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American-born figure skater closer to representing S. Korea in PyeongChang

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Alexander Gamelin, an ice dancer born in Boston, is now eligible to represent South Korea at the PyeongChang Winter Games, according to South Korean reports.

Gamelin completed a citizenship naturalization process and acquired a South Korean passport, according to Yonhap News Agency on Monday.

Gamelin, 24, has skated with Yura Min for the last two years after coupling with twin sister Danielle Gamelin for the prior 13 years until her retirement. Min was born in Torrance, Calif., to South Korean parents and holds dual citizenship.

South Korea has not yet qualified an ice dance spot for PyeongChang. One South Korean couple has competed in ice dance in Olympic history — a last-place finish at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games.

Min and Gamelin placed 20th out of 32 couples at the world championships in the spring as the lone South Korean couple (they were allowed to compete for South Korea outside of the Olympics because Min has citizenship). The cutoff for Olympic qualification was 18th place.

The last qualification event is in Germany in late September. The top five couples from countries not otherwise qualified get the last Olympic spots.

Min and Gamelin would be favorites to finish in the top five in Germany, given they ranked No. 3 in the world last year among couples from countries not yet qualified for PyeongChang. The next-best South Korean couple had a score nearly 40 points fewer than Min and Gamelin.

Even if Min and Gamelin don’t qualify a South Korean ice dance spot, they could still make the Olympics in the team event for the host nation, should South Korea qualify as one of the top 10 nations.

Gamelin is one of a host of athletes from around the world expected to compete for South Korea in PyeongChang as a naturalized citizen. There are also American and Canadian hockey players, Russian biathletes and a German luger, athletes in sports where South Korea does not excel.

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MORE: South Korea hockey team leans on naturalized Canadian goalie

Meryl Davis engaged to former figure skater

Meryl Davis
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Olympic ice dance champion Meryl Davis and former figure skater Fedor Andreev are engaged.

Davis shared the news on Instagram Sunday.

Faces are hidden in the image, but it appears to be Davis who is wearing a ring on her left ring finger and presumably embracing Andreev. The caption in its entirety reads, “7/13/17.” Their engagement was confirmed Monday.

Andreev, the son of Davis’ longtime coach Marina Zoueva, competed for Russia and Canada until retiring in 2011.

Davis and Andreev had dated for more than six years, according to TeamUSA.org.

Davis, 30, and longtime skating partner Charlie White became the first U.S. Olympic ice dance champions in Sochi. They announced in February that they would not return to competition to defend their title in PyeongChang.

White and 2006 Olympic silver medalist ice dancer Tanith White (née Belbin, an NBC Sports TV reporter and analyst) were married in April 2015.

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MORE: ‘Hamilton’ star approves of Jason Brown’s new music

• 7/13/17 •

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Lin-Manuel Miranda of ‘Hamilton’ approves of Jason Brown’s new music

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Jason Brown will skate to music from the “Hamilton” soundtrack for his short program this season and at the Olympics, if he makes the U.S. team.

Brown announced the choice via a six-minute YouTube video.

Word reached Lin-Manuel Miranda, who responded in excited emoji form via the person handling his social media accounts.

Brown said he and his family have been Miranda fans since seeing his previous hit musical, “In The Heights,” which played near Brown’s suburban Chicago hometown in 2012. He has listened to the “Hamilton” soundtrack since it came out nearly two years ago.

“Obviously, we wanted to wait for the right time to do it,” Brown said of skating to “Hamilton.” “There’s no better time to do it than the Olympic year.”

Brown realized a dream in seeing “Hamilton” live on April 5, four days after he finished seventh at the world championships in Helsinki.

Afterward, he met Javier Munoz, who was playing the show’s title role that night.

Back in January, Brown performed to “Hamilton” song “Wait For It” on TODAY, but his short program song is “The Room Where it Happens.”

It’s no surprise that Miranda is excited.

“The MOMENT a figure skater does a Hamilton-inspired routine you have to alert me, okay? #Quadgoals,” was posted on his Twitter account in November 2015.

Brown turned heads with his free skate music in the last Olympic season. His “Riverdance” effort from the 2014 U.S. Championships has tallied nearly two million views on YouTube.

Brown, then 20, earned a spot on the Sochi Olympic team as the youngest U.S. male singles skater since 1976 and placed ninth at the Winter Games.

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MORE: Two-time U.S. Olympian retires from figure skating

Correction: An earlier version of this post mistakenly called Brown’s 2014 skate to “Riverdance” his short program. It was his free skate.