Gracie Gold qualifies for 2021 U.S. championships

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Gracie Gold, a two-time national champion and 2014 Olympian, has qualified for the 2021 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, which will be held Jan. 11-21 in Las Vegas.

The results of the 2021 U.S. Figure Skating Championships Series were revealed Tuesday morning and showed Gold among the 18 women who will contend for the national title next month. She was the most notable skater of any discipline who had yet to earn her spot at the event leading into the final qualifier. The event, held virtually due to the pandemic, required skaters to submit a proctored free skate on video, which was scored by a panel of judges.

Senior-level events are available for on-demand viewing on Peacock Premium and the junior events will be available the week of Dec. 28.

The 25-year-old Gold finished seventh in the 47-woman field with a free skate score of 106.50. The top nine women qualified, led by Paige Rydberg’s 114.69. Nine others had already earned byes from their results at the 2020 U.S. Figure Skating Championships or 2020 International Selection Pool Points Challenge.

Gold won the U.S. title in 2014 and 2016, and has finished fourth at three of the sport’s major global championships: the 2014 Olympics, 2015 World Championships and 2016 World Championships. She then left the sport in the fall of 2017 to receive treatment for an eating disorder, depression and anxiety, and went two seasons without completing a competition.

The 2014 Olympic team event bronze medalist returned last season with a goal of making the 2022 Olympic team. She finished 12th at the 2020 U.S. Championships. This season, Gold was 14th of 17 skaters in the virtual ISP Points Challenge and 12th of 12 at Skate America.

“I didn’t bring any energy out onto the ice,” Gold said at Skate America.

Las Vegas will mark Gold’s seventh senior-level U.S. championships. The women’s field is highlighted by two-time defending champion Alysa Liu, 2020 Skate America gold medalist Mariah Bell and 2018 U.S. champion Bradie Tennell, who finished top three the past two seasons.

Eric Sjoberg, the 2020 U.S. junior silver medalist, scored 159.03 to win the 19-skater men’s virtual qualifier. Emily Chan and Spencer Howe, who teamed up in 2019, were first among the six pairs teams with a 105.94. An ice dance event was not held due to the number of entries.

Aksel Lund Svindal, Olympic Alpine champ, has testicular cancer, ‘prognosis good’

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Aksel Lund Svindal, a retired Olympic Alpine skiing champion from Norway, said he underwent surgery for testicular cancer and the prognosis “looked very good.”

“Tests, scans and surgery all happened very quickly,” Svindal, 39, wrote on social media. “And already after the first week I knew the prognoses looked very good. All thanks to that first decision to go see a doctor as soon as I suspected something was off.”

Svindal retired in 2019 after winning the Olympic super-G in 2010 and downhill in 2018. He also won five world titles among the downhill, combined and giant slalom and two World Cup overall titles.

Svindal said he felt a change in his body that prompted him to see a doctor.

“The last few weeks have been different,” he wrote. “But I’m able to say weeks and not months because of great medical help, a little luck and a good decision.

“I wasn’t sure what it was, or if it was anything at all. … [I] was quickly transferred to the hospital where they confirmed what the doctor suspected. Testicle cancer.”

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup schedule, results

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The U.S. goes for its fourth consecutive title at the FIBA World Cup in Sydney — and eighth global gold in a row overall when including the Olympics.

A’ja Wilson, a two-time WNBA MVP, and Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP, headline a U.S. roster that, for the first time since 2000, includes neither Sue Bird (retired) nor Diana Taurasi (injured).

The new-look team includes nobody over the age of 30 for the first time since 1994, before the U.S. began its dynasty at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Americans have won 52 consecutive games between worlds and the Olympics dating to the 2006 Worlds bronze-medal game.

The field also includes host Australia, the U.S.’ former primary rival, and Olympic silver medalist Japan.

Nigeria, which played the U.S. the closest of any foe in Tokyo (losing by nine points), isn’t present after its federation withdrew the team over governance issues. Spain, ranked second in the world, failed to qualify.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Round
Wed., Sept. 21 8:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 82, Bosnia and Herzegovina 58 Group A
9:30 p.m. USA 87, Belgium 72 Group A
11 p.m. Canada 67, Serbia 60 Group B
Thurs., Sept. 22 12 a.m. Japan 89, Mali 56 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 107, South Korea 44 Group A
6:30 a.m. France 70, Australia 57 Group B
8:30 p.m. USA 106, Puerto Rico 42 Group A
10 p.m. Serbia 69, Japan 64 Group B
11 p.m. Belgium 84, South Korea 61 Group A
Fri., Sept. 23 12:30 a.m. China 98, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51 Group A
4 a.m. Canada 59, France 45 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 118, Mali 58 Group B
Sat., Sept. 24 12:30 a.m. USA 77, China 63 Group A
4 a.m. South Korea 99, Bosnia and Herzegovina 66 Group A
6:30 a.m. Belgium 68, Puerto Rico 65 Group A
Sun., Sept. 25 12:30 a.m. France vs. Mali Group B
4 a.m. Australia vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Canada vs. Japan Group B
9:30 p.m. Belgium vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
11:30 p.m. Mali vs. Serbia Group B
Mon., Sept. 26 12 a.m. USA vs. South Korea Group A
2 a.m. France vs. Japan Group B
3:30 a.m. China vs. Puerto Rico Group A
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Canada Group B
9:30 p.m. Puerto Rico vs. South Korea Group A
11:30 p.m. Belgium vs. China Group A
Tues., Sept. 27 12 a.m. USA vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
2 a.m. Canada vs. Mali Group B
3:30 a.m. France vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Japan Group B
Wed., Sept. 28 10 p.m. Quarterfinal
Thurs., Sept. 29 12:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
4 a.m. Quarterfinal
6:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
Fri., Sept. 30 3 .m. Semifinal
5:30 a.m. Semifinal
11 p.m. Third-Place Game
Sat., Oct. 1 2 a.m. Final