Nathan Chen may only be 17 years old, but he is no stranger to the spotlight at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
Way back in 2010, Chen was the youngest skater at the U.S. Championships, and he won the novice title despite barely being able to see over the boards in Spokane, Wash.
Chen was then invited to perform in the exhibition gala with U.S. senior medalists who had qualified for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games.
Chen delivered, bringing the crowd to its feet skating to “Peter and the Wolf,” reportedly choosing the music because he liked the cartoon.
Then he spoke to Andrea Joyce on NBC. Joyce asked Chen what Olympics we would be seeing him in down the line.
“2018, I think,” Chen said with a bit of sheepishness.
Chen has worked ever since to bring that closer to a reality.
He earned another U.S. novice title, two U.S. junior titles and last year became the youngest man to make the U.S. Championships top three since 1973.
After hip surgery kept him out of the 2016 Worlds, Chen returned in the fall to top the free skate at the Grand Prix Final, outscoring the reigning Olympic and world champions.
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Recently replaced U.S. Olympic Committee acting CEO Susanne Lyons, USA Gymnastics President and CEO Kerry Perry and Michigan State interim president John Engler are scheduled witnesses for a Senate subcommittee hearing next Tuesday on reforms following the Larry Nassar sexual-abuse crimes.
The hearing is titled, “Strengthening and Empowering U.S. Amateur Athletes: Moving Forward with Solutions” and will stream live at https://www.commerce.senate.gov/ on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. ET.
“The hearing will focus on changes made by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Gymnastics (USAG), and Michigan State University (MSU) to protect Olympic and amateur athletes from abuse,” according to the subcommittee’s website. “It will examine recent reforms to provide safe environments for athletes and how these reforms are being implemented.”
The subcommittee held hearings April 18 and June 5 with testimonies from gymnasts and other athletes who were abused, former Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon and former senior vice president of USA Gymnastics Rhonda Faehn. Former USA Gymnastics CEO Steve Penny also attended the June 5 hearing but refused to answer questions.
Lyons and Perry were questioned at a House subcommittee hearing May 23.
The USOC last Thursday named Sarah Hirshland its new CEO, replacing Lyons, who had been in the role on an interim basis since Scott Blackmun resigned in February. Blackmun, who had been CEO since January 2010, left citing prostate cancer and the USOC’s need to immediately address the USA Gymnastics sexual-abuse scandal.
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Annemiek van Vleuten, the cyclist who returned from a horrific Rio Olympic road race crash to become world champion, repeated as La Course winner with an epic last-kilometer comeback on Tuesday.
Van Vleuten sprinted from several seconds behind countrywoman Anna van der Breggen to win the one-day race, including four categorized climbs, contested on part of the Tour de France stage 10 course later that day.
“With 300 meters to go, I still thought I got second, and then I saw her dying,” Van Vleuten said, adding later, according to Cyclingnews.com, “With 500 meters to go my team director in the car gave up and stopped cheering for me.”
In Rio, van Vleuten suffered three small spine fractures and a concussion when her brakes appeared to lock, and she flipped over into a ditch during the road race. Van Vleuten was alone in the lead at the time with about seven miles to go of the 87-mile course.
She was eventually hospitalized in intensive care.
Van der Breggen went on to win the Olympic title, while van Vleuten returned quick enough to race at the October 2016 World Championships.
Van Vleuten, 35, won her first world title 13 months after the Rio Games, taking the time trial crown ahead of van der Breggen by 12 seconds. She also won the 10-stage Giro Rosa that concluded on Sunday.
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