Sochi Olympics Figure Skating

Meryl Davis, Charlie White out of World Championships

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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:

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

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

Pairs
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

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Lillehammer Youth Winter Olympics open with homages to 1994

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In an homage to the Lillehammer 1994 Winter Olympics, Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway lit the Lillehammer Youth Winter Olympic cauldron to cap the Opening Ceremony on Friday night.

The princess’ father, Crown Prince Haakon, lit the 1994 Olympic cauldron in a very similar fashion (video here). Princess Ingrid Alexandra was born in 2004.

The Opening Ceremony, held outdoors at a ski jump (same venue as 1994) in sub-freezing temperatures, included a speech from International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.

“I’m just a little bit too old to compete in the YOG,” Bach said, urging listeners to use the hashtag #IloveYOG during the nine-day Winter Games.

The ceremony included Olympic legends, such as 2010 figure skating gold medalist Yuna Kim and eight-time Olympic cross-country champion Bjorn Daehlie carrying the Olympic flag.

Marit Bjoergen, a 10-time Olympic medalist cross-country skier, handed the Olympic flame to the princess.

NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra will air coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Saturday at 12:30 a.m. ET, plus daily coverage throughout the Winter Games. A full broadcast schedule is here.

MORE: Two years to Pyeongchang: Updates on U.S. Olympic medalists from Sochi

Incroyable! Handball player scores amazing buzzer-beater (video)

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Tied with three seconds left, Alexander Lynggaard went for a gutsy shot from midcourt to win a French handball league match Thursday.

Watch the above video with no commentary, but check out the French commentary on the Instagram video from Lynggaard’s account below.

VIDEO: Parrot, Marino win Big Air at Fenway

Great and important W yesterday @srvhb 👌🏼🚀 what a feeling to finish it off with a Buzzer🙈🔥 #Srvhb #lnh #buzzer #2ndplace

A video posted by Alexander Lynggaard © (@alexander.lynggaard) on