Patrick Deneen

Patrick Deneen clinches spot on U.S. Olympic Team in moguls

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Patrick Deneen became the first U.S. men’s moguls skier to clinch a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team with a second-place finish in a World Cup event in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Wednesday.

Deneen, 26 and a 2010 Olympian, joins 2010 Olympic champion Hannah Kearney on the Olympic moguls team so far. The U.S. could send as many as four men and four women moguls skiers to Sochi.

Deneen ranks third in the World Cup standings behind Canadians Mikael Kingsbury and Alexandre Bilodeau, who are the reigning world and Olympic champions, respectively, and gold- and silver-medal favorites in Sochi.

Deneen won the 2009 World Championship, crashed in the 2010 Olympic finals to finish 19th and took bronze at the 2013 World Championships behind Kingsbury and Bilodeau.

Bradley Wilson and Heidi Kloser could clinch their first Olympic berths with top-three finishes in the next World Cup event Sunday.

List of athletes nominated to U.S. Olympic Team

Gwen Jorgensen pregnant, to sit out 2017 triathlon season

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 20: USA's Gwen Jorgensen followed by Switzerland's Nicola Spirig Hug (L) compete in the running portion of the women's triathlon at Fort Copacabana during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on August 20, 2016.(Photo by Jeff Pachoud-Pool/Getty Images)
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Olympic triathlon champion Gwen Jorgensen is pregnant and will not compete this year.

“Just kind of take this year a little bit easier,” Jorgensen said in a video posted on Facebook on Thursday.

The baby is due Aug. 3, according to Jorgensen’s social media.

Jorgensen, 30, became the first U.S. Olympic triathlon champion in Rio after going in as the heavy favorite. She has said for months that she planned to take time off to have a baby before returning to defend her Olympic title at Tokyo 2020.

Swiss Nicola Spirig, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist and 2016 silver medalist, is reportedly expecting a child in May.

In Jorgensen and Spirig’s absences, the top triathletes going into the season are defending world champion Flora Duffy of Bermuda, U.S. Olympians Katie Zaferes and Sarah True and Britons Vicky Holland and Helen Jenkins.

Jorgensen’s last competition was the New York City Marathon on Nov. 6, when she finished 14th in her first running race longer than 10 miles.

The World Triathlon Series kicks off in Abu Dhabi the first weekend of March.

MORE: Triathlon federation boss wants Olympic races shortened

Watch NBC’s lookahead to 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics

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The PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the first Winter Games in South Korea, are a little more than one year away.

A number of U.S. stars are establishing themselves in this winter sports season as medal contenders.

NBC Sports takes a look at some of those names to watch, as the U.S. looks to return to the top of the medal standings.

Russia earned the most medals at home in Sochi in 2014 with 33 medals, with the U.S. coming in second with 28. Those standings could change if Russian results are stripped due to its ongoing doping scandal.

The U.S. has never topped the total medal standings at a Winter Olympics outside of North America. It led the way at Lake Placid 1932 and Vancouver 2010.

VIDEO: PyeongChang 2018 Olympic venue tour