IIHF prez: End of Olympic women’s hockey “will never happen”

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Tomorrow will see the Olympic women’s hockey gold medal settled between Canada and the United States for the fourth time in five tournaments. And the gap between those two squads and the rest of the world is a noticeable one.

In recent years, there’s been talk of the sport needing to improve the depth of competition if it is to continue on into the future as part of the Olympics.

But if the leader of the International Ice Hockey Federation has anything to do with it, we won’t need to worry about a potential drop for women’s hockey from the Olympic program.

“I can guarantee that will never happen,” IIHF president Rene Fasel has said according to the Associated Press.

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Additionally, the IOC has said that it’s been pleased with the women’s hockey action so far in Sochi.

Nonetheless, the sport could definitely use other powerhouses outside of North America.

Following the Americans’ 6-1 semifinal win over Sweden, U.S. star Julie Chu talked of her hope to eventually see an Olympic women’s hockey field where everyone stands a puncher’s chance.

Suffering a few more upsets beats the alternative from Chu’s perspective.

“The reality is if women’s hockey ever got pulled out of the Olympics, the trickle effect is going to be huge,” she said to Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post on Monday.

“Not just on the Olympic level, not just on the international level, but we’re going to feel it at our NCAA level in the States, and we’re going to feel it in the growth of our girls.”

French break short dance world record, month after Olympic wardrobe malfunction

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Gabriella Papadakis‘ dress was secure. Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron‘s performance was extraordinary.

The French broke the world record short dance score at the world championships in Milan on Friday. Papadakis wore the same style costume that came slightly undone in the Olympic short dance and exposted her breast in South Korea.

Papadakis and Cizeron tallied 83.73 on Friday, beating Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir‘s record from the Olympics by .06. The two-time world champs and Olympic silver medalists lead Americans Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue by 3.31 going into Saturday’s free dance.

Two-time world medalists Madison Chock and Evan Bates are fifth, 2.75 points out of medal position.

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The field lacks Olympic gold and bronze medalists Virtue and Moir and American siblings Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani. Medalists often skip the post-Olympic world championships due to off-ice opportunities, exhaustion or retirement.

Papadakis and Cizeron entered the Olympics as, at worst, co-favorites with Virtue and Moir. Though Virtue and Moir won their three head-to-heads in 2016-17, Papadakis and Cizeron this season posted the four highest total scores under the eight-year-old system in their four international events leading into PyeongChang.

Disaster struck in the short dance, where Papadakis had that wardrobe malfunction. The couple still tallied 81.93 points, just .14 off their personal best. They outscored Virtue and Moir in the free dance, but the Canadians won overall by .79.

This week, Papadakis and Cizeron eye their third world title after back-to-back crowns in 2015 and 2016 as the youngest ice dance world champs in 40 years. A triple would match Virtue and Moir and give them one more world title than 2014 Olympic champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White.

The third U.S. couple, Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker, is in 15th place after Hawayek fell in their short dance. The 2014 World junior champions made the field due to the Shibutanis withdrawing.

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Usain Bolt scores goal, PK at Borussia Dortmund training (video)

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Usain Bolt scored a goal, converted from the penalty spot and nutmegged a Borussia Dortmund player in an hourlong training session with the club on Friday.

Bolt trained with Dortmund on Thursday and Friday. The first day included a private session.

Friday’s was open to the public — about 1,400 spectators in low-40-degree temperatures, according to the club — and media and live streamed on Dortmund’s YouTube page with English commentary (video here).

“I’m just going to try to continue training,” Bolt said. “I’ve talked to the club and told them I’m really serious about this. They told me I should come back for a longer period, do some more training and then they can assess me and tell me what level I can play at.”

Bolt has long dreamed of suiting up for his favorite club, Manchester United, and said he has the ability to make Jamaica’s national team.

“We’re going there to be serious,” Bolt said on Jamaican TV two weeks ago of his trip to Germany. “I want to go there to test my skills.”

His only lined-up competitive action is a June 10 charity match at Old Trafford with other celebrities and retired soccer players.

Bolt and Dortmund share an apparel sponsor in Puma.

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