Gracie Gold

Gracie Gold begins skating with new coach Frank Carroll

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Rising U.S. figure skater Gracie Gold has “officially commenced training” with venerated coach Frank Carroll, U.S. Figure Skating announced Wednesday.

“I’m happy to be working with Frank Carroll,” Gold said, according to a press release. “He’s a wonderful coach. I’m grateful for this opportunity and I am looking forward to the future.”

Gold, 18, who had trained in the Chicago area and, recently, Canton, Mich., will be in Los Angeles full time, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Gold split with Chicagoland-based coach Alex Ouriashev in August, raising concerns less than six months before the Sochi Olympics. She shot to prominence under Ouriashev, winning silver at the 2013 U.S. Championships and finishing sixth at the World Championships, helping the U.S. earn three women’s singles spots for Sochi.

She stumbled in her first competition of this season, taking second at the U.S. International Classic earlier this month. The field there did not include any international stars, nor did it include U.S. champion Ashley Wagner.

Carroll, based in El Segundo, Calif., is best known for coaching five-time world champion Michelle Kwan for much of her career and, currently, 2010 Olympic champion Evan Lysacek.

“I am excited to be coaching Gracie Gold,” Carroll said. “We have been working together for about a week now, and I feel like we are a good student-coach match. I’m looking forward to the progress she will continue to make as an athlete.”

Gold’s next event is expected to be Skate Canada, Oct. 25-27, in Saint John, New Brunswick. The star of the competition there should be reigning world and Olympic champion Yuna Kim.

The Olympic trials are in January in Boston, where Gold is expected, but certainly not assured, to snatch one of three spots in Sochi.

I'm home ❤️ #cali #sochi #2014

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Report: Evan Lysacek in doubt for Skate America

Francesco Friedrich wins historic fourth straight bobsled world title

German bob team, Francesco Friedrich, right, and Thorsten Margis, celebrate their victory  after the men's  two-man bob race at the  Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Championships at Lake Koenigssee, Germany, Sunday Feb. 19. 2017. (Angelika Warmuth/dpa via AP)
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KOENIGSSEE, Germany (AP) — Germany’s Francesco Friedrich was again fastest in both runs to extend his lead and beat Justin Kripps of Canada for his fourth straight world championship in two-man bobsled on Sunday.

Friedrich, who held a 0.52-lead from Saturday’s opening heats, clocked 49.17 seconds and then 48.94 with his brakeman Thorsten Margis for a combined time of 3 minutes, 16.71 seconds after four runs — 1.20 ahead of Kripps and Jesse Lumsden.

The 26-year-old Friedrich says “We were simply unbeatable this week.”

Germany’s Johannes Lochner was 1.25 back in third with Joshua Bluhm, ahead of Oskars Kibermanis and Matiss Miknis of Latvia, Nick Poloniato and Neville Wright of Canada, and Oskars Melbardis and Janis Strenga of Latvia.

American pilot Steven Holcomb was seventh with Carlo Valdes, 1.68 back.

A skeleton and bobsled team competition was scheduled later Sunday.

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Marcel Hirscher reclaims slalom title, wraps up ‘perfect worlds’

ST MORITZ, SWITZERLAND - FEBRUARY 17:  Gold medalist Marcel Hirscher of Austria celebrates on the podium following the Men's Giant Slalom during the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships on February 17, 2017 in St Moritz, Switzerland.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
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Austrian Marcel Hirscher reclaimed the slalom world title, wrapping up what he called “the perfect world championships” with two golds and one silver in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on Sunday.

Hirscher, the five-time reigning World Cup overall champion, prevailed by .68 of a second combining two runs. Fellow Austrian Manuel Feller earned silver, followed by German Felix Neureuther, .93 behind.

Hirscher’s biggest slalom rival, Henrik Kristoffersen, was a disappointing fourth, giving Norway fourth-place finishers in all five men’s events at worlds.

The top American was David Chodounsky in 12th.

Full Results | Race Replay

Hirscher led by .43 after the morning run and had the third-fastest second run. He finished worlds with golds in the giant slalom and slalom and silver in the super combined, missing gold by .01. All that despite entering worlds sick, reportedly spending days ill in bed.

He said that super combined silver, and especially his maiden GS title, took the pressure off Sunday.

“It was super easy for me, mentally, to [go] into this race,” Hirscher said. “It doesn’t matter if I straddle at the first gate. The only thing that wouldn’t be fine is skiing slow.”

Hirscher is en route to his sixth straight World Cup overall title this season. No other man has won that many, consecutive or not. He previously won the slalom world title in 2013, then was upset at the Sochi Olympics, taking silver behind countryman Mario Matt, who at 34 became the oldest Olympic Alpine champion.

Hirscher led the 2015 Worlds slalom by .88 after the first run, then straddled a gate near the end of the second run while his lead was evaporating.

Hirscher has already proven his excellence on the World Cup and world championships stages. It’s PyeongChang where he must deliver, since he lacks Olympic gold. Hirscher is only 27 years old, but he has cast doubt on going all the way to the 2022 Winter Games.

Feller, 24, took surprise silver without a World Cup podium to his name.

Neureuther earned his third straight world slalom medal, but none have been gold.

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