Sochi Olympics Figure Skating

Meryl Davis, Charlie White out of World Championships


Meryl Davis and Charlie White‘s post-Olympic plans do not include a return to the World Championships.

The Sochi gold medalists elected to skip worlds in Saitama, Japan, later this month, they said Monday.

“We feel that our incredibly positive Olympic experience is the culmination of and perfect ending to a wonderful four-year cycle,” White said in a press release. “We will leave our options open for the future and are excited to cheer on our American teammates as they compete in Japan.”

Davis and White became the first Americans to win Olympic ice dance gold in Sochi and are also the only American world champions in the event. Davis and White won world titles in 2011 and 2013.

Davis and White’s announcement came shortly after Skate Canada announced 2010 Olympic ice dance champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir would not compete at the World Championships.

Davis and White and Virtue and Moir, training partners and rivals, have won every world and Olympic title since 2010.

It’s unknown when Davis and White will skate competitively again, but they will be part of a Stars on Ice exhibition tour beginning April 4 with fellow Olympians Gracie Gold and Ashley Wagner, among others.

Here’s the U.S. team set for the World Championships in Saitama from March 24-30:

Polina Edmunds — seventh at 2014 Olympics
Gracie Gold — fourth at 2014 Olympics
Ashley Wagner — sixth at 2014 Olympics

Max Aaron — 2013 U.S. champion
Jeremy Abbott — 15th at 2014 Olympics

Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir — ninth at 2014 Olympics
Caydee Denney and John Coughlin — 2012 U.S. champions

Ice dance
Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton — 2012, 2013 U.S. junior champions
Madison Chock and Evan Bates — eighth at 2014 Olympics
Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani — ninth at 2014 Olympics

Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski analyze Oscar fashion

Claressa Shields reportedly turns professional, sets first fight

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 21:  Claressa Maria Shields of the United States celebrates victory over Nouchka Fontijn of the Netherlands in the Women's Middle (69-75kg) Final Bout on Day 16 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro - Pavilion 6 on August 21, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
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Two-time Olympic champion Claressa Shields reportedly turned professional, scheduling her first fight on Nov. 19 in Las Vegas.

The fight will be on the Sergey KovalevAndre Ward undercard. Ward is the last U.S. man to win an Olympic boxing title, at Athens 2004.

“After working hard for so many years and having the honor to represent my country at two Olympic games, I am thrilled to take the next big step in my career, fighting professionally and leading the rise of women’s boxing worldwide,” Shields said in a reported statement. “There is no better place to begin the journey than to join the biggest fight of the year, Kovalev vs Ward.”

In Rio, Shields, 21, became the first American to repeat as Olympic champion. Her record is 77-1. The middleweight hasn’t lost in more than four years.

She said long before the Rio Games that she hoped to turn pro after them, but this summer amended that to say she hoped to be able to turn pro while still being able to compete in the Olympics in 2020.

“My legacy is what really is important to me,” Shields said last Wednesday. “It’s about having a game plan before you do something. I don’t want to just go pro and then have one or two fights and then disappear. I actually want to make a platform for women’s boxing.”

Shields said that she has talked with the international boxing federation (AIBA) and USA Boxing since the Rio Olympics about finding a way for her to turn professional and return to fight in a third Olympics in Tokyo.

“The conversation basically was that they definitely would consider making changes for women’s boxing, but they’ve had so many changes in AIBA’s offices that, who knows,” she said. “I’ve always had a pretty great relationship with AIBA. … Being the only American [female] gold medalist, I love the Olympics, I would love to be in Tokyo if I got the opportunity.”

Laila Ali, the most famous women’s pro boxer in history, said she told Shields after the London Olympics she needed to take advantage of any and all opportunities.

“Women’s boxing is a sport that just doesn’t get that much attention,” Ali said Wednesday. “There’s a lot of talent in the sport, but there’s not a lot of promoters behind the women who are boxing. There were a lot more women when I was fighting, but I got all the attention because my last name’s Ali.”

VIDEO: Claressa Shields congratulated by famous boxing actor

Matthew Centrowitz tweets about being on Dreamworld ride before people killed

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 16:  Matthew Centrowitz of the United States and Charles Philibert-Thiboutot of Canada compete in the Men's 1500m Round 1 on Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
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Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz got off a water rapids ride at an Australian theme park 15 minutes before it malfunctioned and killed four people, according to his Twitter account.

The tweet was published at 2:43 p.m. local time on Tuesday.

Dreamworld’s River Rapids ride in Queensland malfunctioned at 2:20 p.m. local time, according to reports.

From NBC News:

A “malfunction” ejected two victims from their raft and caused two others to become “trapped” on the Thunder River Rapids at Dreamworld, according to ambulance service official Gavin Fuller.