Boudia wins silver in first meet since London

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After claiming to be only at sixty percent for this weekend’s FINA USA Grand Prix in Florida – a tune-up for trials and (maybe) worlds later this year – London 10m platform champ David Boudia won silver at his first event since last summer to prove that when you’re good, you’re just that good.

“I’m super pleased for where I am right now,” Boudia told the Associated Press. “I’m just glad to be in the competition where I can be competitive with the Chinese at this stage. Diving is a sport that is totally mentally and it’s the windiest day I’ve dove in in a very long time.”

China’s Yanquan Zhang won the event with a total score of 521.00 to edge Boudia, who finished with 518.60. And that’s after Boudia scored 16.20 fewer points on his final dive than Zhang, with both performing a 2.5 backwards 2.5 twist.

“That last dive’s been giving me some trouble,” Boudia admitted. “It’s like just one degree if you fall back on it. It’s like if you force a golf swing it doesn’t work. And it’s the dive I won the Olympics with.”

We’re sure he’ll have the kinks worked out by worlds.

No NHL players means more mistakes and goals at Olympics

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GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — Hockey is a game of mistakes and it’s on display in fine form at the Olympics.

It doesn’t look beautiful, of course, with players all outside the NHL turning the puck over for point-blank scoring chances or leaving opponents wide open in front. The talent level is lower, so the risk factors and the entertainment level are up. Goaltenders have to be on their toes for unexpected, game-saving stops even more than usual.

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“It’s a short tournament: A few mistakes can decide your fate,” Finland goaltender Karri Ramo said Saturday. “You try to create more than carry it out of the zone, so obviously teams are trying to keep the puck and create scoring chances, so those mistakes happen. You’re not going to win if you play safe.”

There’s not a whole lot of safe, low-risk play so far, and scoring has increased as a result. After each team played twice, games were averaging 5.1 goals, up from 4.7 in Sochi with NHL players on the rosters.

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Ligety exits quietly, Hirscher brilliant again

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PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Marcel Hirscher, the Austrian ski god, is finally having his moment. King of the World Cup tour for the past seven seasons, on Sunday Hirscher won his second Olympic gold, in the giant slalom.

Hirscher had won a grand total of no Olympic medals, nada, zip, zero in two prior Games. Now he might — could, should — win three here at PyeongChang. The slalom, another Hirscher specialty, is due to be run Thursday.

To watch Hirscher ski is to watch one of the great athletes of our — or any — time. Like being courtside in Chicago to see Michael Jordan back in the day. At Wimbledon for a Roger Federer volley. At the Water Cube in Beijing in 2008 when Michael Phelps was swimming the butterfly.

In Sunday’s race, Kristoffersen finished second, 1.27 seconds back of Hirscher. Pinturault finished third, 1.31 behind.

American racer Ted Ligety used to own this event: the Sochi 2014 giant slalom gold medalist, he was world champion in 2011, 2013 and 2015. Pinturault took Sochi 2014 bronze.

Considering his relatively low slalom ranking and the pounding that slalom demands, Sunday’s GS was — just like that, that quickly, that quietly — likely the final race of Ligety’s outstanding Olympic career.

“This is probably it for me at these Games,” he said after run two, adding that he is planning to head back to Europe, to race the remainder of the World Cup season.

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