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Winter Olympics late night: What to watch/stream

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The American women’s hockey team begins its campaign to end its 20 year gold medal drought. Having lost to rivals Canada in back-to-back gold medal games in 2010 and 2014, it’s gold-or-bust for this American squad. Some of the players from that squad have returned, and will certainly be recalling on that experience to guide the youngsters throughout the tournament.  They open against Finland, a team with its own high expectations. The Finns are currently ranked third in the IIHF and won’t permit themselves to be pushovers against the Americans.

Ice Hockey

The United States and Finland begin Group A play. Placed in the same group as Canada and the Olympic Athletes from Russia, an opening round win could go a long way. Though the ghosts of Sochi still linger in the locker room, the Americans cannot afford to look past their opponents who will quickly seize upon any error. Jenni Hiirikoski is Finland’s star player; a defender, yet also one of the team’s most creative players in attacking movements.

USA vs. FIN Stream Live Here 2:40a.m. EST / 11:40p.m. PST

Freestyle Skiing

Morgan Schild stars in the women’s moguls final. She will be joined by compatriots Jaelin Kauf and Keaton McCargo. Perrine Laffont, who finished first in the qualifying rounds, remains the heavy favorite to win gold. Canada’s Andi Naude and 2014 Olympic gold medalist Justine Dufour-Lapointe will also be featuring.

Women’s moguls final Stream Live Here 7:00a.m. EST / 4.a.m. PST

Biathlon 

Though the U.S. has never medaled in this sport, the nation’s best chance at doing so is with Lowell Bailey. He was the first American to capture a world championship title when he won gold at the 2017 IBU World Championships. He’ll need another top notch performance to take down three-time Olympic medalist Martin Fourcade.

Men’s 10km sprint Stream Live Here 6:15a.m. EST / 3:15a.m. PST

Luge

The first medal event for luge begins with the men’s individual runs. After some disappointing results in training, Felix Loch looks back to his old self and will again be challenging Austria’s Wolfgang Kindl for gold . Team USA’s Chris Mazdzer had his own impress run to put him in an outside-looking in position for a medal.

Stream Live Here 6:00 a.m. EST / 3:00a.m. PST

Speed Skating

History seems very likely in the Men’s 5,000m. Dutch speedskater, who won gold in 2010 and 2014, would be the most decorated men’s speed skater ever if he is to claim the three-peat.

Men’s 5,000m Stream Live Here 2:00a.m. EST / 11p.m. PST

Cross Country Skiing

The men take on a grueling 30km race for their first event in the sport. Martin Johnsrud Sundby is a heavy favorite to continue Norway’s legacy.

Men’s Skiathlon Stream Live Here 1:15a.m. EST / 10:15p.m. PST

USA Gymnastics settles sex abuse lawsuit

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — USA Gymnastics has reached a confidential settlement in a Georgia lawsuit that spurred a newspaper investigation into the organization’s practices for reporting child abuse.

A former gymnast filed the lawsuit against USA Gymnastics in 2013, alleging that the organization that trains Olympians received at least four warnings about coach William McCabe, who videotaped her in various states of undress.

The lawsuit revealed that USA Gymnastics wouldn’t forward child sex abuse allegations to authorities unless they were in writing and signed by a victim or a victim’s parent.

A judge in Effingham County, Georgia, dismissed the lawsuit on April 12, according to court records. USA Gymnastics admits no wrongdoing or liability in the settlement, said W. Brian Cornwell of Cornwell & Stevens LLP, the gymnast’s lawyer.

Both parties have declined to comment on the settlement.

“We want to make it clear that the settlement does not prevent the former gymnast from speaking publicly about her experiences,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement Thursday.

McCabe pleaded guilty in Georgia in 2006 to federal charges of sexual exploitation of children and making false statements. He’s serving a 30-year prison sentence.

The suit sparked The Indianapolis Star’s investigation of USA Gymnastics, which exposed abuse by Larry Nassar, a former Michigan State University sports doctor, and spurred the resignations of the organization’s president and board.

Nassar, 54, pleaded guilty to molesting patients and possessing child pornography. He was sentenced this year to prison terms that will keep him locked up for life after roughly 200 women gave statements against him in two courtrooms over 10 days.

USA Gymnastics faces additional lawsuits from women who say Nassar sexually abused them. The suits allege the organization was negligent, fraudulent and intentionally inflicted emotional distress by failing to warn or protect athletes from Nassar’s abuse. The organization has denied the allegations and wants the lawsuits dismissed.

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Max Aaron retires from figure skating

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Max Aaron, a national champion and Skate America winner, has retired from competitive figure skating.

Aaron, 26, ends his career as the only Skate America men’s winner not to compete in an Olympics. He is one of three U.S. men’s champions in the last 55 years not to compete in an Olympics, along with Ryan Bradley and Rudy Galindo.

“Of course, becoming an Olympian, or having an Olympic medal would have been great to say, ride off on my white horse, but having the ability to say that I have no regrets in my entire career of figure skating, for me that is my gold medal,” Aaron said Thursday night.

Aaron, a former top USA Hockey developmental player, also figure skated growing up to help with his skating skills as one of the smaller players on his team.

He stopped playing hockey at 16 due to a broken vertebra but continued full-time with figure skating. By 2012, Aaron considered quitting figure skating after placing eighth at nationals (one year after being U.S. junior champion) and being told he wasn’t artistic enough.

But Aaron kept with it and completed a remarkable bounce back the next year, winning the U.S. title and setting himself up as a favorite to make the 2014 Olympic team.

But Aaron ended up third at the 2014 U.S. Championships. The two Sochi Olympic spots went to Jeremy Abbott and Jason Brown.

Aaron continued, becoming the first U.S. man to win Skate America in six years in 2015 and topping the short program at the 2016 U.S. Championships before ultimately finishing second to Adam Rippon.

Aaron plummeted to ninth at the 2017 U.S. Championships, coming back from offseason hernia surgery, but returned to the Olympic team radar last fall with a personal-best free skate at Cup of China, including three landed quadruple jumps. He went into the 2018 U.S. Championships ranking third among American men for the season.

But Aaron was again ninth at nationals, missing the Olympic team. He was called on to compete at last month’s world championships as the third alternate after Rippon, Ross Miner and Brown all passed.

Aaron had stopped skating and instead was training for a triathlon. He went to worlds in Milan on two weeks of training and finished 11th, a result that helped the U.S. keep three men’s spots for 2019 Worlds. Nathan Chen won the world title, but Vincent Zhou was 14th. The U.S. needed its second man to be 12th or better to go along with Chen’s first place to ensure three spots next year. Aaron reportedly said at worlds that it may have been his last competition.

Aaron said he’s started a job with Merrill Lynch.

“It’s really been a great ride. I have no regrets,” he said. “That’s one thing that I always told myself, in sport, in life, I want to have no regrets, and I can honestly say, with the help from my coaches and friends, that I have no regrets in the sport.”

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