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

David Ortiz weighed down by Aly Raisman’s medals (video)

David Ortiz, Aly Raisman
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David Ortiz called his good friend Aly Raisman on Thursday night. Raisman had one request for their scheduled meeting for Friday.

“I told him that he had to hold my medals while I threw out the first pitch,” Raisman said on NESN. “I told him he better not forget, but he remembered.”

Ortiz made it a highlight, wearing Raisman’s three Rio medals and plodding as if they were weighing him down before the Royals-Red Sox game at Fenway Park on Friday night.

It was reminiscent of Bryce Harper serving as a medal rack for Katie Ledecky on Wednesday night.

Ortiz and Raisman have come to know each other in the last four years, after Raisman’s first Olympic appearance in London. Raisman, a native of Needham, Massachusetts, has attended a gala and golf tournament benefitting Ortiz’s children’s charity.

She previously threw a first pitch at Fenway following the 2012 London Games. It didn’t faze Raisman that her pitch Friday bounced before reaching home plate.

“My pitch was horrible, but that’s OK,” Raisman said on NESN. “I’m good at gymnastics, so it doesn’t matter.”

Raisman will rejoin her Final Five teammates for a USA Gymnastics tour of 36 cities that begins Sept. 15. Whether she returns to competitive gymnastics is unknown.

MORE: Gymnastics royalty reacts to Biles and Raisman’s Olympic heroics

 

Claressa Shields congratulated by famous boxing actor (video)

Claressa Shields
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Claressa Shields may just be the most dominant female athlete on the planet. The Flint, Mich., native is now a two-time Olympic boxing champion with a 77-1 record and a four-year unbeaten streak.

Actor Mark Wahlberg, who played boxer Micky Ward in the 2010 film “The Fighter,” took notice.

He taped a video that Shields watched before a celebration in her hometown Thursday, according to the Flint Journal.

“You are the true definition of a champion,” Wahlberg said. “You continue to inspire so many people, not only in Flint, but all over the world. I’m so proud of you. Your performance was amazing. God bless you. I look forward to seeing you, and I look forward to doing lots of things with you.”

Now Shields must decide whether to turn professional, which would end her Olympic career.

“Professional women’s boxing is not nowhere near on the same attention level as the Olympics are,” the 21-year-old Shields said, according to the Flint Journal. “I get way more attention than any female boxer who is professional right now with me being an amateur.

“So the goal is to go professional but still have that same attention and same mainstream. Hopefully, if they have the rule changed that the women professionals can come back and fight the Olympics, I would go professional to fight on TV and make a bunch of money but then come back and defend my two gold medals in 2020.”

MORE: Shields becomes first U.S. fighter to win back-to-back golds