Team USA Weekend Preview: Jan. 23, 2014
Bode Miller competes during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup men's downhill on Jan. 18, 2014 in Wengen, Switzerland.
With the announcement of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team coming on Monday, a few top U.S. athletes are using every last moment to earn a spot in Sochi, particularly in alpine skiing. Meanwhile, athletes already nominated to the U.S. squad for bobsled, skeleton and luge are in world cup action, while figure skaters are in Chinese Taipei for the Four Continents Championships. Check out the Team USA Weekend Preview for all of the details.
BOBSLED & SKELETON
World Cup, Jan. 24-26, Koenigssee, Germany
Steven Holcomb will chase after world cup points championships in both two-man and four-man bobsled competitions this week in Koenigssee, Germany. The event is the final stop on the world cup tour.
Holcomb, who leads the world cup standings in two-man bobsled, will race with Chris Fogt in the two-man Saturday. He will team up with Curt Tomasevicz, Steve Langton and Fogt in the four-man Sunday. Holcomb is in third place in the points standings in four-man. All are 2014 U.S. Olympic Team nominees, pending approval by the United States Olympic Committee.
Entering the final weekend in second place in the world cup standings are Jamie Greubel in women’s bobsled and Noelle Pikus-Pace in women’s skeleton. Greubel will combine with three-time Olympic medalist track sprinter Lauryn Williams in the bobsled Sunday. Elana Meyers, who is ranked No. 3, will compete with Aja Evans. Jazmine Fenlator, who is ranked No. 6, will race with two-time Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones. All are nominees to the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team.
Matt Antoine, John Daly and Kyle Tress, each nominated to the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team, will compete Saturday in the men’s skeleton.
TV: 4 p.m. ET Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Universal Sports
WINTER X GAMES
Winter X Games, Jan. 23-26, Aspen, Colo.
Action in the Winter X Games continues through Sunday in Aspen, Colo. Events include the men’s and women’s ski superpipe finals Friday night, snowboard slopestyle and superpipe finals Saturday, and ski slopestyle finals Sunday.
One athlete who made news entering this event is Olympic silver medalist Gretchen Bleiler, who announced Wednesday she is retiring from competition at the season’s end.
Another athlete to watch is Kelly Clark, a six-time X Games gold medalist who will be going for her fourth consecutive X Games Aspen gold in superpipe this week. A gold and bronze medalist in the Olympic Winter Games in the halfpipe, Clark has been nominated to the U.S. Olympic Team in Sochi.
Shaun White, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in halfpipe who also will compete in Sochi in the slopestyle, decided not to compete in the Winter X Games so he can focus on the Olympic Winter Games.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET Friday, 2 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. and 9 p.m. Sunday, ESPN; 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, ABC
World Cup Final, Jan. 25-26, Sigulda, Latvia
Erin Hamlin and Chris Mazdzer, both nominated for the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team, will be among the U.S. athletes hoping to finish the world cup season on a strong note heading into the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
The world cup final will feature women’s singles and men’s doubles Saturday, followed by the men’s singles Sunday. It is the final event to determine the Olympic seedings.
Hamlin is coming off a sixth-place finish last week in Altenberg, Germany. She is ranked No. 6 in the world cup standings. Kate Hansen, an Olympic Team nominee for the first time, is ranked No. 9. Mazdzer finished ninth in the men’s race in Altenberg. He is ranked sixth in the men’s standings.
FIS World Cup Alpine, men’s slalom, downhill, super combined and super-G, Jan. 23-26, Kitzbuehel, Austria
Ted Ligety, a two-time Olympian who won his 20th career world cup race last week, will get plenty of opportunities to reach the top of the podium this week. Four races will be held in Kitzbuehel, Austria: slalom, downhill, super combined and super-G.
Among the U.S. skiers joining Ligety in the chase for the podiums will be five-time Olympic medalist Bode Miller, three-time Olympian Marco Sullivan, two-time Olympian Steven Nyman and Travis Ganong.
TV: 9 a.m. ET Saturday and 7 a.m. Sunday, Universal Sports
FIS World Cup Alpine, women’s downhill and super-G, Jan. 22-26, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Heavy snow wiped out competition last week in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, setting up a busy weekend this time around. The women will have two downhill races Friday and Saturday, and two super-G races.
Olympic gold medalist Julia Mancusco produced her best world cup result of the season Thursday with a seventh-place showing in the super-G. Stacey Cook landed her best super-G finish in ninth. The U.S. Alpine Ski Team will nominate their athletes to the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team Jan. 26 following the competitions in Cortina and Kitzbuehel.
Also in skiing:
FIS World Cup, Men’s Ski Jumping, Jan. 24-26, Sapporo, Japan
FIS World Cup, Women’s Ski Jumping, Jan. 25-26, Planica, Slovenia
FIS World Cup, Nordic Combined, Jan. 25-26, Oberstdorf, Germany
FIS World Cup Freestyle, women’s and men’s skicross, Jan. 24-25, Kreischberg, Austria
ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, Jan. 20-26, Taipei City, Chinese Taipei
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue vaulted from second place after the short dance to win the Four Continents Championships ice dancing gold medal in Taipei City. They were joined on the medal podium with fellow Americans Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton, who finished third. Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Canada earned the silver medal.
In the men’s event, American Richard Dornbush is in second place after the short program. Joshua Farris is in seventh place, and another American, Adam Rippon, is in eighth.
On the women’s side, Samantha Cesario is the highest-ranked American in sixth, followed by Courtney Hicks in seventh and U.S. bronze medalist Mirai Nagasu is in ninth. Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim are second after the pairs short program; Tarah Kayne and Daniel O’Shea are in third and Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier are in fourth place.
TV: 6 p.m. ET Friday, Universal Sports
USA Curling Junior National Championships, Jan. 24-Feb. 1, Seattle
Competition for 10 men’s teams and 10 women’s teams begins Friday in the USA Curling Junior National Championships in Seattle. The winners of the men’s and women’s tournaments will represent the United States at the 2014 World Junior Championships beginning Feb. 26 in Switzerland.
Also in curling:
USA Curling Senior National Championships, men, Jan. 22-26, Portage, Wis.
USA Curling Senior National Championships, women, Jan. 23-26, Eau Claire, Wis.
USA Boxing National Championships, Jan. 20-25, Spokane, Wash.
All three U.S. women who were Olympic boxers at the London 2012 Olympic Games will fight in the semifinal round Friday in the USA Boxing National Championships in Spokane, Wash.
Claressa Shields, a gold medalist in her first Olympic Games, will enter the ring Friday for the first time at the nationals. Olympic teammate Marlen Esparza, a bronze medalist in London, is going after her eighth national title. Queen Underwood, also a 2012 Olympian, is chasing after her seventh national champion.
The championship bouts in the women’s and men’s tournaments will take place Friday and Saturday at the Northern Quest Resort and Casino in Spokane. Among the defending men’s champions who survived early-round bouts this week were welterweight Jose Alday and middleweight LeShawn Rodriguez.
Jack Pinto Cup, Jan. 25, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Four U.S. Greco-Roman wrestling squads will be among eight teams that will compete Saturday in the Jack Pinto Cup at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The event will consist of eight dual matches among the U.S. teams and four international squads.
The tournament, formerly known as the Kiki Cup, is named after Jack Pinto, a 6-year-old wrestler who was one of the victims killed in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
U.S. wrestlers include two-time Olympian Spenser Mango, 59 kilograms; London 2012 Olympian Ben Provisor, 80 kilograms and two-time world team members Joe Betterman, 59 kilograms, and Andy Bisek, 75 kilograms. Each of the U.S. teams will face China, Kazakhstan, India and a mixed international team in separate duals.
The international field includes Kazakhstan’s Almat Kebispayev, who competed in the London 2012 Olympic Games, and India’s Sandeep Yadav, the Greco-Roman bronze medalist at 66 kilograms in the 2013 world championships.
UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup, Jan. 26, Nommay, France
The final UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup stop of the season will be Sunday in Nommay, France. Katie Compton has already clinched the elite women’s title. Her season has included five consecutive victories, including Jan. 5 in Rome.
Other top U.S. riders include Jeremy Durrin in elite men, and Peter Goguen, Austin Vincent and Cooper Willsey in junior men.
Bavarian Airgun Championships, Jan. 23-25, Munich
London 2012 Olympians Nick Mowrer and Jason Turner are among 21 members of the USA Shooting Team competing in the Bavarian Airgun Championships in Munich, Germany. The tournament is considered to be one of the strongest events outside of the European World Cups.
Turner, a bronze medalist in air pistol at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and also a 2012 Olympian in air pistol, qualified for the 2014 national team by winning a silver medal at the USA Shooting Winter Airgun Championships. Mowrer won two events at the airgun nationals.
Joining them in Munich are Will Brown, a world cup gold medalist in 2013; Teresa Meyer-Chambers and Courtney Anthony in women’s air pistol; U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athletes Bryant Wallizer and Tom Csenge in men’s air rifle, and a number of collegiate athletes.
World Cup, Men’s Epée, Jan. 24, Legnano, Italy
Soren Thompson, a two-time Olympian, is expected to be among the U.S. men competing at the Legnano, Italy, world cup in men’s epée. Andras Horanyi is coming off a 16th-place finish at last week’s Doha Grand Prix, where Horanyi knocked off two-time world champion Nikolai Novosjolov of Estonia in his opening match and then defeated Thompson in the table of 32.
IRB HSBC Sevens World Series, Jan. 24-26, Las Vegas
The USA Rugby Eagles will face Argentina and France on Friday, and Spain on Saturday in the IRB HSBC Sevens World Series at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. The tournament is the fourth stop on the Sevens World Series Tour.
Nick Edwards was named captain of the Eagles for this weekend’s games with Zack Test serving as vice captain. Daniel Barrett and Shalom Suniula will make their Sevens World Series debut. The Eagles have already defeated Spain twice this season, including 26-7 in the shield semifinals at the Gold Coast Sevens.
TV: 2-4 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday, NBC Sports Network; 4-6 p.m. Saturday and 4:30-6 p.m. Sunday, NBC; 7 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Universal Sports
Nastia Liukin Cup Series qualifiers, Jan. 24-26, Kissimmee, Fla., and Allentown, Pa.
The fifth annual Nastia Liukin Cup Series continues this weekend with two qualifying competitions. The series includes 20 events in 14 states with winners qualifying to compete in the Nastia Liukin Cup on Feb. 28 in Greensboro, N.C. Five gymnasts qualified at competitions last week: Reagan Campbell and Rachel Baumann at Kim Zmeskal’s Texas Prime Meet, Wynter Childers and Madison Dagen at the Lady Luck Invitational, and Makarri Doggette at the CGA Coaches Spectacular. This week’s events: Sand Dollar/Whitlow Invitational, Jan. 24-26, Kissimmee, Fla.; Parkettes Invitational, Jan. 25-26, Allentown, Pa.
African Open, Jan. 25-26, Casablanca, Morocco
Sixteen U.S. athletes will compete in the African Open on Saturday and Sunday, which is the first major international competition of 2014 for USA Judo. Hannah Martin (63 kilograms), a grand prix bronze medalist in 2013, is among four U.S. women entered.
Indoor World Cup, Jan. 24-26, Telford, Great Britain
Competition begins Friday in the third Indoor World Cup tournament of the 2013-14 season. U.S. archers won five of six compound medals at the previous world cup in December in Singapore, including gold medals won by Erika Jones and Reo Wilde.
Aegean Cup, Jan. 20-25, Manisa, Turkey
The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team will play in the championship game of the Aegean Cup on Saturday in Manisa, Turkey. The United States clinched a spot in the title game by winning its first two games, including 5-2 over Norway on Tuesday.