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Tonya Harding in tears on Dancing with the Stars; Olympic gold medalist eliminated

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A tearful Tonya Harding said, “I don’t want to fail again,” while training for “Dancing with the Stars.” The disgraced figure skater didn’t, squeaking into the second week of the four-week season on Monday night.

Harding was the last of eight athletes to advance, while the Olympic champion snowboarder Jamie Anderson and retired baseball player Johnny Damon were eliminated (video here) on the premiere episode.

“It was the scariest moment I think I’ve been in in a really long time,” the 47-year-old Harding, who was banned from figure skating for life in 1994 after withholding knowledge of the attack on Nancy Kerrigansaid afterward to “Entertainment Tonight.”

Six of the 10 contestants on the all-athletes season of the show are Olympians — Harding, Anderson, figure skaters Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu, luger Chris Mazdzer and retired softball pitcher Jennie Finch.

Rippon and NFL cornerback Josh Norman tied for the highest score Monday with 24 out of a possible 30 points from three judges. Nagasu and Harding each scored 23. Mazdzer and Finch were next with 21 each.

DANCE VIDEOS: Anderson | Finch | Harding | Mazdzer | Nagasu | Rippon

“I need a Diet Coke, and I need more peanut M&Ms,” Rippon told E!.

At the end of the two-hour show, it was announced that two out of Harding, Anderson and Damon would be eliminated.

“I was like, no, lord please, don’t let this be the last dance,” Harding said to E!. “I’m finally learning how to be a lady and learning how to dance and I haven’t lost my last five pounds yet.”

Harding said she “felt like a princess.”

“I got banned in 1994 from skating, but nobody can tell me I can’t dance,” she said in a previously recorded training montage.

Anderson, the only female Olympic snowboarder with multiple gold medals, said she was “scared” and “intimidated” for her first dance. She scored 19 points, good for eighth place, just ahead of Damon and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Rippon, Harding and Nagasu look to become the third figure skater to win the Mirror Ball Trophy after Kristi Yamaguchi and Meryl Davis.

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MORE: Full list of Olympians to appear on ‘Dancing with the Stars’

Leanne Smith leads U.S. gold medalists at para swim worlds

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Leanne Smith has never competed at a Paralympics. Came into this week’s world championships with zero world medals. But she leaves London with three individual golds, most for any American, one year before the Tokyo Games.

Smith, 21, won the 150m individual medley, 50m breaststroke and 100m freestyle in her classification, all in American record times. The last two titles came on the final day of the seven-day meet on Sunday.

Smith, diagnosed with a rare neurological muscle disease called dystonia in January 2012, began swimming in 2013. By 2017, she broke a world record and then debuted at the world championships with a best individual finish of sixth.

The U.S. finished with 35 total medals and 14 golds, ranking sixth in the overall standings. Ukraine, usually strong at the Paralympics, led the way with 55 medals. Full results are here.

Jessica Long, the second-most-decorated U.S. Paralympian in history with 23 medals, earned six this week — five silvers and a bronze — to give her 52 career world championships medals.

Two-time Paralympian Mallory Weggemann earned two golds this week, giving her 15 world titles in three appearances (her others being in 2009 and 2010).

She won 50m titles in the butterfly and freestyle. Weggemann won a 2012 Paralympic 50m free title but was fortunate just to make it back for Rio after a 2014 accident that she said was harder to come back from than her teenage paralysis. She left Rio with no medals but a resolve to return for a third Games in Tokyo.

“I’m two seconds away from bursting into tears,” Weggemann said after winning the first of her two golds in the 50m fly, according to U.S. Paralympics. “I had a really rough go these past three years since Rio, so to finally be back after busting my butt to be here, and to be here in London of all places, is absolutely incredible.”

Fellow Rio Paralympians McKenzie Coan and Robert Griswold added two golds a piece.

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MORE: Five storylines to watch for Tokyo Paralympics

Heimana Reynolds wins skateboard world title, nears an Olympic goal from age 10

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In February 2009, a 10-year-old Heimana Reynolds was profiled by his local NBC TV station on Oahu.

“My goal is to become a professional skateboarder and compete in the X Games and the Olympics,” he said, according to the report.

Skateboarding would not be added to the Olympics for another seven years. But here Reynolds is, age 21, having just won the world title in park, one of two skateboarding events that debut at the Games in Tokyo.

Reynolds, who wasn’t named to the four-man U.S. national team in March, consolidated his lead in the Olympic qualification rankings by prevailing over a pair of Brazilians in Sao Paulo on Sunday.

A shirtless Reynolds scored 88 points in the final, beating Luis Francisco (85.50) and Pedro Quintas (85).

No more than three Americans can make the Olympic team in the event, which will make it difficult if three-time Olympic halfpipe snowboarding champion Shaun White decides to continue his skateboarding pursuit. White was the sixth-best American, bowing out in the semifinals in 13th place on Saturday in just his second contest since returning to competitive skating last year.

Back to Reynolds. He grew up on the North Shore and attended the Punahou School, where Barack Obama is the most famous alum. His first name is Tahitian, reportedly referring to the power of Jesus’ crown of thorns.

Reynolds, the son of a surfer, proved a natural on land. After pre-teen media profiles, he blossomed into a world silver medalist last year. He won an Olympic qualifier in China in July to take the top spot in the Olympic rankings despite a best career X Games finish of sixth.

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