Changed Yevgenia Medvedeva returns at Skate Canada; TV/stream schedule

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Yevgenia Medvedeva, after three nearly flawless years atop a revolving-door sport, earned silver medals at her last three competitions.

It’s not a shock given the circumstances. Even her most recent outing, taking second to U.S. champion Bradie Tennell at a lower-level season debut last month, if you listen to new coach Brian Orser.

Medvedeva, after the most dominant run in women’s skating since Katarina Witt in the 1980s, succumbed first to a broken bone in her right foot last fall and second to 15-year-old (now former) training partner Alina Zagitova. Zagitova beat Medvedeva at January’s European Championships and in PyeongChang (by a mere 1.31 points).

Medvedeva returns to the Grand Prix series at this week’s Skate Canada in Laval, Quebec, across the provincial border from her new home in Toronto. NBC Sports Gold streams live coverage:

Day Time (ET) Event Network
Friday 2:15-3:45 p.m. Pairs’ Short NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK
3:45-5:30 p.m. Men’s Short NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK
7-8:30 p.m. Rhythm Dance NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK
8;45-10:30 p.m. Women’s Short NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK
Saturday 1:15-2:45 p.m. Pairs’ Free NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK
3-5 p.m. Men’s Free NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK
7-8;45 p.m. Free Dance NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK
9-11 p.m. Women’s Free NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK
Sunday 2 p.m. Exhibition NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK
4-6 p.m. Highlights NBC | STREAM LINK

Medvedeva will not face Zagitova before December’s Grand Prix Final. At Skate Canada, the notable foes are world silver medalist Wakaba Higuchi of Japan and 2015 World champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, whom Medvedeva succeeded as the leading Russian.

Some uncertainty shadows Medvedeva going into a season for the first time since she turned senior in 2015.

There is the icy spring split from her coach of 11 years, Eteri Tutberidze, and the transatlantic move.

Medvedeva turns 19 in November, older than any Russian medalist at an Olympics or worlds since Adelina Sotnikova ushered in the nation’s dominance at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. The Russian conveyor belt is now producing 14-year-olds with quadruple jumps, though they are not yet eligible for senior international events.

Orser, who coached Yuna Kim and Yuzuru Hanyu to Olympic titles, is reworking part of Medvedeva’s jump technique.

“She has embraced the idea of rebuilding,” Orser told Olympics reporter Phil Hersh before the season. “I think she understands that’s the only option, and we may have to take a couple hits along the way.”

Zagitova has the world’s top score this season by nearly 17 points — 238.43. Medvedeva tallied 204.89 at last month’s Autumn Classic, falling in the free skate and getting passed by Tennell. A 220 this week would put Medvedeva atop everyone except her former training partner.

Also at Skate Canada, PyeongChang silver medalist Shoma Uno of Japan is the only man from the top 10 at the Olympics in the field. He posted the world’s top score in the pre-Grand Prix season and is the defending champion at this event. His rivals — Olympic champ Yuzuru Hanyu and world champ Nathan Chen — should be waiting at December’s Grand Prix Final.

Other Skate Canada podium contenders include Jason Brown, the top American finisher at the Sochi Olympics (ninth) who missed the PyeongChang team with a sixth-place finish at January’s nationals. Brown, 23, then left his coach since age 5 and “second mom” — Kori Ade. He moved from Colorado to Orser’s Toronto group.

Brown, yet to land a clean quadruple jump in competition, opened his season with a fourth-place finish at the Autumn Classic. It marked his first time off the podium in seven career lower-level Challenger Series events. Like Medvedeva, he is a work in progress.

In ice dance, U.S. champions and world silver medalists Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue are favored to make it back-to-back Grand Prix wins following their maiden Skate America title last week. The Skate Canada field is slightly stronger with Russians Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov and Canadians Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, Nos. 4 and 5 in the world this season.

World bronze medalists Vanessa James and Morgan Ciprès lead the pairs’ field.

As a reminder, you can watch the ISU Grand Prix Series live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. GO HERE to sign up for access to every ISU Grand Prix and championship event, as well as domestic U.S. Figure Skating events throughout the season…NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before.

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MORE: New-look Jason Brown returns after missing Olympic team

Elena Fanchini, medal-winning Alpine skier, dies at 37

Elena Fanchini
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Elena Fanchini, an Italian Alpine skier whose career was cut short by a tumor, has died. She was 37.

Fanchini, the 2005 World downhill silver medalist at age 19, passed away Wednesday at her home in Solato, near Brescia, the Italian Winter Sports Federation announced.

Fanchini died on the same day that fellow Italian Marta Bassino won the super-G at the world championships in Meribel, France; and two days after Federica Brignone — another former teammate — claimed gold in the combined.

Sofia Goggia, who is the favorite for Saturday’s downhill, dedicated her World Cup win in Cortina d’Ampezzo last month to Fanchini.

Fanchini last raced in December 2017. She was cleared to return to train nearly a year later but never made it fully back, and her condition grew worse in recent months.

Fanchini won her world downhill silver medal in Italy in 2005, exactly one month after her World Cup debut, an astonishing breakout.

Ten months later, she won a World Cup downhill in Canada with “Ciao Mamma” scribbled on face tape to guard against 1-degree temperatures. She was 20. Nobody younger than 21 has won a World Cup downhill since. Her second and final World Cup win, also a downhill, came more than nine years later.

In between her two World Cup wins, Fanchini raced at three Olympics with a best finish of 12th in the downhill in 2014. She missed the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics because of her condition.

Fanchini’s younger sisters Nadia and Sabrina were also World Cup racers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

USA Boxing to skip world championships

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USA Boxing will not send boxers to this year’s men’s and women’s world championships, citing “the ongoing failures” of the IBA, the sport’s international governing body, that put boxing’s place on the Olympic program at risk.

The Washington Post first reported the decision.

In a letter to its members, USA Boxing Executive Director Mike McAtee listed many factors that led to the decision, including IBA governance issues, financial irregularities and transparency and that Russian and Belarusian boxers are allowed to compete with their flags.

IBA lifted its ban on Russian and Belarusian boxers in October and said it would allow their flags and anthems to return, too.

The IOC has not shifted from its recommendation to international sports federations last February that Russian and Belarusian athletes be barred, though the IOC and Olympic sports officials have been exploring whether those athletes could return without national symbols.

USA Boxing said that Russian boxers have competed at an IBA event in Morocco this month with their flags and are expected to compete at this year’s world championships under their flags.

“While sport is intended to be politically neutral, many boxers, coaches and other representatives of the Ukrainian boxing community were killed as a result of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, including coach Mykhaylo Korenovsky who was killed when a Russian missile hit an apartment block in January 2023,” according to the USA Boxing letter. “Ukraine’s sports infrastructure, including numerous boxing gyms, has been devastated by Russian aggression.”

McAtee added later that USA Boxing would still not send athletes to worlds even if Russians and Belarusians were competing as neutrals and without their flags.

“USA Boxing’s decision is based on the ‘totality of all of the factors,'” he said in an emailed response. “Third party oversite and fairness in the field of play is the most important factor.”

A message has been sent to the IBA seeking comment on USA Boxing’s decision.

The women’s world championships are in March in India. The men’s world championships are in May in Uzbekistan. They do not count toward 2024 Olympic qualifying.

In December, the IOC said recent IBA decisions could lead to “the cancellation of boxing” for the 2024 Paris Games.

Some of the already reported governance issues led to the IOC stripping IBA — then known as AIBA — of its Olympic recognition in 2019. AIBA had suspended all 36 referees and judges used at the 2016 Rio Olympics pending an investigation into a possible judging scandal, one that found that some medal bouts were fixed by “complicit and compliant” referees and judges.

The IOC ran the Tokyo Olympic boxing competition.

Boxing was not included on the initial program for the 2028 Los Angeles Games announced in December 2021, though it could still be added. The IBA must address concerns “around its governance, its financial transparency and sustainability and the integrity of its refereeing and judging processes,” IOC President Thomas Bach said then.

This past June, the IOC said IBA would not run qualifying competitions for the 2024 Paris Games.

In September, the IOC said it was “extremely concerned” about the Olympic future of boxing after an IBA extraordinary congress overwhelmingly backed Russian Umar Kremlev to remain as its president rather than hold an election.

Kremlev was re-elected in May after an opponent, Boris van der Vorst of the Netherlands, was barred from running against him. The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled in June that van der Vorst should have been eligible to run against Kremlev, but the IBA group still decided not to hold a new election.

Last May, Rashida Ellis became the first U.S. woman to win a world boxing title at an Olympic weight since Claressa Shields in 2016, taking the 60kg lightweight crown in Istanbul. In Tokyo, Ellis lost 3-0 in her opening bout in her Olympic debut.

At the last men’s worlds in 2021, Robby Gonzales and Jahmal Harvey became the first U.S. men to win an Olympic or world title since 2007, ending the longest American men’s drought since World War II.

The Associated Press and NBC Olympic research contributed to this report.

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