Nathan Chen, Vincent Zhou not entered in figure skating Grand Prix Series

Nathan Chen
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Nathan Chen and Vincent Zhou, the U.S.’ top two male singles figure skaters, are not entered in the autumn Grand Prix Series after both said they will return to university studies and may not compete again.

None of the reigning Olympic gold medalists are entered in the Grand Prix Series: Anna Shcherbakova and all of the Russians are banned indefinitely for the war in Ukraine, the Chinese pair of Sui Wenjing and Han Cong have not publicly said why they are sitting out and French ice dancers Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron previously said they are taking this season off.

None of the U.S. singles skaters from the Beijing Olympics are on the entry lists — Chen, Zhou, Jason BrownAlysa LiuMariah Bell and Karen Chen — though skaters can still be added to fields.

GRAND PRIX ENTRIES: Men | Women | Pairs | Ice Dance

Chen, a 23-year-old who won Olympic gold in February, plans to return to Yale late this summer and said in May that he doesn’t think he will compete next season and doesn’t know if he will ever return to competition.

Zhou, a 21-year-old who could not compete individually at the Olympics due to COVID, has said he will go back to Brown University this summer and did not know if he could balance competitive skating and classes. Zhou took bronze at March’s world championships, which Chen skipped.

Brown, a 27-year-old who was sixth at the Olympics, is on “a mini break from the competitive grind of training” and will reevaluate next steps in the fall, a representative said.

The top returning U.S. men’s skater is Ilia Malinin, the 17-year-old world junior champion.

Bell, 26 and the reigning national champion, hasn’t made any future decisions other than not competing in this year’s Grand Prix Series, a representative said.

Other U.S. Olympic skaters previously announced retirements — ice dance bronze medalists Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue and world bronze medalist Liu. The pairs’ team of Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc said they are stepping away from competitive skating.

The other top Americans who are entered in the Grand Prix Series include world pairs’ champions Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier, three-time world ice dance medalists Madison Chock and Evan Bates, world junior champion Isabeau Levito and 2018 U.S. Olympian Bradie Tennell.

The Grand Prix Series begins with Skate America from Oct. 21-23 in Norwood, Massachusetts.

Russia and China, which are normally stops on the six-event circuit, will not stage events this season — Russia stripped for the war in Ukraine, and China after its figure skating federation said “it was no longer feasible” to hold an event this year. In late March, Russia’s Match TV reported that the International Skating Union intended to replace the China stop for a second consecutive year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead, Great Britain and Finland will host, along with the U.S., Canada, France and Japan leading up to December’s Grand Prix Final, which is in Italy this season.

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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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International Boxing Association lifts ban on Russia, Belarus

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The International Boxing Association (IBA) lifted its ban on amateur boxers from Russia and Belarus over the war in Ukraine that had been in place since early March.

“The IBA strongly believes that politics shouldn’t have any influence on sports,” the federation said in a press release. “Hence, all athletes should be given equal conditions.”

Most international sports federations banned athletes from Russia and Belarus indefinitely seven months ago, acting after an IOC recommendation. It is believed that the IBA is the first international federation in an Olympic sport to lift its ban.

The IOC has not officially changed its recommendation from last winter to exclude Russia and Belarus athletes “to protect the integrity of the events and the safety of the other participants.”

Last week, IOC President Thomas Bach said in an interview with an Italian newspaper that Russian athletes who do not endorse their country’s war in Ukraine could at some point be accepted back into international sports, competing under a neutral flag.

IBA, in lifting its ban, will also allow Russia and Belarus flags and national anthems.

“The time has now come to allow all the rest of the athletes of Russia and Belarus to participate in all the official competitions of their sports representing their countries,” IBA President Umar Kremlev, a Russian, said in a press release last week. “Both the IOC and the International Federations must protect all athletes, and there should be no discrimination based on nationality. It is the duty of all of us to keep sports and athletes away from politics.”

In 2019, the IOC stripped the IBA — then known as AIBA — of its Olympic recognition following an inquiry committee report into finance, governance, refereeing and judging. The IOC ran the Tokyo Olympic boxing competition.

The IBA will not run qualifying events for the 2024 Paris Games, but it does still hold world championships, the next being a men’s event in Uzbekistan next year.

Boxing, introduced on the Olympic program in 1904, was not included on the initial program for the 2028 Los Angeles Games but can still be added. The IBA must address concerns “around its governance, its financial transparency and sustainability and the integrity of its refereeing and judging processes,” Bach said last December.

On Sept. 23, the IBA suspended Ukraine’s boxing federation, citing “government interference.” Ukraine boxers are still allowed to compete with their flag and anthem.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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