How to watch U.S. Figure Skating Championships

Nathan Chen, Ashley Wagner
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The U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the final event to decide the Olympic team, will air live on NBC, NBCSN and Olympic Channel and stream on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app next week with every senior session.

Senior competition runs from Jan. 3 through Jan. 7 in San Jose, Calif.

The Olympic team, selected by committees, will include three men, three women, three dance couples and one pairs team.

While podium finishers will have the inside track to Olympic spots, nobody — not even national champions — clinch automatic PyeongChang berths. The committees decide everything.

The favorites include Nathan Chen, who last year became the first skater to land five quadruple jumps in one program en route to becoming, at age 17, the youngest U.S. men’s champion since 1966.

Chen is the only male singles skater in the world who is undefeated this season. The run included victory at this fall’s Grand Prix Final, the biggest international event ahead of the Olympics.

Chen is all but assured one of the three men’s Olympic berths given his resume.

He could be joined in PyeongChang by training partner and 2016 U.S. champion Adam Rippon, a 28-year-old trying to become the oldest U.S. Olympic rookie singles skater since 1936.

Jason Brown, a 2014 Olympian, and Max Aaron, also past U.S. champions, are in the mix. As is world junior champion Vincent Zhou.

PREVIEWS: Men | Women | DancePairsTV Schedule | Olympic Selection

There is no dominant U.S. women’s singles skater this year, but it would be a surprise if three-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner does not make a second straight Olympic team.

With Gracie Gold taking this season off, Wagner has new challengers.

Like Karen Chen, who stunningly won last season’s nationals and then, in another pleasant surprise, was fourth at worlds. Chen has struggled this season, however.

Mirai Nagasu is a sentimental favorite. The 2010 Olympian was third at the 2014 U.S. Championships but left off the three-woman Sochi team in favor of fourth-place Wagner.

The newest names are Mariah Bell, third at last season’s nationals, and Bradie Tennell, the top-ranked U.S. woman this season, her first at the senior international level.

In dance, the same three couples finished in the top three at each of the last three U.S. Championships — Maia Shibutani and Alex ShibutaniMadison Chock and Evan Bates and Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue.

It would be a stunner if those aren’t the three U.S. Olympic dance couples.

The U.S. will send its smallest pairs contingent — one pair — to the Olympics since the first Winter Games in 1924.

Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Christopher Knierim are the clear favorites. The Knierims are the top-scoring U.S. pair four seasons running.

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MORE: Olympic Channel airs classic Olympic figure skating marathon

Date Time (ET) Program Network
Wednesday 11 p.m.-1 Women’s Short NBCSN | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
Thursday 4-5 p.m. Pairs Short Olympic Channel | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
5-6:30 p.m. Pairs Short NBCSN | STREAM
8:30 p.m.-12 Men’s Short NBCSN | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
Friday 4-6 p.m. Short Dance NBCSN | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
8-11 p.m. Women’s Free NBC | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
Saturday 4-6 p.m. Pairs Free NBC | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
8-11 p.m. Men’s Free NBCSN | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
Sunday 3-6 p.m. Free Dance NBC | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
Jan. 13 4 p.m. Exhibition Gala NBC | STREAM

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

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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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