At this year's World Figure Skating Championships in Boston this week, three of the four gold medalists were repeat winners from 2015. First up, France's ice dancers Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron successfully defended their crown from the U.S. challenge of siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani (silver) and Madison Chock and Evan Bates (bronze). The Americans' double placement on the podium marked the third time ever that the U.S. earned two medals in the event, after 2006 and 2011. Next, Spain's Javier Fernandez came back from second-place in the short program with a champion-worthy long, to overtake rival - and training partner - Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, the 2014 champion. Jin Boyang of China finished third, to mark his country's first appearance on that event's podium. On the final day, Canada's Megan Duhamel and Eric Radford defended their title, similarly from a second-place after the short, defeating China's Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, that also a repeat of last year. In the ladies' competition, Russia landed the first new champion of the tournament, with Evgenia Medvedeva in her first senior worlds. Russia's current depth in the event was showcased, as Anna Pogorilaya finsihed with the bronze and last year's bronze medalist Elena Radionova finished sixth. And note, their team this year did not even include the reigning Olympic champion Adelina Sotnikova, 2014 world silver medalist Yulia Lipnitskaya, nor defending world champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva! Meanwhile, the U.S.'s Ashley Wagner finally made a major international podium with silver, marking the first time an American was on the stand in more than ten years.
Colombia Boots U.S. from Olympic Soccer
After a 1-1 draw in Colombia last week, the U.S. and Colombia met this week for a winner-takes-the Olympic-spot match in Frisco, Texas. And Colombia won, 2-1 in a physical game, to earn the last remaining spot available for the Rio Games. For the U.S., it's the first time in more than fifty years that they've failed to qualify for two straight Olympics, a streak that will surely hamper the development of the younger generation to come up. Colombia joins Brazil, Argentina, Honduras, and Mexico as the North and South Americans in the Olympics.