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

Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski analyze Oscar fashion

David Ortiz weighed down by Aly Raisman’s medals (video)

David Ortiz, Aly Raisman
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David Ortiz called his good friend Aly Raisman on Thursday night. Raisman had one request for their scheduled meeting for Friday.

“I told him that he had to hold my medals while I threw out the first pitch,” Raisman said on NESN. “I told him he better not forget, but he remembered.”

Ortiz made it a highlight, wearing Raisman’s three Rio medals and plodding as if they were weighing him down before the Royals-Red Sox game at Fenway Park on Friday night.

It was reminiscent of Bryce Harper serving as a medal rack for Katie Ledecky on Wednesday night.

Ortiz and Raisman have come to know each other in the last four years, after Raisman’s first Olympic appearance in London. Raisman, a native of Needham, Massachusetts, has attended a gala and golf tournament benefitting Ortiz’s children’s charity.

She previously threw a first pitch at Fenway following the 2012 London Games. It didn’t faze Raisman that her pitch Friday bounced before reaching home plate.

“My pitch was horrible, but that’s OK,” Raisman said on NESN. “I’m good at gymnastics, so it doesn’t matter.”

Raisman will rejoin her Final Five teammates for a USA Gymnastics tour of 36 cities that begins Sept. 15. Whether she returns to competitive gymnastics is unknown.

MORE: Gymnastics royalty reacts to Biles and Raisman’s Olympic heroics

 

Claressa Shields congratulated by famous boxing actor (video)

Claressa Shields
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Claressa Shields may just be the most dominant female athlete on the planet. The Flint, Mich., native is now a two-time Olympic boxing champion with a 77-1 record and a four-year unbeaten streak.

Actor Mark Wahlberg, who played boxer Micky Ward in the 2010 film “The Fighter,” took notice.

He taped a video that Shields watched before a celebration in her hometown Thursday, according to the Flint Journal.

“You are the true definition of a champion,” Wahlberg said. “You continue to inspire so many people, not only in Flint, but all over the world. I’m so proud of you. Your performance was amazing. God bless you. I look forward to seeing you, and I look forward to doing lots of things with you.”

Now Shields must decide whether to turn professional, which would end her Olympic career.

“Professional women’s boxing is not nowhere near on the same attention level as the Olympics are,” the 21-year-old Shields said, according to the Flint Journal. “I get way more attention than any female boxer who is professional right now with me being an amateur.

“So the goal is to go professional but still have that same attention and same mainstream. Hopefully, if they have the rule changed that the women professionals can come back and fight the Olympics, I would go professional to fight on TV and make a bunch of money but then come back and defend my two gold medals in 2020.”

MORE: Shields becomes first U.S. fighter to win back-to-back golds