U.S. Olympic Curling Trials finals matchups set

Tabitha Peterson
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The U.S. Olympic Curling Trials men’s and women’s finals series pit matching storylines: established Olympians against younger teams starting Friday in Omaha.

John Shuster, who led the U.S. to its first Olympic curling title in 2018, skips a veteran quartet against a team mostly of twentysomethings led by Korey Dropkin, with three of the four men seeking their first Olympic berths.

In the women’s final, the bulk of the 2018 Olympic team, skipped by Tabitha Peterson, topped round-robin standings. Peterson, who in May won the U.S.’ first women’s world championship medal in 15 years (a bronze), faces a team of twentysomethings skipped by Cory Christensen.

The best-of-three finals series run Friday, Saturday and (if necessary) Sunday, live on NBCSN, NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app. A broadcast schedule is here.

Shuster and Peterson, the pre-event favorites, have dominated, going a combined 17-1 and clinching finals berths Wednesday. Dropkin and Christensen, each with three losses, secured the last finals spots on Thursday.

Shuster, 39, is joined by his 2018 Olympic gold-medal teammates Matt Hamilton and John Landsteiner. The team’s newest member, Chris Plys, replaced Tyler George after George retired from competition following the PyeongChang Winter Games.

Shuster is bidding to become the first person to compete in five Olympic curling tournaments as a medal sport, according to Olympedia.org. Plys’ qualification would be notable, too. His lone Olympic appearance came back in 2010, when he went to Vancouver as an alternate and replaced a struggling Shuster at skip mid-tournament.

In 2018, Peterson was part of a U.S. Olympic women’s team skipped by Nina Roth that finished eighth in PyeongChang. Peterson then took over as skip while Roth was on maternity leave. Roth returned, but Peterson remained skip, winning the 2020 national title and then leading the drought-ending medal team at worlds.

PyeongChang Olympian Becca Hamilton (Matt’s younger sister) and Tara Peterson (Tabitha’s younger sister) round out the team.

Dropkin and Christensen, both 26, would be the youngest U.S. skips to qualify for the Olympics since 2006.

Dropkin may be an underdog, but his team has momentum after handing Shuster his only defeat in Omaha on Wednesday night. It marked Dropkin’s second win in seven games against Shuster (not counting mixed doubles), according to Curlingzone.com.

Christensen has been to an Olympics, joining Peterson’s team as its alternate in 2018 after finishing third out of three teams at Olympic Trials. Christensen is 0-3 against Peterson as skips (mixed doubles excluded), according to Curlingzone, including two defeats in round-robin play in Omaha by a combined 18-9.

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U.S. men’s gymnastics team named for world championships

Asher Hong
Allison and John Cheng/USA Gymnastics
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Asher Hong, Colt Walker and world pommel horse champion Stephen Nedoroscik were named to the last three spots on the U.S. men’s gymnastics team for the world championships that start in three weeks.

Brody Malone and Donnell Whittenburg earned the first spots on the team by placing first and second in the all-around at August’s U.S. Championships.

Hong, Walker and Nedoroscik were chosen by a committee after two days of selection camp competition in Colorado Springs this week. Malone and Whittenburg did not compete at the camp.

Hong, 18, will become the youngest U.S. man to compete at worlds since Danell Leyva in 2009. He nearly earned a spot on the team at the U.S. Championships, but erred on his 12th and final routine of that meet to drop from second to third in the all-around. At this week’s camp, Hong had the lowest all-around total of the four men competing on all six apparatuses, but selectors still chose him over Tokyo Olympians Yul Moldauer and Shane Wiskus.

Walker, a Stanford junior, will make his world championships debut. He would have placed second at nationals in August if a bonus system for attempting difficult skills wasn’t in place. With that bonus system not in place at the selection camp, he had the highest all-around total. The bonus system is not used at international meets such as world championships.

Nedoroscik rebounded from missing the Tokyo Olympic team to become the first American to win a world title on pommel horse last fall. Though he is the lone active U.S. male gymnast with a global gold medal, he was in danger of missing this five-man team because of struggles on the horse at the U.S. Championships. Nedoroscik, who does not compete on the other five apparatuses, put up his best horse routine of the season on the last day of the selection camp Wednesday.

Moldauer, who tweeted that he was sick all last week, was named the traveling alternate for worlds in Liverpool, Great Britain. It would be the first time that Moldauer, who was fourth in the all-around at last fall’s worlds, does not compete at worlds since 2015.

Though the U.S. has not made the team podium at an Olympics or worlds since 2014, it is boosted this year by the absence of Olympic champion Russia, whose athletes are banned indefinitely due to the war in Ukraine. In recent years, the U.S. has been among the nations in the second tier behind China, Japan and Russia, including in Tokyo, where the Americans were fifth.

The U.S. women’s world team of five will be announced after a selection camp in two weeks. Tokyo Olympians Jade Carey and Jordan Chiles are in contention.

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Paris 2024 Olympic marathon route unveiled

Paris 2024 Olympic Marathon
Paris 2024
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The 2024 Olympic marathon route will take runners from Paris to Versailles and back.

The route announcement was made on the 233rd anniversary of one of the early, significant events of the French Revolution: the Women’s March on Versailles — “to pay tribute to the thousands of women who started their march at city hall to Versailles to take up their grievances to the king and ask for bread,” Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet said.

Last December, organizers announced the marathons will start at Hôtel de Ville (city hall, opposite Notre-Dame off the Seine River) and end at Les Invalides, a complex of museums and monuments one mile southeast of the Eiffel Tower.

On Wednesday, the rest of the route was unveiled — traversing the banks of the Seine west to the Palace of Versailles and then back east, passing the Eiffel Tower before the finish.

The men’s and women’s marathons will be on the last two days of the Games at 8 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET). It will be the first time that the women’s marathon is held on the last day of the Games after the men’s marathon traditionally occupied that slot.

A mass public marathon will also be held on the Olympic marathon route. The date has not been announced.

The full list of highlights among the marathon course:

• Hôtel de ville de Paris (start)
• Bourse de commerce
• Palais Brongniart
• Opéra Garnier
• Place Vendôme
• Jardin des Tuileries
• The Louvre
• Place de la Concorde
• The bridges of Paris
(Pont de l’Alma; Alexandre III;
Iéna; and more)
• Grand Palais
• Palais de Tokyo
• Jardins du Trocadéro
• Maison de la Radio
• Manufacture et Musées
nationaux de Sèvres
• Forêt domaniale
des Fausses-Reposes
• Monuments Pershing –
Lafayette
• Château de Versailles
• Forêt domaniale de Meudon
• Parc André Citroën
• Eiffel Tower
• Musée Rodin
• Esplanade des Invalides (finish)

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