Chloe Kim

Chloe Kim wins Winter X Games halfpipe at age 14

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Chloe Kim became the youngest Winter X Games gold medalist ever, overtaking the greatest women’s snowboarder of all time on her final run in the halfpipe final Saturday night.

Kim, who was born in 2000 and too young for the Sochi Olympics, scored 92 points in her third and final run (video here) in Aspen, Colo. She pushed four-time reigning X Games champion Kelly Clark to silver after Clark scored 90 in her first run. Two-time Olympic medalist Torah Bright was third.

So, Chloe Kim, how does it feel?

“My face kind of hurts right now,” Kim said on ESPN.

Kim, who won silver behind Clark last year, chipped a tooth in an earlier practice fall, according to ESPN, and wore a Nelly-like bandage on her left cheek.

Clark, 31 and a three-time Olympic medalist, soared more than 16 feet above the halfpipe, reportedly a new women’s X Games record. She won her 12th X Games halfpipe medal, a record for a man or woman.

Kim was not alive when Clark and White made their Winter X Games debuts 15 years ago.

“In years to come, I’ll be able to look at women’s snowboarding and know that not only is it in good hands, but it’s in the hands of someone I’m proud of,” Clark said of Kim and others before the competition, according to The Associated Press and USA Today.

Kim has said she considers Clark an idol, standing in long lines to get Clark’s autograph and being mesmerized and speechless to ride a chairlift with Clark, according to the AP.

“All I could think was, ‘I’m going to get Kelly Clark powers now,’” Kim joked to the AP when retelling the chairlift story.

Earlier, Olympic bronze medalist Nick Goepper won a third straight ski slopestyle title, edging Olympic champion Joss Christensen 93.66 to 90.66. Olympic silver medalist Gus Kenworthy was seventh. Christensen won his first career X Games medal.

Goepper failed to qualify outright and only made the eight-man field for the final after another skier dropped out.

Sweden’s Emma Dahlstrom won the women’s ski slopestyle. Dahlstrom, who was fifth in Sochi, scored 90.33 in the best of her three runs. U.S. Olympian Keri Herman was second at 86.66, followed by Canadian Olympic champion Dara Howell and U.S. Olympic silver medalist Devin Logan.

Lindsey Jacobellis wins ninth Winter X Games title

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported Kelly Clark won her 10th X Games halfpipe medal.

U.S. Olympic, USA Gymnastics leaders set for another Senate hearing

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Recently replaced U.S. Olympic Committee acting CEO Susanne Lyons, USA Gymnastics President and CEO Kerry Perry and Michigan State interim president John Engler are scheduled witnesses for a Senate subcommittee hearing next Tuesday on reforms following the Larry Nassar sexual-abuse crimes.

The hearing is titled, “Strengthening and Empowering U.S. Amateur Athletes: Moving Forward with Solutions” and will stream live at https://www.commerce.senate.gov/ on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. ET.

“The hearing will focus on changes made by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Gymnastics (USAG), and Michigan State University (MSU) to protect Olympic and amateur athletes from abuse,” according to the subcommittee’s website. “It will examine recent reforms to provide safe environments for athletes and how these reforms are being implemented.”

The subcommittee held hearings April 18 and June 5 with testimonies from gymnasts and other athletes who were abused, former Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon and former senior vice president of USA Gymnastics Rhonda Faehn. Former USA Gymnastics CEO Steve Penny also attended the June 5 hearing but refused to answer questions.

Lyons and Perry were questioned at a House subcommittee hearing May 23.

The USOC last Thursday named Sarah Hirshland its new CEO, replacing Lyons, who had been in the role on an interim basis since Scott Blackmun resigned in February. Blackmun, who had been CEO since January 2010, left citing prostate cancer and the USOC’s need to immediately address the USA Gymnastics sexual-abuse scandal.

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Annemiek van Vleuten wins La Course with epic comeback (video)

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Annemiek van Vleuten, the cyclist who returned from a horrific Rio Olympic road race crash to become world champion, repeated as La Course winner with an epic last-kilometer comeback on Tuesday.

Van Vleuten sprinted from several seconds behind countrywoman Anna van der Breggen to win the one-day race, including four categorized climbs, contested on part of the Tour de France stage 10 course later that day.

“With 300 meters to go, I still thought I got second, and then I saw her dying,” Van Vleuten said, adding later, according to Cyclingnews.com, “With 500 meters to go my team director in the car gave up and stopped cheering for me.”

In Rio, van Vleuten suffered three small spine fractures and a concussion when her brakes appeared to lock, and she flipped over into a ditch during the road race. Van Vleuten was alone in the lead at the time with about seven miles to go of the 87-mile course.

She was eventually hospitalized in intensive care.

Van der Breggen went on to win the Olympic title, while van Vleuten returned quick enough to race at the October 2016 World Championships.

Van Vleuten, 35, won her first world title 13 months after the Rio Games, taking the time trial crown ahead of van der Breggen by 12 seconds. She also won the 10-stage Giro Rosa that concluded on Sunday.

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