WATCH LIVE: U.S. Figure Skating Championships rhythm dance, women’s free

Bradie Tennell
Getty Images

The U.S. Figure Skating Championships continue Friday with the rhythm dance and women’s free skate, live on NBC Sports and Peacock Premium.

The rhythm dance (4 p.m. ET, NBCSN) pits two of the world’s top couples who happen to train at the same rink.

Madison Chock and Evan Bates and Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue each eye a third national title after crossing the border from Montreal to compete in Las Vegas.

Chock and Bates, two-time world medalists, went five years between their first and second national titles, capping the resurgence in 2020. Hubbell and Donohue, also two-time world medalists, won the 2018 and 2019 U.S. titles.

They’re favored to take two of three U.S. dance spots available for March’s world championships in Stockholm.

WATCH LIVE: Rhythm Dance, 4 p.m. ET — Peacock Stream | NBCSN Stream | Skate Order

Key Skate Times
4:33 p.m. ET — Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue
5:26 — Kaitlin Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker
5:45 — Madison Chock/Evan Bates


The U.S. women’s title will be decided Friday night (8 ET, NBC), plus two spots on March’s world championships team.

Bradie Tennell, the 2018 U.S. champion and PyeongChang Olympian, topped Thursday’s short program. She can become the first woman to go three years between national titles since World War I interrupted the championships.

Tennell leads two-time defending champion Alysa Liu by 3.14 points. Liu, who became the youngest U.S. women’s champion at age 13 in 2019, could become the first woman since Michelle Kwan to three-peat at nationals.

Liu is too young for the senior world championships, however. The fight to make that team also includes third-place Mariah Bell, Karen Chen and Amber Glenn, who are separated 1.54 points going into the free skate.

WATCH LIVE: Women’s Free Skate, 8 p.m. ET — Peacock Stream | NBC Stream | Skate Order

Key Skate Times
9:25 p.m. ET — Gracie Gold
10:04 — Karen Chen
10:12 — Amber Glenn
10:20 — Lindsay Thorngren
10:28 — Alysa Liu
10:36 — Bradie Tennell
10:43 — Mariah Bell

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Teri McKeever fired by Cal as women’s swimming coach after investigation

Teri McKeever

Teri McKeever, the first woman to serve as a U.S. Olympic swimming head coach, was fired by the University of California at Berkeley after an investigation into alleged verbal and emotional abuse of swimmers that she denied.

McKeever was put on paid administrative leave from her job as head women’s swimming coach in May after an Orange County Register report that 20 current or former Cal swimmers said McKeever verbally and emotionally bullied her swimmers.

Cal athletics director Jim Knowlton wrote in a letter to the Cal team and staff that a resulting independent law firm report detailed “verbally abusive conduct that is antithetical to our most important values.”

“I strongly believe this is in the best interests of our student-athletes, our swimming program and Cal Athletics as a whole,” Knowlton said of McKeever’s firing in a press release. “The report details numerous violations of university policies that prohibit race, national origin and disability discrimination.”

The Orange County Register first published what it says is the full independent report here.

“I deny and unequivocally refute all conclusions that I abused or bullied any athlete and deny any suggestion I discriminated against any athlete on the basis of race, disability or sexual orientation,” McKeever said in a statement Tuesday confirming her firing and expressing disappointment in how the investigation was conducted. “While I am disappointed in the way my CAL Career will conclude, I wish to thank and celebrate the many student-athletes and staff that made my time in Berkeley a true blessing and gift.”

McKeever’s lawyer wrote that McKeever “will be filing suit to expose the manner in which gender has affected not only the evaluation of her coaching but harmed and continues to harm both female and male athletes.”

McKeever led Cal women’s swimming and diving for nearly 30 years, winning four NCAA team titles and coaching Olympic champions including Missy FranklinNatalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer.

In 2004, she became the first woman to be on a U.S. Olympic swim team coaching staff, as an assistant. In 2012, she became the first woman to be head coach of a U.S. Olympic swim team. She was an assistant again for the Tokyo Games.

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Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

Diana Taurasi

Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

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