Ashley Wagner

Report: Ten kiss-and-cry areas for Olympic figure skating team event

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The new Olympic figure skating team event must make room to accommodate 10 nations’ worth of skaters watching their teammates compete.

With that in mind, there will be 10 kiss-and-cry areas at the Iceberg Skating Palace in Sochi, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“While ice rinks usually have only one area for ‘kiss-and-cry’ — the spangled histrionics that help make figure skating such great television — the Iceberg will have ’10 kiss-and-cry zones, one for each finalist team.'”

Ten nations will qualify for the figure skating team event. The medal contenders are thought to be the U.S., Canada, Japan and Russia.

The team event will begin the night before the Opening Ceremony with the pairs short program and the men’s short program. It will continue two nights later with the short dance, women’s short program and the pairs free skate.

That’s where it gets a little more complicated. The field will be narrowed from 10 to five after the short programs.

So, there will be 10 short dances and 10 women’s short programs, followed by a cut down to the top five teams, and then five pairs free skates on that Saturday night. (and, one could surmise, from 10 kiss-and-cry areas to five kiss-and-cry areas)

The team competition will conclude the next night, Sunday, Feb. 9, with the men’s free skate, free dance and women’s free skate.

Opinions mixed on figure skating team event

Katie Ledecky helps Bryce Harper celebrate NL East title (video)

Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper, right, and Mark Melancon, left, celebrate after clinching the National League East following a 6-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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The Washington Nationals won the National League East title last night for the third time in five years.

Reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper donned a Katie Ledecky swim cap during the beer-soaked celebration to protect his hair, which he reportedly spends 30 minutes grooming before games.

Ledecky, a native of Bethesda, Maryland, is a longtime fan of the Nationals. Earlier this year, she had Harper hold her five Olympic medals from Rio while she threw the first pitch at a Nationals game.

Ledecky, who is currently taking classes at Stanford, Tweeted her approval of Harper’s headgear:

MORE: Katie Ledecky declines waffle maker on ‘Ellen’ to stay NCAA eligible

Kenenisa Bekele misses marathon world record by six seconds (video)

Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele crosses the finish to win the 43th Berlin Marathon in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
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BERLIN (AP) — Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia pulled away from Wilson Kipsang of Kenya late in the race to win the Berlin Marathon just outside the world record time on Sunday.

Bekele’s winning time of two hours, 3 minutes and 3 seconds was six seconds outside Dennis Kimetto‘s world record, also set in Berlin in 2014 and is the second best time.

“I wanted to set a personal best and it’s a fantastic time, but it’s a little disappointing to miss the world record by so little,” Bekele said after the race.

Bekele and Kipsang opened a considerable lead over the rest of the field and ran shoulder-to-shoulder until Bekele pulled away with about two kilometers to go.

Kipsang finished 10 seconds behind Bekele in 2:03:13, faster than the 2:03:23 he clocked in winning the race in 2013, in what was then a world record.

Evans Chebet of Kenya was third in 2:05:31.

Bekele is considered one of the greatest distance runners of all time. He won three Olympic titles and five world championship golds and is the world record holder over 5,000 and 10,000 meters.

But he had been slow getting into the marathon, with his previous best of 2:05.04 set in his debut in winning the Paris race in 2014. He was third in London in April, after battling an Achilles’ tendon injury.

Bekele broke the Ethiopian record for the marathon, previously held by the great Haile Gebrselassie, who won the Berlin Marathon and set a world record of 2:03.59 in 2008.

Aberu Kebede led an Ethiopian sweep in the women’s race in 2:20:45. Birhane Dibaba was second in 2:23:58 and Ruti Aga third in 2:24:41.

MORE: Usain Bolt says he received offers to play wide receiver in the NFL (video)