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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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Ehsan Hadadi, Iran’s first Olympic track and field medalist, has coronavirus

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Ehsan Hadadi, Iran’s lone Olympic track and field medalist, tested positive for the coronavirus, according to World Athletics and an Iranian news agency.

“We’ve received word from several Asian journalists that Iranian discus thrower Ehsan Hadadi has tested positive for coronavirus,” according to World Athletics. “[Hadadi] trains part of the year in the US, but was home in Tehran when he contracted the virus.”

Hadadi, 35, became the first Iranian to earn an Olympic track and field medal when he took silver in the discus at the 2012 London Games. Hadadi led through four of six rounds before being overtaken by German Robert Harting, who edged the Iranian by three and a half inches.

He was eliminated in qualifying at the Rio Olympics and placed seventh at last fall’s world championships in Doha.

Jordan Larson preps for her last Olympics, one year later than expected

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Whether the Tokyo Olympics would have been this summer or in 2021, Jordan Larson knew this: It will mark her final tournament with the U.S. volleyball team, should she make the roster.

“I’m just not getting any younger,” said Larson, a 33-year-old outside hitter. “I’ve been playing consistently overseas for 12 years straight with no real offseason.

“I also have other endeavors in my life that I want to see. Getting married, having children, those kinds of things. The older I get, the more challenging those become.”

Larson, who debuted on the national team in 2009, has been a leader the last two Olympic cycles. She succeeded Christa Harmotto Dietzen as captain after the Rio Games. Larson started every match at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

As long as Larson was in the building, the U.S. never had to worry about the outside hitter position, said two-time Olympian and NBC Olympics volleyball analyst Kevin Barnett.

“She played as if she belonged from the start,” he said. “They will miss her all-around capability. They’ll miss her ability to make everyone around her better. She’s almost like having a libero who can hit.”

Karch Kiraly, the Olympic indoor and beach champion who took over as head coach after the 2012 Olympics, gushed about her court vision.

“It’s a little dated now, but somebody like Wayne Gretzky just saw things that other people didn’t see on the hockey rink,” Kiraly said in 2018. “And I remember reading about him one time, and the quote from an opposing goalie was, oh my god, here he comes, what does he see that I don’t see right now? She sees things sooner than most people.”

Larson grew up in Hooper, Neb., (population 830) and starred at the University of Nebraska. She was a three-time All-American who helped the team win a national title as a sophomore. She had the opportunity to leave Nebraska and try out for the Olympics in 2008 but chose to remain at school for her final season.

She earned the nickname “Governor” as a Cornhusker State sports icon.

Larson helped the U.S. win its first major international title at the 2014 World Championship. She was also part of the program’s two stingers — defeats in the 2012 Olympic final and 2016 Olympic semifinals, both matches where the U.S. won the first set (and convincingly in 2012).

“It just gives me chills thinking about it now,” Larson said of the Rio Olympic semifinals, where Serbia beat the U.S. 15-13 in the fifth. “That team, we put in so much. Not just on the court but off the court working on culture and working on how are we best for each other. How can we be the best team? How can we out-team people? Certain teams have a better one player that’s a standout that we maybe didn’t have or don’t have. So how can we out-team the other teams? We had just put in so much work that was just heartbreaking.”

Larson and the Americans rebounded to win the bronze-medal match two days later.

“I don’t know anybody that didn’t have their heart ripped out. It was just a soul-crusher of a match,” Kiraly said of the semifinal. “More meaningful was what a great response everybody, including Jordan, mounted to the disappointment of that loss.”

The U.S. took fifth at worlds in 2018 and is now ranked second in the world behind China.

Larson spent the past club season in Shanghai. The campaign ended in mid-January. She hadn’t heard anything about the coronavirus when she took her scheduled flight back to California, learning days later that LAX started screening for it. Now, she’s working out from her garage.

Larson is in line to become the fifth-oldest U.S. Olympic women’s volleyball player in history, according Olympedia and the OlyMADMen.

Her decade of experience could go a long way to help the next generation of outside hitters, led by three-time NCAA champion and Sullivan Award winner Kathryn Plummer.

“If you’re coming into the USA program as an outside hitter, in the next year or the quad or the quad after that,” Barnett said, “the measuring stick is going to be Jordan Larson.”

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