Olympic medalists, Lolo Jones not on bobsled team for last race before Olympic team named

OLY-2018-PYEONGCHANG-MEDALS-BACKSTAGE
Getty Images
0 Comments

U.S. bobsled coaches did not choose their most experienced push athletes — Olympic silver medalist Lauren Gibbs, Olympic bronze medalist Aja Evans and Summer and Winter Olympian Lolo Jones — to compete in the last World Cup before the Olympic team is named.

None have raced in 2022. It’s possible none will be on the Olympic team.

Kaillie Humphries and Elana Meyers Taylor, who are expected to be the two Olympic drivers, are paired with Sylvia Hoffman and Kaysha Love, respectively, for a World Cup in St. Moritz, Switzerland, this weekend, U.S. head coach Mike Kohn said. A broadcast schedule is here.

Those were also the pairings at the most recent World Cup last weekend, where Humphries and Meyers Taylor finished third and fourth behind a pair of German sleds on a German track.

“We had good results there,” Kohn said. “Coaches decided we give that another look.”

The federation is expected to announce the Olympic team, likely two drivers and two push athletes, plus a traveling alternate, soon after this weekend’s competition. The federation chooses push athletes via discretionary criteria, including looking at this season’s results.

World Cup starters and the Olympic team are chosen by separate groups using different criteria. Kohn is the only person who is in both of the groups.

“Long story short, [Olympic selection] involves a lot more than current season results,” Kohn said. That criteria is here, including international experience over the last four years and preseason combine results.

Hoffman and Love, trying for their first Olympics, have competed five and four times on the World Cup this season, respectively. Gibbs, Jones and Lake Kwaza and Evans competed once.

In Kohn’s opinion, Hoffman and Love have been the most impressive U.S. push athletes this season.

“I think the coaching staff feels the same way,” he said. “Will they be able to sustain that and perform this weekend and be ready for the Games? I don’t know. That’s a selection committee decision.”

Last week, all six push athletes each took one run with either Meyers Taylor or Humphries in training. Five out of the six push times were within .02 of a second of each other. Hoffman, pushing with Humphries, had the fastest push time and top velocity. Love, also with Humphries, had the second-best velocity and one of the fastest push times, Kohn said.

Gibbs, a 2018 Olympic silver medalist pushing for Meyers Taylor, raced in one World Cup on Dec. 19.

On Monday, Gibbs shared on Instagram that she was not chosen to compete in St. Moritz, then listed her career accomplishments and wrote, “And all I can say is… I did the dam thing!”

Evans, a 2014 Olympic bronze medalist when she pushed for the now-retired Jamie Greubel Poser, competed internationally once since placing fifth with Greubel Poser in PyeongChang. She returned to the national team last year, but was set back by a Dec. 3 training accident that put her in a hospital with facial lacerations.

Evans was scheduled to compete on the World Cup that weekend until the injury happened.

“I’ve gone over a hundred different ways this could’ve ended me,” was posted on Evans’ social media Monday. “But, I’m STILL HERE. Life is about how you handle the uncertainty, the obstacles, and the difficulties that come along the way.”

Jones, who won a world championship pushing for Humphries last season, dealt with a torn adductor before the season and competed once internationally this season on Nov. 28. In that race, she and Humphries finished 10th with the 10th- and 11th-fastest start times, the worst result for a U.S. sled this season.

“It just did not go well, and we didn’t expect it to be that way,” Kohn said. “I don’t know what happened.”

Jones shared on social media that her father died right before the holidays in December, and she chose to stay in Europe with the team, Kohn said.

If selected for the Olympics, Jones will likely be the oldest U.S. female athlete across all sports in Beijing at age 39.

Jones has been hoping to potentially cap her Olympic career in the city where it started, Beijing, where she hit the penultimate hurdle while leading the 2008 Olympic 100m hurdles final and ended up seventh. That race was held in the Bird’s Nest, where the Opening Ceremony will be on Feb. 4.

“The selection committee has got a tough job,” Kohn said. “I’ve had an incredible journey with them, and I hate to see it come to an end. I wish I could take every one of them to the Olympic Games.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that Evans has not competed this season, based on erroneous International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation official results. 

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

2023 U.S. Figure Skating Championships TV, live stream schedule

U.S. Figure Skating Championships
U.S. Figure Skating
2 Comments

The U.S. Figure Skating Championships, in some ways marking a new era in the sport, air live from San Jose, California, on NBC Sports, USA Network and Peacock.

After last February’s Olympics, U.S. figure skating saw its greatest turnover from one season to the next in more than 20 years.

Nathan Chen and Vincent Zhou, the top two men last season, are not competing this season and may be done altogether. Alysa Liu and Mariah Bell, the top two women, retired. As did the top ice dance couple of Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue. Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc, last year’s national pairs’ champions, also left the sport.

So, for the first time since 1993, the U.S. Championships feature a reigning national champion in just one of the four disciplines.

Amid all that, U.S. skaters performed well in the fall Grand Prix Series and made the podium in all four disciplines at December’s Grand Prix Final for the first time. Note the absence of Russian skaters, banned from international events due to the war in Ukraine.

At nationals, skaters are vying for spots on the team — three per discipline — for March’s world championships in Japan.

Ilia Malinin, an 18-year-old from Virginia, is the headliner after becoming the first skater to land a quadruple Axel, doing so at all four of his events this season. He ranks second in the world by best total score, a whopping 38.28 points ahead of the next American (Camden Pulkinen).

Jason Brown is the lone Olympian in the men’s field, competing for the first time since placing sixth at the Games.

Isabeau Levito, 15 and a reigning world junior champion like Malinin, took silver at the Grand Prix Final against the world’s other top skaters. She enters nationals with a best score this season 18.13 points better than the next American, Amber Glenn. Bradie Tennell, a 2018 Olympian coming back from foot and ankle injuries, is also a threat to gain one of the three women’s spots at worlds.

Ice dancers Madison Chock and Evan Bates are the lone defending national champions and will likely make the podium for an 11th consecutive year, which would be one shy of the record.

Bates, who last year at 32 became the oldest U.S. champion in any discipline in decades, has made 12 career senior nationals podiums with Chock and former partner Emily Samuelson. It is believed that a 13th finish in the top three would break the U.S. record for a single discipline he currently shares with Michelle Kwan, Nathaniel Niles and Theresa Weld Blanchard.

In pairs, Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier return after missing nationals last year due to Frazier contracting COVID-19 the week of the event. Since, they posted the best U.S. pairs’ finish at an Olympics in 20 years, the first world title for a U.S. pair in 43 years and the first Grand Prix Final medal ever for a U.S. pair.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

2023 U.S. Figure Skating Championships Live Broadcast Schedule

Day Event Time (ET) Platform
Thursday Pairs’ Short Program 3:30-5:45 p.m. Peacock | Skate Order
Rhythm Dance 6:30-9 p.m. Peacock | Skate Order
Rhythm Dance 7-9 p.m. USA Network | STREAM LINK
Women’s Short Program 9:10 p.m.-12 a.m. Peacock | Skate Order
Women’s Short Program 10 p.m.-12 a.m. USA Network | STREAM LINK
Friday Men’s Short Program 4:10-7 p.m. Peacock | Skate Order
Men’s Short Program 5-7 p.m. USA Network
Women’s Free Skate 7:45-11 p.m. Peacock
Women’s Free Skate 8-11 p.m. NBC
Saturday Free Dance 1:45-4:30 p.m. Peacock
Free Dance 2:30-4:30 p.m. NBC
Pairs’ Free Skate 7:30-10 p.m. Peacock | Skate Order
Pairs’ Free Skate 8-10 p.m. USA Network
Sunday Men’s Free Skate 2:30-6 p.m. Peacock
Men’s Free Skate 3-6 p.m. NBC

*All NBC and USA Network broadcasts also stream on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for subscribers.

2023 U.S. Figure Skating Championships scores, results

2023 U.S. Figure Skating Championships
Getty
0 Comments

Full scores and results from the 2023 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose …

Pairs Short Program
1. Alexa Knierim/Brandon Frazier — 81.96
2. Emily Chan/Spencer Howe — 66.86
3. Ellie Kam/Danny O’Shea —- 65.75
4. Valentina Plazas/Maximiliano Fernandez — 63.45
5. Sonia Baram/Danil Tioumentsev —- 63.12
6. Katie McBeath/Nathan Bartholomay —- 56.96
7. Nica Digerness/Mark Sadusky — 50.72
8. Maria Mokhova/Ivan Mokhov —- 46.96
9. Grace Hanns / Danny Neudecker — 46.81
10. Linzy Fitzpatrick/Keyton Bearinger — 45.27
11. Nina Ouellette/Rique Newby-Estrella — 43.99

Rhythm Dance
1. Madison Chock/Evan Bates — 91.90
2. Caroline Green/Michael Parsons — 81.40
3. Emilea Zingas/Vadym Kolesnik — 78.18
4. Christina Carreira/Anthony Ponomarenko — 77.37
5. Lorraine McNamara/Anton Spiridonov — 76.23
6. Emily Bratti/Ian Somerville — 75.91
7. Eva Pate/Logan Bye — 75.52
8. Isabella Flores/Ivan Desyatov — 73.91
9. Oona Brown/Gage Brown — 72.80
10. Katarina Wolfkostin/Jeffrey Chen — 69.05
11. Angela Ling/Caleb Wein — 68.53
12. Leah Krauskopf/YuanShi Jin — 52.59
13. Cara Murphy/Joshua Levitt — 50.88
14. Caroline Depietri/TJ Carey — 48.28
WD. Raffaella Koncius/Alexey Shchepetov

FIGURE SKATING NATIONALS: Broadcast Schedule | New Era for U.S.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!