Alpine Skiing - Winter Olympics Day 9

Sochi Olympic Daily Recap & Medal Count: Day 9

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Bode Miller has earned another Olympic medal in what could be his final Games.

The U.S. Alpine skiing legend tied Canada’s Jan Hudec for the bronze in this morning’s men’s super-G, while Miller’s teammate Andrew Weibrecht nabbed a surprising silver behind Norwegian gold medalist Kjetil Jansrud.

It’s Miller’s sixth career medal, and it left him in tears. Afterwards on Twitter, he honored his late brother and said the day was one of the most emotional of his life…

Today’s super-G was one of four medal events that took place on Day 9. A fifth one, the men’s biathlon mass start, was postponed to Monday morning (10 am Sochi Time/1 a.m. ET) due to fog…

In speedskating, Jorien ter Mors of the Netherlands broke an Olympic record in the women’s 1500m and led a 1-2-3-4 finish for the Dutch that also marked the third medal sweep they’ve pulled in Sochi (men’s 5000m, men’s 500m). The U.S. women were unable to give their team a much-needed morale boost, with Heather Richardson finishing seventh to lead them…

Czech rider Eva Samkova (she of the painted-on mustache) won the gold in snowboard cross after U.S. gold medal contender Lindsay Jacobellis suffered tough Olympic luck yet again when she fell while leading in the semifinals…

And in cross-country, the Swedish men took gold in the 4x10km relay one day after their female counterparts won the 4x5km relay…

Figure skating resumed with the short dance, which saw Team USA’s Meryl Davis and Charlie White deliver another gem of a performance. The duo broke their own world-record score to take the lead into tomorrow’s free dance over training partners/Canadian rivals Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, the defending Olympic ice dancing champions…

In men’s hockey, the U.S. didn’t miss a beat following their epic victory over Russia and defeated Slovenia, 5-1, on the strength of a hat trick from Phil Kessel. Here are the other men’s hockey recaps:

With that, the group stage is now complete on the men’s side. Here’s a look at the qualification round matchups

Meanwhile, U.S. women’s hockey star Julie Chu will gut out a hand injury she sustained on Saturday in practice. The Americans get Sweden in one semifinal game tomorrow, while Canada plays Switzerland in the other…

Bobsled got underway with the first day of two-man action, which left Steven Holcomb and Steven Langton of the U.S. in bronze position going into tomorrow. The U.S. has been unable to win a two-man Olympic medal since getting the silver at the 1952 Oslo Games…

Out of competition, the doctors for Russian skicross racer Maria Komissarova may have her be airlifted out of Sochi to another hospital following surgery on her injured back…

Brazil’s women’s bobsled duo of Fabiana Santos and Sally da Silva emerged from this frightening training crash unscathed

A bad race from cross-country skier Martin Johnsrud Sundby had his mother calling him “the worst Norwegian”

Swedish freestyle skier Henrik Harlaut’s shout-out to Wu-Tang Clan was returned by Method Man

Arielle Gold of the U.S. shared video of the training accident that knocked her out of the Olympics…

Korea’s skating union is under fire after short track skater Victor Ahn, who won three golds for the country at Torino in 2006, won gold yesterday for Russia in the 1000m…

And after his minivan problems, the Sochi Polar Bear is back to his happy, dancing ways – which were mimicked by NBC Olympics hockey analyst Keith Jones

MEDAL COUNT – Feb. 16
(Country – Gold/Silver/Bronze – Total Medals)

1. Germany – 7/3/2 – 12
2. Netherlands – 5/6/7 – 17
3. Norway – 5/3/6 – 14
4. Switzerland – 5/1/1 – 7
5. Russia – 4/7/5 – 16
6. Canada – 4/6/4 – 14
7. United States – 4/4/8 – 16
8. Poland – 4/0/0 – 4
9. China – 3/2/0 – 5
10. Belarus – 3/0/1 – 4
11. Sweden – 2/5/2 – 9
12. Austria – 2/4/1 – 7
13. France – 2/0/4 – 6
14. Japan – 1/3/1 – 5
15. Czech Republic – 1/2/1 – 4
16. Slovenia – 1/1/3 – 5
17. Korea – 1/1/1 – 3
18. Great Britain – 1/0/1 – 2
19. Slovakia – 1/0/0 – 1
20. Italy – 0/2/3 – 5
21. Finland – 0/2/0 – 2
22. Latvia – 0/1/2 – 3
23. Australia – 0/1/1 – 2
24. Croatia – 0/1/0 – 1
T-25. Kazakhstan – 0/0/1 – 1
T-25. Ukraine – 0/0/1 – 1

U.S. figure skating could have its best world team since 2006

Nathan Chen performs during the men's free skate competition at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
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KANSAS CITY — U.S. figure skating has a shot at medals in three of four disciplines at the world championships in Helsinki in two months, which hasn’t happened in 11 years.

Before this year, the U.S. men and U.S. women hadn’t boasted simultaneous medal contenders in a decade. Johnny Weir and Evan Lysacek spent the 2010 Olympic cycle in the world elite, while the U.S. women faded. After they stopped competing, Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold moved into the women’s medal field while the U.S. searched for a new leading man.

He’s arrived. Nathan Chen confirmed he is one of the world’s best male skaters by landing a record seven quadruple jumps between two programs at Sprint Center this past week.

The 17-year-old already made the podium in an event that featured the world’s best, earning silver at the Grand Prix Final in December. Chen struggled with his short-program jumps at the Grand Prix Final and attempted one fewer quad overall yet still outscored everybody but Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu.

Of all of the U.S. medal hopes at worlds, Chen may face the stiffest trio of challengers. Not only is there Hanyu, but also two-time reigning world champion Javier Fernandez of Spain, plus Japan’s Shoma Uno, all of whom rank higher than Chen in best total scores in international competition this season.

MORE: Chen believes Olympic gold is possible after U.S. title

Wagner, who shares a coach with Chen, did not have her best nationals. She finished second to surprise winner Karen Chen (no relation to Nathan), who has yet to factor internationally.

But Wagner said before and after the U.S. Championships that her focus was to peak for the world championships. The goal for nationals was to make the world team, which required not winning but finishing in the top three. Mission accomplished.

The concern with Wagner is that she hasn’t produced a world medal-caliber result yet this season. Her best score from the fall ranks her sixth among women going to worlds. But Wagner has shown in the last few seasons that she can pull it together for major events. There’s her 2016 World Championships silver medal, plus her three straight Grand Prix Final medals from 2012-14.

At worlds, Wagner will have to deal with a Russian trio capable of sweeping the podium, three strong Japanese skaters, plus the revelation of this season, Canadian Kaetlyn Osmond.

VIDEO: Wagner passed Puffs in emotional press conference moment

The U.S.’ strongest discipline continues to be ice dance. Maia and Alex Shibutani and Madison Chock and Evan Bates finished second and third at the 2016 World Championships. They went one-two at the U.S. Championships this past week.

But two ice dance medals don’t appear to be in the cards in Helsinki. That’s because Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who earned gold and silver at the last two Olympics, came back this season after a two-year break.

Virtue and Moir broke international scoring records in the fall, sweeping their four starts. The two-time reigning world champions, Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France, also beat the U.S. couples at the Grand Prix Final.

The Shibutani siblings and Chock and Bates have never finished ahead of Virtue and Moir in competition. Neither has bettered the French since the December 2014 Grand Prix Final, either.

But all it takes is one dance medal, plus Chen and Wagner at their best in Helsinki, and the U.S. could go into the Olympic year in its best place since 2006.

MORE: Gracie Gold comments on split from coach Frank Carroll

Laurie Hernandez discusses life after Rio, new book on TODAY (video)

Laurie Hernandez
TODAY
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Laurie Hernandez‘s book, “I Got This: To Gold and Beyond,” is out Tuesday, and the Olympic champion gymnast stopped by TODAY on Monday to discuss its contents and life post-Rio.

An excerpt on Hernandez’s experience in Rio and the story of her floor-exercise wink to judges, is here.

On TODAY, Hernandez discussed another interesting anecdote from the book about tissues.

“Before Olympic Trials, we went out to eat, and I had a little breakdown because practice was really rough, and my routines weren’t coming the way I wanted them to,” she said. “This poor waitress kept bringing me over piles of tissues. … We were leaving, and my sister [Jelysa] told my dad, I’m going to save these tissues. I’m going to give them to her when she makes the team. I’m thinking to myself, you guys are crazy, this is not going to happen.”

Hernandez went on to finish second to Simone Biles at the Olympic Trials and make the five-woman Olympic team as the first U.S. female Olympian born in the 2000s.

The family celebrated the achievement, where Jelysa handed the tissues to Hernandez in a bag.

“Even when you fell, you couldn’t believe in yourself, we were there for you,” Jelysa told her.

“So it was a really defining moment,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez is away from gymnastics while promoting her book and touring with “Dancing with the Stars,” but she is expected to return to the sport at some point.

MORE: Hernandez explains 2017 goals: First date, driver’s license, Law & Order