Patrick Chan
AP

Patrick Chan withdraws from next Grand Prix event to focus on training

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OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) Canadian star Patrick Chan has withdrawn from the NHK Trophy figure skating event next week in Japan to focus on the national championships and Pyeongchang Olympics.

The three-time world champion announced the decision Friday, a week after struggling to a fourth-place finish at Skate Canada. In his long program, Chan fell on his opening quad jump. He downgraded four jumps, touched a hand down on two, and scored only 245.70 points.

“It’s important to realize that I’ve never had a skate like that in a big event,” Chan said following the event. “I think it’s part of the process and having ownership of your career, and being successful you’ve got to have days like this. “Yeah it sucks, but I’ve had the great highs, too.”

The NHK Trophy is the fourth stop on the Grand Prix circuit.

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MORE: Alina Zagitova, Russian’s newest skating star, wins Cup of China (video)

What is the Alpine skiing team event?

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The Alpine skiing team event will make its Olympic debut in PyeongChang

How to watch
Friday, Feb. 23, 9:00 p.m. ET
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Olympic skiing has always been an individual sport. Simply, the fastest skier down the mountain wins the gold medal.

But the world’s best skiers will have to rely on their teammates for the first time in the team event, which is making its Olympic debut in PyeongChang.

The team event will feature 16 teams, or nations, of four athletes (two men and two women). The 16 teams will be arranged in a bracket-style, single-elimination format. Think NCAA March Madness.

A skier from each of the two competing nations will race down the course in a series of head-to-head slalom races. The winner will earn a point for his or her team. The team with the most points after four heats will advance. If the teams have the same number of points, the winner will be the nation with the lower combined time of its fastest male and female competitor.

Teams are allowed to have a maximum of two reserves.

France won the team event at the 2017 World Championships. The U.S., competing without Mikaela Shiffrin, was knocked out in the first round by Canada.

“It’s a really fun event,” said American AJ Ginnis. “The atmosphere—the fact that you get to race with girls and guys and it’s a team effort is really cool.”

Men’s snowboard big air preview

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Now that Anna Gasser of Austria has successfully captured the first-ever Olympic gold medal in women’s snowboard big air, it’s almost time to crown the first-ever Olympic champion on the men’s side.

Big air snowboarding has progressed tremendously in recent years, and there’s been a lot of build-up to these Olympics, so expect heavy tricks to come out quickly in the final.

Or as Mark McMorris put it: “There’s probably [going to be] some mind-boggling s—.”

Every time there’s a big air event, there’s always talk about “quads” — a type of trick that features four inverted flips. It’s such a progressive trick that only two riders have landed a quad in competition, only a few others have done it in training, and many are hesitant to even try.

Read the full preview at NBCOlympics.com