Bradie Tennell withdraws from second Grand Prix assignment

Team USA Portrait Shoot Ahead of Beijing 2022
Getty Images
0 Comments

Reigning U.S. figure skating champion Bradie Tennell withdrew from next month’s Grand Prix of Italy due to injury, U.S. Figure Skating announced Tuesday.

Eight days earlier Tennell had withdrawn from her first Grand Prix assignment, last weekend’s Skate America — taking herself out of the running for qualifying for the Grand Prix Final — due to an ongoing foot injury.

“While I’m very happy to be making a LOT of progress in overcoming this and now getting back to full training, competing right away doesn’t make sense,” Tennell wrote in an Instagram post on Oct. 18.

The Grand Prix of Italy is scheduled for Nov. 5-7 and takes place of Cup of China, which the host nation canceled in relation to the pandemic. The U.S. will now have just two ice dance entries in Torino: three-time world medalists Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue and Caroline Green and Michael Parsons, the fourth-place finishers at last season’s U.S. Championships.

Tennell won the women’s U.S. title in January, reclaiming it for the first time since her breakthrough 2018 season, which led to her spot on the Olympic team. She was ninth individually in PyeongChang and part of the U.S. squad that secured the team event bronze medal. She has since made every world team.

Now 23, Tennell was also ninth at the 2021 World Championships in Stockholm.

The 2022 U.S. Olympic figure skating team will be named in early January at the conclusion of the U.S. Championships. The team is chosen based on athletes’ bodies of work over the course of a year. The selection procedures list scores from the 2021 worlds and 2021 Grand Prix Final, which Tennell is no longer eligible for, and placement at the 2022 U.S. Championships as the three most important events for choosing the team. The U.S. will send three women to the Beijing Games.

Trending, and competitive, scores are also important, which for Tennell could include the 2021 U.S. Championships, 2021 worlds, 2022 U.S. Championships and any Challenger Series events she completes. She is currently on the entry list for next month’s Cup of Austria (Nov. 11-14) and Warsaw Cup (Nov. 18-21).

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

World champion skier Kyle Smaine dies in avalanche at age 31

Kyle Smaine
Getty
0 Comments

Kyle Smaine, a retired world champion halfpipe skier, died in an avalanche in Japan on Sunday, according to NBC News, citing Smaine’s father. He was 31.

Smaine, a 2015 World champion in ski halfpipe, had been doing ski filming in Japan, sharing videos on his Instagram account over the past week.

The native of South Lake Tahoe, California, finished ninth in ski halfpipe at the 2016 Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado.

In 2018, Smaine won the fifth and final U.S. Olympic qualifying series event in ski halfpipe but did not make the four-man team for PyeongChang. His last sanctioned international competition was in February 2018.

Late Sunday, two-time Olympic champion David Wise won the X Games men’s ski halfpipe and dedicated it to Smaine.

“We all did this for Kyle tonight,” Wise said on the broadcast. “It’s a little bit of an emotional day for us. We lost a friend.”

Ilia Malinin wins U.S. Figure Skating Championships despite quadruple Axel miss

0 Comments

One year ago, Ilia Malinin came to the U.S. Championships as, largely, a 17-year-old unknown. He finished second to Nathan Chen in 2022 and was left off the three-man Olympic team due to his inexperience, a committee decision that lit a fire in him.

After the biggest year of change in U.S. figure skating in three decades, Malinin came to this week’s nationals in San Jose, California, as the headliner across all disciplines.

Though he fell on his quadruple Axel and doubled two other planned quads in Sunday’s free skate (the most ambitious program in history), he succeeded the absent Chen as national champion.

Malinin, the world’s second-ranked male singles skater, still landed two clean quads in Friday’s short program and three more Sunday. He totaled 287.74 points and prevailed by 10.43 over two-time Olympian Jason Brown, a bridge between the Chen and Malinin eras.

“This wasn’t the skate that I wanted,” said Malinin, who was bidding to become the second man to land six quads in one program after Chen. The Virginia chalked up the flaws at least partially to putting more recent practice time into his short program, which he skated clean on Friday after errors in previous competitions.

FIGURE SKATING NATIONALS: Full Results

Brown, a 28-year-old competing for the first time since placing sixth at the Olympics, became the oldest male singles skater to finish in the top three at nationals since Jeremy Abbott won the last of his four titles in 2014. As usual, he didn’t attempt a quad but had the highest artistic score by 9.41 points.

Brown’s seven total top-three finishes at nationals tie him with Chen, Michael WeissBrian Boitano, David Jenkins and Dick Button for the second-most in men’s singles since World War II, trailing only Todd Eldredge‘s and Hayes Jenkins‘ eight.

“I’m not saying it’s super old, but I can’t train the way I used to,” Brown said after Friday’s short program. “What Ilia is doing and the way he is pushing the sport is outstanding and incredible to watch. I cannot keep up.”

Andrew Torgashev took bronze, winning the free skate with one quad and all clean jumps. Torgashev, who competed at nationals for the first time since placing fifth in 2020 at age 18, will likely round out the three-man world team.

Japan’s Shoma Uno will likely be the favorite at worlds. He won last year’s world title, when Malinin admittedly cracked under pressure in the free skate after a fourth-place short program and ended up ninth.

That was before Malinin became the first person to land a quad Axel in competition. That was before Malinin became the story of the figure skating world this fall. That was before Malinin took over the American throne from Chen, who is studying at Yale and not expected to return to competition.

Malinin’s next step is to grab another label that Chen long held: best in the world. To do that, he must be better than he was on Sunday.

“You always learn from your experiences, and there’s always still the rest of the season to come,” he said. “I just have to be prepared and prepare a little bit extra so that doesn’t happen again.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!