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U.S. picks Nathan Chen for team event short program in PyeongChang

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Two-time U.S. national champion Nathan Chen will skate the short program for Team USA in the figure skating team event, according to a U.S. Figure Skating announcement on Wednesday.

Chen is planning two quadruple jumps in the short program, which is set to Benjamin Clementine’s “Nemesis.” “I feel like I’m a good addition to the team,” Chen said before the announcement, according to a PyeongChang 2018 media release. “Also, we’re at the Olympics, we get only one shot on the ice, so to have another shot is like a great experience. It would be good to put the program out there before I get to do the individual.

NBCOlympics.com: Nathan Chen plans to put it all together at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics

“I think we have a pretty good shot of getting on the podium.”

Four years ago in Sochi, the U.S. contingent took home a bronze medal in the first-ever figure skating team event.

After his first practice, Chen described what it was like to skate on ice in PyeongChang first the first time at the Games:

“The ice feels awesome. I still have a couple of practices to get my feet under me, but ultimately everything feels good right now.”

NBCOlympics.com: American figure skating preview

The federation also announced Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim, a married pair team, as the skaters in the pairs short program phase of the team event. The two-time national champions are the only U.S. pair in PyeongChang, but have said they don’t find competing four times in the span of a week daunting. The team event opens the Olympic figure skating program, followed by the pairs’ event.

“We’re both really excited being in the team event,” Chris told media on a recent teleconference. “Even if there was another pair team, we would still be doing both of the events. It’s a big opportunity when you go to an Olympics and you get to compete your short and long for a normal Olympics. But now, for the team event, we have the opportunity to compete two more times in front of the world.”

The team event kicks off with the men’s short program and pairs’ short program on Feb. 8 in Primetime on NBC and NBCOlympics.com.

 

141 women accept ESPYs Arthur Ashe Courage Award for Larry Nassar survivors

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A total of 141 women accepted the ESPYs’ Arthur Ashe Courage Award on Wednesday night for the hundreds of Larry Nassar survivors, according to ESPN.

“1997. 1998. 1999. 2000. 2004. 2011. 2013. 2014. 2015. 2016,” Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman said on stage. “These were the years we spoke up about Larry Nassar’s abuse. All those years, we were told, you are wrong. You misunderstood. He’s a doctor. It’s OK. Don’t worry. We’ve got it covered. Be careful. There are risks involved. The intention? To silence us. In favor of money, medals and reputation.

“But we persisted, and finally, someone listened and believed us. This past January, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina showed a profound level of understanding by giving us each the opportunity to face our abuser, to speak our truth and feel heard. Thank you, Judge Aquilina [in attendance], for honoring our voices.

“For too long, we were ignored, and you helped us rediscover the power we each possess. You may never meet the hundreds of children you saved, but know they exist. The ripple effect of our actions, or inactions, can be enormous, spanning generations.

“Perhaps the greatest tragedy of this nightmare is that it could have been avoided. Predators thrive in silence. It is all too common for people to choose to not get involved. Whether you act or do nothing, you are shaping the world that we live in, impacting others.

“All we needed was one adult to have the integrity to stand between us and Larry Nassar. If just one adult had listened, believed and acted, the people standing before you on this stage would have never met him. Too often, abusers and enablers perpetuate suffering by making survivors feel their truth doesn’t matter. To all the survivors out there, don’t let anyone rewrite your story. Your truth does matter, you matter and you are not alone.

“We all face hardships. If we choose to listen, and we choose to act with empathy, we can draw strength from each other. We may suffer alone, but we survive together.”

The Ashe award, named after the Grand Slam tennis champion and human rights advocate, goes to those with “strength in the face of adversity, courage in the face of peril and the willingness to stand up for their beliefs no matter what the cost.”

Previous Olympian recipients include Muhammad AliCathy FreemanTommie Smith and John CarlosPat Summitt and Caitlyn Jenner.

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Erin Hamlin to run New York City Marathon

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Erin Hamlin, the first U.S. Olympic singles luge medalist and Team USA flag bearer at the PyeongChang Olympic Opening Ceremony, will run the New York City Marathon on Nov. 4.

Hamlin, a 2014 Olympic bronze medalist who retired after her fourth Olympics in PyeongChang at age 31, is running to fundraise for the Women’s Sports Foundation. So is Marlen Esparza, who in 2012 became the first U.S. Olympic women’s boxing medalist (flyweight bronze).

Hamlin has no marathon experience, according to the Women’s Sports Foundation.

“Being challenged in sport is something I am very familiar with,” Hamlin said in a mass email Wednesday, according to TeamUSA.org. “Long distance running is something I most certainly am not!! It will be difficult, mentally and physically daunting, but a way to test my abilities in a sport so far out of my comfort zone.”

Many Olympians in non-running sports have raced the New York City Marathon.

Bill Demong, the 2010 U.S. Olympic Closing Ceremony flag bearer and only U.S. Olympic Nordic combined champion, ran the 2014 NYC Marathon in 2:33:05, crushing eight-time Olympic medalist Apolo Ohno‘s 3:25:14 from 2011.

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MORE: Top luge moments from PyeongChang Olympics