U.S. Olympic women’s hockey roster named: 13 gold medalists, last 2 players cut from 2018

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Hilary Knight leads the U.S. Olympic women’s hockey roster looking for repeat gold with 13 players returning from 2018, plus the last two cuts from four years ago.

Headliners also include goalie Maddie Rooney, a star in the PyeongChang Olympic final shootout win over Canada, and Knight’s fellow forwards Kendall Coyne SchofieldBrianna Decker and Amanda Kessel, each going to a third Olympics.

Two more players, defender Megan Bozek and forward Alex Carpenter, are 2014 Olympians who were the last two cuts from the 2018 roster. It’s the first time any U.S. women’s player made it back to the Olympics after missing a team.

The roster (*2018 Olympian):

Goalies: Alex Cavallini*, Nicole Hensley*, Maddie Rooney*

Defenders: Cayla Barnes*, Megan Bozek, Jincy Dunne, Savannah Harmon, Caroline Harvey, Megan Keller*, Lee Stecklein*

Forwards: Hannah Brandt*, Dani Cameranesi*, Alex Carpenter, Jesse Compher, Kendall Coyne Schofield (captain)*, Brianna Decker*, Amanda Kessel*, Hilary Knight*, Abbey Murphy, Kelly Pannek*, Abby Roque, Hayley Scamurra, Grace Zumwinkle

ON HER TURF: What’s expected of the U.S. at the Winter Olympics?

Knight, at 32, is set to become the oldest U.S. Olympic female hockey player, breaking Julie Chu‘s record from 2014. Knight will tie the U.S. record of four Olympic hockey appearances, shared by five others, including Chu.

The U.S. Olympic title in 2018 marked the nation’s first since the first Olympic women’s hockey tournament in 1998. All 13 returnees will try to become the first American hockey players to win multiple golds.

In the last 15 months, five players with a combined 15 Olympic medals announced retirements: captain Meghan Duggan, 2018 Olympic final scoring heroes and twins Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando, stalwart defender Kacey Bellamy and Gigi Marvin, who played both forward and defense.

In August, rival Canada beat the U.S. in a major final for the first time in seven years, taking the world championship (which Rooney missed due to injury). Canada, yet to name its Olympic roster, also won a pre-Olympic exhibition series between the two nations 4-2. The last three games were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Olympic tournament includes two more teams than in 2018, but the primary plot is expected to be the same: the U.S. and Canada face off in group play and, if each wins the rest of their games, again in the final.

The U.S., coached by retired NHL goalie Robb Stauber in 2018, changed coaches again in April. Bob Corkum stepped down and was replaced by assistant Joel Johnson, who was familiar with many of the players having spent 16 seasons on the University of Minnesota staff and coaching U.S. junior teams.

The roster has two players born in the 2000s — defender Caroline Harvey and forward Abbey Murphy, both 19.

MORE: U.S. athletes qualified for 2022 Winter Olympics

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12-year-old skateboarders earn medals at world championships

Chloe Covell
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At the world skateboarding championships, 12-year-olds Chloe Covell from Australia and Onodera Ginwoo from Japan earned silver and bronze medals, respectively, in Sunday’s street finals.

In the women’s event, Covell took silver behind Brazilian 15-year-old Rayssa Leal, who was a silver medalist herself at the Tokyo Games.

Frenchman Aurélien Giraud, a 25-year-old who was sixth in skateboarding’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, won the men’s final in the United Arab Emirates. Ginwoo was third behind Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro.

The top Americans were Olympic men’s bronze medalist Jagger Eaton in sixth and 15-year-old Paige Heyn in seventh in the women’s event.

Nyjah Huston, a six-time world champion who placed seventh in Tokyo, missed worlds after August surgery for an ACL tear.

Up to three men and three women per nation can qualify per event (street and park) for the 2024 Paris Games. World rankings come June 2024 determine which Americans qualify.

In Tokyo, four of the 12 skateboarding medalists were ages 12 or 13.

Japan’s Kokona Hiraki, then 12, won silver in women’s park to become the youngest Olympic medalist since 1936, according to Olympedia.org. Japan’s Momiji Nishiya, then 13, won women’s street and became the youngest gold medalist in an individual event since 1936.

Worlds conclude this week with the men’s and women’s park events. The finals are Saturday.

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Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

Francesco Friedrich
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A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It marked Great Britain’s first world championships men’s bobsled medal since 1966.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

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