Ashley Wagner

Ashley Wagner, Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir dazzle in Paris (video)

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Favorites Ashley Wagner and Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir held on to win the Trophee Bompard in Paris on Saturday, but both are looking up at Olympic silver medalists.

Wagner, the two-time reigning U.S. champion, totaled 194.37 points after a slightly flawed free skate, topping Russian teens Adelina Sotnikova (189.81) and Anna Pogorilaya (184.69).

Virtue and Moir, the Olympic ice dance champions, tallied 180.96 to win by a more comfortable nine points over a field lacking rivals and training partners Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White.

NBC and NBC Live Extra will air Trophee Bompard on Sunday from 4:30-6 p.m. ET.

Wagner, who led by six points after the short program Friday, took second to Mao Asada at Skate America in her other Grand Prix appearance.

They’ll be medal favorites at the Grand Prix Final in Fukuoka, Japan, from Dec. 5-8, but Asada will be the clear favorite.

On Saturday, Wagner, 22, two-footed a landing on her opening triple-triple jump combination and stepped out of a later jump skating to “Romeo and Juliet.”

Still, she solidified her status as the unquestioned top American woman. Three will make the Olympic Team, named after the U.S. Championships in Boston in January.

Gracie Gold, the silver medalist to Wagner at the U.S. Championships last January, has also been better than the rest of the U.S. women during the Grand Prix season.

Harvard’s Christina Gao fell twice and popped another jump during her free skate in Paris on Saturday and finished eighth of nine skaters.

Samantha Cesario bettered Gao by 20 points and took fourth Saturday. The door is also open for Agnes Zawadzki and Mirai Nagasu, who were unimpressive in their Grand Prix season debuts. They skate next week at the Rostelecom Cup.

Here are the top Grand Prix season women’s scores so far:

1. Mao Asada (NHK Trophy) — 207.59
2. Mao Asada (Skate America) — 204.55
3. Yulia Lipnitskaya (Skate Canada) — 198.23
4. Ashley Wagner (Trophee Bompard) — 194.37
5. Ashley Wagner (Skate America) — 193.81
6. Akiko Suzuki (Skate Canada) — 193.75
7. Yelena Radyonova (NHK Trophy) — 191.81 (too young for Olympics)
8. Adelina Sotnikova (Trophee Bompard) 189.81
9. Gracie Gold (Skate Canada) — 186.75
10. Anna Pogorilaya (Trophee Bompard) 184.69

The reigning Olympic champion, Yuna Kim, has yet to compete this season due to a foot injury. She’s scheduled to compete in a lower-level competition in Zagreb, Croatia, in early December.

In ice dance, Virtue and Moir went two for two in Grand Prix events this season, following their Skate Canada win by beating Russians Yelena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov by nine points.

Virtue and Moir scored lower than they did at Skate Canada, barely, and haven’t been within five points of rivals and training partners Davis and White this Grand Prix season.

Virtue and Moir are the reigning Olympic champions, but Davis and White haven’t lost in nearly two years. They should go head to head for the first time since the World Championships in March at the Grand Prix Final.

Here are the top Grand Prix season ice dance scores so far:

1. Davis/White (Skate America) — 188.23
2. Davis/White (NHK Trophy) — 186.65
3. Virtue/Moir (Skate Canada) — 181.03
4. Virtue/Moir (Trophee Bompard) — 180.96
5. Weaver/Poje (Skate Canada) — 175.23
6. Ilinykh/Katsalapov (Trophee Bompard) — 171.89
7. Pechalat/Bourzat (Trophee Bompard) 171.08

8. Cappellini/Lanotte (Skate America) — 168.49
9. Pechalat/Bourzat (Cup of China) — 165.68
10. Bobrova/Soloviev (Cup of China) — 163.42

Trophee Eric Bompard

Women’s
1. Ashley Wagner (USA) 194.37
2. Adelina Sotnikova (RUS) 189.81
3. Anna Pogorilaya (RUS) 184.69
4. Samantha Cesario (USA) 172.70
5. Mae Berenice Meite (FRA) 166.11
6. Amelie Lacoste (CAN) 158.11
7. Viktoria Helgesson (SWE) 153.27
8. Christina Gao (USA) 152.85
9. Natalia Popova (UKR) 136.43

Ice Dance
1. Virtue/Moir (CAN) 180.96
2. Ilinykh/Katsalapov (RUS) 171.89
3. Pechalat/Bourzat (FRA) 171.08
4. Zhiganshina/Gazsi (GER) 147.27
5. Papadakis/Cizeron (FRA) 143.26
6. Monko/Khaliavin (RUS) 139.96
7. Coomes/Buckland (GBR) 128.59
8. Orford/Williams (CAN) 119.60

Chan reaches new heights in Paris

Rome’s city council votes down 2024 Olympics bid

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ROME (AP) — The Rome city council has backed Mayor Virginia Raggi’s decision to reject the capital’s bid for the 2024 Olympics.

The motion passed easily since Raggi’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement holds a majority on the city council.

There were 30 votes in favor of withdrawing the bid, and 12 votes against the motion.

The vote leaves only Los Angeles, Paris and Budapest, Hungary, in the running for the 2024 Games. The International Olympic Committee will decide on the host city in September 2017.

MORE: Tokyo Olympics costs could top $30 billion, experts warn

Tokyo Olympics costs could top $30 billion, experts warn

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TOKYO (AP) — The price tag of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics could exceed 3 trillion yen ($30 billion) unless drastic cost-cutting measures are taken and several key venues are relocated, an expert panel warned Thursday in the latest blow to Japanese organizers.

“Naturally, anyone who hears these numbers is alarmed,” panel leader Shinichi Ueyama said.

The Olympic investigation team was launched by newly elected Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike after she raised concerns about growing cost estimates and the potential burden on the city and its taxpayers.

The panel said the ballooning costs reflect an absence of leadership, as well as a lack of governance and awareness of cost control.

The report, submitted to Koike on Thursday, reviewed three out of seven permanent venues that Tokyo is planning to build, and proposed using existing locations rather than new facilities that could end up being white elephants. It proposed moving rowing and canoeing more than 400 kilometers (250 miles) outside the city, as well as finding new sites for swimming and volleyball.

Koike said she plans to discuss possible options with International Olympic Committee officials who are expected to visit Japan in the coming weeks.

“We cannot impose the negative legacy onto the Tokyo residents,” Koike told reporters.

Preparations for Japan’s first Summer Olympics since Tokyo hosted the 1964 Games have been plagued by a series of scandals and problems, including the new national stadium’s high cost and design, and allegations of bribery in the bidding process.

Concerns over Tokyo’s budget come amid growing global scrutiny over the costs of hosting the Olympics. Many cities have been scared off by the record $51 billion in overall costs associated with the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. Rome’s bid for the 2024 Olympics was rejected last week by the new mayor, citing concerns over high costs.

The estimated 3 trillion yen cost of the Tokyo Games is more than a four-fold increase from the initial estimate at the time of the city’s ‘s successful bid for the games in 2013.

Ueyama, a Keio University public policy professor, criticized Tokyo’s Olympic organizers as irresponsible, comparing them to “a company without a president and a chief financial officer.”

Tokyo organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori acknowledged in July 2015 that the total cost could exceed 2 trillion yen ($20 billion), doubling his unofficial estimate a year earlier.

Mori has said the original figures were the result of sloppy calculations which he blamed on the Tokyo metropolitan government and Japanese Olympic Committee.

On Thursday, Mori criticized the panel’s proposals for venue moves, saying it would be difficult to change the existing plans approved by the IOC.

“At this point, it would be extremely difficult to turn everything upside down from the Japanese side,” he said.

Tokyo has already implemented a series of venue changes which the IOC has said will save around $1 billion. Any further changes would require the approval of the IOC and relevant international sports federations.

The panel’s report said venue costs had been driven up by overestimated stadium capacities, use of unnecessarily high-grade equipment and lack of a budget ceiling.

Plans for long-term use of big new permanent facilities are overly optimistic considering Japan’s declining population and aging society, Ueyama said.

To cut costs, the report proposed moving the rowing and canoeing venue away from Tokyo and renovating existing facilities for two other sports.

The latest cost estimate for the rowing and canoeing venue stands at 49 billion yen ($490 million), seven times higher than the initial forecast. The current plan hopes to turn the venue, a former site of a garbage plant, into a “mecca” for the sport and attract 40,000 visitors, but the panel said that is overly optimistic in a country with only several hundred athletes in rowing and canoeing.

The panel proposed moving rowing and canoeing to Tome City, about 440 kilometers (270 miles) — or a three-hour train ride — northeast of Tokyo in the prefecture of Miyagi.

The report said a planned swimming venue with a capacity of 20,000 is way above the 12,000-seat requirement, and proposed renovating an existing Olympic-class facility in Tokyo’s Tatsumi area. It urged seeking an existing venue for volleyball instead of building a new arena in Tokyo’s Ariake coastal area.

Tokyo won the right to host the games in 2013 by promising a compact bid with 28 of the 31 competition venues within an eight-kilometer (5-mile) radius of the Olympic Village. Originally, only shooting, modern pentathlon and one football venue were to be outside the eight-kilometer radius.

Already, venues for basketball, taekwondo and cycling have been moved outside of Tokyo to maximize existing facilities. Cycling was moved to Izu, some 145 kilometers (90 miles) southwest of the capital.

MORE: Tokyo to propose moving more venues for Olympics