Nordic Combined - Winter Olympics Day 11

Norway takes tight finish in Nordic combined team event

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Joergen Graabak held off Germany’s Fabian Riessle at the finish to give Norway the win in the Nordic combined team large hill/4x5km relay, earning another gold to go along with the one he got in the individual large hill 10km event.

The Austrians had been bidding for a third consecutive Olympic title in this event.

Graabak, Riessle, and Austria’s Mario Stecher were nose-to-tail midway through the final lap, with Stecher taking multiple attempts to pass Graabak on the outside before falling back to third.

In the end, it came down to a sprint in the stadium between Graabak and Riessle (the bronze medalist in individual LH 10km), with the Norwegian winning by three-tenths of a second. Stecher got Austria the bronze, finishing 3.4 seconds behind.

The Norwegians had started 25 seconds off of the Germans after finishing third in the ski jumping portion.

The United States’ foursome of Bryan Fletcher, Todd Lodwick, Taylor Fletcher and Bill Demong came home sixth.

MORE: Great Britain earns women’s curling bronze, enjoying best Winter Games since 1924

NORDIC COMBINED – TEAM LARGE HILL 4X5KM RELAY
1. Norway, 47:13.5
2. Germany, +0.3 seconds
3. Austria, +3.4 seconds

6. United States, +2:21.6

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