Kaetlyn Osmond wins Skate Canada; Ashley Wagner rallies (video)

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Canadian Kaetlyn Osmond won Skate Canada, despite a fall to close her free skate on Saturday.

Ashley Wagner rallied for bronze, up from seventh place after Friday’s short program.

Osmond and Wagner, the last two world silver medalists behind Russian Yevgenia Medvedeva, were joined on the podium by Russian Maria Sotskova.

The other two Americans — Courtney Hicks and U.S. champion Karen Chen — were fourth and seventh, respectively.

Japan’s Shoma Uno, the world silver medalist, won the men’s title with a score only one man has bettered this season. That man is also Uno. American Jason Brown benefited from three-time world champ Patrick Chan‘s meltdown to take silver.

Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won the ice dance with a world-record score, continuing their undefeated run since returning from a two-year break last season. They are favorites to win a second Olympic title in February.

Canadians Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford rallied to overtake short-program leaders Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany for their fourth straight Skate Canada pairs title.

Full Skate Canada scores are here.

Osmond won her first Grand Prix title since prevailing in her Grand Prix debut at Skate Canada five years ago at the age of 16. She remains one of, if not the top threat to Medvedeva, who hasn’t lost in two years.

Wagner landed six triple jumps in her “Moulin Rouge” free skate. The bronze gives her a chance to make December’s six-woman Grand Prix Final, which will determine the PyeongChang Olympic medal favorites.

Wagner will likely make the Grand Prix Final if she wins Skate America on Thanksgiving weekend.

No other U.S. woman has a realistic shot at the Grand Prix Final.

Chen had trouble fully rotating jumps in her free skate, continuing her struggles in Grand Prix events. She also did not have a triple-triple combination in either program at Skate Canada.

Chen, 18, surprised to win the U.S. title last season — and then surprised even more by finishing fourth at worlds — but has never finished better than fifth in five Grand Prix starts.

The three-woman U.S. Olympic team will be named after nationals in January. Selections will be made based off not only nationals standings, but also results from the previous two seasons.

That makes this fall’s Grand Prix season key. The top four finishers from last season’s nationals have all finished their first of two starts this Grand Prix season. Hicks, 12th at last season’s nationals, had her one and only scheduled start this week.

Their scores:

Mariah Bell — 188.56 (Rostelecom Cup, sixth place)
Ashley Wagner — 183.94 (Skate Canada, third place)
Courtney Hicks — 182.57 (Skate Canada, fourth place)
Mirai Nagasu — 178.25 (Rostelecom Cup, ninth place)
Karen Chen — 170.40 (Skate Canada, seventh place)

The Grand Prix season continues next weekend with two-time world champion Javier Fernandez headlining Cup of China. A full broadcast schedule is here.

Skate Canada
Women
Gold: Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN) — 212.91
Silver: Maria Sotskova (RUS) — 192.52
Bronze: Ashley Wagner (USA) — 183.94
4. Courtney Hicks (USA) — 182.57
7. Karen Chen (USA) — 170.40

Men
Gold: Shoma Uno (JPN) — 301.10
Silver: Jason Brown (USA) — 261.14
Bronze: Alexander Samarin (RUS) — 250.06

Ice Dance
Gold: Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN) — 199.86 WR
Silver: Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje (CAN) — 190.01
Bronze: Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) — 189.43
4. Kaitlin Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker (USA) — 165.20

Pairs
Gold: Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (CAN) — 222.22
Silver: Aliona Savchenko/Bruno Massot (GER) — 215.66
Bronze: Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres (FRA) — 214.37
7. Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier (USA) — 172.95

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MORE: Will Virtue, Moir bid farewell at Olympics?

Ski jumping World Cup season kicks off in Poland

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The World Cup ski jump season opens Friday with men’s team and individual events in Wisla, Poland.

The host country had three of the top five jumpers in the overall standings last year. Defending champion Kamil Stoch placed third, Piotr Zyla was close behind in fourth, and Dawid Kubacki was fifth.

Japan’s Ryoyu Kobayashi dominated last year’s competition, finishing with 2,085 points to 1,349 for runner-up Stefan Kraft of Austria, the 2017 World Cup champion.

Kobayashi’s performance was a dramatic improvement over his previous season, when he finished no higher than sixth in any individual competition and was 24th overall. Last year, he had 15 wins and 23 podium finishes in 30 World Cup events, though he only managed fourth and 14th in the two world championship events.

The top American last season, Kevin Bickner, finished 51st overall, a drop from 39th the year before. He was 18th and 20th in the 2018 Olympic jumps.

Women’s World Cup action begins Dec. 6-8 in Lillehammer, Norway.

NBC Sports Gold will broadcast World Cup action throughout the season. This weekend, the qualifying jumps will air at noon ET Friday, the team event starts at 11:30 a.m. ET Saturday, and the individual competition is at 6 a.m. Sunday.

MORE: Full ski jumping broadcast schedule

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Snowboarding pioneer Jake Burton Carpenter dies at 65

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Jake Burton Carpenter, the pioneer who brought snowboarding to the masses and helped turn the sport into a billion-dollar business and Olympic showpiece, has died at 65.

He died Wednesday night in Burlington, Vermont, according to an email sent to the staff of the company he founded. Carpenter had emailed his staff this month saying, “You will not believe this, but my cancer has come back.” He had been diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011 but after several months of therapy had been given a clean bill of health.

Carpenter quit his job in New York in 1977 to form the company now known simply as Burton. His goal was to advance the rudimentary snowboard, then called a “Snurfer,” which had been invented by Sherman Poppen a dozen years earlier.

It worked, and more than four decades later, snowboarding is a major fixture at the Winter Games and snowboards are as common as skis at resorts across the globe.

“He was our founder, the soul of snowboarding, the one who gave us the sport we all love so much,” Burton co-CEO John Lacy said in his email to the staff.

It is virtually impossible to avoid the name “Burton” once the snow starts falling at any given mountain around the world these days. The name is plastered on the bottoms of snowboards, embroidered on jackets, stenciled into bindings.

At a bar in Pyeongchang, South Korea, not far from where snowboarding celebrated its 20th anniversary at the Olympics last year, there was a wall filled with Burton pictures and memorabilia — as sure a sign as any of the global reach of a company founded in his garage in Londonderry, Vermont.

The company sponsored pretty much every top rider at one time or another — from Shaun White to Kelly Clark to Chloe Kim.

Carpenter watched all his champions win their Olympic golds from near the finish line, never afraid to grind away in the mosh pit of snowboarders and snowboarding fans that he helped create.

In an interview in 2010, he said he was happy with how far his sport had come, and comfortable with where it was going.

“I had a vision there was a sport there, that it was more than just a sledding thing, which is all it was then,” Burton said. “We’re doing something that’s going to last here. It’s not like just hitting the lottery one day.”

Lacy said details about the celebration of Burton’s life would be coming soon but, for now, “I’d encourage everyone to do what Jake would be doing tomorrow, and that’s riding. It’s opening day at Stowe, so consider taking some turns together, in celebration of Jake.”

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