Skaters Compete For Top U.S. Honors
LIANE HANSEN, Host:
Top American skaters have been competing at the U.S. National Figure Skating Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina. The annual event ends today. USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan is there and on the line Good morning, Christine.
CHRISTINE BRENNAN: Good morning, Liane.
HANSEN: Last night women's competition, bit of an upset.
BRENNAN: Only two women qualify for worlds, so Alissa Czisny moves on as does Rachael Flatt. And Nagasu's the odd woman out, which is too bad because she's certainly an up-and-coming star.
HANSEN: How does the men's competition shape up for tonight?
BRENNAN: Bradley waved goodbye after finishing fourth last year, figuring he was done. But so many people got on Facebook and Twitter urging him to come back that he finally did. He's an engaging, very enlightened, exciting skater out there and it'll be fun to watch him compete.
HANSEN: No surprises in ice dancing. We know these two...
BRENNAN: No, no surprises there at all. The Olympic silver medalists, Meryl Davis, Charlie White, won their third consecutive national title. And ice dancing has really been a strong point for the United States, really for the last two Olympic Games - two silver medals in a row - and I think we're seeing, again, just a dominating performance by Davis and White, who are in their early 20s. They're going to move on all the way to the 2014 Olympics probably with a whole bunch of young great teams right behind them.
HANSEN: Uh-huh. So, the winners of the U.S. national championships, where do they compete next?
BRENNAN: It's the world championships, the big competition - there's a couple of things in between. But the world championships are in Tokyo in March. And this is the first year of the four-year Olympic cycle. Building, building, beginning again, to the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, which, of course, will be a very big deal for all of these skaters.
HANSEN: Christine Brennan is a sports columnist for USA Today. She's in Greensboro, North Carolina, where she's covering the U.S. National Figure Skating Championships. Christine, thank you.
BRENNAN: Liane, it was my pleasure. Thank you.
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HANSEN: This is NPR News.
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