Tina Maze

Tina Maze wins skier of the year award

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Slovenia’s Tina Maze added one more trophy to her extensive collection for the 2012-13 World Cup season on Friday.

Maze, 30, won the Serge Lang Trophy, given by ski journalists to the athlete they vote as Skieur d’Or — or skier of the year.

There was no doubt Maze would take it over all other male and female Alpine skiers last season. She set a record for either gender with 2,414 points, smashing the previous mark of 2,000 and winning 11 races and the season titles in super-G and giant slalom.

She finished in the top three in every discipline, and her margin of victory (1,313 points) was also a record.

Maze begins her follow-up campaign and the Olympic season with a giant slalom, her specialty, in Soelden, Austria, on Saturday. Universal Sports will provide coverage.

Winners of the Serge Lang Trophy since 2000:
2013 Tina Maze, Slovenia
2012 Marcel Hirscher, Austria
2011 Ivica Kostelic, Croatia
2010 Carlo Janka, Switzerland
2009 Lindsey Vonn, USA
2008 Matthias Lanzinger, Austria
2007 Aksel Lund Svindal, Norway
2006 Benjamin Raich, Austria
2005 Bode Miller, USA
2004 Hermann Maier, Austria
2003 Stephan Eberharter, Austria
2002 Stephan Eberharter, Austria
2001 Janica Kostelic, Croatia
2000 Kjetil Andre Aamodt, Norway

Ligety’s biggest goal not Olympics

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 include LaMarcus Aldridge, Kenneth Faried, Draymond Green and Kevin Love.

Rio Olympic cauldron likely to be located near Plaza Maua

Candelaria Church
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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