Chris Creveling

U.S. Olympic Short Track Speed Skating Team finalized

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J.R. Celski and Jessica Smith qualified for every distance in Sochi, while the final four members of the eight-skater U.S. Olympic Short Track Team were decided Sunday.

Celski and Smith, who already won the 500m and 1500m at the U.S. Olympic Trials, prevailed in the 1000m on the final day of competition at the Utah Olympic Oval.

“The USA is here to play,” Celski said on NBC. “We’re going to go to Sochi and represent.”

Eddy Alvarez and Emily Scott, who made their first Olympics on Saturday, also finished in qualifying position for all three distances.

They’ll be joined on the U.S. Olympic Team by 2010 Olympians Jordan Malone and Alyson Dudek and first-time Olympians Chris Creveling and Kyle Carr.

The U.S. team headed to Sochi is a rebuilt one following the retirements of individual Olympic medalists Apolo Ohno and Katherine Reutter and scandals involving skate tampering and coaching abuse that caused a reorganization of US Speedskating.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Smith said on NBC. “I’m excited for what the future holds. All three of us [women] here are looking for the gold and the podium as well. We’re looking to bring home all the medals.”

Creveling, 27, all but booked his spot by winning the first 1000m final on Sunday, handing the two-time Olympic bronze medalist Celski his first loss at trials. It looks like Creveling will skate the 1000m and 1500m in Sochi.

Malone, 29, looks likely to skate the 500m in Sochi despite pulling out of the second 1000m with bruised ribs and a strained hip tendon from an earlier crash Sunday.

Carr wasn’t in the top three in any individual distance but should have a spot on the preliminary-round relay in Sochi.

The relay team with Celski and Malone won bronze in 2010.

The women had one spot left to be decided on their three-skater Olympic Team on Sunday. The favorite going in was Dudek, and she held on despite finishing third in the 1000m, a distance the U.S. women will have two spots in at Sochi.

Dudek will be able to skate the 500m and 1500m at the Olympics. The U.S. women did not qualify an Olympic relay team, a disappointment after Dudek and Co. won bronze in 2010.

“I’m more prepared now,” Dudek said on NBCSN. “It’s going to be completely different.”

I made that dream come true today. 2014 Olympian #imadeit

A video posted by Eddy "The Jet" Alvarez (@eddyalvarez90) on

Here are the final individual distance and overall standings from the U.S. Olympic Trials:

Men’s 500m
1. J.R. Celski — 2,500 (clinched Olympic berth)
2. Eddy Alvarez — 1,920 (clinched Olympic berth)
3. Jordan Malone — 1,357 (clinched Olympic berth)

Men’s 1000m
1. J.R. Celski — 2,300 (clinched Olympic berth)
2. Chris Creveling — 1,810 (clinched Olympic berth)
3. Eddy Alvarez — 1,472 (clinched Olympic berth)

Men’s 1500m
1. J.R. Celski — 2,500 (clinched Olympic berth)
2. Eddy Alvarez — 1,632 (clinched Olympic berth)
3. Chris Creveling — 1,428 (clinched Olympic berth)

Women’s 500m
1. Jessica Smith — 2,500 (clinched Olympic berth)
2. Emily Scott — 1,840 (clinched Olympic berth)
3. Alyson Dudek — 1,760 (clinched Olympic berth)

Women’s 1000m
1. Jessica Smith — 2,500 (clinched Olympic berth)
2. Emily Scott — 2,000 (clinched Olympic berth)
3. Alyson Dudek — 1,600

Women’s 1500m
1. Jessica Smith — 2,300 (clinched Olympic berth)
2. Emily Scott — 2,200 (clinched Olympic berth)
3. Alyson Dudek — 1,600 (clinched Olympic berth)

Here are the overall distance standings:

Men
1. J.R. Celski — 6,800 (clinched Olympic berth)
2. Eddy Alvarez — 4,704 (clinched Olympic berth)
3. Chris Creveling — 3,674 (clinched Olympic berth)
4. Kyle Carr — 2,927 (clinched Olympic berth)
5. Jordan Malone — 2,917 (clinched Olympic berth)
6. Travis Jayner — 2,008

Women
1. Jessica Smith — 6,800 (clinched Olympic berth)
2. Emily Scott — 5,640 (clinched Olympic berth)
3. Alyson Dudek — 4,640 (clinched Olympic berth)
4. Sarah Chen — 3,128

Apolo Ohno switches from ice to booth

IIHF president doesn’t expect NHL participation in 2018 Olympics

Sidney Crosby
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SOCHI, Russia (AP) — The head of ice hockey’s international body says there is a strong possibility that NHL players won’t be competing at the next Winter Olympics.

International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel puts the chances at 60 percent that the NHL will decline to go to the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, because of a lack of money to cover player insurance.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Fasel said the IOC has canceled its contribution to player travel and insurance costs for Pyeongchang, leaving the IIHF facing a $10 million shortfall and “begging” for money around the world.

“It’s always difficult to get (to) the Olympics, the Games,” he said. “And now with some problems on our side, 50-50 is very positive. I would be more 60 percent that they are not coming.”

Negotiations and brinkmanship over finances are common in the lead-up to Olympic hockey tournaments. For the 2014 tournament in Sochi, Russia, the NHL’s participation was assured only in July 2013, seven months before the Games.

The IOC’s refusal to cover player insurance adds an additional dimension for 2018.

The NHL did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday, but Commissioner Gary Bettman has made it clear costs are a key factor.

“There are real costs to us going, including insurance, including transportation because we’re losing part of our season, we’ve got to get in and out quickly,” Bettman said last month at a meeting of the Associated Press Sports Editors in New York. “The players for the last five Olympics in particular have been accommodated in a certain way as far as it relates to their families. Those are issues that would once again have to be resolved. … I’m not sure that there would be a lot of appetite for us on top of that to have to pay for the privilege. We don’t make money going to then Olympics.”

Bettman said he didn’t expect a decision until after the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto in September.

While the IOC gives the IIHF around $40 million of revenue each Olympics, Fasel insists that money is earmarked for developing hockey and wants national Olympic committees and hockey federations to plug the gap.

The IOC pulled its extra subsidy because its leaders are “a bit scared that other (sports) federations will come and also ask for some compensation for traveling and insurance,” said Fasel, who is also an IOC member and serves on its rule-making executive board.

“I think my idea is to work closer together with the national Olympic committees, as they have normally to pay transportation and insurance for the athletes when they come to the Games, so I can imagine that some of the NOCs are also ready to spend some money there, so we have to go around and do some begging,” he said.

Fasel said the end of this year is the deadline to reach a deal because of the NHL’s need to draw up a calendar for the Olympic season.

“If you don’t have the best, (the Olympics) will be a different competition for sure,” he said, but warned: “At the end somebody has to pay. That’s the question. On my side I will do everything possible to make it happen.”

Fasel dismissed the suggestion that the World Cup of Hockey could offer some players less incentive to demand to be allowed to play at the Olympics.

“There is nothing like the Olympics,” he said. “I think for an athlete to win the gold medal is so different from winning the Stanley Cup. You can win the Stanley Cup every year.”

In Pyeongchang in 2018 and Beijing in 2022, the Winter Olympics move to Asia and away from the North American and European nations that have historically been the bedrock of hockey.

South Korea, which has built a team mixing import players with locals, plays in the second level of the IIHF’s world championship and hopes not to be a walkover in 2018. China is far less competitive. China will be in the fifth tier for next year and in 2022 could become the first Winter Olympic host not to enter a hockey team — a situation that worries the IIHF, given China’s potential to become a huge market for the sport.

“One thing they do not like is to lose the face, so they cannot do that,” Fasel said. “I hope and I think they will have a Chinese player, Chinese team in Beijing in 2022. We cannot put them on the ice and they will be beaten 15, 20-nothing. We cannot do that.”

Things are looking up for China, with increased government interest and the Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League due to open a team there this year, but Fasel said the NHL is key to unlocking potentially vast commercial rewards in China.

“A North American brand in China has a very special taste. We can see that with the NBA,” he said. “I think what we need is to have a Chinese NHL player, like Yao Ming with basketball.”

MORE: 2018 Olympic men’s hockey groups determined

Golf Channel unveils Rio Olympic broadcast schedule

Rio 2016
NBC
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Golf Channel will air more than 130 live hours and nearly 300 total hours of Olympic programming for the sport’s return to the Games in Rio in August.

The first Olympic golf tournaments in 112 years start Aug. 11 (men) and Aug. 17 (women), but Golf Channel coverage will begin Aug. 8 with Golf Central’s “Live From the Olympics.”

Competition coverage will run from the opening tee shot to the final putt and medal ceremonies.

NBC’s Olympic coverage will also include live look-ins, highlights and updates from the golf competition throughout the Games.

The Olympic men’s and women’s golf tournaments are each four-round, stroke-play individual events with 60 golfers in each field determined by world rankings on July 11.

The top 15 in the world rankings will qualify, with no more than four golfers per nation per gender. Then the fields are filled with no more than two golfers per nation past the top 15 until the 60 mark is met.

MORE: USA Golf unveils Olympic uniforms

Golf Channel Live Schedule

Date Event Time (ET)
Monday, Aug. 8 Golf Central Live From the Olympics 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Golf Central Live From the Olympics 6-8 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 9 Golf Central Live From the Olympics 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Golf Central Live From the Olympics 6-8 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 10 Golf Central Live From the Olympics 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Golf Central Live From the Olympics 6-8 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 11 Golf Central Live From the Olympics 5-6:30 a.m.
MEN ROUND 1 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Golf Central Live From the Olympics 3-5 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 12 Golf Central Live From the Olympics 5-6:30 a.m.
MEN ROUND 2 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Golf Central Live From the Olympics 3-5 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 13 Golf Central Live From the Olympics 5-6:30 a.m.
MEN ROUND 3 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Golf Central Live From the Olympics 3-5 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 14 Golf Central Live From the Olympics 5-6 a.m.
MEN FINAL ROUND 6 a.m.-3 p.m.
Golf Central Live From the Olympics 3-5 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 15 Golf Central Live From the Olympics 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Golf Central Live From the Olympics 6-8 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 16 Golf Central Live From the Olympics 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Golf Central Live From the Olympics 6-8 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 17 Golf Central Live From the Olympics 5-6:30 a.m.
WOMEN ROUND 1 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Golf Central Live From the Olympics 3-5 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 18 Golf Central Live From the Olympics 5-6:30 a.m.
WOMEN ROUND 2 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Golf Central Live From the Olympics 3-5 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 19 Golf Central Live From the Olympics 5-6 a.m.
WOMEN ROUND 3 6 a.m.-3 p.m.
Golf Central Live From the Olympics 3-5 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 20 Golf Central Live From the Olympics 5-6 a.m.
WOMEN FINAL ROUND 6 a.m.-3 p.m.
Golf Central Live From the Olympics 3-5 p.m.