Jason Lamy Chappuis

France selects flag bearer for Sochi Olympic opening ceremony

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One of France’s two gold medalists from the 2010 Olympics will carry its flag into the 2014 Olympic opening ceremony.

Montana-born Nordic combined skier Jason Lamy Chappuis, 27, was chosen the country’s flag bearer, the French Olympic Committee annoucned Monday.

Lamy Chappuis memorably beat American Johnny Spillane for gold by .4 of a second in the closest finish in Olympic Nordic combined history in the normal hill event in 2010.

It was his only medal of those Olympics after recording fourth- and fifth-place finishes in 2006, but he could be due for more success in Sochi.

Lamy Chappuis won four medals at the World Championships in March, including a record three golds.

The opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics is Feb. 7, and the Nordic combined competition starts Feb. 12.

Demong takes U.S. Championship in Nordic combined

Nathan Chen holds off Yuzuru Hanyu to win first Grand Prix

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U.S. champion Nathan Chen opened the Grand Prix season by beating Olympic gold-medal favorite Yuzuru Hanyu.

Chen, 18, held off Hanyu at Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, totaling 293.79 points to win by 3.02 over the Japanese megastar. Full scores are here.

Chen landed four quadruple jumps in a strong but imperfect free skate for his first Grand Prix title in his second senior international season.

Hanyu outscored Chen in the free skate, but the American benefited from his 5.69-point lead from Friday’s short program.

Hanyu, the reigning Olympic and world champion, has never won his opening Grand Prix start in eight tries.

He did three quadruple jumps in Saturday’s free skate rather than the planned five, but did not fall as he did in the short program.

Chen has now outscored Hanyu in three of their last four head-to-head events dating to February.

The Rostelecom Cup free dance and pairs and women’s free skates are later Saturday.

A full Rostelecom Cup broadcast schedule is here.

The Grand Prix season continues next weekend with Skate Canada, headlined by three-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner and three-time world champion Patrick Chan.

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Olympic ski cross champion suffers serious knee injury

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Canadian Marielle Thompson, the reigning Olympic and World Cup ski cross champion, ruptured an ACL and MCL in a training crash in Switzerland.

Alpine Canada did not say when the accident happened or what Thompson’s chances are of returning to defend her Olympic title in PyeongChang.

Thompson flew from Switzerland to Vancouver for an MRI that confirmed the injury.

“I’ll be making a plan with my team moving forward and when the time is right getting back on the ski cross course stronger than ever,” Thompson said in a press release.

Thompson, 25, tore a meniscus in January 2015 and returned to competition 11 months later. She won seven of the 13 World Cup races last season.

Other Olympic medal contenders include Swede Sandra Näslund and Swiss Fanny Smith.

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