Kikkan Randall

Kikkan Randall leads U.S. cross-country skiing team for Olympic season

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A glimpse into the potential U.S. Olympic Team in cross-country skiing came with the announcement of the National Team on Monday.

Three-time Olympian Kikkan Randall highlights a six-skier “A” Team and 11 National Team members overall (full lists below).

Randall and Jessie Diggins, another “A” Team member, became the first Americans to win a world championship in the sport on Feb. 24 when they took the team spring in Val di Femme, Italy.

The other members of the “A” Team are 2010 Olympians Holly BrooksAndy Newell and Liz Stephen and Ida Sargent.

The cross-country World Cup season opens Nov. 29 in Kuusamo, Finland. The U.S. Olympic Team will be named in late January, selected primarily off World Cup results.

At the Sochi Olympics, U.S. cross-country skiers will look to win the nation’s second Olympic medal in the sport after Bill Koch‘s silver in 1976.

How much could the Olympic team resemble the National Team?

In 2010, all six members of the “A” Team made the 11-member Olympic team. The other five U.S. Olympians included two “B” Team members and three skiers who were not on the National Team.

A Team
Holly Brooks
Jessie Diggins
Andy Newell
Kikkan Randall
Ida Sargent
Liz Stephen

B Team
Sadie Bjornsen
Erik Bjornsen
Sophie Caldwell
Simi Hamilton
Noah Hoffman

Sochi Olympic torch relay reaches North Pole

Russian pairs skater slices leg in worlds practice, needs 10 stitches (video)

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Russian pairs skater Yevgenia Tarasova needed 10 stitches after her partner’s skate sliced her leg in practice Wednesday.

Hours later, Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov skated to third place in the short program at the world championships in Helsinki.

“We were thinking about withdrawing because after this incident we left the ice immediately, there was a long break off the ice, we didn’t know how I would feel in skates,” Tarasova said afterward. “But when I was asked, ‘Will you skate?’ I said, ‘I will!’ And I wasn’t thinking about the pain during our performance.”

Morozov called her “a hero.”

In Thursday’s free skate, Tarasova and Morozov will be largely tasked with keeping Russia from going three straight years without world championships pairs medalists, which would be the longest drought for Soviet and Russian pairs since their dominance began in the 1960s.

Tarasova and Morozov trail Chinese leaders Sui Wenjing and Han Cong by 1.86 points and second-place Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany by .47.

Another Russian pair is in fifth place going into the free skate (1 p.m. ET, NBCSN, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app).

Full worlds short program results are here.

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MORE: U.S. pairs skater back from life-threatening condition

World Cup champ lands first quad cork 1800 (video)

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Switzerland’s Andri Ragettli landed what’s being touted as the first ski quad cork 1800 in a video published recently.

Ragettli, 18, is one of the leading slopestyle skiers in the world. He won the World Cup season title in 2015-16 and placed second this year, in addition to fifth- and sixth-place finishes at the last two Winter X Games.

Previously, Ragettli became the first slopestyle skier to land back-to-back triples in a full competition at the 2016 Winter X Games, according to ESPN.com.

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