USOC set to honor top U.S. male, female, teams from Sochi Olympics

Meryl Davis, Charlie White
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The U.S. Olympic Committee is holding its first Best of U.S. Awards, fan voting that determines the best American men, women and teams from the Sochi Olympics and Paralympics.

The final day to vote is March 21. The awards show will air nationally on NBCSN on April 7 at 7 p.m. ET.

Voting is being held on the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team Facebook pages through Friday. The USOC has more information on the Best of U.S. Awards in its final Sochi recap here.

Here are the nominees:

Male Olympian
Joss Christensen — First Olympic champion in men’s ski slopestyle
Sage Kotsenburg — First Olympic champion in snowboard slopestyle
Ted Ligety — First U.S. Olympic champion in men’s giant slalom
David Wise — First Olympic champion in ski halfpipe

Female Olympian
Jamie Anderson — First Olympic champion in women’s snowboard slopestyle
Maddie Bowman — First Olympic champion in women’s ski halfpipe
Erin Hamlin — First U.S. Olympic singles luge medalist (bronze)
Mikaela Shiffrin — Youngest Olympic champion in women’s slalom

Team Olympians
Meryl Davis/Charlie White — First U.S. Olympic ice dance champions
Elana Meyers/Lauryn Williams — Olympic bobsled silver medalists
USA-1 — Olympic four-man bobsled bronze medalists

Olympic Moment
Bode Miller becomes oldest Alpine skiing medalist
T.J. Oshie’s shootout performance against Russia
Noelle Pikus-Pace’s skeleton celebration
Men’s ski slopestyle podium sweep
U.S. short track speed skaters’ relay bronze

Male Paralympian
Mark Bathum — Two-time Alpine skiing silver medalist
Declan Farmer — Two goals, one assist in sledge hockey team’s semi win over Canada
Andy Soule — Top five in all five Nordic skiing events entered
Evan Strong — First Paralympic men’s snowboard cross champion

Female Paralympian
Stephanie Jallen — Two-time Alpine skiing bronze medalist
Oksana Masters — Two-time cross-country skiing medalist
Tatyana McFadden — Cross-country skiing silver medalist
Laurie Stephens — Two-time Alpine skiing bronze medalist

Team Paralympians
Nordic Mixed Relay — Sixth place
Sledge Hockey — Paralympic champions
Wheelchair Curling — Fifth place

Paralympic Moment
Stephanie Jallen wins bronze in her first Paralympic skiing race
Sledge hockey’s gold-medal game win over Russia
U.S. sweeps first Paralympic men’s snowboard cross event
Oksana Masters wins first U.S. Paralympic cross-country medal in 20 years
Andy Soule goes perfect in shooting in all three biathlon events

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Asher Hong leads U.S. men’s gymnastics world team selection camp after first day

Asher Hong
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Asher Hong, 18, posted the highest all-around score on the first of two days of competition at the U.S. men’s gymnastics selection camp to determine the last three spots on the team for the world championships that start in three weeks.

Hong, bidding to become the youngest U.S. man to compete at worlds since Danell Leyva in 2009, totaled 84.6 points in Colorado Springs. He edged Colt Walker by one tenth. Tokyo Olympians Shane Wiskus (84.15) and Yul Moldauer (83.95) were next. Full apparatus-by-apparatus scores are here.

Brody Malone, who repeated as U.S. all-around champion at August’s national championships, and runner-up Donnell Whittenburg already clinched spots on the five-man team for worlds in Liverpool, Great Britain. They did not compete Monday, though their results from the first day of nationals are shown in the official scores.

The three remaining team spots will not necessarily go to the top three all-arounders at this week’s camp, which is supposed to be weighed equally with results from August’s nationals. Hong was third at nationals, but if excluding difficulty bonus points from that meet that will not be considered by the committee, would have finished behind Walker and Moldauer in August.

A selection committee is expected to announce the team soon after the second and final day of selection camp competition on Wednesday evening. The committee will look at overall scoring potential for the world team final, where three men go per apparatus, and medal potential in individual events.

Stephen Nedoroscik, who last year became the first American to win a world title on the pommel horse, is trying to make the team solely on that apparatus. He wasn’t at his best at nationals and struggled again on Monday, hurting his chances of displacing an all-arounder for one of the last three spots.

The U.S. has reason to emphasize the team event over individual medals at this year’s worlds. It will clinch an Olympic berth by finishing in the top three, and its medal hopes are boosted by the absence of the Russians who won the Olympic team title. All gymnasts from Belarus and Russia are banned indefinitely from international competition due to the war in Ukraine.

In recent years, the U.S. has been among the nations in the second tier behind China, Japan and Russia, including in Tokyo, where the Americans were fifth.

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Ironman Kona World Championships return for first time in three years, live on Peacock

Ironman Kona World Championship
Ironman
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The Ironman Kona World Championships return after a three-year hiatus with a new format, live on Peacock on Thursday and Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.

The Ironman, held annually in Hawaii since 1978, and in Kailua-Kona since 1981, was not held in 2020 or 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The world championships made a one-time-only stop in St. George, Utah, on May 7 to make up for the 2021 cancellation. The winners were Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt, the Tokyo Olympic triathlon champion, and Swiss Daniela Ryf, who bagged her fifth Ironman world title.

Both are entered in Kailua-Kona, where the races are now split between two days — Thursday for the women and Saturday for the men.

An Ironman includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon — totaling 140.6 miles of racing. It takes top triathletes eight hours to complete. Very arguably, it crowns the world’s fittest man and woman.

WATCH LIVE: Ironman Kona, Thursday, 12 p.m. ET — STREAM LINK

Ryf, 35 and a 2008 and 2012 Olympian, can tie retired countrywoman Natascha Badmann for second place on the women’s list at six Ironman world titles. Only Zimbabwean-turned-American Paula Newby-Fraser has more with eight.

The field also includes German Anne Haug, the 2019 Kona champ and only woman other than Ryf to win since 2015. Brit Lucy Charles-Barclay, the Kona runner-up in 2017, 2018 and 2019, returns after missing the St. George event due to a stress fracture in her hip.

Blummenfelt, 28 and in his Kona debut, will try to become the youngest male champion in Kona since German Normann Stadler in 2005. His top challengers include countryman Gustav Iden, the two-time reigning Half Ironman world champion, and German Patrick Lange, the 2017 and 2018 Ironman Kona winner.

Also racing Saturday is Dallas Clark, a retired All-Pro NFL tight end with the Indianapolis Colts, and Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indy 500 champion who completed the 2011 Kona Ironman in 12 hours, 52 minutes, 40 seconds.

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