Karen Chen, Ashley Wagner trail at Skate Canada (video)

Leave a comment

The leading American woman at Skate Canada is neither Karen Chen nor Ashley Wagner, who went one-two at last season’s U.S. Championships.

Instead, it’s surprisingly Courtney Hicks, who was 12th at nationals.

Canadian Kaetlyn Osmond is in first place with 76.06 points after Friday’s short program. She goes into Saturday’s free skate with a 7.01-point lead over Russian Anna Pogorilaya.

World silver medalist Shoma Uno topped the men’s short with 103.62, landing two quadruple jumps. He’s 9.19 ahead of three-time world champion Patrick Chan and 12.91 ahead of U.S. Olympian Jason Brown in third.

In ice dance, Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir broke their world-record short dance score with 82.68 points.

Full scores are hereA full broadcast schedule is here.

Hicks, who has never been top three in five nationals appearances, is fourth behind Russian Maria Sotskova in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Chen (fifth place) and Wagner (seventh) both struggled with jumps Friday.

Not the way they wanted to open the Grand Prix season, with results weighing into who makes the three-woman U.S. team for PyeongChang. That team will be named after nationals in January.

Chen and Wagner are still favorites, but every mistake is an opening for Mariah BellMirai Nagasu and others. Though neither Bell nor Nagasu made a strong case in Grand Prix debuts last week.

Chen barely stayed on her feet on her opening triple Lutz, which was meant to be in combination. She later performed a triple-double combo rather than a triple-triple.

Wagner had problems fully rotating her jumps. The three-time U.S. champion and 2016 World silver medalist had her worst Grand Prix short-program standing since she was eighth in her Grand Prix debut at 2007 Skate Canada.

Japan’s Marin Honda fell on her opening triple-triple jump combination and popped an Axel, placing 10th with 52.60 points. Honda, the 2016 World junior champion, beat Chen at her senior international debut last month.

Skate Canada
Women’s Short
1. Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN) — 76.06
2. Anna Pogorilaya (RUS) — 69.05
3. Maria Sotskova (RUS) — 66.10
4. Courtney Hicks (USA) — 64.06
5. Karen Chen (USA) — 61.77
7. Ashley Wagner (USA) — 61.57

Men’s Short
1. Shoma Uno (JPN) — 103.62
2. Patrick Chan (CAN) — 94.43
3. Jason Brown (USA) — 90.71

Short Dance
1. Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN) — 82.68 WR
2. Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje (CAN) — 77.47
3. Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) — 76.08
5. Kaitlin Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker (USA) — 63.10

Pairs Short
1. Aliona Savchenko/Bruno Massot (GER) — 77.34
2. Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (CAN) — 73.53
3. Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres (FRA) — 73.04
6. Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier (USA) — 63.26

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Will Virtue, Moir bid farewell at Olympics?

USOC CEO Scott Blackmun diagnosed with prostate cancer

Getty Images
Leave a comment

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Scott Blackmun, the CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee, has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and will not travel to South Korea for the PyeongChang Olympic Opening Ceremony.

The 60-year-old executive sent an email to staff Monday notifying them of his diagnosis and said he would have surgery later this week.

Blackmun is beginning his ninth year as the USOC’s leader.

He said physicians recommended he start treatment as soon as possible, and the treatment could prevent him from traveling to PyeongChang at all.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Team USA Opening Ceremony uniforms have heaters

Joss Christensen left off Olympic team; full U.S. freestyle skiing roster

Joss Christensen
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Joss Christensen, who led a U.S. ski slopestyle podium sweep in Sochi, was left off the 29-athlete team for PyeongChang on Monday.

Christensen attempted to come back from a May ACL tear (with meniscus damage) but was unable to finish on the podium in any of the Olympic qualifiers.

Here’s the full roster:

Aerials
Ashley Caldwell — 2010, 2014 Olympian
Kiley McKinnon
Madison Olsen
Mac Bohonnon — 2014 Olympian
Jonathon Lillis
Eric Loughran

Halfpipe
Maddie Bowman — 2014
Annalisa Drew — 2014
Devin Logan — 2014
Brita Sigourney — 2014
Aaron Blunck — 2014
Alex Ferreira
David Wise — 2014
Torin Yater-Wallace — 2014

Moguls
Tess Johnson
Jaelin Kauf
Keaton McCargo
Morgan Schild
Casey Andringa
Emerson Smith
Troy Murphy
Brad Wilson — 2014

Slopestyle
Caroline Claire
Devin Logan — 2014 (in slopestyle)
Darian Stevens
Maggie Voisin — 2014 (did not compete in Sochi)
Nick Goepper — 2014
Alex Hall
Gus Kenworthy — 2014
McRae Williams

MORE: U.S. Olympic roster now over 200 athletes; full list

In slopestyle, Christensen’s Sochi podium mates Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper earned automatic Olympic spots earlier this month.

World champion McRae Williams and Alex Hall got the nods for two spots picked by a committee on Monday. They ranked Nos. 3 and 4 behind Kenworthy and Goepper in Olympic qualifying standings, while Christensen was eighth.

Sochi women’s slopestyle silver medalist Devin Logan became the first American to make an Olympic team in two different freestyle skiing events — slopestyle and halfpipe.

In aerials, 2017 World champions Ashley Caldwell and Jonathon Lillis were added to the team Monday. So were Mac BohonnonEric Loughran and Madison Olsen.

Kiley McKinnon was the only aerialist to automatically qualify earlier this month.

Caldwell is going to her third Olympics. She finished 10th in 2010 and 2014, competing in the former as the youngest U.S. athlete across all sports as a 16-year-old.

Last season, Caldwell added her first world title to a resume that already included six World Cup victories and the 2016 World Cup season title. She finished third, seventh, ninth, 13th and 31st in five World Cups so far this season.

Lillis, 23, is going to his first Olympics. He won last season’s world title in a huge surprise, having never won a World Cup event (and only finishing on the podium once before). He has a best finish of sixth in six World Cup events this season.

McKinnon and Bohonnon swept the World Cup season titles in 2015. They also went to elementary school together in Connecticut.

Six of the eight halfpipe skiers qualified earlier this season. The additions Monday were Annalisa Drew and Aaron Blunck, who were the top performers from Olympic qualifiers who didn’t clinch automatic spots.

The halfpipe team is the exact same as in Sochi except for Alex Ferreira replacing Lyman Currier.

Maddie Bowman and David Wise are the defending Olympic gold medalists from the event that debuted in Sochi.

Of the eight moguls skiers, only Brad Wilson has Olympic experience, finishing 20th in Sochi.

The top medal hope is Jaelin Kauf, a 21-year-old daughter of two moguls skiers. Kauf qualified automatically for the Olympic team earlier this month and leads the World Cups standings.

Andringa is a great story. The 22-year-old lived in a tent with his brother in Steamboat Springs, Colo., this summer to supplement training costs. He raced World Cup for the first time on Jan. 6 and placed seventh and fifth in his first two starts to earn a spot on the team.

The top U.S. moguls skier the last two Olympics — Hannah Kearney — retired in 2015.

The U.S. is not sending a ski cross racer to the Olympics for the first time. The event debuted in 2010, and the U.S. has never earned a medal.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Team USA Opening Ceremony uniforms have heaters