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What to watch at U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Friday

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The U.S. women’s figure skating champion will be crowned Friday night, live on NBC and streaming on NBCOlympics.com.

Bradie Tennell takes her short-program lead into the free skate in San Jose, Calif. She’s followed in the standings by 2010 Olympian Mirai Nagasu and 2017 U.S. champion Karen Chen.

Three-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner sits fifth, needing a strong free skate to make her case for PyeongChang.

Coverage runs from 8-11 p.m. ET.

WOMEN: Stream Link | Start List/Results

The U.S. Olympic team of three women will be chosen after the free skate and announced Saturday morning. A committee will look at results from the last year, so the team won’t necessarily be the top three finishers Friday night.

Also Friday, the ice dance competition begins with the short dance from 4-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN and streaming on NBCOlympics.com.

The favorites for the three U.S. Olympic spots are clear, as the U.S. has three of the top six couples in the world (and nobody else in the top 15), led by two-time defending national champs Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani.

ICE DANCE: Stream Link | Start List/Results

The key skaters going Friday:

Short Dance
Madison Chock/Evan Bates — 4:40 p.m. ET
Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue — 4:53 p.m.
Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani — 5:41 p.m.

Women’s Free Skate
Mariah Bell — 10:03 p.m.
Ashley Wagner — 10:11 p.m.
Angela Wang — 10:19 p.m.
Mirai Nagasu — 10:28 p.m.
Karen Chen — 10:36 p.m.
Bradie Tennell — 10:44 p.m.

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PREVIEWS: Men | Women | DancePairsTV Schedule | Olympic Selection

Date Time (ET) Program Network
Wednesday 11 p.m.-1 Women’s Short NBCSN | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
Thursday 4-5 p.m. Pairs Short Olympic Channel | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
5-6:30 p.m. Pairs Short NBCSN | STREAM
8:30 p.m.-12 Men’s Short NBCSN | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
Friday 4-6 p.m. Short Dance NBCSN | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
8-11 p.m. Women’s Free NBC | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
Saturday 4-6 p.m. Pairs Free NBC | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
8-11 p.m. Men’s Free NBCSN | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
Sunday 3-6 p.m. Free Dance NBC | STREAM
Jan. 13 4 p.m. Exhibition Gala NBC | STREAM

 

IOC: ‘More exciting initiatives’ for Korean unity in PyeongChang

AP
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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Olympic organizers on Friday welcomed an agreement between North and South Korea to unite athletes at the PyeongChang Winter Games and promised that “much more exciting initiatives” promoting Korean unity will emerge this weekend.

“Watch this space,” International Olympic Committee presidential spokesman Mark Adams told The Associated Press in an interview, a day before a crucial meeting of Korean delegations at Olympics headquarters in Lausanne.

He declined to elaborate, saying the decisions would come Saturday.

Referring to a detailed peace-making agreement between the rival countries announced Thursday by South Korea’s Unification Ministry, including a joint team in the women’s hockey tournament, Adams said it was “great … but these are discussions” — meaning the IOC had not yet given the deal the final green light.

“I can tell you that there will also be some much more exciting initiatives coming through as well tomorrow,” he added.

Provided that the IOC finalizes the deal, it would mark the first time the two National Olympic Committees would be competing together in a single team.

Some have questioned the fine print of the agreement announced by the two Koreas, saying it gives the combined hockey squad a far larger roster than any other national team.

Asked how the IOC planned to maintain the integrity of the sport, Adams said: “People would say that these are exceptional circumstances, and we need exceptional measures.”

“This is about the Olympic spirit,” Adams added. “And the Olympic spirit is about nations competing, athletes competing, and we will do our best make sure that it sends a signal that sport can improve the world.”

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Julia Mancuso skis final race dressed as Wonder Woman (video)

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Julia Mancuso bid farewell like only she could — with a tiara, cape and Wonder Woman suit.

The most decorated female U.S. Olympic skier with four medals announced Friday morning that today’s World Cup downhill in Cortina d’Ampezzo would be the last race of her career.

More on Mancuso’s retirement, career and immediate future here.

She raced Friday as her nickname — “Super Jules” — and coasted to the bottom 18 seconds slower than winner Sofia Goggia.

Afterward, U.S. Ski Team members sprayed her with champagne and lifted her up in the finish corral.

Mancuso chose an appropriate venue for her last race.

She notched her first World Cup podium in Cortina in January 2006, then won the Olympic giant slalom in Sestriere, Italy, four weeks later.

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