Suni Lee to leave Auburn after this season, return to elite gymnastics for Olympic run

Suni Lee
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Olympic all-around champion Suni Lee said her upcoming sophomore season at Auburn will be her last and that she will return to elite gymnastics after this winter in a bid for the 2024 Paris Games.

“I don’t want it [the Olympics] to just be once in a lifetime,” she said in a video posted Tuesday. “I have my sights set on Paris in 2024, and I know what I have to do to get there. I’m looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and putting in the work.”

Lee, 19, hasn’t competed in elite international gymnastics since the Tokyo Games. She competed last winter and spring for Auburn in the NCAA, which has a different scoring system than the Olympics and usually requires different routines.

She took runner-up in April’s NCAA Championships all-around behind Trinity Thomas of Florida. She also won the balance beam title and helped Auburn to a fourth-place team finish, the best in program in history.

Lee then signaled a return to elite in July by participating in her first U.S. national team camp since the Tokyo Games.

Without Lee (and without Rio Olympic all-around champ Simone Biles), the U.S. women’s gymnastics team won the world title two weeks ago. Shilese Jones took all-around silver at worlds, where Lee’s Tokyo Olympic teammates Jade Carey and Jordan Chiles each won three medals.

The upcoming NCAA season runs from January into April. Lee has not said whether she plans to return to elite competition for the summer 2023 season, or if it will be in 2024 before the Paris Games.

Most Olympic medalist gymnasts who took breaks from elite came back before the Olympic year. Biles returned from a two-year competition break in 2018. Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman took time off after the 2012 London Games and returned to competition in March 2015.

Biles has not competed since Tokyo and also not ruled out a return ahead of Paris 2024.

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2022 Grand Prix Final figure skating TV, live stream schedule

Ilia Malinin
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The Grand Prix Final, the most exclusive figure skating competition of the season and a preview of March’s world championships, airs live on Peacock and E! this week.

The top six per discipline from the six-event fall Grand Prix Series gather in Turin, Italy, at the Palavela, the 2006 Olympic venue. It’s the first Grand Prix Final in three years after the 2020 and 2021 events were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. qualified skaters in all four disciplines for the first time since 2007, led by the world’s top-ranked man. Ilia Malinin, who turned 18 last Friday, has been the story of the season, becoming the first skater to land a quadruple Axel in competition.

Malinin, the reigning world junior champion, won both of his Grand Prix starts and posted the best total score among all fall events, edging world champion Shoma Uno of Japan. Malinin and Uno will go head-to-head for the first time this season at the Final.

Isabeau Levito, a 15-year-old world junior champion, is the youngest American at a Final since Caroline Zhang in 2007. She qualified in fifth place. The favorites are Japan’s Mai Mihara and Kaori Sakamoto and Belgian Loena Hendrickx.

The U.S. also qualified two pairs’ teams — world champions Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier and Emily Chan and Spencer Howe — and two ice dance couples — three-time world medalists Madison Chock and Evan Bates and Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker.

For the first time, the Final has no Russian skaters. They are banned from international competition due to the war in Ukraine. For the first time in 25 years, there are no Chinese skaters. China’s top pairs’ teams did not compete in the fall Grand Prix Series.

Grand Prix Final Broadcast Schedule
All TV coverage also streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for subscribers.

Day Event Time (ET) Platform
Thursday Pairs’ Short Program 1:20-2:15 p.m. Peacock
Men’s Short Program 2:35-3:20 p.m. Peacock
Friday Pairs’ Free Skate 11:35 a.m.-12:40 p.m. Peacock
Rhythm Dance 1:50-2:45 p.m. Peacock
Women’s Short Program 3:05-3:50 p.m. Peacock
Saturday Men’s Short Program* 6:30-7:30 a.m. E!
Men’s Free Skate 7:30-8:30 a.m. E!, Peacock
Women’s Short Program* 8:30-9:30 a.m. E!
Free Dance 1:40-2:40 p.m. Peacock
Women’s Free Skate 3-3:55 p.m. Peacock
Sunday Highlights* 4-6 p.m. NBC

*Delayed broadcast.

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Aleksander Aamodt Kilde sweeps Beaver Creek World Cup races

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Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde held off Swiss Marco Odermatt for a second consecutive day to sweep World Cup races in Beaver Creek, Colorado, this weekend.

Kilde won Sunday’s super-G by two tenths of a second over Odermatt, one day after edging Odermatt by six hundredths. France’s Alexis Pinturault took third as the podium was made up of the last three men to win the World Cup overall title, the biggest annual prize in ski racing.

This season’s overall figures to be a two-man battle between Kilde, the 2019-20 champion, and Odermatt, the reigning champion, and could come down to March’s World Cup Finals. They’ve combined to win the first five of 38 scheduled races.

The top American Sunday was River Radamus, who finished an impressive 16th given his start number was 57. Radamus’ best event is the giant slalom.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle, the Olympic super-G silver medalist, and Travis Ganong, who was third in Beaver Creek last year, both skied out.

The men’s World Cup heads next weekend to Val d’Isere, France, for a giant slalom and slalom.

ALPINE SKIING: Results | Broadcast Schedule

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