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Top figure skating moments to celebrate National Get Up day

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Every year, the figure skating community marks the end of National Skating Month (January) with National Get Up day on Feb. 1.

U.S. Figure Skating is celebrating the third annual Get Up day in 2019.

“The first lesson in skating being how to fall down, and more importantly, how to get back up again, a lesson all participants can apply across all aspects of their lives,” USFS said in a press release.

All are encouraged to participate using the hashtag #WeGetUp on social platforms, sharing stories of those who are doing inspiring work in their communities or their own journeys.

That being said, with the U.S. Championships already in the books, let’s examine the best Get Up moments of the past 12 months.

Nathan Chen bounces back after rough short program to win the free skate in PyeongChang, and ultimately finish fifth in his first Olympic Games

Nathan Chen debuted at the PyeongChang Olympics in the team event, winning bronze alongside Maia and Alex Shibutani, Bradie Tennell, Mirai Nagasu, and Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim.

His individual skates, however, told a much different story. He dug himself into a hole by finishing 17th in the short program. But his free skate showed the Chen his longtime fans were used to. He attempted six quads, cleanly landing five, and ultimately won the phase to finish in fifth place overall.

Read: Nathan Chen on his ‘emotional roller coaster’

And, if that wasn’t enough, Chen continued his season at the world championships – and won by more than 50 points. He plans to defend his title in a few weeks.

Read: Nathan Chen wins world title by nearly 50 points after everyone falls 

Jason Brown went from fifth at nationals and missing the 2018 Olympic team to win bronze this year

Jason Brown said of the 2018 Olympic season, “It was kind of like my nightmare happened, and I survived. I’m not afraid anymore.”

The Sochi Olympian and 2015 U.S. Champion returned to 2019 nationals nearly reinvented. In the past year, he split with his longtime coach, moved to Toronto and has been steadily rebuilding all year.

He overcame a small costume mishap – leaving it behind when he won a December competition in Croatia – to win bronze in Detroit behind Nathan Chen and Vincent Zhou.

Read more: Jason Brown gaining traction in Toronto, building base for quad jumps

Madison Chock and Evan Bates return to U.S. podium despite abbreviated season

Madison Chock’s ankle injury – that she pushed through last season because “the Olympics were the most important thing” – finally was taken care of… even though it meant sitting out from competition for 10 months.

The couple, which owns two Worlds medals and have been to two Olympics together, didn’t compete for the first time this season until January. Then, they had the national championships to contend with.

The 2015 U.S. champions earned silver medals in Detroit and a spot at both the Four Continents Championships and the world championships.

More from U.S. Figure Skating Fan Zone: Madison Chock and Evan Bates are Just Getting Started

Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc’s plans to win nationals and compete at Worlds were nearly derailed when she suffered a concussion after a fall in competition

Ashley Cain fell on her head during a fall in competition in Croatia in December. She said later that she followed every concussion protocol in order to be ready to compete at nationals. The long-term goal was to compete at the world championships, but it had seemed at the time like a long shot.

The pair became first-time national champions in Detroit, though, and will be the U.S. representatives at the world championships, looking to win back more U.S. pair spots.

“We’ve been working toward that all year,” LeDuc said in an interview with us on Sunday.

“None of the pressure changes or anything like that,” Cain added. “Yes, we know now we’re the U.S. champions and we have a responsibility, but I think at this point we are ready to take on that responsibility. This is the year it was supposed to happen.”

More: Ashley Cain recovering after falling on her head at figure skating event 

Ting Cui rallies from 12th to fifth at nationals

Ting Cui fell twice in the short program in Detroit, but rallied with seven clean triples in the free skate for a fifth place overall finish. Her free skate, which scored 139.66 points, was third in the field.

And the year before, in the junior division, she rallied from 11th to win a bronze medal. It wasn’t a situation she was unfamiliar with.

“It’s one of my best programs in performance (quality) and one with the hardest jumps I’ve ever done, with the triple Lutz-triple toe loop and triple flip-half loop-triple Salchow,” Cui said afterward. “Definitely the best program in my career probably so far.”

More on Cui from our Reporters’ Notebook from nationals

Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker, sidelined over the summer with a concussion, have their best season to date

Jean-Luc Baker is now relatively symptom-free, he said, but the team missed a chunk of training over the summer while he was recovering from a concussion. The team had recently moved to Montreal to train.

Instead of losing that time, the team has come back this year stronger than ever. The 2018 Four Continents champions won their first Grand Prix gold medal at NHK Trophy in Japan and qualified for their first-ever Grand Prix Final. They had never been higher than fourth at U.S. Championships, but in Detroit, they broke through for a bronze medal.

Their season isn’t over yet, either; Four Continents and Worlds are still to come.

More: Kaitlin Hawayek, Jean-Luc Baker signal ice dance arrival at Grand Prix Final 

Mirai Nagasu, a two-time Olympian, has hip surgery and finds a new role in the sport

She didn’t compete at the U.S. Championships in January, but Mirai Nagasu still played a role. She had surgery on her hip in September but made her commentary debut on the Bridgestone Ice Desk as an analyst.

“For me to be given the opportunity to be a part of the Ice Desk, is something I am really grateful for,” she told NBCSports.com/figure-skating in Detroit. “I’m grateful to my skating and to have found it at such a young age; I think that’s where I’m at right now – being humble and being grateful for everything I have in my life.”

Read: Mirai Nagasu makes commentating debut at U.S. Championships

As a reminder, you can watch Four Continents and the world championships live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. Go to NBCsports.com/gold/figure-skating 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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Breanna Stewart to miss entire WNBA season with Achilles injury

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Breanna Stewart, the world’s top female basketball player and one of the most dominant athletes of 2018, is expected to miss the entire upcoming WNBA season after rupturing an Achilles playing in Europe on Sunday, according to the Seattle Storm.

“The situation is still a shock to me,” was posted on Stewart’s social media. “I’m feeling every emotion possible at this point but just know that the bounce back will be real and I’ll be back better than ever.”

Stewart, 24, skyrocketed in this Olympic cycle.

The Storm’s franchise player went from playing the second-fewest minutes on the 2016 Olympic team as its youngest player to leading the U.S. per game in points (16.3) and minutes (27) at the 2018 World Championship tournament.

Stewart earned MVP honors at worlds, matching her WNBA season and Finals honors. She became the first player to earn all three MVPs in one year.

Stewart is still expected to be in play for the 2020 Olympic team, given the Storm expect her to make a full recovery by the start of the following WNBA season next spring.

Tamika Catchings made the 2008 Olympic team after tearing her right Achilles in September 2007.

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Caster Semenya leads Olympians in Time 100; streak hits 16 years

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An Olympian has made the Time 100 Most Influential list every year since its annual inception in 2004. South African runner Caster Semenya, soccer players Alex Morgan and Mo Salah and LeBron James kept the streak going in 2019.

It’s the fourth appearance for James (2005, 2013, 2017), extending his record for an athlete, and the first for Semenya, Morgan and Salah. Semenya made it in the “icons” category, while the other three are “titans.”

Two-time Olympic 400m hurdles champion Edwin Moses penned an essay about the two-time Olympic 800m champion Semenya, who is fighting a legal battle with the IAAF over a potential rule change limiting women’s testosterone levels in her events. If the rule goes into effect, Semenya’s dominance (three years undefeated at 800m) is expected to vanish.

“Caster Semenya has taught us that sex isn’t always binary, and caused us to question the justness of distributing societal benefits according to “male” and “female” classifications,” Moses wrote. “Ultimately, this incredibly difficult issue is a political one for sport to resolve. But however it is addressed, Semenya will have already made a singular historical contribution to our understanding of biological sex.”

Here are Olympians and Paralympians on past Time 100 lists, counting only athletes who competed in the Games before being listed:

2018 — Kevin Durant, Roger Federer, Chloe Kim, Adam Rippon
2017 — Simone Biles, LeBron James, Neymar
2016 — Usain BoltCaitlyn JennerKatie LedeckySania MirzaRonda Rousey
2015 — Abby Wambach
2014 — Cristiano Ronaldo, Serena Williams
2013 — LeBron James, Li Na, Lindsey Vonn
2012 — Novak DjokovicLionel MessiOscar Pistorius
2011 — Lionel Messi
2010 — Yuna KimSerena Williams
2009 — Rafael Nadal
2008 — Andre Agassi, Lance Armstrong, Oscar Pistorius
2007 — Roger FedererChien Ming-Wang
2006 — Joey CheekSteve Nash
2005 — LeBron James
2004 — Lance Armstrong, Paula Radcliffe, Yao Ming
2000 (20th Century) — Muhammad Ali

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