Judge criticizes USOPC release from proposed settlement with Nassar, Peters survivors

A U.S. Bankruptcy judge this week criticized a proposed USA Gymnastics financial settlement with the survivors of Larry Nassar that would release the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee from all current and future claims related to Nassar’s sexual abuse of young athletes.

Robyn L. Moberly, the chief judge for U.S. Bankruptcy Court Southern District, in a hearing Monday repeatedly expressed her displeasure with the proposed settlement that would release the USOPC from liability without paying anything to survivors, according to a hearing transcript obtained by the Southern California News Group.

USA Gymnastics, facing hundreds of lawsuit related to the sexual abuse of Nassar, the former U.S. Olympic and women’s national team physician, Don Peters, a former U.S. Olympic team coach, and Marvin Sharp, a former U.S. national team coach, and others, filed for protection under Chapter 11 in U.S. Bankruptcy in December 2018.The USOPC is named in many of those suits.

USA Gymnastics has proposed $217-million settlement is part of a reorganization plan filed with the court earlier this year. A 77-page disclosure statement related to the settlement proposal states that if the 517 Nassar survivors would agree to release “any and all claims arising from or related to Abuse Claims or Future Claims.”

“USOPC is a beneficiary of the Settlement Election’s release and its injunctions,” according to the filing.

“The only way the USOPC will agree to” the settlement “is if it is protected by the release and injunctions described” in the agreement.

But Moberly has not hid her feelings toward the proposal.

“I’m not a fan of USOPC’s participation in this,” she said Monday.

“I don’t like — I mean, as any citizen who observes this process, the channeling injunction or releases for USOPC, which is certainly the wealthier of the organizations, were not going through what USAG has gone through without anything more than — as I’ve expressed before, without any — without a nickle put in out of their own private pockets other than their premiums that they paid,” Moberly said in the hearing. “You know, that doesn’t sit that well, and I’ve expressed that before.”

In addition to the USOPC, the settlement proposal also calls for the release of former USA Gymnastics CEO Steve Penny, Peters, former U.S. national team directors Bela and Martha Karolyi, five Karolyi-related businesses, 2012 Olympic coach John Geddert, former USA Gymnastics senior vice president Rhonda Faehn, former USA Gymnastics board chairman Paul Parilla, former USA Gymnastics president Bob Colarossi, former USA Gymnastics national teams manager Amy White, former USA Gymnastics sports medicine official Debra Van Horn and the All Olympia Gymnastics Center in Southern California.

Moberly’s comments came during a hearing on a request by attorneys for the survivors to hire a financial advisor to examine the USOPC’s records.

“Right now, the way the plan and the disclosure statement are written, the survivors are going to make this decision in the dark without full disclosure of the upside if they’re successful in the litigation,” Debbie Caruso, an attorney for the survivors told the court. “A critical component of this analysis for the survivors is the collectability of multiple mass judgments that could be entered against the USOPC if some of the litigation is successful.

“And, no, this is not USOPC’s bankruptcy, but they’re a big part of it. They’re going to get a big, huge benefit and a big prize at the end of this, and they’re going to walk away from litigation all over this country, a lot of litigation. And you don’t do that for free. You have to disclose.”

Moberly denied the request, stating that the USOPC’s financial records are already available online. Catherine L. Steege, an attorney for USA Gymnastics, told Moberly that the USOPC had $443 million in assets without donor restraints.

The USOPC listed $322.8 million in revenue for the 2018 fiscal year, according to an Internal Revenue Service filing and financial documents. The organization spent $13.6 million in legal fees and $147,430 on lobbying in 2018. The USOPC also paid out $7.6 million in compensation to officers and key employees. The organization had 14 employees receiving at least $320,000 in annual compensation, nine receiving more than $400,000 in compensation.

Attorneys for 512 of the 517 survivors who said they were sexually abused by former U.S. Olympic and women’s national team physician Larry Nassar and other USOPC and USA Gymnastics national team coaches and officials told SCNG this week that none of their clients would vote to accept the proposed settlement.

“No one is going to accept this and everybody agrees on that,” said Jon Little, an Indiana attorney for survivors.

The attorneys cited the USOPC release and USA Gymnastics’ failure to release documents that detail the culture of abuse within the sport that enabled Nassar and Peters and others’ predatory behavior and the lengths USA Gymnastics and USOPC officials went to conceal that behavior from the public and future victims.

“If, in fact, the majority of claimants, their lawyers believe that the only acceptable route is a route that litigates to the insolvency of USOPC, and I hope that’s not the case, but that is — does seem to be what — you know, what is being suggested here today, that we have to figure out what would make USOPC insolvent, and that’s the breakpoint for what you would take, if that’s true, I think we can all agree to recognize that a settlement is unlikely,” Steege said.

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Shoma Uno wins Four Continents with comeback skate

  • Shoma Uno of Japan, competes in the men’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Saturday, February 9, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Shoma Uno of Japan, competes in the men’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Saturday, February 9, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

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  • Shoma Uno of Japan, competes in the men’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Saturday, February 9, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Shoma Uno of Japan, competes in the men’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Saturday, February 9, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Shoma Uno of Japan, competes in the men’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Saturday, February 9, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

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For Japan’s Shoma Uno the hardest part at the Four Continents Saturday night was the waiting.

Uno, the Olympic silver medalist, skating first in the final group, posted a season’s best free skate mark of 197.36 for a total score of 289.12 to move into the overall lead.

Uno then waited backstage at Honda Center for another 40 minutes while the final four skaters, three of whom started the night ahead of him, competed.

None of them threatened Uno.

China’s Boyang Jin was second with an overall score of 273.51. Vincent Zhou of the U.S., the leader after the short program, lost any chance of holding on for the gold medal when he bobbled a jump combination midway through his free skate and had to settle for the bronze medal with a 272.22 mark.

Jason Brown of the U.S. was fifth at 258.89 with Tomoki Hiwatshi, a 19-year-old from New Jersey, eight at 236.79.

Uno’s training coming into Four Continents had been limited by injury. Even so he trailed Zhou by less than nine points after the short program. Uno wasted little time cutting into that gap, landing a quad flip and then quad toe-loop to open his free skate and never looking back, collapsing to his knees at the end of the program.

“I was like ‘oh, I really did it,’” he said.

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Rika Kihira takes Four Continents title with monster free skate

  • Rika Kihira of Japan, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. She won the competition with total segment score of 153.14. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Rika Kihira of Japan, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. She won the competition with total segment score of 153.14. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

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  • Rika Kihira of Japan, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. She won the competition with total segment score of 153.14. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Rika Kihira of Japan, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. She won the competition with total segment score of 153.14. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Rika Kihira of Japan, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. She won the competition with total segment score of 153.14. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Rika Kihira of Japan, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. She won the competition with total segment score of 153.14. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Andrea Montesinos Cantu of Mexico, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Andrea Montesinos Cantu of Mexico, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Alaine Chartrand of Canada, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Alaine Chartrand of Canada, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Isadora Williams of Brazil, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Isadora Williams of Brazil, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Amy Lin of Taiwan, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Amy Lin of Taiwan, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Joanna So of Hong Kong, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Joanna So of Hong Kong, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Hanul Kim of South Korea, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Hanul Kim of South Korea, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Alisson Krystle Perticheto of Philippines, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Alisson Krystle Perticheto of Philippines, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Yi Christy Leung of Hong Kong, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Yi Christy Leung of Hong Kong, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Joanna So of Hong Kong competes in the Ladies Free Skating competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Joanna So of Hong Kong competes in the Ladies Free Skating competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Chen Hongyi of China competes in the Ladies Free Skating competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Hongyi Chen of China, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Hongyi Chen of China, competes in the women’s free skating program at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at Honda Center in Anaheim on Friday, February 8, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Chen Hongyi of China competes in the Ladies Free Skating competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Chen Hongyi of China competes in the Ladies Free Skating competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Elizabet Tursynbaeva of Kazakhstan competes in the Free Skating event before finishing second in the Womens competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Elizabet Tursynbaeva of Kazakhstan competes in the Free Skating event before finishing second in the Womens competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Elizabet Tursynbaeva of Kazakhstan competes in the Free Skating event before finishing second in the Womens competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Rika Kihira of Japan competes in the Free Skating event before winning the Womens competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Rika Kihira of Japan competes in the Free Skating event before winning the Womens competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Rika Kihira of Japan competes in the Free Skating event before winning the Womens competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Rika Kihira of Japan competes in the Free Skating event before winning the Womens competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Rika Kihira of Japan competes in the Free Skating event before winning the Womens competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Rika Kihira of Japan celebrates after winning the Womens competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Rika Kihira of Japan celebrates after winning the Womens competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Rika Kihira of Japan celebrates after winning the Womens competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Rika Kihira (L) of Japan celebrates after winning the Womens competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Rika Kihira of Japan celebrates after winning the Ladies Free Skating competition during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championship at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on February 8, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

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ANAHEIM — Japan’s Rika Kihira won the Four Continents women’s title Friday night at Honda Center with a dominant performance full of confidence and elegance, re-establishing herself as the favorite at next month’s World Championships in her home country.

Kihira, 16, vaulted from fifth place after a rough short program Thursday to claim her second major title of the season, opening her free skate with a triple axel/triple toe-loop combination and never really touching down until she posted a 153.14 score for the night and an overall mark of 221.99.

Bradie Tennell of the U.S., Japanese champion Kaori Sakamoto, and Team USA’s Mariah Bell, first, second and third respectively after the short program, all had major jumping issues and finished off the podium.

Instead, Kihira was joined on the podium by Kazakhstan’s Elizabet Tursynbaeva and Japan’s Mai Mihara.

Tursynbaeva was training at a Moscow shopping mall before moving to Toronto in 2015 to train with Brian Orser, who coached 2010 Olympic champion Yuna Kim. Tursynbaeva returned to Russia last spring, joining Olympic champion Alina Zagitova in Eteri Tutberidze’s Sambo 70 training group.

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On Friday, she joined Zagitova among the Worlds medal contenders, finishing with an overall score of 207.46. Mihara was right behind in third at 207.12.

Bell, skating second to last in the night’s final group. fell on her second jump, a triple loop, and spent the rest of the program fighting to salvage the routine, finishing with an overall score of 193.94 for sixth place.

Tennell finished one spot ahead of her at 202.07 following a free skate undermined by four under-rotated jumps.

Tennell’s missteps set up a potential replay of December’s Japanese Championships, where another big Kihira free skate (155.01) was not enough to overcome a poor short program and knock off Sakamoto.

But this time Sakamoto veered off script when she popped the first segment of what was supposed to be a double axel, triple toe-loop, double toe-loop. The mistake dropped her to fourth at 206.74.

While Kihira’s short program remains an issue, Friday only re-enforced her big point potential in the free skate. Only Zagitova and Kihira have posted bigger free skate and overall scores than Kihira’s Friday marks. And both Kihira scores are significantly higher than what Russia’s latest star, Sofia Samodurova (213.84/140.96), and Zagitova (198.34/123.34) posted in going 1-2 at the recent European Championships.

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Inaugural Cal State Fullerton conference explores gender, race and doping in sports

Local and international Olympic and sports researchers will discuss issues including apartheid, doping, and Olympic challenges and controversies March 9-10 during the Center for Sociocultural Sport and Olympic Research conference on campus.

The conference is the first for the two-year-old center, one of only three Olympic studies centers in the nation and the only one on the West Coast.

“The conference emerged out of a need and an opportunity,” said John Gleaves, associate professor of kinesiology who co-directs the center with fellow kinesiology faculty members Matthew Llewellyn and Toby Rider. “We also saw a need for our students to present their research at an international conference while also being exposed to international scholars from around the world.”

Attendees at the Center for Sociocultural Sport and Olympic Research conference will hear from Anita DeFrantz, left, Andrew Zimbalist and Jill Yesko. (Photos courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)
Attendees at the Center for Sociocultural Sport and Olympic Research conference will hear from Anita DeFrantz, left, Andrew Zimbalist and Jill Yesko. (Photos courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)

Two keynoters will speak during the two-day program:

  • Anita DeFrantz, the first African-American and first American woman to serve on the International Olympic Committee and an Olympic medalist and author of “My Olympic Life, A Memoir”
  • Andrew Zimbalist, economist at Smith College and author of books including “Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup.”

DeFrantz is a member of the International Olympic Committee and the IOC Executive Board. She has devoted much of her career to advocacy and access in sports and has worked to close the gender gap for athletes while, through her work at the LA84 Foundation, ensuring that young athletes throughout Southern California have access to sports.

“She is arguably the most powerful woman in the world of sport,” Gleaves said.

Zimbalist is an internationally recognized authority on the economics and business of sporting events,  noted Gleaves.

The conference will also include a screening of “Tainted Blood: The Untold Story of the 1984 Blood Doping Scandal” with a discussion by filmmaker Jill Yesko and Dave Grylls, a member of the 1984 U.S. men’s track cycling team that won the silver in the 4,000 meters team event.

“With Los Angeles being awarded the 2028 Summer Olympic Games, we felt this was a great opportunity to recognize his outstanding body of scholarship while helping our region consider what we want the Games to look like and what kind of legacy, both on infrastructure and the economy, we want the Games to leave behind,” Gleaves said.

Register on the center website.

New campus chief of police takes over

Raymund Aguirre assumed command March 1 as police chief for Cal State Fullerton after a nationwide search.

Raymund Aguirre took over March 1 as police chief for Cal State Fullerton after a nationwide search. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)
Raymund Aguirre took over March 1 as police chief for Cal State Fullerton after a nationwide search. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)

Aguirre, previously chief of the San Diego Community College District Police, will oversee the university’s force of 30-sworn police officers and its 17 staff members.

A swearing-in ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. Friday, March 16, at the Golleher Alumni House on campus.

Aguirre also served as chief of police for the San Jose-Evergreen Community College District and has worked with the Foothill-De Anza Community College District and Palo Alto Police Department. He holds a master’s degree in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh and a bachelor’s in sociology from the University of the Philippines.

He succeeds Dennis J. DeMaio, who served for six years as chief before retiring.

Student consulting team nabs third in contest

A CSUF Consulting team placed third in a major national competition, the Small Business Institute Project of the Year, competing against about 100 other universities.

Chad Armstrong ’17, Mary Cho ’17, Jonny May ’17 and Rachel Herzog ’18, backed by mentor Bob Godlasky and professor John Bradley Jackson, developed a comprehensive marketing plan for client Open Castings.

Open Castings is an online platform that allows actors to audition for roles and casting directors to find the best candidate. Involved with the client are alums Will and Bill Taormina, who are donors to the Center for Entrepreneurship, and alum Trevor Heath.

“Its unique value proposition was to allow actors to use a smartphone to submit an audition tailored to a specific role. This gives actors and directors the freedom to submit and screen auditions at times most convenient for them, saving time and money,” explained Herzog.

The team was tasked with helping Open Castings better understand its potential customer and build a go-to-market strategy. The work included customer interviews and surveys, a feasibility study, business model development, a competitive analysis and a customer acquisition growth strategy.

Companies interested in becoming a client of CSU Consulting should contact Charlesetta Medina at 657-278-8243 or cymedina@fullerton.edu.

Faculty, student civil engineers honored

The Orange County Engineering Council has honored Cal State Fullerton civil engineering faculty member and alum Beena Ajmera and graduate student Mohammed Al-Behadili.

Civil and environmental engineering faculty member Beena Ajmera and graduate student Mohammed Al-Behadili accept their awards from CT Bathala, center, president of the Orange County Engineering Council. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)
Civil and environmental engineering faculty member Beena Ajmera and graduate student Mohammed Al-Behadili accept their awards from CT Bathala, center, president of the Orange County Engineering Council. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)

Ajmera, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, received the outstanding educator award and Al-Behadili took home the outstanding engineering student award from the council’s Feb. 17 National Engineers Week awards banquet.

Ajmera’s research focuses on geotechnical engineering in the areas of shear strength and compressibility of soil, soil modification and soil dynamics. She has co-authored more than 100 journal and conference papers and mentored scores of CSUF, high school and community college students.

Al-Behadili is involved in a study examining how the strength of soil is influenced by vertical stress of a building and how the vertical stress has varied over time.

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Aly Raisman sues U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics, Larry Nassar

Olympic gymnastics champion Aly Raisman has filed suit against the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics and former U.S. Olympic and national team physician Larry Nassar in Santa Clara Superior Court alleging Nassar sexually abused her while she competed for Team USA at major international competitions including the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The suit, which also names former USA Gymnastics chief executive officer Steve Penny, and former USA Gymnastics board chairman Paul Parilla, an Orange County attorney, alleges Nassar molested Raisman between 2010, when she was 15 or 16, and 2012 and again in 2015 at the remote Texas ranch owned by former U.S. national team directors Bela and Martha Karolyi, San Jose, Europe, Japan and Australia.

The Karolyi Ranch was a USOC Training Site and USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center at the time of the alleged abuse.

In addition to alleging sexual battery and harassment by Nassar, the suit also charges the USOC, USA Gymnastics, Penny, Parilla and others with negligent failure to warn, retention/hiring and supervision. The USOC and USA Gymnastics, said John Manly, Raisman’s attorney, conducted “a conspiracy to silence victims and cover-up the largest child sex abuse scandal in history.”

Raisman is a six-time Olympic medalist, winning team gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Games and the individual floor exercise title in London. Raisman was one of 156 survivors of Nassar’s abuse who testified at a January sentencing hearing for the physician in Michigan

“My highest priority has been to push for change, so future generations of athletes will be safer. It has become painfully clear that these organizations have no intention of properly addressing this problem,” Raisman said in a statement. “After all this time, they remain unwilling to conduct a full investigation, and without a solid understanding of how this happened, it is delusional to think sufficient changes can be implemented. Meanwhile, thousands of young athletes continue to train and compete every day in this same broken system. I refuse to wait any longer for these organizations to do the right thing. It is my hope that the legal process will hold them accountable and enable the change that is so desperately needed.”

Raisman continues to suffer from depression, anxiety and fear resulting from Nassar’s sexual abuse. The suit alleges Nassar began grooming Raisman shortly after she joined the U.S. junior national team.

The USOC and USA Gymnastics, the suit said, “Failed to implement reasonable safeguards to avoid acts of unlawful sexual conduct by (Nassar) in the future, including avoiding placement of Nassar in a position where contact and interaction with children is an inherent function.”

“A simple fact is this: If USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic Committee had followed their own bylaws, policies and procedures designed to protect children from sexual abuse Ms. Raisman never would have met him, never would have been ‘treated’ by him and never would have been molested by him. Instead they conspired to hide their knowledge of Nassar’s horrible crimes from the public and attempted to frighten Ms. Raisman and other victims into keeping quiet,” Manly said. “USOC and USAG can and will be made accountable by our justice system,”

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Olympics: Russians win hockey gold with 4-3 OT win over Germany

By STEPHEN WHYNO

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — The Russians triumphed in the no-NHL tournament where they were favored, winning the men’s hockey gold medal Sunday at a Winter Olympics where they couldn’t even be called Team Russia, use their colors or celebrate while listening to their anthem.

Kirill Kaprizov scored the game-winner as “Team Olympic Athlete From Russia” came back to beat underdog Germany 4-3 in overtime to put a thrilling end to a men’s tournament lacking buzz not only in South Korea but back in North America, where the NHL season went on during the games for the first time since 1994.

Russian flags — the team barred from using them by IOC sanctions for state-sponsored doping — hung behind the bench as the team celebrated and screamed with job. More than 200 fans that cheered for the team all tournament sang the Russian anthem, too, but the players did them one better and bellowed the anthem over the top of the Olympic anthem as the Olympic flag rose to the rafters.

Defenseman Bogdan Kiselevich said players sang the Russian anthem as an expression of “freedom of speech.”

“You play for your country, it is more important,” added Russian captain Pavel Datsyuk, who won his first gold medal at his third Olympics. “It feels good, but I have accomplished my dream. Now I have no dream.”

The victory came hours after the International Olympic Committee voted not to reinstate Team Russia for Sunday night’s closing ceremony. That means the Russians will again march under the “Olympic Athletes from Russia” name and the Olympic flag. The IOC formally banned Team Russia in December over a doping scheme at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, but invited 168 athletes to compete under the OAR name.

It was the first Russian gold medal in hockey since 1992 in Albertville when the team also played under a neutral flag as the Community of Independent States. Constantly saying it doesn’t matter that they had to wear nondescript red and white uniforms that lacked the Russian Coat of Arms, players gave the Russians their second gold and 17th total medal of the Olympics.

This one was expected all along.

Stocked with former NHL players — Pavel Datsyuk, Ilya Kovalchuk, Slava Voynov, Mikhail Grigorenko and Nikita Nesterov — the Russians were by far the most talented team in the tournament. U.S. coach Tony Granato said they may be as good as 20 of the 31 NHL teams.

The skill primarily from the Kontinental Hockey League was on full display — and the Russians needed it against disciplined, opportunistic Germany, which had all of its players from leagues in its homeland.

Voynov, at the Olympics because he was banned from the NHL in 2015 for his domestic abuse conviction, cashed in a turnover by Germany’s Yasin Ehliz in the final moments of the first period to open the scoring. Voynov’s shot from just inside the blue line got past aus den Birken and in with just 0.5 seconds on the clock.

It did anything but deflate Germany. Vasily Koshechkin let in a fluke goal to Felix Schultz and the game was tied 1-1 going to a wild third period. Russia’s Nikita Gusev scored when his shot bounced in off the helmet of goaltender Danny aus den Birken, but Dominik Kahun answered 10 seconds later. And when Jonas Muller slid the puck past Koshechkin with 3:16 left and then Russia took a high-sticking penalty, it looked like a major upset was on tap.

Instead, with Koshechkin pulled for the extra attacker to make it 5-on-5, Gusev scored again to help send the game to overtime.

There, aus den Birken needed to make an edge-of-his-pad save on Kovalchuk all alone driving to the net to keep the game going. A high-sticking penalty on Germany’s Patrick Reimer 9:11 into overtime put the Russians on the power play, where Kaprizov scored the winner and one of the biggest goals in Russian hockey history.

Reimer sat dejected in the penalty box for long moments as the Russians celebrated on the ice in front of him.

Still, Germany’s run to its first gold-medal game won’t soon be forgotten.

“It’s probably going to take a few hours to realize what we’ve done here,” forward Gerrit Fauser said.

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SoCal native Lauren Gibbs pushes through to bobsled silver medal

  • Driver Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs of the United States start their third heat during the women’s two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    Driver Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs of the United States start their third heat during the women’s two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • Driver Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs of the United States start their third heat during the women’s two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    Driver Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs of the United States start their third heat during the women’s two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • Driver Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs of the United States take a curve in their third heat during the women’s two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

    Driver Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs of the United States take a curve in their third heat during the women’s two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • Gold medalist Mariama Jamanka of Germany gets lifted by silver medal winner Lauren Gibbs of the United States after their final heat during the women’s two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

    Gold medalist Mariama Jamanka of Germany gets lifted by silver medal winner Lauren Gibbs of the United States after their final heat during the women’s two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • Driver Elana Meyers Taylor, left, and Lauren Gibbs, right, of the United States celebrate winning the silver medal during the women’s two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    Driver Elana Meyers Taylor, left, and Lauren Gibbs, right, of the United States celebrate winning the silver medal during the women’s two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • Driver Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs of the United States celebrate after their silver medal winning heat during the women’s two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

    Driver Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs of the United States celebrate after their silver medal winning heat during the women’s two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

  • Driver Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs of the United States celebrate after their silver medal winning heat during the women’s two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    Driver Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs of the United States celebrate after their silver medal winning heat during the women’s two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • Driver Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs of the United States celebrate after their silver medal winning heat during the women’s two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    Driver Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs of the United States celebrate after their silver medal winning heat during the women’s two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • Driver Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs of the United States celebrate after their silver medal winning heat during the women’s two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

    Driver Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs of the United States celebrate after their silver medal winning heat during the women’s two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

  • Driver Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs of the United States celebrate after their silver medal winning heat during the women’s two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018.(AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    Driver Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs of the United States celebrate after their silver medal winning heat during the women’s two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018.(AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

  • Driver Elana Meyers Taylor, left, and Lauren Gibbs, right, of the United States celebrate winning the silver medal during the women’s two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

    Driver Elana Meyers Taylor, left, and Lauren Gibbs, right, of the United States celebrate winning the silver medal during the women’s two-man bobsled final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

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By Mark Kiszla, Denver Post

PYEONGCHANG — The first bobsled race that Lauren Gibbs ever saw? She was in it. Not as a spectator, but as a full-fledged participant, hanging on for dear life in the back end of a $50,000 sleigh, sliding at 80 mph down a twisting tube of unforgiving ice.

And the first time Gibbs ever visited the U.S. Olympic Training Center, she bought a T-shirt, figuring that’s as close to the Winter Games as a sales rep from Denver could ever get, never imagining that fewer than four years later, she would march in the opening ceremonies behind the American flag.

But this isn’t one of those saccharine Olympic stories about some weekend warrior wannabe, gaming the system for 15 minutes of fame, showing up as an accidental tourist at the Games, like Eddie “the Eagle” Edwards leaping off a ski jump at Calgary in 1988, or Elizabeth Swaney, the no-talent skier that shamelessly trespassed in the halfpipe here in South Korea without bothering to learn a single trick.

“I didn’t qualify for the finals, so I’m really disappointed,” insisted Swaney, after finishing dead last among 24 contestants.

On a bone-chilling Wednesday night, the crowd at the Olympic Sliding Centre saw one of the more heart-warming triumphs of these Games, when Gibbs won a silver medal as the brakeman of a sled driven by Elana Meyers Taylor, finishing only .07 seconds behind Germans Mariama Jamanka and Lisa Buckwitz.

“At the end of this life, I just want to have a really cool story,” Gibbs said. “The more random things you try, the cooler your story gets. And this is about as cool as a story gets.”

Gibbs is not only an Olympic fairy tale come true, she’s also the perfect antidote to Swaney. They were both born in 1984, were educated in the Ivy League and got issued a uniform at age 33 to compete in PyeongChang. But Gibbs honored everything we love about the faster, higher, stronger, while Swaney made a joke of her competition and got the attention she craved by working every loophole in the five Olympic rings, from shopping for a country until Hungary took her and “earning” a spot in the Games by realizing all she had to do is ski down the middle of the halfpipe without falling down.

Can I admit something? Swaney bummed me out. My Denver Post colleague Jason Blevins deserves a gold medal for exposing the worst skier at the Olympics. If she’s a world-class athlete, I’m an astronaut. How Swaney sneaked in the Games through the back door, however, isn’t what made me sad, because I don’t fool myself into believing that waiting 2 hours on the snow to talk to an athlete qualifies me as a guardian of the Olympic galaxy.

Swaney became the cat playing piano of the Games. The internet is a wonderful thing, especially if your idea of infotainment is mindless, manipulative and loud. She checked all the boxes. Swaney, who is Harvard educated, might not be athletic enough defy gravity high above the wall of the pipe, but I’m betting she knows that we the people can’t resist stupid human tricks.

Swaney went viral, while Arielle Gold, a snowboarder from Steamboat Springs that won a bronze medal for the United States in the halfpipe, couldn’t get a phone call from Jimmy Fallon to be on “Tonight Show.” And that’s what bummed me out. Have you and I lost so many brain cells we are more fascinated with silly, shiny objects than the stuff that really matters?

So allow me to raise a toast in the name of Gibbs. She’s got game, plus a story with real weight. And I’m talking about more than the fact Gibbs can squat 375 pounds and dead lift 425. (Please do not try that at home, Ms. Swaney).

Gibbs, a Southern California native who attended Westridge School for Girls in Pasadena and went on to captain the volleyball team at Brown, was making big money as a sales rep when a friend encouraged her to try out as a sled pusher. When Meyers Taylor, who won silver driving her sleigh in Sochi, suggested they form a team, Gibbs not only hit the mute button on her career, she threw away the corporate suit and sold her car to pay the bills while training full-time, sacrificing her standard of living to chase a dream.

“The story is I left a six-figure job to push a bobsled, which I did,” Gibbs said. “But I think in life we make choices about what we want our story to look like. I was doing what I was supposed to do. I went to Brown for business and had every expectation of being a C-level executive … I was making money and buying lots of things. But I was bored out of my mind. I was like, ‘I didn’t work this hard to feel this way.’ ”

She jumped on a sled and never looked back. She risked it all, in a sport that can be punishing physically and unrewarding financially. But there was a happy ending: Winning an Olympic medal in bobsled, which is a whole lot better than going viral for being the worst skier at the Games.

“I feel like a silver medal makes my resume better,” Gibbs said. “I could be wrong.”

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U.S. women’s hockey team wins Olympic gold against Canada in shootout

GANGNEUNG, South Korea — The Americans’ gold medal drought in women’s hockey — finally — is over.

Even though they needed the first shootout in an Olympic women’s final to do it.

Twenty long years after taking gold when the sport debuted in 1998 at Nagano, the United States snapped Canada’s streak of four straight Olympic golds Thursday with a 3-2 shootout victory.

Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson scored in the sixth round of the shootout to start the Americans piling over the boards, throwing gloves in the air before huddling and hugging on the ice.

Gigi Marvin and Amanda Kessel also scored in the shootout. Monique Lamoureux-Morando tied it up with a breakaway with 6:21 left in regulation . Hilary Knight also had a goal.

Maddie Rooney made 29 saves for the win against their archrival. The 20-year-old goalie stopped the last two Canadian shooters in the shootout in Brianne Jenner and then Meghan Agosta on her second attempt.

It was sweet redemption for the 10 Americans who watched the Canadians snatch gold from their hands in 2014 at Sochi after tying it up with 54.6 seconds left in regulation and winning 3-2 in overtime.

Not only did the Americans snap the Canadians’ stranglehold on Olympic gold, they ended a skid of five straight against their rival coming into this game, including a 2-1 loss to wrap up pool play a week ago.

Marie-Philip Poulin and Haley Irwin each scored goals for Canada. Agosta and Melodie Daoust scored in the shootout.

The Americans had been dominating in non-Olympic years, winning the last four and eight of the last 10 world championships, including a 3-2 overtime victory over Canada last spring.

Their domination on the world stage only made the lack of gold at the Olympics all the more noticeable, and Canada has been in their way since losing the inaugural gold in Nagano. Canada had won 24 straight Olympic games to go along with four consecutive gold medals. It’s a streak of success in a women’s team sport second only to the United States’ basketball team’s current streak of six straight gold.

This was the eighth time these North American rivals met in the Olympics and the fifth with gold on the line. None of the previous seven were decided by more than two goals.

U.S. coach Robb Stauber went with the 20-year-old Rooney in net for the biggest game of her career, but she was the goalie for each of the three games the Americans beat Canada last fall during their pre-Olympic exhibition tour, including Four Nations Cup title in November.

Canada had Shannon Szabados, 31, in goal for her third Olympic gold medal game, and her teammates made her job very easy by keeping the puck in front of Rooney for most of the first period by dictating play. The Americans couldn’t use their speed or get organized even with two power plays until Sarah Nurse went in the box for interference late in the period.

Knight gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead with 25.4 seconds left in the first, redirecting a shot from Sidney Morin through Szabados’ pads giving the Americans a jolt of energy.

That lasted only 2 minutes into the second when Irwin tipped a pass from Blayre Turnbull over Rooney’s left leg for Canada. When Morin lost the puck, Melodie Daoust grabbed it and passed to Meghan Agosta who hit Poulin for the wrister into the left side of the net at 6:55 for a 2-1 lead.

.@TeamUSA IS GOLDEN!

The @usahockey women take down rival Canada for their first gold since 1998! #WinterOlympics #BestOfUS https://t.co/wS6s9ulmoA pic.twitter.com/o4gJr8g7sV

— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 22, 2018

.@maddie_rooney35 is a @TeamUSA hero and everyone wants a hug! pic.twitter.com/OTh9RayJGm

— Olympic Hockey on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) February 22, 2018

For the first time in 20 years, @TeamUSA @usahockey‘s women hear their national anthem played with gold around their necks. pic.twitter.com/CjWqNTLq9x

— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 22, 2018

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Evgenia Medvedeva answers doubters with world record skate

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Perhaps only one person at the Gangneung Ice Arena was less than impressed by Evgenia Medvedeva’s world record-setting Olympic debut Sunday morning (Saturday night PDT).

Medvedeva.

“I know what I can do better,” Medvedeva, Russia’s 18-year-old World champion, said after the women’s short program portion the team competition . “On a scale of five, I’d give myself a four, maybe a bit less, a four minus a quarter.”

A section of Russian fans were more impressed, holding up “10” signs at the end of a performance that reminded anyone who saw it why Medvedeva has dominated international figure skating for the past two season and resoundingly erased any doubts about the fitness of an athlete who was in a cast with broken foot less than four months ago.

Medvedeva’s world record short program score of 81.06 re-established her as the gold favorite in the women’s competition later this month and propelled her Olympic Athletes from Russia squad into first place in the team competition.

Canada would regain the team lead later Sunday on the strength of Megan Duhamel and Eric Radford’s first place finish in the pairs free skate. With the men’s and women’s free skate and ice dancing’s ice dance remaining Monday, Canada leads the team event with 45 points, followed by OAR (39), the U.S.  (36) and Italy (35).

“I prepared for these Olympics like for like for a celebration,” Medvedeva said.

Sunday wasn’t so much an Olympic coming out party as a reminder why Medvedeva in many people’s minds is the only skater worthy of being mentioned in the same conversation as South Korea’s Yuna Kim as the greatest women’s skater of all time.

But it was an event that was far from certain, even given Medvedeva’s domination, in October when cracked the metatarsal bone in her right foot.  The injury kept her out of this season’s Grand Prix final and the Russian championships. She was named to the OAR team only after finishing second to countrywoman Alina Zagitova at the European Championships in late January.

“I have waited for these Olympic Games,” Medvedeva said. “For sure I really wanted to come here.”

Unlike Friday’s men’s short program, Sunday’s event was marked by exceptional performances even before Medvedeva took the ice.

U.S. champion Bradie Tennell post a season’s best short program score of 68.94.

Bradie Tennell, of the United States performs in the ladies single figure skating short program in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Bradie Tennell, of the United States performs in the ladies single figure skating short program in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

“It hit me when I finished,” Tennell said. “I looked up and I could see the (Olympic) rings. And I thought ‘wow, you just did that on Olympic ice. That’s pretty cool.’”

Even so the score was only good enough for fifth place at the end of the day. Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond is third (71.38 ) with Satako Miyaharo fourth (68.95).

The foursome, however, were merely warm-up acts for the sport’s leading lady.

In winning last season’s World Championships, Medvedeva became the first woman to win consecutive World titles since Michelle Kwan of  the U.S. did so in 2000 and 2001, setting world records for free skate (154.40) and overall scores (233.41).

A month later she shattered three major barriers in women’s skating at the World Team Trophy event, becoming the first woman score more than 80 points in the short program (80.85), the first over 160 in the free skate (166.46) and the first to crack the 240 mark for an overall score (241.31).

But amid doubts about her fitness, Zagitova, Medvedeva’s 15-year-old training partner and the World junior champion, emerged as the new Olympic favorite.

That all changed back to form Sunday morning.

It wasn’t just that Medvedeva was more convincing than her peers in landing her triple jumps. The Russian’s artistry and speed served as reminders why she was undefeated for two years before losing to Zagitova last month.

She hit a triple flip, triple toe loop combination early on, then hit a triple lutz and about axel, her athleticism tied together with a graceful showmanship.

With Zagitova expected to skate for the OAR in the women’s free skate portion of Monday’s team finale, Medvedeva has another eight days to regroup before the women’s short program next Tuesday.

“Today was a personal experience for me and a lesson,” she said. “That is valuable experience as the most important part, the individual competition, is still to come.”

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CAS rejects Russian bid to participate in Olympic Games

GANGNEUNG, South Korea — The Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed an appeal by banned six-time Olympic short track speedskating champion Viktor Ahn and other Russian athletes and coaches seeking to take part in the Olympic Games.

The CAS decision came just hours before the Games’ opening ceremony later Friday night and avoided a showdown between the International Olympic Committee and CAS over the participation of the banned Russian athletes in South Korea the next two weeks.

“We welcome this decision which supports the fight against doping and brings clarity for all athletes,” the IOC said Friday.

A cloud of uncertainty had hovered over the final days of the run-up to the Games after CAS overturned last week an IOC decision in December to ban 28 Russian athletes for life and strip them of their results at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi after an IOC investigation showed the athletes took part in a widespread doping system orchestrated and financed by the highest level of Russian sport.

In two appeals to CAS this week 45 Russian athletes and two coaches asked the Switzerland-based tribunal to overturn the IOC decision not to invite them to the Olympic Games. One-hundred-sixty-nine Russian athletes will compete in Pyeongchang under the banner of  “Olympic Athletes from Russia” after they passed an IOC vetting process that was a requirement for their participation in South Korea. The return of the Seoul-born Ahn had been one of the most anticipated events of the Games before the IOC ban.

IOC president Thomas Bach and other top IOC officials criticized the CAS decision this week but would not say what action they would take if the tribunal overturned the bans.

Instead a three-member panel led by Canada’s Carol Roberts rejected both appeals.

“In its decisions, the CAS arbitrators have considered that the process created by the IOC to establish an invitation list of Russian athletes to compete as Olympic athletes from Russia (OAR) could not be described as a sanction but rather as an eligibility decision,” CAS said in a statement. “Although the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) was suspended, the IOC nevertheless chose to offer individual athletes the opportunity to participate in the Winter Games under prescribed conditions – a process that was designed to balance the IOC’s interest in the global fight against doping and the interests of individual athletes from Russia.

“At the hearing, the Applicants acknowledged that the IOC had the ability to institute such process.The CAS Panel found that the Applicants did not demonstrate that the manner in which the two special commissions (the Invitation Review Panel (IRP) and the Olympic Athlete from Russia Implementation Group (OAR IG) independently evaluated the Applicants was carried out in a discriminatory, arbitrary or unfair manner. The Panel also concluded that there was no evidence the IRP or the OAR IG improperly exercised their discretion.”

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