Sochi Olympics

Video: Inside Sochi: Winter Olympics spot, beach getaway

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NBC’s 9NEWS in Colorado, the same station that brought us last week’s video of Coloradans guessing where Sochi is located, has published another dispatch from a recent scouting trip to the 2014 Winter Olympic city.

In this video, Sochi: Winter Olympics spot & beach getaway, the station examines what to expect weather-wise come February. The Winter Games are less than seven months away with the opening ceremony Feb. 7 and some competitions beginning before the cauldron is lit.

The report says Joseph Stalin established Sochi as a resort — he even had a summer home there — and that the average winter temperature is 50 degrees.

The station interviewed the Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore, who covered the balmy weather issues at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

“To go from sea to mountains in 30 miles is a pretty big change,” said Cantore, on site in Sochi. “Nobody really knows what’s going to happen here. Could we have a day where it’s 20 Celsius (68 Farenheit) up in the mountains? Maybe. Could we have a day where it’s snowing four, five, six inches an hour because there’s such perfect upslope from the Black Sea?”

The report also shows images of Sochi’s snow-making and snow-saving systems just in case the weather doesn’t cooperate next winter.

Sochi names first Olympic torch relay bearers

Mikaela Shiffrin wins Aspen World Cup slalom

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With a slalom win today in Aspen, Colo., Mikaela Shiffrin broke some of the barriers she had been chasing.

En route to her fourth consecutive slalom World Cup title – which would tie the record for the most with Switzerland’s Vreni Schneider from 1992-95 – she became the first female skier to win four World Cup slalom races in a row since Austria’s Marlies Schild did it in the 2011-12 season.

In addition, Shiffrin became the first female skier from the U.S. to win a slalom World Cup race in Aspen. And she’s now tied with France’s Perrine Pelen for sixth overall with total slalom World Cup victories.

“I was pissed after I made that ridiculous mistake yesterday,” Shiffrin said to media, referencing yesterday’s giant slalom crash. Both her and Lindsey Vonn crashed and did not finish in Aspen’s giant slalom. “I tried to use that anger today.”

Shiffrin called the mistake a “brainfart” and Vonn dismissed it because “giant slalom isn’t [her] strongest event.”

Slovakia’s Veronika Velez Zuzulova was second behind Shiffrin, followed by Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter.

By finishing behind Shiffrin in Aspen, Zuzulova extends her slalom World Cup podium finish streak to four.

Hansdotter has the second-most second place World Cup slalom finishes at 13 total, including today’s race. Only Pernilla Wiberg, of Sweden, has more with a total of 14.

MORE: Shiffrin, Vonn discuss friendship and rivalry

Fencing great Valentina Vezzali fails to qualify for Rio 2016

Mario Monti, Valentina Vezzali
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TURIN, Italy (AP) – Six-time Olympic champion fencer Valentina Vezzali has failed to qualify for next year’s Rio de Janeiro Games.

The 41-year-old Vezzali was eliminated in the second round of the foil event at the Trofeo Inalpi meet Saturday, while Italian teammate Arianna Errigo reached the semifinals and gained the necessary points to qualify.

Vezzali won at least one gold at the last five Olympics in either individual or team foil. She has a total of nine Olympic medals and 25 at world championships.

Her second son was born in 2013, the year in which she also became a member of Italy’s parliament.

Vezzali told the Gazzetta dello Sport this week that “I had another son and it was really difficult to come back. … I don’t think I have anything else to prove.”

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