Yuzuru Hanyu
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Yuzuru Hanyu withdraws from Grand Prix event

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OSAKA, Japan (AP) — Yuzuru Hanyu pulled out of the NHK Trophy after injuring his ankle in practice, a setback that could have a serious impact on his preparations for an Olympic title defense.

The 22-year-old Hanyu withdrew before Friday’s short program, a day after falling while attempting a quadruple lutz in practice, and three months before the PyeongChang Olympics.

“As I was preparing for the NHK, I received an examination from doctors last night. Unfortunately their judgment was that I withdraw,” Hanyu said in a statement. “I will now go through treatment as I prepare for the Japanese Nationals.”

Nationals are Dec. 19-24 after the Grand Prix Final in Nagoya, Japan.

Hanyu appeared to be favoring his right ankle after the fall but did not leave Thursday’s practice. He skated during the run-through for his free skate, although he did not do any further jumps.

A two-time world champion, Hanyu last month placed second at the Rostelecom Cup in Russia, where he skated well but wasn’t his dominant self.

Hanyu joined other notable absentees from NHK.

Olympic silver medalist Patrick Chan withdrew to focus on the Canadian national championships and the Olympics. Japan’s Daisuke Murakami pulled out because of pneumonia.

The top remaining men in the field are past U.S. champions Jason Brown and Adam Rippon.

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MORE: How to watch NHK Trophy

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

Karen Chen shares disappointment, thanks fans

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Karen Chen was the last U.S. figure skater to make her PyeongChang debut (and her Olympic debut for that matter). A mistake on her opening jump in the short program left her in 10th place going into the free program. Two days later, her free skate also had technical mistakes, and she finished 11th overall. While Team OAR won its first Olympic gold of the PyeongChang Games and got a silver to boot, the U.S. women were plagued with falls and technical errors, and Chen was no exception.

NBCOlympics.com: Alina Zagitova is Olympic Athletes from Russia’s first gold medalist of PyeongChang

Just hours after the ladies’ event concluded, Chen took to Instagram to share her frustration, disappointment and newfound perspective.

Chen, 18, is the youngest woman on the 2018 U.S. figure skating team. Chen was born and raised in Fremont, California, she cites gold medal figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi, who is also from Fremont, as a mentor. Unlike most in the world of figure skating, Chen makes her own costumes and choreographs her own programs. Last season, Chen won the U.S. national championship. She skated an inconsistent 2017-18 season, but her third place finish at nationals was enough to land her a spot on Team USA.