Getty Images

Yuzuru Hanyu plans quadruple Axel for world championships, coach says

Leave a comment

Yuzuru Hanyu plans to attempt a quadruple Axel, a jump nobody has landed in competition, at the world championships in March, according to a report quoting one of his coaches.

Hanyu competes at the Four Continents Championships in Seoul this week, live on NBC Sports. A full TV and live stream schedule is here.

“[The quad Axel] is getting better and better,” coach Ghislain Briand said, according to Kyodo News. “He’s not going to do it here [at Four Continents] because he’s planning to do it at the worlds. He’s trying to find the best program he can to win the worlds. The Four Continents is just a step to recapture the world title.”

Hanyu, a 25-year-old Japanese megastar and two-time Olympic champion, took second at his last two competitions — to Nathan Chen at the Grand Prix Final and to Shoma Uno at the Japanese Championships in December. Neither Chen nor Uno is in the field at Four Continents.

Hanyu has often discussed eagerness to become the first skater to land a quad Axel in competition. It is the only quadruple jump yet to be mastered.

“There are very few people actually practicing even during training,” Hanyu said at the PyeongChang Olympics, according to The Associated Press. “I want to continue my challenge towards achieving my dream of successfully performing the quad Axel, even if I may not be the first person to do so.”

Hanyu went on to say in August 2018 that he hoped to land it in the 2018-19 season, but it didn’t happen.

“I promise that, while you are here in this world, I will do the Axel, and I will do it in competition, because otherwise I don’t think there’s much meaning to it,” Hanyu said, according to a translator, after taking silver behind Chen at last March’s worlds.

Hanyu fell on three quad Axel attempts during practice at December’s Grand Prix Final, according to figure skating expert Jackie Wong.

“I will try to land the quad Axel,” Hanyu said then. “Maybe some day, one day.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Figure skating season TV schedule

Finn Christian Jagge, 1992 Olympic slalom champion, dies at 54

Finn Christian Jagge
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Finn Christian Jagge, the surprise 1992 Olympic slalom champion, has died at age 54, according to Norway’s Olympic Committee.

Jagge’s wife, Trine-Lise Jagge, posted on Facebook that he died of an acute illness.

Jagge, then 25, won the slalom at the Albertville Games in Savoie, France, stunning defending champion Alberto Tomba of Italy. Jagge had the fastest first run by 1.07 seconds and relegated Tomba to silver by .28 of a second after the second run. Tomba was going for his fourth straight Olympic gold medal.

Jagge’s father won a Norwegian record 42 national tennis championships. His mother competed in Alpine skiing at the 1960 and 1964 Olympics, according to Olympedia.org.

Jagge won his first Norwegian national title at age 18. After knee and back injuries, he won seven World Cup slaloms in the 1990s, retiring in 2000.

Vår største kjærlighet, vår største helt og klippe. Verdens beste Pappa og verdens beste MesterHubby, døde i dag, etter akutt sykdom❤️Det er ubeskrivelig vondt og vi er helt knust.

Posted by Trine-Lise Jagge on Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin, Olympian, world champion snowboarder, drowns in spearfishing accident

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Alex “Chumpy” Pullin, an Olympian and world champion snowboarder, drowned while spearfishing on Australia’s Gold Coast on Wednesday.

A police spokesperson said a 32-year-old man, later identified as Pullin, was unresponsive when taken from the water and died despite receiving CPR from lifeguards and emergency treatment from paramedics.

The accident happened at Palm Beach around 10:40 a.m. local time. Pullin had been diving on an artificial reef when he was found by a snorkeler.

“Another diver was out there and located him on the sea floor and raised the attention of nearby surfers who sought lifeguards to bring him in,” police said. “He didn’t have an oxygen mask. We understand he was free diving and spearfishing out on the reef.”

Pullin competed in Olympic snowboard cross in 2010, 2014 and 2018 with a best finish of sixth. He won back-to-back world titles in 2011 and 2013. He carried Australia’s flag at the Sochi Olympic Opening Ceremony in 2014.

“We are all in shock today as one of the most beloved members of our close snow sport community, Chumpy, has sadly lost his life in what appears to be a tragic accident,” Snow Australia CEO Michael Kennedy said in a statement. “He was a mentor to so many of our younger snowboarders, giving up his time to coach and provide advice to our future Olympians. His loss will be felt right across our community.

“We know it won’t just be here in Australia that Chumpy’s legacy will be remembered, but throughout the international snowboarding community. It wasn’t just his ability to deliver results that will be missed, but his leadership and the path that he laid for so many.”

His parents owned a ski and snowboard shop in the Australian Alps, where Pullin began riding at age 8. Older friends gave him the nickname “Chumpy,” and it stuck.

Pullin, who spent time as a frontman for the surf-reggae band love Charli, often brought a guitar with him while traveling for competitions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.