Michael Phelps drops 200m free at Olympic Trials; will swim 4 events

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Michael Phelps is dropping the 200-meter freestyle at the U.S. swimming trials, leaving the 18-time Olympic gold medalist with four events.

Phelps said Sunday night that he won’t compete in the 200 free preliminaries Monday. He didn’t swim Sunday on the opening night of the eight-day meet that determines the U.S. team for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

That means his first event in Omaha will be the 200 butterfly Tuesday. Phelps earned silver in the event four years ago in London.

Besides the 200 fly, his remaining events at trials will be 100 fly, 100 freestyle and 200 individual medley.

TRIALS: Broadcast ScheduleEntry Lists
PREVIEWS: Men | Women
FIVE KEY RACES: Men | Women

VIDEO: U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials

He won the 200 free at the 2008 Beijing Games, when Phelps earned a historic eight gold medals.

The top six finishers in the 100 and 200 freestyles at trials typically comprise the pool of swimmers available for Olympic relay duty, although anyone else, including Phelps, can be chosen by the coaching staff.

He appears to be a lock for all three relays in Rio, especially since the U.S. men’s coach is Bob Bowman, Phelps’ longtime mentor.

The U.S. will surely need Phelps’ help in the 4×100 free relay after it failed to qualify for the final at last year’s world championships in Russia.

MORE: Ryan Lochte misses chance to earn Olympic berth in 400m IM

OAR win hockey gold with 4-3 OT win over Germany

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The Olympic Athletes from Russia triumphed in the no-NHL tournament where they were favored, winning the men’s hockey gold medal at a Winter Olympics where they couldn’t even be called Team Russia, use their colors or celebrate while listening to their anthem.

Kirill Kaprizov scored the game-winner as “Team Olympic Athlete From Russia” came back to beat underdog Germany 4-3 in overtime Sunday in an instant classic that saved a men’s tournament lacking buzz not only in South Korea but back in North America, where the NHL season went on during the games for the first time since 1994.

It’s the first Russian gold medal in hockey since 1992 in Albertville when the team also played under a neutral flag as the Community of Independent States. Russian flags — the team barred from using them by IOC sanctions for state-sponsored doping — hung behind the bench as the team awaited their gold medals.

NBCOlympics.com: Canada defeat Czech Republic to win bronze in men’s hockey

Constantly saying it doesn’t matter that they had to wear nondescript red and white uniforms that lacked the Russian Coat of Arms, players gave the Russians their second gold and 17th total medal of the Olympics.

Russian goal song “Those Were The Days” blared over the Gangneung Hockey Centre speakers as fans clad in red, white and blue and holding flags celebrated. They later sang the national anthem as the medal ceremony got under way.

Exhibition gala closes out figure skating program in PyeongChang

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Without the pressure of racking up points to land on the medal podium, the figure skating exhibition gala is a chance for the athletes to express themselves. There aren’t rules about jumping sequences, and instead, skaters can use props and silly concepts, if they want.

Figure skaters who win medals at the Olympics are typically among the invite list, plus up-and-coming skaters from the host country and other fan favorites.

Here are some of the best performances of the evening:

Ice dance bronze medalists Maia and Alex Shibutani reprised last season’s “That’s Life” short dance by Frank Sinatra featuring Jay-Z for this year’s exhibition.

Ladies’ gold medalist Alina Zagitova performed her “Priestess of Fire” exhibition, which included a fake candle prop glowing on the ice.

Watch performances from the figure skating gala by clicking here