Travis Ganong takes Worlds downhill silver behind Swiss (video)

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Who will American downhill fans turn to if Bode Miller retires? Travis Ganong is your man.

Ganong, 26, grabbed silver in the World Championships downhill in Beaver Creek, Colo., on Saturday, the biggest result of his burgeoning career.

“I’ve been dreaming of this race all winter,” Ganong said. “This is the best moment of my career.”

Swiss Patrick Kueng earned gold, .24 ahead of Ganong. Another Swiss, Beat Feuz, was third, .31 behind. Three-time U.S. Olympian Steven Nyman was fourth, .03 out of the medals. (full results here)

None of the top five skiers had won an Olympic or Worlds medal before.

Ganong, a Squaw Valley, Calif., native, impressed with a fifth place in his Olympic debut in the Sochi downhill last year.

He made his first World Cup podium one month later and notched his first World Cup victory on Dec. 28.

“It’s a building process,” Ganong said. “You have to learn how to ski downhill. It’s a dangerous sport.”

Ganong became the first American to win a Worlds downhill medal since Bode Miller and Daron Rahlves went one-two in 2005.

Miller, 37, told NBC’s Dan Hicks that he’s “leaning pretty heavy towards” retiring following his World Championships super-G crash Thursday.

The retired Rahlves was a forerunner for Saturday’s race and rode a chair lift with Ganong.

“[Rahlves] was an idol of mine growing up,” Ganong recently said. “I really try to emulate my skiing from what he did.”

The two go hiking and mountain biking in the summer, and they watched film two days ago of Rahlves’ 2003 World Cup downhill win on the same hill. Ganong said he learned some of Rahlves’ “tricks and tactics,” according to The Associated Press.

Ganong was part of a surprising podium Saturday.

Kueng, 31, became the first Swiss man to win the World Championships downhill in 18 years. Kueng entered with two World Cup victories in 84 starts and a best Olympic/Worlds finish of seventh.

He won his first World Cup race on the Beaver Creek Birds of Prey course on Dec. 7, 2013, and nearly crashed there two months ago.

Feuz, 27, entered with five World Cup victories, but none in almost three years. His best Olympic/Worlds finish before Saturday was ninth.

No Austrian man finished in the top 10 of a World Championships downhill for the first time since at least 1939, perhaps ever, according to International Ski Federation records.

The World Championships continue with Ted Ligety defending his title in the super combined Sunday (NBC and Live Extra, 5 p.m. ET).

World Championships broadcast schedule

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Figure skating Grand Prix Series will be held as ‘domestic’ competitions

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Figure skating’s Grand Prix Series will go ahead as scheduled this fall, with modifications due to the coronavirus pandemic, the International Skating Union decided Monday.

Each of the series’ six tops around the globe will be “a domestic run event,” limited to skaters of the event’s host country, who regularly train in the host country and from a respective geographical area. The number of disciplines and skaters at each event are to be worked out.

The Grand Prix Series, held annually since 1995, is a six-event fall season, qualifying the top six skaters and teams per discipline to December’s Grand Prix Final. The annual stops are in the U.S., Canada, China, France, Russia and Japan, leading up to the Final, which is held at a different site each year.

The Final is the second-biggest annual competition after the world championships, which are typically in late March. The Final is still scheduled for Beijing, though whether or when it can be held will be discussed.

The series begins in late October with Skate America, which debuted in 1979 and has been held every year since 1988 as the biggest annual international competition in the U.S. Skate America’s site is Las Vegas, just as it was in 2019.

Skaters typically compete twice on the Grand Prix Series (three times if they qualify for the Final), then at national championships in late December or January. The January 2021 U.S. Championships are scheduled for San Jose, Calif. The March 2021 World Championships are set for Stockholm.

In July, the ISU canceled the Junior Grand Prix Series for skaters mostly ages 13 to 18, including two-time U.S. champion Alysa Liu. Other early season senior international competitions scheduled for September were also canceled or postponed.

MORE: World’s top skater leaves famed coach

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Ex-Michigan State gymnastics coach sentenced in case tied to Larry Nassar

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A former Michigan State University head gymnastics coach was sentenced Tuesday to 90 days in jail for lying to police during an investigation into ex-Olympic and university doctor Larry Nassar.

Kathie Klages, 65, was found guilty by a jury in February of a felony and a misdemeanor for denying she knew of Nassar’s abuse prior to 2016 when survivors started to come forward publicly. She also was sentenced to 18 months of probation.

Klages testified at trial, and in a tearful statement Tuesday, that she did not remember being told about abuse. She said she had been seeing a therapist to try to remember the conversations and apologized to victims if they occurred.

“Even when I don’t express it to others, I struggle with what I’ve been accused of and what my role in this tragedy may have been,” she said in court.

Two women testified in November 2018 that in 1997 they told Klages that Nassar had sexually abused them and spoke Tuesday in court ahead of the sentencing. One of the women, Larissa Boyce, testified that Klages held up a piece of paper in front of the then-16-year-old and said if she filed a report there could be serious consequences for Boyce.

“I am standing here representing my 16-year-old self who was silenced and humiliated 23 years ago and unfortunately, all of the hundreds of girls that were abused after me,” Boyce said.

If the case had not involved Nassar, her lawyer has said, Klages would never have been found guilty. Nearly 200 letters were submitted to the judge on Klages’ behalf, her lawyer, Mary Chartier, said in a court filing ahead of the hearing. She noted that Klages sent her granddaughter, daughter and son to Nassar for health care.

“Mrs. Klages was one of thousands of people, including the police and the parents who were present in the room during treatments, who were fooled by a master manipulator with a singular design,” Chartier said.

It’s “shameful” to say that Klages could have prevented the scandal, Chartier said.

“Numerous people were told about the procedure — nurses, athletic trainers at other schools, psychologists, doctors and a high school counselor — and they did nothing,” Chartier said, quoting investigation reports. “Most notably, police and prosecutors were aware of the procedures, and they did nothing. To ignore this and claim that Mrs. Klages could have stopped the devastation wrought by Mr. Nassar is just plain false.”

Nassar was sentenced in 2018 to 40 to 175 years in prison for decades of sexual abuse to hundreds of athletes.

Klages is the second person other than Nassar to be convicted of charges related to his serial molestation of young women and girls under the guise of medical treatment. The misdemeanor carried up to a 2-year prison sentence, while the felony carried up to a 4-year prison sentence.

Nassar’s boss at Michigan State, ex-College of Osteopathic Medicine Dean William Strampel, was sentenced to jail for crimes including neglecting a duty to enforce protocols on Nassar after a patient complained about sexual contact in 2014.

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MORE: British gymnastics stars speak up about abuse amid investigation