U.S. Paralympic athletes had strong showings Friday as Americans, led by Hawaii’s Evan Strong, swept the snowboard cross medal podium. Mike Shea earned a silver medal and Keith Gabel made the U.S. podium complete with a bronze medal. Another American to win a medal in the Paralympic debut of snowboarding was Amy Purdy, who earned a bronze medal Friday and will jet back to the United States. She will be the first Paralympian to sport dancing shoes on the hit TV show, “Dancing With The Stars,” which premieres with a two-hour episode Monday night. Read more about Team USA athletes in this edition of the Team USA Weekend Preview.
SOCHI 2014 PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES
Paralympic Winter Games, March 7-16, Sochi, Russia
Get ready for another United States vs. Russia hockey game. The U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team blanked Canada, 3-0, Thursday in the semifinals to advance to the gold-medal game Saturday against Russia.
Declan Farmer scored two goals and had an assist in the win over Canada. Goaltender Steve Cash recorded 11 saves.
The United States is seeking to become the first to win back-to-back gold medals in Paralympic history in sled hockey. The game will be shown nationally on NBC.
In addition to the championship game in sled hockey, the final weekend of action at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games will include alpine and cross-country skiing and wheelchair curling. The Closing Ceremony will take place Sunday.
TV: 1 p.m. ET Saturday, sled hockey gold-medal game, NBC; 3:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Saturday and 4:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Sunday, NBC Sports Network
FIS World Cup Alpine Finals, team, men’s and women’s slalom and giant slalom, March 14-16, Lenzerheide, Switzerland
The final world cup event of the season will conclude Saturday and Sunday with men’s and women’s slalom and giant slalom races in Lanzerheide, Switzerland.
Mikaela Shiffrin, the Olympic gold medalist in women‘s slalom, will be among the U.S. skiers Saturday. Ted Ligety, the Olympic gold medalist in giant slalom, also will take to his signature event Saturday.
In the team event Friday, the U.S. squad will consist of Bode Miller, Tim Jitloff, David Chodounsky, Julia Mancuso and Shiffrin. Miller finished third in the final super-G of the season Thursday.
TV: 11 a.m. ET Saturday and Sunday, Universal Sports
Webcast: 4 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, universalsports.com
Also in skiing:
FIS World Cup Finals, Men’s and Women’s Cross Country, March 14-16, Falun, Sweden
Webcast: 5:30 a.m. ET Saturday and 8:30 a.m. Sunday, universalsports.com
FIS World Cup, Men’s Ski Jumping, March 15-16, Falun, Sweden
FIS World Cup, Nordic Combined, March 15-16, Falun, Sweden
Webcast: 7 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. Saturday, universalsports.com
FIS World Cup, Men’s and Women’s Freestyle, skicross, March 14-16, Are, Sweden
FIS World Cup, Women’s and Men’s Freestyle, moguls and dual moguls, March 15-16, Voss-Myrkdalen, Norway
Webcast: 8:30 a.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday, universalsports.com
FIS World Cup, men’s and women’s snowboardcross, March 14-15, La Molina, Spain
NorAm Finals, March 11-16, Calgary, Canada
ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships, March 10-16, Sofia, Bulgaria
U.S. junior national ice dancing champions Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker scored a career-best short-dance score of 66.73 points Thursday to take the lead at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria. The free dance was scheduled for Friday.
Hawayek and Baker are among 18 U.S. skaters in the competition, which continues through Sunday. Ice dancers Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter were in third place after the short program, and Rachel and Michael Parsons were just behind in fourth.
Three-time U.S. junior medalist Nathan Chen was in sixth place after the men’s short program. Chen won the U.S. junior men’s championship in 2012 and 2014, and earned the bronze medal at the 2013 Junior Grand Prix Final. Jordan Moeller landed his first clean triple Axel in competition and placed ninth in the short program. Shotaro Omori, who struggled with injuries this season, failed to qualify for the long program.
U.S. junior champion Amber Glenn is the top-ranked American after placing fifth Friday in the short program, followed by Karen Chen in sixth and Tyler Pierce, who stands in 10th place.
National junior pairs champions Madeline Aaron and Max Settlage finished in fifth place with a score of 144.91 points. Kaitlin Budd and Nikita Cheban finished ninth, and Aya Takai and Brian Johnson were 11th.
Webcast: 7 a.m. ET Saturday and 5 a.m. Sunday, icenetwork.com
Ford World Women’s Curling Championship, March 15-23, New Brunswick, Canada
Allison Pottinger’s rink will begin play Saturday in the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship presented by Booster Juice in Saint John, New Brunswick. The United States will face China in its opening march.
Joining Pottinger are Nicole Joraanstad, Natalie Nicholson, Tabitha Peterson and Tara Peterson. Pottinger is a two-time Olympian, and her squad advanced to the world championships despite finishing second at last week’s national championships due to a new qualification points system. Joraanstad and Nicholson are 2010 Olympians.
The team’s 11-game round-robin schedule includes matches against Germany and Denmark on Sunday, and Sweden and Canada on Monday.
The tournament marks the beginning of the qualification period for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games.
Webcast: 6:30 p.m. ET Monday, United States vs. Canada, universalsports.com
Also in curling:
USA Curling Mixed National Championship, March 15-23, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
Men’s Freestyle World Cup, March 15-16, Los Angeles.
Jordan Burroughs, a gold medalist at the London 2012 Olympic Games, is one of the headliners in a stacked field at the men’s Freestyle World Cup. The event, which will be held Saturday and Sunday at the Forum in Los Angeles, features two Olympic champions and seven world champions.
Burroughs, who is 10-0 in world cup matches, will wrestle at 74-kilograms.
The U.S. roster includes eight past World Team members, including Burroughs, Angel Escobedo, Reece Humphrey, Brent Metcalf, Keith Gavin and J.D. Bergman.
In addition to the United States, teams in the dual format will be Armenia, India, Iran, Japan, Russia, Georgia, Mongolia, Turkey and Ukraine. The United States will face Armenia, India and Iran on Saturday, and Turkey Sunday. Medal-round duals will be held Sunday night.
Women’s Freestyle World Cup, March 15-16, Tokyo
Elena Pirozhkova, a 2012 Olympian and 2012 world champion, and 2012 world champion Adeline Gray are among the U.S. athletes who’ll wrestle in the women’s Freestyle World Cup on Saturday and Sunday in Tokyo. Pirozhkova will compete at 63kg and Gray at 75kg.
Other U.S. wrestlers included 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Randi Miller, and world medalists Alyssa Lampe and Helen Maroulis. Japan’s lineup includes 11-time world champion Saori Yoshida and eight-time world champ Kaori Icho. Both are three-time Olympic champions.
Other teams include China, Canada, Russia, Ukraine, Hungary and Mongolia.
IGF World Cup, March 13-16, Cottbus, Germany
Brandon Wynn, a bronze medalist at the 2013 world championships, had a score of 14.633 in the still rings Thursday to qualify for the finals at the world cup event in Cottbus, Germany. Wynn was to join teammate Chris Brooks in the parallel bars qualifying session Friday. Brooks will also compete on the horizontal bar.
Josh Dixon, who placed 14th in the floor exercise, will compete in the high bar Friday. Finals are Saturday and Sunday.
The event is part of the International Gymnastics Federation’s World Challenge Cup.
Also in gymnastics:
U.S. women’s national team selection camp, March 13-17, Huntsville, Texas
FINA Diving World Series, March 14-16, Beijing
Two-time Olympic medalist David Boudia will compete in the men’s individual 10-meter and synchronized 3-meter at the FINA Diving World Series in Beijing. He will team up with four-time Olympian Troy Dumais in the synchro.
Amanda Burke will dive with Deidre Freeman in the women’s synchro 3-meter, and Anna James will team up with Jessica Parratto in the women’s synchro 10-meter.
E.ON IBU World Cup, March 10-16, Kontiolahti, Finland
Hannah Dreissigacker scored her top career world cup finish by placing 28th in the women’s 7.5-kilometer sprint at the world cup event in Kontiolahti, Finland. Another two sprint races will be held Friday, and men’s and women’s pursuit races will be held Saturday.
Also in biathlon:
IBU Cup, March 13-16, Martell, Italy
Grand Prix, men’s foil, March 15, Venice, Italy
The U.S. men’s foil team will compete Saturday in a grand prix tournament in Venice, Italy. Among members of the national team is two-time Olympian Gerek Meinhardt, who earlier this season became the first men’s foil fencer in U.S. history to achieve the world’s No. 1 ranking.
Also in fencing:
World Cup, women’s foil, March 14, Tauberbischofsheim, Germany
World Cup, women’s sabre, March 14, Antalya, Turkey
North American Cup, March 14-17, Memphis
U.S. Women’s National Squad vs. Canada, March 14, Lancaster, Pa.
The U.S. Women’s National Squad and Canada will finish up a four-game test series Friday at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa. The United States won the third game of the series on Thursday, 4-1.
The series against Canada is a final step in the team’s preparation for the Champions Challenge in April and the 2014 World Cup.
USA Shooting Spring Selection Match, March 13-23, Kerrville, Texas
More than 150 athletes are taking part in the USA Shooting Spring Selection Match, which will determine roster spots for ISF World Cup matches and the 2014 World Championships. The competition is being held at Hill Country Shooting Sports Center in Kerrville, Texas.
Trap shooting will be held through Sunday. Among those in women’s trap are two-time Olympian Corey Cogdell and national champion Rachael Heiden, who won the Fall Selection Match. National champ Brian Burrows and Alex Rennert are among the top men’s shooters.
Adequan Global Dressage Festival 10, CPEDI3*, March 12-16, Wellington, Fla.
Fourteen riders from the United States are competing in a CPEDI3* competition this weekend at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Fla. Riders from the United States, Canada and Mexico will compete in team, individual and freestyle tests. The event is a qualifier for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
Rebecca Hart is among those competing in the 2014 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship. She won the 2012 national title.
US Cup Pro Series, March 15, San Dimas, Calif.
Todd Wells is third in the men’s points standings and Georgia Gould is third in the women’s standings entering this week’s USA Cycling US Cup Pro Series racing in San Dimas, Calif. The US Cup is a part of the USA Cycling Pro Mountain Bike Cross Country Tour (Pro XCT).
IWWF World Cup, March 15-16, Mandurah, Australia
U.S. athletes Freddy Krueger, Scot Ellis, Raimi Merritt, Lauren Morgan, Jimmy Siemers and Zack Worden will compete Saturday and Sunday in the IWWF Water Ski & Wakeboard World Cup in Australia.
Also in water skiing:Barefoot Water Ski World Championships, March 11-16, Mulwala, Australia