Golden Spin

Ashley Cain
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Ashley Cain recovering after falling on her head at figure skating event

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U.S. pairs figure skater Ashley Cain is recovering after falling on the top of her head at a competition in Croatia on Friday night.

“I got checked out at the hospital, and I am going to continue my recovery back home,” she said, according to U.S. Figure Skating.

Cain came down awkwardly from a lift above partner Timothy LeDuc, who was spinning while supporting her above his body with his right hand.

Cain dropped through LeDuc’s arms and down to the ice, landing on the top of her head. LeDuc then fell on top of Cain. She unfurled and, after a few seconds, got back on her feet with some help from LeDuc. The video with sensitive content is here.

They resumed the last 45 seconds of their free skate, concluding with a forward inside death spiral. Officials from the event have not replied to an emailed request for comment on why they were allowed to continue skating.

Off the ice three minutes later, Cain raised a thumb and held a peace sign while a man held a bag of ice to the back of her head. She was wearing a skin-colored neck covering.

Cain and LeDuc finished fourth at last season’s U.S. Championships and earned a bronze medal at Skate America in October.

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Ashley Cain

Gracie Gold’s outlook for U.S. Championships clouded after more struggles

Gracie Gold
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Gracie Gold struggled in all four of her competitions this fall, capped by her lowest total score in four years at a Croatian event this week, putting her under scrutiny for the U.S. Championships in six weeks.

She singled three jumps and fell twice across two programs at Golden Spin in Zagreb, Croatia, on Thursday and Friday.

Gold totaled 159.02 points for sixth place, her first time below 160 points since 2012 Skate Canada in her first season as a senior skater.

Italian Carolina Kostner, the 2014 Olympic bronze medalist, won with 196.23 points in her first full competition since the 2014 World Championships.

GOLD’S SKATES: Short Program | Free Skate

Earlier this fall, Gold finished last of six skaters in the free skate-only Japan Open on Oct. 1, fifth at Skate America in October and eighth at Trophée de France in November.

Gold has spoken openly about trying to mentally and physically recover from last season’s world championships, where she dropped from first after the short program to finish fourth, and taking weeks off from training in the summer offseason.

Even with the rough skates, Gold still ranks fourth among U.S. women in top scores this season, behind Ashley WagnerMariah Bell and Mirai Nagasu.

She could struggle — to a degree — at the U.S. Championships in January and still make the three-woman world championships team. Gold has finished first or second at all four of her senior nationals appearances.

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Top U.S. women’s skaters in 2016-17
1. Ashley Wagner — 196.44 (Skate America)
2. Mariah Bell — 191.59 (Skate America)
3. Mirai Nagasu — 189.11 (Autumn Classic)
4. Gracie Gold — 184.22 (Skate America)
5. Amber Glenn — 183.60 (Golden Spin)
6. Courtney Hicks — 182.98 (Rostelecom Cup)

Carolina Kostner (re)sets competitive figure skating return

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Olympic bronze medalist Carolina Kostner plans to compete for the first time in almost three years in December.

Kostner, a 29-year-old Italian, is scheduled to skate at Golden Spin, a lower-level event in Zagreb, Croatia, from Dec. 9-10. Italian media first reported the news last month, and somebody close to the skater confirmed it for the first time Tuesday.

The Italian Championships are later in December, with the European Championships in January and the world championships in March and April.

Previous reports had Kostner saying she would return in September or that she would return at a small Italian event in November.

The six-time world championships medalist hasn’t competed outside of a pro-am since taking bronze at the March 2014 World Championships, one month after she became the second-oldest Olympic women’s singles medalist since 1928 in Sochi, according to sports-reference.com.

In January, Kostner finished second to retired Canadian 2010 Olympic bronze medalist Joannie Rochette in a free-skate only exhibition in Japan, after serving a backdated 21-month suspension for helping ex-boyfriend and Olympic race-walking champion Alex Schwazer evade drug testers in 2012.

Kostner said before the Schwazer controversy that she would take the 2014-15 season off.

She has recently worked with Russian Alexei Mishin, the longtime coach of Yevgeny Plushenko.

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