Just as last season, Yevgenia Medvedeva is the clear No. 1 of women’s figure skating this fall.
Ashley Wagner knows this, having taken silver to Medvedeva at the world championships last spring and seeing the Russian win the free-skate-only Japan Open invitational on Oct. 1.
Though both Medvedeva and Wagner won separate Grand Prix events in the last month, their total scores show a disparity.
Medvedeva, 16, tallied 220.65 and 221.54 points, respectively, at her wins in Canada and France. Wagner, 25, scored 196.44 points for her Skate America title.
How does Wagner close the gap?
“I need to be a robot,” she said, laughing, according to the International Skating Union. “She is insane, she is tough. I think the game I have to play is – I just have to max out every jump that I have. I won’t go in being the technical strongest competitor. She’s going to have me on that, always. But if I do a triple flip-triple toe it has to be the nicest triple flip-triple toe, if I do triple loop, it has to be the nicest triple loop. Everything has to be maxed out on quality and that’s what is going to give me a fighting chance.”
Wagner competes again at Cup of China this week, where a finish of third or higher can clinch a spot in the Grand Prix Final in December.
The Grand Prix Final, the second-biggest annual competition, would be the first true head-to-head between Wagner and Medvedeva since the world championships in April.
After two-time Olympic high jumper Jamie Nieto suffered a spinal cord injury while attempting a standing back flip in April 2016, he decided to set a goal for himself. Nietro was determined to walk down the aisle at his own wedding.
On Saturday, July 22, 2017, Nieto walked to the altar in front of everyone gathered at Christ Temple Apostolic Church in east San Diego – something his doctors said might not be possible.
Nieto, with some assistance, entered the church where he then married his bride, Jamaican hurdler Shevon Stoddart, exactly how he set out to – on his feet.
Five-time Olympian Kerri Walsh Jennings dislocated her shoulder during the semifinals of a beach volleyball tournament in Poland and forfeited the bronze medal match.
Walsh Jennings and new partner Nicole Branagh were tied in the third set of their match against Canada on Saturday when Walsh Jennings dove for the ball with her right arm and twisted her hand in the sand. After a four-minute delay, Canada went on to win the third set 16-14 and advance to the gold medal match.
“I just went for a short dig and the surface in Europe is so shallow and so hard and there’s no give for our bodies,” Walsh Jennings explained after the match in an interview with her shoulder wrapped in ice.
Walsh Jennings had surgery on the same shoulder during the run-up to the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she and April Ross won the bronze medal. Walsh Jennings won three gold medals with Misty May Treanor.
Walsh Jennings said she is looking forward to returning to the FIVB World Tour in Vienna in one week.