Tessa Worley

Tessa Worley, world giant slalom champion, suffers torn ACL

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France’s Tessa Worley will miss the Olympics after suffering a torn ACL in a crash at a World Cup slalom race in Courchevel, France, on Tuesday.

“Honestly, I’m very worried,” French women’s Alpine coach Anthony Sechaud said, according to reports, before Worley was diagnosed with a torn ACL. “It’s a big blow for her. The contrast between now and two days ago has been a shock.”

Worley won a World Cup giant slalom race in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on Sunday.

Here’s how The Associated Press described Worley’s crash in Courchevel on Tuesday:

Worley, the giant slalom world champion, toppled backward before twisting forward and landing in the safety netting. She lay still for a few moments before getting slowly back up. She was taken down the slope on a stretcher and to a hospital in Lyon. No further information was immediately available.

Multiple reports stated Worley suffered an ACL injury, and they were confirmed by the International Ski Federation reporting a torn ACL a few hours later Tuesday. Video coverage showed her entire right leg immobilized.

The 24-year-old was the only woman to be in the top four of the World Cup giant slalom standings each of the last four seasons, including 2013-14, a strong indicator of her Olympic medal hopes.

Worley’s absence improves the Olympic medal chances for American Mikaela Shiffrin. Shiffrin, 18, is the reigning world and World Cup champion in the slalom but has shown improvement in giant slalom, taking sixth at the World Championships on Feb. 14 and second at a World Cup event in Beaver Creek, Colo., on Dec. 1.

The other top giant slalom skiers are World Cup overall leader Lara Gut of Switzerland, reigning World Cup champion Tina Maze of Slovenia, reigning Olympic champion Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany and Swede Jessica Lindell-Vikarby.

France previously lost reigning world champion in the downhill Marion Rolland to a ruptured knee ligament in a training crash.

Shiffrin struggles in Courchevel

Wagner, Asada, Hanyu headline NHK Trophy in Japan; Grand Prix Final berths on the line

Ashley Wagner
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Three-time U.S. national champion Ashley Wagner looks to qualify for her fourth consecutive Grand Prix Final at this weekend’s NHK Trophy in Nagano, Japan. A medal of any color should be good enough to get her to Barcelona, but she faces a tough field.

Japan’s Mao Asada returned to competition this season and is poised to qualify for the most elite competition since the Sochi Olympics (where she finished sixth) and 2014 World Championships (which she won). Finishing on the podium would earn a berth to the final for Asada. Also in the field are Americans Mirai Nagasu and Courtney Hicks, Japan’s Satoko Miyahara, and one of Russia’s darlings from last season, Anna Pogorilaya.

Olympic champion and last year’s Grand Prix Final winner Yuzuru Hanyu, surely to be the overwhelming crowd favorite in the men’s field, will look to improve his short program results from his other Grand Prix appearance. At Skate Canada, two of his three jumping passes recceived zero points. He rallied in the free skate, finishing second behind Canada’s Patrick Chan. Chan is essentially a lock for the final, while a top three finish would seal the deal for Hanyu.

MORE: Javier Fernandez qualifies for second straight home Grand Prix Final

Other men in the hunt for Grand Prix Final berths competing in Nagano include China’s Jin Boyang and Russia’s Maxim Kovtun, who also need podium finishes to lock up spots in Barcelona. Jin’s and Kovtun’s finishes will likely dictate whether or not American Max Aaron qualifies to the final. More on that process here. No U.S. man has qualified since Jeremy Abbott did it in 2011.

MORE: Jason Brown withdraws from NHK Trophy

Reigining U.S. pairs champions Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim can make the Grand Prix Final with a medal in Japan.

The U.S. is sending three ice dance couples to Japan, of which two have a shot at qualifying for Barcelona. Siblings and Sochi Olympians Maia and Alex Shibutani can finish in any 1-2 combination with Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue allowing for both duos to qualify for the final. Madison Chock and Evan Bates, U.S. ice dance champions, already qualified.

Icenetwork.com will stream for subscribers live coverage of men’s, women’s, pairs and ice dance short programs and free skates. NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra will have coverage Sunday from 4-6 p.m. ET.

Men’s short program — Friday, 2:10 a.m. ET (start order here)
Women’s short program — Friday, 5:05 a.m. ET (start order here)
Men’s free skate — Saturday, 2:30 a.m. ET
Women’s free skate — Saturday, 5:35 a.m. ET

Inside the #RoadtoRio photo shoots

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NBC Olympics
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Bringing together over 100 Summer Olympians and Olympic hopefuls with puppies, samba dancers and supermodels, NBC Olympics and the United States Olympic Committee partnered for an extensive five-day media summit in West Hollywood, Ca. The athletes took part in photo shoots, interviews and video segments all in preparation for next summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Over the course of the summit, participants shared behind-the-scenes moments on social media using the #RoadtoRio hashtag. NBC Olympics also launched its official Snapchat account, with the username NBCOlympics. Here are some of the highlights:

Olympians fell in puppy love:


Then got a crash course in Brazil’s signature dance, the samba:


A photobooth with props let the athletes–and even Bob Costas–show off their silly sides:


Olympic fans like Alessandra Ambrosio and Flula dropped by:


In between shoots, athletes from different sports mingled:


The faux-Rio beach was the perfect set:


But these Olympic stars needed only a simple white backdrop to shine:

Wait who is the Olympian here! Linnéa stealing the show at the @nbcolympics #roadtorio

A photo posted by Alysia Montaño (@alysiamontano) on


Follow NBC Olympics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat (username NBCOlympics).


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