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Lindsey Vonn to train in Austria, eyes World Cup return

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Lindsey Vonn  will probably race in the season-opening giant slalom in Soelden on Oct. 26 if she feels she can place in the top three, the U.S. Ski Team women’s head coach told The Associated Press.

“If she doesn’t feel like she’s 100 percent, we’re going to give her those weeks off until the U.S. races (beginning Nov. 29),” the coach, Alex Hoedlmoser, told the AP, adding that it’s “totally a day-by-day decision.”

The U.S. Ski Team confirmed Vonn will be training in Austria this week. The AP reported she was set to arrive Monday and begin training on snow Tuesday.

The reigning Olympic downhill champion reached the podium in her last World Cup giant slalom, winning in Maribor, Slovenia, on Jan. 26, before blowing out her right knee at the World Championships in February.

Her previous five giant slalom results were a 21st, 24th, 27th and two did not finishes.

Vonn’s best events are the downhill and super-G, which don’t debut on the World Cup circuit this season until Nov. 29 in Beaver Creek, Colo.

Vonn returned to on-snow training in Chile in September and looked impressive.

“By the end of the camp she was skiing super-G and GS like nothing really happened,” Hoedlmoser said.

Video: Lindsey Vonn puts squirrel on Tiger Woods

Blake Griffin will miss Olympics, report says

Blake Griffin
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For the second straight Olympics, Blake Griffin will not be able to join Team USA due to injury, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles Clippers power forward will be out several months due to his left quad injury, according to the newspaper.

Griffin was originally chosen for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team but withdrew due to a torn meniscus, opening a spot for Anthony Davis.

Davis is also expected to miss the Rio Games due to injury.

Other power forwards on the U.S. finalist list released in January are LaMarcus Aldridge, Kenneth Faried, Draymond Green and Kevin Love.

Love is the only name from that list of healthy players with Olympic experience. Faried is the only player from that list who suited up at the 2014 World Cup, starting all nine games.

At London 2012, the U.S. started NBA small forwards LeBron James and Kevin Durant at the forward spots in all eight games, with another small forward, Carmelo Anthony, bringing similar versatility off the bench.

MORE: Why Candace Parker was left off Olympic team

Rio Olympic cauldron likely to be located near Plaza Maua

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Mayor Eduardo Paes says he wants the Olympic cauldron to burn in Rio de Janeiro’s revitalized port area.

The cauldron will be lit at Maracana Stadium during the Opening Ceremony on Aug. 5, and will spend the night there before traveling to a permanent home.

Mario Andrada, spokesman for the Rio organizing committee, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the cauldron will be placed in the port area, but not in the heart of the renovated port area known as Plaza Maua.

“It will be close to Plaza Maua, but not exactly in Plaza Maua,” Andrada said. He said it was likely to be located near the Candelaria Church, which is near the plaza.

“Don’t get me into a fight with the mayor,” Andrada added.

Paes said he hoped the new plaza would be a center for outdoor entertainment during the Games, including performance stages, musical attractions, and large-screen televisions.

“It seems that the Maracana Stadium has limitations,” Paes said, adding that moving out of the Maracana “is good because it democratizes the access to the cauldron.”

The new plaza and downtown Rio are far from the heart of the Games in suburban Barra da Tijuca. It is also an area not usually visited by tourists.

The Olympic flame arrives from Greece and Switzerland on Tuesday in the capital Brasilia, to be carried off the plane by IOC member Carlos Nuzman, the head of the Rio organizing committee.

The flame then goes to the Planalto presidential palace where it is expected to be greeted by President Dilma Rousseff.

Andrada said IOC President Thomas Bach and other top IOC officials would not be at the ceremony.

Rousseff is facing impeachment charges and could be suspended from office as early as May 11, turning over authority to Vice President Michel Temer.

Temer, himself, could also face impeachment proceedings and has a scandal-tainted career.

PHOTOS: Olympic flame visits Acropolis, 1896 Olympic Stadium