Sarah Hendrickson

Report: Sarah Hendrickson suffers knee ligament damage in ski jumping accident in Europe

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World champion ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson reportedly broke ligaments in a ski jumping fall Wednesday.

Hendrickson, 19, suffered a right knee injury that included ligament damage, according to the Italian website wintersport-news. Hendrickson flew 148 meters in Oberstdorf, Germany, according to a report and alluded to on a photo posted to Hendrickson’s Instagram on Wednesday.

The longest any female jumper flew last World Cup season was 134 meters. The men’s Olympic record on a large hill is 144 meters. A Finnish jumper flew 225.5 meters in Oberstdorf in 2009, but it’s unknown if Hendrickson was on the same hill.

Women’s ski jumpers usually compete on the normal hill — rather than the large hill — and jump shorter than 100 meters.

The U.S. Ski Team confirmed Hendrickson suffered a right knee injury and was given a preliminary check in Germany. The U.S. Ski Team is gathering more details but said she will fly home with the team on Friday and will then be evaluated in Utah.

Hendrickson has been considered one of the U.S.’ top gold-medal hopes at the Sochi Olympics. Women’s ski jumping is making its debut at the Winter Games after a long fight to be included on the program.

Hendrickson and Japan’s Sara Takanashi, 16, have a growing rivalry going. Takanashi beat out Hendrickson for the 2012-13 season World Cup title.

“Thanks to everyone for the kind words and thankful for @tomhilde for coming to make me feel better 🙂 Nothing is confirmed and going home to get everything checked out. At least I set a new PR right? 148 was kinda fun? #roadtorecovery,” was written with this Instagram photo:

Shaun White injured in New Zealand training accident

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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