Youth Olympics Golf

Golf debuts at Youth Olympics with hole-in-one (video)

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In 2016, golf will return to the Olympics for the first time since 1904. The sport is getting a head start at the Youth Olympics, where it’s being contested for the first time in Nanjing this week.

The first rounds were played at Zhongshan International Golf Club on Tuesday. The separate men’s and women’s tournaments are three rounds each, 54 stroke-play holes total, concluding Thursday. A mixed team event takes place next week.

The fields were capped at 32 men and 32 women, maximum one man and one woman per country based off world amateur rankings. No Americans are playing.

The Youth Olympics continue with coverage on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Youth Olympics broadcast schedule

A hole-in-one highlighted the first day of golf competition.

“Oh really?” Gil reportedly said after being told he struck the first hole-in-one in Olympic history. “That’s very cool. It was actually the first hole-in-one in my career, too!”

Gil, 16, carded a 3-under 69 and was three shots off the Swedish and Australian men’s leaders after the first round. Four golfers — from Chinese Taipei, Italy, Japan and South Korea — shared the women’s lead at 3 under.

Video: ‘Yogging’ a hit at Youth Olympics

Laurie Hernandez eyes return to competition in 2018

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NEW YORK – Laurie Hernandez hardly considers her 14 months away from competitive gymnastics a break.

Since earning Olympic team gold and balance beam silver in Rio, the 17-year-old won “Dancing with the Stars,” authored a book and even enrolled in ballet lessons.

But her most rewarding experience has been speaking at schools. Students have asked her seemingly every question, from when she started taking gymnastics classes (age 5) to whether she climbed trees when she was younger (yes, all the time).

Seeing how many children were inspired by her Rio performance motivated Hernandez as she prepares to return to the sport.

“I didn’t realize at the Olympics how many people were truly watching,” Hernandez said Wednesday night at the annual Women’s Sports Foundation Salute to Women in Sports. “Now I’m excited to get back into the gym.”

Hernandez recently added handstand holds, back tucks and front flips to her conditioning program, in addition to continuing to run and lift weights.

“It’s a little difficult, but it’s fine,” she said. “I’ll push it a little more after the holidays.”

She has her eye on returning to competition in 2018.

“That’s definitely the hope,” Hernandez said. “I’m not going to rush anything, but I would love to compete in 2018.”

Hernandez, who said her next goal in gymnastics is to compete at the world championships for the first time and hopefully the 2020 Olympics, has not yet identified her comeback meet.

She noted that Aly Raisman took more than two years off after the London Olympics.

“I know every athlete is different,” Hernandez said. “But I wouldn’t mind following in her footsteps.”

Simone Biles, who has not competed since winning four gold medals in Rio, recently announced that she plans on returning to full-time training Nov. 1 and competition next summer.

“I look up to her, even though we are teammates,” Hernandez said. “I can’t wait to see her out there, but hopefully I’ll be out there with her soon.”

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MORE: Laurie Hernandez explains wink, nervous Olympic moments in book excerpt

Olympic cycling champion running for Congress

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Olympic cycling gold medalist Marty Nothstein is the latest to announce he’s running for the eastern Pennsylvania congressional seat being vacated by fellow Republican U.S. Rep. Charles Dent.

Dent, a former state senator, is a centrist Republican who has held the seat since 2005. He’s retiring after his term expires next year.

Nothstein, who won sprint silver in 1996 and gold in 2000, is the only American track cyclist to win an Olympic title at a fully attended Games.

Two Republican state representatives, Ryan Mackenzie and Justin Simmons, previously announced they’re running for Dent’s 15th District seat.

Democrat Bill Leiner, a former Lehigh County commissioner, is also running.

Dent’s district includes Allentown and all of Lehigh County, and parts of four surrounding counties.

Republicans in 2011 stretched the district almost 90 miles to the Susquehanna River in central Pennsylvania to make it more Republican.

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