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U.S. athletes qualified for PyeongChang Winter Olympics

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The U.S. Olympic team roster for the PyeongChang Winter Games is 242 athletes.

The entire teams in Alpine skiing, biathlon, bobsled, cross-country skiing, curling, figure skating, freestyle skiing, hockey, luge, skeleton, ski jumping, snowboarding and speed skating have been named.

The first two Olympic team members qualified last February — Lowell Bailey and Susan Dunklee via their medals at the world biathlon championships.

The list of U.S. Olympic team members that will be updated as athletes qualify:

Alpine Skiing (22)
Stacey Cook
Breezy Johnson
Megan McJames
Alice McKennis
Laurenne Ross
Mikaela Shiffrin
Resi Stiegler
Lindsey Vonn
Jackie Wiles
Bryce Bennett
Tommy Biesemeyer
David Chodounsky
Ryan Cochran-Siegle
Mark Engel
Tommy Ford
Jared Goldberg
Tim Jitloff
Nolan Kasper
Ted Ligety
Wiley Maple
Steven Nyman
Andrew Weibrecht

Biathlon (10)
Emily Dreissigacker
Susan Dunklee
Clare Egan
Maddie Phaneuf
Joanne Reid
Lowell Bailey
Tim Burke
Russell Currier
Sean Doherty
Leif Nordgren

Bobsled (16)
Aja Evans
Lauren Gibbs
Jamie Greubel Poser
Elana Meyers Taylor
Hakeem Abdul-Saboor
Codie Bascue
Nick Cunningham
Chris Fogt
Chris Kinney
Steven Langton
Sam McGuffie
Sam Michener
Justin Olsen
Carlo Valdes
Nate Weber
Evan Weinstock

Cross-Country Skiing (20)
Sadie Bjornsen
Rosie Brennan
Sophie Caldwell
Jessie Diggins
Rosie Frankowski
Annie Hart
Kaitlynn Miller
Caitlin Patterson
Kikkan Randall
Ida Sargent
Liz Stephen
Erik Bjornsen
Patrick Caldwell
Simi Hamilton
Logan Hanneman
Reese Hanneman
Noah Hoffman
Tyler Kornfield
Andy Newell
Scott Patterson

Curling (10)
Aileen Geving
Becca Hamilton
Tabitha Peterson
Nina Roth
Cory Christensen (alternate, eligible to substitute at the Olympics)

Tyler George
Matt Hamilton
John Landsteiner
John Shuster
Joe Polo (alternate, eligible to substitute at the Olympics)

Figure Skating (14)
Karen Chen (Singles)
Mirai Nagasu (Singles)
Bradie Tennell (Singles)
Nathan Chen (Singles)
Adam Rippon (Singles)
Vincent Zhou (Singles)
Alexa Scimeca Knierim (Pairs)
Chris Knierim (Pairs)
Madison Hubbell (Ice Dance)
Zachary Donohue (Ice Dance)
Maia Shibutani (Ice Dance)
Alex Shibutani (Ice Dance)
Madison Chock (Ice Dance)
Evan Bates (Ice Dance)

Freestyle Skiing (29)
Ashley Caldwell (Aerials)
Kiley McKinnon (Aerials)
Madison Olsen (Aerials)
Mac Bohonnon (Aerials)
Jonathon Lillis (Aerials)
Eric Loughran (Aerials)
Tess Johnson (Moguls)
Jaelin Kauf (Moguls)
Keaton McCargo (Moguls)
Morgan Schild (Moguls)
Casey Andringa (Moguls)
Troy Murphy (Moguls)
Emerson Smith (Moguls)
Brad Wilson (Moguls)
Maddie Bowman (Halfpipe)
Annalisa Drew (Halfpipe)
Devin Logan (Halfpipe, Slopestyle)
Brita Sigourney (Halfpipe)
Aaron Blunck (Halfpipe)
Alex Ferreira (Halfpipe)
David Wise (Halfpipe)
Torin Yater-Wallace (Halfpipe)
Caroline Claire (Slopestyle)
Darian Stevens (Slopestyle)
Maggie Voisin (Slopestyle)
Nick Goepper (Slopestyle)
Alex Hall (Slopestyle)
Gus Kenworthy (Slopestyle)
McRae Williams (Slopestyle)

Hockey (48)
Nicole Hensley (Goalie)
Alex Rigsby (Goalie)
Maddie Rooney (Goalie)
Cayla Barnes (Defense)
Kacey Bellamy (Defense)
Kali Flanagan (Defense)
Megan Keller (Defense)
Sidney Morin (Defense)
Emily Pfalzer (Defense)
Lee Stecklein (Defense)
Hannah Brandt (Forward)
Dani Cameranesi (Forward)
Kendall Coyne (Forward)
Brianna Decker (Forward)
Meghan Duggan (Forward)
Amanda Kessel (Forward)
Hilary Knight (Forward)
Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson (Forward)
Monique Lamoureux-Morando (Forward)
Gigi Marvin (Forward)
Kelly Pannek (Forward)
Amanda Pelkey (Forward)
Haley Skarupa (Forward)

David Leggio (Goalie)
Brandon Maxwell (Goalie)
Ryan Zapolski (Goalie)
Chad Billins (Defense)
Jonathon Blum (Defense)
Will Borgen (Defense)
Matt Gilroy (Defense)
Ryan Gunderson (Defense)
Bobby Sanguinetti (Defense)
Noah Welch (Defense)
James Wisniewski (Defense)
Mark Arcobello (Forward)
Chris Bourque (Forward)
Bobby Butler (Forward)
Ryan Donato (Forward)
Brian Gionta (Forward)
Jordan Greenway (Forward)
Chad Kolarik (Forward)
Broc Little (Forward)
John McCarthy (Forward)
Brian O’Neill (Forward)
Garrett Roe (Forward)
Jim Slater (Forward)
Ryan Stoa (Forward)
Troy Terry (Forward)

Luge (10)
Summer Britcher (Singles)
Erin Hamlin (Singles)
Emily Sweeney (Singles)
Chris Mazdzer (Singles)
Taylor Morris (Singles)
Tucker West (Singles)
Matt Mortensen (Doubles)
Jayson Terdiman (Doubles)
Justin Krewson (Doubles)
Andrew Sherk (Doubles)

Nordic Combined (5)
Ben Berend
Bryan Fletcher
Taylor Fletcher
Jasper Good
Ben Loomis

Short Track Speed Skating (8)
Maame Biney
Lana Gehring
Jessica Kooreman
J.R. Celski
Thomas Hong
John-Henry Krueger
Ryan Pivirotto
Aaron Tran

Skeleton (4)
Katie Uhlaender
Kendall Wesenberg
Matthew Antoine
John Daly

Ski Jumping (7)
Nita Englund
Sarah Hendrickson
Abby Ringquist
Kevin Bickner
Michael Glasder
Casey Larson
Will Rhoads

Snowboarding (26)
Jamie Anderson (Big Air/Slopestyle)
Jessika Jenson (Big Air/Slopestyle)
Hailey Langland (Big Air/Slopestyle)
Julia Marino (Big Air/Slopestyle)
Chris Corning (Big Air/Slopestyle)
Red Gerard (Big Air/Slopestyle)
Kyle Mack (Big Air/Slopestyle)
Ryan Stassel (Big Air/Slopestyle)
Faye Gulini (Snowboard Cross)
Lindsey Jacobellis (Snowboard Cross)
Rosie Mancari (Snowboard Cross)
Meghan Tierney (Snowboard Cross)
Nick Baumgartner (Snowboard Cross)
Jonathan Cheever (Snowboard Cross)
Mick Dierdorff (Snowboard Cross)
Hagen Kearney (Snowboard Cross)
Kelly Clark (Halfpipe)
Arielle Gold (Halfpipe)
Chloe Kim (Halfpipe)
Maddie Mastro (Halfpipe)
Ben Ferguson (Halfpipe)
Chase Josey (Halfpipe)
Jake Pates (Halfpipe)
Shaun White (Halfpipe)
AJ Muss (Parallel Giant Slalom)
Mike Trapp (Parallel Giant Slalom)

Speed Skating (13)
Heather Bergsma
Brittany Bowe
Erin Jackson
Mia Manganello
Carlijn Schoutens
Jerica Tandiman
Shani Davis
Jonathan Garcia
Kimani Griffin
Brian Hansen
Emery Lehman
Joey Mantia
Mitch Whitmore

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Ragan Smith finds joy in college gymnastics after life-changing decision

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Ragan Smith, after her first two weeks of college gymnastics, quickly pointed out the coolest part of competing for the Oklahoma Sooners. It’s the noise that erupts on the last pass of her floor exercise, or upon her dismount off the uneven bars or balance beam.

They are similar sounds to what drew her to commit to Oklahoma back in 2015, when she was 15 years old.

“The girls in practice were all cheering for each other,” she recalled in a phone interview earlier this month.

Last spring, Smith called Oklahoma coach K.J. Kindler with a request. The Texan wanted to enroll at OU that summer, a year earlier than planned. Originally, Smith committed to the university with the intention of deferring until after the 2020 Olympic season.

Smith, a Rio Olympic alternate in her first year at the senior elite level, began this Olympic cycle in 2017 by winning the U.S. all-around title. Granted, the triumph came during Simone Biles‘ one-year break. But consider that Smith’s margin of victory — 3.4 points — was greater than Biles’ average margin for her four national titles from 2013-16.

Everything changed for Smith on Oct. 6, 2017. Minutes before she was to compete as the favorite in the world championships all-around, she suffered an ankle injury warming up on vault (reportedly three torn ligaments). She was withdrawn from the meet and fought injuries for the rest of her elite career.

In calling Kindler last spring, Smith signaled she was ready to move on from Olympic-level or “elite” gymnastics. It is possible for collegians to compete at U.S. Championships or Olympic trials, but no woman with NCAA experience has made any of the last three Olympic teams.

“I felt like my time was done in elite,” said Smith, whose mother and aunt competed for Auburn and Maryland, respectively. “I really just wanted to move on with my life and everything.”

Kindler was walking in an academic center on campus when Smith called her last spring.

“[Smith] said, ‘I was in the shower, and I was thinking, and I think I really, really want to come,'” Kindler said. “‘My body is ready to be done with elite gymnastics, and my mind is ready to move forward, and I would love to come to school this year. Is there a spot for me?’

“We saved a spot in case she changed her mind [about waiting until after the Olympics], but the plan was always for her to defer. We never talked about anything else, so I was very surprised by the phone call.”

Kindler urged Smith to think it over. Discuss it with her elite coach, 1991 World all-around champion Kim Zmeskal.

“[Zmeskal] and I had a really good understanding of what Ragan’s goals were, which is why I think it had to be Ragan’s decision,” Kindler said. “I didn’t want to place any influence on anything. Kim thinks the world of Ragan. She was in full support. Her and I texted back and forth and spoke about it. She said she wanted Ragan to think about it a little bit, and she did do that, and still had decided that this was for her. I think Kim supported that decision, just as I said I would support whatever she wanted to do.”

Smith shared the news on July 7.

“I have moved on from the 1st chapter of my life and on to the 2nd,” was posted on her Instagram, accompanied by a photo of her in a crimson leotard. “I am so excited to be joining the class of 2019.”

Smith joined the defending national champion program, one that captured three of the last four NCAA titles. By enrolling a year early, Smith gets to be teammates with senior Maggie Nichols.

Nichols was second to Biles at the 2015 U.S. Championships, making her a bona fide contender for the Rio Olympic team. Early in 2016, Nichols tore a meniscus on a vault landing and underwent arthroscopic knee surgery. She announced retirement from elite gymnastics two days after finishing sixth at the Olympic trials, one spot behind Smith, and not being named to the Olympic team.

Smith said she has already benefited from Nichols’ experience, coming to her with questions to aid her transition.

“What an incredible opportunity to have Ragan and Maggie on the same team,” Kindler said.

The Sooners are 9-0 this year and 26-0 since the start of 2019. Smith was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week each of the season’s first three weeks. Not incredibly surprising, given Smith’s pedigree.

Perhaps more notable: Kindler said Smith hasn’t had a single ankle problem since arriving in Norman in July.

Back in August 2018, Smith said the ankle still hurt sometimes, that she had not completed a practice without pain that whole year and a coach joked to her, “You already have a 100-year-old body.”

Smith is competing easier routines collegiately than as an elite, as is the norm. But Kindler found that her passion for the sport has not waned.

“As an elite athlete, you don’t necessarily have to learn anything when you come to college,” Kindler said. “In fact, you can scale back what you’re doing, but I feel like she has a real eagerness to continue to refine what she’s doing and to learn new skills. She wants to continue to get better, and I love that about her.”

At her first college meet, Smith remembered the feeling of adrenaline brought on by competing not just for herself, but for women with whom she will call teammates week in and week out for the coming years.

“I didn’t want to let go of elite because it’s been, like, my whole life and my dream and everything,” said Smith, who was inspired by McKayla Maroney‘s 2012 Olympic vault and then had a dog named Rio. “But at the same time, my mind was telling me to come to college and have fun. I’m glad I made that decision, because I love it here.”

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Dustin Johnson wonders if Olympic golf will properly fit into his schedule

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Dustin Johnson, the world’s fifth-ranked golfer, said he isn’t sure the Tokyo Olympics will fit well into his schedule, assuming he qualifies for what will be a very competitive U.S. team of four.

“Obviously representing the United States in the Olympics is something that, you know, definitely be proud to do,” he said when asked if the Ryder Cup and the Olympics are goals this year. “But is it going to fit in the schedule properly? I’m not really sure about that, because there’s so many events that are right there and leading up to it. So you know, I’m still working with my team to figure out what’s the best thing for me to do.”

Johnson, the 2016 U.S. Open winner and world No. 1 in 2017 and 2018, is the third-highest ranked American at the moment behind Brooks Koepka (who also spoke about the Olympics on Tuesday, saying they’re not as important as majors) and Justin Thomas.

Johnson is ranked one spot ahead of Tiger Woods, who has voiced intent to play in Tokyo should he qualify.

But the current world rankings, based on a two-year, rolling window of results, do not exactly mirror Olympic qualifying, which takes into account only results after the 2018 U.S. Open. Rankings guru @VC606 on Twitter has Thomas, Koepka, Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay as the current U.S. top four in Olympic qualifying. Woods is fifth and Johnson seventh.

The cutoff to determine the Olympic field of 60 golfers overall is after the U.S. Open in June.

The Olympic golf tournament is July 30-Aug. 2. There is no PGA Tour event that weekend. The FedEx Cup Playoffs start two weeks after the Olympics. Last season, Johnson did not play the tournaments that will immediately precede and follow the Olympics — the 3M Open and the Wyndham Championship.

Johnson did qualify for the Rio Olympics but withdrew a month before the Games, citing Zika virus concerns as other golfers did.

“This was not an easy decision for me, but my concerns about the Zika virus cannot be ignored,” Johnson said in a statement at the time. “[Wife] Paulina and I plan to have more children in the near future, and I feel it would be irresponsible to put myself, her or our family at risk.”

Paulina gave birth to their second son in June 2017.

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