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Red Gerard wins gold, claims first 2018 Olympic medal for USA

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He knew it as soon as he landed: that was a huge run. 17 year-old Red Gerard claimed the first Olympic gold medal for the United States at the 2018 Olympic Games.

Entering the snowboard slopestyle competition, all eyes were on the Norwegian and Canadian snowboarders, and they looked to fit the bill entering the finals, having crammed eight of the 12 athletes. Yet, the heavy hitters seemed to struggle in all three runs of the final round.

NBCOlympics.com: Red Gerard’s gold medal in snowboard slopestyle

Marcus Kleveland, Seppe Smits, Sebastien Toutant, and Tyler Nicholson all mightily struggled on the course today.

With ice in his veins, Gerard saved his biggest run for last, landing a massive 87.16 in his third run to clinch the gold. The American launched a near-perfect run and landed solid on some of his biggest jumps.

With his run out of the way, Gerard had to wait a nervy couple of minutes as the final competitors took the slope for one last attempt to overcome the American.

NBCOlympics.com: The backyard that made Red Gerard

First up was Mark McMorris, the hands-on favorite to win the event. Attempting a 1,660 spin on his final jump, the Canadian crashed, sending him out of contention.

Next up was fellow Canadian, and fellow contender, Max Parrot, who delivered his own remarkable run. Yet it just wasn’t enough, as his 86.00 scoreline forced him to settle for second.

 

Full Results: 

Gold: Red Gerard (USA), 87.16

Silver: Max Parrot (CAN), 86.00

Bronze: Mark McMorris (CAN), 85.20

Fourth: Staale Sanbech (NOR), 81.01

Fifth: Carlos Garcia Knight (NZL), 78.60

Sixth: Marcus Kleveland (NOR), 77.76

Seventh: Tyler Nicholson (CAN), 76.41

Eighth: Torgeir Bergrem (NOR), 75.80

Ninth: Niklas Mattsson (SWE), 74.71

Tenth: Seppe Smits (BEL), 69.03

Eleventh: Matt Toutant (CAN), 61.08

Twelfth: Mons Roisland (NOR), DNS

USOPC seeks to revoke USA Badminton’s status

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U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland filed a complaint to revoke USA Badminton’s status as the national governing body for the sport, a year after a USOPC audit found the organization lacked athlete safety requirements.

USA Badminton “failed to meet its responsibilities as an NGB and consistently failed to meet its obligations to its members and to U.S. athletes,” according to the USOPC. “Further, USAB has failed to conduct itself in a manner that demonstrates it can fulfill those responsibilities.”

Asked for reaction, USA Badminton interim CEO Linda French said, “I’m very disappointed in the USOPC and the conduct of their staff.”

USA Badminton recently had mass resignations among its board and top officials amid governance issues and the USOPC threatening decertification. A 2018 USOPC audit found four “high risk” areas in USA Badminton’s athlete safety and SafeSport compliance that, by March, had not been fully resolved.

“We have attempted to work with USAB’s leadership over the course of the last year to address our concerns, however those efforts have not yielded the results necessary to give me confidence in USAB’s ability to continue to serve its athletes as an NGB,” Hirshland wrote. “We remain committed to working with USAB’s leadership to address our concerns but have so far not found a willing partner.”

The next step is for Hirshland to appoint an independent panel to hear the complaint. There is no specific timeline for a resolution, though Hirshland said it will take a minimum of several weeks.

If USA Badminton’s status is revoked, the USOPC would assume control on an interim basis.

Last November, the USOPC filed the same complaint against USA Gymnastics, seeking to revoke its status after the Larry Nassar sexual-abuse crimes came to light followed by several leadership changes.

USA Gymnastics since filed for bankruptcy and named former college gymnast and NBA executive Li Li Leung its new CEO in February. It remains the sport’s NGB with eight months until the Tokyo Olympics.

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Sun Yang should get lengthy ban if he loses doping hearing, WADA says

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The World Anti-Doping Agency wants China’s star swimmer Sun Yang banned for up to eight years for alleged doping rules violations.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said Tuesday ahead of a rare appeal hearing in open court on Friday that WADA requests a ban of two to eight years. Sun served a three-month ban in 2014 for a positive test.

If WADA wins, the three-time Olympic freestyle champion will miss the Tokyo Games.

WADA has challenged world swimming body FINA’s ruling to merely warn Sun after a disputed attempt by sample collectors to take blood and urine from him at his home in China in September 2018. The late-night confrontation lasted from 11 p.m. to beyond 3:30 a.m.

The day-long hearing will examine why a secure box storing a glass vial of blood came to be destroyed by Sun’s entourage, who questioned the sample team’s authority. A FINA tribunal panel agreed the officials lacked proper credentials to make the sample collection valid.

WADA believes Sun broke anti-doping rules by refusing to submit to a sample collection.

All sides agreed to Sun’s request to hold a first CAS appeal in public for 20 years.

A verdict is unlikely until early next year.

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