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Aly Raisman will not try for Tokyo Olympics, report says

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Aly Raisman will not return to gymnastics for a Tokyo Olympic bid, according to a report.

“I plan to be in Tokyo to cheer everyone on,” Raisman said, according to People magazine.

The report follows spring 2018 news that Raisman, who last competed at the Rio Olympics, said she probably would not return to competition at all, according to In Style magazine. Raisman’s agent has not confirmed or denied the reports.

Raisman, 25, would be ending her Olympic career as one of the most successful, dependable and admirable gymnasts in U.S. history, captaining both the 2012 and 2016 gold-medal teams as the oldest member.

She earned three medals at each Olympics, finishing one medal shy of Shannon Miller‘s career record of seven for a U.S. Olympic gymnast. Simone Biles has five.

Fittingly in 2012, the suburban Boston native clinched the U.S.’ first Olympic team title since 1996 by performing the last routine on floor exercise. Two days later, Raisman experienced her toughest Olympic moment, missing out on an all-around medal via tiebreaker.

She rebounded with a balance beam bronze and a gold on floor exercise, much to the delight of parents Lynn and Rick, who went viral during the Games for their nervous reactions to watching their oldest of four children compete. Raisman called the floor finale “the routine of my life.”

She took two years off from competition after London, then made her third world championships team in 2015. By the 2016 Olympic Trials, she was considered a lock for the five-woman team. She and Gabby Douglas became the first women in 16 years to make multiple U.S. Olympic gymnastics teams.

Rio marked Raisman’s best international meet. She helped the U.S. to repeat team gold, then finished second to Biles in the all-around and on floor exercise.

Turns out, Raisman’s last meet came 20 years after her Olympic inspiration. Though Raisman was only 2 at the time, Lynn taped the Magnificent Seven’s team title. Raisman watched it for the first time at age 8. It became daily viewing.

Two weeks after Rio, Raisman said she planned to return to the gym in 2017 ahead of a competitive comeback for 2020.

“I took a full year off in 2012. I’m going to do the same thing, take a year off, and then I’ll begin training again,” Raisman said then. “I thought I was in the best shape of my life in 2012. It’s even better now. So I’m excited to see what will happen in 2020.”

Everything changed in November 2017, when Raisman released her autobiography, “Fierce,” and came forward as a Larry Nassar sexual abuse survivor.

The Associated Press reported that a 2020 Olympic comeback seemed “trivial” compared to Raisman’s new calling as an advocate for abuse survivors and taking on organizations and individuals at fault.

“This is the focus,” Raisman said then, according to the AP.

She filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics in March 2018, claiming they “knew or should have known” about Nassar’s abusive patterns.

Biles is the only Rio 2016 team member to compete at the elite level since Rio.

Laurie Hernandez, the Rio balance beam silver medalist, plans to return to competition in 2020 for a Tokyo bid. Hernandez last competed in Rio.

Douglas, the 2012 Olympic all-around champion, has not ruled out a return, according to NBC’s affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth last weekend.

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MORE: Simone Biles to headline post-Olympic gymnastics tour

WATCH LIVE: U.S. Figure Skating Championships pairs’, women’s short programs

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Alysa Liu begins defense of her national title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, live on NBC Sports on Thursday evening.

The women’s short program headlines the first day of senior competition in Greensboro, N.C.

Action starts with the pairs’ short program at 4:30 p.m. ET for NBC Sports Gold subscribers, with NBCSN broadcast coverage joining in at 5. The women start at 7:30 on Gold, with NBCSN TV coverage starting at 9.

LIVE STREAM: Pairs’ short program — Gold | NBCSN | Skate Order
LIVE STREAM: Women’s short program — Gold | NBCSN | Skate Order

Liu, who last year became the youngest U.S. champion in history at age 13, seeks to become the first repeat women’s champion since Ashley Wagner in 2012 and 2013. She has the ability to land a triple Axel and a quadruple Lutz, jumps no other active U.S. woman has thrown in competition.

Liu is too young for senior international competition, meaning 2018 U.S. champion Bradie Tennell and two-time U.S. bronze medalist Mariah Bell are the favorites to earn the two world championships spots this weekend.

Pairs is harder to predict. The last four years produced four different champions, all of whom are in Greensboro competing for national medals and two world team spots.

Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc are defending champions and have the highest total score this season among U.S. pairs.

Key Skate Times
6:08 p.m. — Alexa Scimeca Knierim/Christopher Knierim
6:14 — Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier
6:34 — Ashley Cain-Gribble/Timothy LeDuc
6:41 — Tarah Kayne/Danny O’Shea
9:13 — Karen Chen
9:20 — Gracie Gold
9:33 — Bradie Tennell
10:29 — Alysa Liu
10:36 — Mariah Bell

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NATIONALS PREVIEWS: Nathan Chen | Alysa Liu | Vincent Zhou | Pairs | Dance | TV Schedule

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.

Kitzbuehel hosts Hahnenkamm weekend; Mikaela Shiffrin speeds up; Alpine World Cup TV, live stream info

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The world’s most daring Alpine skiers descend the most famous annual race this weekend, while Mikaela Shiffrin tackles her own challenge, live on NBC Sports.

The men’s World Cup stops in Kitzbuehel, Austria, for the Hahnenkamm. The granddaddy is Saturday’s downhill, sandwiched between Friday’s super-G and Sunday’s slalom.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has been among the celebrity attendees in the finish area. Lindsey Vonn will be on hand this weekend, inspecting the course.

The Streif downhill track is a two-minute, two-mile test of guts: a 3,000-foot drop at an average 65 miles per hour (and maxing out much faster than that). Crashes are commonplace. A helicopter is at the ready to airlift skiers to the nearest hospital.

“You go into the starting gate, and it’s intimidating,” said American Ryan Cochran-Siegle, who makes his Kitzbuehel downhill debut on Saturday. “You don’t really know how it’s going to go. You think it’s just going to be kind of chaos.”

Cochran-Siegle, whose uncle Bob Cochran was the first American to earn a World Cup podium in the race in 1973, used two words to describe the Streif: fun … and fear.

The only American to win the Hahnenkamm downhill was Daron Rahlves in 2003. The last podium finisher was Bode Miller in 2014. The best U.S. finish the last four years was 10th.

Bryce Bennett took confidence from finishing seventh at a World Cup downhill in Wengen, Switzerland, last Saturday. That’s the best U.S. downhill finish this season outside of the home snow of Beaver Creek, Colo.

“Team morale is good, and it’s been great all season long,” said Steven Nyman, who was fifth in 2015. “We’re looking for those top-tier performances. Bryce’s seventh is a good step forward. We all know we can ski well, and it’s cool as a team we’re pushing toward the top, but we’re not there yet.”

Over in Bansko, Bulgaria, Shiffrin is expected to race downhills Friday and Saturday and a super-G on Sunday. They would mark the slalom ace’s first downhills outside of Lake Louise and Cortina d’Ampezzo, which she’s contested a combined 10 times.

Shiffrin made the podium of her last super-G in St. Moritz and her last downhill in Lake Louise, both in December. She’s coming off surprising results in slaloms and giant slaloms, not having won in her last five starts overall.

Still, Shiffrin leads the World Cup overall standings by a substantial 199 points with a tour-leading four outright victories this season.

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MORE: Alpine skiing season TV schedule

Day Time (ET) Event Network
Friday 3:30 a.m. Women’s Downhill Olympic Channel | NBC Sports Gold
5:30 a.m. Men’s Super-G NBC Sports Gold
Saturday 3:30 a.m. Women’s Downhill Olympic Channel | NBC Sports Gold
5:30 a.m. Men’s Downhill NBC Sports Gold
9 a.m.* Women’s Downhill NBCSN
Sunday 3:30 a.m. Women’s Super-G Olympic Channel | NBC Sports Gold
4:30 a.m. Men’s Slalom Run 1 NBC Sports Gold
7:30 a.m. Men’s Slalom Run 2 NBC Sports Gold
12:30 p.m.* Women’s Super-G NBCSN
Monday 1 p.m.* Kitzbuehel Highlights NBCSN

*Delayed broadcast