Trevor Marsicano a comeback story at U.S. Olympic Speed Skating Trials

Trevor Marsicano
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Trevor Marsicano, once bullied as a boy to the point of depression and overdose, became the teenage star of speed skating five years ago.

He won four medals at the March 2009 World Single Distance Championships and, at 19, was the youngest gold medalist in the event’s history dating to 1996.

Marsicano briefly held the world record in the 1000m — over two-time Olympic champion Shani Davis — for about 20 minutes.

He was no Michael Phelps, but, still, a teen capable of multiple Olympic medals before precociousness became trendy (see Missy FranklinGabby Douglas and Mikaela Shiffrin).

“I got to see what it’s like at the top,” Marsicano said, “and I got to see what it’s like being at the bottom again.”

Marsicano, now 23, enters this weekend’s U.S. Olympic Trials hoping to make his second Olympic team. His qualification is by no means assured. A back injury persists that first flared in the season leading into the 2010 Olympics and since threatened to knock him out of the sport.

In 2010, the speed skating events at the Vancouver Games took place on the same oval as his breakthrough at the 2009 World Championships, but the results were far different.

Marsicano finished no higher than 10th in three individual races that he won medals in a year earlier.

He earned a silver medal as part of the U.S. men’s team pursuit, but even that didn’t go as planned. Marsicano competed in the first round and benched himself before coaches could choose the medal-round roster.

“I decided this just isn’t my day,” Marsicano said after watching teammates Chad HedrickBrian Hansen and Jonathan Kuck shock the Netherlands in the semifinals to clinch a medal.

U.S. Olympic Speed Skating Trials preview

Worse days would follow. Marsicano reinjured his back before the 2011-12 season, tried to skate through it but eventually underwent an MRI. He had a tear in his L4 and L5 discs and sat out the remainder of the World Cup schedule.

He started but couldn’t finish the 2012-13 season. The back pain was too much, and he thought about leaving the sport last summer.

“I don’t know permanently, but at least a small amount of time just because I was tired of living with the pain,” said Marsicano, who still wakes up and is in too much discomfort to train on some days. “Not to sound cheap, but if I’m not going to be making all that much [money], and I’m going to have to work a part-time job in order to speed skate, is it worth living this life? If I’m 40 years old and have to get this replacement [surgery] and that replacement, can I afford it?”

Marsicano began playing hockey at age 4 but gave it up for speed skating during a troubled youth that saw him bullied in Ballston Spa, N.Y.

His sister said his forehead was “bashed against tables” in eighth grade. Scratches were visible from kids putting their hands around his neck. School administrators urged him to stay home, his mother said. He overdosed on depression medication and said he didn’t want to live anymore.

He began home-schooling and dropped hockey to focus on speed skating. He rose quickly but suffered a setback in 2004 when another skater’s blade sliced his leg to the femur in a short track race. He was told half of his body’s blood volume spilled out.

Marsicano got back up and, at 16, was the youngest competitor at the 2006 U.S. Olympic short track trials.

He switched to long track, left his family to live and train in Salt Lake City, Utah, and then Milwaukee before the 2010 Olympics. He slept in the basement of another skater’s home. Now, he and girlfriend Jilleanne Rookard, also an Olympic speed skater, live with a host family in Waukesha, Wis.

Marsicano beat Shani Davis in a World Cup 1500m race in Salt Lake City on Feb. 18, 2011. He hasn’t finished better than sixth in off-and-on World Cup appearances since and re-experienced feelings of depression in the year after the 2010 Olympics.

He’s about one second slower this season than he was at his best in 2008-09 in the 1000m and 1500m. In speed skating, that’s the difference between medals and fighting to make the U.S. Olympic Team.

“I look at it two different ways,” Marsicano said. “If I look at it like I could have won all these medals, of course it drives me nuts. The other perspective, I’m in pain when I skate, but I’m also in pain walking up and down the stairs. On and off the ice, it’s very hard to deal with and come to grips with.”

There is optimism. His best times this season are his fastest since 2009. Marsicano believes he still possesses the ability to race like he did five years ago.

“You may not win today, but you did win at one point,” he said. “That’s something to be happy and proud of.”

Canada names women’s Olympic hockey team

Ukraine Olympic champion auctions gold medals to support his country

Yuriy Cheban
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Sprint canoeist Yuriy Cheban, Ukraine’s most decorated male Olympian, is auctioning his two gold medals and one bronze medal to support his country’s defense and recovery efforts amid the war with Russia.

“It was one of the best moments of my life that can be compared only with the birth of my child,” Cheban posted specifically about his repeat 200m gold at his last Olympics in Rio in 2016. “This Olympic finish left a great memory forever in the world history and in the hearts of Ukraine.

“Time to move on, I would like these medals to benefit Ukrainians once again.”

Cheban, a 36-year-old who coached Ukraine canoeists at the Tokyo Games, took 500m bronze in 2008 before his 200m golds in 2012 and 2016, all in individual races.

He and boxer Vasiliy Lomachenko are the only men to win two Olympic gold medals for Ukraine, which began competing independently in 1994. Cheban is the only man to win three total Olympic medals for Ukraine, according to Olympedia.org.

Swimmer Yana Klochkova won the most medals for Ukraine — four golds and five total.

All proceeds from the sales will go to Ukraine’s Olympic Circle charity, according to SCP Auctions.

Olympic Circle was created by sportsmen to help Mykolaiv, a city in southern Ukraine, fight Russian occupants, according to SCP.

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Alpine skiing TV, live stream schedule for 2022-23 World Cup season

Mikaela Shiffrin, Marco Odermatt
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NBC Sports and Peacock combine to air live coverage of the 2022-23 Alpine skiing season, including races on the World Cup, which starts this weekend.

Coverage begins with the traditional season-opening giant slaloms in Soelden, Austria, this Saturday and Sunday, streaming live on Peacock.

The first of four stops in the U.S. — the most in 26 years — is Thanksgiving weekend with a women’s giant slalom and slalom in Killington, Vermont. The men’s tour visits Beaver Creek, Colorado the following week, as well as Palisades Tahoe, California, and Aspen, Colorado after worlds in Courchevel and Meribel, France.

NBC Sports platforms will broadcast all four U.S. stops in the Alpine World Cup season, plus four more World Cups in other ski and snowboard disciplines. All Alpine World Cups in Austria will stream live on Peacock.

Mikaela Shiffrin, who last year won her fourth World Cup overall title, is the headliner. Shiffrin, who has 74 career World Cup race victories, will try to close the gap on the only Alpine skiers with more: Lindsey Vonn (82) and Ingemar Stenmark (86). Shiffrin won an average of five times per season the last three years and is hopeful of racing more often this season.

On the men’s side, 25-year-old Swiss Marco Odermatt returns after becoming the youngest man to win the overall, the biggest annual prize in ski racing, since Marcel Hirscher won the second of his record eight in a row in 2013.

2022-23 Alpine Skiing World Cup Broadcast Schedule
Schedule will be added to as the season progresses. All NBC Sports TV coverage also streams live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

Date Coverage Network/Platform Time (ET)
Sat., Oct. 22 Women’s GS (Run 1) – Soelden (PPD) Peacock 4 a.m.
Women’s GS (Run 2) – Soelden (PPD) Peacock 7:05 a.m.
Sun., Oct. 23 Men’s GS (Run 1) — Soelden Peacock 4 a.m.
Men’s GS (Run 2) – Soelden Peacock 7 a.m.
Sat., Nov. 12 Women’s Parallel (Qualifying) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 6 a.m.
Women’s Parallel (Finals) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 12 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 13 Men’s Parallel (Qualifying) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 4 a.m.
Men’s Parallel (Finals) — Lech (PPD) Peacock 10 a.m.
Sat., Nov. 19 Women’s SL (Run 1) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 4 a.m.
Women’s SL (Run 2) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 7 a.m.
Sun., Nov. 20 Women’s SL (Run 1) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 4:15 a.m.
Women’s SL (Run 2) — Levi Skiandsnowboard.live 7:15 a.m.
Fri., Nov. 25 Men’s DH — Lake Louise (PPD) Skiandsnowboard.live 2:30 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 26 Women’s GS (Run 2) — Killington NBC, Peacock 12:30 p.m.
Men’s DH — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2:30 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 27 Women’s SL (Run 2) — Killington NBC, Peacock 12:30 p.m.
Men’s SG — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2:15 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 2 Women’s DH — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 3 Women’s DH — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 2:30 p.m.
Men’s DH — Beaver Creek CNBC, Peacock 4 p.m.*
Men’s DH — Beaver Creek NBC, Peacock 5 p.m.*
Sun., Dec. 4 Women’s SG — Lake Louise Skiandsnowboard.live 1 p.m.
Men’s SG — Beaver Creek NBC, Peacock 5 p.m.*

*Delayed broadcast.

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