IAAF World Junior Championships - Day 3

American Sabrina Massialas wins fencing gold at Youth Olympics

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Sabrina Massialas won Team USA’s first gold medal of the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games with a dramatic golden-touch victory in the women’s foil final.

The 17-year-old outlasted Japan’s Karin Miyawaki, making her the second member of the Massialas family to win a Youth Olympic medal – her brother, Alex, won silver in men’s foil at the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games, according to Team USA.

After a slow start to the competition in Nanjing, Sabrina reversed her trajectory by taking to heart her father’s advice to refocus.

Schedule of NBC Olympics, Universal Sports coverage of Youth Olympics

“I dropped a few bouts, but afterwards my Dad sat me down and told me, ‘You have to fight, you have to be aggressive.’ And that’s exactly what I did,” she said, according to Team USA. “I played some pump-up music, I got myself in the zone and I just went all out, fighting with fire.”

The first silver of the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games also went to an American 17-year-old triathlete Stephanie Jenks, who finished the sprint-distance course in 1 hour, 33 seconds. The race included a 750m swim, 20km bike and a 5km run.

“I’m really happy with it,” Jenks said, according to Team USA. “I went out and gave it my all. I raced with no regrets and I couldn’t have done any better.”

Australia’s Brittany Dutton bested Jenks with a time of 59:56 to win the first gold of the 2014 Youth Olympics.

Team USA’s medal haul on Day 1 of the Games was completed by 16-year-old Meghan Small, who swam her way to bronze in the 200m individual medley.

Swimmer Reece Whitley named Sports Illustrated’s Sportskid of the Year 2015

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Swimmer Reece Whitley, who earned two silver medals at the World Junior Championships earlier this summer, was named Sports Illustrated Kids’ Sportskid of the Year for 2015.

Whitley, a breaststroker, stands 6’8” at age 15 and is a sophomore at William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia. His 100m breaststroke time is 17th in the country, and his 200m time is 10th. He is the youngest swimmer to be ranked that high in both events.

“Making an impact on a young swimmer at a meet is probably more important than the times that you swim,” Whitley told SI Kids. “All these records are meant to be broken, but if you change a kid’s life or if you put a smile on a kid’s face because you took a picture with them, that never dies.”

“Getting to know Reece a little bit, he’s incredible,” 18-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps commented. “The guy is very talented, he’s super relaxed, super outgoing. He’s seeing results, he’s having fun, he’s enjoying himself. He’s a stud.”

Phelps has been known to call out “studs” in the past who do well in Olympic years. After the 2011 World Championships, Phelps told Jimmy Fallon that Missy Franklin was a stud, too. Then, at the 2012 Olympics, Franklin picked up four gold medals and a bronze.

Whitley beat out other four finalists for the title: taekwondo athlete Natalie Hershberger, 11; speedskater Cooper McLeod, 14; rock climber Ashima Shiraishi, 14; and cross country/ track and field athlete Harper Russell, 15.

MORE Olympics: Three U.S. ice dance teams into Grand Prix Final

Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan remembers slain Colorado officer, a childhood friend

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Former figure skating champion Nancy Kerrigan remembers the Colorado police officer who was killed in a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic as loyal, caring and a true friend.

She told media outlets that Garrett Swasey was “one of my best friends” as they grew up together practicing figure skating in Melrose, Massachusetts. Before he became a police officer, Swasey was a junior national couples ice dancing champion.

An emotional Kerrigan says she wasn’t surprised he took a career path where he helped others first. She says he always had fun and did everything with a smile.

Swasey’s father has told the Boston Globe that his son moved to Colorado in the 1980s to pursue competitive figure skating and became an officer six years ago.

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