U.S. Olympic curling trials men’s finals set; oldest athlete eliminated

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John Shuster is two wins from becoming the second American to curl at four Olympics.

Shuster, an Olympic bronze medalist in 2006 and skip in 2010 and 2014, leads a team that will play a rink skipped by 41-year-old Heath McCormick in the U.S. Olympic Trials finals in Omaha.

The best-of-three series to determine the U.S. Olympic team starts Thursday night on NBCSN, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app. A full trials broadcast schedule is here.

Shuster’s team went 6-2 against four other teams in round-robin play, easily advancing to the finals.

McCormick, who was third at the 2014 Olympic Trials won by Shuster, squeezed into the finals by beating 49-year-old Todd Birr‘s team 8-6 in a tiebreaker Thursday morning. Both teams were 4-4 in round-robin.

Birr, 49 and the oldest male or female curler at trials, was trying to become the oldest U.S. Winter Olympic competitor in 70 years.

Shuster’s team beat McCormick’s team 7-5 and 6-5 in their two round-robin games this past week. They are the top U.S. teams in the world rankings (Shuster is 18th; McCormick 20th).

Shuster, 35, hopes to join Debbie McCormick (unrelated to Heath) as the only American curlers to compete at four Olympics.

The women’s finals also feature the top two ranked teams skipped by Nina Roth and Jamie Sinclair. No woman in the trials field has Olympic experience.

The U.S. has earned one Olympic curling medal, that 2006 men’s bronze. Curling was part of the Winter Games in 1924 and every Olympics since 1998.

Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway and Great Britain are the world powers in curling.

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Curling Olympic Trials Schedule

12-year-old skateboarders earn medals at world championships

Chloe Covell
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At the world skateboarding championships, 12-year-olds Chloe Covell from Australia and Onodera Ginwoo from Japan earned silver and bronze medals, respectively, in Sunday’s street finals.

In the women’s event, Covell took silver behind Brazilian 15-year-old Rayssa Leal, who was a silver medalist herself at the Tokyo Games.

Frenchman Aurélien Giraud, a 25-year-old who was sixth in skateboarding’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, won the men’s final in the United Arab Emirates. Ginwoo was third behind Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro.

The top Americans were Olympic men’s bronze medalist Jagger Eaton in sixth and 15-year-old Paige Heyn in seventh in the women’s event.

Nyjah Huston, a six-time world champion who placed seventh in Tokyo, missed worlds after August surgery for an ACL tear.

Up to three men and three women per nation can qualify per event (street and park) for the 2024 Paris Games. World rankings come June 2024 determine which Americans qualify.

In Tokyo, four of the 12 skateboarding medalists were ages 12 or 13.

Japan’s Kokona Hiraki, then 12, won silver in women’s park to become the youngest Olympic medalist since 1936, according to Olympedia.org. Japan’s Momiji Nishiya, then 13, won women’s street and became the youngest gold medalist in an individual event since 1936.

Worlds conclude this week with the men’s and women’s park events. The finals are Saturday.

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Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

Francesco Friedrich
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A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It marked Great Britain’s first world championships men’s bobsled medal since 1966.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

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