Laurie Hernandez’s 2017 goals: First date, driver’s license, Law & Order

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Gymnast Laurie Hernandez might not suit up for competition this year, but her calendar is sure to be very busy.

Hernandez, 16 and the youngest woman on the 2016 U.S. Olympic team, told Ellen DeGeneres that her goals for the year are to go on her first date and get her driver’s license.

Hernandez also said she would like to go on “Law & Order,” which DeGeneres was apparently prepared to hear. The host showed a video message from series actors inviting Hernandez to appear in an episode.

“I know the theme song by heart,” Hernandez said. “That would be so cool.”

Hernandez would not be the first Olympian to appear on the show.

Lindsey Vonn made it on a 2010 episode, playing the role of a secretary.

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18 females sue ex-USA Gymnastics doctor, allege sexual abuse

In a July 15, 2008 photo, Dr. Larry Nassar works on the computer after seeing a patient in Michigan. Multiple gymnasts, including a member of the 2000 U.S. women's Olympic team, said they were sexually abused by Nassar, a former longtime doctor for USA Gymnastics, court documents and interviews show. (Becky Shink/Lansing State Journal via AP)
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DETROIT (AP) — A Michigan doctor accused of sexually abusing gymnasts was sued Tuesday by 18 women and girls, the latest legal action over alleged assaults, mostly at his clinic at Michigan State University.

The lawsuit against Dr. Larry Nassar, Michigan State, USA Gymnastics and a Lansing-area gymnastics club was filed in federal court in western Michigan. It makes claims of civil rights violations, discrimination and negligence.

The Associated Press usually doesn’t name people who allege sexual abuse, but one of the plaintiffs, Rachael Denhollander, 32, of Louisville, Kentucky, talked publicly about the lawsuit. She said she was assaulted by Nassar while seeing him for wrist and back injuries at age 15 in 2000.

Denhollander, who was a gymnast, said she didn’t file a complaint at the time because she believed her “voice would not be heard.” She said Nassar was held in high esteem at Michigan State and was also affiliated with USA Gymnastics.

The abuse alleged by the 18 women and girls occurred over 20 years. They ranged in age from 9 to 29 at the time.

Most were minors “cloaked with innocence and trust of their youth,” attorney Stephen Drew told reporters.

In 1999 and 2000, a Michigan State runner and a softball player complained to the university’s sports medicine staff that Nassar had molested them with his hands, but no investigations were conducted, according to the lawsuit.

Nassar now faces at least five civil lawsuits. Through lawyers, he’s denied the allegations. He hasn’t been charged with any crimes related to his work at Michigan State, although he’s charged with sexually assaulting a girl at his Holt, Michigan, home.

Separately, Nassar is charged in federal court with possessing child pornography. He’s being held in jail without bond.

Michigan State said it won’t comment on specific allegations in the latest lawsuit. It said campus police investigated a complaint against Nassar in 2014 but no charges were filed. The school said it received no other complaints until last August.

Nassar was subsequently fired for not complying with employment requirements put in place after the 2014 complaint. Michigan State hasn’t elaborated.

Campus police still are investigating Nassar with state and federal authorities. Outside lawyers also are advising the university on an internal review of his work.

Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics said it cut ties with Nassar in 2015 when it first heard allegations about the doctor.

“We find it appalling that anyone would exploit a young athlete or child in this manner,” the organization said in a statement.

Sam Mikulak headlines American Cup field

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 10: Samuel Mikulak of the United States reacts after competing the pommel horse during the Men's Individual All-Around final on Day 5 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Arena on August 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
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Four-time U.S. all-around champion Sam Mikulak and Olympic all-around silver medalist Oleg Verniaiev of Ukraine lead the field for the American Cup, the biggest annual international gymnastics meet in the U.S.

This year’s American Cup will be March 4 in Newark, N.J.

The women’s field includes U.S. Olympic alternate Ragan Smith, another to-be-determined U.S. gymnast and four Rio Olympians from other countries.

None of the Final Five gymnasts are currently competing at the elite level, but none have announced retirements from gymnastics, either.

Mikulak, 24 and a two-time Olympian, was the last American man to win the American Cup in 2014. He’ll be joined by a second, to-be-determined American in Newark.

The international men’s field includes five Rio Olympians, led by Verniaiev, who finished .099 behind Japan’s Kohei Uchimura in the Olympic all-around and then won the parallel bars title.

Also at the American Cup will be two-time Japanese Olympian Ryohei Kato, who took team gold in Rio and also owns 2013 World all-around silver.

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2017 American Cup competitors – Men
China: Sun Wei
Great Britain:  Sam Oldham
Germany:  Lukas Dauser
Japan:  Ryohei Kato
Netherlands:  Bart Deurloo
Switerzerland:  Eddy Yusof
Ukraine:  Oleg Verniaiev
USA:  Sam Mikulak
USA:  Wildcard, to be determined

2017 American Cup competitors — Women
Canada: Ellie Black
China:  Xie Yufen
France:  Melanie De Jesus dos Santos
Great Britain: Rebecca Tunney
Germany:  Kim Bui
Japan:  Asuka Teramoto
Netherlands:  Eythora Thorsdottir
USA:  Ragan Smith
USA: Wildcard, to be determined

*Correction: An earlier version of this post reported that Sam Mikulak won the 2013 American Cup. He won in 2014. An earlier version also said that Oleg Verniaiev was .99 behind in the Olympic all-around. He was .099 behind.