Who will make U.S. men’s gymnastics team for worlds?

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Three thoughts after the first of two days of men’s competition at the P&G Championships …

1. Get to know Yul Moldauer

Moldauer, born in Seoul and adopted, leads the all-around decisively at the halfway point. He’s up by 1.95 points over NCAA rival Akash Modi going into Saturday’s final day in Anaheim (TV/streaming info here).

It’s no surprise. Not only did Moldauer win the AT&T American Cup (over Olympic silver medalist Oleg Verniaiev) on March 4, but zero Olympians are competing in the all-around this week.

The rising University of Oklahoma junior can fall on Saturday and still win the national title. He can fall multiple times and still make the six-man world championships team, which is chosen by a committee within 24 hours of the last routine Saturday.

Moldauer, 20, likely wasn’t mentioned once during Rio Olympic coverage. He was fifth in the all-around at the 2016 P&G Championships and Olympic Trials. He didn’t make the five-man Olympic team. He wasn’t even one of the three alternates. Moldauer was young, coming off an NCAA all-around title as a freshman. His Olympics would be Tokyo, not Rio.

You know Moldauer has done well if his hair is wilder than his clean gymnastics. Rather than pure strength, he admires the artistic style of 2008 Olympian Sasha Artemev, one of his coaches before enrolling at OU.

“I’m small,” the 5-foot-3 Moldauer said, “quick and sharp.”

Another six clean routines Saturday, and Moldauer is off to October’s worlds in Montreal as one of a possible two U.S. all-arounders.

P&G CHAMPS: Men’s Preview | Women’s Preview
TV Schedule | Final Five Updates

2. Will there be a second all-arounder?

It’s looking like Modi or nobody at this point. The worlds in a post-Olympic year do not include a team competition, so the selection committee must decide how many of its six spots should be used on all arounders and how many on one- or two-event specialists.

In 2009, the U.S. put two men in the all-around at worlds, leaving one spot per apparatus for a specialist. In 2013, the U.S put one man in the world all-around, creating two spots per apparatus for specialists. (A nation can’t enter more than three athletes per apparatus in qualification)

Barring disaster Saturday, Modi should go to worlds in one role or another. The Olympic alternate has beaten Moldauer this year — winning the NCAA all-around title for Stanford — and came into Anaheim as a 1B to Moldauer’s 1A with the potential for more difficult routines. But Modi’s title hopes may have been dashed on his second of 12 events this weekend. He fell off pommel horse Thursday.

3. The rest of the world team?

If Moldauer and Modi are penciled in, four spots are left.

Tack on Alex Naddour, the only man in Anaheim with an Olympic medal. He took pommel horse bronze in Rio and had the highest score on the apparatus on Thursday by nearly half a point.

Two-time Olympian Sam Mikulak is not going for his fifth straight U.S. all-around title this week. He’s still coming back from a February torn Achilles. That means just two events this weekend — high bar and pommel horse. Mikulak is most valuable on the former, where he would have had the highest score Thursday if not for a half-point deduction for putting an extra, eight-inch mat down as a precautionary measure to soften his landing. What’s more, Mikulak wasn’t cleared to perform on high bar until one week ago.

Donnell Whittenburg, who made the last two world teams but not the Olympic one, leads on still rings and is capable of two monster vaults. His struggles on pommel horse and high bar Thursday shouldn’t cost him at all. He’s also tops on parallel bars aside from Moldauer and Modi.

After those five men, the clear hole is left on floor exercise. Whittenburg was once an asset here, but both Colin VanWicklen (14.6) and Eddie Penev (14.55) outscored him Thursday. VanWicklen, 21, just finished his senior year at Oklahoma. Penev, 27, is looking for his fourth worlds appearance and first since 2010, when he represented Bulgaria. The better man on Saturday might just win a trip to Montreal.

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MORE: U.S. men hit reset at P&G Championships

Simone Biles eyes medal that has eluded her at world championships

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Whenever Simone Biles takes the competition floor, she’s setting out for some kind of history. But it’s what’s in her own past that’s motivating at this week’s world championships, her first international meet since bagging four gold medals at the Rio Olympics.

“I’ve never medaled in a bar final [uneven bars], but I’ve only been in one,” Biles said last week when asked the event she would most like to win aside from the team competition. “Maybe if I could make a bar final, that would be pretty cool because I think of all the medals you can get and the finals you can participate in, I always admire the bar workers just because it’s so hard mentally and physically.”

Biles’ U.S. team is an overwhelming favorite to earn a sixth straight Olympic or world title in Doha — the longest female run of dominance in the sport since the 1970s Soviet teams.

She’s just as expected to grab a fourth world all-around crown, breaking a tie with Russian Svetlana Khorkina for the female record. (Worlds were not held as often in the era of legends Larisa Latynina, Vera Caslavska and Nadia Comaneci.)

Men’s qualifying starts Thursday. The U.S. women’s qualifying session is Saturday. The women’s team final is next Tuesday, followed by the all-around two days later and individual apparatus finals the two days after that.

MORE: Gymnastics worlds TV schedule

Biles is the lone member of the U.S. women’s team of six (one will be named an alternate) who has competed at an Olympics or in a world championships team competition.

That doesn’t mean they’re not decorated.

Morgan Hurd won the world all-around title in Biles’ year off in 2017 (when there was no team event). Ragan Smith was favored over Hurd for last year’s gold before tearing ankle ligaments on a warm-up vault minutes before introductions. Riley McCusker made the U.S. all-around podium the last two years.

But of Rio’s Final Five, only Biles has competed on the elite level since the Games.

“We have a different group of girls,” Biles said. “They’re all upcoming and trying to make a name for themselves. … Here I am a veteran.”

Most of Biles’ teammates speak of her in awe.

“Just watching her compete is inspiring,” said Kara Eaker, a balance beam star who was 10 years old when Biles won her first world title in 2013.

What else Biles can do next week in Doha: with three gold medals, pass Vitaly Scherbo‘s 12 for the most in worlds history. Have a vault named after her, if she becomes the first woman to perform the Cheng with an extra half twist. Biles stuck it at the world team selection camp two weeks ago.

“It’s shocking, actually, how easily she does some of these moves,” said Tom Forster, in his first year as U.S. high-performance team director. Forster was asked last week about which five gymnasts of the six were going to compete for the U.S. “I know you’re not going to be surprised by this, but definitely going to use Simone,” was his lone concrete statement.

“She’s really the epitome of what coaches talk about in every sport, an athlete that’s very focused, works really hard, has natural ability and has good technique,” Forster continued. “It’s uncommon to get all those attributes together in one person in any sport. When you do, you get Simone.”

The lone apparatus that Biles has not conquered internationally is the uneven bars. In 2014, Biles said all she wanted for Christmas was to become a good bars worker. During her year off, she dreamed that she went back to the gym and couldn’t do a single giant swing on the apparatus.

Biles has made one uneven bars final at worlds — placing fourth in 2013 — and was 14th in Rio.

When Biles returned to training less than a year ago, her new coach, Laurent Landi, was best known for guiding a bars specialist — Olympic silver medalist Madison Kocian. In her comeback this summer, Biles brought her most difficult bars set yet and won her first national title on the apparatus.

“Never thought at this point in my career I would be most confident on bars,” she tweeted last month.

Biles snapchatted from Doha on Friday the first page of a book’s third chapter titled, “You are not Special.” Read into that what you will. An excerpt:

“Cultivating the mind through learning from failures is more effective than making yourself feel special even for the most trivial things. … High self-esteem is displayed in recognizing your weaknesses and striving to overcome them.”

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MORE: USA Gymnastics CEO resigns after Simone Biles’ criticism

Alpine skiing season TV schedule

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NBC Sports and Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA will combine to air every Alpine skiing World Cup race this season, plus the world championships in February.

Coverage is spread among NBC, NBCSN, Olympic Channel and NBC Sports Gold’s “Snow Pass.”

For Lindsey Vonn, it’s her last season, whether or not she breaks Ingemar Stenmark‘s record 86 World Cup wins. Vonn, the 2010 Olympic downhill champion, is at 82. She debuts at speed races at Lake Louise, Alberta, from Nov. 30-Dec. 2.

Mikaela Shiffrin will try to join Vonn as the only women to win three straight World Cup overall titles in the last 25 years. Shiffrin plans to race all of the slaloms and giant slaloms and hand-picked downhills and super-Gs.

Double Olympic champion Ted Ligety returns for his 16th World Cup season, looking for his first win in three years after a series of injuries following his Sochi giant slalom gold medal.

The man to watch, though, is Austrian Marcel Hirscher. Last season, Hirscher became the first skier to win seven World Cup overall titles, earned his first two Olympic titles and moved to fourth place on the World Cup wins list with 58. He trails Stenmark, Vonn and Austrian Annemarie Moser-Pröll (62).

MORE: NBC Sports Gold launches ‘Snow Pass’

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Date Time (ET) Event Network#
Oct. 27 4 a.m. Women’s GS – Soelden NBC Sports Gold
Oct. 28 4 a.m. Men’s GS – Soelden NBC Sports Gold
Nov. 17 7 a.m. Women’s SL – Levi Olympic Channel
Nov. 18 7 a.m. Men’s SL – Levi Olympic Channel
12 p.m. Men’s & Women’s SL – Levi* NBCSN
Nov. 24 1 p.m. Women’s GS – Killington NBCSN
3 p.m. Women’s GS – Killington* NBC
Nov. 24 4 p.m. Men’s DH – Lake Louise Olympic Channel
Nov. 25 1 p.m. Women’s SL – Killington NBC
4 p.m. Men’s SG – Lake Louise Olympic Channel
Nov. 30 12:30 p.m. Men’s SG – Beaver Creek NBCSN
2 p.m. Women’s DH – Lake Louise NBCSN
Dec. 1 1 p.m. Men’s DH – Beaver Creek NBCSN
2 p.m. Women’s DH – Lake Louise NBCSN
5 p.m. Men’s DH – Beaver Creek NBC
Dec. 2 1 p.m. Women’s SG – Lake Louise Olympic Channel
2:30 p.m. Men’s GS – Beaver Creek NBCSN
5 p.m. Men’s GS – Beaver Creek NBC
5:30 p.m. Women’s SG – Lake Louise* NBCSN
Dec. 8 5 a.m. Women’s SG – St. Moritz Olympic Channel
7 a.m. Men’s GS – Val d’Isere Olympic Channel
10:30 p.m. Women’s SG – St. Moritz NBCSN
Dec. 9 6:30 a.m. Men’s SL – Val d’Isere Olympic Channel
7:30 a.m. Women’s Parallel SL – St. Moritz Olympic Channel
5 p.m. Women’s Parallel SL – St. Moritz NBCSN
Dec. 14 6 a.m. Men’s SG – Val Gardena Olympic Channel
8 a.m. Women’s SC – Val d’Isere Olympic Channel
Dec. 15 4:30 a.m. Women’s DH – Val d’Isere Olympic Channel
6 a.m. Men’s DH – Val Gardena Olympic Channel
7 p.m. Women’s DH – Val d’Isere* NBCSN
8 p.m. Men’s DH – Val Gardena* NBCSN
Dec. 16 5 a.m. Women’s SG – Val d’Isere Olympic Channel
7 a.m. Men’s GS – Alta Badia Olympic Channel
6 p.m. Women’s SG – Val d’Isere* NBCSN
Dec. 17 12 p.m. Men’s Parallel GS – Alta Badia Olympic Channel
Dec. 21 7:30 a.m. Women’s GS – Courchevel Olympic Channel
12 p.m. Women’s GS – Courchevel* NBCSN
Dec. 22 7:30 a.m. Women’s SL – Courchevel Olympic Channel
11 a.m. Men’s SL – Madonna di Campiglio Olympic Channel
2:30 p.m. Women’s SL – Courchevel* NBCSN
Dec. 23 3 p.m. Women’s SL & GS – Courchevel* NBC
Dec. 28 4:30 a.m. Women’s GS – Semmering NBC Sports Gold
5:30 a.m. Men’s DH – Bormio Olympic Channel
12 p.m. Men’s DH – Bormio* NBCSN
Dec. 29 4:30 a.m. Women’s SL – Semmering NBC Sports Gold
5:30 a.m. Men’s SG – Bormio Olympic Channel
2:30 p.m. Men’s SG – Bormio* NBCSN
Jan. 1 10:30 a.m. City Event – Oslo Olympic Channel
Jan. 5 10 a.m. Women’s SL – Zagreb Olympic Channel
Jan. 6 9:30 a.m. Men’s SL – Zagreb Olympic Channel
Jan. 8 12 p.m. Women’s SL – Flachau NBC Sports Gold
Jan. 12 5:45 a.m. Women’s DH – St. Anton NBC Sports Gold
7:30 a.m. Men’s GS – Adelboden Olympic Channel
Jan. 13 5:30 a.m. Women’s SG – St. Anton NBC Sports Gold
7:30 a.m. Men’s SL – Adelboden Olympic Channel
Jan. 15 7 a.m. Women’s GS – Kronplatz Olympic Channel
11:30 p.m. Women’s GS – Kronplatz* NBCSN
Jan. 18 8 a.m. Men’s SC – Wengen Olympic Channel
6 p.m. Men’s SC – Wengen* NBCSN
Jan. 19 4:30 a.m. Women’s DH – Cortina d’Ampezzo Olympic Channel
6:30 a.m. Men’s DH – Wengen Olympic Channel
Jan. 20 5 a.m. Women’s SG – Cortina d’Ampezzo Olympic Channel
7 a.m. Men’s SL – Wengen Olympic Channel
8 p.m. Women’s SG – Cortina d’Ampezzo* NBCSN
9 p.m. Men’s DH – Wengen* NBCSN
Jan. 25 5:30 a.m. Men’s SG – Kitzbuehel NBC Sports Gold
Jan. 26 5:30 a.m. Men’s DH – Kitzbuehel NBC Sports Gold
4 a.m. Women’s DH – Garmisch Olympic Channel
10 a.m. Women’s DH – Garmisch* NBCSN
Jan. 27 4:30 a.m. Men’s SL – Kitzbuehel NBC Sports Gold
5:30 a.m. Women’s SG – Garmisch Olympic Channel
9 p.m. Women’s SG – Garmisch* NBCSN
Jan. 28 4 p.m. Men’s DH – Kitzbuehel* NBCSN
Jan. 29 11:45 a.m. Men’s SL – Schladming NBC Sports Gold
11 p.m. Men’s SL – Kitzbuehel* NBCSN
Feb. 1 7 a.m. Women’s GS – Maribor Olympic Channel
12 p.m. Women’s GS – Maribor* NBCSN
Feb. 2 5:30 a.m. Men’s DH – Garmisch Olympic Channel
7 a.m. Women’s SL – Maribor Olympic Channel
Feb. 3 2 a.m. Women’s SL – Maribor* NBCSN
7:30 a.m. Men’s GS – Garmisch Olympic Channel
Feb. 5 6:30 a.m. World Champs – Women’s SG NBCSN
Feb. 6 6:30 a.m. World Champs – Men’s SG NBCSN
Feb. 7 5 a.m. World Champs – Women’s SC – DH NBCSN
Feb. 8 10 a.m. World Champs – Women’s SC – SL NBCSN
Feb. 9 6:30 a.m. World Champs – Men’s DH Olympic Channel
3:30 p.m. World Champs – Men’s DH* NBC
6:30 p.m. World Champs – Men’s DH* NBCSN
Feb. 10 6:30 a.m. World Champs – Women’s DH Olympic Channel
4:30 p.m. World Champs – Women’s DH* NBC
11:30 p.m. World Champs – Women’s DH* NBCSN
Feb. 11 5 a.m. World Champs – Men’s SC – DH NBCSN
8:30 a.m. World Champs – Men’s SC – SL NBCSN
Feb. 12 10 a.m. World Champs – Team Event NBCSN
Feb. 14 8 a.m. World Champs – Women’s GS Olympic Channel
10:30 a.m. World Champs – Women’s GS NBCSN
11:30 a.m. World Champs – Women’s GS NBCSN
Feb. 15 8 a.m. World Champs – Men’s GS Olympic Channel
10:30 a.m. World Champs – Men’s GS* NBCSN
11:30 a.m. World Champs – Men’s GS NBCSN
5 a.m. World Champs – Women’s SL Olympic Channel
Feb. 16 7 a.m. World Champs – Women’s SL* NBCSN
8 a.m. World Champs – Women’s SL NBCSN
1 p.m. World Champs – Women’s SL* NBC
5 a.m. World Champs – Men’s SL Olympic Channel
Feb. 17 7 a.m. World Champs – Men’s SL* NBCSN
8 a.m. World Champs – Men’s SL NBCSN
Feb. 19 11:30 a.m. City Event – Stockholm Olympic Channel
11:30 p.m. City Event – Stockholm* NBCSN
Feb. 22 7 a.m. Men’s SC – Bansko Olympic Channel
Feb. 23 4:30 a.m. Women’s DH – Crans-Montana Olympic Channel
6 a.m. Men’s SG – Bansko* Olympic Channel
Feb. 24 6:30 a.m. Men’s GS – Bansko Olympic Channel
7:30 a.m. Women’s SC – Crans-Montana Olympic Channel
11 p.m. Women’s SC – Crans-Montana* NBCSN
Mar. 2 2:30 a.m. Women’s DH – Sochi Olympic Channel
4 a.m. Men’s DH – Kvitfjell Olympic Channel
Mar. 3 1 a.m. Women’s DH – Sochi* NBCSN
2:30 a.m. Women’s SG – Sochi Olympic Channel
5 a.m. Men’s SG – Kvitfjell Olympic Channel
4 p.m. Women’s SG – Sochi* NBCSN
Mar. 8 7:30 a.m. Women’s GS – Spindleruv Myln Olympic Channel
12 p.m. Women’s GS – Spindleruv Myln* NBCSN
Mar. 9 6:30 a.m. Men’s GS – Kranjska Gora Olympic Channel
7:30 a.m. Women’s SL – Spindleruv Myln Olympic Channel
Mar. 10 7:30 a.m. Men’s SL – Kranjska Gora Olympic Channel
Mar. 13 5:30 a.m. Men’s DH – WC Finals Olympic Channel
7 a.m. Women’s DH – WC Finals Olympic Channel
12 p.m. Men’s/Women’s DH – WC Finals* NBCSN
Mar. 14 5:30 a.m. Women’s SG – WC Finals Olympic Channel
7 a.m. Men’s SG – WC Finals Olympic Channel
11 p.m. Women’s/Men’s SG – WC Finals* NBCSN
Mar. 15 7 a.m. Team Event – WC Finals Olympic Channel
Mar. 16 7 a.m. Men’s GS – WC Finals Olympic Channel
8 a.m. Women’s SL – WC Finals Olympic Channel
11 p.m. Men’s GS/Women’s SL – WC Finals* NBCSN
Mar. 17 7 a.m. Women’s GS – WC Finals Olympic Channel
8 a.m. Men’s SL – WC Finals Olympic Channel
4:30 p.m. Women’s GS/Men’s SL – WC Finals* NBCSN

*Same-day delay