The competition in Omaha might seem a bit lackluster after Vancouver gold medalist Evan Lysacek and three-time national champ Johnny Weir have recently pulled out of the event. But with Jeremy Abbot aiming for his fourth title in five years, there’s still plenty to be excited about.
“I’m actually feeling good,” he told the OC Register. “It’s actually been a lot of work getting my back feeling good again. I really feel like I’m building some momentum. I want two solid programs, make the team, and then put everything I have into Worlds.”
A fourth U.S. title would put Abbot, who nearly bowed out of the event due to lower back problems, in the elite company of gold medalists Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitano, and Dick Button.
The 27-year-old admitted that he won’t be throwing a quad jump in his short program Friday night, but will have a quad toe loop for during his long program on Sunday. So, you know, get excited.
Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn will take on slalom today at the Aspen World Cup stop, airing today at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and stream on NBC Sports Live Extra at the same time.
Shiffrin is seeking her first win on U.S. snow; all of her first place finishes have come from European venues. She has 14 slalom World Cup titles and winning one more would tie her with France’s Perrine Pelen for sixth overall for total slalom World Cup victories.
Vonn can only increase her record World Cup wins – she has the most at 67 wins, and only Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark has more at 86 men’s wins. Of all her titles, the fewest have come from slalom at two.
Yesterday, both Vonn and Shiffrin suffered crashes in grand slalom races.
Before missing the downhill World Cup last year due to injury, Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway won the title in 2012-13 and 2013-14. Today, he may become just the eighth man to win this World Cup title at least three times, but he faces competition from countryman Kjetil Jansrud, who won last year’s title in Svindal’s absence.
The World Cup men’s downhill at Lake Louise is streaming today at 1:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Live Extra.
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