Todd Lodwick

Todd Lodwick’s eyes remain on Olympics after dislocating shoulder

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Todd Lodwick still expects to be the first American to compete in six Winter Olympics, four days after dislocating his left shoulder in a ski jumping crash.

“Bruised and beat up a little bit, but my spirits are pretty high at the moment,” he said in a phone interview Tuesday. “I have all intention of recovering from this and being as strong as I can.”

Lodwick, who earned his spot on the Olympic Team by winning the Olympic Trials on Dec. 28, said he crashed for the first time in a competition setting in his 20-year career in France on Friday.

He’s training at the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s Center of Excellence in Park City, Utah, doing treadmill work. Lodwick, a noted strong ski jumper, is currently unable to use his left arm for cross-country skiing and is keeping it as immobile as possible.

He’s focused on coming back for the 4x5km relay in Sochi, which is the last event on the Nordic combined program on Feb. 20. Lodwick and the U.S. won silver in the event in 2010 and are among the medal contenders again this year.

Lodwick said further evaluations will be necessary to determine his availability for competing in individual events on Feb. 12 and Feb. 18.

He was fourth in the normal hill event in Vancouver, where teammate Johnny Spillane won the first U.S. Olympic medal in Nordic combined, a silver.

Lodwick called Friday’s crash a “freak accident.”

“Things go up, things come down,” he said. “When you travel at a high rate of speed and one minor thing goes wrong, it can be catastrophic.”

He felt relatively fine, though, until his shoulder was popped back into place.

“Then the pain set in,” Lodwick said.

Biathlete gives up Olympic spot to twin

Ashley Wagner tops Skate America short program

ST PAUL, MN - JANUARY 21: Ashley Wagner competes in the Ladies' Short Program at the 2016 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championship on January 21, 2016 at Xcel Energy Center in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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Ashley Wagner picked up from where she left off last season, topping the Skate America short program Friday night.

Wagner, the world championships silver medalist, tallied 69.50 points in the Grand Prix opener, landing all of her jumps in Hoffman Estates, Ill. She leads Japan’s Mai Mihara, who scored 65.75.

“There were a couple of things that weren’t quite perfect,” Wagner told media.

U.S. champion Gracie Gold fell on a triple flip. She’s in third place with 64.87. Full results are here.

“I had a hiccup on the triple flip,” Gold said. “Overall, it felt really good.”

Japan’s Mao Asada, a three-time world champion, was fifth after performing a triple-double jump combination rather than a triple-triple.

The free skate is Saturday, live on NBC and the NBC Sports app at 4:30 p.m. ET (full broadcast schedule here).

The last U.S. woman to win Skate America was Wagner in 2012.

Wagner and Gold are competing in their first full individual competitions since April’s world championships, when Gold fell from first after the short program to finish fourth.

Wagner climbed from fourth after the worlds short program to finish second and end a 10-year U.S. women’s podium drought at the Olympics and world championships.

MORE: Scott Hamilton diagnosed with brain tumor for third time

Scott Hamilton diagnosed with brain tumor for third time

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 03:  Former figure skater and Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton onstage during A Capitol Fourth - Rehearsals at U.S. Capitol, West Lawn, on July 3, 2016 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capital Concerts)
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Olympic figure skating champion Scott Hamilton said he was diagnosed with a benign pituitary brain tumor for a third time.

Hamilton, who took gold in Sarajevo in 1984, underwent chemotherapy to treat testicular cancer in 1997 and was twice previously diagnosed with brain tumors and had surgery, in 2004 and 2010.

“I didn’t have any symptoms, I just went in for my normal check-up, and they found the beginnings of the brain tumor coming back,” the 58-year-old Hamilton said. “I have a unique hobby of collecting life-threatening illness. … It’s six years later, and it decided that it wanted an encore.”

From People magazine:

Hamilton learned of the tumor at a routine check-up and is currently exploring all his treatment options before symptoms begin presenting.

“I’ll tell anybody that will listen: If you’re ever facing anything, get as many diagnoses as you possibly can,” he says. “The more you truly understand what you’re up against, the better decision you’re going to make.”

Hamilton was in New York on Friday to promote U.S. Figure Skating’s “Get Up” campaign.

“It’s all about shrugging it off, whatever’s going on, whether it be bullying at school, whether it be a setback in health, you just get up,” Hamilton said. “Not only to bring the young people that love skating together, but to bring the broader population into the fold.”

Hamilton said that surviving cancer was the moment in his life that he most associated with the “Get Up” campaign.

“Chemotherapy for months was devastating, but it’s endurable,” Hamilton said. “I don’t want to scare anybody from being treated for cancer, because I’m here, 20 years later, but the surgery afterwards was 38 staples, and I’m a little person. Getting up, getting back on the ice and performing again, quickly, was kind of my ‘Get Up’ moment.”

MORE: 2016-17 figure skating season broadcast schedule