Meryl Davis, Charlie White
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Meryl Davis, Charlie White out for entire 2016-17 season

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NEW YORK — Olympic ice dance champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White will not compete this season, but Davis said they need to decide “very soon” if they are coming back at all.

Davis and White have not competed since becoming the first U.S. Olympic ice dance champions in Sochi but also have not retired.

“It’s too late this season to come back,” Davis said at the Women’s Sports Foundation Gala on Wall Street on Wednesday night. “We would probably want to return for the [fall] Grand Prix season next year, if we decided to.”

If anybody can afford to leave a 2018 Olympic run that late, it may be Davis and White. They have skated together since 1997 and continue to “work together almost every day still,” performing in ice shows and traveling, Davis said.

This week, Davis returned from a trip to Greece to her native Michigan for one day and saw White at a rink before flying to New York. They have shows booked throughout the winter in North America, Europe and Japan.

“To be quite honest, we don’t really talk about it very often,” Davis said of a competitive comeback. “We are sort of just going with the flow.”

White said in April that he and Davis would want to decide at some point during the 2016-17 season if they want to make a run for the 2018 Olympics.

“So that we can be basically competitively ready, even if it’s halfway through the season or towards the end of the season,” White said then. “Whether we get to any competitions [in 2016-17] doesn’t, I think, make as big of a difference. As long as we could have been competing. I would say that would probably make the most sense.”

If Davis and White return, they will go up against an ice dance field that includes France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, the two-time reigning world champions, and longtime Canadian rivals and training partners Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who are back this season after two seasons off.

Plus, U.S. Olympic teammates Maia and Alex Shibutani and Madison Chock and Evan Bates took silver and bronze at last season’s world championships.

“Whether we come back or not, it’s unrelated to what is definitely a very strong dance field,” White said in April. “Whether it’s strong or weak, having accomplished what we’ve accomplished and our relationship with the sport, it’s about whether we feel fulfilled with what we’ve accomplished. We’re still figuring that out.”

MORE: Figure skating season broadcast schedule

Ski jumping World Cup season kicks off in Poland

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The World Cup ski jump season opens Friday with men’s team and individual events in Wisla, Poland.

The host country had three of the top five jumpers in the overall standings last year. Defending champion Kamil Stoch placed third, Piotr Zyla was close behind in fourth, and Dawid Kubacki was fifth.

Japan’s Ryoyu Kobayashi dominated last year’s competition, finishing with 2,085 points to 1,349 for runner-up Stefan Kraft of Austria, the 2017 World Cup champion.

Kobayashi’s performance was a dramatic improvement over his previous season, when he finished no higher than sixth in any individual competition and was 24th overall. Last year, he had 15 wins and 23 podium finishes in 30 World Cup events, though he only managed fourth and 14th in the two world championship events.

The top American last season, Kevin Bickner, finished 51st overall, a drop from 39th the year before. He was 18th and 20th in the 2018 Olympic jumps.

Women’s World Cup action begins Dec. 6-8 in Lillehammer, Norway.

NBC Sports Gold will broadcast World Cup action throughout the season. This weekend, the qualifying jumps will air at noon ET Friday, the team event starts at 11:30 a.m. ET Saturday, and the individual competition is at 6 a.m. Sunday.

MORE: Full ski jumping broadcast schedule

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Snowboarding pioneer Jake Burton Carpenter dies at 65

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Jake Burton Carpenter, the pioneer who brought snowboarding to the masses and helped turn the sport into a billion-dollar business and Olympic showpiece, has died at 65.

He died Wednesday night in Burlington, Vermont, according to an email sent to the staff of the company he founded. Carpenter had emailed his staff this month saying, “You will not believe this, but my cancer has come back.” He had been diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011 but after several months of therapy had been given a clean bill of health.

Carpenter quit his job in New York in 1977 to form the company now known simply as Burton. His goal was to advance the rudimentary snowboard, then called a “Snurfer,” which had been invented by Sherman Poppen a dozen years earlier.

It worked, and more than four decades later, snowboarding is a major fixture at the Winter Games and snowboards are as common as skis at resorts across the globe.

“He was our founder, the soul of snowboarding, the one who gave us the sport we all love so much,” Burton co-CEO John Lacy said in his email to the staff.

It is virtually impossible to avoid the name “Burton” once the snow starts falling at any given mountain around the world these days. The name is plastered on the bottoms of snowboards, embroidered on jackets, stenciled into bindings.

At a bar in Pyeongchang, South Korea, not far from where snowboarding celebrated its 20th anniversary at the Olympics last year, there was a wall filled with Burton pictures and memorabilia — as sure a sign as any of the global reach of a company founded in his garage in Londonderry, Vermont.

The company sponsored pretty much every top rider at one time or another — from Shaun White to Kelly Clark to Chloe Kim.

Carpenter watched all his champions win their Olympic golds from near the finish line, never afraid to grind away in the mosh pit of snowboarders and snowboarding fans that he helped create.

In an interview in 2010, he said he was happy with how far his sport had come, and comfortable with where it was going.

“I had a vision there was a sport there, that it was more than just a sledding thing, which is all it was then,” Burton said. “We’re doing something that’s going to last here. It’s not like just hitting the lottery one day.”

Lacy said details about the celebration of Burton’s life would be coming soon but, for now, “I’d encourage everyone to do what Jake would be doing tomorrow, and that’s riding. It’s opening day at Stowe, so consider taking some turns together, in celebration of Jake.”

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