Bruce Jenner: I’m a woman; Olympians react

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Bruce Jenner, the 1976 Olympic decathlon champion, said “for all intents and purposes, I am a woman” and that he “lived a lie his whole life” in an ABC interview that aired Friday night.

“I’ve been thinking about this day forever,” said Jenner, 65, shortly before tears began to flow, and he reached for tissues (full interview here). “What I should do with my life. How do I tell my story? How do I tell people what I’ve been through? And that day is today.”

In 1976, Jenner broke the decathlon world record en route to gold at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. He said he was “a confused person at that time, running away from my life, running away from who I was. Big-time fear. Scared to death. Didn’t know what my future held at that time.”

“We have to keep our sense of humor about this,” Jenner said. “It’s really pretty funny. Me, of all people, Bruce Jenner, has to deal with these issues, literally running away from all of this stuff.”

Jenner said he was confused with his gender identity long before his first Olympic appearance in 1972.

“Since I was this big,” Jenner said, motioning to his knee height while sitting. “God’s looking down, making little Bruce, OK. He’s looking down, he says, OK, what are we going to do with this one? Make him a smart kid, very determined, God gave me all these wonderful qualities. And then at the end when he’s just finishing, he goes, wait a second. We’ve got to give him something. Everybody has stuff in their life they have to deal with. What are we going to give him? God looks down and chuckles a little bit and goes, let’s give him the soul of a female, and let’s see how he deals with that.”

ABC’s Diane Sawyer said Jenner said the interview would be Jenner’s last as “Bruce.” Jenner referred to himself as “her.”

“Girl stuck in a guy’s body, I hate that terminology,” he said. “I’m me. I’m a person This is who I am. I’m not stuck in anybody’s body.”

Bruce Jenner Q&A reflecting on his Olympic experiences

Chinese figure skating judges banned for biased Olympic scoring

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Two Chinese figure skating judges were suspended by the International Skating Union for biased judging at the PyeongChang Olympics.

Chen Weiguang and Huang Feng had “preferential marking” for top Chinese skaters Jin Boyang (fourth place in PyeongChang) and the silver medalist pairs’ team of Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, respectively, according to the ISU.

Chen was banned two years and excluded from the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Huang got a one-year ban.

Chen awarded her highest grades of execution scores of the men’s competition to Jin, as well as her second-highest program components scores, trailing only gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu. Both sets of scores, in both the short and long programs, were out of line with the other eight judges.

“There is evidence of preference for the Chinese skater and prejudice against his strongest competitors,” an ISU report read. “Her marks were completely unrealistic.”

The pairs’ judge Huang “obviously favored his pair also vis-à-vis the other top candidates for the Olympic gold medal,” the ISU said in a report, referencing inflated scores for Sui and Han and lower scores for gold and bronze medalists Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany and Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada.

Huang was warned one month before the Olympics by the ISU for biased judging at the December 2017 Grand Prix Final pairs’ event.

Both suspensions are subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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Javier Fernandez to skip Grand Prix, still compete next season

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Javier Fernandez, who in PyeongChang became the first Spanish Olympic figure skating medalist, will skip the fall Grand Prix series but return for January’s European Championships, which could be his final competition.

Europeans will be Fernandez’s focus for the season, his agent said Tuesday.

Fernandez, 26, added an Olympic bronze medal to his 2015 and 2016 World titles. He has said that his third Olympics in PyeongChang would be his last. But Fernandez did not say he would retire after the Winter Games, though he did skip the world championships in March.

Fernandez now plans to compete in his 13th straight European Championships in Minsk in January. He won the last six titles. It’s unknown if he will continue on to the world championships in Saitama, Japan, in March.

In Fernandez’s absence, the top male singles skaters in the fall Grand Prix season should be double Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, PyeongChang silver medalist Shoma Uno and American Nathan Chen, who was fifth at the Olympics after a disastrous short program but ran away with March’s world title by the largest margin in history.

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