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Katie Couric, Mike Tirico to host Olympic Opening Ceremony

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Katie Couric returns to NBC to co-host the PyeongChang Olympic Opening Ceremony with Mike Tirico on Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. ET.

The Opening Ceremony will also stream live on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app for the first time, beginning Feb. 9 at 6 a.m. ET with the event’s world feed and natural sound (no commentators).

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Couric co-hosted Olympic Opening Ceremony coverage at Sydney 2000, Salt Lake City 2002 and Athens 2004. She also covered six Olympics on TODAY during her run as co-anchor from 1991-2006.

“During my years at NBC, I loved covering the Olympics and showcasing the hard work, dedication and perseverance of athletes from around the world,” Couric said in a press release. “The Opening Ceremony will be a chance for South Korea to share its culture and customs and for the international community to celebrate this unparalleled display of athletic achievement and sportsmanship. There’s nothing quite like it.

“I’m also looking forward to working with Mike, who brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to everything he does.”

Couric will contribute to NBC Olympics coverage in the days following the Opening Ceremony with commentary and Olympian interviews.

Tirico was previously announced as NBC Olympics’ primetime host, succeeding Bob Costas.

Joshua Cooper Ramo rejoins NBC’s Opening Ceremony coverage, too, after discussing culture and geo-political issues at the unforgettable Beijing 2008 Opening Ceremony.

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Helen Maroulis to miss world championships, eyes still on defending Olympic title

Helen Maroulis
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Helen Maroulis, the lone U.S. female wrestler to win an Olympic title, sat out this past weekend’s world team trials, which means she will not compete at the world championships in September.

Maroulis is working her way back from blowing out her right shoulder in a first-round loss at worlds on Oct. 24, after she returned from a concussion. She underwent surgery in November and was cleared to return earlier this spring before tweaking the shoulder again.

Maroulis said Friday she was cleared again to compete at trials but chose rest, recovery and her long-term health given what happened in 2018.

“It’s not coming from a place of fear,” she said. “I’m just not ready yet.

“If trials were end of June, everything would be perfect. I’m still feeling good and confident for 2020.”

As Maroulis stressed at 2018 Worlds, she prioritizes health over wrestling.

“Not just for myself, but to set an example because I get a lot of messages from kids on Instagram — I have a concussion, or my teammate has a concussion.” Maroulis said in October. “There’s this wrestler mindset to just push through — you’re the toughest, find a way to win. But there’s just a lot more to it.”

Maroulis, 27, put together one of the most dominant stretches in sport from 2015-17, going 78-1 overall among three different weight classes and going unscored upon at two world championships.

In between, she beat Saori Yoshida in the Rio Olympic 53kg final, preventing the Japanese legend from a record fourth Olympic title.

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Ex-partner of deceased figure skater John Coughlin says she was abused

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — One of the former skating partners of two-time U.S. pairs champion John Coughlin has accused him in a series of social media posts of sexually assaulting her over a 2-year period.

Bridget Namiotka said on Facebook that Coughlin, who died by suicide in January, hurt “at least 10 people including me.” She skated with Coughlin from 2004, when she was 14, through the 2007 season.

Namiotka’s attorney confirmed to The Associated Press that the comments were made by her.

The U.S. Center for SafeSport and U.S. Figure Skating had given Coughlin, who became a coach and TV commentator after his retirement, an interim suspension for unspecified conduct. He was barred from attending events and activities sanctioned by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Coughlin was found dead Jan. 18 at his father’s home in Kansas City, Missouri.