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April Ross changes plans for 2017

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April Ross will play beach volleyball in 2017 after all.

Ross had hoped to get pregnant this offseason, but those plans have changed, according to USA Volleyball and Ross’ agent.

Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings are planning to embark on their fourth full season together at the start of the FIVB World Tour calendar in February, Walsh Jennings’ agent said.

Ross, 34, said in September that if she didn’t get pregnant this offseason, she would try again next offseason, which would mean she would miss 2018, the only season in the cycle without a world championships or Olympics.

Ross and Walsh Jennings took bronze at the Rio Olympics, getting upset by Brazil’s No. 2 team, Agatha and Barbara, in the semifinals and beating Brazil’s top team, Larissa and Talita, in the bronze-medal match.

Something Ross and Walsh Jennings can work toward in 2017 are the world championships in Vienna, Austria, in July and August.

They fell in the round of 16 in their only other worlds appearance in 2015, when Walsh Jennings was playing for the first time since dislocating her right shoulder the month prior.

Walsh Jennings won three straight world titles with Misty May-Treanor in 2003, 2005 and 2007. Ross won the next world title with Jennifer Kessy in 2009. No U.S. men’s or women’s pair has won a world title since.

MORE: LA traffic ends U.S. Olympic beach volleyball partnership

Susie O’Neill, Australian great, answers Katie Ledecky by balancing beer while swimming

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Katie Ledecky‘s feat of balancing a glass of chocolate milk while swimming reverberated Down Under, where one of Australia’s Olympic legends attempted to mimic it with a cup of beer.

Susie O’Neill, an eight-time Olympic medalist from 1992-2000 known as Madame Butterfly, accepted a challenge put forth by her fellow radio show hosts. In video shared across Australian media, she took 13 strokes before the beer came off her head, just before reaching a wall.

“It’s actually not as hard as I expected,” O’Neill said in an Instagram Live. “Well, it was pretty hard.”

O’Neill, 47, said backstrokers sometimes train with a water bottle on their foreheads to stay straight. But O’Neill, a freestyler and butterflier, never balanced anything on her head while training.

MORE: O’Neill in tears watching Sydney Olympic defeat for first time

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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). ISU vice president Alexander Lakernik said skaters will be limited to one start in the six-event series before the Final, according to TASS. The ISU has not confirmed or denied that report.

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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