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.”

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

2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships to be in San Jose

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The 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the final competition to determine the Pyeongchang Olympic team, will be in San Jose, California, at the SAP Center, concluding Jan. 7.

It appears to be the earliest the U.S. Figure Skating Championships will end in an Olympic year in at least 50 years.

The competition will be broadcast live on NBC and streamed live on Icenetwork.com.

San Jose previously hosted the U.S. Championships in 1996 and 2012, but it has never hosted in an Olympic year.

Sochi Olympian Polina Edmunds is from San Jose and figures to receive a boost of crowd support. Edmunds, 18, begins classes at nearby Santa Clara University next month.

The January 2017 U.S. Championships will be in Kansas City. The international figure skating season starts next month, with Skate America kicking off the Grand Prix season in October.

Recent Nationals host cities in Olympic years were Boston in 2014 and Spokane, Washington, in 2010.

MORE: Ashley Wagner, Gracie Gold headline Skate America

Fiji Olympic rugby coach given 3 acres of land, special name

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 11:  Gold medalists Ro Dakuwaqa of Fiji and Fiji head coach Ben Ryan celebrate after the medal ceremony for the Men's Rugby Sevens on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympics at Deodoro Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
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Olympic coaches don’t receive gold medals. Fiji Olympic men’s rugby coach Ben Ryan may have gotten something better anyway.

Ryan’s reward for guiding Fiji to its first Olympic medal in any sport — gold in rugby sevens’ Olympic debut — included three acres of land in Fiji and a new name, Ratu Peni Raiyani Latianara, according to Fijian reports.

Ryan, a London native, is stepping down as coach of the Fijian team. The 44-year-old coached the team for three years after leading the England national sevens team for six years.

MORE: Fiji wins nation’s first Olympic medal