Leif Nordgren

US Biathlon adds more athletes to Sochi Olympic Team

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US Biathlon announced first-time Olympians Leif Nordgren and Annelies Cook as the fourth and fifth members of its Olympic Team on Thursday.

Nordgren, 24, joins three-time U.S. Olympians Tim Burke and Lowell Bailey in going to Sochi. Burke and Bailey were nominated to the U.S. Olympic Team in November. US Biathlon is expected to announced up to two more men to join them in Sochi in January.

“I’m not sure it’s still really sunk in yet, but I’m pretty excited,” said Nordgren, according to US Biathlon. “I tried not to think about the qualification process too much this last trimester, but I definitely couldn’t help myself sometimes.”

Cook, 29, joins another first-time Olympian, Susan Dunklee, who was nominated to the U.S. Olympic Team in November. US Biathlon is expected to announce up to three women to join them in Sochi in January.

“I am very relieved to be named to the Olympic Team; it is something I have dreamed of since I was a kid,” said Cook, according to US Biathlon. “It hasn’t really sunk in yet, and I think I will be most excited when the entire team is named and we can look forward to it together.”

The U.S. has never won an Olympic biathlon medal.

Tongan luger set to be nation’s first Winter Olympian

Nathan Chen holds off Yuzuru Hanyu to win first Grand Prix

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U.S. champion Nathan Chen opened the Grand Prix season by beating Olympic gold-medal favorite Yuzuru Hanyu.

Chen, 18, held off Hanyu at Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, totaling 293.79 points to win by 3.02 over the Japanese megastar. Full scores are here.

Chen landed four quadruple jumps in a strong but imperfect free skate for his first Grand Prix title in his second senior international season.

Hanyu outscored Chen in the free skate, but the American benefited from his 5.69-point lead from Friday’s short program.

Hanyu, the reigning Olympic and world champion, has never won his opening Grand Prix start in eight tries.

He did three quadruple jumps in Saturday’s free skate rather than the planned five, but did not fall as he did in the short program.

Chen has now outscored Hanyu in three of their last four head-to-head events dating to February.

The Rostelecom Cup free dance and pairs and women’s free skates are later Saturday.

A full Rostelecom Cup broadcast schedule is here.

The Grand Prix season continues next weekend with Skate Canada, headlined by three-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner and three-time world champion Patrick Chan.

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Olympic ski cross champion suffers serious knee injury

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Canadian Marielle Thompson, the reigning Olympic and World Cup ski cross champion, ruptured an ACL and MCL in a training crash in Switzerland.

Alpine Canada did not say when the accident happened or what Thompson’s chances are of returning to defend her Olympic title in PyeongChang.

Thompson flew from Switzerland to Vancouver for an MRI that confirmed the injury.

“I’ll be making a plan with my team moving forward and when the time is right getting back on the ski cross course stronger than ever,” Thompson said in a press release.

Thompson, 25, tore a meniscus in January 2015 and returned to competition 11 months later. She won seven of the 13 World Cup races last season.

Other Olympic medal contenders include Swede Sandra Näslund and Swiss Fanny Smith.

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