It’s “now or never” for the Madrid Olympics

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Spanish Olympic Committee head Alejandro Blanco said Monday that Madrid’s bid to host the 2020 Olympics, which will be voted on by the IOC in September, is a “now or never” proposition and that the city will not have another opportunity.

“Madrid is prepared, it really is,” he told Spanish National Television. “Istanbul and Tokyo need to invest a lot in infrastructure. Madrid does not.”

The SOC says that 28 of the 35 venues are already standing, and the cost of the Games would only be roughly $2 billion, as opposed to the estimated $4.5 billion budgeted in Tokyo, and the $19 billion for Istanbul. “If the IOC does not appreciate that, it means Olympics can only be staged in countries with a lot of money,” added Blanco.

Madrid, which is dealing with an economic crisis and record unemployment, finished third for the 2012 Games that were awarded to London and second for 2016 Games that will take place in Rio.

Watch NBC Sports’ Alpine skiing World Cup preview video

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NBC Sports will air coverage of 87 Alpine skiing races at 22 resorts across the globe this fall and winter, from October through March, in the final full season before the 2018 Olympics.

Highlights include fall and winter stops in the U.S. with races in Killington, Vt.; Beaver Creek, Colo.; Squaw Valley, Calif.; and the World Cup Finals in Aspen, Colo., in March.

Lindsey Vonn‘s highlighted World Cup stop will be downhill and super-G races in Lake Louise, Canada, the first weekend of December.

The world championships in February will be in St. Moritz, Switzerland, where Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin will look to defend titles.


Skier goes airborne in World Cup opener (video)

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Canadian skier Phil Brown was fortunate to walk away from an airborne crash at the World Cup season opener in Soelden, Austria, on Sunday.

Brown failed to finish his first run, losing contact with the snow early on and falling hard onto his side.

He tweeted a video of the crash, with slow-motion replays, with a soundtrack of Irish singer Enya‘s “Only Time.”

The World Cup season continues with men’s and women’s slaloms in Levi, Finland, in three weeks.

MORE: Ted Ligety recovers to finish fifth in first race in 9 months