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How the U.S. Olympic figure skating team is chosen

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The U.S. Olympic figure skating team is chosen entirely by committees. It’s not as simple as taking the top finishers from the national championships.

The team of three men, three women, three ice dance couples and one pair will be announced on Jan. 6-7 at the U.S. Championships in San Jose.

The plan is to have three different team announcements within 24 hours of the conclusion of each discipline. The planned announcement schedule (all times Eastern):

Women — Saturday, 8 a.m.
Men — Sunday, 11:15 a.m.
Pair — Sunday, 12:45 p.m.
Ice Dance — Sunday, 8:55 p.m.

A different committee chooses the athletes for each discipline, but the criteria is the same across the board.

From U.S. Figure Skating:

Team members will be selected by U.S. Figure Skating’s International Committee, taking into consideration the results of events in the following order of importance:

2018 U.S. Championships
2017 Grand Prix Final
2017 World Championships
2017 Grand Prix Series
2017 Four Continents Championships
2017 U.S. Championships
2017 World Junior Championships
2017 Grand Prix Final

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Furthermore, U.S. Figure Skating broke down competitions into tiers in order of importance:

Tier 1
2018 U.S. Championships
2017 Grand Prix Final
2017 World Championships

Tier 2
2017 Grand Prix Series
2017 Four Continents Championships

Tier 3
2017 Challenger Series
2017 U.S. Championships
2017 World Junior Championships
2017 Junior Grand Prix Final

This criteria is what makes defending U.S. champions Nathan Chen and the ice dance couple of Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani heavy favorites to make the Olympic team regardless of what they do at nationals.

Chen won this year’s Grand Prix Final, both of his Grand Prix Series events and the Four Continents Championships.

The Shibutani siblings took bronze at both the Grand Prix Final and world championships this year (the only U.S. medalists at worlds) and won both of their Grand Prix Series events.

No other U.S. skaters in any disciplines earned world or Grand Prix Final medals in 2017 or won any Grand Prix Series events.

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MORE: U.S. Figure Skating Champs broadcast schedule

Mikaela Shiffrin returns with mantra, stuck to her helmet, to carry forever

Mikaela Shiffrin
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Look close at Mikaela Shiffrin as she steps into a race start gate for the first time in eight months on Oct. 17.

Shiffrin, the two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Cup overall champion, plans to wear a helmet with two special stickers on the back.

She’s donned the first decal for years — the initials ABFTTB, which stand for “Always Be Faster Than The Boys,” a personalized autograph motto from retired Olympic Alpine skier Heidi Voelker.

The new sticker reads, Be nice. Think first. Have fun.

Those lines came from Shiffrin’s father, Jeff — the mantra instilled in her and older brother Taylor, also a young ski racer at the time.

After Jeff died on Feb. 2, Shiffrin regularly remembered the question that Jeff posed years ago: “What are the golden rules?”

Be nice. Think first.

When the Shiffrin siblings were old enough, Jeff added the third rule.

“He felt like we could understand that having fun wasn’t just about going and doing whatever you want because it’s instantly gratifying,” Shiffrin told NBC Sports’ Alex Azzi in an On Her Turf interview. “Fun is doing something well and the satisfaction you get from sticking to something.”

She plans to race all season with the golden rules sticker on her helmet, right next to ABFTTB.

Shiffrin detailed more about her prep for a very different World Cup campaign, in conjunction with a new fund in honor of her late father, in this On Her Turf report.

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2020 Tour de France results

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2020 Tour de France results for the yellow jersey, green jersey, white jersey and polka-dot jersey …

Overall (Yellow Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 87:20:05
2. Primoz Roglic (SLO) — +:59
3. Richie Porte (AUS) — +3:30
4. Mikel Landa (ESP) — +5:58
5. Enric Mas (ESP) — +6:07
6. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL) — +6:47
7. Tom Dumoulin (NED) — +7:48
8. Rigberto Uran (COL) — +8:02
9. Adam Yates (GBR) — +9:25
10. Damiano Caruso (ITA) — +14:03
13. Richard Carapaz (ECU) — +25:53
15. Sepp Kuss (USA) — +42:20
17. Nairo Quintana (COL) — +1:03:07
29. Thibaut Pinot (FRA) — +1:59:54
36. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) — +2:19:11
DNF. Egan Bernal (COL)

Sprinters (Green Jersey)
1. Sam Bennett (IRL) — 380 points
2. Peter Sagan (SVK) — 284
3. Matteo Trentin (ITA) — 260
4. Bryan Coquard (FRA) — 181
5. Wout van Aert (BEL) — 174

Climbers (Polka-Dot Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 82 points
2. Richard Carapaz (ECU) — 74
3. Primoz Roglic (SLO) — 67
4. Marc Hirschi (SUI) — 62
5. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL) — 51

Young Rider (White Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 87:20:13
2. Enric Mas (ESP) — +6:07
3. Valentin Madouas (FRA) — +1:42:43
4. Dani Martinez (COL) — +1:55:12
5. Lennard Kamna (GER) — +2:15:39

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