Jamie Greubel, Lolo Jones

U.S. Bobsled announces pairings for Lake Placid World Cup

Leave a comment

The U.S. women’s bobsled team, fresh off unprecedented success at last week’s World Cup stop, made more changes to its lineup going into this weekend’s races in Lake Placid, N.Y.

The U.S. went 1-2-2 in Park City, Utah, on Saturday.

It marked the first time the U.S. swept a women’s bobsled podium since 2001, the season before its Olympic debut, and the first time it had ever gone 1-2-2.

The lineup last Saturday was:

Elana Meyers-Aja Evans
Jamie Greubel-Lolo Jones
Jazmine Fenlator-Lauryn Williams

U.S. Bobsled made changes to each pairing as it tinkers with lineups to see who best meshes in advance of selecting Olympic push athletes in mid-January. A push athlete’s inclusion or absence does not necessarily reflect on her likelihood of making the U.S. Olympic Team.

Here are the pairings for this Saturday’s event in Lake Placid:

Elana Meyers-Lauryn Williams
Jamie Greubel-Aja Evans
Jazmine Fenlator-Emily Azevedo

Meyers, the overall World Cup leader, is not paired with push athlete Evans for the first time since last season’s World Championships.

Meyers and Evans had won two of three races so far this season and finished second in the other. It would be surprising not to see them paired together in Sochi.

Williams’ pairing with Meyers is a testament to her rise in her rookie season after coming over from track and field. Williams is a three-time Olympian and the 2004 Olympic 100m silver medalist.

She won a silver medal in her World Cup debut last week and appears to be entering the mix with Azevedo and Lolo Jones in the battle for the third Olympic team spot behind Evans and Katie Eberling.

Eberling and Jones are sitting out Saturday’s race. For both, it’s the second absence in four races this season. Evans is the only push athlete who has been in all four World Cup races.

Universal Sports will have coverage of this weekend’s bobsled and skeleton races. Here’s the race schedule for Lake Placid (all times Eastern):

Friday
Two-man bobsled heat 1 — 8:30 a.m.
Two-man bobsled heat 2 — 10 a.m.
Women’s skeleton heat 1 — 12 p.m.
Men’s skeleton heat 1 — 1 p.m.
Women’s skeleton heat 2 — 2:15 p.m.
Men’s skeleton heat 2 — 3:15 p.m.

Saturday
Two-man bobsled heat 1 — 8:30 a.m.
Two-man bobsled heat 2 — 10 a.m.
Women’s bobsled heat 1 — 1 p.m.
Women’s bobsled heat 2 — 2:30 p.m.

Sunday
Women’s skeleton heat 1 — 9 a.m.
Women’s skeleton heat 2 — 10:30 a.m.
Four-man bobsled heat 1 — 1 p.m.
Four-man bobsled heat 2 — 2:30 p.m.

Lindsey Vonn to skip St. Moritz, ski Val d’Isere downhill

Chloe Kim lands back-to-back 1080s, scores perfect 100 (video)

Leave a comment

Chloe Kim notched arguably the most impressive feat of her young snowboarding career, becoming the first woman to land back-to-back 1080s and scoring a perfect 100 at the U.S. Grand Prix in Park City, Utah, on Saturday.

Kim, 15 and the two-time reigning Winter X Games champion, may have become the second rider to ever score 100 in a top-level halfpipe contest.

When Shaun White scored the first 100 in X Games history in 2012, “it was the first perfect score and perfect run ever seen in a halfpipe contest,” according to the Denver Post. In that run, White reportedly became the first rider to land back-to-back double cork 1260s.

Nobody has scored 100 in an X Games or the Olympics since. The 100-point scoring system was first used at the Olympics in 2014.

Like White, Kim’s perfect run came on a “victory lap,” after she had already clinched the win in an earlier run.

After Kim finished her run, three-time Olympic medalist Kelly Clark raised Kim’s left arm. When the 100-point score came up, Clark receded and allowed Kim to soak in the moment.

Clark, who is 17 years older than Kim, became the first woman to land a 1080 in 2011.

Kim, who was too young for the Sochi 2014 Olympics, is slated to compete in the Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, later this month.

MORE: Shaun White misses X Games, plans another competition

Adam Rippon has quads, Boston, special T-shirt in sight

Leave a comment

NEW YORK — Adam Rippon hopes to bring more quadruple jumps and a special T-shirt to the World Figure Skating Championships in Boston next month.

Rippon, who won his first U.S. title two weeks ago, pulled out of the Four Continents Championships in two weeks, a Worlds tune-up event, in part to bolster the option in training of making major changes to his programs.

He will possibly add a quadruple toe loop and a quadruple Salchow to his quadruple Lutz, the hardest four-revolution jump being attempted.

“I’d be adding one [quad] to the short [program] and, ideally, I would love to add another one or two to the free skate,” Rippon said at the Winter Carnival at Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park in Manhattan on Friday night. “I have eight weeks, so I’ll see what I can get done.”

In his two Grand Prix series starts and the U.S. Championships this season, Rippon attempted a combined four quadruple jumps over six programs, all Lutzes, and fell each time. Three times, judges downgraded the jump. Once, at Nationals, it was under-rotated.

Rippon captured his first Nationals crown in his eighth attempt on the strength of his spins, footwork and overall performance.

But, as is the case in skating these days, focus centered on the jumps. Rippon attempted one quad over two programs at Nationals, a free skate quad Lutz, while second-place Max Aaron landed three quads overall and third-place Nathan Chen put down six.

Afterward, an emotional Rippon told NBC’s Andrea Joyce, “I’m like a witch, and you can’t kill me.”

His costume designer gave Rippon a T-shirt with the phrase printed on the front, and the skater plans to bring it to Worlds in Boston next month.

Rippon, the only man to win two World Junior titles (in 2008 and 2009), finished sixth, 13th and eighth in his three previous senior Worlds appearances.

“My goal is to skate my best, and I feel that if I skate my best, a good result will follow,” Rippon said. “I can’t control the results.”

Rippon, along with Aaron and U.S. fourth-place finisher Grant Hochstein, will hope to skate well enough to keep three spots for the U.S. men at the 2017 World Championships.

To do that, the placements of the top two Americans must add up to no more than 13 (such as Jason Brown‘s fourth and Rippon’s eighth last year).

The 2014 U.S. champion Brown and 16-year-old phenom Chen are out with injuries, putting onus on Rippon to lead the way.

“I’m confident that I can pull my own weight and do my own share,” he said.

In Boston, Rippon will return to the scene of the worst U.S. Championships performance of his career — in 2014, when Rippon entered with a shot of making the two-man Sochi Olympic team, finished eighth and considered quitting at age 24.

He recently spoke with two champion U.S. skaters about competing at Worlds on home ice — Evan Lysacek, gold medalist in Los Angeles in 2009, and Michelle Kwan, gold medalist in Minneapolis in 1998 and Washington, D.C., in 2003.

“I’m ready to go back to the TD Garden and rip it up,” Rippon said.

MORE: Nathan Chen to miss Worlds after exhibition injury

STOP EVERYTHING WE ALL NEED THIS ❤️🕸🔮

A photo posted by Adam Rippon (@adaripp) on