Saturday, February 17, 2018

Nathan Chen dazzles with six quads but falls short of a medal

Nathan Chen finally delivers.

WHERE HAS HE BEEN? The Nathan Chen we were expecting to see finally showed up today (Feb. 16) with an unprecedented six quadruple jumps in his skating routine.

His dazzling performance that had the audience cheering and gasping, almost pulled off the impossible, coming from 17th place to almost medaling. With his record score of 215.08 points, Chen actually won the long program segment of the men's figure skating and held the bronze medal position until the last two skaters performed strong enough to edge out Chen;s quad attack.

“I definitely did want to redeem myself after the two short programs and I think I did here,” said Chen, who had come into Gangneung Ice Arena undefeated and as a medal favorite.
Chen, 18, had also struggled skating his short program in the figure skating team event, in which Team USA won the bronze medal.
Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan became the first male skater since Dick Button of Team USA in 1948 and 1952 to win back-to-back Olympic titles. Hanyu finished with an Olympic record total of 317.85, followed by teammate Shoma Uno, who edged Javier Fernandez of Spain, 306.90 to 305.24.
Chen finished in fifth place with a total score of 297.35 points. 
Vincent Zhou, the youngest member of Team USA at age 17, was sixth with 276.69 while 28-year-old Adam Rippon was 10th (259.36). All three Team USA skaters finished in the top 10 for the 15th time in Olympic history.
Chen, who last year became the first skater to land five quads in a program, had originally planned five for his free skate Saturday. 
RELATED: Figure skater Zhou flies; Chen falls
But after his two disastrous short programs, in which he made mistakes on his jumps and scored in the low 80s -- about 20 points lower than expected -- Chen decided he was going to show he truly was the “Quad King."
“It was sort of an anger thing,” he said. “I was just like, ‘Oh screw it, I’m going to try it. At this point I have literally nothing to lose. I’ll just go for it. And then I was like, ‘Well I can’t think about that right now. I can’t dwell on it. I’ll readjust in the morning, rethink about it.”
He said it was too early in the morning to try all the quads. His even gave his coach, Rafael Arutunian, a surprise when he threw in the sixth quad.
“That was me,” Chen said. “I didn’t even tell him I was doing that.”
Five of the six quads were clean, as Chen put his hand down on a quad flip, his extra jump. 
“I’m glad I was able to show myself and show everyone else that I can bounce back from a bad performance,” he said. “And honestly, I am human, I make mistakes. Unfortunately I had been having a really bad time. But I’m really happy with what I did here.”
Chen will have four years to mull over what might have been. He'll only be 22 years old when the next Olympics convene in China. 
Chen will have to be careful. His teammate Zhou surprised everyone with his Olympic performance.
The U.S. could very well have two medal finishers four years from now. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Advice: Don't hold your breath waiting for Congress before tending to immigration matters

Immigration is one of the top issues of the AAPI community.

By Doug Rand


WITH HEADLINES dominated by the Senate's debate on immigration policies between Congress and the White House, the only sure thing is uncertainty. 

Anyone who tries to predict the likelihood and scope of a new immigration deal is just guessing. This is as true now as it was five years ago, when I was an Obama White House staffer in the room where comprehensive immigration reform was being negotiated. A sweeping bipartisan deal was struck in the Senate, only to hit a brick wall in the House of Representatives.

This time there may be no immigration deal again, or there may be a narrow deal that focuses exclusively on border security and relief for Dreamers, leaving everything else untouched. But with the White House and its congressional allies escalating their demands for major changes to legal immigration, it’s important to prepare for the possibility that significant changes to the green card sponsorship system will actually be enacted this year, with a disproportionate effect on Asian American communities.

First, a reality check: While the White House has endorsed the idea of cutting the number of family-sponsored green cards in half, and making it impossible to sponsor any family member beyond a spouse or minor child, such drastic changes are almost certainly non-starters. While any negotiation involves posturing on both sides, it’s possible to get a sense of what’s actually on the table by looking at the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform deal from five years ago. In that bill, the annual number of available green cards didn’t change; they just got shifted around. The controversial “diversity visas” and some extended-family visas were reallocated to other priorities.

This time around, the scope of negotiations is even narrower, so we probably won’t see cuts to overall immigration levels, or a wholesale transformation to a “merit-based” immigration system. That said, any new deal will include some winners and losers.

Let’s go through the current categories of family-based immigration one by one, from most to least vulnerable:

  • If you’re a U.S. permanent resident (green card holder), you can currently sponsor a spouse or an unmarried child for a green card of their own. But somewhat under the radar, Senate dealmakers Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) already told the White House they’re willing to eliminate the ability of permanent residents to sponsor their children aged 21 and older, and to apply those 26,266 annual green cards to the waiting list for spouses and minor children instead. If this would put your own plans at risk, you should take action to sponsor your adult children right away.
  • If you’re a U.S. citizen, you can currently sponsor your siblings for a green card. But this too could be vulnerable. Sibling green cards were largely traded away in the 2013 comprehensive immigration deal, so there’s reason to believe they will be a bargaining chip again. Eligible citizens should look into getting their sibling sponsorship paperwork filed without delay.
  • If you’re a U.S. citizen, you can currently sponsor your adult children for a green card. But here again, the 2013 compromise would have largely eliminated green cards for married sons or daughters of U.S. citizens who are over 31 years of age—and something like this could happen again.
  • If you’re a U.S. citizen, you can currently sponsor your spouse, minor children, and parents for a green card. While not even the most hard-line immigration restrictionists have suggested curbing sponsorship of spouses and minor children, sponsorship of parents does tend to get lumped into calls to end so-called “chain migration.” I believe that such a dramatic change to the status quo is unlikely bordering on impossible. That said, prognosticators like me have been wrong before, and there’s generally no harm in filing the paperwork right now.
  • If you’ve been thinking of sponsoring a relative in one of these vulnerable categories, it’s probably a good idea to get started right away. The first step in each case is filing a family sponsorship petition (“Form I-130”), which secures your place in line. Yes, there are lengthy green card backlogs, but those backlogs may be addressed some day, while a closed door may never reopen.
* * *
As a White House staffer from 2010–2017, Doug Rand worked on efforts by Congress and the executive branch to reform the U.S. immigration system. Today he is President and Co-Founder of Boundless, a technology company dedicated to empowering families to navigate the immigration system more confidently, rapidly, and affordably.

2018 Winter Olympics: Figure skater Zhou flies, Chen falls

Wow! Watch American skater Vincent Zhou do his  quadruple lutz.


VINCENT ZHOU of San Jose, Calif. became the first skater Thursday night to land a quadruple lutz at an Olympics.

You can watch his performance at SF Gate.

He scored an 84.53 and placed 12th in the preliminary competition going into the finals.

Zhou, 17, says he is pleased with his performance, but knows he can do better.

Patrick Chan of Canada is in sixth place, but 14 points behind third place finisher Shoma Uno of Japan.

Meanwhile, America’s best hope for a gold medal in the men’s competition had a rough night. Nathan Chen slipped once and fell twice.

He is currently in 17th place. He told reporters he made every mistake possible.

His showing follows another poor skate during the team competition.

However, Team USA held on to win a bronze medal.

The men's figure skating finals continue tonight, which NBC will live stream at 8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. Pacific.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Peter Wang, 15, died while helping others escape the Florida shooter

Peter Wang, 15, died a hero
STUDENT PETER WANG, 15, was killed during the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where he was a member of the ROTC program.

He was one of the 17 victims of shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz, 19, a former student of the school.

Wang's cousin Aaron Chen said Peter was last seen holding a door open so that others could escape the shooter.

Another cousin, Lin Chen, 24, said she wasn’t surprised to hear that.

“He is so brave," she said. "He is the person who is genuinely kind to everyone. He doesn’t care about popularity. He always liked to cheer people up. He is like the big brother everyone wished they had,’’ added Chen, who flew in from Louisana to be with the family.

His parent, who own a restaurant in West Palm Beach, and two younger brothers were too upset to talk, says Chen.

Cruz, who is in police custody, reportedly confessed that he was the shooter of the mass shooting. 

The alleged shooter legally purchased the AR-15, assault rifle used in the shooting at a gun store in Coral Springs, Florida.

As politicians offer prayers and condolences for the victims of the Florida high school shooting, many of those same leaders accept millions of dollars from the National Rifle Association. 

Donald Trump, in his rather lackluster and unemotional remarks to the nation Thursday didn’t even bring up the issue of guns. Oh, by the way, the NRA gave his campaign over $30 million.

He wasn't alone. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted, "Today is that terrible day you pray never comes." He received $3.3 million from the NRA.

We don't need another moment of silence to honor the victims. If we really want to honor the memories of the young victims, now is the time for action.

Dreamers remain in limbo as Senate fails to agree on immigration

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION is not truly interested in any "deal" on immigration. All Donald Trump wants is ... well ... everything his way and to hell with compromise.

If Donald Trump had his way, he would cut off all immigration except from Norway and the other Scandinavian countries (oh, he might allow immigration from Slovenia, the home country of his wife and her parents.)

The U.S. Senate voted today (Feb. 15) on several proposals, some clearly partisan and anti-immigrant, but a couple were the result of bipartisan talks. None of them secured the 60 votes needed to pass.

“Congress has one job right now when it comes to immigration, and that is to provide a legislative fix for a path to citizenship for 1.8 million undocumented youth known as DREAMers, including 130,000 Asian/Americans," said the Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

The only good news that came out of the votes was that Donald Trump's and the GOP plan to enshrine his four-part immigration framework came the furthest of any proposal from reaching the 60-vote margin needed for passage, failing by 39-60. The competing bipartisan agreement got rejected, 54-45, after a furious White House campaign to defeat it, including a veto threat issued before the senators cast their votes. 

In the end, eight Republicans joined all but three Democrats in support of the main bipartisan proposal hammered together by Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham and Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin, which would have given an estimated 1.8 million undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship while spending $25 billion on border security.

The three Democrats who voted against the bipartisan proposal included Senators Kamala Harris, Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall, all of whom cited the hefty infusion of funding for Trump's border wall in explaining their “no” votes.

“While this bill would put Dreamers on a pathway toward citizenship, the appropriation of $25 billion for a border wall is a waste of taxpayer money,” Harris said in a news release. “A wall will not secure our border and I remain concerned those billions of dollars may also be used to implement this administration’s anti-immigrant agenda — one that targets California and its residents.”

Two other amendments were also rejected: a narrower plan with no border wall funding from Senators John McCain, R-Ariz. and Chris Coons, D-Del., on a 52-47 vote, and an anti-sanctuary cities measure from Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., went down, 54-45.

I repeat: Trump doesn't want a deal. All he wants is to ram down Congress' throat his radical immigration framework that is anti-family and anti-immigration of brown immigrants.

Less we forget, it was Trump - despite his professed love for Dreamers - who created this unnecessary crisis by declaring the end of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program, an Obama initiative, and giving Congress until March to come up with a legislative solution. After Thursday's votes in the Senate, that solution now seems farther away than ever.

"It has been 161 days since the Trump administration manufactured this problem by suspending the DACA program," says the AAAJ statement. 

TGIF Feature: Michelle Yeoh named grand marshal of the SF Chinese New Year Parade

Actress Michelle Yeoh in a scene from the upcoming movie Crazy Rich Asians.


SAN FRANCISCO is turning to the stars to usher in the Year of the Dog.
Veteran actress Michelle Yeoh has been named the grand marshal of this year’s Southwest Chinese New Year Parade & Festival that concludes two weeks of celebratory activities on Feb. 24.

It’s the first time in the parade’s 150-plus year history that a celebrity has served in this role.

Yeoh currently stars in the CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery and has role as the overbearing mother in the highly anticipated movie, Crazy Rich Asians, which is due out this summer.

She gained fame as a Bond girl in the 1997 James Bond flick, Tomorrow Never Dies, but is perhaps best known for her kick-ass role in the highly acclaimed 2000 film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

The announcement was made on Facebook.

“It’s an honor to serve as this year’s Grand Marshal and experience Lunar New Year in the United States,” said Yeoh. “This historic parade is a wonderful celebration that unites communities and promotes cultural exchange; two pursuits that are very close to my heart.”

The Southwest Airlines® Chinese New Year Parade is free and typically draws hundreds of thousands to San Francisco to witness the parade. It starts at 5:15 pm and lasts until 8 pm at Market and Second and winds its way to Kearny and Jackson.

Bleacher Tickets available: $35

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

2018 Winter Olympics: Speed skaters' medal hopes melt on the ice

JR Celski: 'I gave it my best shot'

THE RACE for a medal in Olympic speed skating for men has gone ice cold.

The AAPI men's speed skaters JR Celski, Aaron Tran and Thomas Hong had early exits in their respective races.

For Celski, 27, it could be the Filipino/American's last chance for another Olympic medal after he finished last in the preliminaries for the 1,000-meter short track.

An hour later, the third-ranked U.S. men's team failed to qualify in the 5,000-meter relay.

“I’m disappointed,” Celski said. “To come out here and not be able to compete for a medal is really disappointing.”

A three-time Olympian, Celski is also a three-time medal winner after earning silver in the 5,000-meter relay in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi and bronze in both the relay and 1,500-meter individual event in Vancouver’s 2010 Winter Games. He was ranked 18th in the world for the 1,000-meter event entering the Olympics and seventh in the world for the 1,500 meters. But he failed to advance past the qualifying heats for either event.

“I gave it my best shot, and I just came up short,” he told the Seattle Times.

Aaron Tran, 21, also fell short of qualifying even though he did better than Celski, giving the U.S. hope in future Olympics. Tran has another chance when he headlines the American contingent in the 500-meter sprint event Feb. 22. Hong will also race in the 500.

The men's speed skating disappointing results were shared throughout the entire team. John-Henry Kruegger, considered America's best hope for a medal, did not qualify either.

Sen. Duckworth's pregnancy challenges the U.S. Senate

Sen. Tammy Duckworth often takes her daughter through the halls of Congress.

'Greatest American Hero' with an Indian American twist

Indian/American actress Hannah Simone will play the 'Greatest American Hero.'

IF YOU spent any time watching TV in the 1980s, you might remember an innocuous superhero show called The Greatest American Hero starring blonde-tressed William Katt.

ABC ordered a pilot for the reboot with a contemporary twist: An Indian American actress will play the lead role.

New Girl star Hannah Simone will play the hero with super powers.

Instead of being the high school teacher played by Katt, the newly imagined version focuses on 30-year-old Meera (Simone), a tequila and karaoke enthusiast who has fruitlessly spent her life searching to find meaning, something that does not please her traditional Indian/American family. But everything changes when other worldly aliens give her a super suit to be used to protect the planet.

Casting an Indian/American in the lead, gives opportunities to other Indian/American actors. Gia Sandhu (The Indian Detective) playing Mona, Meera’s sister and Zenobia Shroff (The Big Sick) who will play her mother.

Cheers alum George Wendt will be playing Meera’s boss, Bob Rice.

The prospective show is being overseen by Nahnatchka Khan, executive producer of Fresh Off the Boat, another show featuring an Asian/American family. Khan, who will executive produce alongside Rachna Fruchbom - also of Fresh Off the Boat - who is writing the pilot.


Professor's deportation halted half-way across the Pacific

Syed Ahmed Jamal's wife and three children.

ICE didn't waste anytime in deporting Syed Ahmed Jamal.

Jamal, a Kansas chemistry teacher, who is fighting efforts to deport him to Bangladesh, was whisked into a plane Monday (Feb. 11) as soon as the temporary stay against his deportation ended and before an appeal could be granted. He didn't even get a chance to say goodbye to his wife and three children.

His attorneys immediately filed an appeal but it took a few hours to get a judge to agree to another stay. By then, he was in the air on his way to Bangladesh when the appeal was granted. He was taken off the plane and placed in detention in Honolulu where the plane had stopped to refuel.

"Not much new development today," said Jamal's attorney Rekha Sharma-Crawford said Tuesday (Feb. 13). "Syed is still in the Honolulu Federal Detention Center."

Jamal, 55, has lived in the United States for 30 years, overstaying his second visa in 2011. He was arrested in his driveway Jan. 25 as he was about to drive his daughter to school.

Jamal's case has led to a massive outpouring of support from friends, neighbors and critics of Donald Trump's immigration policies. Jamal's supporters held a rally Saturday protesting his pending deportation.

Jamal's supporters emphasize that he has committed no crimes during the time he has lived in the United States.

They say his case is an example of how the recent crackdown by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has swept up law-abiding immigrants, despite Trump's initial promise that deportations would target dangerous criminals.

Republican Rep. Lynn Jenkins introduced a bill Tuesday would provide for the "relief" of 55-year-old Syed Ahmed Jamal.

Sharma-Crawford said in a Facebook post that government attorneys have indicated they are coordinating efforts to bring Jamal  back home to the Kansas City area.
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Kansas, to whom Jamal's supporters appealed for help, said the case was an example of the country's "broken and unfair immigration system."

He pledged to offer a bill that would allow Jamal to stay in the country.

"The system is broken. We need to fix these laws that criminalize hard-working, contributing members of society like Mr Syed Jamal," Cleaver said.

Jamal has worked as an adjunct professor and researcher at Kansas City-area colleges. He entered the U.S. legally in 1987 to attend the University of Kansas but overstayed his visa while pursuing a doctorate. He was ordered deported in 2011 but had been allowed to stay in the U.S. and check in regularly with immigration authorities

(UPDATED Feb. 14 9 a.m. to include info on Jenkins' bill.)

Hollywood comes to Filipinotown with a message of diversity

Ava DuVernay, Dan Lin and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti launch a new hub for TV and film production.

A NEW INITIATIVE led by several of Hollywood's movers and shakers was launched of a new movie production hub in Los Angeles' Filipinotown.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, A Wrinkle in Time director Ava DuVernay, and It producer Dan Lin have kicked off the Evolve Entertainment Fund to promote inclusion in Hollywood.

“As we radically reimagine Hollywood, it is critically important that young people are included in our vision,” Ava DuVernay said Monday (Feb. 12) at the unveiling of the diversity initiative in partnership with HBO and the City of Los Angeles.

“Real change happens when we take tangible action, and that means giving young women and people of color opportunities in the industry early on so they have the chance to shape its future,” the director and ARRAY founder added of the new partnership between the City of L.A, studios, networks and nonprofits that seeks to provide placement in the industry for those traditionally left on the outside.

“What is one thing that people can do to instigate inclusion on film set? Hire a woman,” Oscar nominee DuVernay also made a point of noting. “Films directed by women have 76% percent more inclusion across people of color and women.”

Teaming-up with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Issa Rae Productions, Dan Lin’s Rideback, ARRAY, WME, Netflix, HBO, Film Independent, CAA, UTA, Anonymous Content, Lionsgate, Charles D King’s MACRO, Oprah Winfrey Network, the Sundance Institute, Shondaland, Ryan Murphy, Innovative Artists and Warner Bros, among others, the EEF intends to raise over $5 million to fund programs up to and beyond 2020.

With emphasis on creating TV, film and digital career opportunities for people of color, women and low-income residents of the City of Los Angeles and securing mini-grants and placement for eligible filmmakers, the newly announced EEF has already established 150 paid summer internships for students participating in the HIRE LA’s Youth program working with 9-1-1 EP Murphy’s production company, DreamWorks Animation and Kobe Bryant’s Granity Studios. The hope is that the number of those internships will expand to 250 by the end of the year, and up to 500 placements by 2020.

The first EEF grant recipient will be the Women in Entertainment Mentorship Program is the initial EEF grant recipient with the focus of working with young women from low-income communities to work up-close with entertainment industry pros.

“We created the Evolve Entertainment Fund to give people in underserved communities a new opportunity to chase their dreams in Hollywood, whether they want to be the next award-winning director or screenwriter, or are looking to secure a future in below-the-line jobs that are the bedrock of this city’s middle class,” LA Mayor Eric Garcetti told the crowd gathered at the newly minted Historic Filipinotown-based Rideback Ranch HQ of The LEGO Movie producer Dan Lin, who serves on the EEF Advisory Board.
As a part of EEF chipping away at some of the entry point barriers that some face, Lin’s Rideback has set up a new internship to expose participants to the development of big screen and little screen content for the international market. 
“I came to the U.S. as an immigrant from Taiwan,” Lin told the assembled invitees  Monday morning. “I’ve seen firsthand how difficult the industry is, how hard it is for writers, filmmakers and other artists to get their films and television series made,” the producer declared. “It’s even harder for someone with no connections to get a career started. It takes the generosity of others to lend a hand and get you through the door.”
Lin also announced at the launch that his decade-old Lin Pictures would be rebranded with the Old West term Rideback, meaning to help a rider who has fallen off their horse back up. The new campus where the EFF event was held will also house Warner Animation Group’s LEGO team plus Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s Lord Miller and David Ayer and Chris Long’s recently announced Cedar Park Entertainment.

DuVernay also revealed on Monday that a new HQ for the indie film focused ARRAY will be opening on Glendale Boulevard, also in Filipinotown.
“After 20 years in the business, it’s time for me to give back,” the Taiwan-born Lin said. “A more diverse mix of people and stories is essential for the future of our industry. We look forward to working alongside our colleagues to make EEF flourish and to launching new opportunities for young people of all backgrounds to join our industry.”

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

2018 Winter Olympics: Chloe Kim fulfills high expectations, captures gold

American Chloe Kim celebrates her Olympic victory.

WHATEVER  Chloe Kim is eating, I want some!

The 17-year old Californian won a gold medal in the snowboard half-pipe Tuesday (Feb. 12). While waiting to compete, she tweeted that she regretted she didn't finish her breakfast sandwich because she was "hangry." For those unfamiliar with the term, "hangry" is a mashup of hungry + angry.

In the qualifying rounds yesterday, she tweeted that she liked the churros and was looking forward to some ice cream.
The kid from Southern California, the center of skateboard culture, was just about to reach the pinnacle of her sport when she looked down from atop of the halpipe run.  With members of her parents, three sisters, three aunts, two cousins and her South Korean grandmother cheering her on, Kim put on a show that surpassed all expectations.

Chloe put up a score of 93.75 on the first of her three finals runs. As it turns out, that score was enough to win the gold. On her second run, she tried to do a double 1080, a maneuver that she was the first woman to do, but she couldn't quite pull it off. 

On her third run, she already knew she had won the gold medal so she didn't need to push it. She went for it anyway and was able to nail her signature double 1080. She scored 98.75 - close to perfection.

After Chloe's third run, she found her family and finally allowed herself to let the tears flow, her hunger pangs forgotten.

Watch Chloe's almost perfect run:


Monday, February 12, 2018

Reflecting on Lincoln's words


IT WAS  SIMPLE SPEECH, a short speech, but perhaps it is one of the most famous speeches ever delivered by a U.S. President.

The Gettysburg Address, according to legend, was written as President Abraham Lincoln was in a carriage riding to Gettysburg where a great battle had been fought. 

Amidst the strife and division plaguing our country today - on Lincoln's birthday - it is fitting that we take time to reflect on Lincoln's hallowed words:

"Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. 

"We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. 

"The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

"It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."

2018 Winter Olympics: 'Eat churros,' says teenager snowboarder Chloe Kim

ESPN Magazine recently featured Chloe Kim on its cover.

CHLOE KIM actually qualified for the Olympic team in 2014 but at age 13, she was too young for the competition.

Now, at the ripe old age of 17, she is the heavy gold medal favorite in snowboard half-pipe;  nabbed Visa as one of her primary sponsors,[ NBC did a commercial on her to promote their coverage of the Winter Games in PyongChang, South Korea; and she made the cover of ESPN Magazine (See above.).

She also revealed what she does to conquer the nervousness that accompanies the competition. She snacks!

"It's very special," Kim told CNN. "I feel like I have this unique opportunity to represent both Korea and the U.S.

"I definitely have a lot of Korean/American fans which is amazing," Kim tells CNN.

"I think my family are just so excited," she adds. "My grandma is in Korea. I have two aunts and three cousins in Korea as well.

"Everyone's really happy and I think this is the best scenario ever. At the end of the day, I'm so grateful that I get to be out here and represent the US in the country that my family came from. It's a very big blessing."

On the eve of a possible Olympic gold, looking back on her journey, she gives tribute to her father, Jong Jin Kim, who immigrated from Korea in 1982.

Born in Long Beach, Chloe started snowboarding before most kids learn to read. At age 4 she began taking the two-three hour trips to Mammoth Mountain ski resorts with her father, where, together, they learned to navigate the slopes and the competition.

In Monday's (Feb. 11, PST) qualifying round for the Olympic medal, Chloe was dominant in the qualifying round. She put down the two highest scoring runs of the day — a 91.50 on her first run, then a 95.50 on her second run, four points more than the next closest rival.

She will go into the medal round tonight (Feb. 12, PST) as a prohibitive favorite. So, eat churros!

2018 Winter Olympics: Mirai Nagasu jumps into history

After her performance, American skater Mirai Nagasu let out a scream of joy.

HISTORY was made when Mirai Nagasu did what no other American woman has done before.

Nagasu, 24, became the first U.S. female figure skater — and third woman ever — to nail a triple axel during an Olympic competition.

Only two other female skaters have been able to do that jump in Olympic competition - Midori Ito of Japan landed the jump in 1992 and another Japanese skater, Mao Asada, repeated the feat in Vancouver in 2010.

The Californian was competing in the women’s free skate in the team event when she landed the difficult jump. Nagasu received a score of 137.53 for the routine — a personal best 

"I don't know if you could tell -- it was more something I could feel -- but to nail it the way I did, even out of the corner of my eye I could see my teammates standing out of excitement," Nagasu said to the Associated Press. "And at that moment I wanted to stop the music and get off, but I still had my whole program ahead of me, and to complete the performance to the best of my ability is really exciting."

Her performance helped the U.S. figure skating team to a bronze medal behind Canada and the Olympians from Russia.

In 2014, she was third in the national championships but was left off the team when the U.S. Figure Skating Federation chose fourth-place finisher Ashley Wagner, based on her overall season's performance.

Watch her historic performance below: 

With the team competition out of the way, the skaters will be concentrating on their individual events. Nagasu will join the U.S.'s Karen Chen and Bradie Tennel to compete in the women's individual event.

Despite her historic jump, Nagasu finished behind Alana Zageteva of Russia, who had -- by far -- the highest score among the women's figure skaters in the team competition.

CORRECTION: Early versions of this post misspelled Marai Nagasu's name.

2018 Winter Olympics: Californian skating for South Korea averts wardrobe malfunction

Despite a wardrobe malfunction, the South Korean team continued with their routine.

YURA MIN almost had a Janet Jackson moment during her performance at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Skating for Team South Korea, one of clasps that secured her costume came undone in the middle of her performance with partner, another American, Alexander Gamelin. Both skaters have dual citizenships.

"Five seconds into the routine, my hook came undone," Min said, via the Detroit Free Press. "I was like, ‘Oh no!’ If that comes undone, the whole thing could just pop off. I was terrified the entire program."

"I didn’t stop," Min said. "I went from the beginning to the end. I didn’t stop because you get a deduction if you stop in the middle of a program. In my head, I was thinking, ‘Is it better to stop and fix it and get the deduction or keep going?’

"The fans kept cheering. Obviously, this is my first Olympics. I don’t want to let loose. I was terrified. I tried my best to keep it together." In more ways than one.

Americans Yura Min and Alexander Gamelin competed for South Korea.
Both of Min’s parents emigrated from South Korea before she was born in Torrance, Calif. “I was American when I went to school but I was raised in a very Korean household,” Min said. “My mom always raised me, like, ‘You are Korean. You have to learn Korean and know Korean culture.

She managed to keep her outfit in place to finish the pair's routine. At one point, she had to stop her twizzle (dual twirls) to pull up her top and that may have affected the final score. The American South Koreans finished ninth out of the 10 teams.

The pair will return in the dance skating competition and you can bet there will be extra clasps on Min's costume.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

2018 Winter Olympics: Romance blossoms on the ice

Long-time ice dance partners Evan Bates and Madison Chock confess to their close relationship off the ice.


THE CHEMISTRY displayed in the rink by ice dancing veterans Madison Chock and Evan Bates is now more real than ever.

The pair has skated together since 2011, but told Inside Edition they have been officially dating since last year.

“We were always having a blast and we were laughing all the time and just enjoying our time together,” Chock, 25, said. “I think that friendship and that base was what sort of led to the romance.”

The Chinese/Hawaiian said the two actually had their first date at age 16, but called that “puppy love.” At that time, the two were not skating together.

Years later, their simmering romance is real.

“Well, I pretty much told Maddie that I loved her,” Bates, 28, said to Today. “Last year I told (her) how I really felt and that changed things a lot.”

The two also share their love for their two puppies, Stella and Henry. Henry belongs to Chock. Stella is Bates’ pup.

“The first time I brought my dog to the rink, he jumped right on the ice no hesitation! He just was curious and wanted to check it out” Chock explained to US.

Bates said Henry is just the opposite.

” My dog Stella is probably the opposite – the polar opposite,” he said. “She doesn’t mingle well with others, she doesn’t do ice skating. She’s a sofa dweller.”

Chock and Bates placed third at the U.S. National Finals in January. This is their second Olympics together.

“I think it certainly helps, that kind of experience is invaluable,’’ Chock said to The Oakland Press. “The Olympics were an event like none other, the experience will serve us well.’’