AP

Yevgenia Medvedeva to miss Russia Figure Skating Championships

Leave a comment

Yevgenia Medvedeva, the Olympic figure skating favorite, will miss this week’s Russian Championships due to a foot injury, according to the Russian Figure Skating Federation.

Medvedeva was advised not to accelerate her return from a broken foot and associated pain she felt earlier this fall, according to the federation.

The 18-year-old world champion can (and very likely will) still be invited to the Olympics by an International Olympic Committee panel tasked with forming the Olympic Athletes from Russia roster.

However, Medvedeva, who is undefeated the last two years, reportedly said in a speech to IOC members earlier this month that she “can not accept” competing in PyeongChang as a neutral athlete.

That comment came before the IOC announced that Russia is banned from the Winter Games, with clean Russian athletes allowed to compete as neutrals by invitation only.

Medvedeva reportedly said shortly after the announcement that it was too early to answer whether she would skate in PyeongChang as a neutral athlete.

Russian president Vladimir Putin and Russian sports officials have since given athletes their blessings to compete in PyeongChang as neutrals.

Medvedeva won both of her Grand Prix starts this fall — in Russia in October and in Japan in November — before being put in a cast, revealing the broken foot and withdrawing from the Grand Prix Final.

In her absence, the favorite at Russian Nationals is her training partner Alina Zagitova, the 15-year-old world junior champion who won the Grand Prix Final.

As many as three Russian female skaters could be invited to the Olympics by the IOC panel.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Figure skating season broadcast schedule

U.S. Olympic, USA Gymnastics leaders set for another Senate hearing

AP
Leave a comment

Recently replaced U.S. Olympic Committee acting CEO Susanne Lyons, USA Gymnastics President and CEO Kerry Perry and Michigan State interim president John Engler are scheduled witnesses for a Senate subcommittee hearing next Tuesday on reforms following the Larry Nassar sexual-abuse crimes.

The hearing is titled, “Strengthening and Empowering U.S. Amateur Athletes: Moving Forward with Solutions” and will stream live at https://www.commerce.senate.gov/ on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. ET.

“The hearing will focus on changes made by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Gymnastics (USAG), and Michigan State University (MSU) to protect Olympic and amateur athletes from abuse,” according to the subcommittee’s website. “It will examine recent reforms to provide safe environments for athletes and how these reforms are being implemented.”

The subcommittee held hearings April 18 and June 5 with testimonies from gymnasts and other athletes who were abused, former Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon and former senior vice president of USA Gymnastics Rhonda Faehn. Former USA Gymnastics CEO Steve Penny also attended the June 5 hearing but refused to answer questions.

Lyons and Perry were questioned at a House subcommittee hearing May 23.

The USOC last Thursday named Sarah Hirshland its new CEO, replacing Lyons, who had been in the role on an interim basis since Scott Blackmun resigned in February. Blackmun, who had been CEO since January 2010, left citing prostate cancer and the USOC’s need to immediately address the USA Gymnastics sexual-abuse scandal.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: USOC names first permanent female CEO

Annemiek van Vleuten wins La Course with epic comeback (video)

AP
Leave a comment

Annemiek van Vleuten, the cyclist who returned from a horrific Rio Olympic road race crash to become world champion, repeated as La Course winner with an epic last-kilometer comeback on Tuesday.

Van Vleuten sprinted from several seconds behind countrywoman Anna van der Breggen to win the one-day race, including four categorized climbs, contested on part of the Tour de France stage 10 course later that day.

“With 300 meters to go, I still thought I got second, and then I saw her dying,” Van Vleuten said, adding later, according to Cyclingnews.com, “With 500 meters to go my team director in the car gave up and stopped cheering for me.”

In Rio, van Vleuten suffered three small spine fractures and a concussion when her brakes appeared to lock, and she flipped over into a ditch during the road race. Van Vleuten was alone in the lead at the time with about seven miles to go of the 87-mile course.

She was eventually hospitalized in intensive care.

Van der Breggen went on to win the Olympic title, while van Vleuten returned quick enough to race at the October 2016 World Championships.

Van Vleuten, 35, won her first world title 13 months after the Rio Games, taking the time trial crown ahead of van der Breggen by 12 seconds. She also won the 10-stage Giro Rosa that concluded on Sunday.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

TOUR DE FRANCE: StandingsTV Schedule | Riders to Watch