Jason Brown

Jason Brown attempts quadruple jump at Four Continents (video)

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Joshua Farris skated a personal-best short program, while U.S. champion Jason Brown and Adam Rippon struggled at the Four Continents Championships in Seoul on Thursday.

Farris, the 20-year-old who was third at last month’s U.S. Championships, scored 84.29 points without a quadruple jump for fifth place. He trails leader Denis Ten of Kazakhstan, who did land a quad, by 13.32.

“I was thinking about doing [a quad] in the short, but from Nationals to now wasn’t enough time to train it, and it wasn’t super consistent with the footwork going into it,” Farris said, according to U.S. Figure Skating. “I’m going to work on it, and 100 percent guaranteed will do it at [World Championships].”

Brown, who won his U.S. title without a quad, added a quad toe loop Thursday but two-footed his landing and totaled 75.86 for ninth place.

Brown said his coach, Kori Ade, told him right after the U.S. Championships that he would add a quad for Four Continents, the top international event before the World Championships in March.

“My goal was that I wanted to integrate a quad and do it to the best of my ability in that moment, and once it was over, leave it there and continue on,” Brown said, according to U.S. Figure Skating. “There is no better time to try it than right now and leading up to worlds and try to see how it goes. If it does get more consistent for Worlds, I can look back and know that I’ve tried it before in competition.”

Rippon, the U.S. silver medalist, put his hands down on two jumps, including a quadruple Lutz. He scored 68.37 for 12th place.

“It was bad today,” Rippon said, according to U.S. Figure Skating. “I wanted to go out and do the quad Lutz, which is the hardest being attempted in competition today. I really wanted to do that to challenge the best skaters in the world. When I had a bad attempt on it, it kind of threw the program off.”

Farris, Brown and Rippon will go to the World Championships in Shanghai in March trying to keep the U.S.’ three spots for the 2016 World Championships. To do that, the top two U.S. men’s finishes at Worlds must add up to no greater than 13 (for example, sixth and seventh).

What happened Thursday shows how tough that will be. Farris and Brown add up to 14 in a field that doesn’t include World Championships favorites Yuzuru Hanyu, Javier Fernandez and Russians Sergey Voronov and Maksim Kovtun.

Earlier Thursday, U.S. Olympians Madison Chock and Evan Bates and Maia and Alex Shibutani went one-two in the short dance. U.S. pairs champions Alexa Scimeca and Christopher Knierim were fifth in their short program.

The Four Continents Championships continue with the women’s short program Friday, including Gracie Gold.

Aly Raisman eyes return to competition in March

Sam Girard, Olympic short track champion, surprisingly retires at age 22

Sam Girard
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Sam Girard, who avoided a three-skater pileup to win the PyeongChang Olympic 1000m, retired from short track speed skating at age 22, saying he lost the desire to compete.

“I leave my sport satisfied with what I have accomplished,” Girard said in a press release. “This decision was very well thought through. I am at peace with the choice that I’ve made and am ready to move onto the next step.”

Girard and girlfriend and fellow Olympic skater Kasandra Bradette announced their careers end together in a tearful French-language press conference in Quebec on Friday.

Girard detailed the decision in a letter, the sacrifices made to pursue skating. Notably, moving from his hometown of Ferland-et-Boilleau, population 600, to Montreal in 2012. His hobbies had been of the outdoor variety, but he now had to drive an hour and a half from the training center just to go fishing.

In PyeongChang, Girard led for most of the 1000m final, which meant he avoided chaos behind him on the penultimate lap of the nine-lap race. Hungarian Liu Shaolin Sandor‘s inside pass took out South Koreans Lim Hyo-Jun and Seo Yi-Ra, leaving just Girard and American John-Henry Krueger.

Girard maintained his lead, crossing .214 in front of Krueger to claim the title. He also finished fourth in the 500m and 1500m and earned bronze in the relay.

“My first Olympics, won a gold medal, can’t ask for more,” he said afterward.

Though Girard was already accomplished — earning individual silver medals at the 2016 and 2017 Worlds — he came to PyeongChang as the heir apparent to Charles Hamelin, a roommate on the World Cup circuit whom Girard likened to a big brother. Girard earned another world silver medal this past season.

Hamelin, after taking individual gold in 2010 and 2014, left PyeongChang without an individual medal in what many expected to be his last Olympics. However, he went back on a retirement vow and continued to skate through the 2018-19 season.

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MORE: J.R. Celski explains decision to retire

Maia, Alex Shibutani extend break from ice dance competition

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Brother-sister ice dance duo Maia and Alex Shibutani will not compete next season, the Olympic bronze medalists announced via U.S. Figure Skating on Friday.

“We’re healthier and stronger than we were after the Olympics, and we’re continuing to push ourselves,” Maia Shibutani said in a press release.

“We’ve continued to skate a lot, and we feel like we’ve benefited from some time away to create in different environments and focus on experiences that can help us grow,” Alex said.

The “Shib Sibs” won the U.S. title in 2016 and 2017. They won their first world medal in 2011 (bronze) before reaching the world podium again in 2016 and 2017 with silver and bronze, respectively.

They most recently competed at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, where they earned bronze both individually and in the team event.

Maia and Alex Shibutani are now the second ice dance medalists from PyeongChang to announce they’ll sit out at least part of next season. Gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada will tour instead this fall and are not expected to return to competition.

The siblings haven’t stayed away from the ice entirely in their break from the sport, though — they’ve also been touring and performing in shows.

The Shibutanis became the second set of siblings to earn Olympic ice dance medals after France’s Isabelle and Paul Duchesnay in 1992.

MORE: How Gracie Gold landed in Philadelphia, thoughts competitive return

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