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U.S. women’s hockey national team named

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Hilary Knight and Amanda Kessel headline the U.S. women’s national hockey team announced Friday, a 23-woman roster that has the inside track to become the 23-woman Olympic roster.

The national team will live and train together beginning in September in the lead-up to the PyeongChang Winter Games in February. The Olympic team will be named closer to the Winter Games.

The national team was chosen from 42 players who tried out a camp in Florida this week. It includes 12 members of the Sochi Olympic team that took silver, squandering a 2-0 lead with four minutes left and losing 3-2 in overtime to Canada.

Knight, who scored the overtime goal in last month’s world championship final against Canada, is on track to make her third Olympic team.

Kessel, the sister of NHL All-Star Phil Kessel, returned to the national team this season for the first time since the Sochi Olympics. She missed nearly two full years of game action due to post-concussion effects.

Jessie Vetter and Kelli Stack are the most notable players who didn’t make the team. Vetter, the No. 1 U.S. goalie at the last two Olympics, became a mom on Feb. 27 and went about one year between skating before returning ahead of this week’s tryout camp in Florida.

Stack memorably hit the post of an empty Canadian net on a clearing shot in the Sochi Olympic final that would have all but clinched gold.

None of the three goalies chosen have Olympic experience.

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MORE: Hilary Knight’s trip to historic Olympic ice rekindles love for hockey

Goalies
Nicole Hensley
Alex Rigsby
Maddie Rooney

Defensemen
Kacey Bellamy — Olympian (2010, 2014)
Megan Bozek — Olympian (2014)
Kali Flanagan
Megan Keller
Monique Lamoureux-Morando — Olympian (2010, 2014)
Gigi Marvin — Olympian (2010, 2014)
Emily Pfalzer
Lee Stecklein — Olympian (2014)

Forwards
Hannah Brandt
Dani Cameranesi
Alex Carpenter — Olympian (2014)
Kendall Coyne — Olympian (2014)
Brianna Decker — Olympian (2014)
Meghan Duggan — Olympian (2010, 2014)
Amanda Kessel — Olympian (2014)
Hilary Knight — Olympian (2010, 2014)
Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson — Olympian (2010, 2014)
Annie Pankowski
Kelly Pannek
Amanda Pelkey

U.S. Olympic, USA Gymnastics leaders set for another Senate hearing

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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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MORE: USOC names first permanent female CEO

Annemiek van Vleuten wins La Course with epic comeback (video)

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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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