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Will Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir bid farewell at Olympics?

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Most believe PyeongChang will mark the final Olympics for Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. But will it be their final competition period?

“We’re quick to say we don’t know because we thought for sure we were done in 2010, and we really thought for sure we were done after Sochi,” Moir said Monday. “We used to laugh at the idea of going to the Olympics in Korea. Look where we are.

“We’re not going to say that we’re done for sure, but when Tessa and I talk about it and look at each other, the feeling is that this is it. You never know, obviously, and we won’t have to make that decision until we’re there. So, that’s the good part about it. But this kind of feels like it.”

Virtue, 28, and Moir, 30, took gold at the 2010 Vancouver Games and silver in Sochi in 2014. They sat out the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons before coming back for one more Olympic run.

They went undefeated last year, capped by a third world title in April and first since 2012.

Virtue and Moir head into the fall Grand Prix season — starting, for them, with next week’s Skate Canada — as favorites to become the second couple to win multiple Olympic ice dance titles come February.

The other was Russians Oksana Grishuk and Yevgeny Platov in 1994 and 1998.

France’s two-time world champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron and three American couples will attempt to send Virtue and Moir out of the Olympic arena in defeat.

Moir, meanwhile, could seal his Olympic career with a kiss on the ice as he did in Vancouver and Sochi. Or, he could go bigger.

“You think I gotta take a step up? I don’t know,” he joked. “I’ll probably do it. I’ll probably just pick a point where hopefully nobody’s watching me, but there always seems to be somebody around.”

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Jennifer Valente takes silver in world cycling championship scratch race

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Jennifer Valente won the first medal for the U.S. team in the world track cycling championships Wednesday in Berlin, finishing second behind Dutch cyclist Kirsten Wild in the scratch race.

Wild won the mass-start event for the third time, having taken gold in 2015 and 2018, and her seventh world championship in all track cycling disciplines. She also took silver in the 2016 world championship road race.

Valente also joined Chloé Dygert, Emma White and Lily Williams in women’s team pursuit qualifying, posting the fastest time of the day and easily qualifying for the semifinals on Thursday. The U.S. team has been in transition with the retirement of Sarah Hammer and the death of Kelly Catlin, who committed suicide in March. Hammer, Catlin, Dygert and Valente took silver in the 2016 Olympics.

READ: Dygert aims for road and track double in Tokyo

The Netherlands took two of the three gold medals on Wednesday’s program, beating Britain to win the men’s team sprint. Germany beat Australia to win the women’s team sprint.

READ: Track cycling broadcast and streaming schedule

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Tokyo organizers, IOC going ahead as planned with Olympics

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TOKYO (AP) — A spokesman for the Japanese government on Wednesday said the International Olympic Committee and local organizers are going as planned with the Tokyo Olympics.

The comments from spokesman Yoshihide Suga follow the assertion by IOC veteran Dick Pound that organizers face a three-month window to decide the fate of the Games.

READ: Pound cites time needed to ramp up operations

The Olympics are set to open on July 24 with 11,000 athletes. The Paralympics open Aug. 25 with 4,400.

Also Wednesday, Tokyo organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto abruptly called a news conference to address Pound’s comments.

“Our basic thoughts are that we will go ahead with the Olympic and Paralympic Games as scheduled,” Muto said, speaking in Japanese. “For the time being, the situation of the coronavirus infection is, admittedly, difficult to predict, but we will take measures such that we’ll have a safe Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Muto added: ““That the end of May is the time limit, we have never thought of this or heard of such a comment. So when we asked about this, we received a response saying that is not the position of the IOC.”

Muto also allowed for the possibility of downsizing the Olympic torch relay but insisted it will not be canceled.

Pound told the Associated Press that the fast-spreading virus could cancel the Olympics. Suga says Pound’s opinion does not reflect the official view of the IOC, which has repeatedly said there are no plans to cancel or postpone the Tokyo Games.

“With regard to this member’s comment, the IOC has responded that this is not their official position, and that IOC is proceeding with preparations toward the games as scheduled,” Suga said, speaking in Japanese at his daily news conference.

Pound is a former IOC vice-president and a member since 1978, and was the founding president of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

He also represented Canada as a swimmer at the Olympics.

In a telephone interview from Montreal, Pound said the IOC has a three-month window to decide, and suggested other options like moving events of postponing seemed less likely.

“In and around that time,” he said, “I’d say folks are going to have to ask: ‘Is this under sufficient control that we can be confident about going to Tokyo or now?”‘

If the IOC decides the games cannot go forward as scheduled in Tokyo, “you’re probably looking at a cancellation,” said Pound, who added that he was not commenting on behalf of the IOC.

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