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Team USA Weekend Preview: Oct. 26, 2012

By Paul D. Bowker | Oct. 26, 2012, 12:30 p.m. (ET)

Gracie Gold competesGracie Gold competes in the 2012 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic Sept. 16, 2012 in Salt Lake City, Utah

Team USA on TV

Figure Skating
* 4 p.m.-6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m. ET Saturday, Universal Sports
* 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, NBC; 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Sunday, Universal Sports

* 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. ET Saturday, Universal Sports

Winters sports are back in full swing with another figure skating Grand Prix competition this weekend, along with World Cup events in alpine skiing and speedskating. Several other top American athletes are competing around the world in a variety of events this weekend. Check out the Team USA Weekend Preview for all the info.


Skate Canada, Oct. 26-27, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Gracie Gold, the 2012 U.S. junior women’s champion and world junior silver medalist, will seek a podium finish in her first senior ISU Grand Prix Series event. She is among nine U.S. skaters who’ll compete Friday and Saturday at Skate Canada in Windsor, Ont.

The two-day competition follows up Skate America, held last week outside of Seattle, where reigning U.S. champion Ashley Wagner won gold in the women’s competition for the United States.

Caroline Zhang, the 2012 U.S. pewter medalist, will also compete in the ladies event. Ross Miner will be the only U.S. entrant in the men’s competition. Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue will compete in ice dancing, and two U.S. teams will skate in pairs: Lindsay Davis and Mark Ladwig and Tiffany Vise and Don Baldwin. Davis and Ladwig are making their Grand Prix debut together, although Ladwig is a veteran pairs competitor and skated in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games with then-partner Amanda Evora.

TV: 4 p.m.-6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m. ET Saturday, Universal Sports
2 p.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, NBC; 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Sunday, Universal Sports

Webcast: 2 p.m. ET Friday, universalsports.com

Also in figure skating:

Cup of Nice, Oct. 24-28, Nice, France


Alpine World Cup, Giant Slalom, Oct. 27-28, Soelden, Austria

Lindsey Vonn, who last season won the overall FIS World Cup, and Ted Ligety will lead the U.S. Ski Team into its 2012-13 World Cup opener this weekend in Soelden, Austria. Vonn, a two-time Olympic medalist, who won 12 World Cup gold medals in four disciplines last year, is the defending champion at Soelden, as is Ligety.

The women’s giant slalom will kick off the World Cup season Saturday. The men’s giant slalom is scheduled for Sunday.

“Winning in Soelden last season was incredibly special,” said Vonn, whose win in Soelden was her first World Cup giant slalom championship. “It set the tone for the year and I went on to score more giant slalom points than I did the first three seasons combined. That was a huge factor in winning back the overall (title) and nearly breaking the World Cup points record.

“It’s a new year, and we all start with zero points, but I’m stronger than I ever had been. I’ve put in all the work that I know it will take to win titles.”

The team has been training at its European training base in Soelden since mid-October. Other top U.S. skiers who’ll compete this weekend include Julia Mancuso, Mikaela Shiffrin, Megan McJames, Tim Jitloff, Robby Kelley and Warner Nickerson. Five-time Olympic medalist Bode Miller is not in Soelden because he is recovering from knee surgery.

TV: 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. ET Saturday, Universal Sports


Samsung ISU Short Track World Cup, Oct. 26-28, Montreal

J.R. Celski, who broke a world record last week in Calgary, Alberta, will lead the 10-member US Speedskating team into the second ISU Short Track World Cup event of the season in Montreal. The three-day event begins Friday.

Celski, a bronze medalist at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, won the 500-meter race in a blazing 39.937 seconds last Sunday.

The United States enters the competition with three World Cup medals. Celski also earned a bronze in the 1,000 last week and John-Henry Krueger took the bronze in the 500.


Norton National Championships, Oct. 26-27, Lake Placid, N.Y.

Erin Hamlin, a two-time Olympian and 2009 world champion in women’s singles luge, will go after her sixth consecutive title in the Norton National Championships this weekend in Lake Placid, N.Y. The event is being held Friday and Saturday at the Olympic Sports Complex, beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET each day.

Among Hamlin’s competition will be Emily Sweeney, the silver medalist at last year’s competition, and also Julia Clukey and Kate Hansen. Chris Mazdzer, a 2010 Olympian, is seeking to defend his title in men’s singles. The teams of Matt Mortensen and Preston Griffall, and Jake Hyrns and Andrew Sherk are expected to be the top medal contenders in doubles. Christian Niccum, a sixth-place finisher at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, will not compete with doubles partner Jayson Terdiman because Niccum is recovering from back surgery and hoping to be ready to compete by late December.

Runs in all three disciplines (women’s singles, men’s singles, doubles) will be held both days.

Webcast: www.usaluge.org


Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions, Oct. 25-28, various sites

The Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions heads south to perform in three southern states in three nights over the weekend. The tour will perform Friday at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C., followed by performances Saturday at Gwinnett Arena near Atlanta and Sunday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Florida. The tour also performed Thursday night at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. The Kellogg’s Tour includes performances by a number of U.S. Olympians, including members of the “Fierce Five” U.S. Olympic women‘s gold-medal winning team.


ISSF World Cup Finals, Oct. 24-28, Bangkok, Thailand

Four-time Olympian Jason Parker won the ISSF World Cup Final championship in men’s three-position rifle Thursday, defeating 2012 Olympic silver medalist Jonghyun Kim of South Korea. The World Cup Finals go through Saturday in Bangkok, Thailand, with competition in 25-meter rapid fire pistol, and 10-meter air pistol and air rifle.

“I have been competing in World Cup Finals since 1998 and dreaming of a gold medal since then. It’s finally around my neck and it feels great,” said Parker, 38, who finished 30th at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Two-time U.S. Olympian Eric Uptagrafft also competed this week. He placed fourth Wednesday in the men’s prone rifle event.


FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour, Oct. 23-27, Bangsaen, Thailand

Jennifer Kessy and April Ross, the silver medalists at the London 2012 Olympic Games, were to face fellow Americans Nicole Branagh and Lauren Fendrick in Friday’s third round of the Bangsaen Thailand Open. The tournament is the final women’s event of the season on the FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour.

Kessy and Ross, seeded No. 2, swept through two matches in the main draw Thursday, defeating No. 18 Gioria Daniela and Laura Giombini of Italy, and No. 31 Ayumi Kusano and Mutsumi Ozaki of Japan. Branagh and Fendrick, seeded No. 7, also went 2-0, defeating No. 23 Emily Day and Brittany Hochevar of the United States, and No. 26 Vilde Solvoll and Cindy Treland of Norway.

The semifinal round will be played Saturday, followed by the medal rounds Sunday.


U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team vs. Paraguay, Oct. 27, Buenos Aires, Argentina

The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team, which was in Argentina to play in this week’s Four-Nations Tournament, will end its trip with an international friendly Saturday against Paraguay. Corey Baird has been one of the team’s offensive stars, scoring twice within a six-minute span in a 5-1 win over Chile.

Also in soccer:

U.S. U-15 and U-14 Girls National Team training camp, Oct. 20-28, Cary, N.C.


World Junior Championships, Oct. 26-Nov. 3, Chiba, Japan

A USA Badminton team of 13 will compete in five individual events, plus the team events, at the World Junior Championships, which begin Friday in Chiba, Japan. Leading the United States are Jeffrey Kuo, Alan Shekhtman and William Cheung in boys’ singles, and Iris Wang, Christine Chen and Angela Lin in girls’ singles.


USA 30km Race Walk Championships, Oct. 28, Valley Cottage, N.Y.

Rockland Lake State Park in Valley Cottage, N.Y., will play host to the USA 30-kilometer Race Walk Championships. The course is also certified for 20km and 50km. The top five male finishers who go on to compete 50km in under 4 hours, 45 minutes, will qualify to represent Team USA at the Pan American Race Walking Cup in Lima, Peru, in February 2013. Dan Serianni is the defending male champion; Darlene Backlund is defending women’s champion.


UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup, Oct. 28, Plzen, Czech Republic

The second UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup event of the season will be held Sunday in Plzen, Czech Republic. Jeremy Powers of the United States is ranked No. 10 in the UCI Cyclo-cross points standings and Ryan Trebon is 14th. Kevin Pauwels of Belgium won the Cup opener last week in Tabor, Czech Republic.

Also in cycling:

Colorado Cross Cup, Oct. 27, Boulder, Colo.

Boulder Cup, Oct. 28, Boulder, Colo.


Men’s and Women’s Epée, European Cadet Circuit, Oct. 27-28, Klagenfurt, Germany

The action begins Saturday in a European Cadet Circuit tournament for men’s and women’s epée. The tournament is in Klagenfurt, Germany. U.S. athletes have already won medals at European Cadet tournaments in saber and foil, including silver in the team saber competition in Godollo, Hungary.

Also in fencing:

Regional Open Circuit, Oct. 27-29, Crescent City Open, La.

Regional Youth Circuit, Oct. 27-28, Chicago


Flanders Cup, Oct. 27-28, Lommel, Belgium

Siblings George and Annie Truong are among eight U.S. young elite judoka who will compete Saturday and Sunday at the Flanders Cup in Belgium. George Truong won a bronze medal in the 60kg weight class earlier this year at the IJF Miami World Cup. Lynn Roethke, a 1988 Olympic silver medalist, will assist coach Brett Wolf. The team will have a three-day training camp following the competition.

Also in judo:

IJF World Championships, team, Oct. 27-28, Salvador, Brazil


U.S. Masters Synchronized Swimming Championships, Oct. 25-28, Sarasota, Fla.

Nearly 300 swimmers are competing in solo, duet, trio and team events through Sunday in the U.S. Masters Synchronized Swimming Championships at the Sarasota (Fla.) YMCA. Duet technical, trio technical and combo competition will be held Friday, followed by trio free, duet free and team technical on Saturday, and team free Sunday. Synchro swimmers ranging in age from 19 to 89 are competing.


Junior/Senior National Championships, Oct. 22-28, Colorado Springs

Competition will be held Saturday and Sunday in the USA Pentathlon Junior/Senior National Championships in Colorado Springs. A training camp for the athletes began Monday.

Story courtesy Red Line Editorial, Inc. Paul D. Bowker is a freelance contributor for TeamUSA.org. Material from various news services and press releases from National Governing Bodies was used to compile this report. This story was not subject to the approval of any National Governing Bodies.