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WATCH LIVE: U.S. Figure Skating Championships men’s short program, pairs, dance

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Nathan Chen begins his quest for a fourth straight U.S. figure skating title, while the pairs’ and dance champions will be crowned, live on NBC Sports on Saturday.

NBC Sports Gold streams live coverage of every program for subscribers starting at 1:30 p.m. ET in Greensboro, N.C. NBC and NBCSN also provide live TV coverage starting at 2:30.

Chen, a 20-year-old Yale sophomore, is undefeated since placing fifth at the PyeongChang Olympics. He can become the first man to win four straight U.S. titles since Brian Boitano in 1988.

His competitors include two-time U.S. silver medalist Vincent Zhou and 2015 U.S. champion Jason Brown, both aiming to join Chen on the three-man team for March’s world championships.

Later Saturday, Olympians Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Christopher Knierim try to become the first pair to win three U.S. titles since 2002. After the short program, the Knierims lead three other U.S. pairs who have won national titles.

Finally in dance, Madison Chock and Evan Bates look to become the first skater or couple in decades to go five years between national titles. They lead two-time U.S. champions and training partners Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue after the rhythm dance.

Saturday TV, live stream schedule (ET)

1:30-4:30 p.m. Men’s Short NBC Sports Gold | STREAM | Skate Order
2:30-4:30 p.m. Men’s Short NBC | STREAM
6-9 p.m. Pairs’ Free NBC Sports Gold | STREAM | Skate Order
8-11 p.m. Pairs’/Dance Free NBCSN | STREAM
9:30-11 p.m. Free Dance NBC Sports Gold | STREAM | Skate Order

Key Skate Times
2:37 p.m. — Nathan Chen
2:56 — Vincent Zhou
4 — Jason Brown
7:52 — Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier
8:27 — Ashley Cain-Gribble/Timothy LeDuc
8:45 — Tarah Kayne/Danny O’Shea
8:54 — Alexa Scimeca Knierim/Christopher Knierim
10:29 — Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue
10:37 — Madison Chock/Evan Bates
10:44 — Kaitlin Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker

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NATIONALS: TV Schedule | Full Results

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.

Dan Hicks, Rowdy Gaines call backyard pool swim race

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Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines covered swimming together at the last six Olympics, including every one of Michael Phelps‘ finals, but they’ve never called a “race” quite like this.

“We heard you were looking for something to commentate during the down time….might this short short short course 100 IM help?” tweeted Cathleen Pruden, posting a video of younger sister Mary Pruden, a sophomore swimmer at Columbia University, taking individual medley strokes in what appeared to be an inflatable backyard pool.

“Hang on,” Gaines replied. “This race of the century deserves the right call. @DanHicksNBC and I are working some magic!”

Later, Hicks posted a revised video dubbed with commentary from he and Gaines.

They became the latest commentators to go beyond the booth to post calls on social media while sports are halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

NBC Sports hockey voice Doc Emrick (who has also called Olympic hockey and water polo) did play-by-play of a windshield wiper installation.

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MORE: Ledecky, Manuel welcome Olympic decision after training in backyard pool

Which athletes are qualified for the U.S. Olympic team?

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Soon after Tokyo Olympic qualifying events began getting postponed, the International Olympic Committee announced that all quota places already allocated to National Olympic Committees and athletes will remain with those NOCs and athletes.

The IOC repeated that position over the last week, after the Tokyo Games were postponed (now to open July 23, 2021). What does that mean for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee?

Well, 76 athletes qualified for the U.S. Olympic team before the Olympic postponement was announced. That full list is here.

Those 76 athletes can be separated into two categories.

  • Athletes who earned Olympic spots BY NAME via International Federation (i.e. International Surfing Association or International Aquatics Federation) selection procedures.
  • Athletes named to the U.S. Olympic team by their national governing body (i.e. USA Swimming or USA Track and Field) and confirmed by the USOPC using NGB selection procedures after the NGB earned a quota spot.

When the IOC says “all quota places already allocated to National Olympic Committees and athletes will remain with those NOCs and athletes,” it means just that. USA Softball still has 15 athlete quota spots from qualifying a full team via international results. Surfer Kolohe Andino still has his Olympic spot from qualifying BY NAME via the International Surfing Association selection procedures route.

USA Softball named its 15-player Olympic roster last fall. Those 15 athletes did not earn Olympic quota spots for themselves. Unlike Andino (and 13 other American qualifiers across all sports), the 15 softball players had to be nominated by USA Softball and confirmed by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

Unless and until the USOPC confirms that any of those other 62 athletes remain qualified, for now the list of U.S. Olympic qualifiers is these 14 who qualified BY NAME:

Karate (1)
Sakura Kokumai

Modern Pentathlon (2)
Samantha Achterberg
Amro Elgeziry

Swimming (3)
Haley Anderson
Ashley Twichell
Jordan Wilimovsky

Sport Climbing (4)
Kyra Condie
Brooke Raboutou
Nathaniel Coleman
Colin Duffy

Surfing (4)
Caroline Marks
Carissa Moore
Kolohe Andino
John John Florence

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MORE: Qualified athletes go into limbo with Tokyo postponement