AP

U.S. Figure Skating names host cities for 2021, 2022 nationals

Leave a comment

San Jose and Nashville will host the 2021 and 2022 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the latter being the last event before the 2022 Olympic team is named.

The 2021 U.S. Championships, set for Jan. 11-17, go to San Jose for the fourth time, and the first time since 2018, at the SAP Center.

In 2018, Nathan Chen, Bradie Tennell, Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim and Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue won national titles and sewed up PyeongChang Olympic spots.

The 2022 U.S. Championships will be Jan. 3-9 in Bridgestone Arena, home of the NHL’s Nashville Predators. The Beijing Winter Games open Feb. 4.

The U.S. Championships were last held in Nashville in 1997. That year’s champions were Todd Eldredge, Tara Lipinski, Kyoko Ina and Jason Dungjen and Elizabeth Punsalan and Jerod Swallow.

Nashville is home to 1984 Olympic champion Scott Hamilton, who founded the Scott Hamilton Skating Academy, which highlights the strength and growth of the Nashville skating community.

“From my very first days working with the Nashville Predators through the Scott Hamilton Skating Academy, I knew we were going to build something unique and special,” Hamilton said, according to U.S. Figure Skating. “I always knew we would someday host the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, and I’m so excited that it’s happening in 2022, and that we’ll get to send off the U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team to Beijing.”

Both championships will air live on NBC Sports and streamed live, commercial-free and on demand with the Figure Skating Pass on NBC Sports Gold. Ticket information will be available at a later date, according to U.S. Figure Skating.

Meanwhile, the 2020 national championships in January will be in Greensboro, North Carolina.

As a reminder, you can watch the events from the 2019-20 figure skating season 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.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: With new outlook and new coaching team, Knierims look ahead

World champion wins doping case citing bodily fluids from boyfriend

AP
Leave a comment

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — A world champion canoeist won a doping case Monday after persuading a tribunal that her positive test was caused by bodily fluid contamination from her boyfriend.

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) ended its investigation into 11-time world champion Laurence Vincent Lapointe, who tested positive for a steroid-like substance in July. She faced a four-year ban and could have missed her event’s Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games.

The Canadian canoe sprint racer and her lawyer detailed in a news program that laboratory analysis of hair from her then-boyfriend showed he was likely responsible for a tiny presence of ligandrol in her doping sample.

“The ICF has accepted Ms. Vincent Lapointe’s evidence which supports that she was the victim of third-party contamination,” the governing body said in a statement, clearing her to return to competition.

The legal debate is similar to tennis player Richard Gasquet’s 2009 acquittal in the “cocaine kiss” case. The Court of Arbitration for Sport accepted Gasquet’s defense that kissing a woman who had taken cocaine in a Miami nightclub, after he had withdrawn injured from a tournament, caused his positive test.

The 27-year-old Vincent Lapointe was provisionally suspended for almost six months and missed the 2019 World Championships, which was a key qualifying event for the Tokyo Olympics. American 17-year-old Nevin Harrison won the 200m world title in her absence.

She can still qualify for the Olympic debut of women’s canoe sprint events with victory at a World Cup event in May in Germany.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Viral Olympic moments of 2010s decade

U.S. women’s soccer team begins Olympic qualifying, which should rest on one match

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The U.S. women’s soccer team has never been in danger in Olympic qualifying, but that doesn’t change this fact: It must win on Feb. 7 to reach the Tokyo Games.

The CONCACAF tournament begins Tuesday in Houston, where the world champion Americans face world No. 72 Haiti. The last two group games are against No. 68 Panama on Friday and No. 37 Costa Rica on Feb. 3. The top two nations from the group advance to Feb. 7 semifinals.

The U.S. roster, with 18 of its 20 players coming from the 2019 World Cup team, is here.

Since CONCACAF qualifies two nations to the Olympics, the semifinals are the deciding games.

Should the U.S. win its group, it would face the runner-up from the other group in a winner-goes-to-Tokyo match. The other group (world ranking):

Canada (8)
Mexico (37)
Jamaica (53)
St. Kitts and Nevis (127)

Chaos could result in the unlikely event that either the U.S. or Canada finishes second in its group, and the two North American powers play a semifinal.

The U.S. is undefeated in Olympic qualifying history, since the tournament format began in 2004 — 15-0 with a goal differential of 88-1 (not counting matches played once they’ve already clinched qualification). The lone goal allowed came in a group-stage match in 2008, when the U.S. was already assured a spot in the semifinals.

Still, the U.S. knows the feeling of one poor outing in an important match. In 2010, it lost to Mexico in a winner-to-the-World Cup match. The U.S. was forced to win a last-chance, home-and-home playoff against a UEFA team — Italy — for the last spot in the World Cup.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Viral Olympic moments of 2010s decade