Vonn skipping slalom opener to focus on Aspen

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Now that gold medal skier Lindsey Vonn has lost her battle to race her male counterparts in Canada later this month she’s decided to skip the slalom opener in Finland to prep for races in Colorado.

The four-time World Cup champ would have faced-off against the men in Lake Louise, Albert – sometimes dubbed Lake Lindsey due to her success on the course – on Nov. 24, but will instead head to Aspen on that date to take on the women at the only U.S. stop on the World Cup calendar.

Vonn’s request to race the men was denied by the International Ski Federation, which simply stated in a release that “one gender is not entitled to participate in races of the other and exceptions will not be made.”

The FIS said that Vonn could submit a request to be a forerunner for the men’s race, where her time would be clocked but wouldn’t count as part of the official competition. Apparently Vonn thinks focusing on the women’s circuit will be better for her Sochi medal chances in the long run.

USA Hockey to start reaching out to potential replacement players

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USA Hockey will begin reaching out to “alternate players” to determine their interest in playing for the U.S. at the women’s world championship next week amid a potential boycott by its national team.

The contact is taking place in the event a resolution cannot be reached between USA Hockey and the women’s national team in a wage dispute.

“It’s important for everyone to understand clearly that our objective is to have the players we named as the U.S. women’s national team be the ones that compete in the world championship,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey, in a statement. “Productive conversations have taken place this week and are ongoing in our collective efforts to reach a resolution.”

The alternate players are in the professional NWHL and college, according to USA Today.

The world championship tournament starts March 31 in Plymouth, Mich.

As of Thursday evening, no resolution has come between USA Hockey and its women’s national team. Neither side has said when its next scheduled meeting will take place.

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MORE: NHL asked for decision on Olympics by end of April

NHL asked for decision on Olympics by end of April

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International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel tells The Associated Press he needs to know by the end of April whether NHL players will be cleared to play in the South Korea Olympics next year.

NHL team owners have made it clear they don’t want to stop their season again for the Winter Games and put their stars at risk of injury. The reluctance has come up before and yet the NHL has participated in the Olympics since 1998. This time, however, there seems to be an impasse.

The head of the NHL Players Association, Donald Fehr, says the players want to participate and hopes the league will take advantage of the chance to market the game in Asia.

However, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly says without “material change to the current status quo, NHL players will not be participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics.”

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MORE: 2018 Olympic hockey groups set