The Latest: Dismal showing for US female figure skaters
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) The Latest on the Pyeongchang Olympics (all times local):
The Americans secured their worst showing in modern-era Olympic women’s figure skating with Mirai Nagasu failing to get any lift on her triple axel and popping a triple lutz.
The 24-year-old Nagasu was fourth at the 2010 Vancouver Games but never got going in the individual competition at the Pyeongchang Games after helping the U.S. win a team bronze. She hit her triple axel in that event, becoming the first American woman and third overall to do so in an Olympics. But she slipped below U.S. champion Bradie Tennell in the standings after Friday’s free skate, with 2017 national champ Karen Chen just behind.
With the top six skaters to go, the Americans almost certainly will wind up ninth, 10th and 11th. Since World War II, at least one American woman finished sixth or higher.
Canadian defenseman Jocelyne Larocque says she wishes she hadn’t taken off her silver medal almost immediately after it was placed around her neck at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
Larocque issued a statement through Team Canada apologizing to the IOC, International Ice Hockey Federation, the Pyeongchang Olympic Organizing Committee, the Canadian Olympic Committee, Hockey Canada and her teammates and fans.
She says her emotions got the best of her Thursday after a 3-2 shootout loss to the United States and she meant no disrespect. Larocque says she takes being a role model and representing Canada seriously and is truly sorry that her actions did not represent her values or those of her family and team.
The general manager of Canada’s national team programs says they expect professionalism and sportsmanship from their players.
American ski great Lindsey Vonn not only won a bronze medal at the Pyeongchang Olympics, she also had a chance to scatter some of her grandfather’s ashes on a rock near the mountain where the downhill races were run.
Don Kildow served in the Army Corps of Engineers during the Korean War in the 1950s.
”I know that it would mean a lot to him to be back here, a part of him is in South Korea always,” says Vonn, who shared her story with The Associated Press and the Chosun Ilbo newspaper.
Vonn says she scattered parts of Don Kildow’s ashes ”just a few days ago” on a rock that she was told was special when she visited South Korea last year to be named a Pyeongchang Olympic ambassador. She described the location as ”right by the men’s downhill start.”
Vonn won a bronze medal in the downhill , but skied out of Thursday’s slalom leg of the Alpine combined in what was likely her last Olympic race. Later in the day, a group of elderly South Korean men gave her family some gifts and a letter of thanks to mark her grandfather’s service during the 1950-53 Korean War.
Canada’s Kelsey Serwa has raced to victory in women’s skicross, giving her a gold medal to go with the silver she won in Sochi four years ago.
Serwa raced to the lead early in the final and was well in front by the time she reached the bottom of the course at Phoenix Snow Park. Canadian teammate Brittany Phelan made an impressive pass late in the run to finish second.
Serwa’s victory came two days after Canada’s Brady Leman took gold in the men’s event.
Switzerland’s Fanny Smith held off Sweden’s Sandra Naeslund for bronze.
While Serwa and Phelan gave the Canadians a one-two finish, teammates Marielle Thompson and India Sherrit were not so fortunate. Thompson, the defending Olympic champion, clipped a ski in the first elimination round and did not finish. Sherrit left the course in a medical sled following a frightening crash. There was no immediate update on her status.
The final competitive event of figure skating at the Pyeongchang Games is underway with Russian rivals Alina Zagitova and Evgenia Medvedeva dueling for the gold medal.
They are so far ahead of the rest of the field after their short program that everyone else is competing for bronze in the free skate. Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada is currently third, but Japan’s Satoko Miyahara and Kaori Sakamoto are within striking distance.
The trio U.S. women are well off the pace and need a big rally in their free skates to avoid the worst showing by the American contingent in Olympic history.
The Russians have a good shot at winning their first gold medal of the Pyeongchang Olympics when teenager figure skaters Alina Zagitova and Evgenia Medvedeva take the ice for the women’s free skate.
Zagitova and Medvedeva were in first and second place, respectively, after the women’s short program, where they had the highest scores ever. First Medvedeva broke the record she’d set the week before during the team competition, then Zagitova broke that record.
Americans Bradie Tennell, Mirai Nagasu and Karen Chen are unlikely to medal after struggling in their short programs.
Also Friday, speedskaters will compete in the men’s 1,000 meter. In hockey it’s the Czech Republic vs. the Olympic Athletes from Russia and Canada vs. Germany to determine who will play for gold.
More AP Olympic coverage: https://wintergames.ap.org